Club Brew Barrel Run

Took the long road down to Brattleboro to pick up an oak barrel from Saxton’s River Distillery. They make Sapling, a maple liqueur that’s aged in Maker’s Mark barrels. This will be a great barrel to use for our club brew brown ale. And we tweaked the recipe in preparation for this – made it a little more bitter to balance out the sweetness of the liqueur, and gave it a nice big body to wrap around the alcohol.
The drive was actually not bad, right around 2 hours. And Brattleboro seems like a nice spot, but unfortunately we didn’t have time to hang. We did grab lunch at a new brewpub called Whetstone. They have a 1 bbl Psychobrew system set up and ready to use, they are just waiting on state permits to get going.
Made it back up to Bolton and set everything up to transfer from six 15 gallon fermenters. We took gravity readings and tasting notes for each one before transferring into the barrel. Seems like most were close to terminal, 1 or 2 had a little bit further to go. We’re guessing it’ll kick back into fermentation for the next few days. We also filled a keg and are carbing it up for our next meeting, which is only 2 days away.
Overall, it tastes great, and with the maple flavoring, this will be a great batch.

Brewing at Fiddlehead

Today I have the privilege of brewing at Fiddlehead Brewery in Shelburne Vermont. This past April, my homebrew club, the Green Mountain Mashers, held a style competition. Matt Cohen, the owner and brewmaster at Fiddlehead, offered to have the winner come in and brew a ten barrel batch of the winning recipe. Out of more than twenty entries, I placed 2nd and 3rd with two different versions I brewed. The winner offered to let me tag along, so I gladly accepted.

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