Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Juicy Sacch Trois NE Pale Ale

Nice shot at the main Wicked Weed from Tedd from Asheville Brewers Supply!

I was in Asheville, NC for the second annual Asheville Homebrewers Conference this weekend. It was a fantastic excuse to talk and drink beer with some brilliant brewers. Stan Hieronymus was there speaking about his new book: Brewing Local. While we were talking brewing at the Wicked Weed Funkatorium, he mentioned that he rarely brews IPAs other than to trial new hop varieties because there are so many great IPAs to drink in St. Louis. For me New England-style IPAs are a good argument to keep homebrewing them because they are so delicate, even compared to West Coast variants! Mike Karnowski of Zebulon Artisan Ales (and the highly informative Homebrewing Beyond the Basics) was speaking about NEIPAs and included pictures of a dramatic darkening with only a few weeks of bottling. I bottled one from this batch off tap for a friend and he didn’t have a chance to open it for two weeks… big mistake.

There are some interesting mineral analysis of finished NEIPAs. The question is how reliable are the amounts of chloride, sulfate in the finished beer as targets for brewing water? It turns out that the grain are altering the profile considerably. For example, an observant viewer of this video noted that The Alchemist's water starts around 10 PPM chloride and they adjust to 30 PPM, but target hardness is 750 (requiring a huge gypsum addition). However, finished Heady Topper tested at 339 PPM chloride and 468 PPM sulfate. Tree House Alter Ego finishes at 421 chloride and 336 sulfate in comparison (according to an analysis emailed to me). A good reason not to worry about a few PPM one direction or another in your brewing water.

Drained mash from the NEAPA lots of oats and wheat.There are three English-origin strains that ferment most examples of the style (Whitbread, Boddington’s, and Conan). There are almost certainly lots of other strains that could work well, like my friend Scott Janish’s California Lager version (delicious!). I wanted to put my standard water profile and hop-timing and apply them to a beer fermented with WLP644 Sacch Trois (which I  used in a West Coast IPA back when it was still named Brett Trois).

As it is for summer drinking, I kept the alcohol low, but did everything I could to bolster body and mouthfeel by adding malted wheat, Golden Naked Oats, and mashing towards the mid-high end of the saccharification range, and sulfate-to-chloride at 120:100 PPM. Then I loaded up with Nelson Sauvin and Mosaic for the hop-stand and two rounds of dry hopping!

For the other half of this batch I fermented with WY3068 Weihenstephan Weizen and hopped with Citra and Amarillo, sort of a Fortunate Islands variation I’ve been threatening for a few years… tasting notes for that later this week!

Juicematic 4.6

Smell – Distinct Nelson comes through: fruity-catty white wine. Tropical fruit (mango and pineapple) likely a synergy of yeast and hops. Juicy, bright, fresh. Not especially deep, but an enticing mixture of fruit without being one-note.

Appearance – Hazy yellow, just about perfect for this emerging style. Fantabulous head retention, floating above the rim. A bit of hop powder at the bottom of the glass (maybe the knee-high has a tear...).

Taste – The dank-fruitiness of the hops successfully tempers the tropical-fruitiness of the Sacch Trois. Moderate bitterness lingers for just long enough to clear the perceived sweetness (not nearly as sugary as the 7-8% ABV examples tend to be). Has held up pretty well, but has gotten more pineapple and less Nelson/Mosaic over the last few weeks since kegging.

Mouthfeel – The creamy head helps to bolster the body, but for a sub-5% beer it still has that pillowy-softness. Moderate carbonation.

Drinkability & Notes – Crushable. NEIPAs have a tendency to be sweet between the reduced IBUs and juicy fruit, so I tend to prefer them at or below 8% ABV. This one hits almost everything I want at 4.8%, time for another one.

Changes for Next Time – This isn’t the full-on orange-juice that slightly stronger and more of a Citra-Amarillo-Galaxy thing would bring, but I find it every bit as delicious! The Sacch Trois performed admirably in this role, I’m really interested to see what else might work!

Glass of NEAPA with Sacch Trois, Nelson Sauvin, and Mosaic.

