A quick update and a thought on a possible future plan.

After a spill of a large measure of mash, an hour or so of clean up and a boil that ran long – I ended up with v2 of the house beer pitched sometime in December. A month, looking back now, full of mild days and a single heavy snow. This batch was split, 5 gallons to a fresh pitch of WL670 (a favorite), and a slow-to-start starter  in 2 x 1 gallon batches of the earlier 670 pitch from ‘house v1’, one got a whole mess of honey to bring it into braggot territory and the other received arils from two Aldi pomegranates. Where it all lives at my father in Law’s is a low-temp riding shindig in the ‘warmest’ place in the house at barely 60f. These will mellow, tart up, and relax until the green spouting days of spring and warmer temps before being stuffed into bottles.

Another brew day involved a split batch (seeing a pattern?) between a Kölsch strain and Rosealare. I’ve pitched a long use 4th generation (to me) culture of the latter in a wort to a grand kaleidoscope of funk, tart, and pucker. This brew day kicks off my first real journey into my progress into larger split batches (4 gallons each) and will likely be the future of where I go as a brewer. It is much too tempting to boil one wort and end up with two dichotomous beers that resemble mere shadows of what they were at conception. The road is long, windy, and will fork often.

An ideal segue to collaboration beer with a Chicago home brewer done on MLK jr day of this year (2014). 20 gallons of wort met 4 different yeasts: ECY01, ECY20, WL670 (G2), & Côte des Blancs (dry white wine yeast). At high krausen must from a sav blanc kit is pitched. A nod to the wild of the past – blends, farmhouse ales, etc – with a heavy horse-head-flick to the wild future – brett blends, yeast splits, etc. Will hopefully all be bottled and cellared. Time will tell.

On to the next big project: homebrew solera. After attempting to acquire a bourbon barrels, a wine barrel, ruminating on smaller sized barrels all for a sort-of bastardized version of a solera, I had a thought experiment posed to me and pointed me in a new direction. Imagine with me then, a solera consisting of six carboys (or buckets), sour yeasts (tbd), and a simple base. Simply start and fill a bucket every two months, after one year bottle 1/2 of the first – now one year old, top off the 1/2 empty carboy with a blend of the rest and top those off with a fresh brew. As I write this, I’m not sure how 2-6 are getting pulled and will have to work this out more. But as you can see it’s going to get complicated at first go, but will pay off in dividends – I’ll have aged sour at the ready every two months. Kinks will be worked, the future looks bright.

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Farm’house’ and brainstorming soleras

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January 27th, 2014