My article on temperature control has been published by HomeBrew Talk. A big thank you to the brewers who contributed their knowledge. Check it out.
What happens when you brew in the rain? Beer happens. And your view gets prettier. In my quest to make the ultimate saison, the second edition of Blossomcrown Citra Saison proceeded, in spite of inclement weather predictions. The rain never stopped -- and I loved every minute of it.
The weather report said rain, but I decided to take my chances. Normally I wear shorts and a T-shirt on brew day, as is the prerogative of any self-respecting San Diegan, but today it was pants and a sweatshirt. I'm planning to make several versions of this sessionable beer with the elusive goal of perfection. Some days, especially the chilly ones, I find myself craving dark beer, so I'm happy to get this brown into the cellar. In a fit of optimism, I set out the computer on the porch, as usual, to make copious notes into my brewing software throughout the day. By cleanup time, the brewing equipment and the electronics remained unscathed, and I sent thanks to the brewing goddess, Ninkasi.
"I'm warning you," said the butcher at Tiptop Meats in Vista, "these baby backs are meaty." With mouth watering, I drove home post haste and proceeded to prepare the family meal of baby back ribs with Little Hermit Stout barbecue sauce. An hour later, I looked out out over the street below like a proprietary hawk, and who should drive by slowly -- very slowly, as though waiting to be discovered? Dad and Mom. I ran out to the front porch and beckoned them in. Between you and me, I had meant to invite them a couple of days ago for tonight's dinner but got caught up in the week's drama -- you don't need to know more (unless you invite me over for a beer). Let's just say the ribs with stout sauce, taters and corn on the cob were eaten -- no leftovers.
I'm going to admit it: This brew was challenging from the yeast starter to the brew day to packaging. I call this saison My Runt. Yet, to my utter surprise, the result reveals the heavenly latitude afforded to all homebrewers by the beer goddess Ninkasi. This outcome gives me hope for the potential of Runts everywhere to dominate the world, given time. Blossomcrown has a firm, frothy white head and a glowing orange hue. This beer is a showcase for the Citra hop, with a refreshing, palate-puckering citrusy flavor, balanced by the generous yeasty goodness of Wyeast 3711 French saison yeast. One day, I suppose I will make an undrinkable beer. But not today. I love this beer, My Blossomcrown Citra Saison.
To master temperature control, the Thermapen by ThermoWorks is the most reliable thermometer I've found on the market. This brewhouse tool provides three-second readings, high accuracy and is water resistant. I also use the Thermapen for baking and cooking. If you're looking for a gift for your favorite homebrewer, this is it.
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Beer experience and sommelier at www.lynenoella.com