Hanging out after brewing Berry’d Alive® yesterday the question comes up again, “Is it really one pound of berries per gallon of beer?” My answer, “Yup!” I could add, “Yes, $70 worth of berries for two kegs of beer.” To which you may respond, "Really?"
The reason is, if I’m going to make a beer named “Berry’d Alive”, you should feel like you’re buried in berries when you enjoy it. See, there’s this old cliché phrase in brewing, “go berries or go home.” Well, actually there isn’t, I just made that up – and it’s not really very funny.
But the point is. Berry’d Alive is a Belgo-American Wheat Ale base that’s buried in mixed berries, and (pun warning) berry delicious! I brewed it yesterday, you can expect it to be on draft on April 9th.
So I'm double checking the recipe, putting together the hop additions, and generally preparing for a brew day. I see I have twice as much West Coast Ale yeast as I need, so the logical thing to do is...
...not use it?!?! o_O
I have a full pitch of a wild yeast I cultivated from a bruised tangerine skin on a tree in the pilot brewery yard. I'm going to use it for this beer. This time Foundational IPA will use the baseline grain bill and bittering hop we will use for all batches. It will have a feature hop for flavor and aroma - Sorachi Ace - as will all Foundational IPAs. But it will also feature a true house yeast from wild sourcing in Southern California.
Working with wild sourced yeast is a little tricky, so keep your fingers crossed. If I get the activity I anticipate from this yeast, this should be on draft on the weekend of November 14th.
An apology for lack of BCT Brewing Project beers follows, but first a question about Mother Nature. Why must she be such a hot momma?
The recent high temps in Riverside would have been OK for Belgian styles and especially Saison (high fermentation temps favor this style). Lucky for the rest of the team at Brew Crew, except for a couple Belgian styles, the fermenters other than ours were empty. But we had an IPA and a Red Ale in the fermenters. These styles are best fermented at under 70°F, and that's not what they got.
I must apologize and say, we won't have Foundational IPA and Robin's Red to serve to you. Due to a combination of high temperature weather and challenges with refrigeration technology, these last two batches reached temperatures during fermentation that were unkind (understatement) to beers of their styles. Unfortunately they are undrinkable by my standards. Some people would say, "That's not bad. I could drink that and catch a buzz." But that's not what BCT Brewing project beers are about. If I can't honestly say I would taste it, say "That'll do indeed!" and be tempted to have a second pour, then I'm not going to serve it. So I dumped gallons upon gallons of beer, literally down the drain. *sigh*
Ok, let's put on a happy face and look forward...
This Saturday I brew Bon Souvenir, a wonderful Wallonian styled Saison tipped a bit hop forward to please the US West Coast palate. The next Saturday I brew 13.13.13, a gorgeous Belgian Styled Dubbel with a touch of candied ginger and dried black fig. Each should be ready to start pouring on the Saturday two weeks after the brew day (even if the fermentation temps rise a little).
So, sorry for the limited tap handles, but the beers coming to fill them will be terrific.
Second beer in the fermenter. Robin's Red, a Red Irish Ale with Rye. And I say, if you're going to make a Red Ale, make it RED. This beer also has a little something that will probably reduce the gluten below 20ppm. That's the baseline rule to call something "Gluten Free". But we don't want to trigger any labeling law problems so we won't call it that.