Monday, November 29, 2010

Funky Low Gravity Saison Recipe

Petite Funky Saison on the left, and Dark Fruit Saison III on the right.Parti-gyle is a simple concept: separating the runnings from a single mash to create more than one wort of differing gravities (rather than combining all of the runnings into a single beer).  Even though this was originally an English technique (one that some breweries like Fuller's still use) there is no reason not to apply it anytime you are brewing a high gravity beer and have an extra hour or two and an empty fermenter.

The first beer will get all of the dense first runnings, so it starts pre-boil at a high gravity and doesn't require an excessively long boil to concentrate the sugars.  After the wort for the big beer is collected the mash in infused with sparge water and the wort for a second beer is drained.  The gravity of the wort falls precipitously with each infusion, with the second beer usually in the sessionable range and the third down towards "table" strength.

The lower gravity beers often take a backseat to the big beer, but there is some room to augment their fermentables.  You can cap the mash to add additional color/flavors (for example I made a black IPA from the second runnings from an overclocked Pliny the Elder clone by adding Carafa to the mash after draining the first runnings).  You can also cheat, for this second runnings saison I added some malt extract to the boil to help boost the gravity (a flavorful sugar is another option).

The initial mash temperature will set the fermentability of all of the wort, this will need to be a compromise (although you might try infusing the sparge water at a temperature that would allow for good beta-amylase activity [~145] with additional base malt in order to increase the fermentability of the second/third beer), the auxiliary beer often come out a bit thinner than you might expect, given the OG/FG, so the extra effort to increase attenuation may not be worth the effort.

With the mostly pilsner malt grist of my Calvados Sour Tripel, the best option I could think of for the second runnings was a low gravity saison.  The problem was that I wanted to mash hot for the tripel to ensure there were dextrins for the microbes to consume over the long slow souring process,  but I like my saisons dry.  To try to overcome this conundrum I opted to combine the notoriously temperamental Dupont strain with Brett claussenii for primary fermentation.  This is an idea I stole from Bullfrog Brewing, whose Busted Lawnmower is one of my favorite American examples of the style (rustic, dry, hoppy, deceptively drinkable).

For the hopping I went with a similar strategy to the one I took with the Hoppy French Saison I brewed last year.  This recipe is not quite as hoppy/bitter, but all of that spicy Saaz should complement the peppery phenols created by the yeast strains.  I wanted to keep this one free of actual spices to let the fermentation character take the lead.  After a few weeks fermenting slowly, with a heating pad to keep it warm, I racked the beer to secondary and pitched the yeast cake into the third in our annual series of spiced dark fruit saisons (this year Alex and I went with fig, buckwheat honey, and anise).

Bretted Petite Saison

Recipe Specifics
Batch Size (Gal): 5.25
Total Grain (Lbs): 22.48
Anticipated OG: 1.046
Anticipated SRM: 6.4
Anticipated IBU: 30.2
Brewhouse Efficiency: 24 % (67% including the first runnings)
Wort Boil Time: 90 Minutes

53.4% 12.00 lbs. German Pilsener
36.7% 8.25 lbs. French Pilsener
4.4% 1.00 lbs. Flaked Wheat
4.4% 1.00 lbs. Light DME
1.0% 0.23 lbs. CaraPils

2.00 oz. Czech Saaz (Pellet, 3.50% AA) @ 45 min.
0.50 oz. Czech Saaz (Pellet, 3.50% AA)  @ 15 min.
0.50 oz. Czech Saaz (Pellet, 3.50% AA) @ 5 min.

0.50 Tsp Yeast Nutrient Other @ 15 min.

White Labs WLP565 Belgian Saison I
White Labs WLP645 Brettanomyces claussenii

Water Profile
Profile: Washington DC

Mash Schedule
Sacch Rest 45 min @ 154
Mash Out 10 min @ 167

Brewed 10/31/10 by myself

Second runnings from Calvados Sour Tripel.

Sparged with ~7 gallons of 170 degree water and ran off 7.5 gallons of wort for the saison. Added 1 lb of Light DME to bring the gravity up.

Both beers were lower gravity than expected.

Chilled to ~85, racked to a better bottle. 3 hours later pitched one tube each White Labs Brett C and White Labs Saison and placed on a heating pad set to low. Ambient temp ~63 F.

Turned off heating pad after one week, krausen gone, but still looks very yeasty/cloudy.

11/11/10 Small pellicle formed. Racked to secondary, gravity still 1.020 (counting on the Brett to get it down below 1.010). Tastes good, nice spicy character, some hop bitterness, still too thick/sweet. Turned the heating pad back on to try to get the yeast moving.

