With the chill of Fall in the air I decided to brew one more Farmhouse ale to finish off the summer brew season right. It's fun relying on the ambient temperature on different levels of my house for my fermentation, which right now means I can use all kinds of crazy Belgian farmhouse yeasts that love the high temps in my upstairs! I decided to try something a little whacked out, a little out of the box, yet very simple. This beer is supposed to be representative of something a small Farmhouse may have brewed back in the day. You know the type of French country house that has barley, wheat, and spelt for feed. Yeah, spelt for feed. Well, on some of these farmhouse breweries inevitably they'd use a portion of this spelt in their grain bill. Not sure if they added 20% like I did though. Man o man. It should act a bit like adding wheat to a beer which adds some body, mouthfeel, and head retention. I learned about this type of traditional rustic Saison while reading Farmhouse Ales recently and then ended up doing a google search for spelt trying to find some for this brew. I came across this recipe from Ryan's Brew and decided to use that as a base, and then mess with the hop bill and yeast to my own liking. I ended up going with a mix of American, German, and French hops. I picked up the flaked spelt from Whole Foods and it cost a pretty penny. I'm excited to see how this turns out as it's probably the most traditional Saison I've brewed to date.
I can honestly say that my house in NE Minneapolis used to be exactly where my neighbors Chicken coop used to be around 65 years ago. Back in the day my neighbor Bill used to live on his parents farm in the city, on the outskirts of Minneapolis near St. Anthony. These chickens must have had a shifty eye towards the progress and expansion of this city when house's were being build up around their farm 60 years ago. Not sure what else went down on Bill's farm, but I do know that I'm brewin beer where those cluckers used to roost.
St Anthony Shifty Eyed Clucker- Farmhouse Ale
60% Belgian Pale
20% Belgian Biscuit
20% Flaked Spelt
Mashed at 149 for 75 min
Sparged at 166 for 30 min
Sparged at 166 for 30 min
FG: 1.003 on 8/31/10
1 oz (fwh) Kent Goldings
0.5 oz Strisselspalt and 0.5 oz Sterling at 15 min.
0.5 oz Strisselspalt and 0.5 oz Sterling at 5 min.
1 oz Amarillo at 1 min.
¼ tsp Irish Moss
¼ tsp yeast nutrient
Wyeast French Saison 3711
Tasting notes: 3.11.11- Only have a couple of bottles of this left. This is a very unique saison that seems to be more approchable to the typical non-saison drinker. Sampled this out to people at the NE Homebrew club February meeting and many people comment on liking it. Bree specifically said, I don't usually like Saison but I like this. (I wish I would have axed for more details.) The French Striss. hops are still coming through nicely although the Amarillo dry hops have certainly faded a bit by now although there is a hint of orange in the nose as well anise and some bready malts, even saltine crackers (presumably from the biscuit malt). I'm also getting a little earthy, funky stuff in the nose that either comes from the Goldings (FWH) or the F. Striss. hops. Although this should be a rather dry beer because the yeast ferments out so low it still has a medium mouthfeel from the yeast and the spelt. The flavor is a bit spicy (maybe anise), from the French Striss. hops as well as from the yeast. Finish's spicy with a little bitterness and then your mouth waters for another sip. After a minute the mouth does dry out. Wyeast French Saison - 3711 seems to start out fruity and accentuates fruity hops, but then over time becomes more spicy.
Conclusion: Next time I brew this I'll probably decrease the Biscuit malt to 10% and sub that other 10% with Vienna. I think that would balance this beer out nicely.