Sunday, March 11, 2018

Saison with Nelson...

Posts about Saison's with Nelson were popping up a couple years ago.  They were all attempts at or inspired by Prairie Artisan Ale's 'Merica.  This beer captured the minds of a few bloggers back then and never having had it, I recently attempted to brew something along those lines.

Pineapple, hay, mango, citrus, funk, leather, pepper, mineral...these all fit in the glass.  To me it's complex, clean, and refreshing.  The oak brings some vanilla aroma and a dryness from the tannins?  This could be the element that could be too much.  Still, it's a personal favorite.

Influenced by the blogs I've followed, this beer means something to me.  I'm learning patience...layers, surprises, and shit...that foam's like a pillow!  It leans towards the fruity but the funk and spice are there and the minerality, that's what gets me.  It's a back note that pops up after having a sip but not too late to be an aftertaste.  Now...where can I put barrels? 

Saison with Nelson

2.5 Gallons
O.G. 1.035
F.G.  0.998

60% White Wheat
40% Pilsner
Mash at 152 F for 60 min

.40 oz. Nelson Sauvin @60 min for 30 IBUs

2.00 oz. Neslon Sauvin for 10 min at 170 degrees

Belgian Saison (Wyeast 3724) quick starter with wort from the mash 800ml
Fermented at 85-90 degrees until done at 1.00
Cooled to 73 and pitched decanted Brett Brux (Wyeast 3112) starter along with 3 light French oak spheres

2 oz. Nelson Sauvin in primary for five days before kegging

5 gallons RO water
4.47 g. Gypsum
1.36 g. Calcium Chloride
.97 g. Epsom Salt
.50 g Salt  

For a profile of:
Ca: 73.8/ Mg: 5/ Na: 10.3/ Cl: 50.2/ SO4: 150.2/ HCO: 0

.74 ml Lactic Acid For @ 5.3ph

Sugar primed for 3.0 volumes and left to carb for 3 weeks in the keg.
Took about 3 months total...start to finish.

Posts of note:
Meek Brewing Co.: Brewing a Prairie Artisan Ales 'Merica clone

Ales Of The Riverwards: Jah-rod: Prairie Artisan Ales 'Merica Clone

The Mad Fermentationist: Saison 'Merican - Hoppy Funk

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Mosiac Once Again....w/Salt doesn't taste like a pretzel.

While messing with a second version of the stout I previously posted about, this whole salt thing had me intrigued enough to try it in an IPA.  I've tried leaning on the calcium chloride for a few hoppy beers, but never thought to add salt until reading the, "Isolated Yeast (Tree House): How to Identify and Characterize?" thread on Homebrewtalk.  Some guys have talked of this on there.

What I think salt brought to this beer?  It rounded out the mouthfeel of this beer; helped to accentuate the earthier flavors of Mosaic and the sweetness of the beer.  It provided a full mouthfeel.  While an improvement, the sweetness is overpowering.  There's some balance that needs to happen here...but the fullness this water profile brings is something I want to maintain.

Overall, I prefer the previous versions of this beer.  One thing that struck me was the aroma is really inviting.  The hops are berry like with a touch of dank and the wheat comes through so soft reminding me of some sort of creamsicle.  But I never wanted a beer that tasted like a creamsicle.  Maybe some magnesium chloride to get that bitterness a little harsher or reduce the salt or balance a little more towards sulfate?

Mosaic Once Again w/Salt

2.5 Gallons
O.G. 1.055
F.G. 1.011

75% (5 lbs. 4 oz.) 2-Row
20% (1 lb. 6.4 oz) White Wheat
5% ( 5.6 oz.) C20
Mash at 152 F for 60 min

.50 oz. Magnum @60 min for 55.4 IBUs
.6 g. Whirlfloc at @5 min.

2.00 oz. Mosaic for 10 min at 170°

Wyeast 1318 2nd generation 400ml

3 oz. Mosaic on day 4

4.86 gallons RO water
1.65 g. Gypsum  
3.04 g. Salt

For a profile of:
Ca: 20/ Mg: 0/ Na: 65/ Cl: 100/ SO4: 50/ HCO: 0

32.59 ml Phosphoric Acid For @ 5.3ph

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Dry Stout With Wheat...

I've been working on a dry stout recipe for some time.  I brewed this on a whim and at the time was excited about this fourth iteration.  Significant changes were replacing the 20% of flaked barley with white wheat malt, bittering with Magnum instead of East Kent Goldings, amping up the water profile with baking soda, and shooting for a higher ph.

