Hamilton’s Harley Nelson: a dry hopped saison

I have been meaning to throw together a tasting and recipe notes for this beer for AGES.
Now,am I ever lucky that I managed to find two bottles of this stashed away at the back of my brew cupboard.


I have to say a thank you to Harley Hamilton of Hamilton NZ for sending me a pack of Nelson Sauvin hops(been waiting for ages to try) and a pack of Motueka.
They were a thank you to me for references provided.
There is constant talk of how Nelson lend a “wine like” character to beers. I like to look at a lot of pale sours as being somewhat like young dry white wine.
The other thank you on this post goes to HBT member Drummerguysteve from whom I got a culture of Cascade Brewing’s Lacto Brevis in a swap.
I wanted this beer to be a better version of a Berliner. That means it has hops.
So,the quick soured dry hopped saison was born.



Two pictures of the Lacto Brevis starter.


A starter of Belle Saison which would do the mopping up end of fermentation.



The partial mash fermentables ready to go.
To say this was a beer brewed as an experiment,it went so well that I am doing a re-brew with the Motueka hops in the nex month or so.

The Brew: I mashed 750gr of wheat malt at 66c for 40 minutes and sparged as “normal”, added the light DME and boiled 8 litres or wort for 15 minutes,adding hops at 15 and 2 minutes.


It was then thrown into a fermenter with the lacto to keep warm.


I had planned on letting the Lacto Brevis only go for 48hours before pitching the saison yeast.



After having a look and a taste,I decided to let it go for 10,yes 10 days,as I wanted more sour.
I then pitched Belle Saison and let that work for ten days,just to make sure.
I bottled in 630ml bottles with 4gr of sugar to prime each one.
750gr wheat malt
2lb pale DME
10gr Nelson@15
10gr Nelson@2
80gr Nelson dry hop for 5 days.

The beer



Crappy pic,but you get the carbonation.

Colour: beautiful light golden sunshine with streaming carbonation.
Pours with a pretty two finger head that quickly dissipates to a fringe.

Aroma: pineapple,big big big goosberry and passion fruit with sour bubblegum,young white wine and a very mild funk. A little wood,even though it touched none.

Taste: mouth filling catbonation coats every single mm2 of the mouth and brings with it a beautiful wash of lactic sourness.
Young dry white wine with passionfruit and goosberry.
No pineapple evident,or bubblegum.

With the out breath comes slight honeydew melon and honeysuckle sweetness.
A very slight earthiness comes through mid-palate as the tongue warms.
After almost two months, the dry hop presence has diminished only slightly and is still as evident as that in a young IIPA.

What can I say,other than” Nelson,what a hop,made in heaven to be best friends with Lacto Brevis”?

I get the impression that there might be some Brett in the culture,but am not complaining about it.
I would,however,like to get a pure culture to see if there is a difference.


5 thoughts on “Hamilton’s Harley Nelson: a dry hopped saison

    • If you start it lower,as I said,it will finish very dry. It also works very well with hoppy worts AND dry hops. Nelson,Citra,Mosaic and Styrian Bobek all work very well.

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