Not IPA-series: No. 1 – Sour mash wild proprietary saison

I’ve gotten pretty good at drinking sour beers. Lately I’ve been slacking though. After my trip to Belgium my respect and interest for the gueuze, lambic, framboise and kriek was very intense. But due to the prices and availability in Sweden (compared to Belgium at least) my mouth haven’t been moisten by the tart drink.
One of my spring projects will satisfy this thirst. Since lambic takes a long time to mature I will go another route to get my beer tart and sour.

This is the first post of what I will call Not IPA-series.

I will perform a sour mash and then pitch a sacch.-yeast to ferment it out. To get some more traditional Belgian feel to it all I will let the wort cool outside under the open sky to introduce some of the local bugs.

Step by step:

1.The first step of the mash will be a regular one hour mash in the lower temps to ensure a highly fermentable wort. The grist will consist  (yep!) of mostly pilsner malt with addition of some wheat, malted or unmalted – haven’t decided yet. This is recognized as a lambic malt bill.

2. The souring part of the mash will start after the hour long mash rest is finished and cooled down to a more suitable temperature for the lactobacteria. Unlike yeast the lacto. thrive in higher temperatures up to 50°c. I will use an aquarium heater to hold the temperature at 40°c for 48 hours.
2.1 Adding the bacteria is very simple and consist only of adding unmashed grains to the 40° mash. The grains have lactic bacteria on them and a handful will be sufficent to start the fermentation.
2.2 To acquire the right flavors the environment has to be anaerobic which means that there’s no oxygen in contact with the lacto. The lactic bacteria I’m interested in is the L. Delbcruckii which makes lactic acid (what we want) when working without oxygen. How to create this environment is pretty simple using one of two methods. The first involves only plastic wrap and the second plastic wrap and Co2.
Plastic wrap: Place the plastic wrap firmly on the grain bed and press out any occurring air bubbles.
Co2 and Plastic wrap: Fill the mash kettle (or your vessel of choice) with Co2 and then wrap the plastic around the edges and fixate.

3. Wait 48 to 72 hours. Keep the temperature steady and the environment oxygen free!

4. After your wait is done smell your mash and use this as a referece:

5. Separate your wort form the grains and continue your brew day as usual.

To end things off this time, here’s a picture from Moeder Lambic in Brussels (their smaller location): wpid-IMG_20130627_215625.jpg



Yeast propaganda

A couple weeks ago at a competition in Uppsala (Belgoträffen ’13) I bought a jar/slant of yeast from the head brewer at Slottskällans bryggeri. He was selling a couple of different strains from his own yeast collection. Here’s a link to his company:

I bought a strained named Trappist O which is supposed to be the Orval yeast strain.



Trappist O


I made a starter following the instructions on his website (I ended up with a little bit less wort) and now I’m waiting for some action.

Liten förkulturPhoto taken directly after pitch and shake… (the stuff you see in the small jar is the agar that the yeast grew on).

A couple hours later there was not a lot of activity. But hey, that small amount of yeast may not show a lot of bang.


My plans for this yeast is to pitch it into 5 kg pilsner malt, 200 gr sugar, 25 ibus of fuggles. Or something like that!



Brewing Double IPA tomorrow (SMaSH 1.1)

The swedish national homebrew competition is coming up (info) and we are brewing an SMaSH galaxy tomorrow that we are going to enter with. This is our second batch of the galaxy IPA, the first you can see in earlier posts, and will be a double IPA instead of a regular. We felt that the single hop and single grain didn’t make us gush as an IPA should so we’re bumping it up to a, hopefully, 1.080ish gravity and upping the IBU’s to their hundreds.

7 kg of Weyermann Pale Malt

250 gr of Galaxy hops (pellets) @ 60, 20, 10, flameout and dryhop.

Pitching 1272 american ale II.

I’ll post the full recipe during the brewday tomorrow. Until then, pz out. have a nice weekend.