Replacing the flaked barley with wheat was more of a personal style thing.  The wheat helps boost body just like flaked barley.

Choosing to use Magnum was because I didn't have any East Kent Goldings and since I was looking to change things up I figured why not.

The baking soda increases the bicarbonate and the sodium content of the water.  This in turn increases the ph buffering capacity of the water and rounds out the flavors.  This article got me thinking about the water profile for this beer : The Importance of Brewing Water.  In it the author discusses bicarbonate as a way to make a stout, "" in flavor and not as, "one-dimensional".  This is what I felt my previous attempts were.  A brewer friend of mine tasted this beer and without knowing the article or my intent commented on how the beer was rounded and chocolaty.

Ph was increased due to many articles suggesting this helps the roasted malts present better.

The bitterness is too much and after having a Murphy's I'm gonna lower the bittering to about 15-20 IBU's.  I'll likely not use the baking soda again and just increase the sodium to see if that helps round out the flavors.  I feel like the bitterness and the bicarbonate combine to create a mineral like flavor...sort of like a mineral water flavor coming through.

Also, the roasted grains I used were sitting in my storage for some time and not very fresh when I bought them.  I never bothered to vacuum seal them and is what it is.  I'm usually pretty good at stopping myself when I feel the ingredients aren't fresh.

I judge a beer by how many I can have and enjoy it all the way to the last one.  This one wasn't so much that way.  While not's back to the drawing board.  So a rebrew and a couple changes to see if I'll like it.

Dry Stout

2.5 Gallons
O.G. 1.045
F.G. 1.010

70% (3 lbs. 11.5 oz.) Rahr 2-Row
20% (1 lb. 1 oz.) Rahr White Wheat
5%  (4.3 oz.) Breiss Midnight Wheat ground fine in a coffee grinder
5%  (4.3 oz.)  Breiss Roasted Malt ground fine in a coffee grinder
Mash at 152 F for 60 min

.32 oz. Magnum @60 min for 30 IBUs

800 ml quick starter of 120ml of Wyeast 1318

WATER (4.73 gallons of RO water):
.55 g. Gypsum 
1.65 g. Calcium Chloride
1.85 g. Epsom Salt
3.58 g. Baking Soda
22.13 ml. of 10% Phosphoric Acid for a mash ph of 5.53

For a profile of:
Ca: 32.2
Mg: 10.2
Cl: 44.4
SO4: 57.4
HCO: 142.36

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Mosaic Once Again with Nelson...

  Got the ph meter fired up and did some science.

It was good to get back into the swing of things after the last brew day where I skipped some of the usual stuff like checking ph and making a starter.

This beer pours an orange like color with a white head of tight bubbles which laces the glass with each sip.  I do think I kegged a little late missing my chance for a higher carbonation.

Smells of a bready fruitiness...berries, strawberry, crisp citrus....when swirled it has a citrus earthy...grapefruit aroma.

The mouthfeel is soft....medium.  Medium soft bitterness.  Something like that.

Flavor is soft grapefruit....bready....a pleasant aftertaste as the bitterness lingers along with the fruity berry like flavor mixed with the wheat.  Hoppiness lingers and coats the mouth....but fades...leaves the pallet dry.

A proper starter going....sort of the science thing again.

So all and all it came out nice.  I think I've got the carbonation better on the next batch which is about done.

Mosaic Once Again with Nelson

2.5 Gallons
O.G. 1.056
F.G. 1.010

75% (5 lbs. 6.5 oz.) 2-Row
20% (1 lb. 7.1 oz) White Wheat
5% ( 5.8 oz.) C20
Mash at 152 F for 60 min

.65 oz. Magnum @60 min for 60 IBUs
.6 g. Whirlfloc at @5 min.

2.00 oz. Mosaic for 10 min at 170°

1.0 pkg. of Wyeast 1318 with 800ml quick starter made from wort from the mash

3 oz. Mosaic
2 oz. Nelson Sauvin

4.86 gallons RO water
4.29 g. Gypsum  
1.32 g. Calcium Chloride
0.94 g. Epsom Salt
0.47 g. Salt

1.96 ml Lactic Acid For @ 5.3ph

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Nelson Again....

This was a rushed batch and the results showed it.  With kids and activities and events it's been tough to fit brewing in and and I hadn't had a beer on tap for a while.  While it wasn't a dumper, I had a tough time getting through the keg (my wife took one for the team).

