Owen's Farm Funk II
Last Saturday, May 27th, I attending an event put on by the Greenbelt Land Trust at Owens Farm on the North side of Corvallis. This event brought together beer lovers, plant lovers, and people who love people who love beer and plants. Our tour guide, Jessica, lead us around the beautiful restored oak forests and gave us a brief history of Owen's Farm and the peoples who inhabited the land before the Greenbelt Land Trust procured it. Jessica and guest speaker Jeff Tobin, head brewer/owner at Mazama Brewery, enlightened the group about how different native ingredients might be used in brewing and what has historically been utilized in the area. It was a very informational day and it was fun to hang out with folks who were interested in using native plants in a variety of ways.
My goal during the hike was to collect natural yeast in order to ferment a beer that will contain some of the microorganisms from Owen's Farm. Hopefully in the end the beer will taste good, too!
To collect the wild yeast I boiled up a starter with one quart of water and 1/4 pound Pilsen Light DME (dry malt extract). I put the warm starter into a 1/2 gallon mason jar and once we arrived at the Farm changed out the solid lid for cheesecloth. Then I posed the starter in front of the old farmhouse (first photo below) for a quick photo. The mason jar stayed by my side throughout the hike and I tried my best to collect only the strongest yeast!
Once home I transferred the starter into a sanitized erlenmeyer flask and put it on my stir plate for the weekend. By Monday (the 29th) there were signs of fermentation as you can see (in the third photo) below.
On Tuesday (the 30th) I made a 1 gallon Brew-in-a-Bag batch with 1 1/2# OSU Barley World Full Pint Malt in about 2 gallons of water (fourth photo). The Original Gravity ended up being 1.038 with about 1 1/3 gallons of wort (fifth photo). I pitched the whole starter into the wort (sixth photo) and said a little prayer to the yeast gods that they would look favorably on our little Owen's Farm Experiment. As of Wednesday (the 31st) there is some sign of activity in the beer (seventh photo) and we'll continue to watch it as time goes on.
One of my favorite parts of the hike was at the end when Jeff allowed us to sample some fine Mazama Brews and we also got to taste batch #1 of Owen's Farm Funk brewed by Joel last year. So, keep an eye out for next year's Beers Made by Walking Series and maybe you'll get to try Owen's Farm Funk II!
Written by: Ashley
The beer is fermenting away! It has a great krausen and smells very bready.