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%

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%