Monday, August 4, 2014

Homebrew Wednesday - Gus HBW #5 - Wallonian Farmhouse Ale

What's up everyone and Happy Homebrew Wednesday.  This past weekend I was able to get another brew going with a yeast that I've been very anxious to work with.  Being a huge fan of Saison/Farmhouse style beers, I picked up a couple vials of the Wallonian Farmhouse Ale yeast from a new-ish yeast company in California.  The Yeast Bay came out swinging with a bunch of awesome boutique yeasts that a ton of people have been raving about.  I had to get in on that.

I modified my standard Saison recipe to accomidate some of the descriptors I read about the Wallonian yeast.  My simply Pilsner, Wheat, and Acid Malt grist would have worked fine I'm sure but I wanted to add a little something extra in there.  Below is the recipe I came up with.

BeerSmith 2 Recipe Printout - http://www.beersmith.com
Recipe: Wallonian Farmhouse
Brewer: Gus
Asst Brewer: 
Style: Saison
TYPE: All Grain
Taste: (30.0) 

Recipe Specifications
--------------------------
Boil Size: 8.97 gal
Post Boil Volume: 7.28 gal
Batch Size (fermenter): 6.00 gal   
Bottling Volume: 5.25 gal
Estimated OG: 1.061 SG
Estimated Color: 5.1 SRM
Estimated IBU: 29.7 IBUs
Brewhouse Efficiency: 70.00 %
Est Mash Efficiency: 81.7 %
Boil Time: 90 Minutes

Ingredients:
------------
Amt                   Name                                     Type          #        %/IBU         
1.00 tsp              Gypsum (Calcium Sulfate) (Mash 60.0 mins Water Agent   1        -             
8 lbs                 Pilsner (2 Row) Ger (2.0 SRM)            Grain         2        56.6 %        
2 lbs 8.0 oz          White Wheat Malt (2.4 SRM)               Grain         3        17.7 %        
1 lbs 8.0 oz          Munich Malt (9.0 SRM)                    Grain         4        10.6 %        
1 lbs 8.0 oz          Vienna Malt (3.5 SRM)                    Grain         5        10.6 %        
10.0 oz               Weyermann Acidulated (1.7 SRM)           Grain         6        4.4 %         
2.00 oz               Hallertauer [4.80 %] - Boil 90.0 min     Hop           7        28.3 IBUs     
0.50 oz               Hallertauer [4.80 %] - Boil 5.0 min      Hop           8        1.3 IBUs      
1.0 pkg               Wallonian Farmhouse (The Yeast Bay #)    Yeast         9        -             


Mash Schedule: Single Infusion, Light Body, No Mash Out
Total Grain Weight: 14 lbs 2.0 oz
----------------------------
Name              Description                             Step Temperat Step Time     
Mash In           Add 20.86 qt of water at 168.1 F        154.0 F       75 min        

Sparge: Batch sparge with 2 steps (Drain mash tun , 6.26gal) of 168.0 F water
Notes:
------


Created with BeerSmith 2 - http://www.beersmith.com
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


I mashed much higher than I normally would for brewing a Saison.  I usually mash around 148-149F to get the beer to attenuate as high as possible and get good and dry.  After reading the description and seeing some reviews I decided to bump this up to 154F and get some residual sugars left in the brew as it seems to be a pretty aggressive yeast.  I also added in the Munich and Vienna Malt to give the beer another profile of sweetness and sugars for the yeast to chow down on.

Two days before brew day I made up a simple 1.040 starter of Light Pilsen DME and 1200ml of water.  Pitched the yeast in there and let it spin.  I had an entire flask of milky yeast goodness going when I got up on the morning of brew day.  I was sure there was plenty of cells in there to take down my target 1.061 OG.


