Posts Tagged ‘sf beer week’

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.

sf beer week opening gala

Monday, February 8th, 2010

getting a pour of the imperial barrel aged common

last friday I was lucky enough to attend the opening gala for sf beer week over at the yerba buena center for the arts.

  • the brewer/beer lineup was great, and I was able to try quite a few brews I had been missing out on, like firestone walker’s lil’ opal and anchor’s humming ale.
  • however, my favorites of the night came from unlikely sources.  drake’s 1500 dry hopped pale really opened my eyes with its great aroma and bitter bite.
  • also, valley brewing’s cuvee d’evil was pretty fantastic.  pomegranate honey and brandy barrels? sign me uuuup.
  • in fact, all of valley’s offerings were memorable – I would have to say they were my favorite booth of the night.
  • it was also great to meet some big names in the SF beer scene.  jay over at brookstonbeerbulletin, jesse over at beer and nosh, and sean the homebrew chef were all very approachable and friendly in spite of the packed house.
  • the gala turned out to be a well-planned (and well-attended) event, and I was glad I had the opportunity to hit it up.  on with beer week!

the first pour of the night

lil' opal pour

the crowd at the gala

strong presentation!

music to go with the brews at the gala

SF beer week 2010

Tuesday, January 26th, 2010

sf beer week!

it’s about that time again.

  • SF beer week starts a little over a week from now (friday 02/05) and runs through sunday 02/14.
  • there are a ton of events at a wide variety of venues this year.  some lineup favorites include the double IPA festival at the bistro, a fritz maytag brewer’s lunch at hopmonk tavern, sour fest at triple rocka dinner featuring magnolia and dogfish head at bar tartine, a rare moonlight beer night with brian hunt at bobby g’s (looks like he’ll also be over at monk’s kettle), and about a dozen more.  damn, I couldn’t even make it down the list.
  • also, if you have the coin, be sure to check out fellow BABB blog beer and nosh’s mostly barrel aged beer dinner, where the food looks to be as impressive as the brews.  more info can be found here. edit – this event is sold out! hope you got tickets!
  • another BABB member, wet your whistles, will be doing a caltrain pub crawl.
  • I also just found out from DH about fellow BABBer sean paxton’s beer dinner on the 11th.  AP and I will be there!
  • personally, my definitive beer week schedule has yet to be finalized.  anyone have any recommendations?  anyone up for tapping the overcarbed steam beer keg at a little SF potluck get-together?  let me know!