All Brett Everything: Porter

Apologies first and foremost for the lack of content I have been putting out recently. Getting a brewery off the ground apparently is time consuming. who would have guessed? Anyways I figured that it has been way too long since my last recipe post. It’s been especially long since my last post that uses ingredients that are very easy to find. So with the idea of beers appropriate for Reverence Barrel Works and winter weather beer I bring you the first iteration of my 100% brett fermented porter.

Conception: I wanted a quick turn around brett beer that was approachable for those who are use to only clean styles yet interesting enough to get wild beer fans geeking out a bit. Dark beers with Wyeast Brett Lambicus (5526) have always been a personal favourite of mine due to the fairly intense cherry flavour and aroma. Nothing like black forest cake in liquid form!


100% Brett Porter V0.0


  • Calcium: 100 ppm
  • Magnesium: 5 ppm
  • Sodium: 35 ppm
  • Chloride: 60 ppm
  • Sulfate: 50 ppm

Mash pH: 5.3


  • Mash in at 153F and hold for 60 min (1.5 qt/lbs)
  • Raise via induction to 168F and hold for 10 min
  • Fly Sparge at 168F


  • 76.8% Thomas Fawcett Maris Otter
  • 10.3% Thomas Fawcett Pale Chocolate
  • 5.2% Thomas Fawcett Crystal 45
  • 5.2% Thomas Fawcett Crystal 120
  • 2.5% Weyermann dehusked carafa III

Hot side:

  • 60 min boil
  • FWH EKG for 20 IBU
  • 15 min add whirlfloc and Nutrient
  • 10 min EGK for 4 IBU
  • 5 min add 1 lbs of lactose sugar
  • Chill below 82F

Cold side:

  • Pitch Wyeast 5526 starter (1L starter/5 gal wort) 6 days on stir plate.
  • Let ferment ambient (68F) for 6 weeks
  • Keg and force carbonate


  • OG: 1.063
  • FG: 1.011
  • ABV: 6.8
  • IBU: 24
  • BU/GU: 0.37
  • BHE: 82%
  • Fermentor Volume: 4.5 gal
  • Packaged Volume: 4 gal
  • Carbonation: Kegged and force carbed to 2.1 Vols



Black. Pours a tan 1 finger thick head that sticks around. Head has some very large bubbles and some very tiny ones. After about 5 min it’s still an 1/8” thick. Laces the glass more than most beers. When held up to the lights it’s a very dark brown with a copper hue. Moderately clear as well. Head eventually fades to a halo and a few large patches.


Chocolate cake batter with extra chocolate chips. A generic dark fruit character with a black cherry accent. Hints of leather. For the most part it’s hard to tell this is brett fermented. Rather clean smelling.


Low carbonation that just barely tickles the tongue. Medium creamy body. Coats the 27294905_10155855640000336_1189639510_ntongue. Slightly warming alcohol note.


Rich chocolate cake. Not the kind you get at a kids bday but a decadent cake that I probably couldn’t afford regularly. Similar to the aroma that there is a generic dark fruit flavour with a black cherry accent. The cherry become much more prominent as it warms. Very light floral alcohol. Leather is somewhat there but very mild. Light toffee/caramel on the back end.

Overall Impression:

For around 1 of a 100% brett Porter I am quite pleased. No huge complaints however, I think I would prefer this at a more sessionable ABV. Pretty surprised for how clean this is for a Brett beer and the head retention/lacing. This is a first for me. If I was not told there was brett in here I may not have been able to pick it up.

Next Time:

I plan to knock down the OG to target an ABV of 5.2-5.2. Increase the BU/GU by about 20% to give a little more character. Increase Chloride content to enhance the mouthfeel. Some red wine soaked oak and letting it age an additional 2 weeks to simulate a barrel. Also a bit of O2 in during the fermentation to encourage a slight amount of acetic acid to also make it taste more true to a barrel aged beer.


All Brett Everything: NEIPA

To continue along the same path as my previous post 100% Brett fermentation is back. Again I am working on developing recipes that are relatively quick to turn around for Reverence Barrel Works. A great brewer (thant I cannot remember the name of) once said, “If you hate money then do not brew hoppy beer”. So with that in mind I have set out over the last 12 months to develop a hoppy all Brett beer.