Everything went well in the mash and I held the temp of 154F for 75 min.  Grabbed my first and second runnings and headed to the burner.  I wanted to keep a simple hop bill as well to give the yeast plenty of room to shine.  2oz of Hallertauer for 90 min an done aroma addition of .5oz at 5 min were all I needed.  I did add yeast nutrient at 15 min.  Boiled down to 7.5 gallons (roughly) from 9 gallons I had collected and my gravity was 1.064.  Just slightly higher than my target but that's fine.  I cooled the wort down to 75F and pitched the entire 1200ml starter into the fermenter.  I put the carboy into my fermentation chamber set to 68F and I'll let it sit there for 48 hours before I pull it out.  I'm going to let this beer finish at room temperature in the house.  This should help the yeast chew through the wort.


I've been looking forward to this brew day with this yeast for a long time I'll post updates for this brew as it goes a long.  I'll be bottling with C&C (corks and cages) for this brew to age some over time as well.


After two days I took it out if the 68F fermentation chamber and let it sit at room temp. That yeast is blazing through the wort! 


I'll keep it updated!

Gus

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Any questions, comments or suggestions for brews can be sent to masondixonbrewcrew@gmail.com or to my email gusaddkison@gmail.com.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Modern Times Oneida - Gus #56

Today's brew is a new release from Modern Times Beer out of California.  This is their Oneida.  An American Pale Ale that is hopped with some interesting hops that they say brings out a balanced drinkable pale ale that has a fruity hop presence.  I'm looking forward to this!



About the Beer:
Style:  Pale Ale
Alcohol by Volume:  5.2%
IBUs:  50

Oneida

American Pale Ale

"Oneida is Hallertau Blanc-centric.  The bright tropical fruit and lemongrass notes give it an uber-pungent aroma, with the grapefuity citrus of Cascade providing a touch of balance.  We've also added experimental hop variety 05256 to the mix, adding nice hop complexity while keeping it a drinkable pale ale.  While more aggressively bitter than Fortunate Islands, Oneida still has a light body and moderate ABV.  We're considering making Oneida our spring seasonal, but that's all kind of up in the air."

The also have a link to the homebrew recipe on their website.

Poured from the bottle into a Brew Dog Punk glass.



Appearance:  Brew poured a golden-hued amber that had a bit of chill haze but as it warmed it became really clear.  A two finger white head on a semi-aggressive pour that hung around a while after shrinking to about a finger.  Rocky head filled with tiny bubbles that leaves plenty of lacing on the glass.  Very refreshing looking Pale Ale.


Aroma:  First sniff gives you a blast of fruity hops.  Tropical fruits and a bit of grapefruit as well.  Not really any dankness or super resin but I didn't expect it from the description.  Sweet malt almost like a hint of honey comes through too.  Really a good bit of a mango and almost fruit punch mixed with some grassy and floral notes.  Smells really great.

Taste:  More of the grapefruit comes in on the palate.  The tropical fruit notes are there as well.  Some sort of berry really comes out.  Hint of mango and the grassy flavors come through ever so slightly.  Sweetness hits mid-palate and then the medium carbonation comes through to wash it all back and leave a slight bitterness on the tongue for an aftertaste.  It's very refreshing and easy to drink.


Verdict:  This is another great brew from Modern Times.  I like that it's easy to drink and has just enough flavors in it.  It's not blow me away amazing but this is a drinkable pale ale that I think they were going for.  I'd drink this every time they released it if they do end up making it a seasonal release.  A good above average beer I'll give a B rating.  This would be a great food beer with something like pizza or a burger with some spicy jalapenos on it.

Thanks again for checking out the review.  

Until next time... Cheers,

Gus

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Any questions, comments or suggestions for brews can be sent to masondixonbrewcrew@gmail.com or to my email gusaddkison@gmail.com.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Spiteful Pirate Pigeon Peanut Butter Porter - Gus #55

Today I'm checking out another brew from Spiteful Brewing.  This time it's their Pirate Pigeon Peanut Butter Porter.




About the Beer:
Style:  Porter
Alcohol by Volume:  8.2%
IBUs:  N/A

Spiteful Brewing Presents:

God Damn Pirate Pigeon Peanut Butter Porter

"Don't fight it, Spite It!  On two wooden peg legs Pirate Pigeon click-clacks through the gutters of the loop.  In his rucksack: a jar of peanut butter and a treasure map.  'X' marks the spot.  If he only knew how to read.  He takes his perch upon the Tribune Tower, beside the gargoyles.  He flutters off, headed north this time, towards the brewery.  Take cover, he's armed with peanut butter bombs.  He might be after more than just our tanks!"

