2015 Blog Plan

20140527-181402-65642435.jpg Last year, this blog was probably the biggest change in my homebrewing. Posting about every batch and keeping the blog going every day meant I had to put a lot more effort into not only keeping track of what I was doing, but also planning what I was going to do in upcoming batches.

That helped my brewing a lot, but the daily posts also ate up a lot of the time I had to commit to the hobby. The new format I’m going to be adopting for future brews will be broken up differently to hold me even more accountable, take less time and hopefully, make the blog easier to follow.

In the past, I’ve done huge brew day posts covering everything leading up to and including the day that the beer is brewed. Then I did periodic batch updates, covering any beers that were in process. Some beers were covered in multiple batch update posts, some were never mentioned. Then, finally I did tasting notes.

My plan going forward is to write a post prior to brew day, the bulk of which will be the recipe. I will explain how I got to this recipe, cover any unique processes I’m going to use and if I want to, I can write more about the style, history or my plan for the beer.

Then, I’ll post again covering everything that happens from brew day to packaging. Any changes to the plan that became necessary (or happened anyway) and any notes about how the brew day or fermentation went. Some overly complex beers, PROOF for example, may require a couple of these posts, but in general it will be one update per batch. I will also try to include the label artwork in these posts.

Again, I’ll follow up with tasting notes. I’m going to expand my tasting notes a little bit, though. Not the way I write them, just how often. I’m not going back to daily posts, but I do plan to start weekly tasting notes. I’m way behind on tasting notes right now, but after I get caught up, I will be able to start doing multiple rounds of tasting notes for age-able beers, or just things that I think are worth taking another look at.

My tasting notes are very tied to the time that they are done, they are not meant to be definitive. I want to do more comparative tasting notes, either pairing related homebrews or homebrew to commercial beer that inspired it or even food pairings. I may even start doing tasting notes on commercial beers on their own. Not just random beers, though, only if they are inspiring future homebrews or tied to homebrewing in some way.

Beyond these posts about my brewing process and the results of that process, I hope to expand the blog out of the homebrewery. I want to try to attend and cover more beer related events. Whether that means beerfests, homebrew club meetings, classes or just tap takeovers at local bars, I will include more commercial beer related topics but I will always tie them back in to homebrewing.

Beyond the new three post set up for all brews, I just want to get more involved in local events and reflect that here. I feel like I’ve gotten very insular with my homebrewing in the last couple years and I think that has gotten me pretty far with the quality of my beer, but I think I’m ready to start sharing and I know that I’m ready to dive back in to brewfests and the more social aspects of the hobby in general. It seems only appropriate to reflect that here.

Joining the Lancaster Brewers homebrew club has been a huge influence on this direction, but other smaller influences are also related. The Lancaster Community Supported Beer program has gotten me to make more trips to local breweries, and I plan to write more about that soon. Untappd, especially in conjunction with the other two things I’ve already mentioned, has helped me get more social and given something to talk about.

Stay tuned to see how well I keep to this plan. Last year, I shared my ideas with the Internet via this blog. This year I want to share them with my local peers and report on my experiences here. Thank you to anyone who has given this any attention.

