Spruce Campbell — 100% Spruce tip Saison

Spruce Campbell 01The second of our beers to include spruce tips, Spruce Campbell, is a nod to our favorite Bruce (Campbell’s cheesiness is intentional, especially by the time of Army of Darkness, Springsteen’s isn’t — though we love him as well), thus in its epic nature it did not include any hops.  Instead of hops, Gregory and I decided to make spruce additions throughout the boil, using two different species of spruce tips that Eric the Barter/Forager foraged for us.

The first of these varieties (used in Spruce Springsteen) offers notes of citrus akin to grapefruit and tangerine, whereas the second is reminiscent of pine and earth.  The resulting beer features a massive 22.55 oz. of spruce tips total and utilizes blonde Belgian candi sugar to help dry out the body in the absence of hops’ balancing bittering properties.  Check out the recipe and tasting notes below:

Spruce Campbell 02Spruce Campbell — 100% Spruce tip Saison

Recipe Specifics

Batch Size (Gal): 5.5
Total Grain (Lbs): 12.00
Anticipated OG: 1.062
Anticipated SRM: 3.0
Anticipated IBU: 0.0
Brewhouse Efficiency: 75%
Wort Boil Time: 60 Minutes

Grain

83% – 10.00 Lbs. US 2-Row
08% – 1.00 Lbs. Blonde Belgian Candi Sugar
04% – 0.50 Lbs. Carapils
04% — 0.50 Lbs. Honey Malt

Hops

None

Extras

1.00 Whirlfloc @ 15 min.
1.00 tsp Yeast Nutrient @ 15 min.
Spruce Tips — 2.0 oz. @ 60 min.
Spruce Tips — 4.0 oz. @ 30 min.
Spruce Tips — 5.0 oz. @ 15 min.
Spruce Tips — 5.0 oz. @ 1 min.
Spruce Tips — 6.55 oz. @ 8 days (dry spruce)

Yeast

Wyeast 3711 – French Saison

Water Profile

Seattle
0.20 tsp Calcium Chloride
0.30 tsp Gypsum

Mash Schedule

Single Infusion – 60 min @ 151F

Notes

05.19.15 — Made a 1L starter with 1 Wyeast 3711 packet.  Brewtoad suggests 236 billion cells to ferment 5.5 gal.  Cold crashed and decanted morning of brew day.

Brewed on 05.21.15 with Gregory

05.21.15 — Chilled wort to 70F and pitched the French Saison yeast, put the fermentor onto the brewbelt

05.23.15 — Signs of vigorous fermentation activity

06.01.15 — Transferred into secondary after 10 day primary fermentation, added 6.55 oz. spruce tips, and took off the brewbelt

06.08.15 — Kegged and began carbonating

Tasting Notes — 07. 07.15

An explosion of Belgian yeast esters and tropical fruitiness on the nose with a hint of banana in the background.  Palate leans on the sweet side at the start, despite the Belgian candi sugar, with massive fruit notes reminiscent of Fruit Stripes bubble gum and blueberries.  Some Belgian yeast spiciness enters the picture and helps to dry out the finish which lingers with notes of ripe mango and a slight boozy warmth.

Calculated OG: 1.056
Calculated FG: 1.004
Approx. ABV: 6.8%

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Spruce Springsteen — Spruce Tip Session Ale

Spruce TipsFor this beer I again enlisted the help of Eric The Barter (who may also be referred to as Eric The Forager) to scare up some fresh Pacific Northwest spruce tips.  Not only did he come through for this beer, but Eric found enough spruce for Gregory and I to brew a second spruce tip beer in the near future (we intend to make the second one without any hops).

For this beer though, I decided on a light pale ale frame with some flaked oats for body and some crystal 120 for color adjustment.  I decided to focus on Simcoe hops late in the boil and as a dry-hop for their notes of pine, citrus, and earth, which satisfyingly compliments the spruce.

According to Brewtoad I should have hit a target original gravity of 1.053 for a beer of about 5.0% ABV; however, I only hit 1.034 and finished with a beer of about 4.1% ABV.  This isn’t the first time I’ve missed my gravity using Brewtoad’s estimates for recipes with flaked grains; I think they might anticipate more fermentables from these types of grains than what is actually produced because I usually hit or overshoot my gravities otherwise.  That being the case, I now have a delicious session ale with spruce tips!

