Juice it Up, Bro! + Going Pro

We like to keep up with trends and fads in the beer world — it helps to keep recipe development skills sharp, it can present a challenge, and it’s down-right fun (especially when you enjoy the styles that come into vogue).  At this moment, so called New England, or juice/smoothie style ales (usually IPAs) are all the rage here in Seattle.

As I understand it, this style is actually a confluence of two different but similar brewing processes that emerged sometime in the last decade but have only recently infiltrated the zeitgeist.  Most beer enthusiasts attribute the style to Vermont’s The Alchemist Brewery and their flagship IPA Heady Topper (hence the “New England” moniker); however, Stockholm’s Omnipollo has been producing juice/smoothie IPAs for quite a while as well.  Regardless of who the progenitor of the style may be, a few key factors have coalesced to help us brewers and imbibers determine what makes a “juice-style” ale.

First and foremost is the water profile.  To aid in achieving a softer mouthfeel, most research recommends a higher ratio of calcium chloride to calcium sulfate (gypsum) in the treatment of your liquor.  Some brewers will also dough in at a higher temperature to accentuate the roundness of body and mouthfeel.  Next is the addition of more flaked grains in the malt bill — this adds body, head retention, and haze to the finished beer.  To get the desired smooth, bright and juicy flavors associated with oranges, pineapple, grapefruit, and mango, it is important to keep early bittering hop additions very low, or to skip them altogether in the hops schedule.  Many brewers choose to first-wort hop and then add the bulk of their additions from five minutes to flame-out, while aggressively dry-hoping the beer in primary and secondary with hops like El Dorado, Citra, Mosaic, Amarillo, Nelson Sauvin, Galaxy, etc.

Omnipollo regularly adds lactose or oat milk to their juice/smoothie IPAs, while The Alchemist reportedly doesn’t bump their flaked oat content, relying on the massive quantities of late addition hops and abstaining from filtering to achieve the haze in their New England IPAs.

Gregory and I decided to brew a hoppy and sessionable “juice style” pale ale for the PNW summer we’ve been enjoying.  We did slightly bump our usual approximate 1:1 chloride to sulfate ratio, but following Scott Janish’s excellent article Mouthfeel Softness | New England IPAs, we bucked traditional wisdom and decided to slightly accentuate the sulfate content for an approximate 1:1.7 ratio.

Our recipe, process, and tasting notes can be found after this brief and exciting announcement:

Gregory and I, along with partner Chris Richardson are turning our love and passion for beer and brewing into a full-time business venture by opening Best of Hands Barrelhouse in the West Seattle neighborhood!  We will begin operations on a 7BBL direct-fire system and we aim to open our doors winter of this year or early 2018.  We are currently demolishing and making repairs at the space, and awaiting our construction permits.  You can read about the iconic building we’re leasing here, and please follow us on our Facebook page for updates on our progress!

Juice it Up, Bro!

Recipe Specifics

Batch Size (Gal): 15
Total Grain (Lbs): 28.00
Anticipated OG: 1.049
Anticipated SRM: 4.0
Anticipated IBU: 35
Brewhouse Efficiency: 75%
Wort Boil Time: 60 Minutes

Grain

42.86% — 12.00 Lbs. US 2-Row
28.57% — 8.00 Lbs. Red Wheat
14.29% — 4.00 Lbs. Flaked Oats
07.14% — 2.00 Lbs. Flaked Wheat
03.57% — 1.00 Lbs. Honey Malt
03.57% — 1.00 Lbs. Rice Hulls (@10 min.)

Hops

1.00 oz. El Dorado (Pellet, 16.0% AA) @ 60 min. (First Wort)
0.50 oz. Citra (Pellet, 13.8% AA) @ 60 min. (First Wort)
0.50 oz. Citra (Pellet, 13.8% AA) @ 60 min.
6.00 oz. Citra (Pellet, 13.8% AA) @ 0 min.
5.00 oz. Mosaic (Pellet, 12.5% AA) @ 0 min.
3.00 oz. El Dorado (Pellet, 16.0% AA) @ 0 min.
2.50 oz. Citra (Pellet, 13.8% AA) @ 4 days (Dry Hop)
2.00 oz. Mosaic (Pellet, 12.5% AA) @ 4 days (Dry Hop)
1.50 oz. El Dorado (Pellet, 16.0% AA) @ 4 days (Dry Hop)
2.50 oz. Citra (Pellet, 13.8% AA) @ 3 days (Dry Hop)
2.00 oz. Mosaic (Pellet, 12.5% AA) @ 3 days (Dry Hop)
1.50 oz. El Dorado (Pellet, 16.0% AA) @ 3 days (Dry Hop)

Extras

3.00 tsp Yeast Nutrient @ 10 min.

Yeast

Imperial Yeast A24 — Dry Hop

Water Profile

Seattle
9.00g Calcium Chloride
15.00g Gypsum

Mash Schedule

Single infusion – 60 min @ 151F
Mash out — 10 min @ 170F

Notes

Brewed on 07.11.17 with Gregory

07.11.17 — Chilled wort to 70F & pitched the yeast into 17 gallon SS Brewtech conical

07.13.17 — Vigorous fermentation activity

07.15.17 — Added half of the dry-hop addition in primary

07.18.17 — Dumped the yeast and added the remainder of the dry-hop addition

07.21.17 — Kegged the batch and began force carbonating

Tasting Notes — 07.27.17 (on draft)

Opaque hazy orange in color with billowy white head stand which persists throughout drinking.  Intense satsuma orange and red grapefruit notes on the nose with a hint of minerality in the background.  The citrus notes dominate the round palate with some hints of pineapple-like tropical fruit juiciness.  Because we mashed at a lower temperature, the beer finishes quite dry with the impression of coarse tannic mango, and a long lingering grapefruit pith bitterness.

