Getting tired of these yet? I’m not but I promise there are several beers coming up that aren’t just hoppy saisons. This one is another hoppy saison though, but uses an under-utilized hop in my opinon. It is quite difficult to find a commercial example that showcases this hop. The only one I’ve personally had was a pilsner from Town Hall in Minneapolis, MN. It was really nice but this is a pretty subtle hop, a good hop for a lighter beer without a dominant flavor. Last year I made a Moteuka Abbey Ale using WLP530, it turned out really nice so I wanted to use these hops again with this platform. Also, I am likely to make that Abbey Ale again, so stay tuned for that.

Unlike a lot of New Zealand hops, this isn’t as aggressive a hop as a Nelson, Galaxy, or other common varieties. It still has that underlying fruitiness to it but it is far more subtle. I think of it as the “lighter” hop of the bunch. It worked well with this beer though.

Batch # 2013.23
5 Gallon Batch
Brew date: December 8th, 2013
Keg date: January 16th, 2014
OG: 1.065
FG: 1.010
ABV: 6%
SRM: 4 L
IBU: 65 (estimated)

9 pounds Pilsen
2 pounds Wheat
Again, there has been only slight variations in the grain bills of these beers but more interesting things are on the way.

Mash Conditions:
This mash started out at 157 F and went for 70 minutes. The initial water was distilled with a pH stabilizer (pH 5.2) and approximately 5 gallons. Sparge was done with water around 165 F, about 4 gallons total. About 8 gallons was collected pre-boil.

Brewing Procedure:
The boil for this one was uneventful, the total time was just under 75 minutes to reach the terminal volume desired. Hop schedule below.

Hop Schedule:
1 ounce Amarillo 8.9% AA @30
2 ounces Moteuka @ 10 minutes
2 ounces Moteuka dry hopped

Shoot for a less bitter beer than previous versions, and to use up some older Amarillo hops, I decided to sub in some Amarillo pellets for the bittering but added them at 30 minutes before flameout to keep the bitterness a little lower. Motueka being a subtler hop, I didn’t want to crowd out their flavor with an overly bitter hop profile. The Moteuka hops are also pellets and two ounces were added to nylon bag in the keg…where they remain today.

Fermentation Conditions:
Fermentation started within 6 hours….it was 90% done within a few days. Beer was left in the primary fermenter for almost 5 weeks before being transferred to a keg and dry hopped….partially due to travel, laziness, and trying to get the gravity down as low as possible.

Tasting Notes:
Beer was force carbonated in the keg to 10 PSI over the course of about a week. Served in a stemmed glass (from Tired Hands for the glassware people).

photo (2)

Beer is yellow, light with a mild haze to it. Nice head, good retention, soft white, small bubbles. Lots of lacing on the glass. Carbonation is moderate, I should carbonate these beers a little higher but it is pretty good this way.

Aroma is mildly fruity, mildly yeasty. Nice.

Beer is light but not dry even with the extended time in the fermenter. Unlike the Snow Day IPA with Nelson, this beer is not Brett forward, the Brett component is quite low in fact, which is a little surprising. The hops and yeast character that are there play well together though. It is a light easy drinking beer.

I had the opportunity to serve this beer to the staff of Sixpoint brewery in Brooklyn, NY and it received high marks from them, which was nice. Comments I received were “nice hop levels” and “great fruitiness”….the beer is not overly bitter so the nice late addition hops shine through.

Possible improvements for future batches: 
I think overall this beer is great for what it is. I like pulling back on the IBUs for this yeast palate. I am a little confused why the Brett disappeared in this one but was more prominent in Snow Day IPA (Recipe #5)…this might take a few batches to figure out. The yeast cake from this beer was saved and will be used for the first of 6 experimental hop beers from Yakima Valley. Looking forward to those a lot.

“For a quart of Ale is a dish for a king.” ― William Shakespeare


4 thoughts on “Recipe #6: Moteuka Saison (Batch #2013.23)

  1. If you like southern hemisphere hops you should check out Australian Topaz, one of my favorite hops and I am surprised no one uses them. I will have to check out this hop sometime, I just don’t know of anyone who really uses it for input. Can’t wait for you to start using your experimental hop varieties, I bought the pine fruit (5256) from yakima, and hoping to make a pale ale or ipa to check them out.

    1. Thanks for the recommendation. I’ll seek out some Topaz this year. I have some Waktu hops, I’m excited about that. I’m really looking forward to those experimental varieties. I’m going to do Azzaca (sp?) and the experiment lemon zest first…probably brew both this weekend. I currently have a Mosaic saison in the fermenter and some berliners bottle conditioning…so those posts are coming up followed by the first two of the six experimental hops…I love Yakima Valley Hops though, they are so great.

  2. I’m developing a real predilection for NZ hops, and while there are unique stand-outs like Nelson Sauvin, lesser known/used varieties like Motueka (derived from Saaz) are truly excellent! Try Southern Cross and Pacific Jade – the former for its ramped-up Fuggles citrus/spice, the latter for its soft but persistent spiciness. Like the look of those saisons…

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