A friend asked if I could give some big clues on how to brew this beer...
Piney the Turtle is a specialty American Rye Ale. The dry and spicy character of a cleanly brewed rye ale is supported by piney/resinous hops, blue spruce tips, and a touch of juniper berries to create a uniquely refreshing beer with invigorating aromatics. This beer was designed by Beancurdturtle Brewing LLC and brewed (so far) at Phantom Ales in Anaheim California.
Don’t expect to be blown away by some huge palate walloping beer like a DIPA or BBA Stout. The concept calls for an American Rye Ale 6% ABV and about 40 IBU, with additions of select hops, blue spruce tips, and juniper berries used to contribute restrained yet decidedly piney/resinous characters. Balanced and approachable enough to invite a second pint.
This is all a well informed brewer - knowing their overall brewhouse efficiency and brewing calculations - should need to duplicate the recipe brewed at Phantom. Duplicating the recipe will get you close, but process, water chemistry, and all the other factors will effect the final beer. All measurements are in American units to simplify for US homebrewers.
US 2-Row Pale 73%
US Malted Rye 13%
Flaked Rye 9%
Vienna Malt 5%
1.25 quarts water per pound of grain
Protein Rest 122F 20 min
Saccharification 150F 50 min
Mash out and sparge
US Magnum 60 min for 22 IBUs
Chinook 30 min for 8 IBUs
Opal 10 min for 5 IBUs
Chinook 10 min for 4 IBUs
Herb addition at 5 min:
Blue Spruce tips at 0.042 ounces per pound of grain
Juniper Berries at 0.016 ounces per pound of grain
Appropriate pitch of WLP001 California Ale Yeast from White Labs, or a trusted West Coast Ale strain
67F until you get to 75% of calculated total attennuation
Let temp rise to 72F max for 4 days
Reduce to 67F and finish
Dry hop at 2 days before cold crash and packaging:
Blue Spruce tips at 0.042 ounces per pound of grain
Juniper Berries at 0.032 ounces per pound of grain
Chinook at same weight as total Chinook added to boil
Try it. Let us know how it turns out. If you're a commercial brewery - please let us know and credit Beancurdturtle Brewing LLC.
Brewed for a charity event - and as a pilot for a staple commercial release Session Saison.
This is not a fruit beer. Sure, kumquat is used in the making of the beer, but it is meant to contribute to the core characters of a Session Saison - not take over the beer. Like a touch of salt on a great dish, the salt enhances but doesn’t own the dish.
The style Saison was originally the hydration for field hands centuries ago. Water would make you sick. Instead you were given a ration of beer, typically 5 liters a day. So the character of a traditional Saison had to be refreshing, crisp, quenching, and low in alcohol.
What should you expect from this beer? Expect restrained citrus notes contributed by the Kumquat, underlying the traditional character of a terrific Session Saison. It’s low in alcohol, so take a big pour and gulp it down like a thirty dog.
Refreshing, brightly complex, slightly spicy, herbal and floral. And the aromas and flavors evolve as the beer warms and opens up.
This is a great beer that suits a warm Southern California - or Canary Islands - afternoon very well. I handed the recipe off to Tierra de Perros cerveza artesanal, the brewery on the Canary Islands for whom I crafted the beer.
There will soon be some lucky craft beer lovers off the west coast of Africa enjoying this unique Specialty Saison.
Subjective Target: Unique and refreshing beer with enough complexity to be enjoyed in all seasons, and particularly appropriate for warm weather, and/or as an accompaniment to food.
Well it is refreshing, complex, and slightly savory from the herbs grown on the Canary Islands where it will be brewed. But today I had a sandwich with cured meat and cheese, and olives - things typical for a light Spanish treat. I decided to test the "as an accompaniment to food" part of the target.
May I just say "Wow!"
It is absolutely on target, and such a perfect compliment to cured meats, cheese, and olives. And I'm sure it will also a great accompaniment to many other foods. Target achieved!
Concept Description: A light colored, medium-light bodied beer, in the style Belgian Saison, incorporating the influence of spices and aromatics grown on or associated with the Canary Islands. Subjective Target: Unique and refreshing beer with enough complexity to be enjoyed in all seasons, and particularly appropriate for warm weather, and/or as an accompaniment to food.
So, enough chit-chat. Let's get to the photos. From the brewday five days ago, until this morning.
Berry'd Alive® the morning after brewing it up. I checked the blowoff vessel - the usual 1 gallon vessel for a small batch - before going to bed last night. Good thing I did as it was ready to overflow. I changed it out for a 5 gallon brew bucket.
It looks like about 3/4 gallon of blowoff happened in 8 hours while I slept. It would have been a helluva mess to clean up if I hadn't brought in the big guns.
The fermentation chamber smells like Strawberry Shortcake this morning. Here's a link to a video - Berry'd® Alive being... well, Alive! - and photos below for fun - you don't always get a chance to see pink blowoff.
I have a hybrid American White Ale/Belgian Witbier base that is tweaked to carry the flavors and character of delicate fruits - like berries, kiwi, loquats - and present them like a fruity bouquet from a fresh poured chalice. One of the beers I use it for is Berry'd Alive.
It's more than a cool name because it's actually quite literal. There's about a pound of crushed mixed berries for each gallon of beer. And it's fermented for a couple weeks and goes straight to the bottle to carbonate and condition with the live yeast that carries over from the fermenter to the bottle.
And the yeast keep working. The yeast character goes from astringent and peppery when young, to smoothly fruity and comforting after a few months in the cellar. And the way I deal with the fruit ensures that it's always the star of the beer. It remains fresh, prominent, and fruity for a long time.