Old 49er

Almost three weeks ago I brewed a recipe for an Old Ale from Jamil Zainasheff’s book Brewing Classic Styles.  I had to substitute the hops and I had to supplement the grains with some dry malt extract (DME) because my mash tun cannot hold all the grain to make such a big beer.  But, I did get my hands on some black treacle.

I used the Wyeast #9097 Old Ale Blend with a big starter and man, this thing went off like a rocket the next day.  I really thought it was going to blow out the blow-off tube.  I have to admit that I did let it get a little warm (78 F) during fermentation, as I was lazy and didn’t set up any kind of cooler. 

The Old Ale Blend has as Wyeast says on their website, “an attenuative ale strain and a Brettanomyces strain” so I am excited to see how this one develops over time.  I will have to try a few along the way to see what changes as the Brett eats away at the sugars that regular ale yeast cannot eat.  I was somewhat concerned about introducing Brett into my brewery and I considered buying new plastic parts as I have read that Brett can be hard to get out of some plastics.  But in the end, I’m just going to continue brewing as usual, using all the same equipment for all batches, with the exception of marking the fermenter that was used.  I think I’ll mark a “B” on this fermenter, just in case something does come back to haunt me.

Oh, and the name of this post and the name of the beer come from the batch number.  I have brewed 49 batches of beer since 2005.  It seems a lot of Old Ales have the word old in the name so it was either Old 49er or something silly like Old Something or Other.

The Adequate Brewer

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