This week I brewed up two (sort of three) brews.
On Wednesday, I brewed up my first real mini-mash – an (attempted) red farmhouse ale in which I call Red Barn. This is also the first (of hopefully) many farmhouse ales that I will create for the time being. Recently, I’ve been evaluating the beer I’m drinking a lot more closely and find myself drawn to these types because of their straightforward ingredients but complex in the profiles – seemingly beautiful in their simplicity. Easy drinking, easy to make – what is not to love? Their fruity profiles allow for those who “don’t like beer” to drink up, and those beer snobs to find the malty buried blow the yeast profile or sniff the complex hops – heavy or light. The broad definition also allows for any kind of interpretation as well, from inky black to a clear pilsner-like color, adding any spices, adjuncts, etc. I created a darker farmhouse ale using the same yeast (3711) this past summer and wanted to make something a bit less ‘sip-able’ and more ‘drinkable.’ This is that attempt.
I’ve looked at brewing a braggot (1/2 honey/malt) for sometime and finally was able to once my uncle shipped me some of his wild flower honey from his farm in Michigan. Again, I wanted something low alcohol so I aimed for two gallons to split between two gallon jugs I kept from whole foods apple juice. I pitched two separate yeasts in them, which is where the “sort of three” comes in. In one, ‘normal’ yeast that will showcase the honey and malts nicely, and the other was dregs from a local brew and one with wild yeast from Michigan – quite fitting, I think. First, the dregs from the local brew were pulled and incubated to a point where they could become pitchable – creating a wort and simply pouring the dark muck that sits in the bottom of bottle conditioned beers. I grew the sample to ~1L yeast starter, then [drunkenly] decided to toss in the Jolly Pumpkin sediment after finishing the bottle off on New Years Eve. Simply chilled (or cold crashed) the samples till the yeast separated from the “beer” and on brew day warmed, shook, and dumped it in. My first sour beer.
All three are happily bubbling away and I’ll post more on them once they become drinkable.