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Launching any brewery is difficult, but launching one that only makes spontaneously fermented beer means total committment to a process that takes years from brew day to beer release. Still, Lisa and Brandon Boldt of Primitive Beer in Longmont, Colorado, inspired by Belgian lambic brewers and blenders, made the conscious choice to focus exclusively on spontaneously fermented beer. Why not add something else to the repertoire? Because they’re afraid they might be successful at it, and that success would distract them from that core focus.
That patience and commitment have paid off. The brewery is in the process of moving from part-time project to full-time livelihood for Brandon, as maturing barrels finally reach the point where sales volume might justify a full-time employee. In 2019, a Great American Beer Festival silver medal for Experimental Beer was a powerful suggestion that they were on to something interesting—despite the high and dry Colorado conditions that aren’t especially favorable to spontaneous fermentation. That challenging environment has led them to tinkering and lessons learned that should expand the time-worn canon of spontaneous brewing technique. They’re not bucking tradition; they’re using additional tools to set up their fermentations with the best chance of success.
In this episode of the podcast, they discuss:
- giving the business a runway and time for the beer to mature before it can be sold at scale
- adjusting brew volumes to offset changing evaporation and volume loss in the coolship
- the significant impact of hopping rate on fermentation development
- their ambient culture’s growing strength and tolerance for higher hopping rates
- the arc of fermentation, as bacteria and yeast work in different phases
- customizing brewhouse vessels to facilitate turbid mashes and fast transfers
- the impact of knockout temperature on the flavors of spontaneously fermented beers
- barrel selection in the dry environment
- blending methodology, and the use and selection of fruit
This episode is brought to you by:
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Support for this episode comes from BSG CraftBrewing. Announcing a cool new product offering…T-45 lupulin enriched hop pellets. More efficient than T-90s, T-45 hop pellets contain a higher concentration of aromatic oils and bittering resins, with a reduced level of polyphenols and plant material. This means a big delicious hop flavor with fewer pounds per barrel, creating a more cost-efficient and sustainable beer production thanks to reduced wort losses. Supplies are limited – secure your order today at go.bsgcraft.com/T-45
A brewery might have 99 problems, but your fruit supplier shouldn't be one. Old Orchard is already known for their quality concentrates, but they also pride themselves on consistent product and reliable supply. When brewers need assistance, Old Orchard is just an email, phone call, or even a text away. Based in Greater Grand Rapids, Michigan—better known as Beer City, USA—Old Orchard is core to the brewing community. To join their fruit family, learn more at www.oldorchard.com/brewer.
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Hey nano-brewers! Fermentis, the obvious choice for beverage fermentation, soon offering our dry ale and lager yeasts in flexible 100g packaging. To learn more about how Fermentis can improve the quality of your fermentation, and for the latest on their exciting new product releases, visit Fermentis.com
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