Saturday, February 21, 2009

What do an IPA, Pils, Brown, Dubbel, and Tripel all have in common?

They're all in today's blog post.

I have a lot to talk about today... let's start with an overview.
  1. Doodle Brewing continues to move forward!
  2. Free State's birthday celebration is crazy, but their C3 IPA is crazy-good
  3. Sam Adams' Hallertau Imperial Pilsner is wonderful
  4. John made a tripel recently that seems like it's going to come out fantastically. Beautiful beer.
  5. Homebrewing book recommendations

Okay... so let's look at the details.

Doodle Brewing.
This is an up & coming brewery in Liberty that looks & sounds promising. Nick, the owner, has a degree in Chemical Engineering AND has brewery experience - he has worked at Harpoon Brewing in Boston as well as 75th Street here in KC. He'll have a tasting room on the premises and I'm looking forward to trying his first brew, a Belgian dubbel. Nick's got a blog in addition to the brewery's formal website.

Free State Brewing
We trekked on over to Free State Brewing last night, primarily to sample anything we'd never had before. This place was busy. No, it was CRAZY BUSY. Despite that, we were able to get 2 seats at the bar. And, much to my delight, they had their C3 IPA on tap. Deliciously hoppy and bitter, this baby comes in around 95 theoretical IBUs.

In total, they had 14 beers on tap, 2 of which blew out while we were there. (Let's see if I can remember... they had the Wheat State, Winter Wheat, Crimsonberry, Ad Astra, Copperhead, Oatmeal Stout, Imperial Pils, Santa's Helper (blown), Eccentricity (blown), C3, Owd Mac, ESB, Old Backus Barleywine... descriptions of each are available here.)

They also have new branded 12oz Willi Becher (or willibecher) glasses that will be available for purchase next week. They're quite nice and I know we'll be picking up a couple for our collection.

Sam Adams Hallertau Imperial Pilsner
James at K-7 recommended this to me a while back, and we picked up a 4-pack last weekend. This is a really nice beer, and the Hallertau hops are well-demonstrated. It is hoppy, but not astringent or bitter. I am quickly becoming a fan of the German Pilsner (or "Pils") style for this reason. It is a nice hoppy beer, but still light and very easy to drink. If you like the citrusy taste of hops but aren't a fan of the bitterness you get with IPAs, you would probably enjoy this beer.

I haven't posted much about our homebrewing efforts lately, but we've made a couple of batches so far this year. John's latest is a Belgian Tripel and is coming along quite nicely. He made up a large yeast starter for this batch, which led to pretty messy blowout during the initial 24 hours of fermentation. It smelled delicious, though. Here's a picture of the yeast starter on the stir plate:

I think the most impressive picture from this round of homebrewing, though, was the clarity of the wort.

Amazing! It's a beautiful wort sample and was quite tasty as well. The tripel's still in primary fermentation, but I'm anxious to try it when it's all done... unfortunately I'll be waiting for quite some time as this baby takes a while.

Homebrewing Book Recommendations
We also bottled an American Brown Ale, the recipe for which was taken from Jamil Zainasheff's Brewing Classic Styles book. Everything we've made from this book has turned out well, and I don't think this will be any exception. We dry-hopped this baby with Centennial hops for a couple of weeks prior to bottling and will be tasting it this afternoon.

If you're looking at getting into homebrewing, Jamil's book (and webinars on The Brewing Network) is just fantastic. I'd also buy John Palmer's How to Brew at the same time. Read that one first, then read Jamil's. Those are pretty much all you'd need to read to make some excellent home brew that will impress your friends and stun your neighbors.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the informative post. I love "Brewing Classic Styles" too, but haven't read "How to Brew". I've been brewing for a pretty long time - is "How to Brew" valuable for those of us who already at least kind of know how to brew?

    "Designing Great Beers" is great, too. And "Brew Like a Monk" is a must-read for those of us who love Belgians.


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