Calculated OG: 1.046
Calculated FG: 1.010
Approx. ABV: 4.7%

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Table Saison Achillea (Barrel Fermented)

yarrow-rosemaryGregory and I recently brewed two more saisons utilizing the remaining foraged yarrow we had vacuum sealed and stored in the freezer over a year ago.  This is the first of those saisons, which underwent primary fermentation in the small American oak Parliament Whiskey barrel we’ve used in the past (which is almost neutral at this point).  We decided to make this one hopless, as we’ve done in the past with our Saison Achillea, but we left out the lavender and added some fresh rosemary this time.  We also decided to brew this one to session, or table strength, which is a fancy way of saying it’s low in alcohol content.

barrel-yarrowWe used Imperial Yeast’s F08 Sour Batch Kidz strain which is a blend of Belgian saison yeasts, Lactobacillus, and two Brettanomyces strains.  We let in condition in glass for over two months and bottled it with additional Brettanomyces Bruxellensis.

Our process and tasting notes follow:

Barrel Fermented Table Yarrow Saison

Recipe Specifics

Batch Size (Gal): 5.5
Total Grain (Lbs): 7.75
Anticipated OG: 1.035
Anticipated SRM: 5.0
Anticipated IBU: 0
Brewhouse Efficiency: 75%
Wort Boil Time: 60 Minutes

Grain

38.71% — 3.00 Lbs. Red Wheat
38.71% — 3.00 Lbs. Vienna
12.90% — 1.00 Lbs. Flaked Oats
06.45% — 0.50 Lbs. CaraVienne
03.23% — 0.25 Lbs. Crystal 40L

Extras

1.00 tsp Yeast Nutrient @ 10 min.
1.00 Whirlfloc @ 15 min.
2.00 oz. Yarrow @ 60 min. (first wort)
2.00 oz. Yarrow @ 60 min.
3.00 oz. Yarrow @ 5 min.
0.60 oz. Rosemary @ 5 min.
2.00 oz. Yarrow @ 0 min.

Yeast

Imperial Yeast F08 — Sour Batch Kidz
Used barrel terroir
White Labs WLP650 — Brettanomyces Bruxellensis (bottle conditioning)

Water Profile

Seattle
1.00 g Calcium Chloride
1.50g Gypsum

Mash Schedule

Single infusion – 60 min @ 156F
Mash out — 10 min @ 170F

Notes

Brewed on 11.03.16 with Gregory

11.03.16 — Chilled wort to 70F & pitched the yeast into the oak barrel

11.05.16 — Vigorous fermentation activity

11.12.16 — After 9 day primary, transferred to glass secondary

01.24.17 — Bottled 5.5 gallons @ 3.2 volumes of CO2 with corn sugar and Brett. Brux.

barrel-table-yarrowTasting Notes — 02.26.16 (bottle pour)

Orange in color with a slight haze.  Thin white head stand which persists throughout drinking.  Sweet-herbal yarrow dominates the nose with a hint of honey in the background.  Sweet-tart yarrow is front and center on the palate and hits the sides of the tongue with a puckering tartness.  Faint hint of oak on the dry, crisp, quick finish.  Thirst quenching and simple.

Calculated OG: 1.035
Calculated FG: 1.010
Approx. ABV: 3.3%

Toasted Coconut, Vanilla, and Cacao Nib Baltic Porter

coconut-balticGregory and I decided to brew another batch of our Baltic porter (Baltic Tiger) so we’d have a dark brew to drink through the winter.  We were originally just going to brew another regular version, but decided to tailor this batch to our friend and business partner, Chris Richardson’s, tastes by adding coconut, vanilla, and cacao nibs.

For the specialty ingredients additions, Gregory soaked 6 oz. of cacao nibs and 3 vanilla beans in Bullet rye whiskey for a week before toasting 1 pound of coconut flakes in the oven at 350F for 15 minutes.  He added both of these to the beer in a tertiary fermenter, and a week later we bottled it with brown sugar as our priming agent.

We again used California lager yeast, and cold steeped the roasted grains.  It was nearly a two month process from brewday to bottling, but we did no extensive cold maturation this time around.  We also tweaked the grain bill a bit for this version.

Recipe and tasting notes below:

Toasted Coconut, Vanilla, and Cacao Nib Baltic Porter

Recipe Specifics

Batch Size (Gal): 5.5
Total Grain (Lbs): 21.01
Anticipated OG: 1.088
Anticipated SRM: 56.0
Anticipated IBU: 27
Brewhouse Efficiency: 75%
Wort Boil Time: 90 Minutes

Grain

42.84% — 9.00 Lbs. Munich 6°L
28.56% — 6.00 Lbs. U.S. 2-Row
07.14% — 1.50 Lbs. Melanoidin Malt
04.76% — 1.00 Lbs. Chocolate Malt
04.76% — 1.00 Lbs. Flaked Rye
02.38% — 0.50 Lbs. Crystal 120L
02.38% — 0.50 Lbs. Special B
01.81% — 0.38 Lbs. Roasted Barley
01.81% — 0.38 Lbs. Black Malt
01.19% — 0.25 Lbs. Chocolate Rye
01.19% — 0.25 Lbs. Chocolate Malt
01.19% — 0.25 Lbs. Chocolate Wheat

Hops

1.00 oz. Perle (Pellet, 5.5% AA) @ 90 min.
0.45 oz. Fuggle (Pellet, 3.6% AA) @ 90 min.
1.00 oz. Fuggle (Pellet, 3.6% AA) @ 30 min.
0.50 oz. Fuggle (Pellet, 3.6% AA) @ 10 min.
0.50 oz. East Kent Golding (Pellet, 5.0% AA) @ 1 min.
0.50 oz. East Kent Golding (Pellet, 5.0% AA) @ 0 min.

