20 October 2016
From Jester King:
This weekend we’ll be re-releasing Fantôme Del Rey, our collaboration with Brasserie Fantôme in Soy, Belgium. Fantôme Del Rey is a blend of old, barrel aged beer and young beer. The old, barrel aged beer was brewed with dark candi syrup, ground coriander, and black peppercorns, and fermented with truffle honey.
We previously released Fantôme Del Rey back in May, but then halted sales when we noticed the beer had gone “ropey”. While the flavor and aroma were good, the beer had a noticeable viscosity and slick mouthful. Fortunately, it appears the living microorganisms in our mixed culture have broken down the ropiness, and we’re now happy to re-release the beer.
We posted four months ago about what we think happened. The lactic acid producing bacteria Pediococcus in our mixed culture, for some scientific reason unknown to us, produced “exopolysaccharides”, which caused the viscous mouthfeel. Fortunately, our mixed culture has an “auto-correct” function built in, figuratively speaking, that often fixes the problem over time. We think Brettanomyces yeast in our mixed culture slowly broke down the exopolysaccharides causing the ropiness to dissipate. That’s something we often do with beer at Jester King that has something that’s kind of off — we just give it more time, and the living microorganisms usually make things better.
We’re happy with the way Fantôme Del Rey is presenting, and we hope you enjoy it too. If you’ve been storing bottles at home over the last four months (hopefully warm), we think they’re fine to drink. We have quite a few bottles (about 5,000) that have been aging at the brewery, which will go on-sale this Friday at 4pm ($14/750ml). There’s no bottle limit. Fantôme Del Rey will also be available by the glass, and it will see Texas distribution through our friends at Flood Independent Distribution.
We appreciate your patience with this beer! Mixed culture fermentation often throws surprises our way, and in this case, you helped us fix things by allowing fermentation the time it needs to work its magic. If you have any questions, concerns, issues, etc., feel free to reach out to us. We hope you enjoy the re-release of Fantôme Del Rey!