Spruce Springsteen — Spruce Tip Session Ale

Recipe Specifics

Batch Size (Gal): 5.5
Total Grain (Lbs): 10.50
Anticipated OG: 1.053
Anticipated SRM: 8.0
Anticipated IBU: 32.0
Brewhouse Efficiency: 75%
Wort Boil Time: 90 Minutes

Grain

80% – 8.50 Lbs. American 2-Row Pale Ale
09% – 1.00 Lb. White Wheat
04% – 0.50 Lbs. Flaked Oats
04% – 0.50 Lbs. Crystal 120L

Hops

0.50 oz. Chinook (Pellet, 12.0% AA) @ 90 min (first wort).
0.50 oz. Chinook (Pellet, 12.0% AA) @ 20 min.
1.00 oz. Simcoe (Pellet, 13.0% AA) @ 0 min.
1.00 oz. Simcoe (Pellet, 13.0% AA) @ 5 days (dry hop).

Extras

1.00 Whirlfloc @ 15 min.
1.00 tsp Yeast Nutrient @ 15 min.
6.00 oz. Spruce Tips @ 15 min.
2.00 oz. Spruce Tips @ 5 days (dry hop).

Yeast

White Labs WLP051 – California V Ale Yeast

Water Profile

Seattle
0.20 tsp Calcium Chloride
0.30 tsp Gypsum

Mash Schedule

Single Infusion – 60 min @ 153F

Notes

04.21.15 — Late starter made night before brewday without sufficient time to culture up

Brewed on 04.22.15

04.22.15 — Chilled wort to 60F and pitched the California V Ale Yeast

04.25.15 — Signs of moderate fermentation activity

05.03.15 — Transferred to secondary and added dry-hops and 2.00 oz. spruce tips

05.08.15 — Kegged the beer and began force carbonating

Lavender Spruce SpringsteenTasting Notes

This beer turned out great; light and crisp with body enough to seem a bit stronger ABV-wise.  The earthy, fruity spruce melds perfectly with the delicious Simcoe hops.  I’d make this one again.

Calculated OG: 1.034
Calculated FG: 1.003
Approx. ABV: 4.1%

Loomi Lime Leaf Sour Farmhouse Ale

Loomi & Lime LeavesThe loomi, also known as the black lime, is a sun-dried lime that is commonly used as a spice in Middle Eastern cooking.  Gregory had used them before in a beer and liked the results, so we decided to use them and lime leaves (we wanted makrut lime leaves, but had to settle with those found at Thriftway) for the second of our three Yeast Bay fermented ales.

For this beer we constructed a pretty basic saison recipe with minimal IBUs, and utilized The Yeast Bay’s Farmhouse Sour Ale blend which “contains two farmhouse/saison Saccharomyces cerevisiae isolates, Lactobacillus brevis, and Lactobacillus delbreuckii.”  In keeping with the citrus theme, we also decided to use a Yakima Valley Hops hop called Experimental Lemon Zest, and will add 0.50 oz. of fresh lemon zest with the dry hops five days out from kegging.

Loomi Lime Leaf Sour Farmhouse Ale

Recipe Specifics

Batch Size (Gal): 5.5
Total Grain (Lbs): 9.50
Anticipated OG: 1.048
Anticipated SRM: 3.0
Anticipated IBU: 15.0
Brewhouse Efficiency: 75%
Wort Boil Time: 90 Minutes

Grain

63% – 6.00 Lbs. American 2-Row Pale Ale
21% – 2.00 Lbs. American Pilsner Malt
10% – 1.00 Lb. U.S. White Wheat
05% – 0.50 Lbs. Honey Malt

Hops

0.30 oz. Experimental Lemon Zest (Pellet, 14.0% AA) @ 90 min (first wort).
0.70 oz. Experimental Lemon Zest (Pellet, 14.0% AA) @ 0 min.
1.00 oz. Amarillo (Pellet, 9.3% AA) @ 5 days (dry hop)
1.00 oz. Citra (Pellet, 13.7 AA) @ 5 days (dry hop)
1.00 oz. Experimental Lemon Zest (Pellet, 14.0% AA) @ 5 days (dry hop)

Extras

1.00 Whirlfloc @ 15 min.
1.00 tsp Yeast Nutrient @ 15 min.
3.00 oz. Black Lime @ 0 min.
1.00 oz. Lime Leaves @ 0 min.
0.50 oz. Lemon Zest @ 5 days (secondary)

Yeast

The Yeast Bay – Farmhouse Sour Ale

Water Profile

Seattle
1.00 tsp Calcium Chloride
1.00 tsp Gypsum

Mash Schedule

Single Infusion – 60 min @ 154F

Notes

No starter on account of fresh yeast and the desire to keep the bugs in the blend at the manufacturer’s intended ratio.

