Background: Green Walnuts kick ass, but are not used in the U.S. enough. In Europe they are quite popular in liqueurs, which include vin de noix, nocino, and orahovac. They are extremely delicious and very unique. They are created by steeping green walnuts in the beer.
Idea: Green Walnut Beer! Add two pounds of green walnuts [minty/sagey smell, but a flavor totally unique to its own] to the secondary.
Secondary Idea: Toss the green walnuts into the mash or boil kettle. Not sure what that would do to the flavor, I am going to try boiling a bunch of green walnuts to see what happens in terms of flavor.
Issues: Green Walnuts become bitter if picked too late. The ideal time is usually around June 24, plus or minus up to a month depending on your climate. Picking time is just before the shells have started to harden (the shell is what is bitter). Liqueur recipes usually call for 30 days to 6 months of soaking the green walnuts in at least 60 proof alcohol).
Questions: Any recommendations on what type of base beer to add them to? And, any ideas from other nut beers in terms of how much volume to add? Everything I have read usually adds a half pound to five gallons in the secondary of roasted nuts.
And the wild card: My house is going to be 80F-95F throughout July and 100+ in August. I do not have a cool spot. So, I am planning on doing a Saison for July. A Saison with a bit of IPA influence. I have a bunch of left over hops from my last few batches, I am thinking of using them at varying stages depending on their type. I have whole leaf: Perle 7.2% 19g; Willamette 4.5% 30g; Cascade 6.0% 25g -- and pellets: Fuggles 4.0% 9g; Northern Brewer 8.1% 6g; Hallertau 3% 15g. I was thinking, 60min NB, 20min Willamette, 10min Cascade, 5min Fuggles, primary Perle & secondary Hallertau. Now, mind you, I have roughly a quarter ounce of each of those, so while it sounds like a lot of hops it's not much. So, what I am heading toward here is a hoppy, green walnut, saison. Thoughts? [but I still want to know other base beer ideas, in case I change my mind]. And, because I have not started doing all mash brews yet, it will be extract with a soak.
So, here is the recipe I am thinking of going with: [Yes, I know, I mix units, I use pounds and grams, tough - my scale measures grams at +/-1g, but ounces at +/- 0.5oz and it does them in fractions, obnoxious]
7 gallons spring water (high calcium) [I usually boil off 2 gallons]
Steep 1 hr @170F: 1 lb Caramunich
Boil 65 min: [steeped fluids and]
6.6 lb Pale Liquid
1 lb Light DME
6 g Northern Brewer Hops (pellets 8.1%)
@15 min remaining:
1 lb light Belgian candi sugar
30 g Willamette Hops (leaf 4.5%)
@10 min remaining:
25 g Cascade Hops (leaf 6.0%)
@5 min remaining:
19 g Perle Hops (leaf 7.2%)
White Labs WLP565 Belgian Saison I [use a starter to double the smack pack amount]
Primary Dry Hop [2 weeks]:
9 g Fuggle Hops (pellets 4.0%)
150 quartered green walnuts [put in a nylon bag]
Secondary Dry Hop [2 weeks]: [remove Fuggle when racking]
15 g Hallertau Hops (pellets 3.0%)
Take the 150 quartered green walnuts from the primary and put them in the secondary. [thank you nylon bag]
Bottling: Prime with 125 g corn sugar.
FG: 1.016 [I am going to pitch extra yeast in hopes it gets the FG down to 1.012 or lower, but if not, anyone have any recommendations for a secondary pitching yeast - which is recommended for the Saison yeast?]
Other Spicing: I am tempted to throw some walnut leaves, maybe orange and lemon leaves, possibly a bit of zest, and maybe some cloves or vanilla in, but I haven't decided ... I really am tempted to just keep it simple in terms of spicing, but those are very traditional ingredients that are included with green walnuts.
Finally, for a Saison, I see a lot of recommendations for adding gypsum - why? Thoughts?
Thanks for the thoughts! Any tips on recipe or other information would be great.