NEWS

Acidulated Malt

Originally posted: May 5th, 2014.

 

In our most recent experimental single hopped Saison, Motueka, we threw in some acidulated malt, just for fun! 

Also known as Sauermalz, Acid Malt, or Sour Malt, Acidulated malt is a type of malted barley that contains a small amount of lactic acid that gives it a sour taste. Acidulated malt is most commonly used in small amounts (1-5%) to reduce the pH of the wort or mash. It can add complexity and slight tartness that helps highlight certain hop flavors.

In Motueka, we added 3% acidulated malt to highlight some of the Motueka hop flavors, such as lemon, lime, and passion fruit, and to give it an interesting mild tartness. 

At greater amounts (8%), it can be used in certain beer styles to help sour, such as Berliner Weisse and Gose beers, instead of souring the kettle by putting lactobacillus strains straight in the kettle.

Weyermann® acidulated malt is soured with naturally occurring lactic acid that they propagate from wort, following the German Purity Law, which states beer can only be produced using water, barley, and hops. Although exact details of the acidulation process remain undisclosed, the process is similar to the production of other malts. They use a pale barely malt that is steeped, germinated, kilned, and acidulated. 

Always learning something new! 

Fort Collins Style Clam Chowder with Funkwerks Saison Base

 

serves 4 to 6

 

ingredients

1 12-ounce bottle Funkwerks Saison

1 cup carrot, medium-diced

1 cup onion, medium-diced

1 cup celery, medium-diced

1 large tomato, medium-diced

1 large Russet potato, medium diced

1/4 lb. bacon

15 oz. can of chopped clams

15 oz. can of pureed tomato

3 cups seafood stock or bouillon

1 Tablespoon tomato paste

1 bay leaf

1/2 teaspoon chili flakes

1 Tablespoon garlic, minced

1 Tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, picked and chopped

 

preparation

Render bacon in a medium pot until crispy. Remove bacon (not the fat) from pot and set aside.        

Add carrot, celery, onion, garlic, and bay leaf to pot. Cook on low heat and caramelize,  about 15 minutes.

Add tomato paste and thyme and stir to coat rendered vegetables. 

“Toast” tomato paste for about five minutes, stirring often. Deglaze tomato paste with beer and simmer for about five minutes to reduce beer just a bit.                            

Strain the clams, reserving the liquid.                                                              

Add the clam juice, lobster stock, diced tomatoes, chili flake, cooked bacon from the first step, and puréed tomato. Bring everything to a simmer for about 30 minutes.

Add the potatoes and continue to simmer until potatoes are tender.

Turn off heat, add chopped clams, and stir. Garnish with fresh-picked herbs of your choice. 

 

Enjoy ;)

Now Bottling in Smaller Bottles

PRESS RELEASE: (August, 14th 2014) Funkwerks is now packaging in 330ml bottle 4-packs! Now customers can enjoy the beloved Tropic King and the award-winning flagship Saison in a smaller, more convenient bottle!

For three years now, Funkwerks has been bottling solely in 750ml bottles. People tend to save larger bottles of beer for a special occasion or to share with others. Smaller bottles provide more variety, accessibility, and the convenience of enjoying a single beer without the commitment of a larger bottle. Not that 750ml is too much Saison for me....

Smaller bottles additionally help in maintaining freshness. If people are opening a larger bottle and saving half of it for a later time, the beer will lose it's carbonation and quickly oxidize with so much air left in the bottle. 

Previously Funkwerks did not have the capacity to accommodate the increase in production that would come with bottling in 330 ml bottles, but their recent expansion of two 30-barrel fermenters increased their fermentation capacity by almost 43%. 

Now with the ability to brew more beer, Funkwerks has also decided to return to kegging in half barrels, reducing the cost per fluid ounce for accounts. 

What are some of the reasons you are excited to pick up a 4-pack?

 

 

Funkwerks got a new toy!

Originally posted: June 2nd, 2014.