Conception: I wanted another beer that was trendy that would be approachable to all the hop heads out there. All brett ferments generally tend to be more ester forward. The idea of fruity brett mixed with the juiciness of the NEIPA is a combo I simply could get out of my head. After over a dozen iterations I am finally at a point where I will keep the recipe.


100% Brett NEIPA V3.2


  • Calcium:  115 ppm
  • Magnesium:  15 ppm
  • Sodium: 15 ppm
  • Chloride: 150 ppm
  • Sulfate: 75 ppm

Mash pH: 5.3


  • Mash in at 158F and hold for 60 min ( qt/lbs)
  • Raise via induction to 168F and hold for 10 min
  • Fly Sparge at 168F


  • 75 % Thomas Fawcett Pearl
  • 17 % OiO Toasted Flaked Oats
  • 8 % Simpson Golden Naked oats

Hot side:

  • 60 min boil
  • 15 min add whirlfloc and Nutrient
  • Chill to 175F
  • Whirlpool for 30 min with 2 oz each of Citra, Azzaca and Mandrina Bavaria
  • Chill below 82F

Cold side:

  • Pitch Escarpment Labs Brett D (1L starter/5 gal wort) 6 days on stir plate.
  • Let ferment ambient (74F) for 3 weeks.
  • After 7-8 days dry hop with 2 oz each Citra, Azzaca and Mandrina Bavaria
  • 3 days before packaging dry hop with 1.5 oz each Citra, Azzaca and Mandrina Bavaria
  • Keg and force carbonate

All the Bretts from Omega (OLY218) is a great blend to use as well and is far easier to get a hold of. Really any IPA hops can work here. I like to switch things up and rotating my hop varieties.


  • OG: 1.050
  • FG: 1.011
  • ABV: 5.1
  • IBU: Who knows?
  • BU/GU: N/A
  • BHE: 80%
  • Fermentor Volume: 6 gal
  • Packaged Volume: 5.5 gal
  • Carbonation: Kegged and force carbed to 2.2 Vols

This time I did 3 half batches and decided to ferment them all with a different brett variety. Escarpment Labs Brett D, Escarpment Labs Brett Q and Escarpment Labs  Brett Brussels were used.

Want to try this beer and will be in Toronto the weekend of March 23rd? Well come on out to the Grand Opening of Peoples Pint Brewing Co. and try our collaboration brett NEIPA! I will be joining them this Sunday to brew a batch. I bet you can guess what my next blog post after this one will be about.

Do you bottle condition? Are hoppy beers lack luster due to oxidation? Look no further! Brett is excellent at scavenging O2 (the destroyer of all things hoppy) and metabolizing it quickly. Brett NEIPAs keep fairly well for over 2 months when bottle conditioned! What does it metabolize O2 into? Acetic acid. However the amount introduced during bottle conditioning is next to nothing. No worries you beer will not turn to vinegar!


D: The haziest. Light orange that the camera struggles to capture. nice small tight 28417517_10155935619925336_1427555506_obubbles in the head. Head sticks around for a min before slowly fading to a film across the top. A little bit of lacing on the glass
Q: The least hazy but still opaque. Brilliant orange when backlit. Medium large CO2 bubbles in the head. Best head retention. eventually fade to patches after a few min.
Brussels: Middle road of the haze. Again orange but needs backlighting to see it. Head retention similar to D. Slightly larger bubbles in the head than D.


D: Apricot, “a bit too squishy” peach and pineapple dominate. Some fresh cut grass and a faint hint of honey in the background.
Q: Creamsicle topped with honey. More stone fruit than tropical fruit. Lightly toasted bread and a tease of farmyard.
Brussels: Guava, Mango and… goat cheese? Yeah fruity and goaty. Kinda like that tangy smell you get from goat cheese. Not like stale hop cheese. Really digging this.


