I’ve found I tend to get excited about oddly specific (and admittedly sometimes just odd) things; not quite phases, more like a recurring orbit. Hard bop. Rorquals. American wheat beer. Tradition hops.
If there’s anything that smells better than Rauchbier wort, I don’t want to know what it is.
I know I say that about a number of different worts, but this time I mean it.
Among several words that are confusingly similar to the non-German speaker, this one means “meadow”. It implies a beer brewed for a carnival or festival (an Oktoberfest beer may be described as a Wies’n Marzen) or a rustic speciality.
– Michael Jackson, beerhunter.com
“There is a popular myth that there is one distinctive style of beer brewed for Oktoberfest – but historical evidence shows there have been many changes in the beers served at the festival … in the first 60 or so years the then popular Bavarian dunkel seems to have dominated … up until World War I, Bock-strength beers dominated the Wiesn. For decades reddish-brown Marzenbier ruled the tents, but … since 1990 all Oktoberfest beers brewed in Munich have been of a golden color … with medium body and low to moderate bitterness.”
– Conrad Seidl, The Oxford Companion to Beer
Well then. Continue reading
Partly because I’m a sentimental git, but mostly (I tell myself) because the selected Czech strain was still a couple propagations away from prime time, and also because there was a raging pitch of 2042 just sitting there with a gleam in its collective eye, this – and not the forthcoming Czech dark lager – was the first batch with Brew Dog 2.0.
It’s a revisit to, and slight revision of, the first recipe brewed in the absence of Brew Dog 1.0: a straight-up north German-style Pils with a blend of noble hops. Continue reading
Citizens, it’s a bittersweet thing to get a new dog after the loss of a good one. It’s sweet, because it’s a new dog – not the same as Brew Dog 1.0, but good in her new individual way. It’s bitter because you have to hustle and scoop the last of your sack of Weyermann Bohemian Floor-Malted Dark out of the Vittles Vault like a sucker so that it can be re-filled with Nutro Lamb & Rice Large Breed Adult formula instead of artisanal European malt.
This can only mean decoction-mashing an export-strength Czech dark lager with that displaced malt: it will be a bin-cleaner in the truest sense of the word.
First, it will be necessary to rifle through the Library of Ancient Yeast, sunken lo these many moons below a fabled five-pack of New Glarus Staghorn … uh, four … three-pack of New Glarus Staghorn, and find the cache. See what might be under there in the way of out-of-date smack packs for me and Brew Dog 2.0 to work with.
But in the event that the cache comes up empty and I gotta go buy yeast, pop quiz for you: what’s your favorite strain for Czech lager?
Decoction is a meandering path to take to arrive at a beer; you can get a fermentable wort (not the same wort, though) into the boiler with less time and effort, but I think it’s safe to say that for most homebrewers, this whole thing we do is about the journey at least as much as it is the destination. Continue reading
Czech pilsner: the OG single malt-single hop beer. It’s caramelly, it’s malty, it’s hoppy, it’s a lager but it’s got some yeast character; it’s demanding to brew but it’s so, so easy to drink. It’s been too long since I’ve made one. Continue reading
Citizens, sweet and seemly it is to overshoot the hell out of both volume and gravity when brewing a beer like this. Continue reading