Friday, July 20, 2012

SMaSH Saison

I recently saw a video cast of  Drew Beechum speaking at this year's NHC about simplifying the brewing process "Brewing on the Ones" .  In the video he speaks about SMaSH beers, which are Single Malt and Single Hop Beers, this got me thinking. I had bunch of 2-Row on hand and I just got some new varieties of hops that I wanted to try out (Motueka, Riwaka and HBC324 Experimental). I also recently stocked up on some new yeast strains and some that I wanted to use again. I wanted to make a saison using White Labs new Saison III strain, a strain I first tried at Drew Beechum's Saison for Every Season lecture at last years NHC. I was one of the people who emailed White Labs about releasing this strain, at last years NHC is was still an experimental and unreleased strain. I wanted to keep the beer simple so I could see how the Motueka hops and the Saison III strain would act. This strain is spicy and fruity like a traditional saison strain, but it also has this wonderful tartness that makes it  even more refreshing.  I also wanted to keep the beer lower in alcohol. The recipe wasn't a true SMaSH beer because I did us some flaked oats to add a slight amount of body and mouthfeel since I was only using 2-Row. I also boiled the first runnings for about 10 minutes to try and get some extra color and taste since 2-Row and Oats were the only malts.

Recipe: US 2-Row, Flaked Oats, Motueka Hops @60, @30 and @0. WLP Saison III (Platinum Strain).

Thursday, July 5, 2012

California Steamin'

In my opinion Steam Beer aka California Common beer is the quintessential beer for seafood. It is hardy enough for a cool day, yet still refreshing enough for a warm day. It pairs well with all types of food and is a truly California native. Anchor Steam was one of the first real craft beers that I ever drank and it holds a special place in my heart. I brewed a batch as my second beer back when I was still making extract beer. It was okay but didn't really live up to the original. I wanted to give this beer another shot. I didn't have the correct hops on hand and since it isn't a hop forward beer, I figured it is okay. I substituted the Norther Brewer with a blend of Falconers Flight, Fuggles and Challenger. My thinking is that Falconers flight is similar to Chinook, and Chinook can be a substitute for Northern Brewer. Challenger can also sub for NB and the fuggles were to give that more traditional hop flavor. I'm also using a blend of White Labs San Francisco Lager Yeast, and SafLager S-23. My thinking is I would have enough strong yeast S-23 to ferment at lower temps and I would still get the characteristics from the San Fran yeast.

Ingredients: US 2-Row, 80L, 60L, Victory, Carapils. Falconers, Challenger and Fuggle @60min. Falconers, Challenger and Fuggle @30. WLP 810 San Francisco Lager and SafLager S-23.