Brewing beer in one-gallon batches is a blast. I can brew as often as I like and the cleanup takes 10 minutes! What's more, this type of granularity in making beer unleashes my baker's frenzy for precision. I give special thanks to my friends, who answer my seemingly hundreds of questions regarding the particulars of small-batch brewing. For this American brown, I plan to use dried mission figs soaked in Bulleit Bourbon. Whenever I use Bourbon, I think of Gwen Conley of Port Brewing/The Lost Abbey, who is a huge influence in my beer adventures.
Bottling a saison, a cider, and a brown, all in one day.
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.
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.
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