Juicematic 4.6

Recipe Specifics
Batch Size (Gal): 6.00
Total Grain (Lbs): 10.25
Anticipated OG: 1.049
Anticipated SRM: 4.9
Anticipated IBU: 31.0
Brewhouse Efficiency: 73%
Wort Boil Time: 65 Minutes

43.9% - 4.50 lbs. Rahr Brewers Malt
43.9% - 4.50 lbs. Briess Red Wheat Malt
7.3% - 0.75 lbs. Simpsons Golden Naked Oats
2.4% - 0.25 lbs. Gold Medal All Purpose Flour
2.4% - 0.25 lbs. Weyermann Acidualted Malt

0.63 oz. Columbus (Pellet, 12.60% AA) @ 60 min.
2.00 oz. Mosaic (Whole 11.50% AA) @ 20 minute Whirlpool
2.00 oz. Nelson Sauvin (Pellet, 12.00% AA) @ 20 minute Whirlpool
2.25 oz. Mosaic (Whole 11.50% AA) @ Dry Hop
2.25 oz. Nelson Sauvin (Pellet, 12.00% AA) @ Dry Hop
2.00 oz. Mosaic (Whole 11.50% AA) @ Keg Hop
2.00 oz. Nelson Sauvin (Pellet, 12.00% AA) @ Keg Hop

White Labs WLP644 Saccharomyces "bruxellensis" Trois

Water Profile
Profile: Washington DC, Hoppy

Mash Schedule
Sacch Rest - 30 min @ 154F

0.50 Whirlfloc @ 5 min.
0.50 tsp Yeast Nutrient @ 5 min.

Split batch: hoppy hefeweizen with WY3068 and Citra/Amarillo, plus a Nelson/Mosaic NE-ish APA with Sacch Trois 644! The grains and hops listed are for this batch alone.

6/30/16 2 L starter of 3068. .5 L starter of 644.

7/2/16 stepped up the 644 to 2.5 L.

7/3/16 Minimal sparge with 50% dilution with distilled water 6 g each CaCl and gypsum, plus 2 tsp of phosphoric acid.

Chilled to 75F with ice-water recirculation. Pitched Left at 68F to cool for five hours before shaking to aerate and pitched a decanted 3L stir-plate starter.

7/6/16 Added first dose of dry hops, bagged and weighted.

7/13/16 Kegged with another dose of hops hanging in the keg. FG at 1.012 (75% AA, 4.6% ABV)

Trillium Cutting Tiles, Aslin Mind the Hop, and Alchemist Focal Banger.

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Glenn Reese said...

Looking forward to the hoppy hefeweizen tasting notes. I've never seen/heard of anyone else making one other than myself.

Unknown said...

Looks tasty! Why no dry hop when you pitched the yeast?

The Mad Fermentationist (Mike) said...

I've brewed hoppy hefeweizens with Riwaka and Cascade/Amarillo years ago with great results! Originally inspired by New Glarus Crack'd Wheat!

I didn't find the finished beer benefited from dry hopping at the start of primary. It upped the hop aroma before my typical late-fermentation addition, but after that it was a wash. I think the whirlpool addition gives me the saturated flavor I'm looking for to compliment the big hop aroma from dry hopping later.

Unknown said...

I just got done with my own NEIPA using WLP644. I honestly can't tell if the yeast brought much to the table other than not floccing out, because (at least to me) 644 flavors aren't as obvious as the peach that Conan and the like can throw out.

I didn't shoot for that ratio of chlorine to sulphur. Have you found that the amount of chlorine is more important to that NEIPA profile rather than the ratio?

Jon Paquette said...

Sound great!

I've been brewing similar beers lately with wlp644. What temperature did you ferment at? I'm still trying to dial in the temps for this yeast. My current beer topped out at 82 F , thats the highest I've pushed this yeast, this one was higher gravity (1.071 down to 1.010), it's about to get kegged so I can't say yet for sure but right now it's tasting a little too yeast dominant, despite huge late hop additions. Certainly a fruit bomb, but this time the yeast is overshadowing the hops a bit to much. Do you have a preferred ferment temp for this yeast, or how have you found temps to affect this yeast?

The Mad Fermentationist (Mike) said...

WLP644 is more subtle than Conan, more tropical. The amounts of chloride and sulfate are both important, I'm not a big believer in ratio over raw numbers.

It was 68F ambient fermentation until I warmed it up a bit for dry hopping. I actually managed to lose my notes on this one when I sent my computer back for repair for the second time this year. Which is why the bottom of the recipe isn't as specific as it usually is (I took pH readings on brew day as well, but don't remember them).

jstepikura said...

