Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Rye Saison with Pekko Hops

New world hops have brought many things to brewing.  Whether it's creating American Pale Ales and IPAs, dry hopped sours, or the new "it" beer, the Northeast IPA, there are so many new flavors coming to us from recent hop varieties.  Something I've really enjoyed is using these new hops in Saison brewing.  With Kathleen I've always used Amarillo hops because that's one of my favorites.  It's definitely not a traditional hop for Saison but it's my spin on brewing them.  I've also had great success with Australian or NZ varietals like Nelson Sauvin or Galaxy.  Hallertau Blanc from Germany has also become a staple as a dry hop for me.  I really love all the additions all of those lend to Saison.

Some time ago a local brewery, Lucky Town Brewery, put out a Saison for a Jackson Zoo benefit called Saison de Zoo.  In that beer the head brewer, Lucas Simmons, used a relatively new at the time hop called Pekko.  It was a phenomenal Saison and one of the best I've had brewed locally from any of the MS breweries.  It had awesome herbal qualities and young had a fantastic mint quality.  As the beer aged (I drank it everywhere it was on tap for as long as I could) it began to open up.  The mint faded but there was a really great citrus and earthy quality after that.  I knew I wanted to use them in a beer and Lucas was kind enough to give me a couple ounces to work with.

Here's the recipe:

Recipe:  Rye Saison
Brewer:  Gus
Batch:  16
Date:  7-31-16

Batch Size:  6.5 gal
Boil Size:  8.63 gal
Post Boil Volume:  6.76 gal  
Estimated OG:  1.053
Actual OG:  1.049 (I believe the flaked rye was pretty old and didn't help efficiency at all)
Estimated Color:  4.1 SRM
Estimated IBU:  31 IBUs
Brewhouse Efficiency:  74.60% (around 68.2% for this brew)
Est Mash Efficiency:  74.60%
Boil Time:  75 Minutes

72% Barke Pilsner Malt (Weyermann)
20% Flaked Rye (Briess)  
4% Malted Oats (Thomas Fawcett)
4% Table Sugar (added @ 5 min)

12.0 IBUs of Crystal (3.8% AA) @ 60 min
10.3 IBUs of Pekko (15.4% AA) @ 5 min 
8.5 IBUs 15 min Whirlpool with Pekko (15.4% AA)

White Labs WLP566 Belgian Saison II

Mash Schedule:
Temperature mash of 149F for 75 min with a 10 minute mashout at 168F

Getting the hops and sugar weighed out. Was actually 5 min addition not 15.

I really wanted to use this hop with some rye.  I thought the two would work well together and came up with the above recipe rather quickly.  I intended to use rye malt but I discovered on brew day that my bag had become infested with some weevils.  Always store your grain in proper containers folks.  A brown paper bag is not proper.  I luckily had some flaked rye to use for this brew but next time I buy some rye malt I'll be storing it in an airtight container.  The flaked rye was pretty old so I'm thinking that was one thing that gave me the hit in efficiency.

Had to audible to flaked rye do to some invasive weevils in the malted.

 I added the milled Pilsner and malted oats in the mash tun and spread the flaked rye over the top.  Then I underlet the mash and held a temp of 148-149F over 75 minutes.  I then mashed out at 168F for 10 min and started collecting my first runnings.  I sparged with 170F degree water to get a boil volume of 8.75 gallons.  This probably hit my efficiency a little as well since the target boil volume is 8.63 gallons but I'm happy with where the gravity ended up with this one at 1.049.

Fly sparging.

The Pekko hops really have an awesome aroma in the bag.  Herbal, mint, orange juice is what I'd use to describe it.  I used a late addition of 30g at 5 minutes with the table sugar and then added another 20g at flameout for a 15 minute whirlpool.  After that I ran the wort through the wort chiller and cooled to 66F.  I pitched my starter of White Labs WLP566 Belgian Saison II and left at room temp (around 71F) for fermentation to begin.

Rolling but controlled boil.

I'm using WLP566 for this beer after not having used this yeast for a long time.  I'm not sure why I never used it again because if I remember correctly, I really enjoyed the beer I made with it.  The last time I used it was a simple Saison with 90% Belgian pale malt and 10% wheat malt with Styrian Goldings and EKG hops.  So I thought I'd give it another go and keep the culture around for a few other projects.  This one will most likely be kegged with maybe a few bottles to see how it develops over time.

Room temperature fermentation.  Averaging 72-74F mostly.


7-31-16:  By 6PM fermentation was underway.  Steady activity of off gassing through the airlock.

8-9-16:  Gravity at 1.003 and the beer was already pretty clear.  Kegged it up and set it in the keezer to carbonate.  Sample had lots of herbal qualities and I really dug it. 

Tasting notes here!

Good things!

Andrew "Gus" Addkison
@aaddkison on Twitter
on UnTappd:
on Instagram:


  1. Hi,
    Please could you tell me how you calculate the IBU for the whirlpool hopping?
    Thank you so much for this fantastic blog!

    1. Hi!

      Thanks for reading! I used BeerSmith to calculate the IBUs for whirlpool. I'm not positive of what formula they use to calculate it but I've always used it.


  2. Crown Casino Sydney Hotel - LegalBet betway login betway login カジノ シークレット カジノ シークレット 223Roulette Table Betting Layout: Play the Best Roulette Table