2014 Recap Part II

As promised, here are the rest of the beers that I brewed in 2014. Apparently, I didn’t brew at all in June, somehow. I guess I was kept busy with PROOF for the first couple weeks, anyway. Here are my July to December brews.
LabelbCloud
bCloud
Style: Hefeweizen
Brew Date: July 2
I brewed this with my buddy Kory. He picked the style and I added the idea to use a Belgian yeast (which I could use again for the Tripel I was planning). It is not my favorite beer, but Kory seemed happy with it. The Chimay yeast gave it a distinct cherry flavor. Not very Hefeweizen, but interesting and refreshing.
LabelTripleValor
Triple Valor
Style: Belgian Tripel
Brew Date: July 16
This beer took forever to carbonate. I was nervous. Once it finally conditioned, the cherry flavor from bCloud was again present. This time, it was joined by some booziness and as the beer warms, it can be pretty pleasant. In the future, though, I would definitely pick a different yeast.
LabelSourCherrySour
Sour Cherry Sour
Style: Cherry Berliner Weisse
Brew Date: July 16
I was not happy with this beer. I used two kinds of cherry juice and two kinds of fresh cherries in my third Berliner Weisse and I think it ended up muddling the flavor. Despite a longer and more active lactic fermentation, it is not as tart. The cherry flavor is… well, muddled. In the future, I will stick to one variety and go for a more crisp, clear cherry flavor. All that said, this beer is very popular with the ladies. Sorry. Some stereotypes seem to have some merit, and non-craft-beer-geek girls just seem to love light, fruity beers. This was an oversized batch and there is a lot left, but it comes in handy.
LabelFruitSpectrumIPA
Fruit Spectrum IPA
Style: American IPA
Brew Date: August 5
This beer was fantastic fresh. It did not hold up well. That is to be expected with IPA to a certain extent, but I seem to have bad luck with them in my homebrewing. This one was loaded tropical fruit flavor from lots of Southern Hemisphere hops. After six or eight weeks in the bottle, though it became over carbonated and the hops were muted and seemed slightly oxidized and stale.
LabelOldSMaSHy2014
Old SMaSHy (2014)
Style: English Barleywine
Brew Date: August 13
The 2014 version of Old SMaSHy used the same 25 pounds of Maris Otter as the 2013 version and ended up with a similar OG, the yeast change from White Labs’ British Ale to Dry English Ale took the FG down a bit and the alcohol up a corresponding amount. The body is still full, but there is a bit less sweetness. I still haven’t made up my mind which I prefer, but I love both.
LabelJadeOtter2014
Jade Otter (2014)
Style: Saison
Brew Date: August 13
Jade Otter is the second runnings of Old SMaSHy with Pacific Jade hops and a Belgian yeast. In 2014, I changed the hopping rate to mimic Table Cat and also switched to the saison yeast I used for that beer. The result, while a little higher gravity and with a much different hop character, filled in well when that beer’s supply was diminished much earlier than expected. I’m planning keep the new hopping rate but continue to play with a different yeast this year.
LabelYellowCatTartCider
Yellow Cat Tart Cider
Style: Dry Cider
Brew Date: September 2
Despite changing the recipe quite a bit to accommodate supplies, this ended up tasting pretty similar to the 2011 batch. I had carbonation issues, though. It took forever to carb up and it is still less lively than I’d like.
LabelMoist
Moist
Style: Wet Hopped Pale Ale
Brew Date: September 10
My 2013 wet hop beer was a disaster. In 2014, it was a delicious, albeit not very hoppy, ale that was easy to drink. The addition of a good portion of Red Wheat to the grist gave it an expected twist that was appreciated by everyone I shared it with. This is definitely not your typical wheat beer, but the wheat definitely had a noticeable effect.
BeerLabelYellowCatSweetCiderFINAL
Yellow Cat Sweet Cider
Style: Sweet Cider
Brew Date: October 18
I make this every year and it is always good. Didn’t disappoint in 2014.
LabelYellowCatCaramelCider
Yellow Cat Caramel Apple Cider
Style: Semi-Sweet Cider
October 23
This turned out great. It was a little drier than I initially hoped for and I considered back-sweetening, but I’m glad that I didn’t. It is much drier and more austere than you might expect with “caramel” in the name, but it works great with all the elements subtly contributing. There are hints of caramelized sugar, cinnamon, vanilla and it is surrounded by apple, but none of it steals the show.
LabelQuadrupleGrim
Quadruple Grim
Style: Belgian Quad
Brew Date: October 28
I was nervous on the day that I bottled this beer. The final gravity was much higher than expected, but fermentation had ceased for a few weeks. The beer did carbonate, and didn’t over-carbonate, which were my main fears. It did finish with a sweetness that can sometimes seem to be too much. In other situations, I like it. In any case, it is definitely better as it warms and I enjoy it, overall.
LabelNightWork
Night Work
Style: Belgian Brown Ale/Fruit Beer
Brew Date: October 28
This is not technically second runnings from Quadruple Grim, it is actually just a portion of that beer’s wort with water, cherry juice and raspberries added, whereas that beer had caramelized sugar syrup added. I love this beer and I got great feedback from my homebrew club, which encouraged me to enter it in the Lancaster Iron Brewer competition. I’ll get the results back this week.
LabelElklandAmberAle1
Elkland Amber Ale
Style: Amber Ale
Brew Date: November 4
I was disappointed in Elkland Amber Lager, so I toyed with the recipe and re-brewed it as an ale with some other changes. This version ended up much better and disappeared so quickly that I had to brew another batch less than two months later.
LabelBrettlandAmberAle
Brettland Amber Ale
Style: Brett Amber Ale
Brew Date: November 4
My first Brett beer was made with a portion of the wort from Elkland Amber Ale fermented with Brettanomyces Lambicus. I have had a few of these but I still haven’t made up my mind on them.
SwellTimeSheet
Swell Time
Style: Cranberry Sour Spiced Holiday Ale
Brew Date: November 17
I like this beer a lot, but I was surprised by some of my relatives who also enjoyed it at Christmas. I don’t think most of them would like a sour beer normally, but the cranberry prepared them for the tartness. There are a lot of things I want to alter about this recipe, but I definitely want to do something similar next Christmas.
LabelDayOfTheRed
Day of the Red
Style: Oak Aged Hoppy Red Ale
Brew Date: December 3
This is the other beer I entered in Iron Brewer. The oak took over more than I expected in the beer right after bottling, but it has mellowed a bit and I think it has gotten better. The color is darker than I wanted and I’d like a little bit more hop punch, but I’m pretty happy with it overall.

