So we sort of got caught up with a few things over the past couple months brewing wise. This has caused us to postpone the matrix a little bit further. But on the brighter side of things, we’ve perfected our brewing rig and have been precisely on target with our gravity and volume for the past few batches we’ve made. In addition, we’ve added a thermo-well into our fermentation vessels so we can control the temperature of the batches from the core of the brew. This has produced a much cleaner and better tasting product than we had before.
Since we purchased all of the grain back over the winter, we figured it would be best to use it all up and order new grain for the matrix so that we can have the freshest ingredients possible. Although I doubt there will be a significant difference, it’s always to be safe than sorry. That also gives us a good excuse to use that 150lbs of grain in some beers for this summer.
The past two beers we’ve brewed were 10 gallon batches. The first was a “kitchen sink” type of beer. We called it this because we had a bunch of left over grain from the wedding beers and various hops hanging around that we were looking to get rid of. Carton Brewing in Atlantic Highlands gave us some of the kolsch yeast that they use in their Boat Beer. What we got was a crisp tasting beer with a very dry bitter finish. We decided to call it “U-Boat” due to the heavy use of Vienna malt, German Opal hops and the use of “Boat Beer” yeast.
The other beer we decided to brew was a SMaSH beer (Single Malt and Single Hop). This beer was brewed in a 10 gallon batch. We used all Vienna malt and all Centennial hops. We decided it would be best to break this into two separate 5 gallon batches and pitch different types of yeast in each. When trying to figure out which yeast we wanted to use, we went with Trappist Ale and California Ale yeast. This should be finished within the next couple days and then will be wet hopped with Centennial hops that have been harvested from my back yard.
Our next course of action is to brew different variants of Founders Porter clone we brewed this past Winter. Starting on Sunday, we plan on brewing 20 gallons of this porter, which we will be splitting into 5 gallon batches. The objective is as follows:
Batch 1: Pumpkin, Vanilla Beans, Cao Cao Nibs, and a little bit of traditional pumpkin spices
Batch 2: Chai Tea and Vanilla Beans
Batch 3: Intelligentsia Coffee Beans
Batch 4: Clean Porter (being used as a delicious control group)
Our plan is to experiment with the versatility of the porter recipe that we’ve been using. Since a porter isn’t as intense and heavy as a stout, we anticipate that the flavors will shine through and compliment the porter base. I’ll be updating and adding some pictures when I get the chance.