Brewed on 03.25.15 with Gregory

03.25.15 — Chilled wort to 70F and pitched the Farmhouse Sour Ale blend

03.29.15 — Signs of moderate fermentation activity and put the carboy onto the brewbelt

04.05.15 — Took beer off of the brewbelt

05.29.15 — Tasted the beer to see if any acid had been produced per Yeast Bay’s description and decided to let the beer stay in primary for an extended period of time

09.20.15 — Kegged and began force carbonating the beer

Tasting Notes — 11.23.15 (Poured off tap)

Pours a clear pale golden color with a moderate head stand which laces thin.  Lots of lemon-lime citrus on the nose with a  hint of earth and sweet fresh lemon reminiscent of potpourri.  The citrus also dominates the palate, which is crisp and dry, with notes of tree bark and a suggestion of smoke surfacing in the middle from the loomi.  Never becoming very sour, this beer finishes with some lactic tartness, a round bitterness, and a lingering note of citrus.

Calculated OG: 1.046
Calculated FG: 1.007
Approx. ABV: 5.1%

Merry Christmas, It’s Endless Stout!

Barrel 04Way back in late January of 2014 Gregory, our co-worker Matt, and I brewed an American Stout of moderate strength to be aged in a used whiskey barrel from local distillery Westland Distillery.  Each of us brewed roughly 18 gallons of beer to fill the 53 gallon barrel and each of us decided to create different versions of the brew after it was done barrel aging.  Nearly a year later, I have finally finished with my fourth and final version of the stout which is a soured version.  This post will review all four of my interpretations and I’ll post the original base recipe that spent approximately 5.5 months in the barrel.

First, we’ll start with the regular old whiskey barrel aged American Stout: we all agreed on a base beer recipe and tweaked it slightly with each subsequent brewing based on our results.  Disappointed with efficiency on some of the batches, our final batch incorporated some DME in order to boost the gravity of the overall brew.  The end result was a beer between 6% – 6.5% ABV that was a little overwhelmed by the boozy notes and the wood tannins that the remaining whiskey and barrel imparted.

Feeling that this framework would be able to take on some other flavors which might wed well with the barrel characteristics, I decided on my next two renditions simultaneously.

My second version saw strong cold-brewed lavender coffee, and Madagascar vanilla beans added to the base beer.  The lavender coffee was purchased from Pelindaba Lavender on Friday Harbor and was added at bottling, whereas the vanilla beans were found at Metropolitan Market and were used as a week long “dry-hop” prior to packaging.  This version turned out the best in my opinion and has been dubbed The Friday Harbourbon Barrel Aged Stout.

The third adaptation I made saw pie cherries, organic cacao nibs, and Madagascar vanilla beans added to the base beer.  I pasteurized the cherries the same way I did for The Cherry Ghost and the beer sat on all of these ingredients for two extra weeks before bottling.  The cherries are the most prevalent flavor component and they add a slight tartness to the beer without turning it into a true sour ale.

The fourth and final version is a soured version that I just bottled on December 17th 2014.  This rendition was kind of an afterthought as we had about 5 gallons of stout left over from our last barrel top-off batch.  It was just sitting in a carboy when Gregory, Matt, Derek (another friend and co-worker), & I decided to brew a Flanders Red Ale to age next in the whiskey barrel.  After the first of those batches was complete, I added the yeast cake from the Flanders Red Ale which utilized Wyeast 3763 Roeselare Blend and let it undergo a long secondary fermentation in which I also added the bottle dregs from Girardin Gueuze 1882, and the yeast cake from an English Mild that Gregory and I fermented with Wyeast 1318 London Ale III & White Labs WLP645 Brettanomyces Claussenii.  The resulting beer has a moderate tartness and a pleasant funkiness; I’ll elaborate more once it has carbonated and can be properly tasted.