Mount Hoodie (2015)
Style: Amber Lager
Brew Date: December 24
My third annual batch of Mount Hoodie is still fermenting.

Green Painted Gold
Style: Saison
Brew Date: December 27
My second Brett beer, on the cake from Brettland Amber Ale is still fermenting, but I took a sample a couple weeks ago and I’m very excited with where it was at.

Amy and Mitch’s 3rd Anniversary Mead
Style: Semi-Sweet Mead
Brew Date: December 30
It’s going to be a long time before I get to try this, but I have high hopes.

2014 Recap Part I

Now that I’ve posted about every batch of beer that I brewed in 2014, I’m going rehash all of them again. Just a quick recap of each batch with name, style, brew date, label and a quick summary of my overall impression of the batch. I’ll split this into two posts, the first one being here, obviously and the other one coming tomorrow. After that, I will finally explain my plan for the blog moving forward and then get to it. Speaking of which…
NEMaibockLabel
N.E. Maibock
Style: Maibock
Brew Date: January 8
I was very happy with the way that this beer turned out. It was a super malt bomb owing that to my second (and first successful) decoction mash and the addition of melanoidin malt.
AmyNi-Kolsch2014 copy
Amy Ni-Kölsch (2014)
Style: Kölsch
Brew Date: January 14
This was a huge disappointment. The 2013 batch was so good that I brewed a second one a couple months later, but in 2014 the beer picked up some sort of soapy off flavor. I actually still have quite a bit of this waiting to be dumped when I get around to it.
Berlin2014web

