Sean Keffer recently won the 2nd Annual Battle of the Homebrew Shops, having collaborated with Russ Czajka of Keystone Homebrew Supply. The result and winner was a barrel-aged blood orange saison. Sean started homebrewing in late 2009 when he received a Mr. Beer Kit as a gift. Since then, his set-up has progressed rapidly. As a homebrewer, he enjoys putting an adventurous spin on beer recipes to try and push the envelope every time.
The following are Sean’s round 1 winning entry and final round winning entry:
German Chocolate Rye Ale
For this German Chocolate Rye Ale, I wanted to do something different when submitting to the first round of the competition. I began to notice that Rye IPA was a very popular beer. While I enjoy a unique IPA as much as the next person, I noticed Keystone Homebrew was selling Chocolate Rye Malt. I couldn’t resist! Through olfactory hues, I gathered together what ingredients you see here. The beer is porter-like characteristically, has a wonderful chocolate nose, and forms a nice velvety body with age. Every time you crack open a bottle, the flavors continue to explode as it aerates in the glass. I hope you enjoy it!
Boil Size: 5.83 gallons
Batch Size: 5.0 gallons
• 2 lbs. Chocolate Rye Malt
• 6 lbs. Caramel/Crystal Malt- 10L
• 0.5 lb. Flaked Barley
• 2 lbs. Biscuit
• Magnum: 1oz. at 60 min.
• Tettnang: 1oz. at 15 min.
• Hallertauer Hersbrucker: 1oz. at 3 min.
• 2 pkgs. Wyeast Labs 1007
• Mash into 4 gallons of water at 172 degrees (final mash temp should be 152°-154°) for 60 minutes
• Bring 4 gallons of water to 172 degrees
• Perform vorlauf to achieve clarity of wort
• Transfer 4 gallons of water to hot liquor tank
• Sparge mash and transfer into brew kettle
• Bring to rolling boil and follow hop regimen
• Cool wort to 60 degrees, rack to carboy and pitch yeast
• Ferment for one week
• Transfer to secondary and ferment for an additional week
Blood Orange Saison
In developing the Blood Orange Saison, I wanted to go for something juxtaposed to
the summer season, yet full in flavor. When brewing with Russ Czajka, I introduced the idea of adding blood oranges into the secondary fermenter, as it was something I did successfully before. My goal was to emulate the fruit notes of the whiskey barrel while adding citrus sugars to achieve more activity. Voilà, here is the Blood Orange Saison. An amber-colored beer from blood orange fermentation, this beer has a woody, citrus nose. The flavor is clean and refreshing as you get a slight kick of whiskey heat in the end. Be careful, this one can really sneak up on you! Enjoy!
Boil Size: 6.50 gallons
Batch Size: 5 gallons
• 12 oz. Belgian Caramel Pils
• 12 oz. Caramel/Crystal Malt- 10L
• 10 lbs. Briess 2-Row Pilsen Malt
• Cascade: 1oz. at 60 min.
• Hallertauer Hersbrucker: 1oz. at 30 min.
• Saaz: 1oz. at 3 min.
• Honey: 16 oz. at 00 min.
• White Labs 0565 Belgian Saison I
• Secondary: Add blood oranges
• Tertiary Fermentation: Dad’s Hat Rye Whiskey Barrel for 3 weeks
• Mash into 4 gallons of water at 168 degrees (final mash temp should be 153°) for 60 minutes
• Bring 4 gallons of water to 168 degrees
• Perform a vorlauf to achieve clarity of wort
• Transfer water to hot liquor tank
• Sparge and transfer into brew kettle
• Bring wort to a rolling boil
• Follow hop regimen
• Transfer to carboy and pitch yeast
• After two weeks of fermentation, rack into secondary carboy and add blood oranges
• Ferment for one week
• Age for three weeks inside Dad’s Hat Barrel