Pushing my Wild Saccharomyces

For anyone who has read a few posts on here you probably have noticed my enthusiasm about a wild yeast I harvested this past summer. See hereherehere and here. This brew will be more of a test to see how this yeast preform in higher gravity and ABV beers. As the Gildemeester ale yeast seems to usually have an apparent attenuation of ~95% the OG will not need to be super high.

Big Bad Gildemeester Ale


  • Calcium: 84 ppm
  • Chloride: 66 ppm
  • Sulfate: 113 ppm
  • Mash pH: 5.2
  • Mash Thickness: 1.3 qt/lbs (4.5 gal)

7.5 gal total


  • 71.4% 10 lbs Chateau Pilsen
  • 28.6% 4 lbs Weyerman Spelt Malt

14 lbs total

Mash Schedule:

  • Mash in an hold for 60 min at 148F (4.5 gal)
  • Raise via induction to 168F and hold for 10 min
  • Fly Sparge with 3 gal distilled water at 168F

Collect 6.25 gal wort

Hot Side Additions:

  • 60 min boil
  • FWH 3/8 oz German Magnum 11.8% AA
  • 15 min add Whirlfloc
  • 15 min add yeast nutrient
  • 10 min add 2 oz Australian Summer 7.7% AA
  • Chill to 68F

Cold Side Additions:

  • Collect 5.25 gal
  • Pitch Gildemeester Ale yeast from my wild harvest at a rate of 1 million cells/ml/P
  • 7 day prior to packaging dry hop with 2 oz Australian Summer 7.7% AA
  • 24 hour prior to packaging Cold crash with gelatin
  • Bottle condition with 2.8 vols


  • OG: 1.079
  • FG: 1.003
  • ABV: 10
  • IBU: 33
  • SRM: 4.25
  • BHE: 80%

Last Brew day

Was an absolute crazy mess but I ended up with 17.3 gal and trying my first cold sparge. My noticeable Pros/Cons. Pros: Little effort, mash tun cooled down fast and was easy to clean because of it. Cons: undershot efficiency by 4% which is pretty big for me. Instead of my 1.045-1.049 range I hit 1.040. Nothing I cannot work with though. After all this will be a dry sour!

Gildemeester Melon Head Ale Review


Mandarin orange colour, moderately hazy (chill haze from bottle conditioning be damned). Pours a thick white fluffy head that persists. Laces the glass with each sip. Becomes crystal clear as it warms.

Pear, melon, field berries, banana, clove, black pepper. Ester, phenols and hop aromatics are well balanced. A complimentary note of honey from the malt shows up in the background. This pen I am wringing with (originally) is rather solvent-y. Ball point from now on.

Soft and silky. Moderately high carbonation level with a medium body. Surprising for finishing at 1.003. Very elegant feeling.

Melon, clove and black pepper up front. Mild honey and bready note in the background. Light tangerine and mild herbal notes. Tastes the way a wild strawberry patch smells if that makes sense. Bubble gum starts to come into play as it warms.

Overall Impression:
Easy drinking and rather refreshing. A mildly tweeted version is due for this summer I believe. More dry hops are needed. After a full 12 oz bottle and waiting for dinner you can tell this is a bit higher ABV than your standard beer (6.6 ABV) although the flavour would never let you know.

Next Time:
Double the flame out and dry hops. Hell maybe triple. Extended 1 week cold crash to try and clear the chill haze.


Solera Brew Day

On new years day a club member posted about finding a 15 gal demijohn on the side of the road and asked if anyone wanted it. Immediately my thought went to long term sour beer. I fired her off a message saying I would gladly take that off her hands. So after a bit of planning and procrastination I have finally decided I will be brewing for the demijohn this weekend. One problem. My system is 5-6 gal max. Not 15. Not wanting to do a triple brew I can up with a was to do a 2.5 brew after I figured out my recipe.