IchBinEinBerliner2014
Berlin(er Weisse) (batch 1) and Ich Bin En Berliner
Style: Berliner Weisse and Raspberry Berliner Weisse
Brew Date: January 22
My first experiment into sour beer was very successful. It lead to more experiments but I think this first batch is still my favorite and the raspberry version may be Amy’s favorite thing that I’ve ever made.
BeerLabelOldOldMan
Old Old Man
Style: Old Ale
Brew Date: January 26
The last batch of beer I brewed before obtaining my water filter was also one that I let age for a good long time. I am happy with this beer overall, but after all those months in the carboy, the difference caused by the filter on subsequent batches became more obvious. I still have some of this, but that is on purpose.
Mt-HoodieLabel
Mount Hoodie (2014)
Style: Amber Lager
Brew Date: February 4
My second batch of Mount Hoodie was disappointing. A problem during brew day caused the gravity to be way too low which I responded to by adding some extract, which required more water and minimized the hop character. The beer was actually quite enjoyable but was not a good representation of what I was going for.
MaggieMoosCocoaCreamStout
Maggie Moo’s Cocoa Cream Stout
Style: Chocolate/Milk/Oatmeal Stout with Wheat
Brew Date: February 11
Dark and smooth. I loved this beer. The one issue I had with it was that the little bit I held onto slowly became over carbonated.
ElklandGoldenLager
Elkland Golden Lager
Style: Premium American Lager
Brew Date: March 19
This was the second iteration of this beer and my first beer to place in a competition. I got second place in the light lager category at the Mount Hope Brew Fest. Substituting rice for my usual corn was a good experiment, but I’ll be going back to maize this year.
TableCat
Table Cat
Style: Session Saison
Brew Date: March 26
I love this beer. I will be making a lot more of it this year. I finally got my fifteen gallon kettle and the next batch of this will be one of the first to take full advantage of that. Hoppy without being bitter, light and dry without being too thin and super low alcohol without any loss of flavor. The perfect Summer Afternoon Beer.
ElklandAmberLager
Elkland Amber Lager
Style: Amber Lager
Brew Date: April 1
Elkland Amber Lager was kind of a mixed bag for me. I liked it at first and got positive reviews from family members, but the more of it I drank the more I noticed how much inappropriate fermentation character it had. Which lead straight into Elkland Amber Ale a few months later.
BeerLabelMactoLango
Green Eye
Style: Rye Pale Ale
Brew Date: April 21
A disaster. The soapy off flavor from this year’s Kölsch was back and multiplied in this beer. I have only choked a few of these down and it is likely to eventually be the closest I’ve come to dumping a full batch, I just haven’t gotten around to it. I have determined the issue most likely came from an off brand cleaner I used on the carboy and I’ve committed to spending the extra money to use Star San and PBW only on all equipment from now on.
BeerLabelBerlin
Berlin(er Weisse) (batch 2) and Macto Lango
Style: Berliner Weisse and Mango Berliner Weisse
Brew Date: April 27
My second Berliner Weisse was enjoyable. A bit more sour with a bit lower alcohol, it is probably closer to authentic. The half with mango nectar added is a bit divisive inside my own head. It is either extremely refreshing or it reminds me of a urinal depending on my mood. It is never as bad as that sounds, though. Definitely unique but I’d like to try again with real, fresh mangos some day.
SydneyRaeSessionRye2
Sydney Rae Session Rye
Style: Roggenbier
Brew Date: May 13
I brewed this for my eldest niece’s twenty-first birthday. It is lighter in color and lower in alcohol but otherwise a fairly traditional Roggenbier. I enjoyed it, but feel like I didn’t have much. It was a smallish batch and obviously a bit of it was given as a gift. I’d like to try a fully traditional Rogenbier at some point.
SingleHop3Saaz

SingleHop4Galaxy
Single Hop #3: Saaz and #4: Galaxy
Style: American IPA (plan)/Strong Ale (actual)
Brew Date: May 20
This was kind of debacle, but the results were not so bad. These were meant to be IPAs to showcase these two great hop varieties. Both versions end up with a lot more malt character and a lot more booze than I intended, though. The hops didn’t shine like I wanted, but the beers were still pretty tasty. The Galaxy batch had some great, fruity hop character, it was just joined by the malts and booze. The Saaz batch had no distinct hop character as those Noble hops are much more delicate and just couldn’t compete with the other flavors.
PROOF
2014 PROOF
Style: Strong Ale
Brew Date: May 27
Are you sick of hearing about this one yet? This was a huge project and it remains a huge beer. I’m pretty happy with how it turned out, but I have to admit that I’ve only had about five of them. It is actually intimidating to open at 17.7% ABV beer. Most nights just don’t seem worthy of this beer.

Elkland Amber Ale Batch 2 Brew Day

IMG_5689On January 2, I brewed my first batch of the new year. The first batch of Elkland Amber Ale was brewed to share with my family over the holidays, but after making its debut at on Thanksgiving Day, it didn’t make it to New Year’s Day and I decided to brew up another batch.

The first batch was brewed as nine gallons, but four gallons of it was fermented as Brettland Amber Ale, with Brettanomyces Lambicus. I used the same grain bill this time but got better efficiency on my mash and decided to up the batch size mid brew day. Luckily, I bought a full pound of Cascade hops, as opposed to exactly what the recipe called for so I was able to scale the hop additions up.

