Farmhouse ale for summer

Spring is here, and warm weather is becoming normal now despite the occasional cold wet day. My last brew, an IPA based on Bell’s Two Hearted, is a good style for warm weather. But I also love wheat beers and strong effervescent ales in warm weather.

One of my favorite strong bubbly ales is the American farmhouse style Tank 7 from Boulevard. It’s certainly Belgian in inspiration, similar to a saison or strong golden, but the hop choices are more American. It has great drinkability and high alcohol content, which is a wonderful combination on a warm summer evening.

This style of beer is my next brew, which I’ll be doing tomorrow, April 6.

Unlike the Two Hearted, I am not trying to clone Tank 7. I wouldn’t mind coming close, but I’m trying more to brew something of my own based on the style than match the actual beer’s profile.

I certainly researched people’s recipes for the beer, including a third-hand statement on the mash and hops Boulevard uses, supposedly relayed by head brewer Steven Pauwels himself.

I don’t trust any of this specifically, but in aggregate I think I have a recipe that will be style appropriate.

The tricky parts are my inexperience with using corn as an adjunct, and the weird farmhouse ale yeast I plan to use, White Labs 670. It’s weird because it has a mix of normal Saccharomyces yeast with Brettanomyces, and I am finding mixed things on how long a beer needs to condition before some of the Brett funkiness appears in the beer.

So I’m going to guess at a schedule, and assume this beer will be ready in mid June.

The recipe:

This recipe is tuned for my simple brewing system where I can get a 75% mash efficiency consistently. I can’t easily do multiple temperature rests, so I’m going with a single infusion mash at 149F (compared to my more usual 152F). The lower temperature and addition of corn should get a more fermentable sugar mix that will allow for a lower gravity, dryer finish.




Mash (Single infusion, 149F)

Expected characteristics

Style American Farmhouse
Calories (12 oz) 240
IBUs (bitterness) 38
Color (SRM) 5.9 (golden)
ABV 8.4%
OG 1.074
FG 1.010

— Steve

Posted on 05 April 2013