Extras

1.00 tsp Yeast Nutrient @ 10 min.
6.00 oz. Cacao Nibs
3.00 Vanilla beans
1.00 Lbs. Toasted Coconut Flakes

Yeast

Wyeast 2112 — California Lager

Water Profile

Seattle
1.00 g Calcium Chloride

Mash Schedule

Single Infusion – 90 min @ 155F

Notes

11.28.16 — Made a 1L starter of California Lager yeast

11.29.16 — Cold steeped 1.26 Lbs. of roasted grains in 2.5 quarts of room temperature water for 24 hours.

Brewed on 11.30.16 with Gregory

11.30.16 — Added cold steep addition @ 10 min. to flameout

11.30.16 — Chilled wort to 65F and pitched the starter

12.02.16 — Signs of moderate fermentation activity

12.07.16 — Transferred to secondary

01.10.17 — Soaked 6 oz. of cacao nibs and 3 vanilla beans in Bullet rye whiskey

01.17.17 — Toasted 1 Lbs. coconut flakes @350F for 15 minutes

01.17.17 — Added the coconut, cacao nibs, and vanilla beans to beer in tertiary fermenter

01.24.17 — Bottled 5.5 gallons @ 2.2 volumes CO2 using brown sugar as priming agent

Tasting Notes — 02. 26.17 (bottle pour)

Black in color and opaque with a billowy tan head which laces thin and lingers.  Toasted coconut dominates the nose with a hint of caramel, vanilla, and roasted malts supporting.  Coconut is front and center on the palate, giving way to bittersweet chocolate and a hint of black licorice.  Boozy alcohol notes and flavors of dark roast coffee meet mid palate and dry out the finish.  Bittersweet chocolate and espresso notes linger for some time.

Calculated OG: 1.086
Calculated FG: 1.021
Approx. ABV: 8.5%

Whiskey Barrel Aged Flanders Style Red With Cherries

cherriesThe wonderful thing about brewing and aging 63 gallons of beer in a whiskey barrel is that you can save a couple of uncarbonated kegs worth of the beer and use these portions as a canvas to create further iterations down the line.  August 2015, a portion of our Westland whiskey barrel aged Flanders style red was added to wild picked blackberries (detailed here).  Additionally, this past July I crafted two more versions of this beer — another wild picked blackberry version (using over two pounds of fruit per gallon), and a cherry version which I’ll detail in this post.

We brewed the base beer on 06.12.14 (detailed here: Barrel Project #02).  On 07.07.16, I took a six gallon portion of that beer and aged it on 6 LBS of Red Cherries (store bought, fresh) for seven weeks and five days.  I kegged the beer on 08.30.16 and have been enjoying it ever since.

cherry-flanders-pelicleAs you can see in the photo on the right, after aging on the cherries was complete, the beer had a lovely pellicle dusting the surface of the beer.  “That looks gross,” you say; however, pellicles are very important in the production of funky and/or sour beers.  “What is a pellicle?” you ask.  Check out this blog post from A Ph.D. in Beer to learn all sorts of great information on the topic: What is a pellicle?

The actual brewing process and recipe can be found in the linked post above.  Below I will only detail the cherry additions, kegging date, and the tasting notes.

Whiskey Barrel Aged Flanders Style Red With Cherries

Notes

07.07.16 — Red cherries added to Flanders Style Red (6 LBS — one pound per gallon)

08.30.16 — Kegged beer and began force carbonating for approximately 2.5 volumes CO2

cherry-flandersTasting Notes — 11.12.16 (poured off tap)

Gorgeous deep burgundy color with a moderate pink-white head which dissipates quickly and laces thin.  Aromas of cherry preserves, oak and whiskey.  The cherries are certainly present, but they meld fantastically on the palate.  Juicy-ripe stone fruit note in the middle followed by a sharp lactic acidity.  Drying oak tannin with hints of vanilla, earthy fruit pit, and barrel char follow.  Finishes with a clean and strong lactic sourness, no vinegar notes detected.  Woody notes linger.

Calculated OG: 1.076
Calculated FG: 1.000
Approx. ABV: 9.99%

Coffee IPA with Fresh Cascade Hops

coffee-ipa-fresh-hopEthiopian coffee, usually a medium light roast with notes of berries, flowers, wood, and chocolate, has become a favorite of mine.  Here in Seattle, there are several great local roasters who offer delicious and complex varietals from the coffee producing regions of this east African country — Seattle Coffee Works’ Yirgacheffe Wote Konga, Slate’s Guji (Sidama), and my current go-to, Olympia Coffee Roasters’ Banko Natural.  Sharing similar characteristics with hop varietals I enjoy, I’ve long thought that Ethiopian coffee would work wonderfully in beer.

When people think of coffee and beer, they usually assume the coffee will accompany a dark ale, such as a stout or a porter.  However, stemming from our mutual admiration of Fort George Brewing’s (Astoria, OR) Java the Hop coffee IPA — far and away the best example of the style I’ve ever had — Gregory and I have had a coffee IPA in the queue for quite a while.  We finally got around to writing a recipe after the crunch to brew our Willamette and Centennial Fresh Hop IPAs, only to find that the hops we chose to compliment our choice of Olympia Coffee Roasters’ Banko Natural were not available.

