Homebrewers go through many steps to eliminate post fermentation oxidation of their beer. One of the ways that’s commonly expounded is to flush kegs/bottles with CO2 prior to racking. While I don’t regularly do this due to sheer laziness, I have recently been looking for ways minimize oxidation post-fermentation in an easy practical manner. One such method that had been intriguing me for some time now was fermenting in corny kegs. I had heard about corny keg fermentation on older brew strong episodes in which JZ and Palmer poo-pooed this practice due to the shape of the keg not being ideal for the yeast. I didn’t really think about it much more. I first noticed corny keg fermentation in use in a brulosophy article on pressurized fermentation by Greg Foster. While I had no real interest in pressurizing my fermentations, fermenting in a corny keg would mean one could simply ferment, hook up to CO2, and rack into a purged corny keg for serving. Ultimately this would mean the beer would never have to touch oxygen after the first CO2 expelled from fermentation blanketed the beer. Also, this would mean no lifting carboys onto a raised surface for a gravity transfer, no risking glass shards (for those who use glass regularly), etc. There are of course draw backs to fermenting in a corny, the smaller volume means that 5 gallon batches may need to be sized down slightly. However, with liberal use of fermcap-S, maybe not that drastically. Before diving headlong into fermenting in a corny keg I needed to do a side-by-side batch and have them served blindly to me in order to confirm whether or not I was ready to ditch the carboys.
As I’m sure most people are sick of hearing, growing up in Wisconsin I LOVE New Glarus. To me Dan Carey is the best, most innovative, brewer in the country. Moving to Colorado was one of the best decisions of my life, however, it left me without consistent access to my favorite beer (prior to discovering Prost!). Once I learned to homebrew it was a forgone conclusion that I would spend every waking minute trying to replicate this beer.
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!