11/18/10 Turned heating pad off, still low 60s ambient.

4/9/11 Kegged with 3.75 oz of cane sugar for natural carbonation.  Maybe I'll add dry hops after seeing how it is without.  Only made it down to 1.008 (82% AA, 5% ABV), not quite as dry as I was hoping for.

7/13/11 Solid beer, although a bit funkier and a touch sweeter than I had wanted.  Next time mash cooler and maybe hold off on the Brett until a few days into fermentation.

7/18/11 Added 40 g of Australian Summer Saaz pellets in a baggie with marbles to the half filled keg to add a bit more fruit and freshness since the Brett is stronger than expected.

Bullfrog's Busted Lawnmower: A complex combination of citrus fruits, peppery spice and the funk-a-licious Brettanomyces Clausenii dominate the nose and palette of this Belgian-inspired ale. Wonderfully effervescent, this is the real lawnmower beer of Belgium.  7.5% ABV

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Kriek-Framboise Imperial Lambic

Most of the sour beer sold has fruit in it.  It makes sense because the acid from the beer helps to accentuate and brighten the naturally tart fruit, while the fruit in turn helps to soften the farmyard notes from the Brettanomyces.  Some larger producers use juice, concentrate, or puree, but I find that fresh fruit is the best option when it is available (in this case sweet cherries and raspberries).

People often say that fruit (seeds/pits and all) can dissolve completely as it sits in the beer, consumed by the various bacteria and yeast.  This simply isn't the case, after more than a year on the fruit not only were the pits still there, but the fruit itself was still largely intact (and that was considering it was frozen and defrosted before adding to breakdown some of the cell walls).

This high gravity lambic, after such a long time on the sweet cherries and raspberries, overflows fruit aroma, but the aromatics belie the big funky flavor you get when you take a sip.  I'm not sure why some beers don't have matching flavors and aromas, but this beer has a very misleading fruity aroma that contrasts the Brettanomyces driven flavor.

Friek (Imperial Kriek-Framboise Lambic)

Nice red color, from the cherries and raspberries.Appearance – Beautiful orange-red with a thin white head. Nearly clear. It doesn't have the deep garnet color and pink-ish head that some kriek lambics have, not sure if it is a question of amount of fruit or specific variety.

Smell – Big farmyardy nose with cherry skin and raspberry. There is some fresh lemon and mineral in there as well. The combination of raspberry and cherry along with the funk is a good one.

Taste – The flavor leans much more towards an earthy-funk (damp leaves or wet hay especially) than the nose did. There is some fruit, but the nose is misleading. Light acidity, not as much as there should be. As the beer warms the alcohol provides some floral/perfume notes that add to the complexity. For a bigger lambic it is plenty dry.

Mouthfeel – A bit big for a lambic, but the carbonation helps to lighten it up. There are some tannins that help to balance it as well.

Drinkability & Notes – Not a bad beer, but not great either. The high OG prevented souring even with the additional year on fruit.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Calvados Sour Tripel Recipe

Calvados Sour Tripel in SecondaryBelgian Tripels have never been among my favorite beers.  When done right I can certainly appreciate them, but something about how yeast forward they are without much hop or malt complexity doesn't tug at my taste buds.  While the definition of the style can be myopic, the beer can be a jumping off point for other flavors.  For example three years ago I brewed a tripel with an assertive American hop character.  The result was a blend of fruity hops and spicy yeast that I really enjoyed. 

I hadn't been planning on brewing another tripel until a few months ago when my friend Nathan shared a bottle of Buteuse Brassin Special a complex funky elixir from Le Trou Du Diable. It is a tripel dosed with Brett and aged in barrels that previously held distilled apple cider.  The fruit pulled from the barrel and spicy funk imparted by the Brett blended wonderfully to make a beer of great depth.  The result was something I wished Captain Lawrence's Golden Delicious had been (too much barrel character for a clean tripel to support).

Buteuse Brassin Special reminded me of a sample of Allagash's Tripel Roeselare (Tripel aged for 2 years in oak wine barrels with Roeselare yeast culture) that Rob Tod brought to one of the Lupulin Slam Reunions here in DC.  It was never bottled, which is a shame because it had a wonderfully sourness with a great wet oak basement funk. Tröegs Splinter Gold is another example of a sour/funky barrel aged tripel, and one that I'm sorry to say I have not gotten the chance to try (yet).