Ideally, this would be a twelve gallon batch, to match the gravity of the original batch, but unfortunately, my kettle couldn’t accommodate that. In fact, my ten gallon kettle couldn’t accommodate the ten gallon batch I brewed. I filled it as full as I possibly could without boiling over and kept the rest in a smaller kettle to boil on the stovetop. I continued adding more of the mini batch as the boil went on. I continued adding more even during the chill, racking a small amount out into each of two carboys as it got close to the appropriate temperature. Then I continued the chill, as the temperature in the kettle rose with this last minute addition.
IMG_5675
At the end of the brew day, I ended up with two six gallon carboys filled to five gallons. I added another gallon of filtered, boiled and chilled water to each carboy on Sunday, January 11 after checking the gravity. The gravity in both carboys reached 1.01, the same level as the first batch. The samples tasted good, but the higher strength and added hoppiness were obvious. It should have been at about 5.6% ABV and if my math is correct, should be back at the 4.7% and 20 IBUs of the first batch with the added water.

I have done high gravity brewing before but the plan for this beer has been to bottle straight from primary after about two weeks. Adding water in high gravity brewing is something I normally do right before bottling, in a secondary fermenter or bottling bucket.
IMG_5680
Adding the water in primary will likely kick up the settled yeast, but I really don’t want to rack the beer. So I added the water after active fermentation and then waited another few days for things to settle down again. I bottled the beer on January 14.

This time, I ended up with close to five cases of Elkland Amber Ale, which I’m hoping will last through several family events starting with the Super Bowl. After that, there is some down time between big family get-togethers, but in the Spring, things really ramp up. If I can resist it until then, the beer will be making appearances at Easter, Memorial Day (the big one), a number of cook outs, and maybe even Independence Day. Then again, I could always brew another batch before then.
IMG_5681
Elkland Amber Ale
Style: American Adjunct Amber Ale
IBU’s: 23.95 (before water added)/ 20 final
Batch Size: 10.00 Gal (before water added)/12 final
Brew Date: 01/02/2015
OG: 1.053
FG: 1.010
ABV: 5.63% (before water added)/4.7% final
Serve Date: 01/30/2015

Grains & Adjuncts
Amount Percentage Name
9.00 lbs 47.37 % Pale Malt (2 Row) US
4.00 lbs 21.05 % Pale Malt (6 Row) US
4.00 lbs 21.05 % Corn, Flaked
2.00 lbs 10.53 % Briess Caramel 80L

Hops
Amount IBU’s Name Time AA %
1.00 ozs 13.34 Cascade 60 mins 7.10
1.00 ozs 6.62 Cascade 15 mins 7.10
1.50 ozs 3.99 Cascade 5 mins 7.10

Yeasts
2.00 pkg Safale US-05 Fermentis US-05

Amy & Mitch’s Third Anniversary Mead

IMG_5586Every year since our first anniversary, my girlfriend, Amy and I make a batch of mead. Starting with our second anniversary, we enjoy our first glasses of the previous year’s mead as we work.

It is a fun (and romantic) tradition that gives us a chance to celebrate the past year and simultaneously look forward to our adventures to come in the next year. Our First Anniversary Mead was the standard first-time-mead-maker situation.

We used Orange Blossom honey, but not as much as we probably should have. We fermented with Champagne yeast, which dried the mead out way too much. The result was a bone dry, thin, mead that is drinkable but sort of lifeless and dull. Luckily, when we drink it, we get to think of all the great things that we have done together, especially those that happened around the times that we were making and tending to the mead.

For our Second Anniversary Mead we made a strawberry melomel which I will post tasting notes on soon. Learning from experience and a little bit of research, I had the idea to go back to our original recipe and just try to do it right this time. That meant three main changes.

First of all, we used a lot more honey, a total of seventeen pounds in a five gallon batch. Second, we switched from Champagne yeast to Lavalin ICV D-47. This yeast is used mainly for white and blush wines in addition to mead and will leave a bit more body and sweetness, especially with so much honey. Finally, we used staggered nutrient additions. We added three teaspoons of each, Yeast Nutrient and Yeast Energizer when we mixed up the mead, then an additional teaspoon of each every day for three days. We stirred and degassed the mead each time we added the nutrients.

IMG_5575
I did some half-hearted internet research to prepare for making this batch. To be honest, I had trouble getting into the research because I don’t have much experience drinking mead. I want to learn to make great mead, but I don’t even have much of an idea of what my perfect mead would be. I tried to get Amy’s ideas but she had similar problems expressing what she was even looking for.

This podcast from Beersmith with Michael Fairbrother from Moonlight Meadery is what helped me finally grasp enough of what would be necessary to hopefully produce at least a good mead. It was easier to swallow the information by listening to a conversation than trying to read in depth articles. It also helped that Fairbrother specifically mentioned Dutch Gold, headquartered in Lancaster, PA, as a good source of honey. We’ve been getting our honey directly from their factory store since our first batch.

