I am not sure if there is such a thing a brewing weather, but if there is, it certainly felt like it yesterday in Southern California. The temperature was about 62F, a few puffy clouds floating along in the sky and some rain had washed everything clean a couple of days before. Things do not get that cold in Orange County, but during the winter time it still puts me in the mood for darker beers. So yesterday a couple of good friends and I brewed up a robust porter. The batch went about as perfect as it could go, all of the brewing equipment worked as it was supposed to, we hit all of our gravity targets, the mash pH was right on the money and the night before I created a yeast starter that was perhaps as energetic as I have ever seen and it is already fermenting the porter like mad.
My plan is to add a American Oak Light Toast Stick to the fermenter here in about a weak and also a vanilla bean to add a little bit of additional complexity to the porter. These are the oak sticks that I decided to go with for my homebrew. I do not want it to taste like you just licked a tree, but I would like to mellow it out with a touch of oak and give you something to ponder with the vanilla. I am adding just one stick to the approximately 5.5 gallon batch and will leave it in there for about a week and taste it. If i feel that it could benefit from additional oak flavor I will either all for additional contact time or add in a second oak stick to boost it. I am really looking forward to drinking this beer!