So, we’re in the middle of mass quarantine.
Only essential businesses are open, and even then, in a limited capacity.
Even Omega Yeast has been hit.
So what is the brewer to do? Give up? Well, obviously not; however, brewing has required some… unusual modifications to the brewing process. That being said, no challenge is insurmountable.
In these conditions, the two ingredients that are the hardest to find have been hops and yeast – for the same reason. With minimal transit options and in-person purchases off the table, buying refrigerated goods becomes a whole lot more difficult. Luckily, an ill-advised decision saved me here. For some reason, Dariusz and I kept the leftovers from our hop additions for the last few months. So, deep in our freezer, we had a baggie filled with an odd blend of not-entirely-Citra hops (I know some Cascade and Mt Hood are in there).
Unfortunately, hops begin losing their potency over time, and without a perfect seal they were considerably weaker than they had been- luckily, we have nearly 4 ounces on hand. Additionally, we had kept a small pouch of “emergency yeast” to break stuck fermentations and to restart batches that were pitched too warm. So, both of the hard bases were covered. From there, I just needed to type in a small order for grain and hops and I’ll be all set.
With my options constrained, I was able to pull together the following recipe:
- 4.0 lbs 2-Row
- 6.6 lbs LightLiquid Malt Extract
- Safale S-04: Dry Ale Yeast
- 1.5 oz Mystery Bag (60 minutes)
- 0.5 oz Mystery Bag (30 minutes)
- 0.50 oz Mystery Bag (15 minutes)
- 0.25 oz Mystery Bag (5 minutes)
Will this pay off in the long run?
Only time may tell.