What follows is something of a photo essay on a brewnight at Santa Barbara Brewing Company. We were brewing one of my beers, a collaboration piece that Kevin hopes to repeat with other bloggers and writers. This took place Tuesday night/Wednesday morning, and will be given a lot of attention in my forthcoming column for the Santa Barbara News Press (scheduled to appear Nov. 7. The first step, of course, was busting out the old brewing boots, which were in truth dairy boots purchased years ago when I was an assistant at Blue Hills Brewing Company in Canton, Mass.
I arrived at Santa Barbara Brewing Company a little after 11 p.m. when the restaurant had already closed, and found about 1,100-plus pounds of grain already milled and ready to be added to the mash. I would be taking most of these and dumping them into the mash tun myself, although brewmaster Kevin Pratt definitely gave my tired shoulder a break by adding a few hundred pounds himself.
After the mash was complete, assistant brewer Gavin Cook did the majority of the work in clearing it out.
Kevin watches the kettle boil. During this stage, we added hops. A lot of hops.
We also added a half-pound of dark Belgian Candi Sugar. This will add essentially nothing to the brew itself, what will be a Black IPA/Hoppy Robust Porter/Imperial Porter/American Black Ale (it could get away with being called any of those things, but we’ll most likely be going with “Painted Cave Porter.”). However, this does help me get rid of an ingredient I had no intention of ever using again after it was used to make one of the worst homebrews I’ve ever made. I also trashed the fermentation bucket that made said homebrew months ago. I guess I’m a little superstitious.
Finally, the yeast. WLP007 English Ale Yeast. I was proud to know that our collaboration brew would be using the first generation of Brewco’s house yeast for this batch. Inside the fermentation vessel, this yeast will multiply in an exponential rate, and yeast will be harvested from this batch for future batches. In a way, it’s kind of like this beer will have many children and grand children. Awwww, how sweet.
I’ll add more details about the brew and the beer itself when it’s closer to its release date – which will be sometime in late October or early November.