Here is the recipe for my last edition of the base beer:

Roesalare StoutWestland Distillery Whiskey Barrel Aged American Stout

Recipe Specifics

Batch Size (Gal): 5.5
Total Grain (Lbs): 13.76
Anticipated OG: 1.069
Anticipated SRM: 43.0
Anticipated IBU: 31.0
Brewhouse Efficiency: 75%
Wort Boil Time: 60 Minutes

Grain

74% – 10.31 Lbs. Marris Otter Pale (UK)
05% – 0.75 Lbs. Flaked Rye
05% – 0.75 Lbs. Golden Naked Oats (UK)
04% – 0.60 Lbs. Midnight Wheat
03% – 0.45 Lbs. Crystal 70L
02% – 0.30 Lbs. Black Patent
02% – 0.30 Lbs. Chocolate Rye
02% – 0.30 Lbs. Chocolate Wheat

Hops

0.50 oz. Columbus (Pellet, 15.0% AA) @ 60 min.
1.00 0z. Perle (Pellet, 7.8% AA) @ 15 min.

Extras

1.00 tsp Yeast Nutrient @ 15 min.

Yeast

Ferementis Safale US-05

Water Profile

Seattle
1.00 tsp Calcium Chloride
1.00 tsp Gypsum

Mash Schedule

Single Infusion  – 60 min @ 156F

Notes

Brewed 02.17.14

02.17.14 – Chilled wort to 65F before pitching rehydrated yeast.

02.19.14 –  Vigorous fermentation, temperature holding steady @ 60-65F.

03.03.14 – Transferred to whiskey barrel for conditioning.

07.21.14 – Transferred stout out of barrel and began different renditions.

Tasting Notes

Regular version: Lots of whiskey flavor on the front end that tends to mask the base beer; finishes dry with some noticeable wood tannins from the barrel.  This beer has mellowed over time with the whiskey flavor blending better with the base beer; still lots of barrel character but hints of bittersweet chocolate and cola have asserted themselves.

Lavender Coffee Vanilla Bean version: Although lavender coffee was used, the lavender notes are subtle while the roast from the coffee is bold.  It has aged well and the flavors meld into the whiskey character nicely.  Very subtle hints of vanilla on the drying finish.  Drinks better now (7 months later) than it did when first bottled.

Cherry Chocolate Vanilla Bean version: This one tends to come off as more sweet than the other versions.  Its viscous and mouth-coating with the cherries lending a slight tang to the finish.  The chocolate flavors from the cacao nibs are subdued; its slightly nutty.  Vanilla could be more apparent.

Sour version (non-barrel aged): This turned out rather well for the afterthought experiment that it was.  There’s lots of body and sweetness to this one which could be from the top off batch containing all of the DME we used (which would mean it wasn’t converted properly) which I rather like since it becomes fairly sour on the finish.  It has notes of tropical fruit and some restrained funk on the finish.

Calculated OG: 1.060
Calculated FG: 1.015
Approx. ABV: 5.9%

Kaberne Fran Rye Saison

Cab Franc SaisonBack in March of 2014 Gregory & I collaborated on a Ginger Kumquat Saison that turned out great and received an honorable mention at our first homebrew competition, the 2014 Aroma of Tacoma competition (I’ll eventually get it posted up here).  Based on the success of that brew, we began kicking around ideas for other Saisons we’d like to someday brew.  In late September we decided on a dark rye Saison suitable for the winter months which would incorporate the other half (12-13 lbs.) of the Cabernet Franc grapes we bought from the grape crush.

We brewed this beer a week after our Kaberne Fran Sour Pale Ale and it should be ready to keg or bottle around December 17th 2014, along with our 100% Brett. IPA, and the Chanterelle Belgian Strong Ale detailed in earlier posts.  Here is our recipe:

Kaberne Fran Rye Saison

Recipe Specifics

Batch Size (Gal): 5.5
Total Grain (Lbs): 11.38
Anticipated OG: 1.055
Anticipated SRM: 17.0
Anticipated IBU: 37.0
Brewhouse Efficiency: 75%
Wort Boil Time: 90 Minutes

Grain

39% – 4.5 Lbs. Belgian 2-Row Pilsner
17% – 2.0 Lbs. Rye Malt
13% – 1.5 Lbs. CaraRed
13% – 1.5 Lbs. Flaked Rye
04% – 0.5 Lbs. Caramel/Crystal 40L
04% – 0.5 Lbs. Brown Malt
04% – 0.5 Lbs. Flaked Wheat
01% – 0.19 Lbs. Carafa III
01% – 0.18 Lbs. Rice Hulls

Hops

0.75 oz. Perle (Pellet, 8.5% AA) @ 60 min.
0.75 0z. Perle (Pellet, 8.5% AA) @ 30 min.
1.00 0z. Perle (Pellet, 8.5% AA) @ 1 min.
0.50 oz. Perle (Pellet, 8.5% AA) @ 0 min.

