As we get closer to brewing our first couple of batches, ordering of raw materials such as malt, hops and spices as well as barrels and some small equipment has consumed most of my time. So many suppliers and new customer application sheets already filled out and still more to be done. The holidays have been working against us with some of the small suppliers closed or having limited hours. Never the less, over the past week we have received two of our malt orders and just need to pick up and deliver the last. We will then have all our malt for the first five anticipated batches. We are still waiting on hops, a spice or two, and our precious yeast(s) before we can get brewing. Some more barrels might be nice as well, so tomorrow we have arranged to pick up 17 Burgundy and Bordeaux style Red Wine barrels, recently emptied in Napa, California and shipped out for us.
As for yeast, during the course of the Brettanomyces Project I collected many new cultures of Brettanomyces yeasts by culturing them from various bottles of Lambic and barrel-aged beers. Since then I have continued to collect dregs from bottles of beer that I know do not contain commercially available strains of Brettanomyces yeasts and grow these out looking for new yeasts and bacterias. Earlier today I shipped off 7 of my personal Brettanomyces cultures for storage and use in Crooked Stave beers. Some of those will be grown up and shipped back to use for primary fermentation in the first batch brewed.