Yeast Experiment: The Yeast Bay Midwestern Ale vs Vermont Ale

Recently The Yeast Bay, a small artisanal yeast company out of San Fran (also headed up by a fellow Badger!), started marketing a strain called Midwestern Ale yeast. Being a lover of all things New Glarus, and, having undergone multiple iterations of trying to clone Spotted Cow, I was extremely excited at the possibility that this could be Dan’s famous kolsch strain. After a few back and forth emails with head yeast expert Nick, in which he gave me no information on the source as expected, I came to the conclusion that this was probably not the New Glarus strain I’ve tried to grow up many times. However, being from the Midwest I was still very intrigued at this new strain and quickly purchased a vail to try.

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Small Batch Brewing

I’ve never really been one to go into things half assed. When I started brewing I probably did three or four steeped grain/extract batches before building a mash tun to brew all-grain. The one step in the progression that I skipped over was partial mash/BIAB. Recently I was lamenting my inability to brew as often as I would like. Sitting in my office at work a thought came to me: When I was brewing extract batches, the start to finish time was probably two hours max (excluding cleanup this was prior to discovering fermcap-s). With all grain brewing I can maybe knock out a brew day in four hours, and that isn’t including clean up time.

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Flanders Red #1: First Sour! WLP655 Belgian Sour Mix 1

Ever since my first taste of a sour beer I’ve been hooked on this tart nectar. My first experience with a sour was a New Glarus Belgain Red, this beer is a fantastic sour brown ale with tons of cherry flavor. As a typical home brewer I’ve been mortified of introducing bacteria and brett into my process. That being said I recently had a bottle of New Glarus Raspberry Tart with thanksgiving and decided it was time to put my cleaning and sanitation to the test. Plus I recently opened up my oak barrel, and decide it’s time to inoculate it with bugs!

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Big Marky Monster (Imperial Red IPA)

This beer is a recipe originally given to me by brewing friend Dave. The story behind it is that Dave’s dad, Mark’s favorite beer was Terrapins Big Hoppy Monster. Dave and Mark have brewed many iterations of this beer and all have been fantastic. Imperial Red IPA is one of my favorite styles, this beer is an adaptation of Dave’s BMM which cuts back some on the caramel malt and adds massive amounts of one of my favorite hops, Amarillo. This beer is deep red, hoppy as hell, and as sticky as a barley wine. Enjoy!

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