We receive a lot of requests for recipes, to which we always respond. To quote our friend Lewis Dickson of La Cruz de Comal Wines, “(Our) secret is that there is no secret.”
Recently our Head Brewer Garrett Crowell wrote up a really nice description of how we make Das Überkind Vieille Saison, so we thought we’d share it.
“Das Überkind is our most used and versatile barrel aged beer. We blend it with fresh, hoppy beer to make Das Wunderkind Blended Saison. We use it as the base beer for most of our fruit re-fermentation beers, and we also package it as a stand-alone beer. It’s a pretty simple recipe.
100%, unaltered well water is used for all of our beer. It’s pretty high in bicarbonates, but we absolutely love it.
84% Pale 2-Row, or Pilsner
8% Raw wheat
4% Munich II (Dark Munich)
4% Flaked Oats
The specialty malts like Munich, and then Flaked Oats rotate based on what we have around the brewery. Sometimes we’ll use spelt, or Maris Otter, or malted wheat etc.
-Always early kettle additions, at 60min.
-Usually something like Golding, or Fuggle
-Lately we’ve been adding aged hops for about 30% of our total hop volume with great results.
We use a mixed culture of different yeast and bacteria for all fermentations. These include Dupont yeast, and Thiriez saison yeast, along with a multitude of yeast and bacteria from flowers around our brewery, spontaneous fermentation slurries, etc. These were all blended together one time, and have been evolving as a cohesive culture since being used in our brewery. We maintain this culture in house. Bottle dregs from any of our beers would be best to approximate the fermentation character we achieve.
Primary fermentation temp: 78F
We ferment in either stainless or an oak foudre before sending to smaller, 225L barrels. Secondary fermentation takes place at 62F – 55F. Average fermentation/aging for Das Uberkind is 8-24 months. We mostly use neutral wine barrels and find that very subtle oak character compliments this delicate beer.”
2 days ago
10 days ago
We’re very excited to introduce Jester King Reposé — a farmhouse ale brewed with hay and slowly fermented in French brandy barrels with native yeast and bacteria.
The inspiration for Reposé came from dusty, hay-filled barns like the one near Jester King where we store our aged hops. We attempted to capture some of our sensory experience of the barn by adding ingredients found in the attic to the beer. We added bales of hay to the mash and old hops that had spent many months in burlap bags to the boil. Further providing inspiration for Reposé was Bière de Garde, a traditional French farmhouse beer that likely originated out of the stone-walled barns that dot the landscape of northern France. Bière de Garde was historically brewed in fall and winter to take advantage of cooler fermentation temperatures, and aged for months before drinking. Similarly, Reposé was brewed during February of 2014 and slowly fermented for months prior to being blended and packaged in January of 2015.
The wort for Reposé was brewed with Texas Hill Country water from our well, malted barley, hay, aged hops, and fresh hops. It was then pitched with Jester King’s unique mixed culture of brewer’s yeast and native yeast and bacteria harvested from the air and wildflowers around our brewery. After an initial fermentation in stainless steel, Reposé was then slowly fermented for months in Brandy barrels we received from France. It is 8.3% alcohol by volume, 12 IBU, has a finishing gravity of 1.004, and was 3.25 pH at the time of bottling. The label art is by Jester King’s Josh Cockrell.
Reposé will be released at Jester King when our tasting room opens on Friday, February 27 at 4pm. It will be available by the glass, as well as to go in 750ml bottles ($18, limit 4 per customer per day). Approximately 4,500 bottles are available. The price point for Reposé is slightly higher than some of our previously released barrel-fermented beers, due to the extra cost associated with bringing in special barrels from overseas. At this point, we do not anticipate Reposé being available beyond Jester King, aside from a few special events.
Jester King Reposé
Old barn near Jester King Brewery
Aged hops in burlap bags in the attic of the barn
Head Brewer Garrett Crowell with bales of hay on brew day
Hay in the mash tun on brew day
Jester King Barrel Program Head Adrienne Ballou prepping French brandy barrels
18 days ago
We’re excited to announce that this Saturday, February 21st from 1pm to 4pm at West Lakeview Liquors, we’ll be having the Chicago release of Encendía — our Mezcal barrel aged farmhouse ale brewed with agave nectar, epazote and ancho chiles. Encendía was brewed in collaboration with our dear friend Kristina Bozic, owner of West Lakeview Liquors, to celebrate the 25th year anniversary of her store. Jester King founders Jeffrey Stuffings and Michael Steffing will be on hand for the release.
