Posts Tagged ‘vojvodina’

homegrown saison

Wednesday, September 12th, 2012

with local temps hitting the low 90s, I knew there was only one style I could safely ferment without using a fermentation fridge – saison.

  • although I currently brew a house saison twice a year, that project turned sour quite some time ago, and I was in the mood for a relatively lower gravity beer that showcased local produce from my own backyard (and that I could server to friends who had not yet become accustomed to wild/sour beers).  as a result, I threw together a variation of a classic saison with some sweet orange zest from my backyard valencia orange tree and a homegrown vojvodina hop addition:
    • 18 lbs Pale Malt (2 Row) Bel (3.0 SRM) Grain 1 81.8 %
      1 lbs 8.0 oz Wheat Malt, Bel (2.0 SRM) Grain 2 6.8 %
      1 lbs Munich Malt – 10L (10.0 SRM) Grain 3 4.5 %
      8.0 oz Caramunich Malt (56.0 SRM) Grain 4 2.3 %
      1 lbs Candi Sugar, Clear (0.5 SRM) Sugar 5 4.5 %
      4.00 oz Goldings, East Kent [5.00 %] – Boil 75.0 min Hop 6 29.8 IBUs
      1.80 oz Orange Peel, Sweet (Boil 5.0 mins) Spice 7
      2.00 oz Saaz [4.00 %] – Boil 0.0 min Hop 8 0.0 IBUs
  • I mashed at 147F and added a small orange’s worth of zest at flame out.  I guess the use of valencia oranges is apropos in a summer saison, since as it turns out valencias are the only orange variety in season during the summer.  I should note that a little zest goes a long way here – less than a tablespoon’s worth of zest was enough to create a pleasing but subtle orange aroma in 12 gallons of wort.
  • I also added to the wort 2.75 oz of last year’s homegrown vojvodinas, which are a hybrid of northern brewer, golding, and a wild yugoslavian hop.  the vojvodinas added some depth and variety to the herbal/spicy saaz hops I also added after the boil.  I also added a pinch of fresh ground pepper to the boil after reading about it a while back over at the mad fermentationist.
  • I hit a starting gravity of 1.058 and added a starter of wyeast 3726 pc farmhouse when the wort cooled to 89F.  you read that right – after reading some illuminating articles and forum posts, I decided to pitch at just under 90F to get the most out of this strain.  fermentation was visible overnight and is still chugging along (despite a surprising lack of krausen/blowoff).  after a month I’m planning on kegging and bottling seven gallons and racking the other five into secondary with some brett b for the long haul.




weekend in review 04/09 – 04/11

Monday, April 12th, 2010

after a long week of desk jockeying, the weekend couldn’t come up fast enough.

  • after getting a little more settled in our new spot, AP and I rolled over to naja’s to meet up with AP, PP, and DP.
  • I can’t overemphasize the great atmosphere at naja’s – no pretention and a laid back attitude, right on the water!
  • not to mention great selection – I grabbed  a pour of goose island’s matilda, which was very earthy and refreshing.  AP grabbed her staple – eric’s ale.
  • once everyone showed up, the really good stuff got cracked.  first, we pulled a great bottle of fantome saison for everyone to try.
  • I also ordered up a fantastic saison that (if I remember correctly) was from brasserie d’achouffe (the tap handle was complicated and it was listed as “saison” on the board – I’ll have to get back with the name since it was pretty great).
  • there was also a north/south tasting debate going on (if only in my head) as both carlsbad’s green flash west coast IPA and healdsburg’s bear republic racer 5 were poured.  such a tough call between those two…
  • later during the weekend I tended to my fresh hop plants – in addition to last years’ vojvodina and zeus, I picked up some chinook, cascade, mt hood, and sterling varieties.
  • I got the rhizomes from freshops, and couldn’t be happier – they came fast, had noticeable buds on arrival and sprouted within a week.  however, CB had different results, however, as state agricultural problems and questionable customer service almost ruined his (sizable) order.
  • also, it will be interesting to see the yield of my second-year established plants.  I kept all my hops potted due to limited time, but if the yield is low I might reconsider next year.  fingers crossed…

homebrewed vojvodina pale ale tasting

Wednesday, December 9th, 2009

vojvodina pale pour

at long last, I finally tapped my fresh-hop single-hop vojvodina pale ale (phew!) and AP poured me up a glass.

  • the crystal and cara-pils specialty malts gave the beer some nice color (its actually pretty dark for a pale ale).
  • I was very satisfied with the head on the beer as well – each pour results in a nice 2-finger head which dissipates over a few minutes.
  • the beer has a slightly bready/malty yeast aroma, with no hop aroma to speak of (probably because the beer was a fresh-hop beer, even though the hop’s lineage indicates aroma and dual purpose characteristics).
  • the flavor is pretty mild, with little perceived bitterness.  it’s not malt or hop-forward, but is a good session beer with a clean finish that probably clocks in at over 6% abv.
  • my goals for next year’s fresh-hop harvest ale? lighten up the malt bill, and double the hops (and perhaps pulverize them) and maybe use a yeast with a more transparent finish to see if I can end up with more of a hoppy profile (maybe a fresh hop IPA?).  hopefully I’ll also have enough zeus next year to have a little fresh hop taste-off…

vojvodina pale in the glass

abstract pour

potted zeus hop “harvest”

Thursday, October 1st, 2009

zeus on the vine

a couple days ago my potted zeus hop plant seemed to be ready for harvest.

