In the messy hall of a room I call the brew house and others call the brewery, things are shaping up. The fermentation/yeast fridge is kicking up its first lager, the burners still tumble through their paces, and I’m left feeling a large debt to the man who hosts me, my beer, and most importantly watches my son for 6 hours twice a month. So I brew him a batch. His very own choice of ESB meets amber meets his tastes.
I caught a rare Gary the day before brewing v4 saying an amber he drank was ‘flat on flavor’ and an ESB having a bit more “something.” Rye. It popped in the old noodle right as he said it. So here we go – I couldn’t just leave enough alone. 5% rye, a bit of c120, and lots of 2-row – that’s it; biscuit malt had every intention of making the mash, but it was left in my bag – ever onward. I also doubled, even tripled the amount of hops – still using his whole leaf homegrown hops. They still held a good amount of aroma after a freezer stay in vacuüm bags for 6+ months but I wanted something with BALANCE finally, the quality of the leaf home-style cascades just weren’t there. This version is split between s-04 (from a cider pitch) and OLY-006; my thoughts drifted to Gary romanticizing his brewery, his hops, and a locally grown yeast to those cracking a bottle or two of ‘his beer.’ Report on taste, experience and more soon.
Take Aways: nail down efficiency and boil-off; I’m always way over on mash efficiency by ~10 points (70 vs 80 percent), as well as boiling down more than I want (ending a smidge lower than ~8.5 gallons) which means just about everything I brew is higher gravity than intended. Really need to get a handle on proper liquid measurements.
I can’t wait for V^2