Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Tasting Notes: FarmWards

I am pretty critical of all the beers I brew but especially so for Saisons. I think its quite easy to brew a passable Saison but difficult to brew a great one. This beer would probably lean towards the passable end of the spectrum, not to say that it isn't enjoyable but it leaves me wanting a bit more. Unlike my HopHands clone where I had the inside track on some elements of the beer, this was always a bit of a shot in the dark at "cloning" Tired Hands flagship SaisonHands. As I documented in the brew day post, I knew the ingredients, except for the Saison yeast, but the grain proportions and hopping were a bit of a guess.

The finished beer was much better fresh then it was after a handful of weeks in the keg. As it aged I think it showed some flaws that I didn't love. After 2-3 months it was showing a bit of astringency that I hadn't noticed before. I have a couple hunches, one including the hopping rate, but at generation 4 I am wondering if my Wallonian Farmhouse pitch is showing some age. Either way I will be buying a new pitch shortly. 

First batches of a recipe are rarely going to be perfect, and I really enjoy dissecting these recipes and working out what works and what does not. Its a great way to test your skills as a brewer, as I am learning while still trying to dial in a wheaty DIPA. I will get this one dialed in yet.
A cloudy, young, citrus forward pour by the window.
Became brilliantly clear after 3 months in the keg.


Appearance: Golden color, similar to the Golden State Warriors yellow. Frothy white head, 2 fingers worth, so much lacing on this glass.

Aroma: Earthy, hay like, Coriander or some kind of spice I can't pinpoint. Citrusy, subtle lemon, mango, fruity citrusy esters abound.

Flavor: Dry, spicy, yet a creamy mouthfeel that then punches you in the top of you palate as it finishes super dry and spiced, a bit astringent on the finish.

Final thoughts: This beer is pretty solid, if I wanted to call it a clone I think maybe Wallonian is a bit too different than what TH uses. But I really love the profile of this yeast, and it pairs well with Cascade, it may be hopped a little bit too aggressively but when fresh it was enjoyable. A solid recipe that needs some tweaking. 

The version with the Tire Hands Emptiness culture is going to be great with this base, I racked it onto some Chardonnay soaked oak and bottled it all up not long ago. Not sure what yeast are in the Emptiness series of beers t but it was showing an copious amounts of passion fruit in the aroma reminiscent of beers I've brewed with Nelson Sauvin.


  1. Maybe I had better luck using 3711 but this beer was fantastic when I brewed it. I loved how citrusy it was when it was young but I love hop forward beers. The citrus character faded a couple weeks in the keg and it became more balanced and 3711 came out a little bit more. It was incredibly refreshing and quite the crowd pleaser. It definitely isn't an exact clone but that may have been because of 3711. Saison Hands has a more complex yeast character but honestly I may prefer your version over Saison Hands. I'll probably use your recipe as a base in the future and mix up the hops a bit. It would probably be fantastic with all Amarillo or Centennial.

    As far as cloning it goes, definitely lower the amount of Cascade and find whatever strain TH uses. Maybe use a mix of pale ale and pils malt for the base, or just straight pale ale malt. The rye could probably be upped a little as well. Really solid recipe regardless, thanks!

    1. I am being a bit hard on the beer because it hasnt help up in the keg as well as I would have liked, but maybe its not a beer thats meant to hang on tap for longer than a few weeks. Dont get me wrong, it is a good beer but I just felt it was a little unrefined.

      The yeast strain is key with this beer, and I wonder if maybe Wallonian is too complex and 3711 is not complex enough. Another brewer seems to think ECY14 is the strain they use so maybe I will dig that up again.

  2. How long did the batch on the emptiness slurry go for before being bottled?