Monday, 6 October 2014

Brew Days: Golden Bitter and Second Extraction Sour Brown

The school year at my university started up again last week, and since then I've been busy getting to know my new students and planning classes for the rest of the quarter. Still, I manged to fit in a couple of brewing-related things this weekend, and I thought I'd write a quick post about some of them.  The most exciting news is that a saison I brewed with The Yeast Bay's Wallonian Farmhouse strain won a gold medal in a small local competition.  It was based on Ed Coffey's "Farmer in the Rye" recipe, brewed with slightly different percentages of the malts, and slightly more hops.  I'll post more once I have the judge's scoresheet in front of me---or perhaps in a few weeks, since I entered it in another local competition as well, and it will be interesting to compare feedback from both.

I also managed to fit in two brew days.  One was a rebrew of one of my favourite recipes (and favourite ways to blow through large amounts of hops): Kristen England's Crouch Vale Bitter recipe, with Amarillo subbed for Brewers Gold.  I wrote a longer post about this recipe back when I started this blog---the only real difference this time was that I based the water-profile on Bru'n Water's pale and hoppy profile, and took pH readings throughout the brew day.  I'll include all of that information with my tasting notes if I think it has a significant impact on the final beer. The beer is also serving as a starter for a pitch of Wyeast 1028, which I'll be using in a series of four or five beers over the next fmonth.

The other beer was a brown ale brewed with Wyeast's Ardennes strain (3522).  I brewed this one on a whim.  I'm planning to bottle my Oud Bruin in the next week or two, and thought it might be worth trying to get a second extraction from the tart cherries I added to it (especially since the oud bruin is currently a bit disappointing, such that it feels as though I wasted these cherries on it).  Since I had some top-cropped yeast in the fridge that was only two or three weeks old, I figured I might as well brew something to rack on the cherries.   There's a chance the fruit will be completely spent, but Cantillon and Jester King both seem to have had success with this technique.  If nothing else, the lactobacillus from the Wyeast blend should give the beer some tartness.  I'll probably pitch some fruity brett strains in there as well, perhaps using the dregs of my Lochristi grisette.

Anyway, work permitting I'll have some tasting notes up during the week, and some write-ups for more interesting brew days coming before the end of the month.


  1. Replies
    1. Cheers! Only a small comp, but nice to win something. They lost my scoresheets though, which is frustrating.

  2. The one time I made the Crouch Vale was with Amarillo. I send all well wishes and good luck to you - although mine was wonderful, I lost more than half of it in a kegging mishap. As soon as I smelled Amarillo in the house, I knew something was wrong! And to be honest, I've brewed a few IPAs since then and no beer has been hoppier than the one I lost that day.