D: Silky and full. Low carb helps accentuate the juiciness. Feels like mango nectar on the tongue. Mild hop astringency.
Q: Silky medium mouthfeel. A tad thinner that D. Again low carb. Slight pleasing bitterness
Brussels: Silky and super full. Fullest of the 3. Almost feels like a fruit smoothie. Almost has a light acidity to it as well. Low carb again (obviously).


D: Huge tropical fruit smoothie. Mango and pineapple jump out. As refreshing as breathing in mountain air but without the pine.
Q: Classic “C” hop characteristics followed by a strong white peachy note. The lightest barn yard on the end of each sip.
Brussels: Pineapple, Mango and grapefruit. A bit of that goaty tang from the aroma. Fresh cut grass on the backend.

Overall Impression:

D: I could crush this all day long. Winter or Summer this beer is delicious.
Q: Prefered D but this still has a lot of potential. May be better with a different hop combo.
Brussels: Strangest of the 3 but it worked really well. Going to ahve to revisit this strain again!

Next Time:

Who knows? I hope to take this recipe and change it. This was more of pale ale strength. I’d like to go back to about 6.5 ABV, make an imperial version, sour brett NEIPA, hell even a black Brett NEIPA. Chocolate covered fruit and funk? Sign me up! Different hop combos as well.


Switching Careers: Building a Brewery

Well well well. A homebrewer who has a dream of opening their own brewery. What an original idea right? Lets face it if you are a homebrewer the idea has crossed your mind. “I make good beer that people seem to like. I am going to make it professionally and sell it!”. Then they tend to look into what actually goes on at a brewery and they learn that their dream of brewing beer as a career is actually 90% cleaning, 9% legal paperwork and 1% making beer. Not to mention running a business is completely different than a hobby. Also worth mentioning is the ever growing saturation of the market. By the time a new brewery opens they have to fight to get a line at a bar. They have to struggle to sell their IPA on a shelf with over 100 IPAs already.

So why am I going into it and what is “it” exactly? “It” is Reverence Barrel Works. If the name doesn’t already give it away Reverence Barrel Works will have barrels. Lots of them. If you have run into me in online communities or in person you know what my favourite beers are the funky and/or sours. Reverence Barrel Works is going to essentially be a mixed fermentation warehouse. Not a single beer will be made without Brett. Reverence Barrel Works will be in house sales with next to no distribution. So that is the “what” now here is the “why”. My day job is OK but I can’t see myself being here until I retire. My dads family is nearly entirely entrepreneurs. Great grandfather? Moved to Canada during WWII to start his own business and succeed. Grandmothers brother? Started his own business and retired a happy man. My father and his brother? Both run a business. My Mother? You guessed it business owner after retiring from a 30 year nursing career. Relatives still over in the Netherlands also for the most part were business owners prior to retiring. Way back in the 1500s an about 15 x Great grandfather owned and operated a small brewery in the Netherlands. Maybe it’s in my blood. Maybe it’s cause the Dutch are stubborn as mules and hate to work for other people. All I know is it has been a dream to be a business owner since I was very very young.


How and why in the saturated beer industry? Small, in house and niche. I’ll be starting out by contracting a single brew as the brick and motor location is established and built. once the location is up and running it will be a ~3 bbl system with barrels upon barrels of funky and/or sour beer. The “big guys” (craft breweries in stores and in every bar around the area) can fight among themselves with distribution and all that stuff. With tapline “bribes”, hop contracts and the loathed LCBO I struggle to see how and why I would want to go big. Smaller means less employees and I can focus on small sales of higher end products than bulk sales of standard pale ales. Sure there will be a few specialty bars that focus on my kind of beer that I will try to be in, but for the most part this will be a brewery to customer transaction. With the availability of online sales with direct to doorstep shipping in my area I can supply sour and funky beer lovers with the beverages they love in the comfort of their own home.

There are a lot of people I want to thank for getting to this point. The fine folks on the homebrewing subreddit, the old homebrew ledgends like John Palmer for teaching me in the beginning, my local homebrew club GTA brews, Escarpment Labs, Blogs like Brulosophy, The Mad Fermentationist and The Sour beer Blog, everyone who has contributed to Milk the Funk, the IRC crew, my family/friends and last but not least my extremely supportive and loving SO. She tolerates quite a bit of my BS and understands what being a small business owner will do to our relationship.

