let’s cook with beer: Salmon au Tripel edition

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A long time ago I brewed a Tripel – it’s well-aged and vintage now, coming up on 2 years old, laid down in cork-and-cage bottles. We broke out a bottle the other night, and tonight I’m going to break out some more and cook with it.  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

crowdsourcing a stout

A few days ago, blog reader Joe J. asked:

I am gearing up to get a nice dry stout going for Patty’s Day. Do you have a tried and true recipe that you stick by?

I’m going to invite y’all to help me answer in the comments section. I’ll go first:

What I brew, when I brew a dry Irish stout, isn’t mine by any means – it’s pretty much the standard modern Dublin DIS formulation: 65% pale malt, 25% flaked barley, 10% roast barley. I like a bitter dry stout, so I aim to get low-mid 30s for IBUs with one bittering charge. Then 1084 Irish Ale yeast and Erin go bragh … nitro serve is nice if you can do it, but the texture is nice regardless with the flaked barley.

So … what say you, citizens?

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