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Batch 67: Slush Fund IPA

Brew Date: January 18, 2020

Slush Fund is a ‘freezer cleaner’ beer with the intention of using up some excessive hop inventory, particularly IPA-friendly new world varieties that I don’t use often in the saisons and Belgian ales I’m typically brewing. The name comes from today’s weather – the first warm day after some big dumps of snow.

Brewing equipment: Grainfather
Batch size: 20L

Mash Schedule:
131F for 15 minutes
152F for 75 minutes
167F for 10 minutes

Boil 90 minutes

Water additions (mash water):
5.0g CaCl
2.0g gypsum
5.2g 88% lactic acid

Grist:
3.00 kg Weyermann Pilsner
2.00 kg Golden Promise
1.00 kg Flaked oats

Hopping:
20g Apollo @ 60 min
7g Apollo, 15g Amarillo @ 15 min

Whirlpool @ 180F: 80g Mosaic, 40g Citra

Fermentation:
Escarpment Labs Voss kveik
Fermented ambient beside heater

Batch 66: Saison Doree

Time for another batch of the house saison.

Brew date: TBD
Bottling date: TBD

Target OG: 1.042
Target FG: 1.002
ABV: 5.3%
IBU: 34

Water:
4g gypsum
6g CaCl

Grist:
2.72 kg Pilsner malt (68%)
0.72 kg Vienna malt (18%)
0.48 kg Flaked wheat (12%)
0.08 kg Acid malt (2%)

Hopping:
35g Willamette @ 60 min
14g Motueka @ 15 min
28g Nelson Sauvin @ flame out

Fermentation:
Escarpment Spooky Saison, gen 2
Pitch at 27C, raise to 29C over 48hr

Batch 65: Kombi II

This is the second iteration of Kombi, a Belgian pale ale brewed to BJCP style 24B. The first iteration was brewed with homebrew competitions in mind. I only entered it in one competition, because of carbonation issues due to my error, but it placed gold in that one!

This re-brew has only minor tweaks to the grist and hopping, but I’m switching to Escarpment’s Dry Belgian strain (STA-1 positive) for a much more dry interpretation, more in line with my preferences. It is hard to say at this point if it’ll be as well suited to competitions, but I do plan to enter it in a couple in 2020.

Brew date: December 26, 2019
Bottling date: TBD

OG: 1.049
FG: TBD
ABV: 6.0%
IBU: 27

Grist:
3.80 kg Bohemian Pilsner malt
0.60 kg Munich II malt
0.20 kg Biscuit malt
0.20 kg Caramunich II malt
0.20 kg Flaked oats

Water:
4.5g CaCl
2.5g gypsum
5g 88% Lactic Acid

Mash Schedule:
55C for 15 min
65C for 70 min
75C for 10 min

Boil 90 minutes

Hopping:
35g Boheme (6% AA) @ 60 min
25g Saaz (2.8% AA) @ 5 min

Fermentation:
Escarpment Dry Belgian (gen 1) approx 150B cells
Fermented at ambient, 72F generally during activity.

Brew Day Notes: Prepared the full volume (30L) with salts in the GF, and pumped off 14L once warmed into my sparge pot.

Batch 64: Sacred Place

Sacred Place is the second of three core beers in my dream brewery, following Quiet Light. It has more malt complexity and less hop prominence than Quiet Light, and I’d call it a farmhouse (style) pale ale. It’s fermented with the same house primary strain, and bottle conditioning strain.

