When brewing beer, there is a phenomenon known as a "hot break." During the first few minutes of the boil, foam forms on the surface of the wort in the pot -- and suddenly erupts over the side, if you miss lowering the heat by a few seconds.
A cache of strawberries makes my mouth water for a strawberry wheat beer, especially in the heat of late spring in Vista, California. I used strawberries to make another beer a few weeks ago: a peanut butter and jelly American brown ale which is now in bottle conditioning. Come on over in a couple of weeks and let's give them both a try.
A black-chinned hummingbird was my constant companion on this brew day. He took up residence on the front porch brewhouse and was welcome company. Blossomcrown Citra Saison explores the goodness of the Citra hop, prized for its intense citrus and tropical tones. I plan to add a tincture of dried culinary lavender from my backyard at packaging. Wyeast 3711 French Saison is the yeast of choice. With the camera in hand to document the development of the saison, I also captured the brewhouse office, where the specifics of each beer are noted and SOPs are updated. The Jambox is just the ticket for mood music . . . was it my imagination or was the hummingbird was singing along with Stevie Ray Vaughan? Only the hummingbird knows for sure, but I can tell you, he was a talker.
A consultation with Gary Inouye at the Vista Farmers Market, Rodney Kawano Farms, led to the purchase of 22 pounds of primo strawberries. I will use the strawberries for my peanut butter and jelly American brown ale and a wheat beer to be brewed next week. Expert opinions on the use of fruit in beer was proffered by my friends at QUAFF as well as by Chris Barry at Mother Earth. Juli Goldenberg of QUAFF was especially generous with her advice. It took me from seven to eleven o'clock last night to clean, trim, chop and bag the berries, which are now safely tucked away in the freezer. For old school fun, Peter and I had The X Files running. It was the episode where Agent Dana Scully wants to communicate with her deceased father with the help of a man on death row who claims to be a channel. Classic. I want to believe these will be the best beers ever to come out of this Vista, CA brewhouse.
Wine and beer event consultant at www.lynenoella.com