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Old 04-16-2012, 07:38 PM   #1
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Default All-Grain - Sahti (Finnish Juniper Ale) -- 1st Place Cat. 23, 2nd place Best in Show

Recipe Type: All Grain
Yeast: Wyeast 1272 -- American Ale II
Yeast Starter: YES
Batch Size (Gallons): 4
Original Gravity: 1.054
Final Gravity: 1.012
IBU: 14
Boiling Time (Minutes): 60
Color: 13
Primary Fermentation (# of Days & Temp): 21
Tasting Notes: See Below

I've posted about this brew before but I felt that I should put it in the recipe database after I found out it won 1st Place in Category 23 and 2nd Place in "Best in Show" at the local Brew Basin Brew-Off competition this weekend.

This is not a traditional Sahti. I've refrained from using Finnish bread yeast and multiple-rest mash. I've also added a tiny amount of hops to make it actual beer.



The Recipe:

5# US 2-row
2# Rye Malt
1# Munich Malt
0.75# Crystal 120L

0.5oz Cascade (6.9%) 60min
0.25oz Juniper Berries 60min
0.25oz Juniper Berries 15min
0.25oz Grains of Paradise 5min

1.5L starter of Wyeast 1272 Am. Ale II



The Process:

- Go to the hills and collect a backpack full of juniper branches

- Boil the majority of the branches with some berries in cheese cloth in your mash liquor... 15-30 minutes is sufficient (VERY IMPORTANT)

- Dough-in with the juniper liquor, mash 60min @ 154* F

- Take a couple extra branches and push them down onto the manifold so you lauter through fresh branches as tradition dictates

- Sparge with juniper liquor

- Follow 60 min boil schedule



Brewing Notes and Advice:

- This year I didn't do salt additions and just let the juniper liquor chemistry dictate the balance. It seemed to work out well.

- If you're collecting juniper be sure you know whether or not they're sprayed with pesticides. Best bet is to get it from the wild.



Tasting Notes:

Appearance: There is no way this guy is going to clear out considering all of the sappy, barky goodness the juniper added to the water. But the orange-brown hue is a nice color.

Aroma: Intense aroma of juniper but with plenty of malty, nutty, breadiness to accompany (man I love Wyeast 1272.) Zero hop aroma.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, no bite from alcohol or CO2 since it's supposed to be low-carb.

Taste: Initially as you're sipping you get the blast of juniper aroma, but then as soon as you take a sip you get a good amount of spiciness from the rye malt and grains of paradise. At mid-palate there is a fantastic chewy malt flavor. And finally, you're refreshed with a bit of juniper at the end. Not at all like drinking a Christmas tree (like people associate with gin and other juniper stuff.)

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Old 04-16-2012, 07:39 PM   #2
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Backpack full of branches littered with berries


Picked berries, boiling branches in mash liquor


Lautering through fresh branches


The spoils

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Kegged: Cascadian Dark Ale

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Old 04-16-2012, 07:47 PM   #3
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Congrats on the awards. This looks great. Thanks for the nice write-up. I'm mostly Finnish and have been thinking of trying this for a while. It will be nice to have a winning recipe to start with.
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Old 04-17-2012, 12:27 AM   #4
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Thanks for the props!

Give it a shot. Do you live in an area that has juniper? I wonder what different regional subspecies would taste like....

I'm also willing to ship some branches

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Old 04-17-2012, 01:50 AM   #5
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I have seen it here and there. I'll have to ask around if there is any close to home.

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Old 04-17-2012, 03:53 AM   #6
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Nicely done. I made one a while back, but waay overdid the juniper. I do think it's funny that you'll lauter through branches for tradition, but use hops and standard yeast.

I'm going to try mine again with a bit less juniper branch and some belgian wit yeast (I understand the Finnish baking yeast has a distinct clove note when used for Sahti).

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Old 04-17-2012, 05:19 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dwarven_stout
I do think it's funny that you'll lauter through branches for tradition, but use hops and standard yeast.
Well I have to make concessions somewhere

When I have my own house and have space to hollow out a log of aspen for a lauter tun I'll use the bread yeast
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Old 04-18-2012, 01:36 AM   #8
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I'm gonna give Seppo and Eero (my uncle and uncle's brother) a few of these when I brew it so I want to be able to pronounce it correctly:

You know what I think is funny about my Finnish ties? A relative Matti married a woman a few years back and her name is Sonna. Pronounced like most Americans pronounce Sauna. She doesn't like to be called Sauna! Just thought I'd share...

http://www.forvo.com/word/sahti/#fi

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Old 04-18-2012, 09:07 PM   #9
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Huh... my compy is acting weird, can't get the pronunciation thing to play.

I'm assuming it's "Saw-TEA" right?

Also, where do you live? I've found some awesome distribution maps for different juniper species.

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Kegged: Cascadian Dark Ale

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Old 04-18-2012, 09:38 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reno_eNVy View Post
Huh... my compy is acting weird, can't get the pronunciation thing to play.

I'm assuming it's "Saw-TEA" right?

Also, where do you live? I've found some awesome distribution maps for different juniper species.
I'm in Iron County. About central Michigan upper peninsula. Just a few miles from Yooper!

It sounds pretty much like its spelled. The "h" is kind of gutteral at least the way that guy says it.

A map would be cool. The last time I saw any was in Keweenaw County way up North.
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