Sometimes the brew gods are on your side. The past 30 days has definitely been a stretch where they’ve been hooking me up in a big way. First, my birthday yielded several brewing books and the all-grain system that I’ve been wanting for a while. I brewed what I think will be a good IPA this month (waiting to pop the first one so that I can update the recipe). And now the July-August issue of Brew Your Own has hit a bulls-eye for what I’m focused on with my brewing.
As I mentioned in a recent post, I’m thinking about brewing a Witbier. I’ve pretty much decided that I’m going to do it. Unfortunately this style traditionally has a grain bill of around 50% unmalted wheat, and my new single infusion mash system is somewhat inadequate to convert that type of grain. I’ve been spending my time away from the site figuring out the recipe and how to pull off the mash (separate post, but one word … decoction).
In addition to thoughts about the next brew, I’ve also been realizing how bummed I’ve been with the initial performance of my starters. They always end up doing the job, but it takes quite a while to start up, and they’re rarely as lively a fermentation as I’d like them to be. I’ve read many articles about using stir plates for stepping up the reproduction rates of yeast in a starter to have a larger colony of yeast to pitch, but when I look at getting one, sticker shock keeps me in the smack-swell-pitch-swirl camp. I’ve also been honest enough to know that if I don’t have good instructions, I’m not going to build my own.
So when the new BYO came in the mail, I got the double whammy: an article on the style and recipe formulation of Witbiers, an article on how to build a stir plate, and an in-depth article on starters. What a score given what I’m working on. Thanks, BYO!