Solera Brew 2017


  • Calcium: 54
  • Chloride: 40
  • Sulfate: 64
  • Mash pH: 5.6
  • Mash Thickness: 1.5


  • 72% Chateau Pilsen
  • 12% Barn Owl Munich
  • 4% Weyermann Spelt
  • 4% Weyermann Pale Wheat
  • 4% OiO Toasted Flaked Oats
  • 4% Unmalted Wheat

Mash: (where things start to get tricky)

The unmalted wheat will be milled separately and set aside with the toasted flaked oats . I will mill everything else out and split into a bucket with 1/3 (Little Boy) and another with 2/3 (Fat Man).

Mash little Boy for 60 min at 158. Sparge with 180 water and Collect 7 gal.

Once Little Boy has been mashed in and set I will be getting my old 1 gal system mash ton and add the toasted flaked oats and unmalted wheat to it. Mash at 125 for 60 min. No sparge mashing. 1/3 of the volume will be added to the Little Boy kettle and the rest to Fat Man. As Little boy is being brought up to a boy Fat Man will be mashed in at 158. Fat man will be batch sparged to collect 2 kettles worth.

Sound confusing? Cause it does to me. Once I have juggled everything into place and have all the wort It gets easier. As Fat man is being sparged little boy will be cooling and being transferred to the FV. I only have 2 kettles so empty SS BrewTech buckets are going to be getting used to hold wort and/or sparge water.


This is easy. FWH with German Magnum 11.8% AA to achieve 1 IBU.


Primary fermentation will be using my wild Saccharomyces and Hanseniaspora. After 2 weeks of fermentation the beer will be transfered to the 15 gal demijohn and pitched with dregs. Dregs will be from every sour beer I drink and enjoy that are not pasteurized.

Aiming for a target OG of 1.045-1.050. With such a crazy mash I have no way of accurately guessing my numbers.

Competition results

Had my wild sacch saison place 3rd in a local competition! My oatmeal stout and black IPA didn’t do quite as well but hell I’m not complaining. Aside from one judge stating pine must be present in a black IPA the other score sheets had some good feedback. The judges must have been served the saison warm as the bubblegum flavours started to come through for them. This weekend I will be bottling my NEIPA for the up coming IPA challenge and also taking gravity readings of my 100% brett IPA and Black NEIPA.

Last weeks Black NEIPA brew went off without any issues. Really getting better at making sure ball valves are closed… Anyways here is the hop trub after chilling. 6 oz whirlpool addition!



Project Black Juice: C.A.M.

Since my first time entering a craft beer bar I fell in love with the black IPA. All the flavour and aromatics of tropical citrus/stone fruit and pine mixed with a subtle dark chocolate/coffee. An instant favourite winter style for me. I knew I had to brew one as soon as I started home brewing. I did on my old 1 gal system. Now 2 years later I have started to brew them again only with a twist. A black IPA with a NEIPA influence.

After my first successful attempt at a Black NEIPA I am going at it again with a slightly different malt and hop bill. This brew is the final brew for an upcoming IPA competition. This time using Citra, Azacca and Mosaic. Project Black Juice: C.A.M. is ready to be brewed this Sunday.

Project Black Juice: C.A.M.


  • Calcium: 115 ppm
  • Chloride: 135 ppm
  • Sulfate: 90 ppm
  • Mash pH: 5.3
  • Mash Thickness: 1.3 qt/lbs (4.5 gal)

8.7 gal total


  • 51% 7lbs Thomas Fawcett Pearl
  • 22% 3 lbs Thomas Fawcett Maris Otter (out of pearl)
  • 14.5% 2 lbs OiO Toasted Flaked Oats
  • 7.5% 1 lbs Weyermann Dehusked Carafa III
  • 3.5% 1/2 lbs Simpsons Golden Naked Oats
  • 2% 1/4 lbs Muttons Roasted Barley

13.75 lbs total

Mash Schedule:

