When you make a beer, you want everything to go right. When you make the first commercial release for your brand, you want it to be a great beer. Thankfully, beer is a resilient thing – everything doesn’t have to go right for the end product to be a great beer. You could say it’s either ballsy or stupid to brew a first (U.S. domestic) release beer on a system you’ve never used before. But I’ve brewed seven commercial releases at breweries in Europe over the past two years on systems that I’d never brewed on before – and they all came close to (a couple better than) their target. So I went for it – a Double White IPA.

There was a challenge with the system, known as a “stuck mash”. That means you can’t push liquid through your grain, so your brew day goes from four hours to more like eight or more. A stuck mash is one of the most dreaded things a brewer has to deal with. Well, it was dealt with. And the fermentation went great. Dry hops went in, and a couple days later the beer was moved to the cold room to clarify.

Or, rather, the semi-cold room – there’s some unexpected AC issues. Ok, so most of the stuff should still settle to the bottom of the fermenter, and we can pull the yeast and hops off the bottom and package some reasonably clean beer. Another couple days in the semi-cold room in the kegs and the beer should pour fairly clear after a couple murky first pints – it’s a White Ale after all. We sally forth with optimism and cheer.

On packaging day we start drawing the yeast off the bottom so we can package clean beer, and it stops flowing. You know you read these horror stories about surgeons leaving things in a patient. Well, we had the brewer’s equivalent. Someone left a bit of equipment in the fermenter. It’s sanitary; it won’t screw up the beer – but it does mean the beer will be cloudier than I’d like for a few days, and there may be some hop matter in the glass. At least unless I gave it a week to chill and clear. But I don’t have a week – people (thankfully friendly people) are coming on Saturday August 1st at 2:00pm for a pour.

So, I tell myself, “Don’t worry Daniel. It’s still a great beer.” And it is a great beer – it’ll do for damn sure! Even with a couple flakes of hop matter, and a little haze from suspended yeast. Heck, if you’re a “real beer drinker”, that’s a free salad and a vitamin B supplement.

Cheers!
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=BCT=

A sample pour of BCT Brewing Project Double White IPA off the fermenter. It'll do for damn sure!
A sample pour of BCT Brewing Project Double White IPA off the fermenter. It'll do for damn sure!

Double White IPA is scheduled to be tapped at 2:00pm on Saturday the 1st of August, 2015. Yes, the first commercial release of a beer 100% conceived and brewed by BCT Brewing Project, and lovingly nurtured to be nursed from a tap, will be ready.

Typical of the first batch of anything brewed on unfamiliar equipment there were a few challenges. But, achieving 9% ABV (probably a little more), wasn't one of them. Here's some fancy numbers, it started at 19.2 Brix, and it will finish at about 7.9 Brix - which in simple English means, this beer will kick your behind halfway to next Tuesday.

It's a little sweeter than I targeted in my head, but it finished lower in measured residual sugars than I anticipated. It tastes lovely, and after the dry hops take hold it should be nothing less than terrific. Oh yeah, that's right - I went by to dump in the dry hops tonight. So I took a sample to check ABV, and to have a preview taste.

So, you want a pour? One of the first pours? Of course you do. Come by the tasting room at about 2:00pm on Saturday, I'll be finishing up a brew day and ready to toast the birth of this little slice of brewery.

I'm a bit excited!!!
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So, this is the first post. Why this particular figure of speech "The die is cast."?

Well, basically because the BCT Brewing Project is a crossing of the Rubicon (another figure of speech). Up until now, the commercial releases architected by Beancurdturtle Brewing LLC have been Gypsy brewed at breweries in Europe, or recipe handoffs to other breweries. You craft a recipe, brew the first big batch and watch it go to the fermenter, then walk away and wait for a bottle to arrive.

The BCT Brewing Project is an opportunity for Daniel Fernandez of Beancurdturtle Brewing LLC to take control of the whole process – from milling the grain to packaging the beer. The whole kit and caboodle. The full Monty. The up and down of it. The donkey, the monkey, and the big banana. So to speak.

Cheers!
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=BCT=