American Farmhouse Amber

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.

0beda20_5kgGrist 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.





summitA 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.




Saison Dupont

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:

Batch: 21L
Target OG: 1.047
Target FG: 1.009
ABV: 5.1%
Colour: 8 SRM
Mash temp: 65oC


Lager Malt 77%
UK Munich 10%
Wheat malt 5%
Flaked Rye 5%
Carabohemian 2.5%
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.

Anyone coming along to the Northern Craft Brewers meet at the Saltaire Brewery on 13th April will be able to try this beer!



29-03-2012 UPDATE

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.




rattlesnake rye




This beer took second place in the Cask Beer competition! Very happy with that!


5 thoughts on “American Farmhouse Amber

  1. Sounds like a great brewday Neil, it’s making me thirsty! Hope to try it at the Saltaire meet!! Also be interested to know how you get on with that dried saison yeast.

    • Cheers fella! Hoping all the flavours marry together well. Summit, rye, saison yeast! Looks like a good idea on paper! Hope it translates 🙂

      Glad your coming to Saltaire! It’s a cracking do. Are you bringing any beer?

      Very interested to taste this yeast! Could be amazing! Fingers crossed!

  2. Definitely, I’ll bring a few bottles of my imperial stout from last year’s NYD brewathon and some of the smoked wheat beer which I recently bottled. Looking forward to it! 🙂

    • Nice! Ill be bringing my NYD impy! Smoked Weissen seems to be popular atm! Ian (@lugsy51) has been brewing a few, and I’ve just got some of the oak smoked wheat and a vial of wlp300! 🙂

  3. Sounds good! I fermented my smoked-wheat (pseudo-Grätzer) with US-05 as I wanted to see how much smoke would come through. It has worked nicely but a touch too try.. textbook 05! I’ll mash higher next time.

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