Extras

1.00 Whirlfloc @ 15 min.
1.00 tsp Yeast Nutrient @ 15 min.
12.50 Lbs. Cabernet Franc grapes

Yeast

White Labs WLP072 French Ale (starter)
White Labs WLP644 Brettanomyces Bruxellensis Trois

Water Profile

Seattle
1.00 tsp Calcium Chloride
1.00 tsp Gypsum

Mash Schedule

Single Infusion – 75 min @ 152F

Notes

10.06.14 – Made a stir-plate 2L starter with 1 White Labs WLP072 vial.  Brewtoad suggests 210 billion cells to ferment 5.5 gal.  Cold crashed and decanted morning of brew day.

Brewed 10.08.14 with Gregory

10.08.14 – Chilled wort to 70F before pitching yeast starter.

10.08.14 –  Put fermentor onto brewbelt and holding steady at 70-75F.

10.18.14 – Transferred to secondary fermentor and added the Cabernet Franc grapes.

11.19.14 – After 32 days in secondary on the grapes, we transferred to a tertiary fermentor and put it back onto the brewbelt.

12.29.14 – Brewed a second batch of the base saison to blend with the grape version.

01.16.15 – Transferred the second rye saison to secondary after 18 day primary fermentation.

01.28.15 — Blended the two saisons to taste (roughly half and half, leaning a tad more heavy on the regular version).

02.18.15 — Bottled the finished beer in 750ml cork and cage bottles.

Tasting Notes — 01.27.16 (bottle pour)

Slightly over carbonated with a reddish-brown color and billowy white head.  Nose is reminiscent of minerals and cherry pits with some fruit still left on them.  An initial sharp carbonic bite requires the imbiber to let the brew warm on the tongue where juicy vinous notes are revealed, followed by some light rye spice.  There are some astringent phenolic notes from the French Saison yeast that aren’t unpleasant.  It finishes very dry and akin to mineral water due to the brett., with a slight alcohol note and a faint fruitiness that makes me think of dried fruit leather.

Calculated OG: 1.056
Calculated FG: 1.004
Approx. ABV: 6.83%

Kaberne Fran Sour Pale Ale

Cab Franc SourIn late September Gregory and I started talking about doing a new sour ale.  Based on the success of his Chenin Blanc grape sour pale and with the annual Mountain Homebrew & Wine Supply grape crush on the horizon, we started discussing brewing a sour to showcase a red wine grape.  Lately I have been gravitating toward the firm tannins and notes of leather, tobacco, pepper and earth found in many French and American Cabernet Francs (if you stumble upon a bottle of Watermill’s 2010 Cab Franc snatch it up, it’s impeccable).  It may come as a surprise to those who know me well (since I’m usually imbibing a beer of some style), but I am also a fan of great wine and worked intensively around Italian wine for three years shortly after I moved to Seattle.  So with little deliberation, we put in our order for 25 Lbs. of eastern Washington Cabernet Franc grapes.

We split the grapes in half and used 12-13 Lbs. in the creation of this sour and we used the remaining grapes in our Kaberne Fran Rye Saison.  This beer is almost two months into an approximately year long process, so check back as I will be updating this post periodically and documenting the progress.  Below is our recipe and process:

Cab Franc GrapesKaberne Fran Sour Pale Ale

Recipe Specifics

Batch Size (Gal): 5.5
Total Grain (Lbs): 13.75
Anticipated OG: 1.069
Anticipated SRM: 4.0
Anticipated IBU: 14.0
Brewhouse Efficiency: 75%
Wort Boil Time: 90 Minutes

Grain

80% – 11.0 Lbs. Belgian 2-Row Pilsner
07% – 1.0 Lbs. U.S. Vienna
05% – .75 Lbs. U.S. Munich – Dark 20L
07% – 1.0 Lbs. U.S. Wheat

Hops

0.35 oz. Magnum (Pellet, 13.0% AA) @ 90 min.

