[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! Here's the recipe should you be interested. It's a Dawson original with two tweaks of my own... which are noted in case you want to stay true to the Dawson brew-ninja way. 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.