The device simply hooks up to the draft system between the keg and tap. We fill the Hop Rocket with peaches. The beer flows from the keg into the Randall where the beer is infused with peaches and from the tap we are now pouring a Peachy Tropic King! 

Every infusion is an experiment that allows us to come up with fun creations, such as Mango Habanero Saison or Pineapple Deceit. The downside? Each beer creation is fairly brief. Because the Hop Rocket needs to be cleaned with every keg change, each batch lasts the duration of a keg. 

Make sure you can come in and try whichever fun invention we come up with, while it lasts!

We've done a Citra hopped Saison and Saison with espresso coffee and cocoa nibs! Come in and let us know what you want to see go into our Randall!

Craft Beer Conference Comes to Colorado

Originally posted: May 1st 2014

This years Craft Brewer’s Conference was a doozy of a week for Funkwerks. Being CBC’s first year in Colorado we had a lot of expectations along with a lot of unknowns. The experience was better than we could even have had imagined. Industry people from brewers to equipment manufactures from all over the world flocked to Colorado for the conference.

Picture your days as a child at summer camp, similar to the experience depicted in the movie Meatballs, for those of you that have seen it, (if you haven't, you should; it's hilarious). You spent all year doing your own thing, and then summer rolls around and you get to meet back up with all your friends at camp. CBC is a very similar experience for craft brewers. You spend the entire week having fun, trying new beer, and going to lectures. Between meetings and beer tastings you walk the exposition hall, talking to manufactures about their latest and greatest.

With the end of the week, comes the World Beer Cup. With an international panel of 219 beer judges from 31 countries it is the Olympics of Beer Competition. There were 4,754 entries from 1,403 breweries in 58

countries. Instead of Bill Murray (from Meatballs) presenting the winners, Charlie Papazian the godfather of home brewing and the craft beer movement stood on stage and presented the World Cup winners. This year there were 4,754 beers entered from 1,403 breweries, from 58 countries into 94 different style categories.  219 judges from 31 different countries judged the entries, needless to say the competition was stiff.


Impatiently waiting for the specific categories while all the while the winners were being announced. The Saison category came and went with no medal for Funkwerks. Needless to say we were extremely disappointed. Out of the four entries, our bets were placed on Saison to win a medal. Then Deceit was called and all the anxiety washed away.


Overall, next to the all you can eat oysters on the half shell and cheese carts at the awards ceremony, the best part of CBC was the camaraderie experienced between all the brewers. The support and inspiration was overwhelming. This is Funkwerks first World Beer Cup win, now it only means we have to work harder to out do ourselves! 


Thank you to all of our supporters,

Justin Renninger (head brewer at Funkwerks)





Basil Saison Cocktail

1 1/4 oz      gin of choice (I recommend Hendricks)

1       oz      simple syrup

3/4 -1oz      squeezed lemon juice

5 - 7            basil leaves

3 - 5  oz      Funkwerks Saison

 

1) Muddle basil leaves and lemon juice in a shaker.

2) Add ice, simple syrup, and gin and shake! Or stir.

3) Add Funkwerks Saison, and stir. (Do not shake!)

4) Pour into a glass and garnish with a bail leaf.

 

 

Saison Beer Bread

 

Funkwerks Saison Beer Bread Recipe 

 

Ingredients:

3     cups of all-purpose flour

1     Tablespoon of baking powder

1.5  teaspoons of salt

4     Tablespoons of Sugar 

1     bottle of Funkwerks Saison - 12 oz for the bread, remaining for your face :)

3     Tablespoons of butter (optional)

 

 

Directions:

1) Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a desired pan. 

2) In a large mixing bowl combine flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar. Mix well. 

3) Stir in 12 oz of Funkwerks Saison beer and mix with hands until a stiff batter is formed. Do not over     mix. Pour remaining Saison in a glass and sip occasionally. 

4) Brush melted butter across top of dough. This step is optional.