Poured from the bottle into a tulip glass.


Appearance:  Poured super dark brown, almost black, with a big 2 and a half finger head.  Small bubbles with some big soapy looking ones mixed in.  The head calmed down to a thin half finger head and as towards the end of the glass it became a patchy island.  Lacing stuck on the glass in patches as well as I drank.  Tiny bit of light comes through on the edges and small traces of the brew stuck to the glass as I swirled it.


Aroma:  First thing I got was the peanut butter.  A sweet peanut butter aroma with hints of dark roasted malt and some bitter chocolate.  Not much of a hop aroma but I wouldn't expect it in this type of brew.  It smells quite amazing actually.  The warmer it got the more pronounced the peanut butter was.  Liquid Bliss smelled of big peanut butter as well but that was all it had.  It didn't have the chocolate and roast undertones as present as this one does.


Taste:  Holy crap.  Peanut butter covered dark chocolate.  Really nice sweetness that covers your palate and gives way to a bit of dark chocolate bitterness that drys out the palate.  So easy to drink.  Medium mouthfeel that may border medium-full.  Peanuts, hints of coffee and a mix of dark and milk chocolate too.  Carbonation is perfect for clearing your mouth and letting you go back for another drink.

Verdict:  I think this is the best peanut butter beer I've had yet.  It's a perfect dessert beer.  I think it's blended perfectly to showcase the porter and the peanut butter balance and smooth.   So glad I was able to try this one.  I'm going to give it an easy A.  Thanks to Rob for sending me another great one!

Cheers and thanks for reading,

Gus

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Any questions, comments or suggestions for brews can be sent to masondixonbrewcrew@gmail.com or to my email gusaddkison@gmail.com.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Spiteful Lunch Beer Luke - Gus #54

Today we have a brew review from an awesome micro/nano brewery out of the Windy City.  I've been having some great things out of Chicago and have had a few brews from these guys.  Will this one be just as good?  We'll see.  This is Lunch Beer Luke from Spiteful Brewing.




About the Beer:
Style:  Double/Imperial IPA
Alcohol by Volume:  8.4%
IBUs:  N/A

Spiteful Brewing Presents:

Lunch Beer Luke Double IPA

"Don't fight it, Spite it!  You don't want to work with Luke when he doesn't get a lunch beer.  He's not himself, and his unquenchable thirst propels him into a blind rage.  Raised on Wu-Tang in the frigid streets of NW Minnesota, his blood is the coldest shit out there.  One time we ran out of lunch beers.  Luke snapped his skateboard.  He ate a lit cigarette.  He even punched Norm.  No bueno.  So, put a few in the cooler.  It's time for a lunch beer."

Luke sounds either super fun to hang out with or terrifying!I poured this brew into a tulip glass.


Appearance:  Light orange with amber hues in the middle.  Carbonation streaming up the side of the head keeping the one to one and a half finger head around a while.  Lots of multiple sized bubbles in the head.  It finally gave way to a steady ring around the glass with some islands of bubbles floating in the middle.  Towards the end of the glass all but the islands had settled.  Pretty clear brew and some slight signs of alcohol feet.



Aroma:  Really sweet citrus aromas that pair well with a bit of a piney hop bite.  Sweet oranges and some grapefruit in there.  It doesn't smell overly bitter.  To me, this is a good thing.  Single IPAs are preferred to be more bitter than sweet to me.  Double IPAs need to have a good sweetness mixed in to balance out all the crazy hops in there.  As it warms, more of the pine and grapefruit come out but they are still backing up the sweet orange-like aromas.



Taste:  The taste follows right along the nose with sweet citrus flavors up front with just the right amount of bitterness mixed in.  Oranges (like a tangerine), some mango, little pineapple juice, maybe a hint of fresh lime and then dank pine flavors all show up on the palate.  The back of the tongue has that twinge of bitterness that gets washed away with the sweet malt backbone.  The finish is slightly dry, just enough to make you want another sip.  Drinking really easily.