The release will include bottles for sale (limited quantities) of Encendía, Le Petit Prince, Noble King, Das Wunderkind, Mad Meg, Wytchmaker, El Cedro, Gotlandsdricka, Ambrée, and Snorkel. Jester King glassware for Colour Five, World’s Worst Twin, Provenance, Kollaborationsbier, Detritivore, and Natural Union will also be for sale. Jeff and Michael will be pouring samples of Jester King beer during the release.
Encendía is now over two years old, having been brewed in January of 2013 at Jester King. It was aged in Mezcal casks for about a year, then bottled in March of 2014, and initially released at Jester King in May of 2014. The Chicago release at West Lakeview Liquors probably would have happened sooner, but there was a long delay in getting Encendía approved by the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) due to our use of epazote in the recipe. We are quite happy with how Encendía has matured over the years, and think you will enjoy it. Encendía is 11.1% alcohol by volume, 3.4 pH at the time of bottling, and has a finishing gravity of 1.000.
Like we mentioned, we’re really excited to have the Chicago release for Encendía at West Lakeview Liquors. Kristina Bozic is one of the people who inspired us along the way and helped us get our brewery off the ground. It was an honor to brew with her, especially in light of her store’s 25th year anniversary. We hope to see you in Chicago on Saturday!
23 days ago
It’s San Francisco Beer Week, and we’re headed to California! Over the next few days, Jester King’s Ron Extract and Adrienne Ballou will be attending some amazing events in the Bay Area!
On Thursday, February 12, Jester King will take part in the Fraternal Order of Beer’s New Kids on the Block dinner at the Elk’s Lodge in Union Square. While no boy bands will be present, we are excited to be a part of this (now sold out) dinner, also featuring rare beers from Almanac (San Franscisco, CA), Modern Times (San Diego, CA), and Brasserie St. James (Reno, NV).
On Friday, February 13, we will be pouring some more rare beers at the Sourfest at Public House. This event is hosted by Almanac Beer Co., and we’ll be joined by breweries including The Bruery, Cascade, Crooked Stave, Prairie, Rare Barrel, Russian River, and Wicked Weed.
Finally, on Saturday, February 14, several Jester King beers will be featured at All Funkt Up at the Beer Baron in Livermore, an event featuring 20 funky and sour taps.
Jester King beers don’t make it out to San Francisco often, so if you’re in the area—this is your chance! We hope to see you this week!
35 days ago
This weekend, when our tasting room opens at 4pm, we’ll be releasing our second batch of Gotlandsdricka — our farmhouse ale brewed with birchwood smoked malt, juniper, and Myrica gale, inspired by the traditional farmhouse ale once brewed on the island of Gotland, off the coast of Sweden.
When we first released Gotlandsdricka back in 2012, we were careful not to claim it was an authentic recreation of the historic style. We did this because, most importantly, the Gotlandsdricka made centuries ago would have fermented spontaneously, using just the ambient microorganisms from the land and air. While we still make no claim of authenticity regarding Gotlandsdricka, it’s important to note that our second batch, unlike our first, was fermented with our unique mixed culture of brewer’s yeast, native yeast, and native bacteria. This type of fermentation brings the beer closer to its historical roots, and in our opinion, yields better complexity and more enjoyable flavors and aromas.
Another difference between our first and second batch is that the birchwood smoked malt used to brew the beer was sourced and smoked locally at Blacklands Malt. Gotlandsdricka batch 2 is 6.9% alcohol by volume, has a finishing gravity of 1.003, and is 18 IBU. It was bottled on December 8th, 2014, and is unfiltered, unpasteurized, and 100% bottle conditioned. Like batch 12 of Wytchmaker, packaged on July 28th, 2014, refermentation in the bottle has led to more tartness, with softer carbonation, and horsey, funky aromatics. Finally, we were unable to source any Old Tom gin barrels this year, so there won’t be any Viking Metal on the horizon for 2015.