5) Bake until done, baking time can vary. Mine took about 45 minutes. A toothpick should come out         clean.

6) Enjoy :)

 

 

Funky Distinctions

Originally posted: Feb. 7th 2014.

There is no doubt that people have caught the bug of wild fermentation. With the array of stimulating flavors and the range of intensity and complexity that wild yeast and bacteria can bring to beer, it’s hard not to appreciate the uniqueness that wild fermentation can to bring to craft beer! The variation in bacteria, yeast, and brewing practices, brings infinite possibilities for the “wild ale” beer consumer, and many styles to choice from. Saisons, Sours, and Brett beers are often mistaken for the same style of beer, yet there are some distinct style differences that have been defined, and knowledge of these differences can help distinguish between the similarities. 

The saison beer style has been around since the 19th century and was traditionally brewed by Belgian farmers in uncovered containers in their farmhouses. Due to the naturally unhygienic brewing conditions, the beer developed a wild flavor, naturally. Saisons are brewed with pale malt, a light to medium hop, and carry notes of citrus, herbs, and spices. Originally a low alcohol beer style intended to keep the farm workers in production, the modern rendition is a relatively higher alcohol beer brewed using a cultivated wild Belgian saison yeast strain, instead of utilizing open fermentation practices. The Belgian wild yeast imitates the wild flavors that traditionally resulted from open fermentation, giving saisons their characteristic peppery and citrus flavor.  

A common misconception is that saisons get their distinct flavor because they are brewed with Brettanomyces.

Brettanomyces is a type of yeast that is found on the skins of fruit. In most cases, Brettanomyces is considered a contaminant that produces an off flavor in beer, however, it is a key ingredient in many wild beer styles. When brewing a Brett beer, it is typically used in addition to another yeast, although there are 100% Brett Beers, like our Brett Trois. Brettanomyces contributes a unique funkiness, described as “horse-blanket.” It can also give beer an acidic quality, a unique spiciness, earthiness, and fruit characteristics.

Sour beer is characterized by an acidic, tart, and sour taste. There are many types of sours that can range in color and sweetness. The word “sour” is a blanket term and includes Lambic, Gueuze, Flanders Red Ale, and Oud Bruin. Similar to Brett beers, sours are intentionally infected with (good) bacteria strains, Lactobacillus and Pediococcus, which give them a mouth puckering quality. Barrel aging is a common practice with sours, because these bacteria strains love oak barrels. As the barrels are reused, the bacterial colonies will grow, making barrels a happy home for these souring microbes to help develop a delightfully complex and puckering brew.

Saisons and sours are not necessarily brewed with Brett, but they can be. Due to this confusion, saisons and brett beers are frequently mistaken to be a sour. When brewing sours, Brettanomyces is often utilized, but it is not the souring agent. This leads to the common (and understandable) lack of distinction between Brett Beers, Saisons, and Sours. And lastly, although there are unique differences between the styles, the only thing you can expect from wild ales is that they are unpredictable. On top of that, many brewers blend the styles to create a uniquely crafted brew, designed for limitless enjoyment!

Saison Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Ingredients:  serves two

1 tablespoon oil

2 boneless skinless diced chicken breasts 

1 5oz cans of water chestnut (cut in quarters)

2/3 cup sliced mushrooms 

3 tablespoons chopped onions

1 teaspoon minced garlic

4 -6 leaves iceberg lettuce

 

Sauce Ingredients:

1/4 cup sugar

2 tablespoons soy sauce

2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar

2 tablespoons ketchup

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon oil (sesame oil recommended)

1 tablespoon hot mustard

1 teaspoon garlic 

1 teaspoon red chile paste

3 tablespoons chunky peanut butter

1/4 cup Funkwerks Saison beer

 

1) In a large saucepan, sauté diced chicken breasts in 1 tablespoon of cooking oil for 2-3 minutes on medium-high heat. Add mushrooms, onions, and garlic, and cook for 3-4 minutes, or until chicken is finished cooking. Set aside, and drain if necessary. 

