Our brew days could not have been more different. CT was brewing an Imperial Chocolate Stout that he plans to age in secondary on 15 pounds of Michigan Sour Cherries all in a 10 gallon oak whisky barrel. He brewed the first five pounds today and the second five will be after Thanksgiving. Because CT was brewing a big dark beer and blending with another of the same recipe he was not stressed about hitting everything perfect. He came in a bit low but it was not huge. The problem can be fixed by adding some extra fermentables and mashing a little lower on the next batch so they’ll blend more toward what the recipe called for. Other than coming in a bit low the brew day went well.
CC brewed a Cream Ale that he plans to add peaches he picked in Western Michigan to the secondary. The cream ale brew went smoothly and though CC needed to be much more on target everything turned out well. The beer was so light in color that it was hard to tell it was in the siphon at times.
Update: CT brewed his second five gallons of the Black Forest Stout and hit everything perfectly. Added in some sugar and mashed at 150 F so it should be quite a bit fermentable and will blend well with the other batch (which has finished fermenting and looks and tastes great) when it goes into the oak barrel.