Posts Tagged ‘big bear mountain brewery’

imperial stout bottling, big bear lake

Wednesday, February 8th, 2012

last week I finally managed to find some time to bottle/keg the imperial stout I has put together a while back.

  • primary fermentation appeared active for a month after pitching the WLP001 starter, and after visible fermentation tapered off I left the beer in primary for another six weeks.  the beer had an FG of 1.02 for an abv of 9.1%, and the sample I tasted was rich and malty, with a great roasted malt finish.  it will be interesting to see if the carbonation brings out any of the homegrown hops I tossed in there…

also, last weekend I accompanied the APs, the MLs, and HL up to big bear lake for a long weekend of (man-made) snow and relaxation.

  • after a surprisingly great day on the slopes, we cruised by big bear mountain brewery. the only thing that had changed since our last visit was their beer lineup – a decent pils and dopplebock had transformed into a honey blonde and chocolate porter (the latter of which I believe is contract brewed).  despite the mediocre beer and service, the atmosphere was comfortable and very local, and was a great setting in which to pour some pitchers and eat a tray full of miscellaneous fried veggies.
  • the next night things picked up a little at nottingham’s tavern, where pitchers of mission’s shipwrecked DIPA accompanied decent food, a passionate cover band experience, and some shuffleboard.
  • I also managed to stow away some choice beers for the trip, and cracked open specialties like an ’08 drie fonteinen oude geuze, an ’08 brown shugga, an ’08 bourbon county stout, and an ’05 pannepot grand reserva while relaxing back at the cabin.  it’s a rough life!

              

             

              

              

cuvee fermentation update

Wednesday, January 12th, 2011


when AP and I packed up to head for big bear this weekend, the two corny kegs of cuvee had me worried.

  • neither showed any signs of activity (read: visible blowoff), and although this was the first time I had fermented in cornelius kegs, I knew something was up.  I also remembered that my roselare pack was from an older batch (early ’10) and my sour mix vial didn’t show as much activity as earlier vials had (after warming to room temperature, they usually gush down the vial sides into my wort – this one seemed pretty tame in comparison).
  • I vowed to take quick action if conditions hadn’t changed by the time we returned on sunday.
  • after unloading our gear sunday afternoon, I dropped by the cellar for a status check.  what I saw was disheartening – still no visible activity.  after popping the lid of the sour mix keg, I was relieved to see a strong krausen, and after sealing the keg gasket with some lube, the blowoff started bubbling away.  however, when I cracked open the roselare keg, I was greeted with nothing but the sweet aroma of unfermented wort.
  • luckily, when I initially racked the wort into the kegs, I was left with about a gallon extra, which I had fermented out with a dry pack of safbrew T58 (PDF link!), effectively resulting in a gallon starter.
  • after reading up on the pros and cons of the yeast, I decided to pitch a significant amount of the propagated slurry into the roselare keg.  the T58 doesn’t seem to be that attenuative, so there should be plenty of sugars left for the bugs to get at over time (assuming that the alcoholic environment doesn’t hinder too much activity).
  • in less than 24 hours the T58 keg was violently blasting CO2 and krausen, much to my relief.  my long term plans for this brew include a primary fermentation in kegs for six months, then blending the two kegs over a large amount of sour cherries and the yeast cake slurry from my (hopefully bottled) saison for another six.
  • as a side note, when in big bear, check out their only local brewery – big bear mountain brewery.  it gets rocked on beeradvocate, but their pils and dopplebock were pretty tasty and go well with some fried green beans.
  • also, FYI, the SF beer week calendar has been posted, so get ready.