Today I am embarking on the first in a (hopefully) long-running series of experimental brew days, which I plan on sharing here on brewerman.com. The inspiration for my approach is a combination of the recent revisiting of some Brew Your Own articles, and a lay-off that has given me more free time. I have been thinking for a while about how I can really zero in on my own ideal recipe.
I’ve been performing my own recipe formulation for my own well-received beers for a while now (thank you Ray Daniels’ Designing Great Beers!), but there are only a few beers that I’ve been really tweaking over the years. To really zero in on what’s in my head, I would need to brew far more often than I currently do, and to do so would require far more money and liver tissue than I have to give.
Enter the Brewerman X Brew series. I am going to give brewing super-small batches a shot. Inspired by Brew Your Own’s articles on small-scale brewing, I will be brewing one gallon batches from infusion mashes performed in a Coleman One Gallon Cooler. Because the volume is so small, I can run multiple brews at one time, and do so in my kitchen … all very convenient, with a minimal hit on resources.
The only way I can realistically pull this off is to:
- Continue to be faithful to keeping accurate records on metrics and observations
- Keep as tight control over brew variables as realistically possible (e.g. temps, volumes, time, etc)
- Keep extremely organized on brew day (multiple hopping schedules at once … ugh)
- Close the loop: sample, make recipe adjustments, repeat experimentation
The only pitfalls I see are:
- I may have to get a more-precise digital scale.
- Fermentation variables of one gallon batch may not transfer to a five-gallon batch (e.g. time sitting on yeast to scrub beer relative to the yeast health after they finish fermenting the beer)
- Having to return to bottling 🙁
Still, I’m very excited. The first run will be a single batch this time (a calibration run) targeting one of my favorites: Green Flash’s West Coast IPA. This recipe was largely taken from the awesome Jamil Show episode where they got a recipe straight from Chuck Silva from Green Flash!
I’ll be posting pictures and run-down of the brew session tomorrow.