I made northern Brewers will wheatons hefe with cascade hops and I upped the hops by 1.5x. And I dry hopped with cascade. I love hoppy hefies.

dtroside said...

Why did you add the all-purpose flour?

The Mad Fermentationist (Mike) said...

What's weird to me is how the yeast still somehow out-competes the intense hopping!

If you look back in my NEIPA archives you'll see a link or two to studies suggesting the proteins in flour are especially well suited for head retention. You can see the results on this one! Doubt it adds much to the haze (unless you add it to the boil!).

Unknown said...

Hi Mike, what did you think of Cutting Tiles?

The Mad Fermentationist (Mike) said...

I really dig it, surprised how well the honey comes through!

Lior said...

Hi mike thanks for the recipe.
I'm planing to brew a NE IPA but because I never had one I want to try this recipe with S-04.
You wrote on the text about carapils malt but your grain bill seems to miss it. Is it a mistake?
Also, do you think this recipe will work well with S-04 or should I refer to your older posts about NE IPA recipes?

The Mad Fermentationist (Mike) said...

I was doin the writeup without the recipe in front of me, no CaraPils this time around (it would be fine with or without it, but doesn't need it).

Anonymous said...


You mention in the post that you used a SO4:Cl ration of 120:100 ppm. Were these the final numbers with the 6 g of gypsum and CaCl2 that you added? Thanks.

The Mad Fermentationist (Mike) said...

What do you mean by final? Those are the mineral numbers for the water, not the beer. Generally brewers don't talk about the final mineral profile including contributions from the grain, yeast, etc. Without measuring the beer analytically there really isn't a way to know.

Mr. Jammin said...

Correct, I was inquiring about the mineral profile of the water prior to fermentation. Say I wanted to recreate this recipe, would I use this ratio when using a water calculator? If I was to use 100% RO water I would want to add enough gypsum and CaCl2 to get a ratio of 120ppm/100 ppm of SO4/Cl, correct?

Just trying to determine what is a good balance for minerals for water profiles when talking about NEIPA's. Conventional wisdom on message boards and brewing articles have always talked about high SO4 and Cl numbers when brewing IPA's and DIPA's, but with NEIPA's it seems that it's more about the taste of the hops/grain and mouthfeel than it is about the bitterness.

The Mad Fermentationist (Mike) said...

Yes, you can certainly build a profile and target around that ratio. No need to add any carbonate, magnesium, or sodium.

Both CaCl and gypsum can be added to the finished beer as well, so you can taste and dose if you'd like.

Richard said...

Hi there - this sound delicious so I am going to give it a go. My Beersmith calculation is showing 69IBU with 43.5IBU from the whirlpool while you anticipate 31IBU? Have I got my setting wrong or do you not calculate bitterness from the whirlpool?

The Mad Fermentationist (Mike) said...

I recently switched to BeerSmith, this recipe was done with ProMash (the hop formulas for which assume 0 IBUs for anything at 0 minutes). I'd imagine it is somewhere between those two in perception, I find late boil/whirlpool hops to add less bitterness IBU for IBU compared to 60 min hops. Might be a function of less polyphenol extraction, or expectations!

Unknown said...

Hi Mike, do you think a similar grain bill with Sacc Trois would work with 2:1 Citra/Amarillo? Or be too over the top fruity?

The Mad Fermentationist (Mike) said...

It'll be fruity, but should still be delicious!

Unknown said...

Hey Mike - I brewed an IPA (not an NE IPA) back in February an I split off about 2 gallons to ferment with WLP644 as the primary (inspired by a similar recipe in American Sour Beers). his was my first primary fermentation with a Brett (Brett-esque) strain, so I figured I should wait until the FG stabalized before dry hopping and bottling. Well, fast forward 8 months and the gravity is just settling out after steadily dropping since the end of primary fermentation. After reading this and seeing you kegged after about 10 days from brew day, I'm wondering, was I wrong to wait so long? Without kegging equipment, my concern was bottling too soon and getting bottle bombs, though I was equally concerned about waiting too long and losing fresh hoppy-goodness. Do you have any general advice on using WLP644 as primary? Should I bottle quick, or leave it to stabalize?

On a related note - the beer continues to grow fruitier and fruitier with each tasting. The body feels slightly oily and the finish is spicy (especially in the back of the throat). It's unlike anything I've brewed/fermented/tasted before. Any similar experiences with WLP644?

And finally, thanks for all the great info!

