Posts Tagged ‘east coast yeast’

brett pale ale variations

Saturday, February 1st, 2014


as you may have guessed from my earlier posts, I have a thing for pale ales that have brettanomyces added in secondary.

  • as a result, I was motivated to create something in the same vein as beers like orval, rayon vert, brux, etc.
    – beers that are somewhat sessionable yet earthy and spicy, with a rocky head and a funk that grows over time in the bottle/keg.
  • I was also intrigued by beers such as the historic ballantine IPA that was supposedly aged for a year in oak and aroma hopped with hop extract, and wanted to incorporate some of those unique characteristics as well to create a unique “wood aged brett pale.”
  • I ended up going with a grain bill of maris otter, vienna, crystal 80 and 40, and wheat for a solid malt backbone, with a starting gravity of 1.062.  I bittered with columbus and added late aroma additions of chinook and simcoe for layered pine notes and a smooth bitterness (~55 IBU).
  • for fermentation purposes, I split the batch between ECY17 burton union and WLP510 bastogne.  I had originally planned to go with ECY10 old newark (one of the original ballantine strains) but my starter was so violently active (after less than six hours) the majority of top cropping yeast blew out of my erlenmeyer flask and my leftover pitch didn’t go anywhere.  east coast yeast is the only provider whose vials I will directly pitch into wort without stepping up (the ECY17 vial took off in only an hour or two after pitching).
  • after two weeks in primary at a controlled 65F, the WLP510 fermentor was at 1.01 and the ECY17 fermentor was at 1.013.  I racked both into corny kegs, primed with 2.5oz. sugar, and pitched orval bottle dregs into each.  I was planning on adding an american oak cube to each keg as well, but didn’t have any lying around.  I am also tossing around the idea of dry hopping them before serving (which might be challenging now that I primed the kegs).
  • I’m planning on tapping the kegs after three months and seeing which version works better with brett.  the base beers both tasted great during kegging, so hopefully they’ll keep improving!

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IMG_4919               IMG_4931

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vizcaino II

Wednesday, May 2nd, 2012

as mentioned last week, after bottling vizcaino, my latest pipeline beer, I reformulated the recipe and strategy for the second batch in order to optimize desired characteristics in the beer (namely, complex funk and sourness).

  • specifically, I changed up the recipe by adding some wheat and reducing simple fermentables and IBUs, as follows (11gal recipe):
    • 26.00 lb Pilsner (2 Row) Bel (2.0 SRM) Grain 78.79 %
      5.00 lb Wheat Malt, Bel (2.0 SRM) Grain 15.15 %
      3.00 oz Saaz [1.00 %] (90 min) Hops 4.0 IBU
      2.00 lb Sugar, Table (Sucrose) (1.0 SRM) Sugar 6.06 %
  • I also mashed at 154 and boiled down from 13 gallons in 90 minutes.  a boil over and fast sparge left me with an OG of 1.084, which at first was a bit disappointing (I had shot for 1.091) until I realized that if my fermentation goes as planned the final product will be anywhere from 10.5-11%abv.  I’m planning on racking onto apricots after six months (at which point in time I may rack the next batch of banning onto the yeast cake) and bottling/kegging after another six.
  • as for yeast, after much thought I pitched a second-generation slurry of ECY01 bugfarm blend VI that I had stepped up in about 800mL of starter wort over the course of a couple of days.  since the blend supposedly contains multiple varieties of saison yeast, I decided to forgo any other additions.  after about 12 hours the blend had attacked the wort and had the airlock aggressively churning.  I love this stuff!


K&L wines, venice beach, east coast yeast

Wednesday, February 29th, 2012

last weekend AP and I stopped by K&L wines in hollywood to pick up a couple of online orders.

  • I like to think of K&L as my little secret – disguised as a dedicated wine store, they also have an impressive beer (and spirits) selection.  to top it off, you can buy bottles online from any of their locations (each location has a different selection) and they will ship to your local store at no cost.  only one grungy tall dude tarnishes an otherwise friendly and competent staff, and they are open relatively late for a retail store (8pm most nights).  for those of you interested in spirits, they also have an intelligent, well-written blog on the topic.

after nabbing some hard-to-find bottles, we headed to venice beach for an extra-large dose of humanity.

  • with tons of knickknack shops, heavy traffic, and hordes of people, venice is usually low on my list of weekend destinations, but AP had done some research and promised good food and beers.  she definitely delivered with larry’s, a true gastropub right on the boardwalk that had a great compact menu and a solid tap lineup.  pints of ommegang hennepin and smog city XPA complemented burgers, pizza, and a sizable bowl of mussels, and service was both attentive and fast.  afterwards we regained our circulation with a surprise blue bottle coffee find and headed over to the skate park to watch guys fly out of the bowl.  the whole afternoon definitely exceeded my expectations and I can’t wait to head over there again.

in other news, I finally managed to get my hands on some elusive east coast yeast strains.

  • although bugmeister Al B used to give out strains on the BBB, distribution recently shifted to joe at princeton homebrew, where new shipments sell out within hours of being announced (it  looks like love2brew sells these strains as well).  after having an earlier shipment cancelled due to a packaging leak, this west coaster finally got in on a completed shipment, and scored a couple of ECY01 bugfarm VI blends as well as their ECY04 brett blend and their ECY09 belgian abbaye yeast, all of which will be put to use in upcoming brews (stay tuned!).