How I Started Homebrewing

[ Comments Off ] Posted on 05.30.08 under All-Grain, Brewing, Extract, Homebrew Blogging Day, IPA, Lager, Stories

I’ve participated in the Session since I first found out about it several months ago. Now there’s a new type of a group beer blogging project, with a homebrew focus. It comes to us from the mind of Beer Bits 2. I just love these group blogging dates, and I’m really excited for a homebrewing version. While I haven’t been brewing for a very long time, I’ve made it a point to try to gain as much knowledge as possible as quickly as possible about brewing. But it wasn’t always that way. Back in the day, I was a timid would-be-brewer. This is the story of my long road of procrastination and excuses that eventually led to me actually making beer.

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German Hybrid Koelsch Lager Ale??

[ 3 Comments ] Posted on 05.22.08 under Ale, Brewing, Lager

Ron Pattinson, perhaps the greatest beer researcher of our day, is really neck deep in a…discussion…about the nature of ale vs. lager, especially from the German brewing tradition.

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An Animal Theme

[ 2 Comments ] Posted on 05.13.08 under Barley Wine, Free Beer, IPA, Lager, Stout, Tripel

Wild Goose IPAOn the surface, it would appear that a dog and a goose have little in common. Then you realize that the dog is flying. Wait, can a goose even fly? Oh yeah, they fly South for the winter, don’t they… But the goose is wild. Surely a flying dog must be wild. These two have more in common than it would initially seem. Then it occurs to me: Wild Goose must be the brewery in Maryland that Flying Dog took over a few months ago!

Flying Dog is at it again, sending beer to bloggers! I love this country!!

There are three themes to this package. That means multiple beers, too! Read the rest of this entry…

News of the Day

[ Comments Off ] Posted on 02.15.08 under Aimée, Brewing, Hops, Iris, Lager, News, Pilsner

Normally I do a weekly news roundup, where I post links to other peoples’ content here and write a little blurb about each story I’m linking to. This week, I’m changing things up a little. That is to say, I just don’t stay on top of all the various news-like data on the web any more.

There was this thing yesterday where Jim Koch personally posted on the Brewer’s Association Forum (and some others, I guess) to offer up hops for sale. Ten thousand pounds of East Kent Goldings and ten thousand pounds of Tettnangers. That’s a lot of hops. If they can spare that much hops, just imagine how many they still will have in their cold storage once the deals are done. But overall, this is a great move, a gesture of goodwill from one of the biggest craft brewers to all the other ones. If only he had ten thousand pounds of Cascades… It also occurred to me, that maybe this is why they did the Hallertau Imperial Pilsner, with like a bushel of hops per gallon. If he had ten thousand extra pounds, why not make a batch of beer with them? So this offering means we’ll miss out on the Tettnanger Imperial Pilsner and the EKG Imperial Pilsner! All kidding aside, I did like the Hallertau Imperial Pilsner, and I would welcome the others, if they made them, even if the idea of an Imperial Pilsner is pretty silly to begin with. I wonder how many times I can write the words Imperial Pilsner in one blog post. I bet I will get a lot of hits from people searching Google for Imperial Pilsner in the next few days. Maybe I should make an Imperial Pilsner, for an upcoming brew day, coupled with a Flying Dog Collaborator clone (do you call it a clone when they give you the recipe?) – that way I could lager them both together!

In other news, not as widespread on the internet, today marks my one year anniversary of brewing beer at home. In honor of the date, I made two batches (A.K.A. the Beta Project in the Gemini Series). PostNatal IPA is for Aimée once she gives birth to our next child within the next few weeks, and Cherry Sparkles is in honor of Iris – the artwork is by and of Iris and the name of the beer is her self-appointed nickname – though it will be long gone before she’s ready to drink it.

Golden Era vs. Hallertau Imperial Pilsner

[ Comments Off ] Posted on 02.04.08 under Alcohol, Hops, IPA, Lager, Pilsner, Tasting

I had the Dogfish Head Golden Era a while back. I liked it, I recalled it as big and hoppy. Then more recently, I had the Sam Adams Hallertau Imperial Pilsner. This thing is practically an Imperial IPA, it is cloudy and mega hoppy. In my head, the Golden Era was basically the same thing.

Last night during the Super Bowl, I dug out a Golden Era from earlier in the year. Maybe it was the few months spent in my fridge that mellowed it a bit, but I doubt it. It was a lot more like a pilnser, right down to the grainy smell and taste. It did a remarkable job of hiding its alcohol, but it was not absurdly hopped.

So who would have throught that the Dogfish Head Imperial Pilsner would be less extreme than the Sam Adams Imperial Pilsner. It seems funny to think, first of all, that there could be a less extreme Imperial Pilsner, since in some ways the whole notion of an Imperial Pilsner is silly. But the DFH is more recognizable as a Pilsner, whereas the Sam Adams is completely over the top.

Kudos to Jim Koch and the crew at Boston Beer Co. for coming up with a risky beer like that.

Great Grolsch?

[ Comments Off ] Posted on 01.09.08 under Lager, Stories, Tasting

Grolsch Premium LagerI write a lot about appreciating beer, and I review a lot of big beers. I try to give props to lower alcohol beer where I can, but ‘tis the season for high alcohol beer, so it could seem as though I am obsessed with big beer. OK, I admit that maybe I am a bit in favor of the big beers right now. I blame the cold rain and snow. But I had something the other day that made me turn around quick. I received as a gift a bunch of different beers, some of which I probably wouldn’t buy myself. These are really the best kinds of gifts to get, the ones that you wouldn’t buy yourself. If you never got something like that as a gift, you might never get it.

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Tasting: Thomas Hooker’s Liberator Doppelbock

[ Comments Off ] Posted on 01.03.08 under Bock, Lager, Tasting

Thomas Hooker LiberatorI had heard the rumors: the best domestic Doppelbock was being made right here in CT, at the Thomas Hooker brewery. I have even been to their brewery earlier this year, and it is nice and clean in there, with plenty of room for expansion. The President, Curt Cameron, is experienced in the industry, having owned a few liquor stores. He’s very business-oriented, with a strong focus on great beer. Today I espouse the virtues of fine Connecticut Doppelbock: Thomas Hooker’s Liberator Doppelbock.

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Where Have All The Lagers Gone?

[ Comments Off ] Posted on 01.02.08 under Lager

There was a time, not too long ago in the big scheme of things, when lagers were all over the place in this country. I suppose that technically, lager is still 90% of the beer being consumed out there, but I’m talking about high-flavor, authentic-style lager. Not “Premium American Lager” (e.g. BudMillerCoors). I mean Pilsner, Bock, Vienna – the good stuff.

The microbrew revolution in America is focused on Ales in a big way. Read the rest of this entry…

Brewing Lager at Home

[ Comments Off ] Posted on 01.01.08 under Brewing, Lager

New Year’s Eve in NYCHey, first of all, Happy New Year! Welcome to 2008!

Since this week is Bock week, I decided to make this week’s brewing post about brewing a lager. This will be a learning experience for me, too, so join me.

The only difference between making a lager and making an ale is fermentation. So thinking of brewing as the actual cooking: mashing and boiling, brewing a lager is the same as brewing an ale. At any point before you pitch your yeast, your wort could become a lager or it could become an ale. It all depends on the type of yeast you use and the temperatures you ferment at. This will guide you through the fermentation schedule for a lager.

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