Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Yeast Starter

Tonight is amateur biologist night. I've got 1.8 liters of 10.2 brix starter wort (with 1/2 tsp. yeast nutrient) a-boilin' on the stove. I'll cool it down, pitch a Wyeast smack pack (Belgian Abbey Yeast II) into it, and set it on the homemade stir plate for a couple days to build up enough yeast for my Dubbel homebrew. I'm not a big Belgian beer guy, but figure I need to do this to expand my horizons. Not sure whether I should keg it or try to bottle condition it. Any opinions, leave them below.

Tonight 'R' and I shared some of the Maine cheese that we picked up on our latest trip to Portland. One was a cheddar made with veggie rennet that was very bitter and made more enjoyable by a melba toast and some garlic and onion jam. The other was a very nice pecorino romano type, quite tasty all on its own. See, we don't know exactly who made these cheeses and what they call them as we bought them a few weeks ago and they weren't labeled in their packages. So, remove them from the fridge after forgetting about them for a little while and, voila - what exactly are we eating?

Sampled these with some Maine beers:

Black Bear Pail Ale: Nice citrusy American hop aroma. Very fruity, estery flavor, significant bitterness. Interesting blend of American hops and what would seem to be a fruity English yeast strain.

Sebago Runabout Red: Malty all around, the kind of rich caramel aroma you look for in an American Red. Definitely not very hoppy. Dry finish. Not distinctive, very drinkable.

Also, I finished the night with the very frustrating homebrewed barleywine. Long story short, I brewed a barleywine several months ago. It's not carbonating fully, despite additional healthy yeast added to the bottles. It's pretty good, but just not quite there. Starting to doubt that it ever will get there...

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