  • Mashin an hold for 60 min at 154F (4.5 gal)
  • Raise via induction to 168F and hold for 10 min
  • Fly Sparge with 4.2 gal distilled water at 168F
  • Collect 7.125 gal wort

Hot Side Additions:

  • 60 Min boil
  • 15 min add Whirlfloc
  • 15 min add yeast nutrient
  • 5 min add 1/2 oz Citra 13.4% AA
  • 5 min add 1/2 oz Azacca 12% AA
  • 5 min add 1/2 oz Mosaic 11% AA
  • Flame out and chill to 185F
  • Whirlpool for 30 min with 1.75 oz Citra 13.4% AA, 1.75 oz Azacca 12% AA and 1.75 oz Mosaic 11% AA
  • Chill to 68F

Cold Side Additions:

  • Collect 6 gal leaving as much kettle trub behind as possible
  • Pitch Vermont ale yeast from Escarpment Labs at a rate of 1 million cells/ml/P
  • As Krausen falls dry hop with 1.5 oz Citra 13.4% AA, 1.5 oz Azacca 12% AA and 1.5 oz Mosaic 11% AA
  • 4 days prior to packaging Dry hop with 1/4 oz Citra 13.4% AA, 1/4 oz Azacca 12% AA and 1/4 oz Mosaic 11% AA
  • 24 hour prior to packaging Cold crash with gelatin
  • Bottle condition with 2.3 vols


  • OG: 1.065
  • FG: 1.014
  • IBU: 80-90
  • SRM: 30
  • BHE: 79%

Last weeks split batch brew went fairly well. No big spills and hit my number right on the head. Only hiccup was I neglected to compensate for the massive amount of hop gunk that decided it wanted to get into my carboys. The wort was Swamp juice green. Click here for a few photos from brew day.

Coming up as well this weekend is a local craft beer fest and then on Monday a brew group meeting. Cannot wait to share some of the most recent creations.

Project Black Juice: C.A.G. Review


Black with some ruby/brown highlights around the edges. Pours a thick tan head that my iPhone failed to capture. Head has good retention and laces the glass after each sip. When held up to the light the beer it moderately hazy.

Smells like a hop farm. Tropical with hints of mango, lychee and pineapple dominate. As it warms more subtle notes of peach, apricot, pine, mixed berries and guava start to showcase themselves. Definitely leaning more towards the fruity side than the pine side. There is a hint of roasty malt with a dark chocolate and coffee like note.

Moderately high carbonation. A warming pleasant alcohol. Smooth on the tongue. It really invites you to take another sip. Body is a bit thin and the finish is a crisp dryness.

Tons of fruit. The dominant ones are mango and pineapple with some fuzzy peaches. These are accompanies by a subtle complimentary dark chocolate and black coffee flavour. Roasted malts are in the background. This chocolaty fruity flavour lingers in the mouth. Not very bitter at all.

Overall Impression:
Pretty happy! Attempt one at a Black NEIPA was a success to my pallet. Very enjoyable to drink for a beverage at 8.4 ABV

Next Time:
I will mash higher to have more body. I think I over carbonated a bit on this so I will tone that back. New hop combo for fun.



Split Batch NEIPA

January is over. Holy hell 2017 is already moving quickly! The last brew day was… well an absolute mess (ish). More on that in a moment though. This coming brew is an exciting one of the few split batches I have ever done. Need to do this more often! There is an IPA competition coming in early march. Naturally I already have dozens of ideas for what to brew. The only problem is that I have limited time because IPAs are best drank fresh. So out of the ideas I decided to do a split batch NEIPA. One with the classic Vermont ale yeast and another with Brett Brux. Both of these yeasts were kindly supplied by Escarpment Labratories. The 3rd beer being entered will be my Black NEIPA with a different hop bill. Here is my brett starter chugging away happily.


For the split batch I will be using my favourite hop blend of Ron Mexico (HBC 438), Nelson Sauvin and Azacca. Recipe is as follows.

