brew day: Schäferpils Zwei

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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

Sweeney Astray Irish Red Lager

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Citizens, I’ve had pints (many pints, if we’re being honest) of Caffrey’s and Smithwick’s in front of peaty turf fires an empty pint glass’s throw from the north Atlantic, but this is not going to be about peaty turf fires and Caffrey’s and Smithwick’s and throwing pint glasses. Mostly. Continue reading

Svetlé 12°

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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

prep day: nerds up, temps down

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

save the date

Dig this: Doppelbock brew day on December 21, the end of this age of the earth by the Mayan’s long count calendar, the shortest day of the year, the winter solstice, the day when perhaps the northern soul most needs a bock. Brewed too late, or right on time? Continue reading

zeit für brauen: 21st century American amber lager

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Beer style guidelines: some homebrewers I’ve encountered in the past two decades don’t want to brew anything that can’t fit into an established category (or even deviate from a fixed recipe), while others hate them with an ad-hoc and improvised passion (and can’t or won’t stick to a recipe no matter what). Continue reading