Like many of you, part of why I brew beer is to experiment and create new recipes. Sure, we all have our favorites, but even then, changing up a few of the ingredients can yield surprising results.
We often hear the word funk tossed around when people talk about Brettanomyces (Brett) and/or sour beers, but what does it mean? Some people interpret it as a barnyard, leather or horse blanket character. To others, it’s fruity aromas and flavors that are reminiscent of citrus or stone fruits that are a couple of days past ripe.
You’ve spent hours making your latest creation. You’ve sweated over the mash tun, rested at all the notable temperatures, infused, decocted, whirlpooled, first wort hopped, hop rocketed, chilled, and pitched your yeast. You relax and pour yourself a pint, looking forward to seeing that layer of krausen the next day and hearing the happy sound of healthy yeast pushing off C02. Now, you get to choose your own adventure.
It’s the time of year where many brewers are planning crisp and refreshing brews to tackle the summer heat. And while everyone has their favorite styles, most folks equate crisp and refreshing with light-colored and crystal clear pints of beer.
When brewing beer, cider, or wine you are going to need to use a hydrometer. The hydrometer measures the amount of sugar that is dissolved in water. This sugar is what the yeast turns into alcohol during fermentation.
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We get a lot of questions from fans and customers here at Northern Brewer. A while back we were visiting Greg Doss from Wyeast Laboratories and pitched (ha!) a few of them his way.
Q: Can one have too many carboys?
A: No, one can only have too few.
If you ask my wife, I have plenty of brewing equipment, perhaps too much, as there is no room for the 60lb. bags of cat litter anymore in our basement. But is the storage of cat litter, paper towels, or holiday knick-knacks more worthy of basement shelf real estate compared to happy fermenting, or otherwise on-deck carboys?
I’ve always been intrigued by the concept of rice beer – not the Budweiser/Miller/Sapporo type of rice beer, but the cloudy drink made from rice or millet in parts of Asia. In some Himalayan regions it is known as chang, and that is the name that I had it under when I was visiting Darjeeling some years back. It was opaque, cloudy, and full bodied with a complex, floral sweetness and a little sourness, and while I had a commercially produced imitation, there are lots of homebrewers in the region still making it the traditional way.
Look familiar? Bottle carbonating beer isn’t a complicated process, but to get consistent result across many batches requires a bit of extra planning.