Monday, July 30, 2012

Pacific Northwest Saison

Having never had a good Saison (local beer selection isn’t that great) I decided to make my own.  I wanted to use up some hops that I had and make this a bit different so I used a package of Falconer’s Flight and a pack of Citra I had lying around.  This isn’t standard hops for the style but I wanted a dry beer with a bit of fruit aroma. 

Malt Bill
Amt (lbs) Type
5 Pilsner
1 White Wheat
1 Caramunich
1 Honey
Amt (oz) Type Time
.75 Falconer's Flight (11.5%) 60
.25 Falconer's Flight (11.5%) 10
.25 Citra (14.5%) 10
1.0 Citra (14.5%) Flame Out
Mash Schedule
Temp Time
150F 90 minutes
170F Batch Sparge
170F Batch Sparge
Yeast Wyeast French Saison #3711
6 gal 85% efficiency IBU: 36

I wanted to try using a real wort starter so I used my chiller to get the wort to about 135*.  I then filled 2 jars and my fermenter with the wort.  Once my starter jars were at pitching temperature I split the smack pack between them and put them on my stir plates.  I am using one of the jars to ferment the wort and the other jar to farm some yeast for my frozen yeast bank.  What is left from the yeast that I don’t bank I am going to add to a 8oz capable Coke bottle and throw in the fridge.  It will leave me enough yeast to ferment another batch if I make another starter like the one pictured.


With the wort I put in my fermenter I let it cool to pitching temperature overnight in my 67* basement.  I aerated and pitched the yeast this morning and will move it into my loft bedroom in a day or two which is 10* hotter to help the yeast finish out.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

A Blog About Beer

I am making this blog to have a online journal about beer brewing.  I am hoping to post about the beers that I make, projects I hope to start, and tips and advice that I come across from other locations.

I am starting to get into sour beer brewing and would like this blog to help others (along with getting input from other brewers) about making sour beers.  There are very few sour brewers out there and information doesn’t seem readily available without a lot of digging.  I have found a few sites that are really great sites and have even talked through email with some of the guys.

Our local scrap yard seems to have a steady supply of kegs that they sell for scrap value ($35).  I have used one of these kegs to ferment double batches of beer in and that got me thinking about using them as 16 gallon, long term stainless steel barrels.  Some of the projects I hope to eventually get going

Belgian Quad Solera – I currently have a 5 gallon batch of a Quad aging in a Corny keg.  With the Solera I want to start 15 gallons fermenting and pull 3 gallons a year after the one year mark and replace that with either the same beer …or slowly change the recipe and therefore the character of the beer.

Flanders Red

Oud de Bruin

Lambic – Split into 3 5 gallon Better Bottles and aged on Cherries, Another fruit depending on season, and a 3rd Better Bottle to continue to age to blend with future beers.

Three out of the 4 of these projects are for sour beers.  Generally people do these as 5-6 gallon batches.  I had thought about doing this but …with the 12-18 month fermentation time on these beers if I really like them it will be another year or more at best to make more.  This way I will have 15-16 gallons of beer.  If the beer doesn’t turn out well then I am not really out any more than I was if the 5 gallon batch was bad since I buy all my grains in bulk.

Hopefully in the next couple of weeks I’ll have a brew day if the weather breaks a bit.  Standing around in 105* weather around a pot of boiling wort isn’t something I am in a hurry to do.