Friday, February 12, 2010

Brett beer Part II, Reinhart loaf, etc..

Exciting times afoot, kids!

This appears to be the final gravity on the Bret C. pale ale. At least, until the pellicle kicks in (or doesn't). It's still a fine beer right now, either way.. but a little funk won't hurt, I figure. I'll wait and see, esp. since I just transferred it into a Better Bottle for aging until something cool happens inside..

In either case, it does or it doesn't, the vial you see there was so clean tasting, and well attenuating I figured I'd repitch the slurry of it into a vat of my Rye Chocolate Stout I was brewing today and let 'er rip. That stout:

As seen draining from the boil kettle into the fermenter, is underway now.. no turning back now. I'm not scared. The way I see it, this Brett C is wicked versatile.. very clean when young, and supposedly develops a pellicle and some funk building buggers if you let it sit. Friggin' awesome! My new house yeast, I figure. ;)

In other news, that sourdough bread I have been building up over the course of the past 4 days... check it:

Sweet. It tastes great! The cell structure is open in places, but no huge gaps. The crumb is soft and slightly tangy, but not overly so. The crust is a *bit* chewy, but not hard to eat.. tho I wish it was more like the 50% starter based tinned bread I just did a couple days ago. Now *there's* a bread with a fantastic crust! But either way, it's easily my best boule so far to date. Rather complex.. so I'm working on a way to pare that down a bit.. if I could get 80% of this flavor from a much simpler dough build, I'd be a happy man. Stand by for details on that..  long story short, he suggests a much larger sourdough starter percentage than I've been using, or has been suggested to me in other books. I've been using somewhere near 30% for a starter, but this fellow is suggesting 50% or more, in some cases.. I made a tinned bread the other day that is so sour and so GOOD, I may not make yeasted bread again if I can help it. It's totally awesome! I've also been screwing around with King Arthur flour again.. as much as I hate to say it, it seems to be worth the 50% price hike over my Gold Medal stand by.. drats. I'll post some updated recipes in the near future when I can figure out which direction I'm going and what I can prove to work, at least, in my own kitchen. 

Carry on...

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Another loaf, beer update..

Made another loaf of sourdough, and didn't really even get a chance to eat it. Here's it's only photo, before it was killed:

It's a good looking loaf, but circumstances conspired against it. Those circumstances being, me and the Boss and Kids went to NYC for a ballet show/Museum trip and, while there, we hit up Amy's Bread in Chelsea Market. Wow! That was impressive stuff. Big windows to look through at the processes inside, and really neat things to see. I ended up choosing a 1lb loaf of Country Sourdough to bring home, and, after carrying it around all day (literally), finally got a chance to eat a slice when I got home at 2100 hours that evening. It was awesome! Zingy taste from the sour, on a way different scale then my stuff has.. more of a tangy sour, than what mine develops. Mine is more 'funky' than lactic sour-y. This loaf had a crust that was so crisp and tasty, but not in the slightest chewy, that it was a pleasure to bite into. And the crumb was so soft, it was as if it wasn't there at all.. but the flavor from the grain really shined through. It didn't fare well here at the house, since it was so good, even The Boss ripped into it hard core and almost killed the loaf single handedly.

In other news, the 100% Brett beer I brewed up a few day ago really churned along well and seems to have finished it's ferment. It took two days to start seeing activity in there, just like most of the yeast guys said it would, and then it kicked off. It churned along really steadily with a very low (1/2") krausen during the entire main ferment until about yesterday, when it started to die off and fall back in. There is an odor to the ferment that I can't put my finger on, but I dare say you probably couldn't tell that it was a Brett beer at this point, from smell alone. It just doesn't smell funky at all at this stage of the game. Supposedly, we'll perhaps get a pelllicle out of this thing and go a little further in some other direction or another, but we'll have to wait and see what happens there.

Speaking of funky beers, the kombucha brew is still hangin' out, and I might keg that up soon... I've been drinking up the Oro de Maggie the past week or so, cause it's about time to get a new one in there I think. Problem is, I've got all sour beers in the pipeline now, and only one dedicated sour beer line. Is it time to open that up, ya' think, to two sour beer taps? Hmm..

Movie Review: Well, not really.. but I just saw The Blind Side, and I'm giving it huge props. Go see it!

Got a new book from the library, my first Reinhart book, and I'm getting some interesting info from it for sourdough recipes. He's using huge amounts of starter in some of these recipes (sometimes over half the weight of the total flour!).. and I'm thinking about trying this idea out. Probably this weekend, I think..

I can't think of what else to write about.., that's it. Go click my Google ad, you cheapskates. Do it now, before you leave the site! Now, scram..