Alpine Wild Flowers Wild Ale

For this beer, I foraged a plethora of various alpine wild flowers (image below) while on the Granite Mountain hike in July of 2018. I then built up a starter wort from the wild yeast and bacteria native to these flowers, propagating whatever I caught for nearly a month.

Having switched over to a half barrel pilot system that Gregory and I began test batching beers for Best of Hands Barrelhouse on (we also began using that system as our primary homebrew setup, splitting the batches between ourselves and another friend, and dry hopping/fermenting the portions differently), I took a five gallon portion of boiled wort from a basic blonde ale Gregory was brewing for a friend’s wedding.

I pitched 32oz of slurry from my starter and let the beer condition for eight months in glass before determining the character had hit its peak and kegging it. I opted not to dry hop or otherwise add any adjuncts to the resulting beer, letting the yeast and bacteria drive the beer’s expression. The result is a delicate and slightly tart beer with lots of interesting floral notes.

Recipe and tasting notes follow:

Recipe Specifics

Batch Size (Gal): 5.0
Total Grain (Lbs): 8.60
Anticipated OG: 1.048
Anticipated SRM: 2.0
Anticipated IBU: 22
Brewhouse Efficiency: 80%
Wort Boil Time: 60 Minutes

Grain

96.51% — 8.30 Lbs. 2-Row (US)
3.49% — 0.30 Lbs. Munich Malt

Hops

0.80 oz. Mt. Hood (Pellet, 6.5% AA) @ 60 min.
0.60 oz. Mt. Hood (Pellet, 6.5% AA) @ 5 min.

Extras

1.00 tsp Yeast Nutrient @ 10 min.

Yeast

Wild yeast & bacteria from foraged wild flowers

Water Profile

Seattle
1.60g Calcium Chloride
3.00g Gypsum

Mash Schedule

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

Notes

09.05.18 — Decanted the wild flower starter wort (Flanders red wort) and cold crashed

Brewed on 09.06.18 with Gregory

09.06.18 — Pitched 32oz of slurry into a 5 gallon carboy with the blonde ale wort

05.01.19 — After having sampled with a wine thief periodically, I decided to keg the beer and begin force carbonating at 12 PSI to enjoy while spring flowers begin to bloom.

Tasting Notes — 06.23.19 (on draft)

Pale straw color in appearance, and well clarified. Moderate white head stand that dissipates. Some lacing. Earthy-floral notes with a hint of celery seed and hay on the nose. Palate displays delicate floral, dandelion-like flavors up front. The middle is juicy with maltiness like wild flower honey. Finishes off-dry with a hint of pine, and a slight tartness reminiscent of lime rind.

Calculated OG: 1.046
Calculated FG: 1.006
Approx. ABV: 5.25%

Advertisements

100% Brett. Claussenii IPA

My buddy Hippie John picked me up some Wyeast 5151-PC Brettanomyces Claussenii, and on the heels of my last successful 100% Brett. beer, I decided to make another one (this one a bit more traditional).  This beer was initially going to be a grisette with a large portion of Munich triticale malt in the grist, but it evolved into a hoppier beer.  I utilized some recent favorites in my hops schedule, and a delicious tropical fruit bomb beer is the result!  Recipe and tasting notes follow:

Recipe Specifics

Batch Size (Gal): 6.0
Total Grain (Lbs): 9.00
Anticipated OG: 1.042
Anticipated SRM: 6.0
Anticipated IBU: 11
Brewhouse Efficiency: 80%
Wort Boil Time: 90 Minutes

Grain

50% — 4.50 Lbs. Pilsner Malt (US)
33.33% — 3.00 Lbs. MJW Munich Triticale
16.67% — 1.50 Lbs. White Wheat

