Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Ghost on the Move

Since we last talked Ghost, Andrew and I have brewed several more batches; most have barrel fermented and a few aged on fruit. Of the fruit variety, we have successfully produced a sour cherry version (Cure for Pain), as well as apricot (ApriGhost) and Cabernet Sauvignon (Medicine for a Nightmare).

We also teamed up with Omega Yeast to see if we can find out exactly what we are dealing with. So far, there are still some questions to be answered, but we know we are working with bacteria in conjunction with at least 5 strains of yeast including Brettanomyces. We are planning to have Omega plate out the strain separately to see if we have anything relatively unknown to the brewing world. We also had Omega grow up pitches of the blend as it stands to see how their's compare to the blends we currently have living in our barrels.

In addition, we began working on a project with Transient Artisan Ales using our house culture. A little background on Transient (from their website):

"Transient Artisan Ales was formed not due to a lack of great beer, or with the intentions of growing a massive craft beer brand. Rather, our goal is to recognize and appreciate the bounty of our local environment, take time to enjoy a simple and beautiful thing, and provide others the opportunity to do the same.
As the name Transient implies, our beers are meant to change with age, and even from batch to batch. We use a blend of expressive yeasts and encourage the influence of the local Midwest mircroflora and the natural environment on our small-batch offerings through open-top fermentation."

As you can gather from the above quote, Transient is a perfect match for us in respect to our brewing vision. After Chris tasted a few of our beers, he expressed interest in working with us and our mixed culture. After a few meetings we decided to brew a wort similar to the grist we use for our farmhouse series. This wort would then be barrel fermented with a pitch propagated by Omega (grown from our original barrel fermented ghost). The barrels chosen were 130 gallon puncheons, composed of Hungarian oak, which previously held Cabernet Sauvignon from an undisclosed Napa Valley winery.

This collaboration we brewed on March 29th, and we're eager to see how our culture performs at this increased volume. We are also excited to have the opportunity to work with Chris at Transient and hope to continue to work with him on future projects. As of now, we wait for the yeast to tell us what to do next.

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