Happy Easter

Happy Easter to all, regardless of religious belief.

I’m sitting drowning a bit of sorrow with a Sourdough Blonde.  Sorrow because of my disastrous attempt at makng sourdough bread yesterday.  I don’t know what happened but the stuff absolutely refused to rise!  My suspicion is the starter.  I had a starter before that made good bread but I failed to feed it for a few days at room temperature.  At the end, what was left smelled like socks.  Dumped, I ordered a San Francisco Sourdough Starter, activated it but it’s never quite performed as advertised.  After two straight disastrous attempts, I ordered a new starter, this time the Yukon variety.  Will see if that’s the cause.

We stirred up a white blend, Gewurztraminer, Muscat, Verdelho.  The instructions call for reserve juice.  My experience on the Mosel is to ferment it until it’s the sweetness you want, then stop and stabilize.  Partially fermented grape juice tastes vastly different than fresh so I think that’s largely the difference between domestic and imported Rieslings:  Germans don’t back-sweeten, Americans do.  So we put the reserve in the fermentor and will stop the wine when we’re satisfied with the flavor.

Time to get my Maerzen done.  That’s up next week.  I’ll be eating my own cooking – no decoction this time around.  Just a protein rest, 131 degrees for 15 minutes, then a saccarification rest, 152 degrees for an hour.  Fermentation, highly controlled, around 50 degrees until done.  I want exquisitely clean beer, no esters, and good bitterness for the style.  I’ll switch the first wort hop from Magnum to Perle, last modification before brewing next weekend.  Okay, it’s April but I’ll be lagering in a 32 degree refrigerator, not an ice-filled cave, so it should be fine.

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