So this past week saw a scheduled Friday off. A day that is usually consumed with way too many chores scattered through-out the day to plan anything fun. Even if it’s just lunch downtown with the wife. Even though I caught a little expected grief on missing lunch I was excused to finally brew at the house. I also threw some meat on the smoker. It’s an inexpensive one from Academy but will do the job once I figure things out. The second smoking was better than the first, so hopefully I’ll have it figured out next try. It’s not near as bad as brewing beer. I haven’t dumped a smoked butt yet. It all gets eaten! But I digress. Back on topic of yeast. I recently posted about washing yeast for the first time. This is the process of saving $8 per brew to reuse yeast from the previous brew. “Shit actually works!”
We wandered into 5 Points Growlers Beer & Brew Supply awhile back when Amber & Ty were in town for fills. I always check out the yeast cooler to see if they have what I want or I’m curious about. I found the only vial of White Labs WLP-007 Dry English Ale yeast and its fresh w/ a best before by date of 4/11. Which means it was packaged on 1/11 this year. Most beers aren’t that fresh. Usually Monday before brewing is just recipe creation day, but I have more up my flask this week. I made a 1 liter starter with that WLP-007 vial. Denver used this in an IPA and it kicked ass. This yeast is highly flocculent with high attenuation, which means it makes a clear beer and eats lots of sugars to produce a dry finish. I want to use this yeast in a pale ale brewed at Gratis, so I can’t ‘waste’ it in this week’s brew. Which means on Wednesday I ‘stepped’ it to 2 liters. I crash chill the starter for the day and make a 2 liter starter on Wednesday after work. I decant off the beer and pour the yeast slurry into a new starter. I wake up Thursday morning to find it’s blown through the airlock. Thankfully I save Star San while these things are happening. I pull the airlock to cleanse and sani it before work. By the time I make my sandwich for lunch the krausen is already pushing into the airlock. “Hope it (the airlock) stays wet until I get home!”
I also got a 1 liter starter going with the White Labs WLP-300 German Hefeweizen yeast along with 1/4 tsp of yeast nutrient. When I checked on the yeast Thursday morning I was overly excited to see this yeast going strong. Success! A quick manual stir and the krausen woke up and spit right out of the air lock. Now I’m not only cleaning up krausen from the WLP-007, but I have foam running down the cabinet doors in our laundry room. If I shut the door with the HVAC vent open this room will stay almost exactly 70*F all the time. Which is near perfect for ale yeast fermentation.
Thursday I finished a recipe and decide on a white pale ale. This style recently came to life from a few select brewers and is still not recognized by the BJCP. Some of the more famous beers are Deschutes Chainbreaker IPA, Westbrook White Thai and the Founders Brewing collab with Green Flash for the Linchpin White IPA. The differentiating here is that I’m doing a pale ale, or a pale wheat and using a blend of WLP-007 and WLP-300. While I didn’t measure yeast counts, I feel like I had a bigger slurry of 300 over 007, thus hoping to have a dry finish with a cloudy beer.
Friday rolls around and NO WORKY FOR ME! I realize quickly that I’ve driven over my good water hose end and it’s inoperable, SOB! So out comes the old hose which thankfully isn’t frozen. I get the coolers sanitized to get some ice and Gatorade in them. Finally get some charcoal burning in the smoker and get the pig’s bottom and whole yard bird on there with hickory chunks. It’s too bad it’s Friday and no one is in the cul-de-sac to salivate other than me. I’m pretty impressed with myself in that I get the mash water heating up at noon and by 5pm the yeast is pitched. The grain bill is simple in Brewer’s Malt, White Wheat and some Cara-Pils along with some Sorachi Ace hops from Japan which are known for their lemon/citrus flavor. Throw in the common American Cascade hops at 15 minutes and 5 minutes along with some fresh orange zest at 15 minutes and we should have a great citrus white pale wheat with around 5% abv just in time for front porch homebrew this Spring!
Don’t forget that the Classic City Brew Fest is just around the corner. Go ahead and buy tickets, you may get a chance to brew with The Southern Brewing Company on their pilot system along with a tour of their new space before it’s open. I’ll post links tomorrow, or just Goggle tonight. Hope to see everyone there.