A new trifecta of firsts for CrookedBullseye: Chris offered to do a Brew & A for GTA Brews, where people from the group are welcome to come out, brew with another brewer and learn from their processes, and ask questions. We’re also using two new (to us) ingredients: New World Saison yeast from Escarpment Labs here in Ontario, and Pekko Hops to make our Pekko Saison. He was joined by Al and Trevor from the group on a bright sunny Tuesday morning. The brew for the day was a new world farmhouse finished with pekko hops, with the intent of entering it into the Because Beer Homebrew Contest. The yeast from Escarpment Labs is a blend of Saccharomyces and Brettanomyces, so it will ferment out quickly, then develop a nice brett funk as it ages.
Pekko Saison Recipe
40 litre batch
OG 1.056 FG 1.001 (or less)
- 2-row 6kg
- Wheat Flakes 2kg
- Rye Flakes 2kg
- Munich Type 1 1kg
- Amber Candi Sugar 454g
- Clear Candi Sugar 454g
- New World Saison, Saccharomyces and Brettanomyces blend, Escarpment Labs
- Gypsum (CaSO4 Calcium Sulfate): 8g in strike water 9g in sparge (City of Toronto water)
I spun up a starter of the New World Saison. The vial had >200 billion cells, so it was a bit of a monster build. I started with 1 litre of 1.037 DME starter. 24 hours later I crashed and decanted, and did another step with 3 litres of 1.037 and spun that for 24 hours. That gave me 100 billion cells (in ~410ml of slurry) to store for the next batch, and ~575billion cells for the batch.
Tuesday morning I filled the kettle and got it heating. Milled the grains and did some preliminary stuff, and Al and Trevor turned up. We mashed-in aiming for 146F but missed and hit 144F, which was still fine. We were aiming for high-attenuation and bone dry. 40 minute mash, and we vorlaufed and started run-off. Once in the kettle, we flushed and santized the counter-flow and 2 carboys. I was out of both fermcap and whirlfloc, so as we came to a boil we tried really hard to prevent a boil-over in the absence of that magical slimy white voodoo syrup fermcap. We also failed. Oh well, the outside of the kettle was due for a good scrub anyway. We added the candi sugars and stirred them in.
40 minute boil commenced, and at 15m we tossed in 1oz of Sorachi. Another 1oz went in at 10m, and then 1oz of Pekko at 5m, and 2oz at 0. We whirlpooled for 10 minutes (sterilizing the counter-flow in the process) and did a 10 minute stand, then started transferring and chilling into the carboys. We drew a sample and realized that despite what looked like missing our kettle gravity by 10 points (that refractometer can’t arrive soon enough!), we actually were only 1 point off our OG, clocking in at 1.055. If you’re a trainspotter you will have noticed that we have terrible efficiency, and yes, it’s something we’re working on. <80% sucks, and we’re running <60%.
The yeast was pitched and showing signs of activity within about 3 hours. Less than 24 hours later, and in spite of good head space, they had blown through their airlocks. Back to blow-offs.
We will bottle some of these in ISBs for the sake of contests, and the rest will be bottled in champagne bottles with cages/corks. I might throw 12l of it on the house funk blend I’m building at the moment, which is a mix of dregs that have some sacchs, bretts, and at least one lacto strain.