Freshly Squeezed B2017.5/6


  • Mash pH: 5.2
  • Ca+2: 130
  • Cl-: 135
  • SO4-2: 100


  • 80% Thomas Fawcett Pearl
  • 16% OiO Toasted Flaked Oats
  • 4% Simpsons Golden Naked Oats

Mash schedule:

  • Mash in at 151F and hold for 60 min ~1.5 qt/lbs
  • Raise to 168F via induction and hold for 10 min
  • Fly Sparge with 168 until 7.25 gal have been collected

Hot side:

  • 60 min boil
  • 15 min add whirlfloc and yeast nutrient
  • 5 min add 1/2 oz Azacca 10.3% AA, 1/2 oz HBC 438 16.6% AA and 1/2 oz Nelson Sauvin 12.4% AA
  • Chill to 185F and whirlpool for 30 min with 1 oz Azacca 10.3% AA, 1.5 oz HBC 438 16.6% AA and 1.5 oz Nelson Sauvin 12.4% AA

Chill to 68F and collect 2 batches of 3 gal each.
Pitch Vermont ale yeast in one and Brett D (brux) in the other.
Ferment at 70F
Dry hop each with 3/8 oz Azacca 10.3% AA, 3/4 oz HBC 438 16.6% AA and 3/4 oz Nelson Sauvin 12.4% AA as high krausen is just starting to fall.
Dry hop each with 1/8 oz Azacca 10.3% AA, 1/4 oz HBC 438 16.6% AA and 1/4 oz Nelson Sauvin 12.4% AA 4 days prior to packaging.


  • OG: 1.060
  • SRM: 6
  • IBU: ~75
  • Vermont FG: 1.013
  • Brett D FG: 1.006

Last Brew day B2017.4

For those of you who don;t remember the last post I was planing a simple pale base to be soured and have grape skins. WELL in an act of laziness I grabbed the wrong pre-weighed sack of malt. Grabbed my Pearl instead of Belgian Pilsner. So instead of pale it turned more red.16507807_10154801287865336_963287885_n Worst part is that as I filled the grain mill I thought to myself “huh Chateau Pilsen looks a bit different”. Then I managed to fumble my transfer hose (that was not sanitized on the outside) into my full fermentor of 2.5 IBU wort. Here is hoping nothing bad happens.

Other than that brew day went perfectly. Hit all my numbers dead on. Kviek was not quite ready to bottle as it still was releasing CO2 and had some yeast rafts flaoting about so that is work for this weekend.



Working with Wine Grape Skins and B2017.3

I am going to try and post a weekly update every Friday. In the update I plan to review my past brew day, talk about the up coming brew day, talk about beers that are aging and talk about upcoming events/plans.

B2017.3 Gildemeester Melon Head Ale brew day

Brew day went rather smoothly. No spills, no mess and no rush. After setting the mash -90/10 Belgian pilsner/local Barn Owl Munich + 1/4 lbs of Melanoidin-I went out for brunch with my mother and father to our favourite crepe place. Got back 2.5 hours later and began to sparge. Collected my pre boil wort and FWH with 20 IBU of German magnum. I then ran my 60 min boil, started to chill to 190, tossed in an oz. of Huell Melon and whirlpooled for 25 min before chilling to 65 and collecting 6 gal.16237856_10154774761610336_1858583810_n

I pitched my Saccharomyces and Hanseniaspora starter slurry and left it to chug away. Because I left my mash for a few hours I had an increase in my efficiency by 5%.

OG: 1.053
IBU: 25-30
SRM: 6
FG est: 1.004-1.002
BHE: 85%
Water was a pale hoppy profile.

This Sunday I will be adding 1 oz of Huell Melon as a dry hop addition.

On top of this brew I also packaged up my Black NEIPE hybrid. Due to being more efficient than usual and also overly attenuating by a long shot it has turned into an Imperial Black NEIPE. Finished at 8.4 ABV instead of 7.2 ABV. I bottled up just under 5 gal of this glorious black nectar. In the coming weeks I will do a review on this ale before brewing V2 with different hops for an upcoming IPA competition.

