In a recent post on the Jester King Brewery Blog, “First Coolship Fill of the Season,” the team talks about their coolship program and shares a picture of their first batch of spontaneously fermented beer in 2014.
A coolship is a large, shallow pan used to cool wort overnight. Since the process does not employ mechanical cooling, brewers often only produce beers with a coolship during the colder months of the year. This is Jester King’s second year of their coolship program, with the first year’s production still developing in barrels. Jester King, located in the Texas Hill Country outside of Austin, is one of only a handful of U.S. breweries using this method to create beers that are inoculated solely with “the yeast and bacteria in the cool night air at our brewery, resident in our barrel room, and contained within the wood of the barrels where the beer will age.”
After the wort from the coolship is cooled, the fermenting beer is transferred to oak barrels where they begin a long process of developing.
“Our first ever batches of spontaneously fermented beer took place in February of 2013. Those batches are now about 11 months old, and while still young, are exhibiting a lot of the characteristics we were hoping to see develop,” reports Jester King, “We’ll continue to inoculate wort in our coolship every winter, and if all goes well, be able to blend mature, spontaneously fermented beer stretching back across a number of years sometime in the future.” Learn more about Jester King’s coolship system in “First 100% Spontaneous Coolship Brew.”
For more on the subject of coolships and the unique beers made using this process, check out “Immaculate Fermentation: Science, not Sorcery” by Julia Herz.