Hops

0.20 oz. Sorachi Ace (Pellet, 12.1% AA) @ 90 min. (First Wort)
0.10 oz. Sorachi Ace (Pellet, 9.1% AA) @ 90 min. (First Wort)
2.50 oz. Sorachi Ace (Pellet, 12.1% AA) @ 20 min. (Whirlpool)
2.00 oz. Amarillo (Pellet, 8.2% AA) @ 20 min. (Whirlpool)
1.00 oz. Eureka (Pellet, 18.0% AA) @ 20 min. (Whirlpool)
2.00 oz. Vic Secret (Pellet, 21.0% AA) @ 12 days (Dry hop)
1.00 oz. Amarillo (Pellet, 9.0% AA) @ 12 days (Dry hop)
4.20 oz. Citra (Pellet, 13.7% AA) @ 5 days (Dry Hop)

Extras

2.00 tsp Yeast Nutrient @ 10 min.

Yeast

Wyeast 5151-PC — Brettanomyces Claussenii

Water Profile

Seattle
3.00g Calcium Chloride
6.00g Gypsum

Mash Schedule

Single infusion – 60 min @ 155F
Mash out — 10 min @ 170F

Notes

06.07.18 — Made a 600ml starter which I built up to over 2000ml in the week prior to brewday.

Brewed on 06.14.18 with Gregory & Jensen

07.04.18 — Added first dry hop addition to primary as fermentation began to slow

07.11.18 — Added the second dry hop addition (Citra hops) to primary

07.16.18 — Kegged the batch and began cooling to 38F

07.18.18 — Began force carbonating at 12PSI

07.23.18 — Dropped pressure to 10PSI, pulled through the beer and began serving.

Tasting Notes — 08.16.18 (on draft)

Hazy gold-orange in color with a billowy white headstand that laces nicely through drinking. Tropical fruit notes of pineapple and guava with undertones of lemon and mandarin orange on the nose.  Flavors of tropical fruit cup follow the nose, but savory earthy-woody notes enter mid-palate and move into pungent red grapefruit pith with a hint of pine on the dry, bitter finish.  The Brett. character here is very fruity, but there is a suggestion of funk that hits the sides of the tongue just before the lingering finish.

Calculated OG: 1.045
Calculated FG: 1.006
Approx. ABV: 5.10%

Wild Fruit Yeast — Experimental Brettanomyces Bruxellensis Beer

While not working on the buildout for Best of Hands Barrelhouse, or beertending at The Beer Junction, I cultivate my brewing chops by developing test batches of definitive recipes Gregory and I have written, as well as continuing to experiment with more esoteric fermentations.  The beer documented here, is a prime example of my desire to push beyond the norm, and explore other methods of producing unique and uncommon flavor profiles in beer.

To keep our personal kegerators stocked, and when we don’t feel like making the same thing, Gregory and I will often prepare 20+ gallons of a particular wort and then split it, each undertaking different fermentations to create the beers we wish to imbibe at home.  This particular beer’s wort began as the basis for a Bohemian style pilsner lager (Gregory’s version), that I then took out there quite far to create an exceptional experimental Brettanomyces Bruxellensis beer.

I made a large two-step Brett. Brux. starter for about a week and a half before the brewday.  Before we chilled the wort to lagering temperature for Gregory’s version, I brought the post-boil wort down to about 70F and added roughly a gallon of it to 6oz of store bought organic raspberries (mashed) and 16oz of organic kumquats (cut in half).  I let this concoction cool for a few hours in our brewery’s storage space, and then brought it to my basement to sit overnight.  Meanwhile, I transferred my portion of the pilsner wort to a sanitized corny keg.

The following day, I transferred both the pilsner wort and the gallon of fruited, open fermented wort to a sanitized carboy (including some of the mashed raspberries and 3-4oz of the kumquats).  After five days of letting any bacteria/yeast I caught propagate in the wort, I pitched a 1400ml Brett. Brux. starter into the beer.  After five weeks and four days, I added my first dry hop addition; five days after that I added the rest of my dry hops, and kegged the beer four days later.

Read on for the recipe and tasting notes!

