We’re now witnessing something we’ve been waiting a couple years for: Coastal Virginia spontaneous fermentation.
This project has already been taxing in terms of patience and the wait isn’t over. But, it’s pretty satisfying to see fermentation begin just a few days after resting wort in our coolship. It’s fascinating to see nature kick off fermentation so quickly and so vigorously without a brewer’s influence. That’s part of what makes this so – forgive the pun – COOL.
Steam rising off the Coolship as it’s filled
Barrels awaiting coolship beer
Excitement aside, the fact that we’re seeing strong fermentation is an excellent sign. We know we have wild saccharomyces (akin to brewers yeast) present, along with a host of other microflora that will come into play more later. I really wish our microscope had the ability to take pictures!
Cooled wort, resting and waiting to be moved into barrels
Spontaneous fermentation beginning
Spontaneous fermentation krausening
We’ve filled a few barrels and will likely fill more this year. Our plan is to make as much coolship beer as we can every year, which will give us blending options down the road, along with the ability to referment some with fruit. Certainly one of the toughest things about fermenting beer spontaneously is waiting for the various microbes to finish their work. This requires further patience. We’ll monitor the fermentation as it progresses and look forward to sharing the results. In the meantime, look for some other “wild” treats from us soon.