[editor's note: this piece originally appeared in the Brewing TV blog]
Recently, I asked Dawson to concoct a recipe for me that would use some miscellaneous ingredients that I had sitting around the brewroom, freezer, and fridge. They included: Wyeast Leuven Pale smack pack, 1 oz Cluster whole leaf hops, 4 oz Centennial whole leaf hops (from Dawson's 2009 backyard crop), and some Carafa III.
He came up with two options. One called Chizzer Wizzer Belgo-American Brown, the other called Chuzzer Wuzzer Belgo-American Pale. I went with Chizzer Wizzer because it called to be fermented at 72-degrees, which I thought would be easier to pull off than the Chazzer Wuzzer at 60-something-degrees. But either way, my basement is about 78-80 degrees - so I had to rig something to get the temperature down to around 70-degrees.
This video shows what I came up with. Basically, it's a large plastic tub that I filled with water up to the 4-gallon mark. I've been swapping out frozen ice packs and jugs of frozen water to keep the temperature down. It's working pretty well. I actually got down to 66-degrees at one point, which is a little too low. So, Chizzer Wizzer spends one week at 70-degrees.
What's going to be tough is the next step in which Dawson suggested the beer rest at 60-degrees for secondary fermentation. I do think it's possible, but I'll have to be much more vigilant and frequent with my ice-swapping. I do have an extra fridge now, but the highest it will go is about 50 degrees. Drats! I'll brew Chuzzer Wuzzer eventually. Maybe sooner than later actually since this Wyeast strain is no longer available, my only choice is to reuse this yeast. Hmmmmmmm.