The Return of the Rhubarb

My Rhubarb is coming in nicely this year. That can mean only one thing:

It’s time for Rhubarb Farmhouse Ale.

This beer is the perfect balance of easy drinking and complexity. You get the wonderful mix of a straightforward, light, easy drinking grain bill, but then you add the wonderful yeast blend of WLP670 that lends a subtle funk provided by a dose of Brettanomyces. The funk leans toward the sour spectrum and steers clear of the more leathery aromas, which I love. It gives the beer a clean taste with just a twinge of sour in the aftertaste. But that alone, of course, is not good enough for me. The icing on the cake is 2 pounds of chopped rhubarb added to the secondary. This kicks up the tartness to just the right amount and makes this beer both unique and absolutely wonderful.

BeerSmith 2 Recipe Printout –


Recipe: Rhubarb Farmhouse Ale

Brewer: Alex Shafer

Asst Brewer:
Style: Spice, Herb, or Vegetable Beer
TYPE: All Grain

Taste: (30.0)

Recipe Specifications
Boil Size: 13.84 gal
Post Boil Volume: 11.44 gal

Batch Size (fermenter): 10.50 gal
Bottling Volume: 10.53 gal
Estimated OG: 1.051 SG
Estimated Color: 3.9 SRM

Estimated IBU: 23.0 IBUs
Brewhouse Efficiency: 85.00 %
Est Mash Efficiency: 89.0 %
Boil Time: 60 Minutes

Amt Name Type # %/IBU
14 lbs 5.2 oz Pilsner (2 row) (Gambrinus) (1.6 SRM) Grain 1 85.0 %
1 lbs 11.0 oz Wheat Malt (Gambrinus) (2.3 SRM) Grain 2 10.0 %
13.5 oz Caravienne Malt (22.0 SRM) Grain 3 5.0 %
1.00 oz Goldings, B.C. [5.00 %] – Boil 60.0 min Hop 4 8.5 IBUs
1.00 oz Willamette [5.50 %] – Boil 60.0 min Hop 5 9.3 IBUs 1.00 oz Goldings, B.C. [5.00 %] – Boil 20.0 min Hop 6 5.1 IBUs
1.0 pkg American Farmhouse Blend (White Labs #WL Yeast 7 –
Mash Schedule: Single Infusion, Light Body, Batch Sparge
Total Grain Weight: 16 lbs 13.6 oz
Name Description Step Temperat Step Time
Mash In Add 21.46 qt of water at 158.9 F 148.0 F 75 min

Sparge: Batch sparge with 2 steps (3.63gal, 6.97gal) of 168.0 F water


May 27, 2013 at 1:42 pm Leave a comment

Batch from iBrewMaster: Crooked Rooster Pumpkin Saison

Crooked Rooster Pumpkin Saison

Style: Saison
Type: All Grain Calories: 161
Rating: 4.0 Boil Size: 11.19 Gal
IBU’s: 23.21 Batch Size: 10.00 Gal
Color: 11.7 SRM Boil Time: 60 minutes
Preboil OG: 1.046

September 4, 2012 at 3:41 pm Leave a comment

Rhubarb Saison FTW

I finally got down to brewing up some more beer. I was spurred on by the latest issue of BYO. There is a new yeast out. It is amazing. I haven’t even finished a beer with it and I am already drooling. White Labs 670 – American Farmhouse Ale – is a Saison yeast with a surprise. It’s spiked with Brettanomyces. I made a yeast starter on this bad boy and the yeast starter beer was awesome! Just Light DME and yeast – and I was loving it! I can’t wait to see what it can do for a proper beer.

Just to make things interesting, I went down to my parent’s house and picked a couple pounds of rhubarb to kick up the tartness. I’m pretty sure this will be a noble experiment.


Rhubarb Saison

Style: Saison OG: 1.043
Type: All Grain FG: 1.009
ABV: 4.45 %
IBU’s: 23.24
Efficiency: 85 % Boil Size: 11.19 Gal
Color: 3.9 SRM Batch Size: 10.00 Gal
Boil Time: 60 minutes

Fermentation Steps
Name Days / Temp
Primary 5 days @ 72.0°F
Secondary 7 days @ 69.0°F
Bottle/Keg 4 days @ 48.0°F

Grains & Adjuncts
Amount Percentage Name Time Gravity
14.25 lbs 84.60 % Gambrinus Pilsener Malt 60 mins 1.037
1.75 lbs 10.39 % Gambrinus Wheat Malt 60 mins 1.037
13.50 ozs 5.01 % Briess CaraVienne 20L 60 mins 1.034

