Split batch with new hop variety and seasonal yeast

Along the lines with my pilsner cravings I’ve also turned to the Belgian response to the pilsner as the the thrill seeker I am. I’m talking about Golden Strong Ale, the famous belgian Duvel. From what I’ve heard the Duvel was a darker beer in the beginning but in an attempt to compete with the lager styles the brewers decided to make the Duvel into a light fizzy brew. This apparently worked pretty well since Duvel is often one of the few brews one find in less assorted bars and restaurants. It’s also one of the beers you’ll always find if you walk into a 7 eleven in Brussels.

Enough history, now for brew plans.

This post will be divided into two parts, the first part is about some new interesting ingredients. The second part is about the brew day. Click here to get directly to the second part.

Last weekend me and my dad placed second in the peoples choice awards in the low ABV-category during the national home brew competition (in Sweden). Except for the medal and a diploma we returned home with a box of goodies. It contained a lot of stuff but most interesting was a bag of hops I’ve never heard of neither had the Internet. Also there was a vial of WLP590, a seasonal saison yeast.

After some correspondence with the kind people at humlegården I got some info about the hop. This is what they said (It’s in Swedish, scroll down for English summary)

Hej hopp alla glada SM-vinnare (c;

Fusion är en helt ny humlesort från England.

Charles Faram, CF, har i ett flertal år bedrivit en utvecklingsverksamhet ihop med Wye College med målet att ta fram helt nya humlesorter i tidens anda, dvs med bredare smakpalett och mer frukt osv

Förutom att korsa olika sorter för att få fram nya spännande smaker så tittar man oxå över tidigare ratade humlesorter i och med att men genom åren fått fram ett antal sorter som man ratat pga av deras överdrivna inslag av citrus och tropisk frukt… (c; Det var ju inte direkt sådan humle man letade efter på 70-talet då fokus istället låg på att hitta sjukdomsresistenta sorter som fortfarande gav de för England typiska kryddiga smakerna.

Hursomhelst, Fusion är såldes en humle som kommit fram via CF´s experimentodlingsprogram och därför ännu bara odlats i ganska liten omfattning hos ett begränsat antal odlare. Jag har tyvärr inte haft chansen att testa den själv men vad jag hört så skall Fusion ge arom och smak av citrus med kryddiga inslag.

Tidigare i år fick vi in 2 andra sorter från CF´s experimentprogram: Archer och Jester.

Archer ger klassiskt brittisk kryddighet / blommig humlearom men med inslag av lime, aprikos och persika.
Jester är kraftfull och ger tydlig arom av grapefrukt och tropisk frukt med inslag av svartavinbär och lycheefrukt.
Fusion skall ligga mellan Archer och Jester.


Humletrollet Peter

The Fusion hop is a new English variety from Charles Faram experiment program. It’s described as citrusy and spicy. It’s the Sting of hops (Englishman in N.Y.). It’s not grown in big quantities so I don’t know if it’s possible to get anywhere at the moment.

I haven’t found too much information on the WLP590 except for what’s on white labs website. It may be their response to 3711 French Saison since they share the same name but I’m not entirely sure. The 3711 attenuate higher according to the numbers and that points to WLP590 to be a separate strain.

Here’s a link to the yeast profile on white labs page.

Second part of post begins here!

Tomorrow I’ll be brewing a split batch on the new 50 L system with my dad. We’re aiming at Duvel clone with some modifications to showcase the new hops.

The Duvel is a simple beer that is hard to clone, here’s why:

1. It’s a dry beer. It’s super dry, below 1.010 and without killer yeast control full attenuation is hard to get. Solution: sugars, and lots of it!

2. It’s hard to know where to start recipe wise, the internet is full of different takes. Some with fruit additions to get the pear notes characeristic for the beer. The resources I turned to was as always brewing classic styles and the brewing network. Simple recipe, crazy amounts of sugar but most important proven.

3. The high carbonation. Not a problem if you are kegging but it can be scary to bottle ferment a brew to 4 units. Use thick bottles.