So I decided to brew a funky tripel along those line, with apple brandy soaked oak as well as a full complement of microbes.  I took just the first runnings from a simple mash of pils, wheat, and carapils (a Petite Saison came out second - more on that later) and gave the wort a light dose of hops.  The Westmalle strain and a pack of Roeselare Blend got the first crack at the sugars in primary.  After a couple weeks I racked the beer to secondary and added a culture from Russian River Temptation that my friend Matt had isolated (two lactic acid bacteria and one yeast) and propagated. 

I waited to add any sugar until the beer was in secondary to give the microbes a chance a multiply before the alcohol got too high.  I may add more sugar down the road, but it will depend on how the beer develops. Along with the sugar I added 1.25 oz of French oak that had been soaking in Daron Fine Calvados for a couple weeks.  I may dose the beer with a few ounce of the liquor later to add more character, but this early on I didn't want to boost the ABV more than necessary.

Sour Calvados Tripel

Recipe Specifics
Batch Size (Gal): 5.25
Total Grain (Lbs): 22.23
Anticipated OG: 1.073
Anticipated SRM: 5.6
Anticipated IBU: 16.6
Brewhouse Efficiency: 43 % (67% including the second runnings)
Wort Boil Time: 90 Minutes

54.0% 12.00 lbs. German Pilsener
37.1% 8.25 lbs. French Pilsener
4.5% 1.00 lbs. Flaked Wheat
3.4% 0.75 lbs. Cane Sugar
1.0% 0.23 lbs. CaraPils

0.50 oz. Simcoe (Whole, 11.50% AA) @ 60 min.

0.50 tsp Yeast Nutrient @ 20 min.
1.25 oz French Oak Cubes soaked in Calvados (fermenter)

WYeast 3763 Roeselare Blend
WYeast 3787 Trappist High Gravity
Russian River Temptation Culture

Water Profile
Profile: Washington DC

Mash Schedule
Sacch Rest 45 min @ 154
Mash Out 10 min @ 167

Brewed 10/31/10 By myself

Ran off ~6 gallons of 1.060 first runnings for the tripel (lower gravity than expected).

Simcoe adjusted down from 13.6% AA, 2007 crop.

Chilled to ~75. Trappist High Gravity plus Roeselare in primary pitched directly from swollen packets. Shook for 2 minutes to aerate before pitching. Left in 60 degree basement for fermentation (wish I could have gone warmer, but I was using my heating pad on the saison).

Good fermentation after 18 hours.

11/14/10 Racked to secondary, gravity down to 1.025. Added 1.25 oz of French Oak soaked for about 2 weeks in Calvados (waiting to add actual liquor). Added .75 lbs of table sugar boiled for 5 minutes in 12 oz of water, and cooled before adding. Also added a culture from Temptation from Matt, he said two strains of lactic acid bacteria and a yeast(could be Sacch or Brett).  Slow renewed fermentation after 12 hours.

4/11/11 Nice fruity flavor with a bit of funk, but still not much acidity.  The warmer summertime temperatures should get the lactic acid bacteria into gear.

4/9/11 Only made it down to 1.011, even after all this time. Bottled one gallon with .5 g of Premier Cuvee and .9 oz of cane sugar. Kegged the rest with about 2 oz of whole Citra (my scale was having issues) and hooked up to gas in the kegerator.

5/16/12 The dry hopped version is spectacular, bright citrusy, fresh, balanced... and at 8.2% ABV a bit too drinkable on a hot spring night.

820/12 The plain portion is pretty good. Good balance of oak and yeast. Only a slight funk and nearly no acidity, but it works.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Pumpernickel Porter Double Tasting

If you haven't been interested by the last three weeks worth of posts on kvass, you'll probably be pleased to hear that this is the last you'll hear of them on this blog (at least for a few weeks). 

Last night I decided to cracked open two bottles of the Pumpernickel Porter to try side-by-side, one that was primed with table sugar, and one that was primed with caraway infused molasses.  Drinking two similar beers next to each other is the best way to tease out the flavor contributions of a single ingredient, it allows your pallet to focus on the differences rather than the similarities.

What was most interesting about this batch is that despite dumping a pureed loaf of pumpernickel bread into the boil (with all its salt and starch) the base beer is remarkably unremarkable.  It is a solid session beer that I wouldn't think twice about if I had it on tap at a local brewpub.  It is hard to say just how much of the "bready" character comes from the bread (rather than the Maris Otter and specialty grains), but it is a testament to the fact the the standard brewing practice isn't the only way to make a standard beer. 

