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We recently had the pleasure of brewing another collaboration with Jamil Zainasheff from Heretic Brewing in Fairfield, California. The idea for this brew was to turn control of the recipe over to Jamil so that he could exact his revenge on us for taking him hostage during the planning of our first collaboration, 'Purple People Eater'. Surprisingly though, in the end it seemed like we were the ones who were once again in control of what was being brewed, and he was even going to teach us a new technique to brew strong beers called “poly-gyle” (in short, using twice as much grain with half as much water to create super strength wort). So much for his revenge!
Or so we thought. Brew day started without a hitch and Jamil’s new technique was working brilliantly. We got to what we thought was the last 1/4 of the brew day, at which point Jamil realized that he had made a bit of an oversight. He thought our brew system had more tanks than it did, meaning we had to scramble to find space to put nearly 1500 liters of wort! While this realization came just in the nick of time, it did mean that the brew day now had another 1/2 day of work left, and by the way did he mention that dinner reservations meant that he wouldn’t be hanging around to slog through the next few hours!? When the brew day finally finished and we joined him for a few beers, he was looking quite pleased with himself for the revenge he had exacted!
The beer turned out great though and wound up being a whopping 11% ABV Imperial Belgian Red Ale. We used a blend of American and Belgian yeast to ferment this rich, malty brew, and after nearly three months in the tank it is finally ready to release. This is certainly a beer that will age well, and a portion of it will be aged in whiskey barrels and released at a later date.
Naming: Jamil’s brewery is all about being heretical when it comes to commonly held opinions about beer and what it can and should be. As he notes on his website, “on a world where over 90% of beer drinkers believe mass market light lagers constitute the universe of beer, craft beer lovers are all heretics.” The Chief Heretic certainly exacted his revenge during this brew, hence 'Heretic’s Revenge!'
Style: Imperial Belgian Red
Yeast: Belgian Ale/American Ale Blend
Gas Volumes: 2.3