Feb 27, 2015

Ginger Beer - Tim Kreitz

The Basin is a frozen wasteland today, but y'all know it won't stay that way. Before you know it, the
heat will arrive and you will want some easy-drinking suds for that bar-b-que or pool party.

Thankfully, long-time Basin Brewer and magical wizard of all things hip Tim Kreitz posted a video last year on how to make an excellent Ginger Beer. Get those kettle fires lit and you'll have the answer for the inevitable heat sure to come
our way. 

Jan 25, 2015

All About APA

Our annual Pale Off is coming at the end of March, and that means any brewer who wants to enter the contest had best be getting their submission in the fermenter in the very near future.

Here are the pertinent facts on BJCP category 10A, as taken from the official BJCP website:

Aroma: Usually moderate to strong hop aroma from dry hopping or late kettle additions of American hop varieties. A citrusy hop character is very common, but not required. Low to moderate maltiness supports the hop presentation, and may optionally show small amounts of specialty malt character (bready, toasty, biscuity). Fruity esters vary from moderate to none. No diacetyl. Dry hopping (if used) may add grassy notes, although this character should not be excessive. 
Appearance: Pale golden to deep amber. Moderately large white to off-white head with good retention. Generally quite clear, although dry-hopped versions may be slightly hazy. 
Flavor: Usually a moderate to high hop flavor, often showing a citrusy American hop character (although other hop varieties may be used). Low to moderately high clean malt character supports the hop presentation, and may optionally show small amounts of specialty malt character (bready, toasty, biscuity). The balance is typically towards the late hops and bitterness, but the malt presence can be substantial. Caramel flavors are usually restrained or absent. Fruity esters can be moderate to none. Moderate to high hop bitterness with a medium to dry finish. Hop flavor and bitterness often lingers into the finish. No diacetyl. Dry hopping (if used) may add grassy notes, although this character should not be excessive. 
Mouthfeel: Medium-light to medium body. Carbonation moderate to high. Overall smooth finish without astringency often associated with high hopping rates. 
Overall Impression: Refreshing and hoppy, yet with sufficient supporting malt. 
Comments: There is some overlap in color between American pale ale and American amber ale. The American pale ale will generally be cleaner, have a less caramelly malt profile, less body, and often more finishing hops.  
History: An American adaptation of English pale ale, reflecting indigenous ingredients (hops, malt, yeast, and water). Often lighter in color, cleaner in fermentation by-products, and having less caramel flavors than English counterparts. 
Ingredients: Pale ale malt, typically American two-row. American hops, often but not always ones with a citrusy character. American ale yeast. Water can vary in sulfate content, but carbonate content should be relatively low. Specialty grains may add character and complexity, but generally make up a relatively small portion of the grist. Grains that add malt flavor and richness, light sweetness, and toasty or bready notes are often used (along with late hops) to differentiate brands. 
Vital Statistics:OG: 1.045 – 1.060
IBUs: 30 – 45FG: 1.010 – 1.015
SRM: 5 – 14ABV: 4.5 – 6.2% 
Commercial Examples: Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, Stone Pale Ale, Great Lakes Burning River Pale Ale, Bear Republic XP Pale Ale, Anderson Valley Poleeko Gold Pale Ale, Deschutes Mirror Pond, Full Sail Pale Ale, Three Floyds X-Tra Pale Ale, Firestone Pale Ale, Left Hand Brewing Jackman’s Pale Ale
If that isn't enough to get you going, Brew You Own magazine has posted a fine selection of APA recipes for you to steal from gain inspiration from.

Good luck and happy brewing!

Pecan Porter Ale Recipe - Tim Kreitz

Beer Review -Duchesse De Bourgogne (Brouwerij Verhaeghe. Vichte, Belgium)

Appearance - Brown with glints of red when held to the light. Thin light-tan head that lingers and laces through the session.

Aroma - Tart cherries, apple cider vinegar, pipe tobacco and leather.

Flavor - Sweet and tangy cherry soda and maltiness up front followed by a tart and earthy mid, and a very smooth vanilla-lemony finish- almost like one of those lemon bars. Thin mouth feel. Very easy to sip- delicate and refreshing.

Overall impression- this is some amazingly tasty stuff! It is complex, fruity, and (of course) sour. Make no mistake- this is very different from the vast majority of beers out there. If you've never had a sour before, there is a chance you won't like it simply because it is so different. In all honesty, I have come to look at sour beers not as beer at all. In my mind, sours occupy some hazy, mystical land between ale and wine- an almost etherial, dream-like place where anything can happen. It's a world I haven't ventured to very often- and when I have, it has been with mixed results.

But I can tell you this- if you are contemplating taking your first walk in the sour woods, the Duchesse is a sweet and friendly tour guide.