Amy & Mitch’s Third Anniversary Mead is still sitting in the bucket, untouched since the last nutrient addition. I plan to check the gravity in another couple weeks and determine if it is ready to rack. If so, we will rack it into a carboy and give it another couple months. Depending on how it clears, we will either rack it again if there is lees, or just take it down to the cold basement to condition until we’re ready to bottle. Hopefully, this year we will get around to bottling it earlier and then let it sit in the bottle for a while before finally opening one on December 30 while we mix up our Fourth Anniversary Mead and plotting the course for another year of adventures.
IMG_5571

Amy & Mitch’s Third Anniversary Mead
Style: Semi-Sweet Mead
Batch Size: 5.00 Gal
Brew Date: 12/30/2014
OG: 1.122
Expected FG: 1.020
Approximate ABV: 13.3 %

17 lb. Orange Blossom Honey
2 packets of rehydrated Lavalin ICV D-47
Staggered additions of Yeast Nutrient and Yeast Energizer

Green Painted Gold Brettanomyces Fermented Saison Brew Day

For my second Brett beer, I decided to make a saison. Mainly because saison is just about the widest beer style there is and I wanted to play around with a lot of different ideas here. I wanted something pale in color, slightly acidic with citrus notes and a nice hoppy character on top of spicy, smokey, barnyard-y Brett. I’m sure you can find a beer that fits that description and is marketed as a saison.

I do want to make some true sour beer soon, but this time I wanted to cheat for a few reasons. First of all, I’m just impatient. Second, I put this beer on the cake from my first Brett beer and I plan to continue to utilizing this yeast for at least a couple more batches. So to get some acidity, I made close to 15% of the grist Acidulated Malt.
IMG_5492
Acidulated Malt, or Acid Malt, originated in Germany as a way to adjust mash pH without breaking the Reinheitsgrebot. The malt is made with lactic acid. Because the acid comes as part of the malt, it doesn’t interfere with the famous German purity law.

For it’s original purpose, only a couple percent of the grist should be Acid Malt. Much later, someone came to the realization that using a larger portion of the specialty malt could lower the pH of the wort enough to imitate a sour fermentation. This still isn’t a very common practice as far as I can tell. I had trouble finding very solid information about how much to use and how much it would change the finished beer’s character. Ten percent seemed to be a common idea to get some noticeable acidity so I decided to push it a bit further to fifteen. By the time I finalized the recipe, it ended up being slightly lower than that, but I hope it will give a nice tang.

The rest of the grist is fairly straight forward, even if it is pretty varied. There are no other “specialty” malts, technically, but to fit with the tradition of farmhouse brewers who originated this broad style, I included several grains. The base malt is German Pilsner, accounting for fifty five percent of the grist. Rye Malt makes up twenty percent. There is a small amount of Flaked Wheat and the fermentables are rounded out with a pound of sugar.

The farmers who brewed the original saisons used any ingredients they had. Being farmers, they often had multiple grains, thus the rye and wheat. Those grains were in different conditions, malted and raw, thus the flaked wheat. The sugar will help further dry the beer out (though the Brett will do a pretty good job of that anyway). Yes, the rye will bring a little bit of spiciness to blend with the Brett’s fermentation character and the wheat will also help head retention and mouthfeel, but I really wanted to just add different things without putting too much emphasis on ratios and specific contributions of each. This beer is mostly about fermentation character and the variety of grains is there to add to the complexity, hopefully without getting in the way.

Despite all that, this isn’t necessarily a very traditional saison. Those beers were meant to be refreshing for the workers on the farm so the alcohol content was very low (the crude equipment and limited understanding of the brewing process could have also added to this). It has become normal now for saisons to be much stronger than their ancestors. This one should be somewhere close to 7% ABV, which is pretty standard now, but much higher than historical versions.

Also, while it is true that saisons were the hoppiest of the traditional Belgian styles, they were not this hoppy. They would have likely been hopped with traditional German and Czech Noble hops. I used two new hop varieties, but picked them due to their relation to the traditional hops. Saphir is a (relatively) new German hop variety.