On the fly, we improvised a new hopping schedule that would utilize some of the next-generation hops of German descent that we have been tasting in some great new local brews.  Figuring we had the recipe set, the next improvisation occurred the night before brewday when a friend offered us over 20 oz. of fresh Cascade hops.  We tweaked the recipe once more and came up with our substitute coffee IPA.  We’ll eventually brew our original vision, but for now you can find our recipe, process, and tasting notes for this version below:

Coffee IPA with Fresh Cascade Hops

Recipe Specifics

Batch Size (Gal): 5.5
Total Grain (Lbs): 12.50
Anticipated OG: 1.063
Anticipated SRM: 5.0
Anticipated IBU: 60
Brewhouse Efficiency: 75%
Wort Boil Time: 60 Minutes

Grain

48.00% — 6.00 Lbs. US 2-Row
32.00% — 4.00 Lbs. Maris Otter Pale
08.00% — 1.00 Lbs. Wheat Malt
08.00% — 1.00 Lbs. Flaked Oats
04.00% — 0.50 Lbs. Honey Malt

Hops

5.00 oz. Cascade (Fresh, N/A AA) @ 60 min. (First Wort)
0.50 oz. Azacca (Pellet, 13.8% AA) @ 60 min. (First Wort)
0.20 oz. Columbus (Pellet, 16.0% AA) @ 60 min.
0.10 oz. Azacca (Pellet, 13.8% AA) @ 60 min.
1.00 oz. Hüll Melon (Pellet, 5.2% AA) @ 10 min.
6.00 oz. Cascade (Fresh, N/A AA) @ 5 min.
1.00 oz. Hallertau Blanc (Pellet, 8.8% AA) @ 5 min.
10.55 oz. Cascade (Fresh, N/A AA) @ 0 min.
1.00 oz. Calypso (Pellet, 13.0% AA) @ 0 min.
1.00 oz. Hüll Melon (Pellet, 5.2% AA) @ 0 min.
1.00 oz. Hallertau Blanc (Pellet, 8.8% AA) @ 0 min.
1.00 oz. Hallertau Blanc (Pellet, 8.8% AA) @ 5 days (Dry Hop)
1.00 oz. Simcoe (Pellet, 13.0% AA) @ 5 days (Dry Hop)
1.00 oz. Hüll Melon (Pellet, 5.2% AA) @ 5 days (Dry Hop)
1.00 oz. Calypso (Pellet, 13.0% AA) @ 5 days (Dry Hop)
1.00 oz. Azacca (Pellet, 13.8% AA) @ 5 days (Dry Hop)

Extras

1.00 tsp Yeast Nutrient @ 10 min.
2.00 oz. Whole and coarse-cracked Ethiopian coffee beans @ 3 days secondary

Yeast

Imperial A01 — House Yeast

Water Profile

Seattle
1.00 g Calcium Chloride
1.50 g Gypsum

Mash Schedule

Single Infusion – 90 min @ 150F

Notes

09.14.16 — Made a 1L starter of A01 House Yeast

Brewed on 09.15.16 with Gregory

09.15.16 — Chilled wort to 76F and pitched the starter after 20 minute hop stand with 2 minute whirlpool

09.16.16 — Signs of moderate fermentation activity 10 hrs after pitch

09.16.16 — Vigorous fermentation 21 hrs after pitch

09.23.16 — Transferred to secondary and added all of the dry hops

09.25.16 — Added the 2 oz. of coffee beans from Olympia Roasters

09.28.16 — Kegged the entire batch and began force carbonating at 10 PSI

Tasting Notes — 10. 17.16 (poured off tap)

Well clarified yellow-orange color with a brief headstand which laces thin.  Coffee aromas of chocolate covered strawberries, brandy, and cedar; underlying hop aromas of pear and mango, with unspecified floral notes.  Beginning- and mid-palate are extremely well balanced: Sweet-lush brandy and wood notes from the coffee meld with floral-peppery flavors from the hops.  Juicy notes of orchard pears and their stems emerge and meet hints of pineapple, citrus (lemon and bitter orange), and berries.  Finishes off-dry with a lingering pepper and pine bitterness and the suggestion of booze.

Calculated OG: 1.056
Calculated FG: 1.010
Approx. ABV: 6.0%

Homegrown Fresh Hop IPA (2016)

hops-2016

This past harvest, my Willamette and Centennial hop plants yielded about five pounds of fresh cones.  Gregory and I brewed two fresh hop IPAs on the same day — one with more Willamette hops and a blend of clean yeasts I made, the other with about equal amounts of the two hop varietals and Fermentis US-05 yeast.

As I anticipated in last year’s fresh hop post, I opted to use packaged hops for the bittering and dry hop additions, using the fresh hops where their qualities make the most impact — the late-boil flavor and aroma additions.  This method returned much better results, with none of the overly vegetal and grassy notes witnessed in last year’s 100% fresh hop ale.

Though both beers turned out well, to my surprise, I prefer the IPA that is more heavily hopped with Willamette.  Since the two beers are so similar, I’m going to post the recipe and tasting notes for my preferred version.  In addition to these homegrown brews, we produced one more fresh hop IPA (of a very different kind), which I will detail later.  Until then, find the recipe and tasting notes below:

fh-boil-2016Homegrown Fresh Hop IPA (2016)

Recipe Specifics

Batch Size (Gal): 5.5
Total Grain (Lbs): 13.00
Anticipated OG: 1.065
Anticipated SRM: 4.0
Anticipated IBU: 40
Brewhouse Efficiency: 75%
Wort Boil Time: 75 Minutes

Grain

46.15% — 6.00 Lbs. US 2-Row
23.08% — 3.00 Lbs. Maris Otter Pale
15.38% — 2.00 Lbs. Wheat Malt
07.69% — 1.00 Lbs. Flaked Rye
07.69% — 1.00 Lbs. Golden Naked Oats

Hops

1.25 oz. Willamette (Fresh, N/A AA) @ 75 min. (First Wort)
0.25 oz. Centennial (Pellet, 7.6% AA) @ 75 min. (First Wort)
0.25 oz. Willamette (Pellet, 4.1% AA) @ 75 min. (First Wort)
0.35 oz. Columbus (Pellet, 16.0% AA) @ 60 min.
6.00 oz. Willamette (Fresh, N/A AA) @ 15 min.
8.00 oz. Willamette (Fresh, N/A AA) @ 5 min.
25.00 oz. Willamette (Fresh, N/A AA) @ 0 min.
2.00 oz. Centennial (Pellet, 7.6% AA) @ 5 days (Dry Hop)
2.00 oz. Willamette (Pellet, 4.1% AA) @ 5 days (Dry Hop)

Extras

1.00 tsp Yeast Nutrient @ 10 min.

