The 2010 KLCC collaboration brew was brewed on Saturday. An interesting project for myself, as the recipe required three grains, three strains of hops, and a yeast that I've never used before. The ratios of the grains were predetermined, but the hop drops were up to each brewery. This is billed as a Belgian Cascadian Dark Rye Ale, and I was so glad the the brewers avoided the tragedy of calling it a Dark IPA.
The sparge progressed rather slowly, I suspect due to the presence of the rye and the dark munich. They seemed to shatter to a higher degree in the mill than the other grains. I don't have the luxury of being able to adjust the fineness of the grind for the different grains; the mill is set right where I want it for the bulk of what I brew and I'm afraid to tweek it.
The yeast is another matter. It is the WY3522 Ardennes yeast, a Belgian strain, that I harvested off the bottom of one of the conicals at Oakshire. While I collected a full quart jar, by the time it chilled and settled here at the brewery it had packed down into less than a pint. This gave me no small concern as to the risk of underpitching. Too late to fetch more, though. Its behavior was unlike the usual dry British strains that I use, so I'm having to use observation and the nose to determine as best I can as to how things are going. I thought it had a slow start. Right now, Monday morning, it has a nice brown crust and the aroma is starting to develop. The krausen is not real thick and foamy, but maybe this is just the way it behaves. There is not a whole lot I can do about it, though. I'm expecting to hold the temperature a little warmer towards the end so as to mitigate the likelihood of diacetyls due to the potential of having underpitched. Geeky stuff, eh? More to come.
If this turns out alright, it is possibly the first ever cask-conditioned Belgian Cascadian Dark Rye ale ever produced in a commercial brewery. Who knows.