I don’t know much about it and I’ve never used it but from what I understand, it has some of that traditional spicy Noble hop character along with a unique tangerine like citrus character. That sounds pretty interesting and seems like it could work well with the Brett. It is also German, so it has ties to the traditional hops used in saisons.

Motueka is a new variety that I have heard a lot about and I believe I’ve had a couple beers that featured it, but I’ve never used it myself. The variety originated in New Zealand, but it was bred from Saaz hops, so again, it has ties to more traditional saison hops. They have been described as having a blend of citrus (sometimes said to be lime-like) and floral aromas.

Between the tangerine, lime and my inclusion of lemon zest towards the end of the boil, I’m hoping for a lively, citrusy beer. One of my goals here was to combine a bunch of citrusy characters while shying away from the bitter grapefruit and rind character that has become synonymous with a lot of hoppy beers. I guess I haven’t otherwise mentioned the lemon zest up to this point.

Spices were also common in the early farmhouse saisons. I originally toyed with including some coriander or peppercorns, but ultimately decided against it. I added the lemon zest instead. I zested one lemon early in the boil and added the result with fifteen minutes left.

I hope that despite the long fermentation, a good amount of hop character persists in the finished beer. If not, I may decide to dry hop. For now, I play the waiting game and try to keep the carboy warm in this cold weather to help the Brett do its thing.

I didn’t have a name picked yet on brew day. When I got the wort into the fermenter, I was surprised to see that it had a bit of a green tint. I guess I didn’t filter out the hop residue as well as I could have? Or could it have been from all the Acid Malt? Was it the light or was I just overly tired from a long day? Anyway, it doesn’t look so green now, but that got me at least a direction for the name.

It is hoppy, so green make sense, anyway. Hopefully it will ultimately be pale and yellow or golden. It includes lemon zest. This line of thought brought me to thinking about an album by one of my favorite artists, Atmosphere. Their 2008 release, “When Life Gives You Lemons, You Paint That Shit Gold” is one of my favorites. Anyway, Green Painted Gold was the result this search for a name.

I wrote the rest of this post in fits and spurts over the last few weeks, but only hours before posting this, I took my first sample of this beer. It was fantastic. I am so excited. It has been less than three weeks since brew day and I plan to give the beer a couple months before bottling, but it already has more Brett character than my first batch of Brett beer. The citrus notes come through even more, though. Lemon is the biggest character, but lime is close behind and the beer is noticeably tart from the Acid Malt. I think I have a winner here.

Now back to the waiting game.

IMG_0028
Green Painted Gold
Style: Saison
IBU’s: 34
Batch Size: 5.00 Gal
Boil Time: 90 minutes
Brew Date: 12/27/2014
OG: 1.060
FG: 1.008
ABV: 6.8 %

Grains & Adjuncts
Amount Percentage Name
8.00 lbs 55.17 % Pilsner (2 Row) Ger
3.00 lbs 20.69 % Rye Malt
2.00 lbs 13.79 % Acid Malt
0.50 lbs 3.45 % Wheat, Flaked
1.00 lbs 6.90 % Sugar, Table (Sucrose)

Hops
Amount IBU’s Name Time AA %
1.00 ozs 21.63 Motueka First Wort 6.50
0.50 ozs 6.19 Motueka 15 mins 6.50
1.00 ozs 3.98 Saphir 10 mins 3.30
1.00 ozs 0.00 Saphir 0 mins 3.30
0.50 ozs 0.00 Motueka 0 mins 6.50

Yeasts
Amount Name Laboratory / ID
1.0 pkg Brettanomyces Lambicus Wyeast Labs 5526

Additions
Zest of 1Lemon 15 mins

Status Update

IMG_5704
Hello everybody, if you’re still there. Sorry, I’m a bit behind. I have a few posts in the works, but as I feared when I ended my daily posting routine, I’m having a bit of trouble committing to finishing them. I have too many ideas and not enough attention to follow through. That is going to change, though.

I have two more batches from 2014 to post about as well as one from January second of this year. After that, I have a 2014 wrap up/look back post and after that I will finally get into the new stuff I’ve been planning since I started my blogging break.

The first of those brew day posts will be up tomorrow. Hopefully I can get the rest of that stuff up over the next week or so and launch into the new direction before the end of the month.

My point is, stay tuned. I’m very excited about where I’m going and I can’t wait to dive in.