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Author Topic: Style techniques: Norwegian Farmhouse Ales  (Read 523 times)

Brew Beerymore

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Style techniques: Norwegian Farmhouse Ales
« on: May 29, 2018, 06:03:52 AM »
At the time of the vikings they had no HERMS, RIMS, GrainFathers, StarSan, airlocks, fermentation chambers or any other fancy stuff. But they made beer. Some of them didn't even use hops  :o

I thought I'd share some old brewing techniques with you. And as a spoiler: I might make a video abut it in the fall, as I have been invited to brew the old fashion way in copper kettles over open fire!

Don't worry, you don't have to locate a blacksmith and have them fashion a couple of 15 gallon copper kettles. It's fine to use your GrainFather, Robobrew, HERMS, RIMS... oh, I'm rambling again... - you get the point.

It was very common (and stil is in Norway), to use juniper branches to prepare the strike water. There are several techniques in use today, but the usual schedule on a brew day can be used. Let's start with the method that deviates the least from your usual routine:

Pick fresh juniper branches. I'd say about 50-100 grams per liter of water (7-14 oz per US gallon). Try not to get much of the thick twigs, as we're after the flavour from the green, not so much the wood. Add this to your strike water and let it sit at about 75 C / 167 F overnight. Strain off your strike water and discard of the juniper. Now you can go about your brew day as usual.

As tips for the recipe. Don't use much specialty malts, except for acidulated malts which helps drop the pH. Be aware that juniper drops the pH SIGNIFICANTLY! For better body and head I suggest torrified wheat. Many of you might not need to drop the pH after adding the juniper, depending on how much you use.

My base for recipe:
About 45% Pilsener malt
About 45% Pale malt
About 10% Torrified wheat
Use any hop you think will commend the yeast, but keep IBU less than 40
You can use other additives like spruce tips, honey, mead wort, etc.
Boil for at least 60 minutes.
Use Kveik if you can get it, if not use Saison/Farmhouse yeast
Ferment hot!! Important to bring out the flavour profile that is true to the style, so no US-05 in this please! Use one that can handle heat without producing fusel and brewers grief...

If you use Kveik, harvest it, and share it with others if you can! If you use Kveik, dry hop on day 2-3 because that yeast is FAST! Fun fact about juniper: it has sanitizing properties and was often used to clean fermenting vessels and other equipment with. They also used logs which they drilled holes in to put in the fermenting vessels and the yeast would then be preserved in the log with the holes, placed to dry and was dumped in the next batch.

I will look at a couple of other techniques in the following posts.
« Last Edit: May 29, 2018, 05:25:07 PM by Brew Beerymore »
Quote of BB:    I think I've passed that point where I'm no longer under the influence of alcohol. The alcohol is actually under my influence..

FV 1: USB Porter OG: 1.090
FV 2: Network Porter OG: 1.040

Tap 1: Solid IPA 7% ABV
Tap 2: BB's Ginger Brew 6,5
Keg 3 & 4: Clean Slate Saison 17

Brew Beerymore

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Re: Style techniques: Norwegian Farmhouse Ales
« Reply #1 on: May 29, 2018, 06:04:10 AM »
The all-in-one-day technique:

Some prefer to just add the juniper in the mash with the grains. It works, but the yield of flavour is inferior to the above technique as in the mash you want to stay a bit below the ideal temperature, and also the amount of exposure time is usually too short to extract the same amount of flavour.

The rest of the process is pretty much as per your usual routine. I guess if you put the branches in a mix with the grains that it could help recirculation and prevent stuck mash/sparge too. I have not brewed with this method myself, but will attempt to answer as best I can if anyone has questions.
« Last Edit: May 29, 2018, 06:13:33 AM by Brew Beerymore »
Quote of BB:    I think I've passed that point where I'm no longer under the influence of alcohol. The alcohol is actually under my influence..

FV 1: USB Porter OG: 1.090
FV 2: Network Porter OG: 1.040

Tap 1: Solid IPA 7% ABV
Tap 2: BB's Ginger Brew 6,5
Keg 3 & 4: Clean Slate Saison 17

Brew Beerymore

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Re: Style techniques: Norwegian Farmhouse Ales
« Reply #2 on: May 29, 2018, 06:04:27 AM »
The full on badass viking way!

Chop down a couple of trees and make a roaring fir.... uh, oh that's not what we're doing... right.

This technique is a no sparge method, and takes a long time. If you aim for a 5 gallon batch, prepare 10 gallons of strike water with juniper branches, let that soak overnight at 75 C / 167 F and strain off the juniper on the brew day. Mash for a couple of hours, and then boil off until you have your desired amount of wort. This can take a few hours. Then chill the wort down to pitching temp and.

I will be using this technique with copper kettles over open fire though  8)
« Last Edit: May 29, 2018, 06:27:25 AM by Brew Beerymore »
Quote of BB:    I think I've passed that point where I'm no longer under the influence of alcohol. The alcohol is actually under my influence..

FV 1: USB Porter OG: 1.090
FV 2: Network Porter OG: 1.040

Tap 1: Solid IPA 7% ABV
Tap 2: BB's Ginger Brew 6,5
Keg 3 & 4: Clean Slate Saison 17

Brew Beerymore

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Re: Style techniques: Norwegian Farmhouse Ales
« Reply #3 on: May 29, 2018, 06:51:15 AM »
Here is a link to the Kveik thread:

http://17crew.com/forums/index.php?topic=6078.0
Quote of BB:    I think I've passed that point where I'm no longer under the influence of alcohol. The alcohol is actually under my influence..

FV 1: USB Porter OG: 1.090
FV 2: Network Porter OG: 1.040

Tap 1: Solid IPA 7% ABV
Tap 2: BB's Ginger Brew 6,5
Keg 3 & 4: Clean Slate Saison 17

combat32

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Re: Style techniques: Norwegian Farmhouse Ales
« Reply #4 on: May 29, 2018, 09:17:38 AM »
interesting, waiting for the video  ;)
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Keg 1- HB Blonde ale v2
Keg 2- Chocolate Milk Stout
Keg 3- HB Peach Sour
Keg 4- HB IPL Ekuanot
Keg 5- 17 Red ale
Keg 6- HB Lager #4
Keg 7-
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FV2- 
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