Recipe Specifics

Batch Size (Gal): 4.5
Total Grain (Lbs): 8.80
Anticipated OG: 1.054
Anticipated SRM: 2.0
Anticipated IBU: 28
Brewhouse Efficiency: 75%
Wort Boil Time: 90 Minutes

Grain

100% — 8.80 Lbs. Pilsner Malt (US)

Hops

0.30 oz. Saaz (Pellet, 3.0% AA) @ 90 min. (First Wort)
0.30 oz. Columbus (Pellet, 14.5% AA) @ 60 min.
1.10 oz. Saaz (Pellet, 3.0% AA) @ 20 min.
1.10 oz. Saaz (Pellet, 3.0% AA) @ 20 min. (whirlpool)
1.05 oz. Amarillo (Pellet, 8.2% AA) @ 10 days (dry hop)
0.30 oz. East Kent Golding (Pellet, 5.7% AA) @ 10 days (Dry hop)
1.05 oz. Eureka (Pellet, 18.0% AA) @ 10 days (Dry hop)
1.00 oz. Amarillo (Pellet, 8.2% AA) @ 5 days (Dry Hop)
1.00 oz. Eureka (Pellet, 18.0% AA) @ 5 days (Dry Hop)

Extras

2.00 tsp Yeast Nutrient @ 10 min.

Yeast

White Labs WLP650 — Brettanomyces Bruxellesnsis

Water Profile

Seattle
6.00g Calcium Chloride
12.00g Gypsum

Mash Schedule

Single infusion – 60 min @ 153F
Mash out — 10 min @ 170F

Notes

Brewed on 04.09.18 with Gregory & Jensen

04.09.18 — Mashed up 6oz store bought organic raspberries and cut 16oz store bought kumquats in half. Chilled wort to 70F and covered the fruit mash with a portion of the wort in attempt to provide fruit yeast temp and sugar to propagate. Let sit open in fermentation garage for a few hours and will let sit over night in basement in attempt to catch wild yeast/bacteria.

Kegged the reminder of the wort and will transfer to carboy with the fruited wort and some of the fruit tomorrow.

04.10.18 — Transferred the fruited wort to a carboy with some of the raspberry mash and about 3-4oz of the kumquats, racked the pilsner wort on top and applied airlock. Will pitch a hefty Brett. Brux. starter soon.

04.11.18 — Built up remaining approx. 200ml Brett. Brux. starter with additional 32 oz of starter wort. Definitely caught something as airlock has pressure and wort seems to have a krausen or pellicle forming.

04.15.18 — Pitched approx. 1400ml Brett. Brux. starter into the beer. Still pressure in airlock and small krausen present.

04.16.18 — Light fermentation activity ~ 10 hrs after pitching the Brett. starter — constant bubbling in airlock.

04.25.18 — Fermentation has ramped up a bit, about a half inch krausen, constant and frequent bubbling in airlock. Put a brewbelt on for 10 hours overnight but no noticeable difference in fermentation this morning. Took off and replaced towel for UV protection.

05.24.18 — Added half + EKG of the dry hops to primary as still slowly fermenting.

05.29.18 — Added final dry hop addition to primary.

06.02.18 — Kegged batch and began force carbonating at 10PSI

Tasting Notes — 06.25.18 (on draft)

Billowy head-stand that dissipates quickly.  Slight chill haze present.  Lemon, grapefruit, and unspecified floral/herbal notes upfront on the nose, with supporting aromas of wildflower honey, overripe pineapple and horse blanket from the brett.  Bright, intense citrus-orange acidity hits the palate first with spicy-earthy undertones quickly following.  Spruce tip and pine-like flavors enter mid-palate and give way to a lemon-menthol sensation akin to a much milder Ricola lozenge.  Off-dry, spicy-herbal notes on the lingering finish.

Calculated OG: 1.054
Calculated FG: 1.004
Approx. ABV: 6.66%