1 Comment Posted @ February 24, 2009
I wanted to give you a recap of our first brew day of 2009 this past Saturday. In addition to welcoming 20 new people into our “Pub Club”, we also spent the better part of the day brewing an all new beer recipe. I had originally planned on brewing our first 2009 batch of Addison’s Firecracker Red but with the incredibly sad news that one of the true greats in craft beer writing, Bill Brand, had passed away early on Friday, we felt we needed to start work on what we hope will be a new regular brew for the ESB, tentatively titled “Bill’s Beer.”
I managed to get a hold of 21st Amendment co-founder and brewmaster, Shaun O’Sullivan, who was on his way back from Sacramento late on Friday afternoon and we met at MoreBeer in Concord to build a new recipe. We created a dark amber all-grain recipe that was high in malts – it was great to pick and choose from the different grains to get the balance just right – both for flavor and color. We used high alpha acid hops in small quantities for both bittering and aroma.
I mashed in at 154 degrees and, despite a rather quick sparge (40 minutes as opposed to my usual hour), I was pleased with the initial results. It was agreed that the original gravity could (and should) have been higher but I’ll work on that for next time. The coolest thing about this recipe though was that Shaun wanted to put some 21A into the beer so he came by on Saturday afternoon just as the boil had ended and brought a mason’s jar of yeast fresh from one of his tanks. The symphony of sound coming from the fermenters as I type this is a magical, wonderful thing and even though I didn’t know Bill personally, I know he’d be just as excited to hear it as I am.
I had a nice, steady stream of visitors during the brew on Saturday morning starting around 10am and finishing around 1:30pm. Then we adjourned to the pub itself and enjoyed the pleasure of a whole new group of visitors throughout the afternoon. Some homebrewers and neighbors who had found us online were coming for the first time and, as usual these days, we had some walk-ins just curious about the sign. Great stuff!
We wrapped things up around 4pm and it was one of the most rewarding days since the Elizabeth Street Brewery started. Can’t wait to do it all again this coming weekend.