Yeast

Imperial A09 — Pub Yeast
Imperial A20 — Citrus Yeast

Water Profile

Seattle
1.00 g Calcium Chloride
1.50 g Gypsum

Mash Schedule

Single Infusion – 90 min @ 152F

Notes

08.24.16 — Made a 1L starter from rinsed #1 Summer Jam slurry

Brewed on 08.25.16 with Gregory

08.25.16 — Chilled wort to 80F and pitched the slurry after 20 minute hop stand with 2 minute whirlpool

08.26.16 — Signs of vigorous fermentation activity 9 hrs after pitch

08.30.16 — Added half of the dry hops to primary

09.02.16 — Transferred to secondary and added the rest of the dry hops

09.07.16 — Kegged the entire batch and began force carbonating at 10 PSI

willamette-fh-2016Tasting Notes — 09. 29.16 (poured off tap)

Slightly hazy pale yellow-straw color with a moderate white head which laces thin.  Floral notes on the nose reminiscent of wisteria, lemon balm, and green tea.  Flavors follow the nose with an additional note of honeysuckle mid-palate.  The Centennials offer some hints of citrusy lemon pith and a firm, round bitterness akin to pine needles.  Refreshing finish that ends dry with a lingering bitterness.

Calculated OG: 1.050
Calculated FG: 1.010
Approx. ABV: 5.2%

Salt-N-Peppa Birthday Gose

snp-gose-01This post is about that birthday beer I referenced in my last entry.  I’ve been meaning to brew a gose (pronounced goes-uh) — a traditional tart German wheat beer with sea salt and coriander — with peppercorns (my own twist on the style) for about two years. August 2nd, my birthday, afforded me the opportunity to finally do so as my kegerator’s sour tap became available.

I wrote a basic gose recipe and made a one liter lactobacillus starter five days before brewday, keeping the starter at 114F the entire time with a sous-vide cooker submerged in a camping cooler.  Gregory and I have had great lactic acid production in the past while making starters or sour-worting at around this temperature, but I talked to a fellow homebrewer who thought the temp. sounded a little high (he recommended keep the lacto. between 85-100F).  I proceeded to pitch the lacto. into the post-boil wort and waited 34.5 hours to pitch my ale yeast.  I didn’t bother to take a PH reading, as our PH meter seems to be malfunctioning.

The beer turned out fine, albeit less sour than I would have liked (ideally, it would have attained the level of tartness of Cascade’s or Westbrook’s  goses).  The homebrewer I mentioned above thought that my temp. may have been high enough to kill the lacto., so I’ll try keeping the starter at a lower temp. next time — perhaps then I’ll reach the level of tartness I desire.

All in all it’s a fine beer, and the peppercorns proved a nice addition.  Below you can find my recipe, process, and tasting notes.

Salt-N-Peppa Gose

Recipe Specifics

Batch Size (Gal): 5.0
Total Grain (Lbs): 8.50
Anticipated OG: 1.043
Anticipated SRM: 3.0
Anticipated IBU: 5
Brewhouse Efficiency: 75%
Wort Boil Time: 75 Minutes

Grain

47.06% — 4.00 Lbs. Wheat Malt
35.29% — 3.00 Lbs. Pilsner
11.76% — 1.00 Lbs. Acid Malt
05.88% — 0.50 Lbs. Rice Hulls

Hops

0.20 oz. Sterling (Pellet, 6.8% AA) @ 75 min.

Extras

1.00 tsp Yeast Nutrient @ 10 min.
1.00 Whirlfloc @ 15 min.
0.65 oz. Coriander Seed @ 10 min.
6.00 g. Pink Peppercorn @ 5 min.
0.75 oz. Sea Salt @ 10 min.

Yeast

White Labs WLP029 — German Ale/Kolsch Yeast
White Labs WLP672 — Lactobacillus Brevis

Water Profile

Seattle

Mash Schedule

Sacch. Rest – 60 min @ 150F
Acid Malt Addition — 45 min @ 150F
Mash out — 20 min @ 170F

Notes

07.28.16 — Made a 1 liter lacto. starter and kept @ 114F for 5 days

08.02.16 — Made 1 liter starter of German Ale/Kolsch yeast

Brewed on 08.02.16

08.02.16 — Chilled wort to 103F & pitched lacto. starter without aerating, put onto brewbelt

07.27.16 — Chilled to 80F and pitched yeast slurry

08.03.16/08.04.16 — After 34.5 hrs, decanted and pitched German Ale/Kolsch yeast, aerated & took off of brewbelt

08.04.16 — Vigorous fermentation 9.5 hours after pitch

08.12.16 — Kegged entire batch and began carbonating

snp-gose-02Tasting Notes — 09.07.16 (poured off tap)

Pale straw color with a moderate white head which dissipates quickly and laces thin.  Light bready malt aromas with mineral undertones and apparent fruity-floral peppercorn notes as the beer warms.  Sweet stone ground cracker-like notes on the palate accompanied by the floral-nutty flavors of the coriander.  Sea salt salinity emerges mid-palate to balance the malts with a mineral crispness and a savory zing.  Finishes semisweet with notes of cereal grains and a balancing flourish of peppercorn spice.

