Cool, so we had ourselves a little meetup. It was lightly attended but it was pretty damned good. We had visitors and a decision was made with regard to a group brew.
First, Stephanie Krause stopped by representing Mile High Swappers. They are a group that gets individual “makers,” as it were, together to trade homemade or home grown products. She mentioned a lot of tasty treats that were up for grabs and it seems like our beers and wines might be very welcome there. The swaps are scheduled monthly and limited to a certain number of attendees so we will have to pay attention to when they are happening. This is pretty cool and who knows what kind of DIY relationships might come out of our involvement. I mean, it is not like we don’t have enough hobbies, right?
Troy Casey from AC Golden was invited out and he braved the rain to treat us to some of the beers that they are brewing up in the tiny 30bbl system (heh) out in the depths of the Golden brewery. What a thing! We got to try their Wild Ale that had fresh pressed Chardonnay juice added. There were quite a few oohs and ahhs over this for sure. I am a sucker for sour ales that are combined with Chardonnay somehow. Juice or barrels, there is something about the quality of the grape that blends really nicely with a brightly sour beer. He also brought a bottle of their saison that had been inoculated with Brettanomyces. This gave an already drinkable beer a nice refreshing semi-sour funk that is tough to complain about. Body was slightly stripped but, in my mind, not to its detriment at all. Troy also had quite a bit to say about AC Golden’s intent and inner workings that was really fun to hear about. Thanks go out to him and he seemed open to being a good contact for information and questions.
We have a barrel. It is a Buffalo Trace barrel that Bess acquired and I think I am going to find a place for it at my new pad. The whiskey that came from it was quite pleasant. I am thinking back on it and trying to remember the profile. People mentioned nuts like almond and hazelnut foremost. There was a real nice undercurrent of fruit. I got dried fruit and a number of you suggested cherry as well. The vanilla was present but subdued. I think the vanilla took a backseat to the big almond presence. It almost reminded me of an almond extract-y flavor in a weird way. In all, a great whiskey that would work well on it’s own or mixed with flavors that will highlight that nutty sweetness.
Wow, digression… So what we decided to do after a bit of discussion, is that a dubbel should fill this barrel and that that dubbel should sit on cherries for a while. I will drop a few basic recipes below and you can take a gander and we can decide on a final recipe for both all-grain and extract brewers. I am not sure of what the limits are to the colorado cherry season but I would like to have these beers out of primary fermentation and into the barrel by mid-August. If we cannot get decent cherries at that point we will have to reevaluate and see what we can come up with. Take a look and give me some recipe feedback.
My old basic dubbel:
6# tub of medium LME
1# DME (light to amber or whatever you have hanging around)
.5-1# Dark candy sugar at 15 minutes left of boil. (You could use about a half cup to a cup of the dark candi syrup that is now available but I am guessing on that one as I have never used the stuff. I have heard that you need to go easy on it as it is way more potent than the dark crystal sugar)
.5# Special B
.25# Dark Crystal Malt (100-120L)
1oz noble hop at 45mins
1oz noble hop at about 5mins. I used Saaz for this the few times I made a dubbel. Seemed the right thing to do.
Belgian Abbey yeast from any provider.
Northern Brewer’s Kits:
Yeah, yeah, I am clipping their recipes. I can justify that in a few ways, talk to me about it later. Regardless, these seem to be good jumping off points for the beer.
I am thinking that my grain bill would be 8# of light malt and 2# of munich plus a similar specialty bill as I posted with my old extract recipe. Let me know what you think. Also, if there are extract brewers that are interested in trying their hand at an all-grain batch, get in touch and I can probably set something up with you and we can brew on my system.
Well, that is about all, I suppose. Thanks to Justin at Star Bar for offering us the space and reaching out to Troy. Also thanks to Tara and Brian for letting us hang around on their shift. I will see you all soon.