Author Archives: jasonfuller

Batch 59: Dreamreader

Dreamreader is a Biere de Garde style ale, using a rustic recipe. The inspiration for this batch was actually a homebrew competition prize, a bag of BC Select 2-row from Canada Malting Co. I never use Canadian 2-row, as I’m usually using either Bohemian Pilsner or Maris Otter as my base malt for the recipes I brew. The fact this is a somewhat locally grown malt is in keeping with the ethos of farmhouse brewing. I chose to use Willamette whole leaf hops for this batch as well, as they would be one of the best options for a quasi-local farmhouse ale.

For fermentation, I am using WYeast’s 3725 ‘Biere de Garde’, which is actually more of a saison strain by modern standards. While the BJCP interpretation of biere de garde has a more neutral yeast character, this will produce the esters and phenols associated with saison – and that’s more what I’m after, because otherwise it can be a bit of a plain beer. I do want to keep the yeast character moderate, so I won’t ferment this batch as hot as I would my saisons – and to add to the rusticity, I’ll just let it free rise at room temperature.

Recipe for 15.0L batch:

100% Canada Malting “BC Select” [4.00 kg]
30g Willamette whole leaf (5% AA) @ 60 min – 24 IBU
25g Willamette whole leaf (5% AA) @ 15 min – 7 IBU

2g Gypsum, 4g CaCl added to mash water

Mash: 55F for 15 min, 65F for 75 min, 75F for 15 min
Boil: 4 hours

Fermentation: WY3725PC, 2 month old pack w 1.75L starter
Pitch at 20C, let free rise in 22C ambient.

Batch 58: Blaugies Doree

Brew Date: June 9, 2019
Bottled: July 7, 2019

Another iteration of my house saison, this time using WYeast’s WY3726 Blaugies strain, which I’ve used a few times but never in this recipe without brettanomyces. I’d like to use my latest and greatest clean saison recipe to showcase this yeast and see how it compares to the Fantome strain that I’ve been quite happy with lately.

Batch size: 19L (into fermentor)
Equipment: Grainfather
Pre-boil volume: 24L
Post-boil volume: 21L
Brew house efficiency: 72%

OG: 1.044
FG: 1.004
IBU: 32

Water Additions (~RO starting water):
3g CaCl
3g Gypsum
3g Epsom
2g baking soda
1g chalk

Grist:
74% Bohemian Pilsener [2.96 kg]
12% Vienna malt [0.48 kg]
8% Flaked wheat [0.32 kg]
4% Munich II [0.16 kg]
2% Acid malt [0.08 kg]

Mash Details:
Dough in with 16L at 131F, hold 15 min
Raise to 145F, hold 45 min
Raise to 152F, hold 30 min
Raise to 161F, hold 15 min
Mash out at 170F, sparge with 14L of 165F water

Boil 120 minutes

Hopping:
21 AAU of Willamette @ 60 min [35g]
7 AAU of Motueka @ 15 min [14g]
40g Nelson Sauvin @ flame-out

Dry hop: 18g Nelson, 25g Citra

Fermentation: WYeast WY3726
Pitch at 78F
Raise to 80F at 48hr
Raise to 82F at 72hr
Raise to 84F at 96hr, hold 48hr
Let fall to ambient for 21 days

Bottled to 3.0 volumes; 152g dextrose for 18L bottling volume

Batch 56: Old Lanes v2

A small departure from the original batch, this version of Old Lanes is a wheat-based saison, which would bear the term “Farmhouse wheat ale” on its imaginary label. This would be one of four regular offerings in my hypothetical brewery, and is intended to have moderate bitterness and hop character that blends noble and citrus flavours, and is fermented with the house saison yeast. Currently, that house yeast is Escarpment Labs’ spooky saison.

Since this recipe is light on the grain weight and I had a freshly emptied 3 gallon carboy, I brewed a 30L batch so I can do a clean version as envisioned, plus a brett-aged “Reserve” portion.

