Sunday, August 16, 2009

Poll Results: Specialty Ingredients

I guess this turned out to be a super limited poll since I didn't get too many votes. Personally, I like to use any and all ingredients in beer as an experiments. I've gotten a lot better at using restraint in both quantity and number of different ingredients. Trying to find balance in the finished beer can be difficult if they're ingredients you've never used. Being a restaurant chef, I've been able to use a huge variety of ingredients and apply them to many different recipes to produce anywhere from 8 portions to a 100. Most of my creativity is applied to pastry work and it's great fun coming up with new desserts. I always have to keep in mind the clientele we deal with which is not the most sophisticated lot, but I can put together some pastries that are both beautifully presented and delicious.
Upcoming, I'm actually taking at least another week off of brewing and then I'll get the Saison de Noel working. I'm aiming for something in the 1.090 range and with a variety of finishing spices. I've considered: ginger, cinnamon, cocoa nibs, nutmeg, citrus. What I end up using I haven't decided, I'll have to take a lengthy trip to Whole Foods and see what I can find.
Last night, at a great party hosted by Nathan , the bulk of the barrel group and I got to taste both the Flanders Red and Wee Heavy and they are just fantastic. The former is nearing the end of its souring and becoming less Flanders like and more lambic like. The wee heavy, having gone sour, is still bourbon boozy rich with a touch of lactic bite and some funkiness coming through. It has a while to go. We also discussed what to brew when we take out the Flanders and there are just too many ideas floating around. I can't wait to see what we come up with.

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