Category Archives: Uncategorised

Batch 62: Bière de Nöel 2019

Originally brewed for the Vanbrewers Advent calender, this didn’t end up making the cut due to needing more conditioning time to come into its own.

Brew Date: October 5, 2019

Bottling date: TBD

Target OG: 1.062 Target FG: 1.004 IBU: 26 ABV: 8%

Batch 61: Fleur de Lune

With the success of my first rosemary sage beer, I decided I would like to make it an autumn seasonal beer going forward. I believe both my grist composition and my choice of yeast strain will be superior to my original batch.

I would like to say that the base beer for this batch is my amber saison house recipe, but in reality, I haven’t yet landed on what that is. My golden saison base is well established, but I’ve found that nailing down an amber saison base is notably more challenging.

That said, I landed on this as a grist, and hope that it steers me towards landing on a dependable house recipe.

Stats:

OG: 1.045
FG: 1.002
IBU: 28

Grist:

2.25 kg Pilsner (Weyermann) [52.1%]
0.72 kg Vienna (Weyermann) [16.7%]
0.72 kg Munich II (Weyermann) [16.7%]
0.27 kg Flaked rye [6.3%]
0.18 kg Flaked wheat [4.2%]
0.18 kg Caramunich [4.2%]

Hopping Schedule:
25g Bohemia (8%) @ 60m
10g Bohemia (8%) @ 15m
25g Willamette (5%) @ 5m

(3) 6″ Rosemary sprigs added to mash
(6) small sage leaves added at 5m

Water Additions (YVR base water):
6g gypsum
4g CaCl
2g epsom

Fermentation:
Spooky Saison (gen 3) @ 80F to start, raised to 84F @ 24h

Batch 60: Walrus porter

Brew date: August 5, 2019
Bottle date: August 25, 2019

Walrus is my American-style porter, BJCP category 20A. My starting point for this recipe is a clone recipe I had come across for Founder’s porter, but I’ve also modified it quite a bit. I am targeting the mid-range for ABV but towards the upper range on IBU. As with all my beers, it will be bottle conditioned, which is not my preference in this case but I will work with what I’ve got.

I mashed all grains together, rather than cold steeping the dark grains. I will likely try cold steeping in future batches. I had planned to use Escarpment Labs’ Scottish ale yeast, but upon making a starter I found the yeast to not be viable any longer.

Batch size: 20L into fermentor (Actual: 21.6L)
Mash volume: 17L
Sparge volume: 13.75L

Target OG: 1.062 (Actual: 1.061)
Target FG: 1.014 (Actual: 1.012)
Target IBU: 45

Water additions (Vancouver tap base water):
6g Chalk
4g Baking soda
3g CaCl
2g Gypsum
2g Epsom

Salts were added to full volume (at 55C) and portioned off for mash and sparge afterwards.

Grain Bill:
4.00 kg BC Select 2-row pale
0.50 kg Munich II (Weyermann)
0.25 kg Flaked oats
0.20 kg Pale Chocolate (Thomas Fawcett)
0.15 kg Chocolate (Thomas Fawcett)
0.18 kg Crystal 120
0.08 kg Black patent

Mash Schedule:
55C for 20 minutes
67C for 70 minutes
75C for 10 minutes

Mash out with 73C water

Boiled for 90 minutes

Hopping, etc:
25g Nugget (14.8% AA, 2016) added at 60 mins (~38 IBU)
35g Willamette (5% AA, 2019) added at 20 mins (~7 IBU)
Whirfloc 1/2 tablet added at 20 mins

Fermentation:
US-05 (1 x 11.5g packet) pitched at 70F
FTSs set to 64F for first 48 hrs

Bottled Aug 25 with 99g dextrose (2.1 vols)

Brew Day Notes:

Brewed on the patio. Mashed in 12:45pm at 55C. Bumped up to 67C at 1:10. Reached that temp at 1:20. Raised to 75C at 2:30. Sparge started 2:45, finished 3:00. Boil start 3:45. Transfer took about 25 minutes. Pitch temp was 74F, but set the FTSs to 64F.

Tasting Notes:

[Aug 17, 2019] Primary pull. Down to 1.012, below target FG by a couple points. Aroma of chocolate and coffee. Nice full body, quite a dry finish with a touch of perhaps some higher alcohols. The warm fermentation is a little evident on the finish.

[Sep 27, 2019] This beer did finish a little more dry than intended, but the flavour is full of bitter chocolate and light coffee; quite pleasant. It wasn’t adversely affected by the warm fermentation, though I am confident it would be taken to the next level with a cooler ferment.

Batch 59: Biere de Garde

Brew Date: July 14, 2019

Bottling Date: August 7, 2019

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.

Tasting Notes:

The BC Select malt lends a strong candy-like sweetness to the beer despite the dry finish.

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

Tasting Notes:
This beer turned out well, though the hopping is on the high end. The Blaugies yeast gets better after a couple months, and I’ve learned to give it plenty of time in primary to let the sulphur compounds dissipate.

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

Brew Date: May 7, 2019

Bottling Date: June 1, 2019

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!