Saturday, November 13, 2010

Lofty Ideas

I don’t know if it’s just me, or if it’s something that happens to everyone that takes up brewing. I have a serious problem with things that I don’t want! In fact, I try to never think that I don’t want something. Let me give you a few examples of things I didn’t want:

*I didn’t want to brew All Grain. It takes too long, and is too complicated.

* I didn’t want to keg beer! Who wants that much of any one beer cold at once? Variety is the key to enjoying beer!

* I didn’t want 4 taps on the keezer! See Above….But they were necessary… Also explained above.

*I didn’t want 2 burners.

*I didn’t want to make wine and mead

*I didn’t want a “Beer Cellar”

These are all things that I now HAVE, but never wanted!

Now… I want, wooden barrels, more kegs, conical fermenters, 10 gallon capacity and a brew shack outside to house It all!

Wood seems like it may be an adventure for next year, or maybe after a conical…or maybe in place of a conical.

Or maybe not… or maybe both… It’s what you call a budget dependent project.

As I write this, I have a Parti-Gyle brew on the stove….and the other on a burner. I really like this fun, it’s double the brew day with only about 25% more time and 175% more stress. But it’s fun!

Back to my need for wood. I want to make vinegar. I can’t help but think that Ed Wort’s Apfelwein would make nice vinegar, and I’m going to try. But wouldn’t an apple cider vinegar on oak be interesting? Oh I think it would, and as you use it up, you could just add more cider to the barrel and keep the mother going.

I am such a huge fan of Malt Vinegar on fried fish and French Fries, why wouldn’t I make it? And since I’m making it, why wouldn’t I make it in a wood barrel? And again, as you use it up, add some unhopped beer to the barrel and top it off.

Also, I have this odd thought that pops into my head with every beer I brew….What would this be like if it were sour?

I could dose 1 gallon of every beer I make with some Brett and see what happens. When Bottled, the wooden barrel would be ready for another beer.

Or I could jump to 10 gallon batches and save off a 5 gallon barrel of sour from all beer that may be good.

Experimentation is the name of the game for me. I am always looking for something new and different and better than what I’ve been doing.

Unfortunately, most of the really great ideas work best on a grand scale. New Belgium has those HUGE barrels for making LaFolie, and it works great! Even they would have an issue doing it 5 gallons at a time. But the difference is that they are making a beer for the masses (Refined as they may be) and I’m looking to make a one-off batch of greatness.

I’ll do my experimentation, and I’ll make more fair beer than great beer, but I’ll be having so much fun you won’t be able to stand me!

The adventure never stops

The adventure never stops
with the Buck Reilly series