Mixed Fermentation with Wine Grapes B2017.4 planning

This coming Sunday will be an interesting brew. Again I will be using my wild yeasts for this one. As well after 7 days I will be pitching some dregs from Sawdust City mixed fermentation/sours. After 14 days I will transfer to secondary where there will be 2 heaping cups of grape skins and 1 oz of medium toasted oak added.


Balanced water with a mash pH of 5.2

95% Chateau Pilsen
5% Thomas Fawcett C45

Mash at 150 for 60 min with 4.5 gal tap water
Raise temp via induction to 168 and hold for 5 min before begining sparge/launter.
Sparge with 168 with 3 gal of distilled water

Boil for 60 min with 2.5 IBU of German magnum added at the beginning of boil
Add Whirlfloc and Yeast nutrient at 15 min
Cool to 68 before pitching sacc/hans culture

Ferment for 7 days and then add dreg slurry of SDC Limberlost with currants, SDC The Mountie, SDC ODB

Ferment for another 7 days before racking onto 2 cups of red wine grape skins/juice and adding 1 oz of medium toasted oak chips

Ferment until stable and tasting right


OG: 1.046
FG: <1.000
IBU: 2.5
SRM: 5
BHE: 79%


Wild Saccharomyces Results plus B2017.2

Oh yeah. That feels nice to finally have in my hand. This past summer I harvested some wild yeast off of some berries in the bush. Wild Yeast Isolated covers the back story. The beer came out quite pleasant. Notes of honey dew melon, poached pears, banana, green peppercorns, clove, cardamon, sage and light citrus. Finishes dry with a white wine/dry mead like quality.

First fermentation had an apparent attenuation of 96%. Flocculation was medium/medium low. Alcohol tolerance so far is happy at 7 ABV upper limits to be tested still. Ferments happily from 66-77 more ranges to be tested. This weekend is going to be brew 2 with this yeast.

This batch will be a Belgian pilsner base with some Munich and Melanoidin. Bittering with German Magnum. This time around because of the honey dew flavours I am going to use some German Huell Melon hops at flame out and dry hop time. Ale will be named Melon Head Gildemeester.

The barley wine in chugging along just fine right now and will be oaked this weekend. The black NEIPA hybrid recieved it’s final dry hop addition and will be packaged this weekend while the Melon Head Gildemeester is being brewed.

Aside from the brewing schedule there are 2 up coming competitions I will be entering. first is a small group competition called the “Winter Warmer” happening early February. I am mainly just looking for feed back here on 3 brews in this one. I have already entered them as 16A, 21B (Black Imperial) and 25B (Standard Pale). The second competition is a Great Lakes Brewery and Short Finger Brewing Co. collaboration called “SFBC X GLB HOP SHOP IPA CHALLENGE”. As from the name you can guess its only a competition for IPAs. Again I have 3 submissions all that are yet to be brewed. 21A with a NEIPA build, 21B (revised Black Imperial) and 28A (21A NEIPA build fermented with a unique Brett courtesy of Escarpment Labs.). After that it is back to regularly brewing.


02/13/17: Beer won 3rd place in a local competition under saison category!

Last Weeks Brew B2017.1


Well by those hops you may have guessed it was an IPA! You’d be correct. Went for a NEIPA mashed up with a Black IPA. Style Nazis be damned as I will call it whatever I’d like. Pretty smooth brew day. Over shot efficiency and boil off rate leaving me with 1/4 gal less than I was hoping for and 0.005 higher than anticipated OG. I thought of diluting with water but decided to head home instead and rest.

Barley Wine is chugging away at 57% attenuation its 11.3 ABV in just 1 week! Next weeks brew is a toss up as my yeast starter isn’t err… starting. Will need to assess the yeast this evening and decide from there. That being said, next week is going to be a mixed fermentation from bottle dregs OR if that fails a Kviek.