new fermenters, racking, hops, and BBQ

after having some difficulties procuring additional half-barrel stainless kegs for fermenting, I finally pulled the trigger on some 15 gallon barrels from US plastics.

  • I had initially dismissed these plastic barrels for long-term aging, but after more research I decided to give them a shot.  not only are they significantly cheaper than kegs, an airlock easily fits into their screw-off cap after five seconds of drilling.
  • after cleaning and sanitizing one of the new barrels, I purged it with a little CO2 and racked my golden strong (both the 10 straight gallons and 1 sour mix gallon) into it on top of 2.5 lbs of PV wildflower honey and 1.5 oz of french oak soaked in zinfandel for a couple of hours.  the golden strong had dropped to 11 brix, for a pre-honey ABV of around 7.25%.
  • I also tossed some ’09 cuvee de tomme dregs into my similarly-styled cuvee de cabrillo.  the CdT had great carbonation and was intensely sour, much more so than I remember when having it on draft.  I’m thinking this was due to the couple of years spent in the bottle.  hopefully the alleged superbugs in CdT will help add some sourness to my batch over the long haul.
  • also, after racking the golden strong, I tossed 4 oz of fresh amarillo and 2 oz of fresh columbus hops into my house IPA.  I’m planning on kegging this weekend and consuming soon thereafter for maximum hoppiness.
  • speaking of hops, my earlier transplant seems to be successful, as the cascade crown is aggressively pushing out shoots.  I trimmed back all but four runners and have my fingers crossed for some serious growth.
  • I also managed to enjoy the long-overdue socal sun over at PR and HB’s BBQ, where my kolsch poured alongside some great grilled veggies and marinated chicken.  summer can’t come fast enough…

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