Today I managed to fire up the brew kettle and brew up a beer that has been ticking over in my brain for a while.
Farmhouse ales have become somewhat of an obsession of late! I just can’t get enough of drinking, reading and brewing them. My copy of ‘Farmhouse ales’ is starting to look quite tatty! I don’t seem to be the only one. This once niche style is currently enjoying somewhat of a comeback. From both sides of the Atlantic, more and more ‘farmhouse’ styles of beer are coming to the fore. From Flying Dog ‘Wildeman Farmhouse IPA’ to Ilkley brewing ‘Siberia’, the use of Saison/farmhouse yeast has burst onto the scene.
No I have brewed a few saison beers that could be described as traditional. I wanted to brew something a little more contemporary.
Grist wise I wanted this beer to be on the amber to pale red end of the scale. Not too complicated, yet with enough complexity to balance the hops and fermentation characteristic. I love the spicy earthyness of farmhouse style ales. Rye instantly jumped to mind. Colour and body will come from Munich, Carabohemian, and a touch of black malt.
A trawl through the hop freezer and I realised I had an abundance of big US hops just waiting to be used. I have had great success using summit. Big tangerine/orange flavours, mingled with bold ‘dank’ hoppiness. I reckon this will play brilliantly with the spice and ‘farmyard’ character of saison yeast.
In the past I have used re-cultured Dupont yeast for my saison brewing. This yeast is the king of yeasts in my humble opinion. However I had seen The Malt Miller has started stocking a couple of dry saison yeasts. I couldn’t turn down the opportunity to try these so I ordered a sachet of the NBS Belgian Saison Yeast.
This yeast has been developed to produce authentic Belgian Saison peppery, spicy, fruity flavours. Start fermentation at lower temperatures 20 or below then let the fermentation temperature naturally rise till it is complete.
The recipe looks like this:
Target OG: 1.047
Target FG: 1.009
Colour: 8 SRM
Mash temp: 65oC
Lager Malt 77%
UK Munich 10%
Wheat malt 5%
Flaked Rye 5%
Black malt 0.5%
CTZ 10g 60 mins
Summit 50g 5mins
Summit 15g Fermentor hops
CTZ 15g Dry hop
Summit 15g Dry hop
Amarillo 15g Dry hop
NBS Dry Belgian Saison 12g
Yeast Vit 5g
So all in all a pretty relaxed brewday. I’m hoping for a nice firm bitterness with lots of tangerine hop flavour mixed with a spicy, fruity fermentation profile, all backed up with a slightly spicy malt backbone. I hope by using flaked rye, wheat malt and Munich together the beer will be well attenuated by the saison yeast, yet still have enough body to not be too thin.
This beer has fermenter out to 1.006. It is now dry hopping. I upped the Amarillo to 30g. I may add another charge of Amarillo just a day or two before racking to the pollypin. The dry saison yeast isn’t as expressive as I had hoped. Defenitly not a neatral ale yeast, but nowhere near the king that is Dupont. I’ve decided to up the dry hops and showcase them instead of the yeast as it was a little disapointing. Either way its beer, and I hope people will like it.
Here is pdtnc’s brewday post for his beer for the event. Looks ace.
Broadford Brewer is in on the deal as well.
This beer took second place in the Cask Beer competition! Very happy with that!