I plan to still be actively involved in the homebrewing culture and to hopefully work with educational folks like Escarpment Labs to bring more knowledge to the beer industry and hobby. I also plan to continue sharing recipes and techniques. I wouldn’t be where I am without other sharing so I will pay it forward. Thanks to everyone for the support! It’s a slow and legal path to opening a brewery but I look forward to following in my family steps of becoming a small business owner.

If you want to follow along and watch the building of my brewery check out and follow Reverence Barrel Works on Facebook and Instagram.



How to be Happy and Bottle at the Same Time

Everywhere you look in homebrewing communities you see people talking about how much they hate bottling and why kegging is superior. Complaints typically are about the time and effort involved in bottling as well as how bottling ruins beers. While the latter may be true for some styles such as the NEIPA it is not true for all. Something like a mixed fermented sour ale is much nicer in a bottle where it can age in a cellar and be enjoyed at the drinkers leiser as the flavours develop. Still the issue of time and effort comes up. I hear some people talk about how packaging in bottle take 3 or more hours for 5 gallons. So how do we shorten that to a more reasonable time? How does one make bottling easier and more efficient? Over the course of a few year I have developed a way to get everything done in under 45 min. Start to finish.


What you will need:

  • A bottling bucket/vessel (spigot not needed) BV
  • Auto siphon/tubing/bottle wand (tube length TBD)
  • A counter to stand at while working
  • Something to put the bottling bucket on such as a milk crate
  • Something to wedge under the bottling bucket to keep it on an angle
  • Bottle blaster
  • Bottle rinser
  • Bottle tree
  • Enough bottles for your batch that are all the same size
  • Caps
  • Capper (preferably a bench capper)
  • StarSan
  • Small pan
  • Priming sugar
  • Scale(s)
  • This priming sugar calculator
  • OPTIONAL: Dishwasher
  • OPTIONAL: SaniClean
  • OPTIONAL: BAC of 0.00. Sober work is fast work. Have a beer (or 4) after.

Most of this stuff you probably already have on hand. Before you get started on bottling day you need to be a responsible drinker. After consuming a bottle RINSE IT. Do not let it sit there festering and growing mold. Rinse that and keep it clean. If you have a dishwasher it isn’t a bad idea to run it on a rinse cycle with your bottles the day before packaging. Just in case. Ok bottling time.

Step 1: Sanitize you bottling vessel and auto siphon/tubing/bottle wand (transfer gear). I like my transfer gear to be 3/8″ ID for faster transfer. Your vessel should be able to be covered with a lid. Make sure to have already taken an FV reading.

Step 2: Place a people weighing scale on the ground with your bottling vessel on top. Tare it. Proceed to transfer your beer from the FV to the BV. If you are just ball parking the volume range skip the scale and just transfer to your BV.

Step 3: As the transfer is happening fill a small pot with about 250 ml of water and begin to heat it. Also fill your bottle rinser with StarSan or SaniClean (I prefer SaniClean). Sanitise the bottle tree. Set out you milk crate, capper and cup full of sanitizer/caps at your packaging. Put your bottles out by the blasting and rinsing station.

Step 4: Read the weight and convert it to volume. 1 gal is about 8.35 pounds. 5 gal = 41.75 lbs. Cover the BV and use the priming sugar calculator.

Step 5: Add the calculated sugar weight to the 250 ml of boil water. Boil for another 5 min with the lid on to steam/sanitize the inside of the pot.

Step 6: Begin blasting the bottles. This is just another way of making sure you don’t have any built up junk in there. Just a 3-4 second blast and move the bottle around.

Step 7: With the freshly blasted bottle still in hand now rinse it with the StanSan/ SaniClean solution. 2 pumps and dip the neck before putting on the bottle tree. Sanitize.

Step 8: Remove the boiling pot from the heat after 5 min. Add directly to the BV full of beer and put the lid back on. Continue step 6/7 filling the bottle tree.

