Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Belgian-style blond with grapes

If you've been around GHBC in the past few weeks you might have noticed a "new" tank in the brewery.  Still labeled  BBT 1, the "new" tank is actually our "old" 15 bbl bright beer tank that we rescued from storage to use as an experimental dish-bottom fermenter.

New Tank!
Experimental batches will be released in extremely limited quantities: some will be bottled, some will be barrel-aged, some will be blended with other batches, some might even be poured down the drain.  

The timing of the installation of the experimental tank was no accident.  Although we struggle to keep up with the demand for Leaf Pile ("the World's best pumpkin beer") this time of year, the local grape harvest would not wait.

Me harvesting grapes
Martha Clara Winemaker, Robin Epperson-McCarthy carrying grapes
This first experimental batch starts out as a pretty simple Belgian-style blond base beer, brewed with German Pils, and Belgian Cara-Vienna and Aromatic malts, and German Northern Brewer and French Strisselspalt hops.

To this base we added 3 5-gallon buckets worth of hand-crushed Sauvignon Blanc grapes (in the mash) and 25 gallons of freshly pressed Sauvignon Blanc juice (in the whirlpool), both provided by our friends at Martha Clara Vineyards.

Grapes floating in the mash
Look for the release of this still un-named beer around March, in cork-and-cage bottles!

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