Saturday, July 19, 2008

Saturday, Saturday

It turns out that I was too ambitious last week. I deviated by about 4 hours to work on water chemistry calculations, but spent the rest of the week working on my scheduled to-do list.

On the business plan front (it's kind of like a war), I installed the numbers and wrote the product descriptions. Communicating math in concise English was a lot more difficult than I expected. In addition, I kept writing things like "most brewpubs do blah blah blah" and realizing "I have no idea if that's true." As a result, I spent a lot of time doing additional research to back up my claims. I expect that trend to continue as I make my way into less familiar territory, such as the marketing plan. From here out, I'm giving myself two weeks to finish a rough draft of the business plan.

Jane and I met to review the operating plan and told our lawyer what we think. We're very close to being done.

Creme de Menthe, mixed into Edmund Fitzgerald Porter at 1/4 tsp per 3 oz of total beverage volume, had a similar mint character as the beer I brewed. I liked my version better, which surprised me because cold-steeping ingredients in alcohol (Creme de Menthe) usually results in a smoother character than boiling (my beer). Stepping up the Creme de Menthe to 1/2 tsp per 3 oz didn't really increase the "minty" flavor. Instead, it imparted a harshness that reminded me of overcarbonation due to brettanomyces (wild yeast) contamination. I found it vaguely offensive, but Rachel liked it. I now have two theories of mint beer that need to be explored:

1. Mint and hops don't like each other. Edmund Fitzgerald is a pretty hoppy porter, which may have caused the clash.
2. Mint flavor is desirable, but mint aroma is too aggressive for beer. My 5-minute boil may have driven off some of the mint's harshness, and a 15- or 20-minute boil may be even better.

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