The Mad Fermentationist (Mike) said...

Did you make a big starter? With a pure culture, and enough cells, usually gravity will stabilize pretty quickly.

If I'm adding hot-side aroma hops it is only to beers that I am aiming for a quick turnaround on. If I am aging, I'll just rely on dry hopping close to packaging.

I don't think I've aged a WLP644 primaried beer that long, interesting stuff!

Unknown said...

I made a 1 liter starter 5 days before brew day for 1 White Labs vial, and then fed it a bit more wort the day before brew day. Maybe that wasn't enough time? I only made 2 gallons of the 100% WLP644 batch, though, so I was figuring it'd be enough. FG was only down to 1.016 at 3 weeks... now it's down to 1.005. The fruitiness and spicy finish have been there since about that 3 week point, though they've both increased with time.

Either way, now that FG has finally stabilized I plan on dry-hopping and bottling so I can finally enjoy (hopefully) this batch. Next time I'll aim for a quicker turn around. Thanks for your quick reply!

The Mad Fermentationist (Mike) said...

Those vials don't have many cells, but that certainly sounds like it should have been enough for a small batch! Impossible to tell exactly what happened, could have been an unhealthy vial, or that another strain sneaked in there. I'm sure it'll still be delicious!

Unknown said...

Long time lurker, first time poster. How would this work as a Black IPA with a touch of chocolate and some de-bittered black malt? I feel like the relatively low bitterness from the hops in a NE IPA would not conflict too much with the acrid roastiness of the dark malt as it sometimes does in Black IPAs.

Unknown said...

I have a couple of questions about the flour... If you are adding because you read that the proteins in flour are foam positive, then would it be more beneficial to use bread flour instead of all-purpose, which has a protein content closer to 12% to 15%?

Also, if you are not concerned with converting the starches in the flour to fermentables, then why not simply make a slurry and either mix it in with the strike or sparge water? That would ensure that it is homogenized in the mash and won't clump, though it could likely still gum up the lautering process.


The Mad Fermentationist (Mike) said...

Dark beers start to look pretty ugly when they are hazy (unless they are really dark). You could certainly give a NE Black IPA a try, but I tend to like my black IPAs more towards piney than fruity.

Not converting the flour would lead to a murky beer. Certainly something that some breweries put to good effect (see Tired Hands' Milkshake series), but not what I'm looking for. You certainly could mix it into the strike water if that works for your process, but I don't think it'd have any tangible benefit to the finished beer.

You certainly could reduce the flour to get the same protein content using bread versus AP, but that'd be just an ounce less in this case.

Unknown said...

Mike, what kind of sanitation practices do you employ with 644? Since it is not Brett, do you think it would be OK to use all my "clean beer" plastics (fermenter, racking cane, etc...)?

The Mad Fermentationist (Mike) said...

You could go either way, either use your sour gear or your clean with 644. Sour gear would be riskier for the Sacch Trois beer, but if it is a quick turn IPA the risk isn't that high. Clean gear would be riskier for beers that follow because 644 has some Brett-like pellicle-forming characterisitcs. As a general rule pick one path, you'd never want to use your sour fermentor and then your clean bottling gear. I stuck with the clean gear on this one and haven't had any issues since.

Unknown said...

I'm gonna be doing this recipe, adding a lb. of flaked oats and subbing Citra and Denali for the Nelson, since the best I can do for ferm temp is 75. Hoping the Denali and WLP644 combine for some tasty pineapple goodness.

Dustin said...

Was there a reason to use Whirlfloc in this recipe? It seems like it wouldn't do anything since its going to be hazy anyway.

The Mad Fermentationist (Mike) said...

Whirlfloc really doesn't improve clarity of the finished beer. Kettle finings are intended to increase the size of the hot break flocs, which causing them to drop out in the kettle. It helps me bring more wort and less trub into the fermentor, resulting in more beer!

hayden5757 said...

This is good news. I just finished a NE Pale with this and it formed a pellicle and came out kinda weak. I accidentally added 3lb of wheat :(

I am currently fermenting another beefier pale with the correct amount of wheat and a combo of London ale 3 and brux. Adding forest fruits and Nelson Sauvin to the high krausen stage of the primary.

I hope this yeast is an improvement to just using London ale 3.

The Mad Fermentationist (Mike) said...

Sounds like fun! I've got a can of Imperial Citrus to try on my next NEIPA.