Extras

1.00 Whirlfloc @ 15 min.
1.00 tsp Yeast Nutrient @ 15 min.
12.50 Lbs. Cabernet Franc grapes

Yeast

Wyeast 3763 Roeselare Ale Blend (starter)
Yeast cake from homebrew Framboise (Roeselare + The Lost Abbey Red Poppy bottle dregs)
The Ale Apothecary Rum Barrel & White Peach La Tache bottle dregs

Water Profile

Seattle
1.00 tsp Calcium Chloride
1.00 tsp Gypsum

Mash Schedule

Single Infusion – 60 min @ 155F

Notes

09.29.14 – Made a stir-plate 2L starter with 1 Wyeast 3763 smack pack.  Brewtoad suggests 260 billion cells to ferment 5.5 gal.  Cold crashed and decanted morning of brew day.

Brewed 10.01.14 with Gregory

10.01.14 – Chilled wort to 65F before pitching yeast starter.

10.03.14 –  Steady fermentation and holding steady at 63-65F.

10.18.14 — Transferred to secondary fermentor and added yeast cake from Gregory’s Framboise.

11.19.14 — After 32 days in secondary on the grapes, we transferred to a tertiary fermentor and added the bottle dregs from The Ale Apothecary’s Rum Barrel & White Peach La Tache.

04.??.15 — At some point in April 2015 we pulled a sample and noticed some diacetyl notes present so we pitched the brett slurry from a funky pale ale we brewed with The Yeast Bay’s Funktown Pale blend with the hopes that the brett would clean up the beer.

02.11.16 — Sampled from carboy and happy to note that the brett devoured the diacetyl.  Very sour and big acidity.  Grape juice and cherry notes.  Took final gravity reading, transferred to bottling bucket, added champagne yeast and corn sugar for 2.2 volumes of CO2 and bottled the entire batch.

Tasting Notes — 02.18.17 (bottle pour)

Lovely burnished red-orange color and well clarified.  Perfect spritz of carbonation with a white head that dissipates quickly.  Great horse blanket-funk brettanomyces esters dominate the nose with hints of straw, red fruit, and tobacco in the background.  No diacetyl detected.  Deep red grape juice and cherry notes on the front of the palate with a hint of alcohol.  Delicious, assertive black pepper flavor from the Cab Franc grapes in the middle with a round, velvety acidity and gripping tannins bringing this beer to a drying, leathery finish.  Moderate brettanomyces funk melds with notes of oranges and firm lactic acid tartness akin to citric acid which lingers and dries out with delicate notes of booze.  Very red wine-like!

Calculated OG: 1.074
Calculated FG: 1.006
Approx. ABV: 8.9%

Transfer Day

Three Beers 01

Three Beers 03Yesterday Gregory and I transferred three different beers that have been working for some time now — (from left to right) 100% Brettanomyces fermented IPA, Cabernet Franc grape rye saison, & Cabernet Franc grape sour pale ale.  I also transferred the Chanterelle Belgian Strong into secondary and added the mushrooms today.  I’ll get individual posts and recipes for the three brews we transferred yesterday up very soon!

 

The Cherry Ghost – Cherry & Kumquat Berliner Weisse

CKB 04“A sour wort Berliner weisse aged 8 weeks on cherries and kumquats with a ghost of an ABV.”

Berliner weisse is a classic tart German wheat ale that is traditionally fermented with a mixed culture of top-fermenting yeasts and lactobacillus.  Examples of the style can range from mildly tart to bracingly sour with firm acidity and notes of lemon and other citrus fruits.  In Berlin it is available “straight” but is often served with sweet raspberry or woodruff syrups to blunt the acidity and sourness.  At only about 3-4% alcohol by volume this beverage proves to be an excellent thirst quencher and has become quite popular during the summer months in the U.S.A.

There are different methods of souring a berliner weisse, each with its own involved process and merits.  Briefly, you can pitch pure strain lactobacillus, or lacto with an additional yeast culture; or you can do a sour mash with pitched yeast, or a sour mash with pitched yeast and additional lacto.  If you’d like to read more in depth about these methods, Derek Dellinger has done a great job of explaining them on his Homebrew and Beer Blog, Bear Flavored.  Additionally, you can conduct a normal mash and pull some or all of the wort, pitch your lacto starter at this point and perform a sour wort.

