Our passion is re-creating and blending old-world brewing styles, often with a twist. The result is the finest blends of artisanal wild and sour beers you’ll ever enjoy.
Have a question? Just ask. Dying to share an idea for our next batch? We’re all ears.
1. The Beginnings
We start with recipe creation and ingredient selection with a specific goal in mind depending on the season, the target flavor profile, and our current inspirations.
2. Brew Day
We carefully brew the wort (unfermented beer) to our predetermined specifications. First, we combine hot water with various grains. Then, we separate the sugars and some of the proteins from the grain. Finally, it’s boiled with aged hops to sterilize the batch. We donate all the spent grains to a local pig or cow farmer.
3. The Coolship
Ahead of fermentation, most breweries use heat exchangers to cool the wort so the yeast isn’t killed by the extreme high temperatures. While this process is fast and creates consistency, that’s not part of our practice.
Musings does things differently.
We pump that boiling hot, sweet wort into a wide shallow vessel, called a coolship. Then, we allow it to cool naturally overnight. As the wort streams into the coolship, it’s steamy and beautiful. Once it’s cooled to a reasonable temperature, lots of healthy, airborne yeast and bacteria microbes (specifically, many different strains of Saccharomyces, Brettanomyces, Lactobacillus, and Pediococcus) gently fall to rest on the surface of the liquid in the coolship. This begins the initial spontaneous fermentation.
Remarkably, spontaneous fermentation means that our batch would not taste the same if brewed at a different location or at different times of the year, even if we used the exact same recipe and equipment.
4. Fermentation Continued
The second fermentation begins once we transfer the wort into a conical, stainless steel fermenter. This allows for a more controlled fermentation, where we add additional yeast from a local or preferred yeast supplier.
5. Oak Barrel Aging
Once the second fermentation is complete, we transfer the beer to oak barrels for additional fermentation, aging, and character development. We source used oak barrels from local wineries when possible, and through a local barrel broker otherwise. We choose a combination of American and French oak barrels for the variety of flavors that each contributes to the beer, and we carefully inspect every barrel inside and out before adding them into our barrel cellar.
Before letting each barrel rest, we dose each set of beers with a different blend of wild yeasts and/or various bacteria. These will contribute to the funky characteristics and levels of acidity. This process usually takes one to three years. Our intent is to nudge the beers in a certain direction, and then patiently await the final flavors these blends of microbes produce. Next, the brewing team runs tasting and blending trials before transferring that particular blend of beer to the bottling tank.
6. Bottle Conditioning
Rather than using additional carbon dioxide to carbonate our beers, we add natural sugars (usually cane sugar) and a little bit of fresh yeast to create a natural carbonation in the bottle via one final fermentation. We age our bottles on their sides for one to three months, allowing them to fully carbonate, mature, and mellow before labeling and preparing them for sales and tastings.
Our process leaves a small amount of sediment in the bottom of the bottle. For a clear beer, carefully pour all but the last ounce or so from the bottle into your glass. Or you can pour all of it, and enjoy the slight yeasty flavor and haze.