Pumpernickel Porters

Plain on the left, caraway/molasses on the right.Appearance – Hazy dark brown body with a thin off-white head sitting atop. Decent retention for a small beer, but it starts to sink after a few minutes. The two versions look very similar (no surprise) but the caraway/molasses portion has a head that is slightly darker.

Smell – Nice light cocoa powder nose with bready/malty backup on the standard version. The caraway takes the lead in the spiced half, with the bready character staying in a supporting roll.

Taste – The balance is towards the malt, with minimal hop bitterness. The same sorts of complexities from the nose come through in the flavor. With the standard version staying bready and clean, and the spiced version leaning towards the caraway (probably a bit too much in the finish).

Mouthfeel – Nice creamy body on both with light “cask” carbonation.

Drinkability & Notes – The standard version is a great session ale, the sort of beer you can drink and not think about too much. I like the caraway flavor in this beer, but I was probably a bit too heavy handed with the addition. If I tried the same technique again I would probably cut the amount of spice in half (a 50/50 blend of the two is close to what I was aiming for).

Monday, November 15, 2010

Pumpernickel Porter Kvass Recipe

Two loaves of pumpernickel I baked.The third and final entry into Nathan and my series of  Kvasses was a Pumpernickel Porter (just in time because the December issue of BYO Magazine showed up in my mailbox on Friday).  This recipe turned out a beverage much closer to what most people would recognize as beer than either the Scandinavian Gruit or the East End (a substantial addition of hops in the kettle and the switch from bread yeast to ale yeast prevented it from souring... so far).

The grain bill was based on East End's Wood Street Kvass with the addition of Carafa Special II and Chocolate Rye to give the beer a more suiting darker color and flavor.  Chocolate rye like Carafa Special is dehusked, and has a similar coffee flavor without being harshly ashy/acrid/burnt like other dark grains.  We also made the switch to Maris Otter for the base malt to provide more depth to the toasty malt/bread flavors.  Of course we also swapped out the loaf of seeded rye for pumpernickel bread

Artsy shot of Imported From Baltimore caps... no I don't really get it either.I primed half the batch with table sugar, but for the remainder I added caraway infused molasses at bottling.  To infuse molasses I mixed it with an equal volume of water and some coarse ground caraway in a small saucepan.  After bringing the mixture barely to a boil I allowed 10 minutes of steeping before straining through a piece of cheesecloth in a small sieve to remove the seeds.  I'm not usually an advocate of priming with unrefined sugars, but I think molasses is flavorful enough to be a worthwhile addition even in such a minuscule amount (although the carbonation will be less predictable).

Our beer isn't as big and rich as Beer Here's Mørke Pumpernickel Porter (an excellent beer), but the bread character certainly comes through making the beer feel substantial.  The plain version doesn't taste much different from a fresh bready brown porter, but the molasses/caraway version is certainly more reminiscent of its namesake.

Pumpernickel Porter Kvass

Recipe Specifics
Batch Size (Gal): 5.25
Total Grain (Lbs): 8.25
Anticipated OG: 1.042
Anticipated SRM: 22.9
Anticipated IBU: 14.7
Brewhouse Efficiency: 80 %
Wort Boil Time: 30 Minutes

72.7% - 6.00 lbs. Maris Otter
16.7% - 1.38 lbs. Rye Malt
4.5% - 0.38 lbs. Brown Malt
3.0% - 0.25 lbs. Chocolate Rye
3.0% - 0.25 lbs. Carafa Special II

1.12 oz. Fuggle (Whole 4.75% AA) @ 30 min.

1.00 Whirlfloc 15 min.

Safale US-05

Water Profile
Profile: Washington DC

Mash Schedule
Sacch Rest 60 min @ 152

Brewed 9/24/10 with Nathan and Devin

1 gallon of bread goo (1 loaf of pumpernickel pureed in water after 24 hours of soaking) added at the start of the boil.

Chilled to ~80, left in the fridge overnight at 64. In the morning pitched most of a pack of US-05 and gave 30 seconds of pure O2.

Good fermentation after 12 hours, but the krausen never got very big.

10/1/10 Moved out of the fridge to ambient basement temps to help fermentation finish.

10/9/10 Bottled 2.5 gallons with 1.875 oz of table sugar. Bottled the remaining 2.25 gallons with 2.75 oz of Grandma's blackstrap molasses that was boiled with .25 oz of crushed caraway seeds and allowed to steep for 10 minutes before adding to the beer.

