Not only do we like to brew locally, but we also like to buy our ingredients locally. This mess of a beer evolved because I wanted to support a local hop farmer here in upstate NY who has a little brew shop attached to his farm. That makes sense. Unfortunately, walking into the place it became clear that he had no idea what to do with his hops.
Let’s start with the grains. He didn’t have much to work with. No pale ale malt (who would ever use that?). So here is what I went with:
- 10 pounds lager malt
- 3 pounds Munich malt
- 1 pound crystal, which only had a range of L degrees (I’d say ~65L)
Hops… well, this is a hops farm after all. This should be the strong point. Unfortunately, though he only had lager malts, he really didn’t have any hops that would go into a lager. I chose a variety which grows wild in Manitoba, in honor of the return of the Jets.
- 2 ounce Brewer’s Gold (7 – 12%) 90 minutes
As for yeast, well first I pitched White Labs German lager yeast. But after two days, it was dead flat (I had made a starter). So, I went back to the store, but all he had was ale yeast, so I pitched a White labs East Coast ale yeast. Took another two days get it to ferment.
I happened to look in Dave Miller’s book, and saw that this combination of grains, combined with ale yeast was essentially his recipe for Trappist Ale, so that is what it became.
- Mash in 17qts filtered through a Brita pitcher at 125 F.
- Protein rest 30 minutes.
- I had intended to do a decoction, but due to the already late hour, I eschewed this idea.
- Raise to 158 F and hold 1 hour.
- Mash out at 170 F for 10 minutes.
- Sparged with another 20 qts of Brita filtered water
- Brew date was October 30, 2011
- OG = 1.065
As noted, it took four days to get a fermentation with this dead yeast, and there are strains of both lager and ale yeast in the mix.