The first thing I need to get back to doing is checking my ph...didn't do that with this batch.  Just assumed the recipe from before would do the trick.  It may have not been my issue but checking doesn't least I give myself the opportunity to adjust if I know the ph.

Then...I used a two month old smack pack and direct pitched it....cold no less.  I had listened to a podcast about Imperial Yeasts and how they recommend pitching yeast right out of the fridge.  Who knows if the temp really screwed it up but I think I had under pitched too low.

Then!  I kegged on day 7 (1.010 for those who are wondering) and threw it into the fridge to carb.  Like I said....a rush job.  I don't think the yeast had time to clean up.

What does all that mean?  Ah...well I think I got a bit of diacetyl.  It was just hidden behind the hops and annoying.  Not quite full blown butter but just a touch enough to make things odd.

I'll brew it again because I know when I get it right it's good.  But shame on me.  Home brewing is hard enough to learn and even harder to carve out time to do when working a full time job, and raising kids, and having a family life.  Cutting corners shouldn't be on the list of things to do....with any of this stuff.


2.5 Gallons
O.G. 1.045
F.G. 1.010

80% (4 lbs. 9.9 oz.) 2-Row
20% (1 lbs. 2.5 oz.) White Wheat
Mash at 152 F for 60 min

.30 oz. Warrior @60 min for 30 IBUs
.60 g. Whirlfloc at 5 min.
2.00 oz. Nelson Sauvin at 5 min.

1.0 pkg. of Wyeast 1318

3 oz. Nelson Sauvin in Primary

4.76 gallons of RO water
4.21 g.  Gypsum
1.29 g. Calcium Chloride
.91 g.  Epsom Salt
.46 g.  Salt

2.51 ml.  Lactic Acid for a mash ph of 5.2

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Emily Once Again...

This time around I lowered the gravity even more and took out the Columbus.  I get a strawberry sort of kiwi thing going on with Galaxy, a nice's an aromatic hop for sure.  The Columbus accentuated the beer but made the previous attempt pithy tasting.  No dryness from the hops here...just some fruity...citrus...bitterness.

You don't need to have a high abv beer to get the Double IPA effect.  If it's just a hop fix you can be done with a lower abv beer.  A soft, dry pale ale with big hop aroma and flavor....refreshing and really....really you can drink on it all night.

Emily Once Again...

2.5 Gallons
O.G. 1.046
F.G. 1.008

80% (4 lbs. 11.1 oz.) 2-Row
15% (14.1 oz.) White Wheat
5% (4.7 oz.) C20

Mash at 152 F for 60 min

.55 oz. Warrior @60 min for 60 IBUs
2.00 oz. Galaxy at 5 min

1.0 pkg. of Wyeast 1318 quick starter of 800ml of wort from the mash

3 oz. Galaxy in Primary

4.2 g. Gypsum
1.3 g. Calcium Chloride
.91 g. Epsom salt
.46 g. Table salt

1.70 ml. of Latic Acid for a mash ph of 5.25

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Saison with Mandarina Bavaria...


Brew day 6/17/17:

2.5 Gallons
O.G. 1.040
F.G. .980

60% (3lbs. 3.8oz.) White Wheat
20% (2 lbs. 2.5oz.) Pilsner
Mash at 148 F for 60 min

.30 oz. of Warrior @60 min for 30 IBUs

1.00 oz. of Mandarina Bavaria

800ml starter of Wyeast 3112 Brett Brux
800ml starter of OYL-500

7/16/17 Kegged on 3 light American oak spheres

8/8/17 Kegged on 3oz. sugar


The Brett character shows with a dusty, leathery and fruity combination. The Saison yeast contributes pepper and fruit. The oak is subtle and a vanilla like note comes through in the background.  The mouth feel is good at 3.0 volumes of carbonation...the pepper and bitterness linger a bit and then fade on the tongue and make this beer a drinker.

My original intent was to dry hop this with another 2 oz....but as it aged I just didn't think it needed it.  While I do get citrus types of flavors and aromas...that could just be the yeasts.  At 7.8% ABV I can say it's a drinker and the alcohol does not show in any unpleasant way.

This was the first time I've naturally carbonated in the keg.  Took longer than I thought to get to the right pressure.  I'd hook my spunding valve up about once a day to see where it was at.  At 2.5 weeks is was at the same pressure that it would need to be if force carbed.  Seemed to work fine with the added benefit of the Brett getting some more time to chew.

I could have left it conditioning longer to see where it would go or blending a bit of sour beer would be interesting...things to consider for the next Saison.