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Coming attractions

January 13, 2012

Quick update on the brew day with the bad words (previous post).  Both batches took off overnight with surprising amount of activity.  The big beer straight up blew its airlock off and spat foam on the wall, while the little guy, not to be outdone blasted its carboy cap of and “vomited” foam all over itself.  Par for the course. Meh.  At least I’ve got healthy fermentation.

The big beer has surprised me.  Its now Friday noontime-ish.  Since brewing Sunday afternoon, the fermentation has been extremely active, with constant bubbling for around 5 days now.  I took a quick check and there is still a pretty thick, gummy krausen, so we’re not even at the end yet.  I moved it over towards a heat register, as I think a few extra degrees will help the yeast finish their job. Even with such a high OG (1.095), I’m thinking that my wort must’ve been hyper-fermentable and this must be a fresh, active and highly attentuative strain.  All good things.  May scrap the brett idea as there may not be much residual sugar left for it.

**updated 1/24 – here is the “big” beer – racked to secondary.  Current gravity is surprisingly high at 1.037.  Debating adding Brett B.  ”Little” beer has been kegged and is naturally carbonating**

Picked up some new stuff over the past few days – 10# each of pilsen, german wheat and 2-row pale malt.  I also picked up some hops – Sorachi Ace (lemony aroma), Citra (orangey aroma, smooth bittering) among others and some yeast – a White Labs Berliner Weisse blend, Wyeast French Saison and Brettanomyces Bruxellensis.

The plan at this point is to make a Berliner Weisse soon, which should age for about 6 months, making it ready in July-ish.  This is a old german style, not often seen much.  Very light in body and color, with a nice tartness that comes from lactobacillus.  IMHO, this is the perfect warm weather beer, so the timing will be right on.

I’m also planning on using the French Saison to do a Dark Saison with some of the pils, wheat and some chocolate rye and other miscellaneous stuff I have around. Thinking about aging on some fruit and/or spices, but still thinking on that one. Suggestions welcome.

The Brett is going into a big ole starter as I want to do some experimenting. Thinking a couple of 7 gallon brews that will be split in half for the secondary – half getting the brett, the other none.  I’m really interested to see what the differences in the two otherwise identical batches are, and which styles this improves or detracts from.

The Sorachi Ace and Citra are going in the fridge for now.  After I get past the Berliner Weisse and Saison, the next batch will probably be a spring beer.  I’m thinking something crisp and refreshing with a decent malt and alcohol backbone to welcome the warm weather.  We’ll see.



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