11/18/10 Great session beer, although I overdid it with the caraway addition on that half.  Next time I'd cut it down to 1/8 oz.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Quick Oud Bruin Tasting

 I've settled into quite a rhythm with the way I make sour beers.  However, there are loads of other routes to take.  While New Glarus, Cascade, Russian River, and Ithaca all make some delicious sour beers, the ways they do it vary considerably.

I'm hoping to try some different methods to see if there are any techniques that can help me to make my sours taste better, be more consistent, and get ready to drink sooner.  The first of those departures was an Oud Bruin using a method based on the way New Glarus (reportedly) sours Raspberry Tart, Belgian Red, and some of their Unplugged beers.  The results were interesting, and it certainly was faster than brewing a sour the old fashion way.  However, without the slower multi-microbe fermentation the sourness comes out somewhat flat (I also fermented part of this batch with 100% Brett Brux, which will make for an interesting comparison).

Sour Brown

It certainly was much faster...Appearance – Marginally hazy amber going into brown. The thin white head collapses quickly into a wispy covering.

Smell – The aroma comes across as toasty, a combination of the malt and the oak. There is a vinous character that increases as the beer warms a bit.

Taste – Mellow tangy tartness. A friend of mine commented that he didn't think it tasted lactic, but I think it is just lower level and “cleaner” than most sour beers display. It has a bit of oak character (spice with some vanilla), but it doesn't come across as excessively tannic. The balance of slightly sour with slightly sweet is interesting, and one I don't taste too often in beer.

Mouthfeel – Medium body with medium-low carbonation. The body is nice for a dark sour, which often are a bit too thin for me.

Drinkability & Notes – I go back and forth on this beer, sometime I like it others it comes across as a bit vegetal. Even when the beer is “on” there is just something about the combination of flavors that doesn't send me back for a second pour from the tap. It is an interesting beer, but I think I may evacuate the last few gallons from the keg to add fruit and some Brett.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Kicked Fall Kolsch Tasting

One thing I hate about kegging is that it is difficult to really know how much of a beer you have left. With bottles it's easy (I'm down to my last six-pack of Sour Squash for example), but with a keg sometimes you go to pour a beer to review and the tap starts sputtering while the glass is still only half full... sorry for the ugly picture of what was a beautifully clear Kolsch as of yesterday.

Fall Kolsch

Looks more like a Belgian Tripel than a Kolsch.Appearance – Sticky white head sputtered on top of the hazy yellow liquid (looks like the last pull dredged up some yeast from the bottom of the keg).

Smell – Light herbal hops, with a crisp crackery background malt character. There is a mild yeastiness, but that is a new addition.

Taste – Flavor is still great. Nice rounded bready pils malt character. Some fruitness from the yeast (like white wine with a hint of fresh apple). The firm hop bitterness and touch of sulfate mineraliness come through in the finish giving it a wonderful crispness.

Mouthfeel – Light body without being watery. Moderate carbonation.

Drinkability & Notes – It has much more character than a traditional Kolsch should, but is that really such a bad thing? Sorry to see this one kick so soon, but luckily the Biere de Garde I brewed with the yeast from this batch is ready to keg after 6 weeks of lagering.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Smoked Spruce Gruit Kvass Tasting

After it was pointed out that De Molen is Dutch (and thus not Scandinavian) I've decided to just call this beer what it is, a smoked-spruce-elderberry-sour-gruit-kvass...  I really like this beer, but it isn't the type of thing I would want to have on tap.  The flavors are intense, and take a few sips to get used to.

Gruit Kvass

A glass of smoked spruce gruit kvass, murky.Appearance – Muddy amber-brown. The thin white head recedes quickly.

Smell – Sharply smoky. Almost comes across as peat, it might be the resiny spruce mingling with the beech wood smoked malt. Behind the singed woodlands there is some yeasty/bready “rustic” character.

Taste – Strong lactic acidity, that is a surprising after experiencing the aroma. The finish recalls the nose, smoky and bready (maybe a hint of pine). It is dry enough, and with the acid for balance I don't miss the hop bitterness. I don't get much from the elderberries.

Mouthfeel – Medium body, a bit more substantial than the East End Kvass (which works well with the more assertive flavors). The carbonation is moderate, which helps to clean the palate of all of the heavy flavors.

Drinkability & Notes – The smoke has already calmed down a bit, but I'd suspect that this will continue to get better for awhile. It will be interesting to see how this beer ages, certainly a nice first attempt at a gruit (but I'd like to do something with more spices and less smoke next time around).