Brew date: April 15, 2019
Batch size: 30L (1.5x regular batch)
Equipment: Grainfather

Stats:
OG 1.033
FG 1.001
IBUs: 28
ABV: 4.2%

Water Profile:
Ca 60 ppm
Mg 11 ppm
Na 20 ppm
SO4 100 ppm
Cl 40 ppm
HCO3 60 ppm

(1.5g Chalk, 2.5g baking soda, 4g gypsum, 4g CaCl, 4g epsom)

Mash Profile:
131F mash-in for 15 min
149F rest for 45 min
153F rest for 20 min
161F rest for 15 min
170F mash out + sparge

16.5L mash water with 2/3 of salts + 3mL 88% lactic acid
12L sparge water with 1/3 salts, no lactic acid
10L top-up water (boiled) added just before chilling

Grist:

40% Bohemian Pilsner (1.80 kg)
40% malted wheat (1.80 kg)
20% flaked wheat (0.90 kg)
100g rice hulls added for lautering aid

Hopping:
45g German Tradition (6% AA) 60 min
35g Mittelfruh (4.5% AA) 5 min

20g Mittelfruh – dry hop 5 days
20g Citra – dry hop 5 days

Fermentation:

20L clean portion:
Escarpment Spooky Saison (2nd gen)
80F first 48h, ramp to 84F for 48h

10L mixed fermentation portion:
Omega Jovaru lithuanian yeast (2nd gen)
Room temperature fermentation (~70F)

Bottled clean portion May 3, 2019 at 1.002:

Batch 55: Alpaca

Brew Date: March 24, 2019

This year I’m re-branding Alpaca from a pale ale to a British golden ale, as I’m simply better set up for success on that style versus the more hazy, hoppy version it’s been in the past. Targeting around 4.5% ABV with a malt profile that is very light and subtle, yet offers crackery crispness along with a touch of English character. I hope to achieve this with a blend of continental Pilsner malt and Golden Promise. A small amount of flaked wheat should help with crisp character and hopefully keep the body from being completely thin.

For bittering, I’m sticking with a trustworthy English hop, but for flavour and aroma I’m going with Citra and a touch of Simcoe to emphasize the new-world, citrus hop character popular with the style. It doesn’t hurt that this is also my favourite hop in such a beer as well.

OG: 1.042
IBU: 36

Batch Specifics:
90 minute boil
26.5L pre-boil target
24L post-boil target
21L into the fermentor

Mash volume 16.0L
Sparge volume 13.3L

Mash Profile:
Dough in 15 min at 131F
Raise to 146F for 45 min
Raise to 153F for 20 min
Mash out 170F for 5 min

Water Additions:
3g baking soda
12g gypsum
3g calcium chloride

Boil 75 minutes

Grist:
60% Golden Promise (2.52 kg)
35% Bohemian pilsner (1.47 kg)
5% Flaked wheat (0.21 kg)

Hopping:
26 AAU of Nugget at 60 min [14g]
10g Citra @ 20 min
20g Citra @ whirlpool
10g Simcoe @ whirlpool

Other:
0.5 tablet whirlfloc @ 15 min

Dry hop (5 days) – 30g Citra, 10g Simcoe

Fermentation: WYeasy 1098 – British ale
Held at 66.5F for first 48 hrs
Raised to 67.5F for 24 hrs

Competition Results:

Vanbrewers Awards: 2nd place, XX points
Because Beer: 1st place, 40 points

Tastings:

Apr 15, 2019 – After only 9 days of bottle conditioning, it’s carbonated sufficiently and is surprisingly clear with minimal chill haze. WY1098 is impressive. Aroma is sweetened lemon and honey dew, with a touch of pie crust in the background. It’s got a medium full body despite the light malt character, with citrusy hop character throughout, and medium bitterness. The finish is decidedly English, with a bready yeast character becoming known without being too much. Finishes neither sweet nor dry. I’m really pleased with this and it’s extremely drinkable, my only complaint is that the bitterness is a bit low for the style.

Batch 60: Table d’Or

This is my first iteration of a Trappist single, using BJCP 26A as a guide. In addition to that characteristic Trappist yeast character, this should be a light-bodied and low-strength beer that exhibits pretty high bitterness and floral-spicy hop aroma and flavour. I am trying Weyermann’s Abbey malt for the first time. Based on its colour, I assume I should use a light hand with it, at least as I get to know it.

