Hello everyone, Sunday’s (January 25th) will be held at Radicle Effects Brewerks (www.rebrewerks.com) in Rock Island at 2:00 PM. Curt Johnson will be presenting on yeast reclamation. I recently revived some WLP500 that I rinsed in September. I pitched the yeast on Saturday and it seems to be working along great. Does anyone else rinse their yeast or possibly rack wort on a yeast cake?
Thanks to everyone who entered our contest, and especially to those who volunteered to judge, steward, sponsor or otherwise help our event. We judged 250 beers, meads and ciders in 31 different categories and we are pleased to share the results:
Best of Show – 20th Annual Land Of The Muddy Water
|1st||Tim Thomssen||Raspberry Tart||20A: Fruit Beer||Lincoln Lagers!|
|2nd||Tim Thomssen||You Got Peanut Butter In My Chocolate||23A: Specialty Beer||Lincoln Lagers!|
|3rd||Mac Butcher||Uber Alles||2A: German Pilsner (Pils)||Fellowship of Oklahoma Ale Makers (FOAM)|
|1st||Tim Thomssen||Raspberry Bush||28B: Fruit Cider||Lincoln Lagers!|
|1st||Justin Brooks||Saint Ambrose Is Packin’ Heat!||26C: Open Category Mead||MUGZ|
Full results are available in this Adobe PDF document.
Chicago’s Omega Yeast Labs is fairly new to the brewing scene and even newer to homebrewers. They offer some interesting new strains not available at the other big suppliers. One of which is Saisonstein’s Monster – a Saison strain that is actually a blend of two of their other offerings. I picked up a pouch at U.Brew and tested it out on my annual pumpkin ale. Here’s what I thought of it:
For me, DuPont is the definitive Saison and its yeast is the only proper yeast for the style if you want to follow tradition. However, Omega offers an alternative that does have its place in the growing spectrum of Saisons.
I had never used an Omega yeast before so I really didn’t know what to expect. I decided to split a batch of Pumpkin ale at 1076 OG between the Saisonstein and a popular English strain from a different supplier. In building the starters, the Saisonstein seemed to have more liquid yeast than the competitor and it looked to be very clean and consistent. I’m not sure on the cell counts, but it looked more than sufficient.
I put the yeast through my version of the DuPont fermentation program: start at 70F and ramp up 2 degrees a day until stopping at 84F and then dropping down to ambient temp. The krausen never raged like the DuPont strain and it seemed more even tempered. There was no stalling – just a steady, thick, about 1-2″ krausen until fermentation completed, which point it flocced out fairly quickly. It did leave things fairly cloudy, but it was hard to gauge for sure with the dark pumpkin ale. The finishing gravity was 1009 so that’s 87% attenuation – well within the advertised range which is quite respectable considering the temperature abuse I put things through.
The aroma reminded me a lot of a German Hefe with some banana and clove notes, but not nearly as prominent as a Hefe. The taste had some of that banana and clove, but the majority of the flavor was a fruity, almost mango like character. It was surprisingly well balanced and clean though. Do not expect any of the rustic, grassy, barnyardy characters you get out of DuPont. However, it does remind me of some of the cleaner, American Saisons, such as Revolution’s Coup D’Etat. I could see using this yeast again, only not in a Saison – I see this being a lot of fun in a Belgian Golden or even a Trippel.
After finding success with a simple Hefeweizen recipe that was just wheat malt extract, I decided to up my game and try a slightly more involved style with the Berliner Weisse. Staying true to the spirit of simplicity, the grain bill here is only wheat malt extract.
Getting the lactose in could be achieved in several different ways. The easiest method would be to add the lactose at kegging or bottling, but I didn’t want to go that route. I wanted lactose produced by lactobacillus. To do that, there are two different methods. The first method is the sour mash. This involves making the mash and allowing it to remain warm for a few days to let the lactobacillus ferment. In addition to the lactobacillus fermenting, other bugs in the mash will also prosper. The final taste will vary based on the wild flora of the mash. Since I don’t have a mash to do this, due to using wheat malt extract only, I had to find another way.
In my searches of the Googles, I encountered a lot of conflicting/murky information regarding techniques of using lactobacillus. The other method I found was making a large lactobacillus starter, pouring that into their fermenter and allowing that to ferment a few days before adding yeast to finish the beer. I had two concerns, how will the lactobacillus handle the hops since hops were historically used to also fight spoilage, which lactobacillus is prone to do. And, this is supposed to be classic styles made easy and making a starter isn’t always the easiest thing for a beginner to do. So I thought, why don’t I make the entire batch a starter and do the beer in two steps but use one kettle and one fermentor.
This process involved making 3 gallons of wort with 3 lbs wheat DME in a 5 gallon kettle, boiling it for 30 minutes and cooling it so it was lukewarm. I then pitched two tubes of Lactobacillus Delbrueckii into my wort and purged the 2 gallon headspace of my kettle with carbon dioxide before I put the lid on. I put the lid on and and put a couple pieces of tape on it ensure the lid wouldn’t accidentally be dislodged but yet loose enough to allow pressure to escape. I wrapped kettle with a fermwrap, set the temperature to 90 degrees and insulated the kettle with a blanket. I checked the taste of the wort after 2 days and determined it was not to my liking and repeated the above process. After 3 more days I tasted it again and determined it “tangy” enough for my liking.