  • the cones on the plant looked like they were ready to go.  like the vojvodina cones, they were light to the touch and contained some lupulin:

zeus cone profile

  • the hop vine was nowhere as prolific as the vojvodina, but it still reached my second story window.  after cutting down the vine, I brought it inside to do some picking.

cutting the zeus

zeus doubled up

zeus vine inside

  • when all was said and done, I had a little over 4 ounces of wet hops (vs. over 12oz for the vojvodina!).  not amazing, but not bad for a little late hop addition.

4oz of zeus

  • instead of using these wet/fresh, I laid them out on a screen where they have been drying for the last couple of days with a small fan on them.  since they have been drying in a somewhat cool environment inside, I am going to let them go for another couple days before bagging and freezing them.

zeus drying on screen

  • I planted the zeus for their very high alpha acid (AA) content, and I can already tell the difference between this batch and my last harvest.  I had to wash my hands multiple times while picking because they kept sticking together from all the lupulin!

zeus vine

baby shower kölsch: results

Monday, September 21st, 2009

the setup

quite a few months ago it was brought to my attention that NB and PB were having a baby shower.  I offered to supply a keg for the occasion.

  • oysters and BBQ were on the menu, and the event was being held outside.  I had to figure out a beer that would fit the bill.
  • I chose to brew a kolsch.  not only is kolsch a great session beer, but it is light and crisp, perfect with most foods on a sunny day.
  • I had read somewhere that an initially sweeter kolsch dries out when aged, which is what I wanted.  in order to ensure that the kolsch was light, crisp, and clear, I kegged it in June and cold crashed it in my cool shed for over 3 months.
  • the strategy worked, and the beer came out dry, perfectly carbonated, and super drinkable.
  • in fact, I think “drinkable” was an understatement.  with about 30 people in attendance, and over 20 pouring, the keg was kicked in less than an hour!
  • the couple of bottles of tripel and cider that I brewed up were the next to go.  it’s a good thing I brought a case of lagunitas IPA as backup!
  • thanks again NB and PB, the setup was great!

kolsch pour

oyster shuck

party goers are satisfied

reflecting on the brew, anticipating the future

during the weekend I also managed a couple more beer-related accomplishments.

  • I kegged the single-hop pale on friday.  I’m thinking about letting it sit for a month max, and then breaking it out to enjoy some local hoppyness at its freshest.

single hop fresh hop pale ale

  • I also took down the vojvodina vine on sunday, completing the cycle.  I felt bad stuffing it in the trash, but I knew it would be back even stronger next year!

vojvodina in trash

single hop fresh hop vojvodina pale ale brew day

Monday, September 7th, 2009

on the vine

so, my homegrown vojvodina hops appeared to be ready for harvest.  the cones were light and had a papery feel, and the cones themselves appeared to have a decent amount of lupulin in them:

hop cone lupulin glands

after some research, I found that vojvodinas are a hybrid of northern brewer, styrian goldings, and a wild yugoslavian hop.  therefore, I based my recipe off of a single hop northern brewer recipe and adjusted it with respect to other input from various sites.  I also multiplied the required amount of dry hops by 4 in order to account for the use of fresh hops (many sites say to multiply by 4-5; I went with 4 mainly because my plant ran out of hops!).  here’s my recipe:

  • 8lb pale LME
  • .6lb pale DME
  • 8oz cara-pils (@150 for 30 min)
  • 8oz crystal 60L (@150 for 30 min)
  • 4oz fresh hops @ 60, 30, 5 min

first I weighed out the specialty grains and steeped them from room temp -> 150, then held at 150 for 30 min.  I used a grain sock instead of a mash tun since the specialty grain bill was very small (1lb).

steeping grains

after hitting 150 for 30 min., I removed the specialty grains and added the extracts.  I added a little more DME to compensate for the fact that I hate squeezing every last drop of LME out of the extract bag and usually leave at least a few ounces in the trash can.

LME going in

weighing out DME

then I got to picking the hops while waiting for the boil.  CB and AF rolled by to participate in the “harvest.”

picking the cones

the volume to weight ratio of the fresh hops was pretty deceiving.  after picking a bowl full of hops, I figured we were going to have well over the desired 12 oz.  however, that was a small overestimate:

not quite 12 oz

the first batch of cones got tossed in at 60 min and the picking continued.  we ended up picking the hop vine clean, for a total of just over 12 oz.

hops in the kettle

the starter worked great, and the fermentation took off quickly and vigorously. I’m going to give it a week or two in primary, then secondary while carbing in a keg.

spent hops

the end result – months of anticipation culminating in tossing a bag of hops and sweet wort in the compost.

compost bag

to top off my brew day, I primed and kegged the presidio blackberry kolsch, kicked the tripel keg (finally!) and bottled some of it, cleaned my beer lines, and tapped the abt 12 quad semi-clone (review soon – it is pretty awesome).  phew!

post-fermentation blackberries

kegged blackberry kolsch

and what’s a brew day without sampling a few beers to aspire towards?  I popped a bottle of la folie, while CB brought over a great valley brew IPA and deschutes’ black butte XXI porter. thanks again man!

brewday brews