Calculated OG: 1.045
Calculated FG: 1.010
Approx. ABV: 4.6%

No More Hops in My Freezer — Farmhouse IPA

NMH IPA 02Time flies (especially during the summer), and beers you mean to brew get pushed back in the queue as, say, your homegrown hops ready to harvest early; you brew a special beer on your birthday; or you realize your kegerator has run dry and you need a daily sipper — stat!  It turns out all of these scenarios occurred this summer, but it’s the final example that prompted Gregory and I to brew this beer.

When you brew with another person, it’s easier to keep beer in the pipeline because you brew more often to  keep two homes stocked with draft beer.  Gregory and I encountered the peculiar (and terrifying) realization that both of our kegerators were dry, so we fast-tracked this beer after I brewed the #1 Summer Jam IPA so that Gregory would have draft beer to enjoy at home*.

Gregory had some hops that needed to be used so he went about creating this recipe.  You could call it a hoppy saison, but we prefer to call it a farmhouse IPA because it’s closer in spirit to those bucolic beers of Belgium and France.  As Phil Markowski states in an article for All About Beer, “Pretend you are a 19th-century farmer/brewer getting ready to make one of several batches of ale you produce each year. What will you brew with? You had a bumper crop of wheat so you trade a neighbor for some barley to blend with your wheat and rye. Your hop crop wasn’t great so you might substitute some evergreen boughs, juniper berries and seeds from your recently bolted coriander plants. The point is that you improvise; you brew with what is at hand.”

And that we did (and it turned out delicious).  Below you will find our recipe and tasting notes.  The experimental pine fruit hop we used is now marketed as Eureka.  Happy brewing!

* Turns out this beer went on at my place directly after the #1 Summer Jam IPA because Gregory had some beer he brewed leftover from a friend’s wedding, and that needed to be imbibed.

No More Hops in My Freezer — Farmhouse IPA

Recipe Specifics

Batch Size (Gal): 5.5
Total Grain (Lbs): 13.00
Anticipated OG: 1.066
Anticipated SRM: 7.0
Anticipated IBU: 44
Brewhouse Efficiency: 75%
Wort Boil Time: 60 Minutes

Grain

46.15% — 6.00 Lbs. 2-Row
38.46% — 5.00 Lbs. Red Wheat
07.69% — 1.00 Lbs. Honey Malt
07.69% — 1.00 Lbs. Caramel Vienne 20L

Hops

0.50 oz. Exp. Pine Fruit (Pellet, 14.0% AA) @ 60 min. (First Wort)
0.50 oz. Columbus (Pellet, 15.0% AA) @ 60 min.
1.00 oz. Ahtanum (Pellet, 4.6% AA) @ 05 min.
1.50 oz. Exp. Pine Fruit (Pellet, 14.0% AA) @ 0 min.
1.50 oz. Citra (Pellet, 13.7% AA) @ 0 min.
1.00 oz. Sorachi Ace (Pellet, 9.1% AA) @ 0 min.
1.50 oz. Citra (Pellet, 13.7% AA) @ 5 days (Dry Hop)
1.00 oz. Sorachi Ace (Pellet, 9.1% AA) @ 5 days (Dry Hop)
1.00 oz. Nelson Sauvin (Pellet, 12.5% AA) @ 5 days (Dry Hop)
1.00 oz. Ahtanum (Pellet, 4.6% AA) @ 5 days (Dry Hop)

Extras

1.00 tsp Yeast Nutrient @ 10 min.
1.00 Whirlfloc @ 15 min.

Yeast

White Labs WLP568 — Belgian Saison Yeast Blend (from slurry)

Water Profile

Seattle
2.00 g Calcium Chloride
1.50g Gypsum

Mash Schedule

Single infusion – 60 min @ 150F
Mash out — 20 min @ 170F

Notes

07.26.16 — Made a starter of yeast from Fir Tip Saison slurry

Brewed on 07.27.16 with Gregory

07.27.16 — 20 minute hop stand after flame out with 2 minute whirlpool

07.27.16 — Chilled to 80F and pitched yeast slurry

07.27.16 — Fermentation activity 9 hrs after pitch, brewbelt broken, put it onto secondary brewbelt

07.28.16 — Vigorous fermentation 20 hours after pitch

08.02.16 — Removed brewbelt

08.08.16 — Transferred into secondary and added dry hops

08.12.16 — Kegged entire batch and began force carbonating

NMH IPA 01Tasting Notes — 09.01.16 (poured off tap)

Hazy orange-gold color with billowy white headstand and thick lace.  Lush aromas of guava, strawberry, cedar, lemon, and grapefruit.  Underlying hint of rose-like esters and peppery geranium-like phenolics from the Belgian saison yeast — taken together the bouquet reminds me of white wine sangria.  Nuanced palate with flavors that follow the nose, some notes of pear and pineapple appear in the middle.  Long drying finish on the bitter side with a suggestion of black pepper, and a residual tropical-juicy sweetness.

Calculated OG: 1.054
Calculated FG: 1.005
Approx. ABV: 6.4%

#1 Summer Jam IPA

#1 Summer Jam IPALately Gregory and I have been honing recipes for a few different “house” IPAs.  I recently wrote a New Zealand/Australian hop-heavy session IPA recipe for the spruce tips Gregory and I foraged this past spring.  We liked the resulting beer so Gregory tweaked the recipe and brewed a version of it for the wedding of a friend.  I tried that version and liked it as well, but I decided to go back to the grain bill of the original recipe for inspiration, and make a third, PNW hop-forward beer.

I wanted to create a beer of “normal” strength that showcases the intense tropical, floral, and citrus notes of the new classic American hop varietals while remaining smooth, crisp and quaffable.  I stuck to a grain bill of pale malts with a touch of flaked oats for a silky mouthfeel and appreciable body, and rye to provide head retention and subtle grainy-spicy complexity.