Verdict:  I'd drink this more often if I had it readily available.  Thanks to Rob for hooking me up with another awesome brew.  I have a few more to get up here from him as well.  This is what I like in a Double IPA.  Not to sound repetitive but something that is going to be uber-hopped needs to have a sweetness there to help cut all of the bitterness created by so many hops.  I'd imagine this brew is full of late hop additions as well.  I don't know if it was dry hopped but I'd believe it if someone told me.  The bit of bitterness followed by the residual sugars and tasty flavors make it super drinkable.  In neither the aroma or the flavor did the alcohol show up.  Well done on this one guys!  Solid A beer for me.


Cheers and thanks for reading,

Gus

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Any questions, comments or suggestions for brews can be sent to masondixonbrewcrew@gmail.com or to my email gusaddkison@gmail.com.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Prairie Puncheon - Gus #53

So... It's been a long time since a review.  Well here is a quick one but I hope to get back in the swing of things soon.  Lots of homebrew going on as well.  Thanks for all those that have continued to read the past reviews.

Today is a brew from Prairie Artisan Ales out of Tulsa, Oklahoma.  They have garnered a big name in the craft beer world very quickly.  Receiving high praise on a ton of their stuff from farmhouse style ales to barrel aged imperial stouts.  The brew for today is their oak fermented farmhouse style ale, Puncheon.






About the Beer:
Style:  Saison/Farmhouse Ale
Alcohol by Volume:  7%
IBUs:  25

Puncheon

Farmhouse Ale Fermented in Oak Barrels

"Puncheon is a farmhouse rye ale fermented in large oak barrels with several different wild bacteria strains.  Tropical citrus notes and sourness can be detected with hints of oak"


I poured this brew into the Prairie Teku (proper glassware and all that!)







Appearance:  The brew poured out a golden straw/yellow color and super clear.  I really wasn't expecting it to be this clear with the oak fermentation and I'm pretty sure it was bottle conditioned.  There was a thin bright white head but it did not stick around long at all.  Carbonation streaming up from the sides of the glass as well.  It looks very refreshing.  I could use a better head on the brew but, I know that barrel aging can sometimes affect the head retention so I'm sure oak fermenting does as well.  Minor details.




Aroma:  The first thing that comes to mind on the nose of Puncheon is funk.  A funky, wild, old wood, barnyard funk.  It's not overpowering but you know that this is a Farmhouse Ale with something wild going on in it.  Under that there is a bit of a lemony tartness and some sweetness.  Some of the oak shows up as well but it's more of the wet wood funky aroma that I pull out.  As I dig in more there is some floral notes with just a hint of spice.  Overall it's not the funkiest farmhouse I've smelled but it's very pleasant.

Taste:  The funk is present but not as prevalent in the taste.  There is that lemony tartness right up front, some spicy/floral notes mid palate and it finishes super dry.  Mouthfeel comes off light because the carbonation is help clean everything off of the palate and let it move on through.  Carbonation levels are right where I would want a Saison/Farmhouse Ale.  As it warms there are some sweet notes and something like a Brett character is in there.   I'm not positive if they use Brett since the description says wild bacteria but I pick up something like it.  

Verdict:  A very solid Farmhouse Ale.  There are notes of everything you would look for with nothing being too dominant or overplaying each other.  I didn't really pick up too much spice from say the Saison yeast or the rye in the brew but, there was some there.  I think the barrel and the bacteria covered that up.  Nothing wrong with that as it was super refreshing and would be great for a hot afternoon.  Would also pair great with a light salad with a nice vinaigrette and fresh veggies.  I'm going to give this a solid B+ for a rating.  Definitely above average and everything was blended nicely.

Cheers and thanks for reading,

Gus

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Any questions, comments or suggestions for brews can be sent to masondixonbrewcrew@gmail.com or to my email gusaddkison@gmail.com.