Step 9: Put the BV up on the milk crate, Prop your 2×4 (or whatever) under it to put it on a slant. With your auto siphon sanitized again stir the beer very slowly about 5 time. Clockwise because of OCD.

Step 10: Place your auto siphon in the BV with the end of it at the lowest point. Put a few bottles on the counter with the bottling wand in one bottle attached to the tubing and auto siphon. The tubing length is important here. Too much and it’ll be slack possibly knocking bottles over. Not enough and the wand wont be in the bottom of the bottle.

Step 11: Start the flow. Here is where things get fast. Once the bottle is full pull the wand out and place it in the next bottle.

Step 12: As the next bottle is filling take your current bottle, put a sanitized cap on top and run it through the capper. Repeat until all of the liquid is in the bottles. I find it is easier to have cases to place my capped finished bottles in so that I am not knocking them over as I run around.

Step 13: Wait for ~2 weeks, chill to desired temp and enjoy.

This process will take a few attempts to get correct and without having spills but once you get into the flow of thing this is almost as easy as kegging.

TL;DR – have the carboy higher than the bottles and fill with gravity. While filling you cap the previous bottle.


Brewing Beer for Festivals

If you are one of the lucky few then you have had the opportunity to make beer for a festival. This fall I was invited to brew for a small batch beer fest hosted by People Pint Brewing Co and for the legendary Cask Days. How does one get to participate in the opportunity? What burning hoops of fire must you jump through to make it legal? What does this do for you?

Depending on where you live there may be no way to legally do this or no festival in which you can do this. To you I am genuinely sorry because this is the best way I have been able to get feedback for my brews. For those of you that live in places that you can do this get stoked and get brewing! In my area a beer must be brewed at a licenced brewery and brewed under licence. Things may be different in your area so check and make sure! No need for the law to come rain on your parade. There are a few essential things you will need to have in order to be able to brew for a festival.


First of all you are going to need a homebrew club. More than just that you are going to need to be actively involved in it. There are many ways to do this but volunteering time to make special events like bulk buys, competitions and group activities happen is going to be your best bet. You now have a face that is know in your group and possibly by some pro brewers/people in the industry. Your group is probably the reason that homebrew is at the festival is a thing!

Next you need to obviously be a great brewer and a great person to deal with. Great brewer is fairly self explanatory. Make good beer but make different beer. Show off and share that killer RIS you aged on bourbon slats. Pop bottles of that orange raspberry gose you are so proud of. Be known for constantly placing medals in a specific category in competitions. When your name is brought up in the homebrew group people should associate some sort of beer with you that you are known for. To be a great person to work with you need to have a few different attributes. Be flexible. Do what works for others and do it with a smile. Include other people in what you are doing. Have a sense of leadership and overall “good vibes”. People notice this kind of thing and take note. Be willing to let other people have the better part of a deal because festivals will not always compensate you for brewing for them.

Be a go getter. Don’t harass everyone involved in the homebrewing part of a festival but when you hear about it find out who you know on the organization team. Grab a beer with them or shoot them a message. Express your interest and let them know you are flexible. Sometimes they may come to you and ask, other times you may need to plant the idea in their head. Don’t be pushy or annoying about it. If you haven’t heard any word about it and the festival is coming up in a few months maybe drop another line.

Hope this helps some of you fine brewers get to have this amazing opportunity!


Essentials to Brewing a Great Saison

Saison has to be one of my personal favourite beer styles year round. Where most people would like some sort of IPA on tap at all times I would take a some sort of saison. Aside from being delicious at all times of year saison has to be one of the most versatile styles of beer. Clean and refreshing, ester/phenolic and dry, funky and hoppy, dark and smooth, the list goes on. Saison can also range from session strength to “what did I do last night” imperial strength. With the exception of getting in the car and driving there is a saison for any and all occasions.

Traditionally saisons were brewed on farms in the colder months and the stored until the summer for serving to farm labor. This is where the term “farmhouse ale” comes from. Unless you brew it on a farm you should probably just call it a saison… Lower in ABV than modern versions (3-4 ABV) the saison served as a source of hydration and refreshed the farm workers during the hot months. Those lucky ducks got to drink up to 5 liters a day! Saisons have evolved quite a bit since the craft beer boom.