Target OG: 1.044
Target FG: 1.006
Target IBU: 38

Mash: TBD
Boil: 90 minutes

Water Profile: TBD

Grist:

86% Weyermann Bohemian Pilsener malt
6% Weyermann Abbey malt
4% Flaked wheat
4% Flaked oats

Hopping:

33 AAU German Tradition at 60 min (50g)
4 AAU CZ Saaz at 5 min (35g)

Fermentation:

White Labs WLP500

Batch 54: Alesund

Brewed: March 3rd, 2019

There’s been an impulse-bought package of Hordinal kveik in my fridge for several months, and I’ve become increasingly stressed out about its advancing age and lacked inspiration with what to do with it. I had an ah-ha moment when considering its high alcohol tolerance: I should brew a big barleywine with it. The high level of fruity esters that make it great as a replacement for English strains in IPA could potentially translate to English-style barleywine as well.

To compliment the yeast, I wanted to keep the grist simple/rustic and the hopping at a minimum. A little additional character was included via blackstrap molasses as well. I wanted this to be a big beer to take advantage of (or abuse the heck out of) the yeast. Therefore the specs are as follows:

OG: 1.115
Est FG: 1.035
IBU: 36
ABV: ~12%

To get better efficiency as well as the colour and character of a long boil, I sparged to provide a larger pre-boil volume and get all that sugar out of the grain. Batch size is tailored such that I can transfer to my 3.5 gallon brew bucket for secondary with minimal headspace, primary fermenting for approximately one week in the 7 gallon brew bucket with temp control.

Mash Schedule:
131F dough in, hold 15 minutes (26L)
150F for 45 minutes
154F for 75 minutes
161F for 30 minutes
170F mash out, sparge (4L)

Boil:  180 minutes

Grist:
7.50 kg Thomas Fawcett Maris Otter (95.5%)
0.35 kg Blackstrap Molasses (4.5%) – added @ 15m

Hopping:
25g Nugget @ 60 min (36 AAU)

Other:
1/2 tablet Whirfloc @ 15 min
3g CaCl, 1.5g gypsum in mash water

Fermentation:
Escarpment Labs ‘Hordinal kveik’ 180B pack, dated BB March 22
+ ~50mL vial of Hordinal from local brewery added @ 24 hrs
No starter; shaken only since out of pure O2. (really pushing my luck…)

Add 1/2 tsp Yeast Superfood & Energizer @ 24h

Fermented at 83F to start, increase of 1F per day over 6 days (88F maximum).

Batch 57: Pandora

This is my first iteration of a Dubbel, dubbed Pandora after my local park and alluding to, hopefully, the depth of flavour in the resulting beer. I had Imperial’s B53 Precious strain in the fridge from my BPA, and while it’s a bit more restrained on the Belgian esters and phenolics that the Dubbel typically calls for, I was happy with the character in the BPA and am hoping it’ll do well enough here. I will ferment towards the top end of the temperature range to try to push those yeast characters, hopefully without creating fusels.

I also chose to go pretty straightforward on the recipe, but I’m not ready to rely on the candi sugar to provide all the complexity so I’ve added some Special B, as well as some Munich II for additional malt character. I chose to go with D-90 instead of D-45, which will cause the beer to be a bit darker than the typical range, but I would like to push the dark fruit character rather than caramel flavours. This could end up being a lower-ABV Belgian Dark Strong in flavour rather than a Dubbel.

Brew Date: May 7, 2019
Bottled: June 1, 2019
Batch size: 19L post-boil (Actual: 20.5L)
Equipment: Grainfather

OG: 1.064 (Actual: 1.061)
FG: 1.009 (Actual: 1.010)
IBU: 20
ABV: 6.8%

Water / Misc:
4g Gypsum, 4g CaCl – 80% in mash, 20% in sparge
1/2 tablet whirfloc @ 15 min

Mash / Boil:
131F for 15 mins
148F for 75 mins
161F for 20 mins
170F for 10 mins
Boil for 90 minutes

Grist:
78% Bohemian Pilsner malt [3.90 kg]
10% Munich II malt [0.50 kg]
3% Special B malt [0.15 kg]
9% D-90 candi syrup [0.45 kg]

Hopping:
19g German Tradition @ 60 mins
4g Nugget @ 60 mins (ran out of G.T.)

