Monday, June 15, 2009

Brewery Update

I think we've closed for the summer.


Still debating getting a Flanders Pale going sometime in the next two weeks so that by next spring, it might be ready to sit on top of some fruit (maybe a third on top of cherries, a third on top of apricots, and a third simply bottled as is) for another year or so. At the same time, though, having it ready for fruit by the spring doesn't make a lot of sense, given that there is, essentially, no good fruit available at that point. Might as well brew it in the fall and get it sitting on fruit in the late summer or early fall of 2010 when I could get good fresh cherries, apricots, etc.

So, probably closed until the end of the summer and things are looking good at this point.

The two saisons made with Wyeast 3711 are good, but probably a touch undercarbonated. I tried to get them up around 3 volumes of CO2, but I suspect they came in a little under that. They don't pop and sparkle quite like they should. Maybe call these the Slightly Disappointing Saisons, not because they're truly disappointing, but because they might not live up to their tremendous potential. Thus, the SDS.

The saison-spiked-with-Orval tasted fantastic when I bottled it last week. Strong, but not overpowering, Brett-y flavor and aroma. As long as it carbonates well, it should be a good one and, as I gave it a little fresh yeast when I bottled it, I have high hopes. thanks to the bottling music, it's the Campaigner Saison ("where even Richard Nixon has got soul.")

The Orvalish thing I made with Wyeast 3789 (supposedly the Orval strain + Brettanomyces) didn't have quite enough sour-tang going into the bottles. And, as it was already pretty damn dry, I'm not sure how much more, if any, Brett flavor will develop. I gave this one extra yeast at bottling, too, and maybe that was a mistake. I probably should have just let any remaining Brettanomyces work on the priming sugar and get a little extra leather/spice/horse blanket flavor that way. We'll see. I'll bring a few bottles to Michigan and give them a shot with anyone who is around in late July or so. Might call this one the Banso Pale. (Not So Orval -> NSO -> Nso -> Banso. Makes sense to me).

Racked the Flanders Red onto almost an ounce of oak cubes; time to let it sit for nine months or so. Gestate, really. Let the Brettanomyces and the Lambicus and whatever else inhabits that Roeselare blend work some magic.

Kegged the pale ale. Once that's carbonated, I'll bottle up as much as I can and get it to Michigan. Incandenza's Pale Ale?

Brewed a rye IPA as what will probably be the last beer of the season. I purposely didn't make this as another version of "Denny's Rye IPA," which everyone makes. And, admittedly, that recipe makes a fantastic beer, but one that is essentially (you might argue purely) a showcase for Columbus hops, with Mt. Hood lurking in the background. I went for Centennial front and center for citrus and spice, Ahtanum for extra grapefruit, and Columbus hopefully providing some non-citrus earthiness in the background. I look forward to seeing how the Centennial might work with the spiciness of the rye.

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