The base for this berliner weisse is extremely minimal.  Gregory and I decided to do a four day sour wort with a lactobacillus starter made from yogurt followed by a 15 minute boil after which we pitched Wyeast 1007 German Ale along with Wyeast 5112 Brettanomyces Bruxellensis.

CKB 03

As the tag line that begins this post suggests, not everything went as planned for this brew.  Although some might consider 3-4% a ghost of an ABV already, the base beer only ended up being about 1%!  How did this happen, you ask?  Well I have a few theories though I’d love to hear others if you’ve got them.  First of all, while hot holding the sour wort at around 100F for the four days, it began to ferment creating some alcohol that would later be boiled off (since we only boiled for 15 minutes to kill the lacto/other bacteria I’m unsure if this had much of an affect on the finished product).  Additionally, I forego a starter for the German Ale yeast (this was brewed at a time before I always made a starter) and assume that the PH was too low, disrupting the ale yeast’s fermentation.

Regardless of the reasons for the lower than usual ABV, the beer went through a 16 day primary fermentation followed by a 56 day secondary on cherries and kumquats.  In addition to the final refreshing brew tasting fantastic, the “sessional” aspect of this already session style beer allowed it to be entered into Xbrew — the Mount Si Brewing Society’s annual homebrew competition that accepts session and imperial versions of each traditional BJCP style.  I am honored that this little beer took the silver medal in the fruit beer category.  I plan to brew this recipe again although I haven’t determined which souring method I’ll experiment with.  The recipe is as follows:

Cherry Ghost Berliner Weisse

Recipe Specifics

Batch Size (Gal): 5.0
Total Grain (Lbs): 8.2
Anticipated OG: 1.047
Anticipated SRM: 2.0
Anticipated IBU: 6.0
Brewhouse Efficiency: 75%
Wort Boil Time: 15 Minutes

Grain

43% – 3.6 Lbs. Belgian 2-Row Pilsner
43% – 3.6 Lbs. White Wheat
12% – 1.0 Lbs. Acidulated Malt

Hops

0.50 oz. US Cascade (Pellet, 7.0% AA) @ 15 min.
1.00 0z. Columbus (Pellet, 15.0% AA) @ 3 day dry hop.
0.40 oz. Galaxy (Pellet, 14.2% AA) @ 3 day dry hop.
0.25 oz. Amarillo (Pellet, 9.3% AA) @ 3 day dry hop.

Extras

1.00 Whirlfloc @ 15 min.
1.00 tsp Yeast Nutrient @ 15 min.
9.00 Lbs. Pie cherries
2.00 Lbs. Kumquats
0.50 Lbs. Rainier Cherries
0.50 Lbs. Red Cherries

Yeast

Wyeast 5112 Brettanomyces Bruxellensis
Wyeast 1007 German Ale

Water Profile

Seattle
1.00 tsp Calcium Chloride
1.00 tsp Gypsum

Mash Schedule

Single Infusion – 60 min @ 150F

Notes

04.05.14 – Made a lactobacillus starter from yogurt (but didn’t give it enough time to culture up)

Mash & sour wort 04.07.14 with Gregory

04.07.14 – Hot held wort @ 100F for 4 days

04.09.14 – Temp drop to 80F, pulled some wort, brought it to boil and added back into water cooler mash tun to raise wort back to 100F

04.10.14 – Noticed signs of lacto fermentation

04.11.14 –  Brought wort to boil for 15 minutes to kill lacto/other bacteria

04.11.14 – Chilled wort to 65F before pitching German Ale yeast and Brett.

04.27.14 – Pasteurized 9.0 Lbs. frozen pie cherries by adding them to water and raising to 165F, used StarSan on 2.0 Lbs. kumquats

04.27.14 – Transferred beer to secondary and added the fruits

06.09.14 – Added 0.5 Lbs. Rainier cherries & 0.5 Lbs. red cherries

06.20.14 – Transferred beer into bottling bucket and dry hopped for 3 days

06.23.14 – Bottled Berliner weisse with 6.2 oz. corn sugar @ 3.45 volumes of CO2

Tasting Notes

Great summer quencher — light and crisp with a slight mineral note announcing itself after the tart finish.  The fruit is spot on; big sour cherry flavors and some citrus from the kumquats.  It actually seems that the kumquats have become more apparent over time.  I’m excited to make this one again.

