Thursday, December 24, 2009

Pretty Glass for pot&kettle

Last weekend I bottled up the pot&kettle, batch 2, a brew session that has been filmed, tweeted and pics posted on Facebook by French Oak TV. Ah, my 15 minutes of mini-fame!

I ended up with 11 gallons of the black stuff so I had to put the call in to Dan V (of VeeVee) to help supply me with the additional glass I needed. I was quite happy to hear that he continues to set aside glass for me. Esther and I were all to happy to hop in to the car and make the short trip to JP to see the very hospitable Dan and Kristen and to enjoy yet another fantastic dinner. Aside from the satisfying food, Dan always keeps a very tight and thoughtful beer list...on this cold Boston night, it was good to see the Nogne O #100 flying out from the behind the bar. Each bottle of #100 Dan sent out generated yet another smirk. It clearly pleased him to know he was helping others enjoy some very special craft beer. I know that smile well, as I'm often wearing it myself.

Esther and I finished with dinner with their fantastic coconut cream pie (perfect amount of subtle sweetness in the silky cream, delicate use of lime, hardy biscuity crust).

As we pushed back from our plates, Dan bestowed 3 boxes of some very Pretty glass...I do hope that these repurposed vessels bring even a portion of the great fortune to Trillium that has rightfully been received in their original incarnation.
So, back to the bottling...10 (11?) gallons is the limit of my condo kitchen cum brewery, which is just fine, because wrangling and sanitizing enough bottles for this much beer is an undertaking that requires some planning and the laboriously kitchen sink hogging de-labelling process, in the case of new glass. Thankfully, I can reuse the first batch pot&kettle glass, with labels fully intact and unfazed by the dishwasher's intense heat cycles.
Initial taste of the green pot&kettle tells me that the change in yeast to the Burton strain may have had a significant impact on the finished product: a much more estery/fruity nose, which enhances the rich malt profile. Layer after layer of roast filled the bottling bucket. Virtually no hard acridity on the palate...just a subtle, drying char in the aftertaste. Attenuation was likely less than that cranked out by the Nottingham, but some residual body and sweetness might be an incremental improvement. I'll take a gravity reading on the test bottle to confirm FG.

I rarely will send out any bottles as gifts before I'm 100% confident in the quality/proper bottle conditioning, but given the proximity to the holidays, a number of them are going out with proper instruction to store at room temp and to wait at least 1 month before sampling, and preferably 6, if at all possible. It feels strange to give gifts with instructions and caveats, but its more difficult for me to see these beers enjoyed at anything less than their full potential.

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