Why do I love saison so much? Why love it over the king pin “the IPA” and all its sub-styles? It’s accessibility and shelf life. A saison is perfectly fine when bottle conditioned and stored warm for months on end. Fermentation temp is not very important (unless you are going for repeatability). The variety of things a saison can be leaves the brewer 21769859_10155496531565336_2094459934_nwith a blank canvas. The average saison seems to be yellow, slightly hazy, higher carbonation, in the ballpark of 6.5 ABV, noble hops, hoppier than most European styles, a balance of fruity/ citrusy esters and spicy phenols and very well attenuated. Some brewers are taking creativity in their own hands and adding some darker malts, american hops, brett-ing, barrel aging, adding fruit, “imperializing” and more.

For me a good saison needs a solid base recipe. From there you can move forward and be as creative or minimalistic as you desire. As a fairly yeast forward beer many people often overlook the grist of a saison. I beleive the grist is a make it or break it part. For me doing a pale base I like to use 70-90% Belgian Pilsner (usually Cheateau but I am currently playing with Franco Belges). Belgian Pilsner has a prominent honey note that brings a bit of a sweetness to such a well attenuated beer. Other Pilsners like german ones I find more bready. They work but are not my favourite. 10% Munich (10L) is always a good idea as almost any style of beer seems to benefit overall from the additional malty flavours. 0-20% Spelt, wheat, rye or a blend. These are the grains the will help give your beer its signature haze. Classic examples call for haze, but it is not 100% needed to make a great saison. Personally I prefer spelt for my saisons if I am using a non-barley malt. If you have access to Franco Belges Special Aromatic it is also a good malt to sub in for up to 10% of your pilsner malt or Munich. This specific aromatic malt boosts the overall malt aroma giving a saison a bit more depth of flavour. My personal favourite combination is 75% Belgian Pilsner, 10% Munich, 10% spelt and 5% special aromatic. Some folks like to use cane sugar as a fermentable in their saisons. We call those people sinners.

Arguably the most important ingredient is the yeast and how you treat it. The most accessible commercial examples are Wyeast 3711, 3724, 3736 White Labs WLP565, WLP566, WLP568, WLP585 and WLP590. If you have access to Escarpment Labs their Old Wolrd Saison Blend and Wild Thing are both top notch. For me I generally use a wild saccharomyces that is similar to 3711 (my favourite easy to find commercial yeast). How you treat the yeast is going to really decide the flavour of the beer.

The last two things I think about when brewing a saison is the water and my hop selection. For a “classic” saison I go with Brewers Friend balanced profile 1. For an American hoppy saison I either use pale and bitter or a NEIPA water profile depending on my goal. A mash pH of 5.2-5.3 is my preffered target. For hops I keep it simple. A bittering charge and an aroma charge. Saisons are a bit more hop forward than your generic crushing beer. I aim for a BU/GU ratio of 0.45-0.52. I use 70-80% of my IBUs during the bittering charge with German Magnum. Usually I add these as a FWH addition. The rest of my IBUs come from a 5-10 min addition of something like Saaz, Tettnanger, Spalt, Hallertau Mittlefruh, Crystal or other low alpha acid hops with noble flavours/aromas. Sometimes I like to dry hop depending on if I want a bit more noble character and freshness in my final beer. A dry hoping rate of 0.2-0.5 oz/gal of the same aroma hop is what I like to use 5-7 days prior to packaging. For an American hoppy saison I like to add a German Magnum bittering charge and then treat the rest of the hops like a dumbed down NEIPA using 4-6 oz total of whirlpool/dry hops.

