Obelus: Galaxy

Craft Beer & Brewing Magazine - - Recipes In This Issue -

Chris Betts, brew­mas­ter and founder, Transient Ar­ti­san Ales

Chris Betts of Transient Ar­ti­san Ales (Bridg­man, Michi­gan) pro­vided this recipe for their ver­sa­tile sai­son. Transient has cre­ated mul­ti­ple it­er­a­tions of it us­ing vari­a­tions of hops, yeast, Brett, fruit, and bar­rels.


Brew­house ef­fi­ciency: 75% OG: 1.063 FG: 1.002 IBUS: 18 ABV: 7.2%


8 lb (3.6 kg) Pil­sner malt—the high­est qual­ity you can find. With so lit­tle in this beer to hide be­hind, in­gre­di­ents mat­ter. 1 lb (454 g) wheat malt (typ­i­cally flaked or

tor­ri­fied to give some ex­tra heft/mouth­feel) 8 oz (227 g) oats (usu­ally flaked, but Golden

Naked is a great choice if you can get it) 6 oz (170 g) sugar (in the boil to help dry

the beer out en­tirely)


0.25–0.35 oz (7–10 g) Galaxy, Mag­num, or

War­rior [18 IBUS] at 60 min­utes 2 oz (57 g) Galaxy at flame­out 2 oz (57 g) Galaxy dry hop for 6 days when

beer is where you want it


Sai­son yeast (Blau­gies, Dupont, or French) Brett (see “Di­rec­tions” for more in­for­ma­tion)


Use 1/3 gal/lb (1.3 l/454 g) water to grain den­sity. Mash at 148°F (64°C) for 60 min­utes. Boil for 60 min­utes, fol­low­ing the hops sched­ule.

Pri­mary fer­ment for 3 days with the sai­son yeast (our pref­er­ence is the Blau­gies strain, but Dupont and French will work as well). Add Brett 3 days into fer­men­ta­tion. (We use Fan­tôme and Jolly Pump­kin strains for this, but you can also add dregs from any bot­tle-con­di­tioned Brett beer you like.)

Fer­ment un­til en­tirely dry (1.002 or be­low), then dry hop or age longer in oak. Much of the Brett char­ac­ter will come out bet­ter if you bot­tle-con­di­tion this beer.

BREWER’S NOTES We ad­just our water with roughly 2 g of cal­cium chlo­ride and 1 g of cal­cium car­bon­ate, as well as 3–4 g of lac­tic acid for a mash ph of 5.2. we added some fruity cit­rus zest. But for the main one, Galaxy, we use a cou­ple of re­ally fruity strains of Brett.”

Betts ex­plains that each strain of Brett im­parts dif­fer­ent fla­vors de­pend­ing on when it’s added and what’s avail­able at the time. If funky fla­vors are de­sired, Brett is added later, to­ward the end of the life cy­cle. When it’s added ear­lier, it pro­vides fruitier fla­vors. “We use a few strains of Brett early in fer­men­ta­tion, and at that point we still have a lit­tle bit of sugar to fer­ment, but it’s not re­ally tak­ing over the en­tire char­ac­ter of the beer at that point.”

For the home­brewer, mul­ti­ple strains of Brett might not be read­ily avail­able at the lo­cal home­brew shop. Betts has some words of ad­vice to get around that. “Brew the beer as nor­mal with Galaxy hops. Then drink your fa­vorite Brett beer and add the dregs from the bot­tom to your home­brew a few days into fer­men­ta­tion—we do it about three days in.”

The great thing about this par­tic­u­lar recipe is that it can stand up to dry hop­ping and var­i­ous styles of bar­rel ag­ing with­out los­ing its char­ac­ter. It’s a pretty straight­for­ward recipe that uses a sin­gle hops va­ri­etal, and it’s a great base for ex­per­i­men­ta­tion for Transient. They use Pil­sner malt from a lo­cal maltser, which can be dif­fi­cult to se­cure at times, so when that fails, they go for a Ger­man or Bel­gian malt. Wheat makes up 12−15 per­cent of the grain bill, and oats 3−5 per­cent. The sim­plic­ity of the grain bill lets the yeast and Brett…or the bar­rel… take cen­ter stage.

“It’s dif­fi­cult to get the bar­rels be­cause they’re so high in de­mand. We’ve had to source bar­rels in any way we can. We’re in south­west Michi­gan, which has a bunch of winer­ies, and we’re tap­ping into that now.” The qual­ity of the bar­rel has a great im­pact on the fi­nal re­sult, so they have to take ex­tra care to en­sure it’s not dried out and that it’s been cleaned so that ex­tra bugs don’t make their way into a batch. “We have a lot of room for bar­rel ag­ing and just tried some ab­sinthe and maple syrup—there’s lots to work with.”

And what’s the best way to en­joy Obelus? Most of Transient’s batches are pack­aged in larger bot­tles, and the beers are meant to be shared. Betts says, “The best place to drink it is with other peo­ple who are into try­ing new and dif­fer­ent beers. We serve it in 10 oz tasters that are some­what in the Bel­gian bulb style. But we don’t dis­crim­i­nate.”

Clock­wise from Top Left » Transient’s cool­ship rests in a open-air con­tainer be­hind the brew­house; hot wort pumps into the cool­ship for spon­ta­neous fer­men­ta­tion; the Transient tap­room is a great place to sam­ple a taste of the lo­cal ter­roir.

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