This past Sunday, right as Sandy was just grazing the edges of Maine, I made a twenty minute trip with a carload of brewing equipment, a baby, and a wife. The latter two didn’t stay with me, but I powered through. Three Gents, strangely all starting with G, met up and got to brewing. A fantastic club brew-day.
Let me step back a bit here and say I was extremely weary of going to a homebrew club meeting. I know there are some young folk brewing beer, as myself, but wasn’t convinced that the older guys would even acknowledge me as a respected brewer let alone person. My worry was that these dudes were going to be super weird, horrible, and painfully unreliable. Luckily, I was wrong. The guys are pretty great and almost spooky how nice they are. But on to the beer.
Brew day produced a pilsner split between two, an oatmeal stout, and my ‘farmhouse brown.’ Mine consisted of three different chocolate malts (meaning roasted to blackness, and what adds a ton of flavor/color to most “dark” beers), a “coffee kiln” barley, some medium crystal malt (mostly adding sweet/roasted unfermentable sugars), and more wheat malt than barley malt. I wanted to use up a bunch of old malt I had from when I moved to Maine, and to make something with the ‘sour’ blend pulled from a personal favorite homebrew. The wort (beer pre-yeast) smelled amazing like toasted wheat bread crust dipped in dark chocolate, I selected mild citrus, spicy, floral hops to compliment the sweetness instead of trump the real aim – the roast/toast malt profile meets wheat/sour. A clove/banana profile is strong in the wheat yeast while the sour yeast blend will pull out a cherry tartness, dry palate, and punchy sourness if left long enough. I’ll have to taste this often to see where it goes from tasty and funky to face melting tartness – mostly because this is my second run of this sour yeast, and I got it from another guy who fermented once off it who got his yeast cake off a buddy of his who had reused and washing the yeast at least three and up to five times – and it has a reputation of gaining strength each reuse.
Next on the list? Maybe I’ll finally kill off those SMaSH beers I’ve been waiting to take down. Three fermentors full of cider or beer and not a one to drink. Keg of IPA is nearly kicked, but I’ve squirreled bottles. I’ll be chewing through that supply for sure.