Fermentation:
Imperial B53 Precious – gen 2 pitch
Approx 250B cells (1.5L starter)
Initial ferm temp set to 69.5F
Due to lack of ice, it unfortunately rose to 74F from 12-18h
Brought back down to 71.5F for remainder of primary fermentation

Tasting Notes:

[June 27 2019] – The malt complexity is starting to emerge, with notes of cherry, plum, toast, and caramel coming through. Neither particularly dry nor sweet. Restrained Belgian esters and phenols. So far, so good!

Batch 53: Saison Dorée 2019

Yet another iteration of my house golden saison, this time using Escarpment Labs’ “Spooky Saison” blend which I can only assume is the Fantome strain (same as WY3725PC?). If this is true, it is a very well attenuating strain with pretty reserved ester and phenolic profiles. I will be accentuating this with a good dose of hops and bottle conditioning half the batch with brettanomyces. I have used this strain once before in ‘Old Lanes’ which was 100% Pilsner malt. I look forward to exploring it with both this and the malty house saison recipe, as I feel like it may be a good fit for my ‘house blend’ if I can get different things out of it at different temperatures.

Keeping the grist the same as the last batch due to its success, but tweaking the bitterness to be higher than previous ‘standard’ versions, but not as high as the extra-hopped version I made recently.

Stats:

OG: 1.045
FG: 1.003
IBU: 36
ABV: 5.5%

Brewed on the Grainfather, with the following batch parameters:
16L mash volume
15.5L sparge volume
26.9L target pre-boil volume
Target pre-boil SG 1.036 (73% BHE)
23.1L target post-boil volume
21L target fermentor volume

Water Adjustments:
6g Gypsum (2/3 in mash, 1/3 in sparge)
4g Calcium Chloride (2/3 in mash, 1/3 in sparge)

Mash Profile:
131F dough-in for 15 mins
145F for 45 mins
152F for 45 mins
170F mash-out

Boil 150 minutes

Grist:

78% Bohemian Pilsner [3.12 kg]
12% Vienna malt [0.48 kg]
8% Flaked wheat [0.32 kg]
2% Acid malt [0.08 kg]

Hopping:

30g German Tradition @ 60m [24 AAU]
10g Azacca @ 15m [8 AAU]
10g Nelson Sauvin @ flameout
20g CZ Saaz @ flameout

Dry hop: 10g CZ Saaz, 10g Nelson Sauvin

Fermentation:

Escarpment Labs ‘Spooky Saison’ 180B pack
No starter, pack dated best before Feb 22 (cutting it close)
Pitch temp 64F
First 48h set to 78F
Next 48h set to 80F
Next 48h set to 82F – activity rather abruptly subsided @ 5 day mark
Allowed to drop to ambient ~68F for 7-10 days

Bottle condition to 3.2 vols CO2.

Brew Day Notes: The 131F rest lasted about 25 mins instead of 15, and added a short rest at 161F on the way up to mash out. Hit pre-boil volume and SG perfectly – 27L and 1.036. 45 mins to go from mash out to boil; left the grain basket on until 196F.
Collected 21L into the fermentor of 1.045 wort, a bit higher than the 1.042 target.

Bottled March 3rd 2019 at 1.003.

Batch 52: Kombi

Brew date: February 3, 2019
Bottling date: March 11, 2019

This is one of those rare brews where I try to emulate a BJCP style properly. Well, at least with half of the batch: the other half will be conditioned for an extended period with a blend of brettanomyces. The style is 24B, Belgian pale ale. I’ve built out a blank page recipe based on some reading as well as the BJCP guidelines. As usual, I am going with Weyermann Bohemian pilsner malt for the base, and added in a healthy dose of Weyermann Munich II (9L) malt as well. I am not adding sugar, but instead targeting a very fermentable wort for a dry finish. I hope that the oats will allow the body to remain medium to medium-low with the dry finish.

