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bierblog: November 2008 Archives

November 10, 2008

yeast growth made easy

this was sort of a "starter" brewday. both of these batches were certainly interesting in their own way, but we really wanted to use them to grow some big fat yeast cakes for our pair of year-end brews: this year's old ale and a russian imperial stout. we wanted a nice english yeast strain for the old ale, and decided to go with good ol' chico for the RIS. as a result, we figured we'd want a nice light english ale and a lighter american themed beer that could be fairly dark.

for the american side, we ended up taking a stab at something similar to kuhnhenn's creme brulee java stout - a sweet stout around 5-6% using vanilla beans, coffee, and some seriously caramelized wort. this was our Creme Brulee Java Stout.

for the english side, an ESB seemed like a good choice. i found a good looking recipe online and tweaked it until we were happy with it.

me checking the mash temperature.

our guest for this brewday was don. he wanted to get the full all-grain experience and is looking to move into this too. always nice to share our love of brewing with someone new, and have an extra pair of hands to help out on a brewday.

one of the batches mashing.

magic elixer for the CBJS. we wanted to really burn/caramelize it to get that nice "brulee" character. it was getting a little angry in the second photo.

brewday lunch! pulled pork sandwiches and homemade coleslaw. there was something tasty in my sweet surly darkness glass, i just can't remember what it was now...

you can sort of see how much the elixer had boiled down, and the trail of carnage on the sides of the pot from when it got angry.

the elixer and i think the ESB beside it.

don keeping an eye on things.

it started to rain, so we had to pull the burners just under the edge of the garage. i was doing a hop addition to one of the two.

this shot shows some of the carnage that is my basement, but the real focus here should be on all those corked and caged bottles. we decided to get a corker and finish off some of our special batches this way. in october we bottled three batches this way: my killa gorilla super saison, eric's frostbitten moongoat of the north braggot, and his calvados-oak-aged monk's elixer. we eventually got around to putting labels on them all too. a little expensive and time consuming, but damn do they look cool!

Posted by grub at 5:30 PM

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