I then added 1 gallon of water, 1 pound of wheat DME and 1 oz of Tettnanger and brought the kettle back up to a boil for 40 minutes and chilled the 3 gallons of wort in an ice bath. It did not smell good and this worried me. However, based on the final product, the smell is nothing to worry about. Once chilled, I transferred my wort to a 5 gallon carboy and added 1 package of saison yeast. Fermentation and kegging proceeded as expected.
The end product was a very clean, refreshing, easy drinking, slightly tangy and slightly phenolic Berliner. I made a raspberry syrup and a sourwood honey syrup to go with it, but much prefer this Berliner without the syrup. The only thing I would do different is maybe give the lactobacillus another day or two to increase the sourness and tanginess. I will be making this again early next summer.
Marge’s Bingo Berliner Recipe (3 gallons):
- 4 lbs wheat dry malt extract
- 1 oz Tettnanger Hops
- 2 vials Lactobactillus Delbrueckii
- 1 pouch saison yeast
The Land of the Muddy Waters is an AHA sanctioned hombrew competition. Each fall, entries from all over the country vie for one of the coveted Best of Show tap handles. Experienced and new homebrewers alike benefit from the feedback given by BJCP judges and professional brewers, while having the fun of competition. This year’s competition falls on Saturday, November 8th.
- Entry Information
- Label Contest
- “Muddy Waters” Category
- Judges and Stewards
- “Beds for Brewers” Option
- Additional Rules
The following information is current as of October 10th, 2014
You can register, make your entries, and review the contest rules and entry information. You can also pay online through PayPal;
If you are not able to enter online, you may print out the standard BJCP entry form, complete it, and send it in with your entries. You do not need to include your recipe. www.bjcp.org/docs/SCP_EntryRecipe.pdf
For those who have labels for your beers, you may now have them judged as well as the beers they represent. There is a catch though – only beers that are entered in the LOTMW competition may have their labels evaluated. As you fill out your online entry form, you will notice a category for ‘Label’. This is where your entry will be noted. Write the name of the beer on the back of a hard copy of your label and include it/them with your beer entries. We ask that you only submit labels that are crafted and designed by you, the brewer. Please no professional labels. If you happen to be a graphics professional that also brews, that is fine. The labels will be judged the same day as the competition and notification will be sent out as well as listed on the MUGZ website. There is no fee to enter your labels.
Do you brew a beer you and your friends love that doesn’t fit a BJCP category? If it is the color of the Muddy Mississippi, then this is your category. Beers will be not be judged to any guideline, rather they will be judged more hedonistically as a session beer. The winner of this category will not be eligible for The Best of Show awards. When entering online, scroll down and enter incategory 29A ~ “Muddy Waters”. Winner of this category will receive a small prize TBD.
This AHA/BJCP-sanctioned contest is organized by MUGZ (Mississippi Unquenchable Grail Zymurgists). LoTMW 2014 is one of the last qualifying events for Midwest Homebrewer of the Year.
OUR ‘BEDS for BREWERS’ OPTION
If you wish to have overnight accommodations, club members will open their homes to provide beds for judges. Please contact Jason Sweat at:
309-948-4131 or email@example.com so arrangements can be made.
For those who desire more private accommodations, the Holiday Inn in downtown Rock Island is located at 226 17th St, Rock Island, IL 61201 (It is about 2 blocks from Blue Cat Brew Pub, the site of the LOTMW competition.) To reserve, contact Jamie DeRudder, Director of Sales at 309-794-1212 Ext.1205. (877) 410-6681 or (800) 718-8466. Mention you are coming to town for the MUGZ homebrew competition.
Or right across the Arsenal Bridge is the Radisson Hotel, located at 111 E. 2nd St. in Davenport 563-322-4908 or 563-322-2200
Thank you and we look forward to seeing you at the Land of the Muddy Waters!
Some Rules for LoTMW
This competition is open to all homebrewers, MUGZ members and non-members. Beers brewed in commercial licensed facilities are not eligible. Judges may not judge a category they have entered. MUGZ will take the utmost care in ensuring that the competition is conducted in a fair and impartial manner. If a problem does arise, contact the competition organizer (Jason Sweat), and explain the situation.
The competition organizer will then render a decision that will be final. It is the sole responsibility of the entrant to complete all registration and recipe forms, enclose the proper entry fee and designate the category and subcategory in which he/she wishes his/her entry to be judged. Under no circumstances will registrars, judges or directors categorize entries. Beer will be judged only in terms of the categories and subcategories listed in the beer style list. If entering categories 16E, 17F, 20, 21, 22B, 22C, 23, 24-28, you MUST specify information relating to ‘Special Ingredients/Classic Style’.
Entries must be referred to by category NUMBER and subcategory LETTER. If a category does not have at least five entries in, it will be collapsed into a similar style. If this happens, the judges will be notified, and will judge the beer as the correct style, but it will then compete in the collapsed category. An entry must achieve a minimum rating of “good” (25 points on the BJCP score sheet) to qualify for an award. MUGZ does not have to award first, second or third place if beers are not of proper quality.
Any beer not used in the competition will become the property of MUGZ.
Come and enjoy.