Brew date: December 13, 2019
Bottling date: TBD

OG: 1.044
FG: TBD
ABV: 5.5%
IBU: 31

Grist:
2.80 kg Vienna malt (70%)
0.60 kg Malted rye (15%)
0.60 kg Flaked wheat (15%)

Water:
6g CaCl
4g gypsum
3g epsom
2g baking soda
1g chalk
5g 88% Lactic Acid

Mash Schedule:
55C for 15 min
65C for 70 min
75C for 10 min

Boil 120 minutes

Hopping:
30g Boheme (6% AA) @ 60 min
30g Loral (10% AA) @ 5 min

Fermentation:
Spooky Saison (gen 1) approx 150B cells
Temp 78F starting, up to 82F at 48h

Brew Day Notes: Prepared the full volume (30L) with salts in the GF, and pumped off 14L once warmed into my sparge pot. Checked pH after 10 min and was surprised to find it at 5.90. Might be my meter calibration, but added a further 6g lactic acid to get it down to a measured 5.30.

Batch 63: Quiet Light

Like many homebrewers, I have an imaginary brewery I have been refining in my mind for a couple years now. It’s separate from Sandbox, though of course it shares many similarities and many of the beers I make are in an effort to hone in on what I’d want to brew in said brewery.

At the present moment, Quiet Light is one of three core beers of this imaginary brewery. It’s a golden saison style ale, hoppy and bright when fresh, and bottle conditioned with a subtle brettanomyces strain for further complexity over time. My magic combo for primary and bottling strains is currently Escarpment’s Spooky Saison and Berliner Brett, respectively. I’ll be trying this combination in the two other core beer prototypes, which will be brewed over the coming months.

Brew Specs:

Batch size: 20L into the fermentor
Equipment: Grainfather (Est 72% BHE)
Brew date: November 11, 2019
Bottling date: December 4, 2019

Target/Actual OG: 1.042 / 1.041
Target/Actual FG: 1.005 / 1.006
ABV: 4.6%
IBU: 30

Water Adjustments:
6.5g gypsum
4g CaCl
1g epsom

Grist:
2.80 kg Bohemian Pilsner (70%)
0.60 kg Vienna malt (15%)
0.60 kg Flaked wheat (15%)

Hopping:
25g Boheme @ 60 min
40g Perle @ 5 min
Dry hop: 10g Perle for 7 days

Other:
Whirfloc @ 5 min

Fermentation:
Escarpment Labs ‘Spooky Saison’ gen 1 pitch (approx 130B cells)
Temp SP: 80F for first 24h, raised gradually to 84F at 72h.

Bottled with 3.0 vols (152g of sucrose).

Brew Day Notes:
Forgot the salts for the second brew day in a row, resulting in a mash pH of 5.66 at midway through. Whoops. Added alongside some 88% LA to bring it down to the happy zone.

Batch 62: Bière de Nöel

Originally brewed for the Vanbrewers Advent calender, this didn’t end up making the cut due to needing more conditioning time. It is a dark farmhouse ale, with a judicious amount of sage added at flameout.

Brew Specs:

Batch size: 21L into the fermentor
Equipment: Grainfather (Est 72% BHE)
Brew date: October 14, 2019
Bottling date: November 3, 2019

Target OG: 1.060
Actual OG: 1.054
Target FG: 1.005
Actual FG: 1.006

ABV: 6.5%
IBU: 31

Water Adjustments:
6g gypsum
4g CaCl
2g epsom
1g baking soda

Grist:
3.75 kg Bohemian Pilsner
0.75 kg Munich II
0.50 kg Flaked wheat
0.45 kg D-90 candi sugar
0.15 kg Special B

Hopping:
25g Boheme @ 60 min
20g Boheme @ 5 min

Other:
4 sage leaves @ 5 min
Whirfloc @ 5 min

Fermentation:
Escarpment Labs ‘Spooky Saison’ gen 3 pitch (approx 250B cells)
Temp SP: 78F for first 24h, raised gradually to 85F at 72h.

Bottled with 2.6 vols (125g of sucrose) in generic 12oz bottles.

Brew Day Notes:
Forgot the salts until 50 min into the mash! Doh. Checked pH, 5.58. Added salts and 4g of 88% lactic acid, checked after 10 min and pH settled down to 5.26. Mashed an extra 20 min to account for loss of performance from higher pH.

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.