Calculated OG: 1.014
Calculated FG: 1.006
Approx. ABV: 1.05%

Randy Mosher’s Chanterelle Beer Via Denny Conn

ChanterellesNothing says fall in the Pacific Northwest like the chanterelle mushroom.  Easily identifiable and among the most popular of the edible mushrooms, the golden chanterelle is prized by amateurs and restauranteurs alike for its fruity, earthy, sometimes spicy fragrance and flavor.  Some of my friends enjoy foraging for these fungi in and around Seattle and Eric The Barter offered to trade me and Gregory some in exchange for a home-brewed beer that would incorporate the chanties.

Belgian Pale Base

We did some research and decided that we’d brew a clone of Randy Mosher’s Nirvana Chanterelle Ale (found in his book Radical Brewing) but made some adjustments to the basic recipe.  We also researched different methods of adding the mushrooms to the beer and chose to follow Denny Conn’s advice in chopping up the chanties, vacuum sealing them, and freezing them until primary fermentation is complete. We will then transfer the beer into a secondary fermentor and add the thawed mushrooms, conditioning for about two months before bottling.  We brewed the base beer on Wednesday 11.05.14 and will give it a two week primary fermentation on the brewbelt.  Our revamped recipe is as follows:

Chanterelle Belgian Strong Ale

Recipe Specifics

Batch Size (Gal): 5.0
Total Grain (Lbs): 15
Anticipated OG: 1.065
Anticipated SRM: 5.0
Anticipated IBU: 22.0
Brewhouse Efficiency: 75%
Wort Boil Time: 90 Minutes

Grain

63% – 9.5 Lbs. Belgian 2-Row Pilsner
13% – 2 Lbs. American 2-Row Pale
10% – 1.5 Lbs. Munich 6°
10% – 1.5 Lbs. White Wheat
3% – 0.5 Lbs. American Aromatic

Hops

0.75 oz. Czech Saaz (Pellet, 3.2% AA) @ 90 min.
1.50 0z. Czech Saaz (Pellet, 3.2% AA) @ 30 min.
1.50 oz. Czech Saaz (Pellet, 3.2% AA) @ 10 min.
0.50 oz. US Cascade (Pellet, 7.0% AA) @ 0 min.

Extras

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

Yeast

Wyeast 3522 Belgian Ardennes (starter)

Water Profile

Seattle
1.00 tsp Calcium Chloride
1.00 tsp Gypsum

Mash Schedule

Protein Rest – 30 min @ 113F
Step Infusion – 30 min @ 145F
Sacch Rest – 45 min @ 156F

Notes

11.03.14 – Made a stir-plate 2L starter with 1 Wyeast 3522 smack pack.  Brewtoad suggests 284 billion cells to ferment 5 gal.  Cold crashed and decanted morning of brew day.

Brewed 11.05.14 with Gregory

11.05.14 – Chilled wort to 65F before pitching yeast starter and put it onto brewbelt.

11.06.14 – Vigorous fermentation and holding steady at 75-78F.

11.09.14 – Fermentation has slowed and krausen has dissipated.  Holding steady at 74-76F.  Replaced blow-off tube with airlock.

11.20.14 – Transferred base beer into secondary fermentor and added the thawed chanterelle mushrooms and their liquid; brewbelt no longer used.

12.17.14 – Transferred off of mushrooms into tertiary fermentor to condition.

01.07.15 – Bottled chanterelle beer with 3.5 oz corn sugar @ 2.2 volumes of CO2.

Tasting Notes 04.05.15

Cracked a bottle tonight nearly three months after bottling; the beer is perfectly carbonated and has a slight haze to its russet brown color.  It has a lovely aroma featuring a sweetish apricot-like fruitiness from the chanterelles, underlying spicy phenolics from the Belgian yeast, and hints of alcohol.  The beer starts out fairly malty with a round honey-like sweetness on the palate which gives way to fruity yeast esters and the fruity, earthy qualities of the chanterelle mushrooms.  It finishes on the dry side with moderate warming from the alcohol which also balances the initial sweetness.  A lovely beer.

Calculated OG: 1.089
Calculated FG: 1.010
Approx. ABV: 10.3%