Fireside chat was 1st brewed as a homebrew by Mark Westmeyer on 12-27-2010. The grist was made up of pilsner base malt extract, pale chocolate, crystal 40, and crystal 60 (and a pinch of Cara Brown). The hop additions were Nugget for bittering, Centennial, Chinook, and Amarillo at the end of the boil. See the picture below to see Mark's homebrew set up!
When we brewed Fireside Chat with Mark at Flossmoor Station on August, 1st, 2011 our grist bill was 990lbs of TF Optic 2-row, 55 lbs of TF Chocolate , 50 lbs of Briess C-40, 50 lbs of Briess C-60 and 50 lbs of Evaporated Cane Juice. The hop additions we used were 352 oz of Nugget and 14.2 oz of Summit for bitterning and 176 oz of Centennial Type, Summit and Galena at Whirlpool.
We did two separte mashes and used the weak runnings from the first mash as our strike water for the second mash. It was a long brew day but we hit our original gravity of 28 degrees plato! We used a California ale strain to ferment and the finished beer ended up being 11.1% abv. Instead of releasing an 11.1% American Barleywine in August, Nick and I decided to take what we needed to enter the beer in the Pro Am category at GABF and barrel age the remaining 11.0 bbls into oak barrels. We racked out 4 oak barrels with Mark (6.8 US bbls) Feb 5th, exactly 5 months after it had been racked into barrels. Each barrel tasted different. We blended all four together and the result is the delicious!
Hope to see you at the release this Saturday!