As the title suggests, this will be my first post since moving my family to Doylestown, Pennsylvania to begin working at Merck. So far the job is exciting as I get to work with new vaccines that hopefully will save lives in the future. Specifically, I’m working in vaccine process development, which is responsible for translating vaccine discovery to manufacturing. Essentially, my job is to find new ways to make vaccines on a large-scale using cell and molecular biology techniques that I learned from grad school and my postdoc.
Part of the reason my last post was on September 3rd was our hectic schedule. We moved twice, from a temporary residence to our permanent address. Hurricane Sandy also threw a wrench into settling in as a tree fell in our backyard (see picture below) and we were without power for a week. After a month of unpacking and organizing, we are finally getting into a routine.
There are a few posts I need to write-up in the coming weeks:
- I need to post the results on the different fermentation temperature experiment. Collaborating with Brooklyn Homebrew, I brewed this experiment as part of my last yeast class that I taught. There was some interesting sensory data from the students that I need to post. I also stopped by Keystone Homebrew Supply, my local homebrew store, and talked to them about teaching a yeast class, similar to what I did in Brooklyn. I really enjoyed it and hopefully I can do something similar in the future.
- Reviews some beers. This includes a ten month old english barleywine and a Berliner weisse.
- Discuss my collaboration with the Mad Fermentationist on the Brettanomyces that I isolated. He already reviewed the results where he fermented a Belgian ale and bottle conditioned with different wild yeasts. He sent me a few bottles of each and I’ve been meaning to post my thoughts. Moreover, I need to figure what to do with CB1 and CB2. They are currently safely stored at -80ºC in my old lab at Columbia. I can get them at any time, but I have no way of storing them indefinitely outside of this lab. The best way might be to continually propagate the strains and share them with other brewers. According to the Mike, both strains seems to be pretty agressive in character.
- I need to figure out the best way to set up my homebrewery now that I have much more space. Luckily, I now have a portion of a basement that can be dedicated to brewing.
To get back into homebrewing, I decided to brew a beer that has been on my mind since fall started. I happened to try some oatmeal cookies and assumed that this would be a natural recipe foundation for a beer. The oatmeal cookie ale is not a new concept and its been replicated by many commercial breweries. My mission was simple – make the beer taste and smell like oatmeal cookies. To accomplish this, I toasted three pounds of flaked oats to give a slightly nutty flavor. Molasses and dark sugar were also called for, but in restraining amounts. I’m going to spice in secondary (keg) with a small vodka tincture infused with cinnamon and allspice. Lastly, I used amber malts and Special B to replicate raisin like tastes.
Back in Business Oatmeal Cookie Ale (5 gallon recipe):
- 5 pounds of Maris Otter malt (Crisp)
- 3 pounds of Flaked Oats (Briess) toasted for 20 minutes at 350ºC
- 1 pound of Amber malt (Crisp – 28L)
- 1 pound of Special B (Dingemans – 150L)
- 1/2 pound of dark brown sugar added at the last 10 minutes of the boil.
- 3.0 oz of molasses.
Mashed in at 152ºF with 3.38 gallons of water for one hour. Mashed out at 168ºF and collected about 2 gallons of 1.087 first runnings. Batch sparged with 4.95 gallons of 180ºF water and collected second runnings (1.037). Garden hose froze and was unable to cool wort quickly. Brought wort up to pasteurize temperature of 190ºC and let it sit covered until the next day. Boiled for 60 minutes:
- 1 oz of UK Fuggles (4.8% AA – 15 IBUs) at 60 minutes
- whirlfloc and yeast nutrient at 15 minutes.
With garden hose working, I was able to cool my wort to 65ºF in ten minutes (one added benefit to brewing outside in winter). Aerated for 30 seconds with pure O2 and pitched a two liter stepped starter of WLP007.
FG: ?? – still fermenting
ABV: ?? – still fermenting
IBUs: ~15 (Tinseth)