Farmhouse-Style Ales

I am in the mood to create.  I have re-read Farmhouse Ales by Phil Markowski recently, as I am sure I have mentioned.  I really dig the idea of the small, artisanal brewery making rustic ales to sustain the household.  I need to sustain my household.  I should sustain my household in these dire economic times.  What eases the mind after work?  A nice, creative, and pleasant beer.

I seem to have been caught up with the idea of “styles”.  Recognized beer styles that is…  I think this can really get a brewer down because it can very easily stifle creativity.  Style guidelines are great for a new brewer trying to decide how a recipe is constructed or why a certain commercial beer tastes the way it does.  But before long, one can get caught up thinking only in styles and not in flavors, aromas, and colors.  What am I in the mood for?

Creativity.  To make something that I enjoy and not worry if it is too hoppy, too malty, too dark, too light, too heavy for a particular style.  I guess I have graduated.  I have 40 batches under my belt and I think I know what grains will do what, and what hops will taste and smell like.  I am by no means an expert, but I am confident.  I can create.

I have recently purchased several strains of French and Belgian “farmhouse” style (there’s that word again) yeasts, so my creative mind is racing.  I planned a recipe with plenty of Pilsener malt, flaked wheat, and a touch of Munich malt.  I am going to use Northern Brewer as my bittering hop, Saaz for my flavor hop, and a bit of East Kent Goldings for my aroma.  The yeast strain is simply called, Farmhouse and is from Wyeast as one of their special release strains this year.  It is supposed to be quite a character.  With spicy notes, and fruity esters, it should blend nicely with the spicy character of the Saaz  and East Kent Goldings.  We’ll see.

The Adequate Brewer



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