I’ve been wanting to brew a 100% local beer for several years now. I made a few attempts a couple years ago, but at that time the locally produced malt was only getting at best 50% efficiency on my setup and - on top of that - had some pretty odd flavours that, try as I might, I just couldn’t get used to. So I was very happy when I learned of Ontario Select Malt this spring, which is produced by Canada Malting.
Technically it’s not local to this part of Ontario, but it is at least from this province!
Coupled with my own homegrown Centennial hops and a yeast starter built from Amsterdam’s Homegrown Series Farmhouse Ale, I brewed up a light summer saison.
The recipe was simple: for a 3 gallon batch I had 3.75lbs of Ontario Select Malt, 1 ounce of acidulated malt, and a half-ounce of Centennial for bittering plus another half-ounce at 5 minutes.
For mashout I decided to do a pseudo-decoction and pulled out a few quarts from the mash and boiled it for about 10 minutes before adding it back to bring my mash temperature up. I also was hoping this would add a bit of extra colour to a beer that would otherwise be very light. I think it paid off because the final colour seems to be a touch darker than other SMASHs I’ve brewed. Of course this is now preventing me from doing a true comparison of this malt to other malts, so I think in the future I should stick with a standard mashout procedure.
I’ll wait on tasting notes to share at another time, as the beer has been bottled but I haven't had a chance to enjoy it yet.
Next, I plan to brew an IPA with the Ontario Select and my homegrown hops in late August or Early September, depending on when the hops are ready. They have already flowered, so I’m thinking that this year might be an early harvest, especially seeing as everything else seems to be a week or two early this summer. And while I’m brewing that IPA up I can enjoy some of the all-Ontario SMASH.
If you’re into brewing and drinking truly local beers, you should be sure to check out Short Finger and Elora Brewing’s collaborative Locals Only dinner, coming on August 24th!
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