Culinary Art – The Baltimorphic Complex

Many months ago, I made a one-gallon batch of an experimental beer I called Baltimorphic Complex. I called it this, because I wanted to brew something special for the Geological Society of America’s annual meeting, which was to be held in Baltimore in November (it’s going on right now, in fact).

Baltimorphic Complex is a Belgian-ish ale that used Old Bay for flavoring, an intentional nod to Baltimore. It wound up being totally delicious, and I knew I wanted to make another batch.

Alas, it also had a downside, as Old Bay just happens to contain cinnamon, to which I am severely allergic. I only figured this out after drinking two bottles of my original Baltimorphic Complex, then being sick the next day.

So I went on line and found some clone recipes for Old Bay and finally, in September, I got around to making the Pseud-old Bay and started a five-gallon batch of Baltimorphic Complex.

Ingredients for the improved Baltimorphic Complex

Ingredients for the improved Baltimorphic Complex

I decided to brew this batch in buckets, thinking I would save my glass carboy for a pilsner that I had in mind. Turns out it didn’t really matter, because the whole process took a couple of weeks longer than it should have due to poor timing with relation to another meeting I had to go to.

Racking the Baltimorphic Complex after three weeks in the primary fermenter.

Racking the Baltimorphic Complex after three weeks in the primary fermenter.

But finally, last night, while the GSA meeting was happening (and I wasn’t there because it wound up being too expensive), it was time to finish the Baltimorphic Complex by carbonating it.

And it was my first chance to use my new kegging equipment.

A five gallon 'corny' keg.

A five gallon ‘corny’ keg.

Actually, my kegging equipment is old, but it’s new to me. We found it for a good price on Craigslist. But I got everything sanitized and racked my beer into the keg.

Baltimorphic Complex in the hole!!!

Baltimorphic Complex in the hole!!!

I moved the keg to a quiet corner and set everything up for carbonation. I oddly enjoyed this part, because I had to consider the type of beer to decide how much carbonation to add, and the temperature in order to determine what a proper pressure would be.

Carbonate! Carbonate!

Carbonate! Carbonate!

Now we wait. But only a few days, not a couple of weeks like we had to with bottling. I can’t wait to try this!

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