Schloß Wolfenstein Alte Hundchen Dunkel

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.

courtesy hachenburger.de/hopfengarten

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brew day: Wies’n-Märzen

Wiesen/Wies’n

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

brew day: Beamishish

Brewing an Irish stout: it’s been a while. So long, in fact, that any delay from a little detour into history and personal remembrance won’t significantly prolong the wait. Let’s get a beverage before the second paragraph. Continue reading

brew day: Cerny 13°

Between propagation and family get-togethers, this batch has been a long time coming. I enjoyed the numbered digressions so much last time, I’m going to indulge in it again. Sorry. Continue reading

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

ptyalin

“Thus, it is known that the preparation of some native beers that used cereals as a source of extract involved a step where the grains were masticated by the brewer. In so doing, the addition of saliva, which contains the amylase, ptyalin, would partially degrade the starch content of the grain and thereby increase the fermentability of the wort. It is interesting to conjecture as to the train of empiricism that culminated in this process!”

Boulton & Quain, Brewing Yeast and Fermentation

It’s absolutely true, but you know, I never thought about all the misfires and shuffling steps (spits?) that had to’ve led to that discovery.

brew day: Get The Acorn

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It will probably be the last brew day of October, and it may well be the last brew day under the open sky before the looming winter of 2013/14 ushers operations into the garage and kitchen. It will be a day to play hooky and eat lustily of the tacos of bachelorhood, even if only for an afternoon, and over the sink so I don’t have to wash dishes later.

It will be a west coast IPA with West Coast IPA, riffing on the recipe for Russian River Blind Pig in Mitch Steele’s IPA. It will have some well-loved old friends – Rahr 2-row, Amarillo, Simcoe – and some new blood too: Polaris for the bittering power, EXP 5256 standing in for CTZ and Cascade where called for in the Blind Pig bill. Continue reading