Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Farmer In the Rye Brew Day!

I've been a long time reader of Ed Coffey's blog, Ales of the Riverwards.  We often talk on FB of brewing as well as other topics like bread making and even the Tottenham Hotspurs.  One of the posts he made back in 2014 was about his Saison, Farmer In the Rye.  I loved the name and I also loved the look of the recipe.  You can check out his posts on the brew here and here.  The first of those advanced to the second round of NHC in 2013.  Amos Browne from Browne and Bitter also won gold in two local Chicago competitions with the recipe.  His notes can be found here.  So it definitely seems like it would be a great recipe!  I've decided to try my hand at it.  I'll more than likely brew it a couple times close to each other so that I can have a batch clean and use a batch to Coupage with my older mature beer.

Although the recipe is listed on Ed's blog, I'll give a run down of what I'm brewing here.

Recipe:  Farmer In the Rye
Brewer:  Gus - Coffey Recipe
Batch:  8
Date:  2/7/16

Batch Size:  6.00 gal
Boil Size:  9.25 gal
Post Boil Volume:  6.63 gal
Estimated OG:  1.052
Estimated Color:  3.4 SRM
Estimated IBU:  30.8 IBUs
Brewhouse Efficiency:  70.00%
Est Mash Efficiency:  74.8 %
Boil Time:  75 Minutes

75.5%  Pilsen Malt 2-Row (Briess)
15.5%  Rye Malt (Briess)
3.8%  Dark Munich (BestMalz)
5.7%  Table Sugar  -  Added in last 5 minutes of boil

19.7 IBUs of Magnum (or whatever I have on hand now) @ 75 min
7.3 IBUs of EKG @ 30 min
1.9 IBUs of Saaz @ 5 min
1.9 IBUs of EKG @ 5 min

Wyeast 3726 Farmhouse Ale

(I'm going to start posting recipes like this so that that will be easier to scale to whatever size that anyone would like to brew them.  Showing the percentages will make it easier than whatever amount I use.)

I'm using his recipe that Ed fermented with The Yeast Bay's Wallonian Farmhouse strain and using my favorite strain, Wyeast 3726 Farmhouse Ale.  I don't have a fresh vial of Wallonian handy but I always have 3726 around.  I may order some Wallonian to try again in some other projects.

Here is the description of 3726 from Wyeast:

3726-PC Farmhouse Ale 
Beer Styles: Saison, Biere de Garde, Belgian Blonde Ale, Belgian Pale Ale, Belgian Golden Strong Ale
Profile: This strain produces complex esters balanced with earthy/spicy notes. Slightly tart and dry with a peppery finish. A perfect strain for farmhouse ales and saisons.
Alcohol Tolerance 12% ABV
Flocculation   medium
Attenuation    74-79%
Temp. Range 70-84°F (21-29°C)

I loved Ed's recipe because it really goes along the lines of what I like in a Saison recipe, simplicity.  There is the Rye character malt and a bit of Munich but it really is left simple and there for the yeast to shine and the hops to balance it all out.

Went a little finer with the mill and my efficiency was much better!

I mashed in and hit 148F right on the money.  You'll notice in Ed's post he has 90 minutes listed as the mash time.  After talking with him, he did say that he mashes for 60 minutes.  I ended up somewhere around 75 minutes and a pre-boil gravity of 1.038.  The longer mash probably wouldn't do much but the main reason I went longer was that I had this happen.....

This actually started a bit earlier in the day.  But the water department took a
a couple hours to get there.  What started as a trickle became a river in my
side yard.  

The day before brewing the water company had been out there because one of my neighbors noticed a small leak.  Well throughout the brew day, it became the rushing river you see above.  I knew that the water would be shut off so I tried to get through the brew day as fast as possible.  I collected the wort in the kettle and set off on the boil.

got to love stainless shots!

Hop additions at the ready!

But, of course, the water was shut off just as I finished up the 75 min boil.  With no water to run through my plate chiller, I had no way of cooling the beer.  I recirculated for 20-30 minutes to get the wort as cool as I could and then pumped it into the FastFerment.

I've never done "no chill" brewing but when you don't have another option, experimentation can be used.  I made sure my fermenter was very sanitized and I sealed the lid as soon as I had it filled.  The next morning the temperature was around 78F.  I then pitched the starter of 3726 I had decanted over night.  Hopefully, my process was very sanitary and the healthy pitch of yeast should get to work quickly on the wort.  You can read further on no chill brewing here and here.  It's definitely a successful option for those who can't chill their beer or if you have a problem like I did on this brew day.

My starting gravity was a little lower than the target at 1.050.  I believe I was a little short as I had more left in the kettle after the boil than my target post boil volume.  I'm still dialing in my system so I'll get the kinks worked out.  I have been adjusting the boil intensity lately and I may not have boiled as rigorous as I should have.  I'm not overly concerned as I'll still have more beer to drink!

Sometimes uncontrollable events take place that will throw a wrench in your process.  You just have to trudge through it.  Dumping the batch wasn't what I wanted to do.   I thought about leaving it open overnight to experiment with some spontaneous microbes but the temperature was a little too high (mid to high 50s) and I didn't want to chance that.

Aside from the water line bursting, it was a very easy brew day.  I really like this recipe and hopefully my brew will turn out well.  I already have plans to brew this again.  Maybe I'll give the Wallonian strain a shot at it or go with some 565 to see if there is any variance.  I'll have updates posted below and tasting notes here when I get to them!


2-8-16:  By 5:30PM full krausen was formed and it was bubbling away around 68F.  I moved my small ceramic heater to get ready to increase the temperature to 75-78F where I like 3726 to move to when fermentation is well under way.

I kept the lid cracked for first couple days.  Psuedo-open fermentation.

2-9-16:  Turned on the heater as it was sitting at 72F that morning.  By 5PM the temp was sitting at 76F.

2-10-16:  Temp sitting at 78-80F and fermenting very strong.  Smells amazing!

2-11-16:  Temp sitting at 82F and the action is slowing a bit.  By Friday or Saturday of this week I'm sure fermentation will be completed.

2-20-16:  No visible activity.  Yeast has all but fallen out of suspension.  Will take gravity sample and determine if ready for bottles.

Tasting notes can be found here!


Andrew "Gus" Addkison
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1 comment:

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