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


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


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.


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

Water Profile

1.00 g Calcium Chloride
1.50g Gypsum

Mash Schedule

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


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


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


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.


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


Wyeast 2112 — California Lager

Water Profile

1.00 g Calcium Chloride

Mash Schedule

Single Infusion – 90 min @ 155F


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%