For water profile, I went light on the salts using Brewer’s Friend ‘Light and malty’ profile as a starting point. My additions below should provide about 60 ppm Ca, 42 ppm SO4, and 75 ppm Cl.

Target OG: 1.050 Target FG: 1.009
Actual OG: 1.047 Actual FG: 1.012
IBU: 28 ABV: 4.7%

Batch size: 19L (into fermentor)
BHE: 73%

Water Adjustments (add to mash):
4g CaCl
2g gypsum
2.5g 88% lactic acid to each mash & sparge waters

Mash steps:
131F dough in with 16L water
148F for 45 min
152F for 25 min
161F for 20 min
170F mash out, sparge 13.5L of 170F water

Boil 90 minutes

Grist:
3.00 kg Bohemian Pilsner (Weyermann) [69.4%]
0.80 kg Munich II Dark (Weyermann) [18.5%]
0.20 kg Flaked oats [4.6%]
0.16 kg Victory malt (Briess) [3.7%]
0.16 kg Caramunich II (Weyermann) [3.7%]

Hopping:
18.3 AAU Hallertau Tradition @ 60 min [28g]
7.6 AAU Czech Saaz @ 15 min [28g]

Other:
1/2 tablet Whirfloc @ 15 min
1/2 tsp yeast nutrient @ 15 min

Fermentation:
Imperial Yeast B53 – Precious
Pitch @ 57F
First 48 hrs at 66F
Next 48 hrs 68F
Next 48 hrs 72F
Condition 50F for 2 weeks

Bottle condition to 3.0 vols

Above: Kombi Deluxe, the dry-hopped, brett conditioned version.

Brew Day Notes:

Mashed in @ 3:55 pm, much later brew day than usual. Held 131F until 4:10 then increased to 148F and headed out for groceries. Raised to 152F at 4:50, started heating sparge water. Added 1/2 tsp CaCl and 1/4 tsp gypsum to mash water, half those volumes to sparge water. 2.5ml 88% L.A. into mash water, none in sparge water. 161F setpoint at 5:25, 170F at 5:45. Mashed out with 13.5L of 170F water, drained pretty quick – sparge took about 15 mins. Collected just a hair under 27L of 1.042 wort. After 1h 20m volume was still a tad high at 24L so let go an extra 10 minutes.

Bottling Notes:

Despite being a few points shy of my target OG, it still finished 3 points high on my target FG. I attribute much of this to the unfamiliar yeast, as my mash schedule should have produced a pretty fermentable wort. If I go with this yeast again, I’ll likely add a small amount of clear sugar along with a longer rest in the 146-148F range.

Bottled March 11 after a couple weeks in secondary with 85g table sugar for 10.5L (about 3 vols CO2). Instead of my usual technique of pouring the boiled/cooled sugar water into the bottling bucket then racking the beer on top, I bottled direct from the secondary vessel and poured the boiled/cooled sugar water into it (letting sit for 10-15 min). We’ll see how that pans out in terms of even mixing of the priming sugar – I’m a little nervous. [Note: it did not pan out well at all. About 60% of the batch was flat or near flat, while the other half was spot on – surprisingly, no gushers / overcarb]

Tasting Notes / Competitions:

Due to uneven carb, I only entered the clean version in one competition, Vanbrewers Awards 2019. It placed first in the Belgian Ale category, with scores of 36 and 35.

2019.01.15 Buckstock Tasting

Buckstock is my Burton ale recipe aged for nine months with Brett C. It was brewed in January 2018, bottled in September. It’s 9.6% ABV and theoretically 80 IBU, but that is not at all apparent. There is traces of the hops in the aroma with a touch of citrus and herbal character, but the taste is all dark fruit and caramel with that typical brett C musty fruitiness. There is some leather on the finish as well. There is light carbonation, finally, which took about 4 months to develop as no fresh yeast was pitched upon bottling. Believe it or not, this is 100% maris otter pale malt – the colour is from the extended boil as well as the higher gravity.