We’re excited to introduce Even More Jeppe, our second collaboration withEvil Twin Brewing! Even More Jeppe follows the same path as its predecessor — World’s Wort Twin. For that beer, we attempted to mimic the flavors and aromas of one of Jeppe Jarnit-Bjergsø of Evil Twin’s favorite coffees, without actually using any coffee in the beer. Here, we sought to mimic the flavors and aromas of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc without using any grapes.
If you’re not familiar with New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, it’s known for having flavors and aromas reminiscent of bell pepper and tropical fruit. Our effort to mimic these flavors involved taking farmhouse ale fermented in oak barrels with our mixed culture of brewers yeast, native yeast, and native bacteria, blending the barrels, then adding dried elderflowers and Nelson Sauvin hops to the blend. Elderflowers were selected to impart the bell pepper notes and Nelson Sauvin hops were selected to impart tropical fruit character.
Creating Even More Jeppe was an exercise in patience. The base beer took about one year to fully mature in oak barrels. The barrel aged blend with dried elderflowers and Nelson Sauvin hops then went through a few different phases. Initially very pleasant, the blend morphed into something that, in all honesty, I’d describe as having aromatics of cat pee and garbage. After another eight months of re-fermentation in the bottle, the beer finally transformed into something that I believe has explosive aromatics of tropical fruit and a beautiful, balanced acidity. What was once a beer I was afraid would never see the light of day is now something I’m really excited to release.
I’ve written this many times before on our blog, but our beer is alive and ever changing. Every beer from us is teeming with living microorganisms that slowly alter the flavors and aromas over time. We’ve learned over the years how to attempt to gently steer the microbial momentum of our fermentations through variables like time, temperature, fermentation vessel (stainless steel or oak), and hopping rates. But we’re never in complete control. A blend of really great tasting barrel aged beer with dried elderflowers and Nelson Sauvin hops that ends up smelling like cat pee and garbage isn’t really a shock. Mixed culture fermentation is a lot of fun for exactly this reason! The element of the unknown is intriguing. When we released Audio Palette, we quoted music scholar Justin Scheibel, who opined that our beer lies somewhere between the intentional and avant-garde, and that embracing natural variation outside our control is an element that breathes authenticity, originality, and relevance into what we do. I fully believe this, and embrace natural variation, despite even false assertions claiming we only engage in the randomness of mixed culture fermentation because we’re incapable of more intentional processes (i.e. pure culture fermentation).
The art for Even More Jeppe was of course the work of our in-house artist Josh Cockrell. Josh has created the label art for every Jester King beer ever, and has done the creative writing for almost all our labels. In this case, the name “Even More Jeppe” is a playful take on Evil Twin’s Even More Jesus, with our friend Jeppe lovingly crucified to Sauvignon Blanc grape vines. I can feel the hate mail being sent our way as I write this 😉
Even More Jeppe was brewed with raw, Hill Country well water, malted barely, malted wheat, raw wheat, flaked oats, and hops. It was fermented in neutral oak barrels with our mixed culture of brewers yeast and native yeast and bacteria for about one year. It was then blended, and dried elderflowers and Nelson Sauvin hops were added. It was then naturally re-fermented in bottles and kegs for another eight months, and allowed to fundamentally transform as I mentioned. The impact of bottle re-fermentation / natural conditioning often gets overlooked. I believe bottle conditioning to be just as critical to our flavor and aroma development as the time our beer spends in a stainless steel tank or oak barrel.
Even More Jeppe is 6.0 percent alcohol by volume, 20 IBU, 3.3 pH, and has a finishing gravity of 1.002 (0.5 Plato). It will be released at our tasting room at 4pm on Friday, July 29th. Supply is limited. We only have eight 50L kegs for glass pours and 1,000 bottles to go (750ml/$22). The bottle limit is one per customer per day. Aside from special events and some cases we’re sending to Jeppe, no Even More Jeppe will be available outside of our tasting room. This weekend, we’re also excited to have Evil Twin Freudian Slip, Lil B, Soft DK, Ashtray Heart, and Yin available.
Jeffrey Stuffings Founder Jester King Brewery