I’ve also been looking forward to experimenting with blending different clean yeasts to create a more complex and flavorful ester profile, so I used two different saccharomyces strains in this brew.  I wanted to use Imperial’s A24 Dry Hop yeast, but the homebrew store was out so I opted for their A20 Citrus strain.  I pitched this first and then pitched a starter of yeast slurry 33 hours into primary from the wedding IPA — which utilized Imperial’s English A09 Pub yeast strain.

The resulting beer turned out great and the methods used to create it highlight our continual striving to craft better and better beer.  Unfortunately, I bumped the keg shortly before the photo was taken, so some hop particles were stirred up (I would have waited and taken another photo, but the beer was already almost gone)!

Below is the recipe and process that we used, as well as tasting notes:

#1 Summer Jam IPA

Recipe Specifics

Batch Size (Gal): 5.5
Total Grain (Lbs): 13.00
Anticipated OG: 1.065
Anticipated SRM: 4.0
Anticipated IBU: 58
Brewhouse Efficiency: 75%
Wort Boil Time: 75 Minutes

Grain

46.15% — 6.00 Lbs. 2-Row
23.08% — 3.00 Lbs. Maris Otter
15.38% — 2.00 Lbs. White Wheat
07.69% — 1.00 Lbs. Golden Naked Oats
07.69% — 1.00 Lbs. Flaked Rye

Hops

0.25 oz. Amarillo (Pellet, 7.0% AA) @ 75 min. (First Wort)
0.25 oz. Sorachi Ace (Pellet, 9.1% AA) @ 75 min. (First Wort)
0.25 oz. Citra (Pellet, 14.1% AA) @ 75 min. (First Wort)
0.50 oz. Amarillo (Pellet, 7.0% AA) @ 60 min.
0.50 oz. Citra (Pellet, 14.1% AA) @ 15 min.
0.25 oz. HBC 438 (Pellet, 16.6% AA) @ 15 min.
0.75 oz. Amarillo (Pellet, 7.0% AA) @ 05 min.
0.75 oz. Citra (Pellet, 14.1% AA) @ 05 min.
1.50 oz. Citra (Pellet, 14.1% AA) @ 0 min.
1.50 oz. Amarillo (Pellet, 7.0% AA) @ 0 min.
1.00 oz. Centennial (Pellet, 7.6% AA) @ 0 min.
1.00 oz. HBC 438 (Pellet, 16.6% AA) @ 0 min.
1.00 oz. Centennial (Pellet, 7.6% AA) @ 5 days (Dry Hop)
1.00 oz. Citra (Pellet, 14.1% AA) @ 5 days (Dry Hop)
1.00 oz. Amarillo (Pellet, 7.0% AA) @ 5 days (Dry Hop)
0.75 oz. HBC 438 (Pellet, 16.6% AA) @ 5 days (Dry Hop)
0.75 oz. Sorachi Ace (Pellet, 9.1% AA) @ 5 days (Dry Hop)

Extras

1.00 tsp Yeast Nutrient @ 10 min.
1.00 Whirlfloc @ 15 min.

Yeast

Imperial A20 Citrus
Imperial A09 Pub (Slurry)

Water Profile

Seattle
2.00 g Calcium Chloride
1.50g Gypsum

Mash Schedule

Single infusion – 60 min @ 153F
Mash out — 20 min @ 170F

Notes

07.20.16 — Made a starter of A09 Pub yeast from slurry

Brewed on 07.20.16

07.20.16 — 20 minute hop stand after flame out with 2 minute whirlpool

07.20.16 — Chilled to 72F and pitched can of A20 Citrus

07.20.16 — Signs of light fermentation 9 hours after pitch

07.21.16 — Vigorous fermentation 18 hours after pitch

07.22.16 — Added A09 Pub yeast slurry 33 hours after initial pitch

07.23.16 — Added half of the dry hops in primary in PM

07.31.16 — Transferred into secondary with remainder of dry hops

08.04.16 — Kegged entire batch and began force carbonating @ 30 PSI for 40 hours

08.06.16 — Purged CO2 and set at serving PSI

Tasting Notes — 08.16.16 (poured off tap)

Hazy yellow-orange with a moderate white head stand which laces nicely.  Aromas of pineapple with a spicy-herbal/tropical note reminiscent of mango salsa, hints of lime and dill.  Herbal and fruity flavors dominate the palate with notes of grapefruit and orange as well as pineapple, cedar and pine.  Body is lush and juicy, but crisp and finishes with a dry and resinous spicy-floral bitterness.

Calculated OG: 1.065
Calculated FG: 1.008
Approx. ABV: 7.5%

Spring Saisons

Flower Saison 02This post will detail two recent saisons that we brewed for and/or during spring here in the PNW.  The first is a version of our pink peppercorn saison that we added wisteria and lilac flowers to and heavily hopped with Chinook (we had a bunch laying around and had to use them up).  The second is a fir tip table saison we brewed using fir tips Gregory foraged in Leavenworth, WA.

I’ve wanted to use lilac in a beer for a while now and figured it would marry well with the floral peppercorns and Chinook’s earthy-spicy notes.  While Nate, a longtime friend of mine, was visiting I brought this up to him and he recalled that he had success using wisteria in a saison.  In West Seattle both lilac and wisteria grow abundantly and were available early as we’ve had a very warm season, so I decided to use them both.

FlowersGregory and I wanted to experiment with ester and phenol production as they relate to fermentation temperature with our go-to saison yeast — we usually use the brewbelt with Wyeast’s French Saison strain, which sometimes produces more bubblegum/banana notes than we desire — so we opted to let the yeast “free-rise.”  We used the same grain bill as our previously brewed pink peppercorn petite saison, but got better mash efficiency and attenuation so we ended up with a higher ABV and a drier beer.  The absence of the brewbelt almost eliminated the esters/phenols associated with saisons, resulting in a beer that is more akin to a pale ale than a saison.