Amount IBU’s Name Time AA %
1.00 ozs 8.41 Goldings 60 mins 4.40
1.00 ozs 9.74 Williamette 60 mins 5.10
1.00 ozs 5.09 Goldings 20 mins 4.40

Amount Name Laboratory / ID
1.00 pkg American Farmhouse Ale Wyeast Labs 0670

Amount Name Time Stage
2.00 lb Rhubarb Primary

Mash Profile
Light Body Infusion 60 min @ 152.0°F
Add 26.95 qt ( 1.60 qt/lb ) water @ 166.8°F
Mashout 1 min @ 170.0°F
Heat to 170.0°F over 9 mins
Batch Sparge 27.16 qt of 170.0°F water over 20 mins

Amount Type Beer Temp CO2 Vols
15.3 psi Force Carbonation 48.0°F 2.40


Notes (07/27/2011)

I’ve had the Rhubarb Saison on tap for about a week now. It’s a deliciously refreshing, sweet n’ tart beer that I am really in love with. The yeast gives just a nice solid hint of sour, the rhubarb kicks in it’s signature taste (and I swear a bit of a strawberry flavor as well), but none of it is overwhelming in any way. In fact, they whole thing can taste like a budmillercoors if you’re not thinking too carefully about it (it did end up at 1.004 after all).

I can’t wait to try some variation on this – maybe with some roasted grains for a dark/sour/rhubarb crazy. Mmm. I’ll throw in the 10 pie cherries my tree has waiting for me as well.

June 30, 2011 at 11:34 pm 1 comment

The Brewery is Finally Operational!


My dad is up at Overlake Hospital right now. I took my brand new iPod Mega (I refuse to call e product by its trade name…) up to show off. He snapped the picture here and said “this is how I fell right now.”

Anyway, it has been over 6 months since the last brew, so I finally unpacked the rest of the brewing equipment and am making some beer. In honor of dad’s recent surgery – we get Twisted Intestines Ale. Here’s the recipe:

Based off of Nightengale’s Honey Ale

Style: Kolsch
Type: All Grain Calories: 206
Rating: 4.0 Efficiency: 85 %
IBU’s: 17.52 Boil Size: 11.19 Gal
Color: 5.4 SRM Batch Size: 10.00 Gal
Boil Time: 60 minutes
Estimated Actual
Brew Date: – 05/07/2011
OG: 1.063 1.061
FG: 1.016 –
ABV: 6.16 % – %
Serve Date: 05/28/2011 / /

Fermentation Steps
Name Days / Temp Estimated Actual
Primary 7 days @ 68.0°F 05/07/2011 05/07/2011
Bottle/Keg 14 days @ 54.0°F 05/14/2011 –

Grains & Adjuncts
Amount Percentage Name Gravity Color
10.40 lbs 53.61 % Pale Malt (2 Row) US 1.036 2.0
1.40 lbs 7.22 % Honey Malt 1.037 25.0
1.60 lbs 8.25 % White Wheat Malt 1.040 2.4
6.00 lbs 30.93 % Honey 1.035 1.0

Amount IBU’s Name Time AA %
2.00 ozs 17.52 Cascade 54 mins 5.50

Amount Name Laboratory / ID
1.0 pkg Kolsch Yeast Wyeast Labs 2565


Mash Profile
Medium Body Infusion In 80 min @ 154.0°F
Add 16.75 qt ( 1.25 qt/lb ) water @ 171.9°F
Sparge 35.57 qt of 170.0°F water over 60 mins

The water was at 172 deg. When I dumped the grain in, it settled out to about 159. 5 degrees too high. Added cold water to get to 156. Version: 1.440


The boil is at 30 minutes, I’m wrapping up pretty early today, pretty awesome considering I had to give everything a good scrub before I used any of it.

May 7, 2011 at 3:08 pm Leave a comment

The Big Move

It’s been a few months since the last post. It turns out that having your own house is a lot of work…who knew? But the brewery is finally taking shape. I plan to do the Inaugural 610 brew this coming week. I haven’t decided what it will be yet, but most likely it will be in the porter/stout region – because those are the beers I have been craving lately. I’ve gotten my all time favorite beer, Angel’s Share, a couple of times in the last month (which is awesome!) and that really makes me want to produce a complex and flavorful chocolate/coffee/grainy beer with infinite complexities. But I don’t want an imperial either, but more of a sessionable beer. We’ll see what I come up with.

