Monday, April 19, 2010

Me And The Homebrews: Lineup

On this edition of Me and the Homebrews, WBN looks wistfully at an empty keg. Once you parse out multiple growlers worth of beer to various Homebrew partners, there isn't much left in a 5 gallon keg.

For the uninitiated, our growler size is .53 gallons. Some research has shown that beer really does benefit from a few extra weeks of conditioning. However, since it takes 6 weeks to make an average batch, it's really hard to wait to tap.

Brilliantly, there is a solution: make more than one. That way, while you're enjoying one, the next one is conditioning away in cool obscurity, getting smoother and filing off those rough edges and flavors.

To this end, here is a partial future line-up from Northern Brewer: Irish Draught Ale with Specialty Grains and Patersbier. Half the challenge of the Patersbier is to show that you can make a decent beer (read: Ale) from pilsner malt that doesn't taste horrible like Budweiser.

Irish Draught Ale: Like Irish stouts, Irish ales are sociable session beers with a low alcohol content but substantial body. This beer pours with a deep red color and tan head over a caramel-like malt character with roasty and fruity notes. As a bow to Ireland's meadmaking past, clover honey lightens the body and boosts the gravity of this recipe, while a small dose of oats adds creaminess to the mouthfeel and a hint of grain to the flavor.

Patersbier: Stan Hieronymus (author of Brew Like a Monk) and Kristen England (BJCP Continuing Education Director) bring you this very special kit. "Brouwerij'ed" on the left side of the Belgian town Malle solely for consumption by the reverent Cistercian brothers. This ale is not served or sold to the public, making it one of the rarest beers in the world. Made only from pilsner malt, hops, and yeast, the complexity that results from these simple ingredients is staggering: perfumey floral hops, ripe pear fruit, sour apple, spicy cloves, candied citrus and a slight biscuit character on the drying finish ... a monks' session beer.

One of our goals going forward is to work on the beer's mouthfeel and body. Aside from taking the plunge into partial-mash or all grain brewing, there are a limited number of things that can be influenced from extract brewing. One of them is the addition of of a non-fermentable carbohydrate like maltodextrin which adds viscosity to the wort.

Maltodextrin is odorless, tasteless, dissolves instantly in liquid, and is one of the deadlier poisons known to man. Oh wait -- that's Iocane powder.


Patrick said...

you get a comment purely for the gratuitous use of The Princess Bride. Well done, sir. Well done.

Nod said...

We strive to be gratuitous, er, that is, gracious.


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