So you have thought about the ingredient you wish to use. Now you need to think about how to use them to produce your desired final beer. Typically I aim for an OG of 1.048 and try to get it to attenuate as best as possible. A mash for 60 min at 148F is what I prefer to use for all my saisons to encourage over 90% attenuation. A 60 min rigorous boil is more than enough to drive of the dreaded DMS. Fermentation is where this beer really can change. Recently my homebrew club GTA brews did a barrel fill with an imperial saison. Everyone followed the same recipe except for fermentation temp. We let everyone do their own thing. When tasteing all 12 batches to make sure none were off every saison had its own unique flavour to it. In a flight I would have said they were all different beers. Esters and phenols were the big differences here.

How are you going to control esters and phenols to make the beer that you want? For esters there are a few ways one can promote of discourage the flavours. Underpitching, under oxygenation prior to pitch, fermenting warm and fermenting under pressure all contribute to ester formation. Of course severely under pitching and failing to oxygenate can lead to some serious issues in your beer. I find pitching a 500 ml starter of 1.040 into 5-6 gal of wort at 1.048 promoted ester development much more than my standard 1L starter. As well I don’t oxygenate with an O2 wand. Instead when transferring to FV I allow it to splash around a bit. When I pitch I like to be in the mid 70s for moderate esters and high 70s-mid 80s for high levels of esters. I prefer to bottle condition my saisons as well as I find it really brings the flavour out even more than kegging does. These techniques tend to help boost phenols. Phenols can also be increased by having a first mash rest at 113F to create more ferulic acid. Mashing at 5.7-5.8 pH is supposed to encourage more phenols as well. I have yet to try this though since I prefer a balance between the two. If all this seems confusing/too much work then I suggest you forget about it and ferment ambient from 70-85F.

Saisons are versatile and are rather forgiving. Play around and see what you like most. I highly suggest bottle conditioning to 2.8-3 vols as the high carbonation forces the beautiful aromas into the air and makes the beer that much more refreshing on the palate. Once you have a great base saison recipe then you can go wild. Imperialize it if you want a winter refresher/warmer, add some darker malts to make it more rich, milk the funk by Bretting it or turn it into dessert by adding fruit to secondary. Or hell do a combination. The possibilities are nearly endless with this style.

Cheers MD


Coconut Kveik Porter and the Intertap Stout Spout

20106901_10155300774730336_2096033250_oWith all of the easy drinking yellow beers I have been enjoying for the summer season I have begun to miss some of the darker styles. After recently doing an English barley wine with coconut brew day at Toronto Brewing (Now sitting on some B. Claussenii) I had a craving for some sessionable summery coconut beer. After brainstorming I decided to go with a porter as the base beer. Influenced by the BYO article from Nov 2016 I went off to figuring out a recipe. Back in April I brewed up a Baltic porter that I then added some Wyeast Brett Lambicus to secondary. I nearly didn’t Brett it because of how delicious the porter already was. So I scaled down and slightly tweaked the recipe to have a lower OG. Then I hit a roadblock.

Lagering fridge decided it doesn’t want to hold lager temps anymore. 60 F is the lowest it will go. So my yeast choice of Wyeast Bavarian lager was out of the question. Good thing I recently discovered how Hornidal Kveik strains if treated properly can exhibit lager like flavours.

For the coconut addition I decided to used unsweetened shredded coconut. 2 pounds of it. 1 for mash and one for a flameout/whirlpool addition. I read quite a few places that you need to be “cautious of the coconut oils and the head retention”. Not sure if these folks ever used coconut oil before because the oil solidifies and floats on top of most liquids unless at/over 76 F.

Kveik Lager


  • Calcium: 85
  • Chloride: 60
  • Sulfate: 50
  • SO42-/Cl- ratio: 0.8

Mash pH 5.3


  • Mash in at 153 and hold for 60 min. 1.5 qt/lbs
  • Raise via induction to 168 for 10 min
  • Fly sparge with 168


  • 76.9% Thomas Fawcett Maris Otter
  • 10.3% Thomas Fawcett Pale Chocolate Malt
  • 5.1% Thomas Fawcett C45
  • 5.1% GWM C120
  • 2.6% Weyermann Dehusked Carafa III
  • Added 1 lbs. of unsweetened shredded coconut to the mash


