Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Tasting Notes for Rye Saison with Pekko Hops

Here we are!  Tasting notes for a beer I was really excited about brewing.  Using hops from one of my favorite local brews and using a yeast I hadn't used in a very long time.  I wanted to do something simple but not boring.  These new age hops can really shine if you showcase them but I didn't want to overpower the other characteristics of the beer.  I wanted to see what the yeast would give me as well as still get some of the malt flavors and aromas I love.  Let's see how I did.

Brew day post can be found here.

Pekko Rye

View of the cul-de-sac where my beers are made.

Drinking on 8-25-16

ABV: 6.04%
SG:  1.049 or 12.15°P
FG:  1.003 or 0.77°P
Apparent Attenuation:  94%
Actual Attenuation:  77%

Appearance:  Yellow golden in color with a great white creamy looking head.  Rye really does great things for foam in beer.  Slight chill haze out of the keg but it clears up over time.  The head does eventually give way to a patch of frothy bubbles and carbonation steadily streams up the glass.  It's a beautifully beer really deserving of a stemmed glass for sure.

Aroma:  Herbal and pepper character is up front.  Then a very light citrus and pear note come in. The mint quality is definitely there that I've gotten with this hop before.  It isn't something huge about it but it's very nice to pick up.  The yeast offers up some nice white pepper and even a light woody tone.  Maybe something like cedar or something in the fir family.  It's hard to put a finger on.  A nice graininess is there too.  Very pleasant aroma for a nice Summer beer.

Flavor:  Definitely classic Saison notes.  Less fruit than other yeast strains I've used but there is a slight fruit quality from the hops.  Slight citrus but not overly so.  More of the herbal and pepper qualities I really enjoy.  These are some great hops for sure.  One of the newer hop varietals that screams Saison IMO.  The beer finishes really dry but has just a very light sweetness that gives it character.  If someone else were to drink this I don't know if they would pick up the sweetness because it is so dry.   I really think it's the grain flavor from the Pilsner and rye malts more than it is actual sweetness.

Mouthfeel:  Medium mouthfeel for such a dry beer due to the carbonation levels.  I still want it to be a little bit higher in carbonation but I am working on changing some things in my keezer to accomidate higher carbonation levels.  Finishes really nice and dry and is supremely drinkable for sure.  

Overall:  The first time I had this hop, I loved it.  It screamed Saison and I had to brew with it.  Luckily I found a place I could get some and I'm really glad I did.  I think I will be using this in some other brews but I'm definitely re-brewing this same beer with a few tweaks to this recipe.  I do want to add a bit more bitterness and maybe even a strain of brett.  I think Brett C or Drei would work wonderfully with this hop.  But, I'm glad I brewed a clean Saison with it first.  I often overlook brewing clean beers for my love of funky/tart beers.

I really enjoyed the flavors and aromas the Barke Pilsner brought too.  More grain characteristic than I've had in a lot of my beers and I like that.  I'll be using it on a lot of beers coming up.

I am also really impressed with this yeast strain.  I think 566 often gets overlooked due to it's cousins in 565 and 3724.  It's definitely let fruity and has great pepper and even a woody tone.  I'm anxious to brew more beers with this one.  I'll be using it in a beer I'm working on to be a tribute to Saison de Pipaix.  I've been talking with Dave Janssen of Hors Catégorie Brewing about designing this one so be on the look out for that.

Good things!

Andrew "Gus" Addkison
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