26 January 2010
It sounds like Scratch # 26 didn’t come out quite the way it was planned and instead of becoming a regular Scratch beer, much of it was dumped and the barrel-aged portion will become a super-rare low volume brew house beer some time in the future.
So the point of our Scratch Beer series is to experiment with new styles, techniques, and ingredients, throw some stuff against the wall and see what sticks. Sometimes the beers turn out just like we hoped, like Scratch #4, which became Flying Mouflan (don’t worry, it will be seen again, sometime after we brew a whole lot more Nugget Nectar this year…). And sometimes, as in the case of Scratch #26, it doesn’t quite come out the way we wanted.
As we detailed in an earlier post, we wanted to brew a very caramelized Wee Heavy through an ultra-long wort reduction and kettle boil. Unfortunately, the beer didn’t have the caramel character we wanted, and so we have decided to dump the non barrel-aged portion of the beer. Trust me, even though the brewing team tasted the beer and decided it wasn’t quite up to snuff, it still hurts to dump a pretty good, and quite warming, beer. I feel bad for the billions of yeast cells whose work is now for naught.
On the bright side, we will do something with the barrel-aged beer, which got the thumbs-up from the crew. The wood character is nice, and it is becoming nicely rounded. Tentatively we’ve decided on racking the couple of barrels we have of it and kegging it off for our tasting room. We’ll let you know more about the super-duper-exclusive Scratch #26 as it develops. Till next time.