The recipe im going with is 80% German pilsner malt (w) and 20% plain sugar (beet). For hops I use herkules or another German hop 30 minutes into the 90 minute boil aiming at 32 IBUs. My modification to the recipe is a hop addition of fusion hop to try it out and showcase some flavor/aroma-properties. Depending on the aroma from the hops i’ll add around 0.4 0.8 grams per liter at 5 minutes flameout. It’s not a lot but I want a subtle hop aroma.

Before pitch I’ll split the batch in two and use wlp590 i one and wyeast belgian strong ale in the other one. That will give me a hopped up Duvel clone and a super dry saison. I’ll start at 18°c as instructed and after 20% attenuation I’ll let it rise to room temperature.

More updates tomorrow! Mash in at 9.

Disclaimer: typing on smart phone, spelling will suffer.

German Pils

For the last couple of months my go to beer has been Augsburger Herren Pils from a German brewery called Riegele. It’s not a microbrewery in any way I’d say but they do brew a really good pilsner. I’ve been pretty idle when it comes to both writing here but also with homebrewing. School, girlfriend and other interests has consumed my time and left little to no strength to brew. But another reason why I think I’ve been idle is because I’ve found this cheap, great tasting, fresh and light, pilsner that made me yearning for nothing else.

So how do one get back on the horse (the homebrew horse) from being a lager addict? One brew an even better pilsner at home of course!

So me and my dad (aka Big T.) started planning a lager brew session which ended up being, if not better, as good as Augsburger pils. There were some clear differences in clarity (pun intended) but tasting blind it was hard to tell them apart.

Here’s a picture of the Bitberger:Bitberger


With the beer at my dads place I wasn’t able to procure a lot of it to myself. But since then we’ve bought a Braumeister 50L which means we can brew enough for both of us.

Here’s the recipe we’ve been using:

OG: 1.048 Boil: 90 min

Pilsner (Weyermann) 95%
Munich (Weyermann) 5%
Mash @ 65°c for 60 mins + 15 min mashout @ 75°c

Herkules 60 min @ 38 IBU
Tettnanger 5 min @ 2.5g per liter

Fermentis s-23, use as instructed. Fermented at 11°c for 21 days then ramped up to 15°c for 3 days and then lagering at 4°c for about 6 weeks or more.
Update: The initial malt bill turned out great but we wanted to lighten up the beer even more. Therefore we removed the munch malt and added about 3% carapils and used pilsner malt for the rest of the bill.


Due to a crowded fermentation chamber I needed to speed up the fermentation process a bit. Below I’ve made a timeline for the fermentation process:

May 2 – Pitch at 11°c
May 11 – SG: 1.010 ramp up to 15°c
May 14 – Taste and check for off flavors. If clean keg. If not ramp up to room temperature (leaving the fridge free for new brews)
May 16 – Taste, if clean keg and crash to 4°c.
Minimum 4 weeks of cold conditioning.

It’s important to leave the beer on the yeast until all off flavors, such as diacetyl and acetaldehyde, are gone.

Swedish National Homebrew Championship 2015

Celebrating the Swedish Homebrew Association 25th anniversary and competing with homebrew is surely a party you don’t want to miss. I there was pouring a session Irish Red Ale to everyone who wanted to take a brake from all the imperial IPAs and heavy Belgians. Good thing I did, it took me and my dad (as co-brewers) to the stage where we received a silver medal in the low ABV-class.

Here’s some pictures I took during the day:

Kö SM 2015 Kö sm 2015 2 Lilla hallen 2015 Sm 2015 bord Irish red ale Irish red ale med recept Vintage kegerator Humlegården staff Coffee Coffee gear Sol och vårare Irish Ale Bordsgrannne Winners Diploma Daddyo

Hop update no. 2 (One year later)

The last post I made on this excellent but silent blog was about my then newly acquired hop plants. Last summer they grew healthy and sturdy but did not give any yield.

Hopefully this year will be different. I have taken some spring photos and both the EKG (SKG may be a better name), the saaz and nordbrau seem to be healthy!

Here’s some pictures on the little bastards:DSC07256-2 DSC07257-3