Between many meetings and occupancy negotiations, I was able to sneak in a brewday last week. The beer - a massively strong blond farmhouse ale for my brother's wedding anniversary - is still fermenting at a moderate pace. If the beer turns out to my liking, i.e. dry as hell with subtle saison-like flavors, I may use it as the base of my Grand Cru. Here are some pictures of the brewing process.
A 1.1-gallon yeast starter:
My mash tun capacity limited the total batch size to 4.5 gallons:
First wort hops:
An unreadable pre-boil gravity of 1.091 (after temperature correction):
It was only 0.003 below my target, which is pretty close for such a strong beer. It means the lautering efficiency curve in my recipe spreadsheet is valid near the upper end.