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

If you could only drink beer from THREE countries?

With more than 400 people casting votes the USA edged out Belgium by only six votes for the top spot on the list.  With such a huge range of beers being brewed in the States today (and the ~83% of my readers who are American) it wasn't too surprising.

USA - 84%
Belgium - 83%
Germany - 51%
UK - 36%
Ireland - 9%
Czech Republic - 7%
Denmark - 3%
France - 2%
Italy - 2%
Japan - 2%
Netherlands - 2%
Sweden - 2%
Other - 7%

I was surprised to see Germany beat out England by so many votes, I assumed they would be right around the same level because they are two of the three "original" brewing powers.  If you voted for one and not the other, post a comment. I voted for Germany because they brew some of the most consistent and well made lagers available (one of the few areas where America craft brewers are still relatively lacking.) I think England makes some great beers, but so many of the lighter ones don't travel as well as the beers of Germany and Belgium, so I don't buy them regularly.

I'm also interested in which country the people who answered "Other" wanted to vote for.  Canada was a serious omission (with brewers like Dieu du Ciel, Unibroue, Hopfenstark, Charlevoix, and Le Trou Du Diable), which I didn't realize until after the poll had already been running for a couple days.

The November poll up is up on the blog, "What is the best beer for a cold winter night?"

Monday, November 1, 2010

Scandinavian Gruit Kvass Recipe

Nathan clearly thinks HSA is a myth.After Nathan and I brewed East End's recipe for Kvass, we decided to crank out a couple more kvasses with recipes of our own design. The first was inspired by a sample of Menno & Jens (a gruit that had a unique flavor that was smokey, tart, and herbal) a collaboration between the two Scandinavian breweries (Haandbryggeriet and De Molen).

Nathan took the standard kvass recipe and morphed it into a complex Scandinavian gruit.  The smoke character came from three pounds of Weyermann rauchmalt, a sizable addition for a beer that barely topped 4% ABV.  For winter spicing we added blue spruce (for evergreen aromatics) and elderberries (for dried fruit character).  The sourness was provided by Lactobacillus resident in the dried bread yeast working unconstrained by hops.

This was the first batch of beer I have brewed that was devoid of hops.  While today beer and hops are culturally (and in some cases legally) synonyms, this has not always been the case.  For centuries political and religious institutions required the use of gruit (a secret spice blend often containing mugwort, yarrow, marsh rosemary among others) both as a counterpoint to the sweet malt (beers were often far less attenuated than today) and as a way to tax/control brewing.  Hops became the dominant seasoning for beers only about 500 years ago, as a result of their ability to add bitterness as well as inhibit lactic acid producing bacteria.

If only they hired hand models for adding things to the boil...Our method of incorporating the bread (by soaking it overnight in 190 degree water, pureeing it with a stick blender, and then adding it to the boil) was identical to our previous batch of kvass, but this time we used a loaf of pumpernickel bread in place of the standard seeded rye.  We hoped the darker bread would be a better complement for a slightly stronger beer intended for fall/winter drinking.

The results were intriguing, one of the most flavorful low alcohol beers I have tried.  Granted the beer is still young, but it turned out a bit smokier and not as sprucey as we intended.

Scandinavian Kvass

Recipe Specifics
Batch Size (Gal): 5.25
Total Grain (Lbs): 7.50
Anticipated OG: 1.040
Anticipated SRM: 11.9
Anticipated IBU: 0.0
Brewhouse Efficiency: 70 %
Wort Boil Time: 60 Minutes

40.0% - 3.00 lbs. Maris Otter
40.0% - 3.00 lbs. Rauchmalt (Bamberg Smoked)
6.7% - 0.50 lbs. Rye Malt
6.7% - 0.50 lbs. Brown Malt
6.7% - 0.50 lbs. Crystal Rye

5 g Blue Spruce @ 30 min
20 g Dried Elderberries @ 0 min

Red Star Bread Yeast

Water Profile
Profile: Washington DC

Mash Schedule
Sacch Rest 60 min @ 152

Brewed 9/24/10 with Nathan and Devin

1 gallon of pumpernickel bread puree (1 loaf) added before the start of the boil.

5 grams spruce at 30

20 grams dried elderberries lightly crushed at flameout

Pitched 1 gram of rehydrated Red Star bread yeast once the wort was cool. 

Left in Nathan's basement ~75 degrees to ferment.

FG 1.010

10/08/11 Turned out well, powerful smoke (mingling with the spruce) and as predicted bread yeast and no hops made for a tart beer.