This year for the nationals beer naked brewery will prepare a single malt and single hop ipa for folkets val (people’s choice). We wanted to go for simcoe since I’ve been using it a lot recently and just got a feeling of how it plays. But since the American hops haven’t arrived yet. I had to change the recipe. So I’m going with the galaxy hop from New Zealand after a guy at the home brew store recommended it.

I was hoping to call the beer ’simcoe smash ipa’ cause i liked the ring to it. But hey, galaxy hops makes for a good big bang theme.

I haven’t figured out what the hopping additions will look like but I think
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Every stingy farmhouse police you smell

The time has come for my first brettanomyces beer.

I have long loved the taste of sour beers and the science behind them. I’m not saying that I know a lot about it but then again, I have never brewed one. Brewing with different strains of yeast, hops, grains etc. teaches you how to work with them. I bet the same goes with sour beers, reading books will take you a long way, give you a good theoretical background and solve questions but without the practical experience you won’t be able to make a great beer and probably not ask the right questions.

So I have decided to try some brett for the first time, just to see how it develops and acts in my brewing environment.

For this brew I’ve decided to try the White Labs American Farmhouse blend (wlp670) for a light and strong saison since Roger, a friend and employee of my LHBS, recommended this yeast. The reason why I’m not making a lambic or kriek (both styles a love) is because saison is a style that I’ve brewed many times and feel safe brewing. Less to go wrong with the brew process and recipe formulation may give me some more room in the fermentation stage.

This brew will also work as a small review of the wlp670 hence the review category.

From the reviews on the white labs website the wlp670 doesn’t seem to require as much heat as the Belgian and French saison yeast from wyeast. For the Belgian Saison strain I had to ramp the temperature up to well over 25 degrees c (77f). I will start the primary fermentation at 20 degrees c and then let it rise after 2-3 days. Depending on the attenuation after the first 4-5 days I will start ramping the temp up to around 25 degrees c. But just to get the most of the sugars fermented I want to leave some for the brett to take care of.

That’s about it for now. My thoughts have been ventilated and I can return to my studying and snuggling. Just a few more things…

  • Here’s a picture of my starter.


  • The name of this brew will be – Every Brett You Taste.
  • My grain bill and mash schedule will be something like this:
Recipe Specifications
Boil Size: 24.88 l
Post Boil Volume: 20.71 l
Batch Size (fermenter): 18.90 l   
Bottling Volume: 17.90 l
Estimated OG: 1.066 SG
Estimated Color: 12.2 EBC
Estimated IBU: 22.2 IBUs
Brewhouse Efficiency: 72.00 %
Est Mash Efficiency: 77.9 %
Boil Time: 90 Minutes

Amt                   Name                                     Type          #        %/IBU         
21.00 l               Larmvägen 28 Normalbittra, ljusa öl.     Water         1        -             
2.50 kg               Pilsner (Weyermann) (3.3 EBC)            Grain         2        47.2 %        
2.00 kg               Munich I (Weyermann) (14.0 EBC)          Grain         3        37.7 %        
0.50 kg               Wheat Malt, Pale (Weyermann) (3.9 EBC)   Grain         4        9.4 %         
0.30 kg               Cane (Beet) Sugar (0.0 EBC)              Sugar         5        5.7 %         
10.00 g               Magnum [14.00 %] - Boil 60.0 min         Hop           6        22.2 IBUs     
1.11 tsp              Yeast Nutrient (Boil 15.0 mins)          Other         7        -             
0.28 tsp              Irish Moss (Boil 10.0 mins)              Fining        8        -             
1.0 pkg               American Farmhouse Blend (White Labs #WL Yeast         9        -             

Mash Schedule: Braumeister - Saison
Total Grain Weight: 5.30 kg
Name                  Description                             Step Temperat Step Time     
Beta gluc.            Heat to 40.0 C over 4 min               40.0 C        20 min        
Alpha amylase         Heat to 64.0 C over 4 min               64.0 C        60 min