Once there is a little more order, I will post some pictures of the new brew space. But for now, I am off to drink some beer.

March 20, 2011 at 9:41 pm Leave a comment

Crooked Rooster 2010

There’s nothing quite like pushing the amps to 11, rocking Queen and all of the classic greats while brewing my favorite beer. This will be my last brew before the big move to Burien, so I am also packing up everything as I finish with it.
Last year this beer wowed my friends and they have been demanding it ever since. Ten gallons this time, plus the addition of a gallon and a bit of fresh pressed cider to one keg. We’ll see what that does.
The only other addition this year is I am trying two different Saison yeasts, the Belgian and the French. However, with the addition of the cider, I may void that comparison. We’ll see.
Alright, gotta go sanitize some buckets 😉
Crooked Rooster Pumpkin Saison 2010
Type: All Grain Date: 10/24/2010
Batch Size: 10.00 gal Brewer: Alex Shafer
Boil Size: 12.27 gal Asst Brewer:
Boil Time: 60 min Equipment:
Taste Rating(out of 50): 35.0 Brewhouse Efficiency: 80.00
Taste Notes:
Amount Item Type % or IBU
16 lbs Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM) Grain 83.12 %
12.0 oz Caramel/Crystal Malt – 80L (80.0 SRM) Grain 3.90 %
12.0 oz Wheat Malt (1.6 SRM) Grain 3.90 %
4.0 oz Special B Malt (180.0 SRM) Grain 1.30 %
0.50 oz Magnum [13.70 %] (60 min) Hops 11.8 IBU
0.80 oz Citra [10.00 %] (15 min) Hops 6.8 IBU
3.10 lb Pumpkin, Libby’s Canned (Mash 25.0 min) Misc
5.00 items Cinnamon Stick (Boil 10.0 min) Misc
6.00 items Nutmeg, Whole (Boil 5.0 min) Misc
8.00 items Cloves, Whole (Boil 10.0 min) Misc
1 lbs 8.0 oz Brown Sugar, Dark (50.0 SRM) Sugar 7.79 %
1 Pkgs Belgian Saison (Wyeast Labs #3724) Yeast-Ale
1 Pkgs French Saison (Wyeast Labs #3711) Yeast-Ale
Beer Profile
Est Original Gravity: 1.058 SG Measured Original Gravity: 1.055 SG
Est Final Gravity: 1.012 SG Measured Final Gravity: 1.014 SG
Estimated Alcohol by Vol: 5.99 % Actual Alcohol by Vol: 5.35 %
Bitterness: 18.7 IBU Calories: 246 cal/pint
Est Color: 12.2 SRM Color: 

Mash Profile
Mash Name: Single Infusion, Light Body Total Grain Weight: 17.75 lb
Sparge Water: 7.99 gal Grain Temperature: 72.0 F
Sparge Temperature: 168.0 F TunTemperature: 72.0 F
Adjust Temp for Equipment: FALSE Mash PH: 5.4 PH
Single Infusion, Light Body
Step Time Name Description Step Temp
60 min Mash In Add 26.63 qt of water at 162.8 F 153.0 F
10 min Mash Out Heat to 168.0 F over 2 min 168.0 F
Mash Notes: Simple single infusion mash for use with most modern well modified grains (about 95% of the time).
Carbonation and Storage
Carbonation Type: Kegged (Forced CO2) Volumes of CO2: 2.9
Pressure/Weight: 17.2 PSI Carbonation Used:
Keg/Bottling Temperature: 41.0 F Age for: 28.0 days
Storage Temperature: 52.0 F


October 24, 2010 at 3:25 pm Leave a comment

Chama River Brewing


Walk out the door of this establishment in early October and you will see 100 hot air balloons hovering peacefully over your head. Inside it is attractive with a copper bar and pleasing curved taps sponging from the bar top.

I am enjoying a Broken Spoke Honey Wheat Ale. Surprisingly, it tastes a lot like my honey ale. Crisp and light with a small yet lingering honey aftertaste. Also it has a nice cirtrus tinge to help balance out the sweetness.

On to Smokey the Beer (clever). A smoked Porter that delivers a nice campfire smoke taste on the first sip that fades as the pint wears on. Dark chocolate with a hint of bitter, this is a pretty easy drinking Porter.

Chama offers your standard lineup with some interesting seasonals. Glad I gave it a try!

October 7, 2010 at 10:42 am 4 comments

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