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AG#3 – Nelson Sauvin Summer Ale

December 12, 2009

This recipe was supposed to be my contribution to the brew day component of the recent Western Sydney Brewers meet (read about it here). Due to unfortunate circumstances I wasn’t able to brew it on the day. I did however, crush the grains fresh (using a mill that was brought to the brew day – thanks Steve!) in anticipation for brewing it on Sunday (6th December) – which I did. It was a fantastic feeling to finally have a smooth and easy brew day after the last few crazy tries I have had!

I felt like brewing something quite simple but refreshing that I could drink over summer and this recipe for a Nelson Sauvin Summer Ale was recommended to me by another member of the AHB forums. What I liked about it was that it uses a simple malt bill, a single hop type and the use of whole leaf hops, which I have never used before.

I had to make one small change to my equipment in preparation for using flowers. This was to add a ball of stainless steel wool to the end of my pickup tube. I could just see trying to empty the kettle at the end of the boil only to have bits of hop flowers plugging up the pickup tube – no matter how well I whirlpool! In the end it worked a treat and below is a picture of the empty kettle showing the steel wool – beautiful!

The recipe is as follows:

  • 4.5kgs Maris Otter Pale Malt
  • 0.5kgs Torrefied Wheat Malt
  • 15g Nelson Sauvin (Flowers) @ 80mins
  • 20g Nelson Sauvin (Flowers) and 1 Whirlfloc Tablet @ 15mins
  • 20g Nelson Sauvin (Flowers) @ Flameout
  • 30g Nelson Sauvin (Flowers) – Dry Hop in Secondary
  • Safale US – 05 – Starter of 1L

Mashed in @ 65°C – held for 60mins. Batch sparged and obtained a pre-boil volume of 36L (had to add about 4L of water to get it up there). SG pre-boil was 1.032…spot on!

90min boil which I kept vigorous for the entire time! But this time my calculations for boiloff were spot on with 23L going into the cube and about 2L to spare in the trub of the pot.

Update 13th December: Dumped the cube into a fermenter and pitched a starter of US-05. Checked the OG and it was only 1.042….a good 10 points under my target. I am thinking this was due to the few liters of water I put into the pot pre-boil to get the volume up. Doesn’t bother me though – I think the lower alcohol in this one will be benificial. From now on though, I am going to avoid watering down at any part of the process.

Update 1 April: Well, after going away for work and then changing jobs this beer was completely forgotten about. It decided to rack it to secondary to see if I could possibly salvage it as a Lambic or something….didn’t work. It was worth a try! Will definitely rebrew this recipe in the near future.


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  1. Hey Mat – nice pick up tube… did you manufacture that yourself?
    If so, where did you get the bits and pieces?


    • No…I bought that pre-made from beerbelly in Adelaide. I am sure you could make it yourself but it is all stainless and finding stainless pipe at that length and bend would be tricky. It was cheap as from Beerbelly so I would just go back to them if I ever needed one again.

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