Saturday, February 22, 2014

Ambrosia Yeast Blends

Rather than trying to keep track of all the separate dreg and commercial strain blends that I've done in miscellaneous posts, I thought it would be useful to keep track of each blend across generations.  Also, instead of describing each blend again in each individual recipe post, I can simply link back to this post.

Ambrosia Blend 001 (AMB001)

Created from a blend of Wyeast 3725 (Biere de Garde), Crooked Stave, and mixed-ferment saison dregs.  Ferments at relatively low temperatures and displays extreme citrus and tropical fruitiness with a bit of funk and light acidity.  Additional saison dregs from AMB003 (see below) were added at the fourth generation.


1.   Farmhouse Mild (Batch 03) (September 20, 2013): Petit rustic saison brewed with a generous               helping of American hops.  Half of this batch was blended with some Citrine (Batch 04) to create 
      Science & Art #1.  The cake from this was used to ferment:

2.   Demeter Spectre (October 25, 2013): Saison brewed with miscellaneous spices and the juice of             peaches, strawberries, and raspberries.  The cake from this was used to ferment:

3a.   Demeter Sinis (Batch 02) (December 14, 2013): Dark saison with black cardamom and lavender.          5 gallons of the batch was fermented was pomegranate, and the remaining 2-gallon portion was              fermented with fresh cranberries.

3b.  Namur (Batch 02) (December 14, 2013): Blonde saison with AMB001 being used to ferment                separate 2-gallon portions with Meyer Lemons and Satsuma Mandarins.

4.   Farmhouse Mild (Batch 04) (February 2, 2014): Petit rustic saison brewed with barley, wheat, oats,       rye, and spelt.  Hops for this batch are Belma, Simcoe, and Amarillo.

Ambrosia Blend 002 (AMB002)

Blend of East Coast Yeast Saison Brasserie Blend (ECY08), White Labs Brettanomyces Claussenii (WLP645), and White Labs Brettanomyces Bruxellensis Trois (WLP644).


1.  Demeter Auran (Batch 03) (February 17, 2014): Blonde saison with blood orange zest, rose hips,          and plenty of Citra hops (split batch).

2. Bauernhof (June 1, 2014): No boil Berliner Weisse base fermented with the Ambrosia Blend 002 as       well as Jolly Pumpkin Calabaza Blanca dregs.

Ambrosia Blend 003 (AMB003)

Created from the dregs mixed-ferment saisons.


1.   Saison Faible Wild (January 20, 2014): "Clean" petit saison, in contrast to the rustic Farmhouse             Mild. This half of the batch, however, is "wild" given all the critters used to ferment the saisons.

2.   Demeter Auran (Batch 03) (February 17, 2014): Blonde saison with blood orange zest, rose hips,          and plenty of Citra hops (split batch).

Ambrosia Blend 004 (AMB004)

Created from a mixture of Wyeast 1056 (American Ale), Lalvin 71B-1122 (White Wine Yeast), White Labs Brettanomyces Bruxellensis Trois (WLP644), and White Labs Brettanomyces Claussenii (WLP645).


1.   Bitter Beer Face (Wild) (February 9, 2014): Hoppy pale ale fermented with a Brett culture.

Ambrosia Blend 005 (AMB005)

Created from a mixture of Yeast Bay Wallonian Farmhouse, East Coast Yeast Farmhouse Brett (Pure Strain) (ECY03-B), and Ambrosia Blend 002.

1.     Demeter Vert (Batch 03) (June 21, 2014): Blonde saison with lime juice and zest, hopped with Sorachi Ace.

2.   Farmhouse Mild (Batch 05) (July 6, 2014): Petit saison brewed with barley, wheat, and rye; hopped with Simcoe.

3.     Wallonian Pale Ale  (Batch 02) (July 27, 2014): Hoppy saison with Mosaic, Citra, and Belma.

4.   Demeter Automne (August 10, 2014): Pumpkin saison with cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and allspice, half of which is destined to be blended with a wild cider and Citrine to become part of the Science & Art series.

5.     Wallonian Pale Ale (Batch 03) (August 23, 2014): Re-brew of the July 27, 2014 version of WPA with some slightly-different hops.  I taught a friend to brew and he wanted a pale ale, so I fermented his half with London Ale III, and my half with the cake from Demeter Automne.

6.     Demeter Facile (September 27, 2014): Blonde saison using the cake from the August 23, 2014 batch of Wallonian Pale Ale.  Pretty basic recipe designed to let the yeast shine through.

7a.     Demeter Sinis (October 4, 2014): Dark saison using the cake from Demeter Facile.  Spice with a bit of lavender and black cardamom.

7b.     Wallonian Pale Ale (Batch 04): Hoppy saison with Mosaic, Belma, and Galaxy.

Note: As I won't be brewing for quite a bit of time due to the forthcoming Thorpe twins, I saved plenty of the cake of Demeter Facile for use in future batches.  I'll have to revive it a few times during the brewing hiatus, or maybe get a small indoor batch done over the winter.

2016 update: I revived this blend using a combination of an old cake and dregs from beers fermented with this blend, and now use it to ferment most of my beers.  If I want something that's fruity, slightly funky, and a bit acidic, then I use this.  When I want a saison that's initially clean but will develop some additional character over time, I ferment with a commercial saison strain and add just a bit of this as well.


  1. Stumbled upon your blog recently and have really been enjoying your stuff.

    Quick question: do you know if all Hill Farmstead saisons are mixed fermentation? Looking at their website, only one beer mentions brett (Edith) but I've read multiple accounts (haven't had the pleasure of trying any) that say there's funk, sourness builds with age, dregs form pellicles in subsequent beer, etc. I saw you used Anna, which doesn't mention bugs/bacteria, just a saison yeast but it seems to be wild. Curious to hear what you think.

    As a side note, I was at a homebrew event this past weekend and I spoke to a brewer who told me both Tired Hands and Hill Farmstead get their saison yeast from East Coast yeast, FWIW.

  2. Glad that you enjoy the blog!

    As of a year or two ago, I believe that all Hill Farmstead saisons are now mixed fermentation. The more recent releases of Anna, Arthur, and Florence have initial funk and light acidity right upon release, and the ones from a year or so ago took some time, but developed that character. I would need to go back to see if I can find a post or article to link to, but I believe Shaun Hill said at some point that everything was being inoculated with some mixed cultures by spending at least a small amount of time in "infected" wood.

    Very good information on Tired Hands and Hill Farmstead. I've wondered about them. Do you know if it's a strain that ECY releases, or just something that's banked there? In the past I'd heard rumors that Hill Farmstead's saison yeast started as the Blaugies strain, which would make sense given how much Shaun has raved about them, and that they recently collaborated.