Sunday, February 08, 2009

Homebrewing event at Nøgne Ø

Last weekend the kind people at Nøgne Ø, the Norwegian microbrewery, had invited home brewers to an event at their brewery. I went there together with about 40 other home brewers.

The goal of the day was to brew 800 liters of Nøgne Ø Saison. The batch was then to be split 40-ways, so that everybody could take 20 liters home to ferment and alter it at will. The attendes were encouraged to make the most of it. My twist will be to add a can of Oregon Apricot puree and use a Belgian yeast blend (not Saison yeast).

When registering for the event one had to decide which yeast from the White Labs catalog to use. This yeast had arrived just a few days before, so it was very fresh. I chose this yeast:

WLP575 Belgian Style Ale Yeast Blend
A blend of Trappist type yeast (2) and one Belgian ale type yeast. This creates a versatile blend that can be used for Trappist type beer, or a myriad of beers that can be described as 'Belgian type'.
Attenuation: 74-80%
Flocculation: Medium
Optimum Fermentation Temperature: 20-24°C (68-75°F)
Alcohol Tolerance: Medium-High

Nøgne Ø uses WLP400 Belgian Wit Ale Yeast in their own version. Interestingly, quite a few also ordered vials of wild yeast and bacteria. It'll be interesting to try out the end results.

If I remember correctly the recipe contains lager malt and wheat. The hop additions are East Kent Goldings for bittering, Hallertau (Mittelfrüh I presume) for flavour and Saaz for aroma. OG was 1.057 and the FG usually 1.015 (something they thought was a little too high for a Saison). They ferment the beer at 25°C from the start to the finish. Their web site also says 25 IBUs and 6.5% abv.

The agenda looked like this:

10:00 Welcome and a walkthrough of the brewery
11:00 Introduction to brewing
12:00 Transfer wort to sparging vessel
12:30 Sparging
12:30 Lunch and beer
14:00 Introduction to yeast and yeast handling
15:00 Boil wort
16:30 Transfer to whirlpool
17:30 Chilling and transfer to fermentation tanks

After the brewing session quite a few went downtown to have dinner and drink more beer.

On 21st of March there will be another event where everybody meets at the brewery and tastes each others beer.

I enjoyed the event immensely. Meeting other enthusiastic home brewers was a lot of fun. And I'm looking forward to the tasting next month. In any case this is a great thing for Nøgne Ø to be doing. I like their attitude and their eagerness of being open about everything. There are no secrets in brewing, quite the attitude of most home brewers. Cheers!


Adam said...

What a great event! I think I've heard of such things here in the US, but, never attended one.

I think I'm going to see what I can do to encourage a local brewery to do something like this.

Thanks Grove!

Adam said...

Well it looks like we do have something like this around here!

Buzz Homebrew Club in West Chester, Pennsylvania U.S.

Iron Hill's IRON BREWER event

What a pleasant surprise!

suorama said...

I cannot say more!
Thanks for sharing, but now I be jealous, a littlebit ;-)
In Finland that kind of session is impossible I guess.

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