For the fir tip table saison, we wanted something very light, dry, and easy-drinking.  We simplified both the grain bill and the hop additions, using classic European hop varietals.  Knowing we usually get better efficiency/attenuation than what Brewtoad calculates for session beers, we crafted a recipe that they determined would only be about 2.9% ABV to arrive at our desired 3.5% ABV.  We used White Labs’ Belgian Style Saison Blend and used the brewbelt for a shorter amount of time than we normally do (3 days as opposed to a week) to continue experimenting with ester/phenol production.  We added the fir tips from Leavenworth twice in the boil.

Read on for recipes, processes, tasting notes, and additional photos:

Kitchen Sink Saison With Pink Peppercorn, Lilac, & Wisteria

Recipe Specifics

Batch Size (Gal): 5.5
Total Grain (Lbs): 8.00
Anticipated OG: 1.039
Anticipated SRM: 2.0
Anticipated IBU: 33
Brewhouse Efficiency: 75%
Wort Boil Time: 90 Minutes

Grain

50.00% — 4.00 Lbs. Pilsner (BE)
25.00% — 2.00 Lbs. Vienna
12.50% — 1.00 Lbs. Flaked Oats
12.50% — 1.00 Lbs. Wheat

Hops

0.30 oz. Magnum (Pellet, 13.0% AA) @ 60 min.
0.50 oz. Chinook (Pellet, 12.0% AA) @ 10 min.
0.50 oz. Horizon (Pellet, 12.0% AA) @ 10 min.
2.00 oz. Chinook (Pellet, 12.0% AA) @ 01 min.
0.80 oz. Saaz (Pellet, 3.2% AA) @ 0 min.
2.00 oz. Chinook (Pellet, 12.0% AA) @ 4 days (dry hop)
2.00 oz. Chinook (Pellet, 12.0% AA) @ 7 days (dry hop)

Extras

1.00 tsp Yeast Nutrient @ 10 min.
1.00 Whirlfloc @ 15 min.
7.0g Pink Peppercorns (ground) @ 5 min.
1.60 oz. Fresh Lilac Flowers @ 5 days (in keg)
3.15 oz. Fresh Wisteria Flowers @ 5 days (in keg)

Yeast

Wyeast 3711 — French Saison

Water Profile

Seattle
1.00 g Calcium Chloride
1.50g Gypsum

Mash Schedule

Single infusion – 60 min @ 155F
Mash out — 10 min @ 172F

Notes

03.31.16 — Made a starter of French Saison

Brewed on 04.12.16 with Gregory

04.12.16 — Chilled wort to 77F & pitched the yeast

04.14.16 — Vigorous fermentation activity

04.16.16 — Added half of the dry hops to primary as fermentation slows

04.20.16 — Transferred to secondary and added remaining dry hop additions

04.27.16 — Split the batch and bottled two gallons with 2 oz. corn sugar for 2.6 volumes CO2, and kegged the remaining three gallons, adding the flowers in the keg for 5 days before removing them.

Flower Saison 01Tasting Notes — 06.08.16 (poured off tap)

Yellow-straw color and clear with a large fluffy white head stand that dissipates slowly and laces thick.  Big floral notes and a hint of peppercorn on the nose.  Hardly any saison esters/phenols detected.  Body is very dry and crisp with the herbal, grassy and spicy notes of Chinook dominating the palate.  Finishes with vivid and lingering earthy bitterness, and some peppercorn spice.

 

Calculated OG: 1.045
Calculated FG: 1.002
Approx. ABV: 5.6%

Fir Tip Table Saison

Recipe Specifics

Batch Size (Gal): 5.5
Total Grain (Lbs): 6.00
Anticipated OG: 1.030
Anticipated SRM: 1.0
Anticipated IBU: 22
Brewhouse Efficiency: 75%
Wort Boil Time: 90 Minutes

Grain

66.67% — 4.00 Lbs. Pilsner (BE)
16.67% — 1.00 Lbs. Flaked Oats
16.67% — 1.00 Lbs. Wheat

Hops

0.75 oz. East Kent Goldings (Pellet, 5.7% AA) @ 60 min.
1.00 oz. East Kent Goldings (Pellet, 5.7% AA) @ 5 min.
1.00 oz. East Kent Goldings (Pellet, 5.7% AA) @ 1 min.

Extras

1.00 tsp Yeast Nutrient @ 10 min.
1.00 Whirlfloc @ 15 min.
1.80 oz. Fir Tips @ 5 min.
1.80 oz. Fir Tips @ 1 min.

Yeast

White Labs WLP568 — Belgian Style Saison Yeast Blend

Water Profile

Seattle
1.00 g Calcium Chloride
1.50g Gypsum

Mash Schedule

Single infusion – 70 min @ 154F
Mash out — 10 min @ 172F

Notes

Brewed on 05.12.16 with Gregory

05.12.16 — Chilled wort to 70F, pitched the yeast & put onto brewbelt

05.14.16 — Vigorous fermentation activity

05.15.16 — Removed brewbelt

05.22.16 — After 10 day primary, kegged the batch and began force carbonating

Fir Tip Table SaisonTasting Notes — 06.08.16 (poured off tap)

Pale-straw color with large fluffy white head stand that dissipates quickly and laces medium.  Light grainy pils malt and a hint of bubblegum on the nose.  Citrus and pine form the fir is mellow but center stage on the palate.  Light and creamy mouthfeel with a round and smooth bitter flourish on the dry finish.

Calculated OG: 1.030
Calculated FG: 1.004
Approx. ABV: 3.4%