60 min boil

  • FWH with UK Phoenix for 20 IBUs**
  • 15 min Whirlfoc+nutrient
  •  10 min added 4 IBUs of UK EKG
  • Flameout and whirlpool 1 lbs. of unsweetened shredded coconut
  • Add 1 ml/gal of Madagascar bourbon vanilla
  • Chill to 95F

Cold Side

  • Pitch Escarpment Labs Hornidal 1, 2, 3 blend (150 ml starter for 5.5 gal of wort)
  • Let free fall to ambient (68-70 and ferment there)


  • OG: 1.052
  • FG: 1.015
  • ABV: 4.9
  • IBU: 24
  • BU/GU: 0.46
  • BHE: 79%
  • Fermentor Volume: 5.5 gal
  • Packaged Volume: 5 gal
  • Carbonation: Kegged to 2.2 Vols

**I calculate my IBU of FWH the same way as I do with 60 min boil additions as I find FWH calculators widely vary. YMMV.

I went on vacation for a bit so I let this beer do its own thing for 2 weeks. Every time I use this yeast blend I am shocked by how clean it is no matter how much I try to stress it. It is no surprised that the land that harboured the Vikings also harboured These Kveik yeasts. Stuff is beastly and versatile.

Intertap Stout Spout

19814200_10155300776400336_476671790_oI had been eyeing this item since before I build my Keggerator. Our good freinds over at Brülosophy did a good job of convincing me that this may be a great substitution for a full nitro set up. I decided to pick it up for this specific brew to see how well it performs. For only $15 it was hard to pass up. After a few “test pints” I settled on a serving pressure of 9 PSI for my set up.

I am honestly blown away. A $15 investment and I have a 95% match to a full nitro setup. A few areas that is is lacking is that it still has some carbonation (albeit very minimal) and it has slightly larger bubbles in the head. The creamy mouthfeel is right there though. For fun I tried the beer with the standard nozzle and then the Stout Spout side by side on the same PSI. Massive difference. Almost couldn’t tell they were the same beer.

20048628_10155300772650336_1077873367_o.jpgFor anyone who fell in love with the rich creaminess of Guinness and other nitro ales this is a must. I couldn’t justify ever spending the full amount for a nitro setup when I have such an easy and economical solution like this. 10/10 tell your friends about it. For those curious I have my regular set to low carb serving pressure (9 PSI) and just leave it at that. No fuss. Pints take about 1:15 min to settle. A little top up is then needed to fill the glass. Cannot wait to try an ESB in the fall.

Kveik Porter Review


Pours “like” a nitro served beer. Cascades a bit quicker and has slightly larger bubbles. Solid tan head that stuck around for the entire 20+ min it took me to write this review. Very dark but when held up to a white LED it is clear with ruby and garnet highlights. Laces the glass heavily.

Chocolate and mild notes of blonde coffee. Pleasing background hints of coconut. Aroma reminds me of the chocolate macaroons my mom use to make. Some mild dark fruit from the grain that reminds me of plums. Faint strange tropical estery flavors that I cannot quite put my finger on.

Creamy. The Stout Spout certainly did not disappoint. Medium body and still has a faint tingle of CO2 carbonation on the tongue. Somewhat makes me think of a hybrid between fresh cask ale and nitro pours. Silky and mouth coating. Slightly sweet but not cloying.

Similar to the Aroma. 65% chocolate with blonde coffee and some raw coconut. Mild fruity esters and a slight hint of vanilla. Caramel, wafers, toast and biscuits are in the background. Restrained roasted character and slightly sweet.

Overall Impression:
I could have fooled myself into thinking it was a new Guinness product. The mouthfeel was very close. very approachable and nostalgic feeling that makes me think of first discovering that dark beer wasn’t nasty ash liquid. Could use some tweaking but overall I am very happy.

Next Time:
I think I will take the mash coconut addition and combine it with the flameout addition to increase the coconut flavour. Next time I think I will up the IBU 3-4 more to combat the slight sweetness. I also may choose to ferment it with WLP007 for more attenuation and more fruit esters. I was not aiming to be able to taste any vanilla so I will scale it back probably 15% just so it help boost the coconut flavour.