Big Bad Barrel #3

>> Sunday, March 20, 2016

Today I brewed a 10 gallon batch for my club's barrel project. This is batch #3 going into the barrel, and it's based on Atrial Rubicite from Jester King. Same as the previous Big Bad Barrels, each participant will brew their portion at home, doing a clean primary, then we'll combine them in the barrel and let the barrel bugs do their souring thing. When sufficiently soured, we'll empty the barrel and each participant will add the fruit of their choosing. 

The grain bill is pretty simple and is as follows. I'm actually using spelt malt instead of wheat malt. Spelt is an heirloom variety of wheat and I have a ton on hand.

Target OG 1.040
80% Pilsner
20% Wheat Malt
10 IBUs max - US Goldings or Aged Hops or a blend of US Goldings and Aged Hops (60 mins)
Yeast Nutrient
Wyeast 3724 Belgian Saison or 1028/London Ale
2-3 # per gallon Raspberries in secondary - This will add ~ 0.008 gravity points, bringing the gravity up to ~ 1.048
Mash at 160F

Brewing Notes
No issues. My gravity came in at 1.041, so just a point higher than planned. I used a blend of aged hops, some well over a year old, some within the last year. I also bought both Wyeast strains and pitched a blend of the two. I'm starting fermentation at 68F.

Update 12/3/2017
I got around to putting this beer on fruit. I did three variants for this beer.
  1. Raspberry - Keeping with the spirit of the base beer, the first variant got 1.5# per gallon of red raspberries (4 gallons).
  2. Passion Fruit - This variant got 1# per gallon of passion fruit (3 gallons).
  3. Blood Orange - This variant got 1# per gallon Blood Orange, 14g each of El Dorado and Mosaic, plus 50g of hibiscus in 425ml, and a little bit of orange zest from my homegrown Mandarin oranges (3 gallons).

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Solera #4

>> Sunday, March 13, 2016

I'm about ready to pull 5 gallons off my Solera, so today I'm brewing a batch to replace the 5 gallons I'm pulling out. I'm calling this Solera #4 as it's the fourth five gallon batch going into the 15 gallon Solera. This is a pretty basic grain bill, just pilsner and spelt malts. I'm mashing high on this batch, ensuring there's some long-term food supply for the critters. Here's the recipe as I'm making it today.

Target O.G. 1.065
8# 11oz Pilsner Malt
2# 3oz Spelt Malt
28g Aged Hops (60 min)
Brett Barrel III INISBC913

Mash at 160F, 90 min boil

Nothing fancy on the water chemistry today. I filled my HLT with 4 gallons of RO and 7 gallons of carbon-filtered tap water. I won't need that much water, but I just use leftover water during cleanup.

Brewing Notes
No issues during this session. Gravity came in a couple points lower than target at 1.061.

Update 3/23/2016
I pulled a sample last night. It has some really nice fruity notes going on, and mild funk. I was a little worried because I used the Brett Barrel III yeast that I'd saved from the CS Brett Experiment. It had been sitting in the fridge for a while, so a lot of the cells had definitely died off. I made a starter to try to revive the surviving yeast and get it going. It seemed to work, but there was a noticeable lag before there were visible signs of fermentation. Also, the starter had a fairly strong berry aroma. Even with the starter, I believe it was under-pitched. So long story short, I'm glad that I wasn't able to pick up on any obvious off-flavors.

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