Worth the Risk: Homebrewers Playing with Coolships

Coolship 1

T.S. Eliot once said, “Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.” Homebrewers are doing just that in their exploration of open fermentation.

Case in point is Johnnie Leroy Compton III, a homebrewer who goes the distance for his wild beers. After moving into a spacious 19th-century house in Liverpool, PA, he converted one of the rooms into a brewery and began using improvised coolships—open fermentation systems that collect ambient yeast and bacteria to ferment wort. Then, he experimented by adding dregs from his favorite sour ales alongside open fermentation.

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