Monday, June 11, 2012

Marley's Ghost: Six Months In

Not a whole-heck-of-a-lot to report since last time , but I'd thought I'd give an update on my 2012 Christmas beer project—Marley's Ghost 1843 Christmas Porter. The biggest event in the life of this ebony darling was the move from the first floor to the cellar. The warm temps at the end of march and into early April prompted the move. My 90-year old house can get pretty warm when the mercury rises, and after a few 80º plus days, I thought it best to err on the side of caution and move the carboy down to the cellar.

The pellicle is still... uh pellicling, and it's turned a chalky shade of ivory. It looks like an off-white, miniature version of the surface of the moon. Carbon dioxide has continued to build-up within the sealed jar, so fermentation is still active—albeit at a very slow rate. The bung popped during the warm temps in March—without any loss of beer—and that was my cue to get the beer into a cooler environment. Although, even in the cellar—of which never rises above 74 or 75º—and just last night, pressure had built up enough that when I adjusted the bung, I was presented with a slight pop.

I'll be honest, I've known that there was a correlation between British and Belgian brewing during the 19th early 20th-centuries, but I never realized how similar they were. My beer—with it's Brettanomyces clausenii "infection"—smells down right Flemish. It's sweet, and tart, with a pronounced yeasty nose. There isn't much as far as hoppiness, but there is a pronounced earthiness.

So, in the cellar shall my black beer sit—until, the weather turns cooler in October. I'll update again in September.  

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