Day 561

I was scheduled to be in the Teaching Brewery today; since I had brewed my specialty beer three weeks ago, I was going to be cleaning kegs, bottling, etc. However, my summer brewery wanted me to come back and brew up a one-off, and a group of us students also needed to brew up a small batch of beer for a tasting assignment in Sensory. Since there was no available time on the Teaching Brewery systems to brew the Sensory assignment beer, I got permission from Jon Downing, the college brewmaster, to go forth and brew elsewhere.

So early in the morning, I was heading east along the north shore of Lake Ontario towards Toronto, rather than east along the south shore towards the college. Golly, a lot more people drive to Toronto in the morning then drive to the college. And they drive very slowly. And stop. And go. And stop. And go.

"Call-of Brew-ty: Black Hops" version 2.0

“Call-of Brew-ty: Black Hops” version 2.0

I finally got to the brewery and readied the pilot system. First up was a re-creation of “Call of Brew-ty: Black Hops”–regular readers might recall that this was the smoked chipotle black beer I created for Cask Days last October that turned out to be mind-meltingly hot.

There’s no question that due to a small miscalculation when adding the chipotle to the cask last October, the heat was turned up to 11. This time, I tried to dial it down a bit. I also added the smoked chipotle to the boil ten minutes before flame out rather than waiting to add it into the cask of finished beer. This way, I figured I’d have advanced notice if it was still really spicy, since I’d be able to taste it several times on its journey from wort to beer.The verdict? Well, I may have added less chipotle, but adding it to the boil seems to have integrated more capsaicin. Despite my efforts to be a bit more conservative, the wort that went into the fermenter was still pretty “wow!”

As I was cleaning up, a couple of my fellow students arrived  to help make a beer for our Sensory assignment. (In essence, what we have to do is make a beer, use the class as a tasting panel to get their opinion of the beer, then use the data from the tasting panel to recommend whether this beer should be put into production.)

Because the beer isn’t the point of this exercise, we whipped up a British-style pale ale–easy, simple, not too many ingredients.

It was a longer day than usual, but the end result was two different brews fermenting away.

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