 

2) Mix together sugar, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, ketchup, lemon juice, oil, hot mustard, garlic, red chili paste, peanut butter, and 1/4 cup of Funkwerks Saison in a bowl or sauce pan. 

 

3) Mix in sautéed chicken and vegetables with the sauce, and serve on lettuce leaves. 

 

4) Enjoy with a glass of Funkwerks Saison!

Barrel Cellar Tour

Originally posted: Feb. 19th 2013. 

I’ve gotten many questions lately about what we have going on in our barrels and how we prepare our barrels before use, so I figured I would give a rundown of the projects we have in the works and our procedures. I have to thank Peter Bouckaert, Lauren Salazar, and Eric Salazar of New Belgium for all their help and info they provided. A lot of procedures, information, and even some of our barrels came from them.

Over the past year or so we have grown our barrel collection quite a bit with the barrels falling into two general categories. The first are wine and spirit barrels that are for post-fermentation aging. The second are the sour program barrels that are inoculated with various organisms including brettanomyces, lactobacillus, and pediococcus. As the wine and spirit barrels become more neutral they move to the sour program. 

The wine and spirit barrels are used for infusing the beer with the aromas and flavors of what was previously in them along with the characteristics of the type and toast of the wood. These barrels are purchased through a broker when they are freshly emptied and given a quick hot water rinse before filling. Currently, we have four Rum barrels and one Cognac barrel aging Deceit and a number of Bourbon barrels aging Dark Prophet (which is currently being released). We aren’t sure at this point what will go into these Bourbon barrels after the Dark Prophet release but I’m leaning toward a Quadrupel.

Of the sour program barrels, most are aging a Belgian Oud Bruin that is coming along quite nicely. Some of the Oud Bruin is in red wine barrels inoculated by us in primary fermentation before transfer. The rest came from New Belgium and are Bourbon barrels that were used in their sour program. We also have some Leopold Bros Peach Whiskey barrels that were used by New Belgium and inoculated with brettanomyces and lactobacillus but still had quite a bit of character from the Peach Whiskey. In these we are aging Tropic King and they may get a dose of peaches at some point in the future.

Before we use barrels in the sour program we partially disassembled the barrels to remove the char or wine stone from the inner surface so the souring organisms have good contact with the wood. This involves loosening the hoops to pull the heads and scraping the staves and heads. At that point they are reassembled, the hoops are tightened, and then filled with hot water to swell before being emptied.

As far as releases from the barrels, there are no timelines set and quantities will be quite limited so don’t expect to see them go much further than our taproom.

Recently we did a beer dinner organized by Be Local and were paired up with Brent Lewis, Executive Chef at El Monte Grille and Lounge in Fort Collins, to come up with a pairing for one of the courses. We chose Brent’s Ancho Pumpkin Bisque to pair with Tropic King. We both felt the creaminess and subtle spice of the Bisque complemented the fruity effervescence of the beer. Thank you Brent for sharing your recipe!

 

Ancho Pumpkin Bisque:

2 cups heavy Cream

½ gallon Milk

1 C Roasted pumpkins

1/8 teaspoon Nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon Vanilla

1 ea Ancho chili roasted

½ fl oz Mexican Crema

 

Cut pumpkins in ½ and scrape the seeds out, place upside-down on a sheet tray lined with parchment paper and roast until soft (about 1 hour and 10 min) in a 350 degree oven.  Let the pumpkins cool so that they can be handled but still warm, scrape the “meat” out and discard the skin. Toast the Ancho chilis on the stove top  then place in a heave bottomed pot with the cream and milk, bring to a boil then add everything else, Bring back to a boil then blend everything together. 

To serve: 

Place in a cup or bowl, “lace” crema over soup and finish with a shake of dried and ground Ancho chili. 

Yield: 2 Qts