Video Tip: Thinking of Barrels as an Ingredient


Cory King, owner and brewer at Side Project, talks about formulating a barrel-aged imperial stout recipe with the barrel in mind, and being patient enough to allow the beer and barrel character to meld.

Side Project Brewing in St. Louis, Missouri, has made its name on barrel-aging and blending—not only for its widely acclaimed range of mixed-fermentation beers, but also for decadently rich imperial stouts such as Derivation and Beer: Barrel: Time.

In the full 86-minute video, Founder/Brewer Cory King digs into deep technical detail on how Side Project brews, ferments, ages, and blends those huge barrel-aged stouts. Among other topics, he covers:

water and the importance of mash pH
grain selection for body and character, from oats to Carafa
the challenges of mashing very high-gravity beers
long boils and long aging
choosing (or not choosing) adjuncts

And much more.

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Replanting the Seeds of Brewing


Craft-beer pioneers Kim Jordan and Carol Stoudt have led women back into the brewhouse after an absence lasting several centuries. Here Tara Nurin spotlights some of the others who have helped along the way.

“How Women Brewsters Saved the World,” we explored the hidden-in-plain-sight history of women and beer from prehistoric times up through Prohibition. Here we bring this history of women’s contributions up to present times, spotlighting some of the women who have helped the modern craft-brewing revolution take root.

February 1986, Park City, Utah

Homebrewer Mellie Pullman is après-skiing at a condo being sold by a cousin’s friend when she spots a business plan lying open on a table. Nosy by her own admission, she picks it up and starts reading.

“It was a plan for a brewery,” she says. “I saw there was a position for a manager and I thought, ‘I can do that.’”

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Episode 108 – The Questions Begin


Another 12 episodes down, so it’s time for your questions! We tackle 25 of your questions that cover process, ingredients hops, yeast, weird things and Denny’s favorite Karoake song! Sit back – we’re getting quizzical!
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Producing a Good Mead Scoresheet


By Andrew Luberto

As anyone who has ever done so can tell you, entering a home mead into a competition takes some serious time and a fair amount of money.  So it can be pretty disappointing when you get a scoresheet back that doesn’t provide a good evaluation of your product. The components of any scoresheet, whether its beer, mead, or cider generally all follow the same basic structure of descriptive evaluation of the product, non-biased judging, and helpful feedback. However, where a scoresheet may fall short can land in a few broad categories that could include: misevaluating the mead because of an unfamiliarity with ingredients or process; not understanding the product and what should be perceived; sparsely filling out or an incomplete sheet or; not having a good grasp on evaluating mead in general.  For more on properly evaluating mead check out this previous newsletter article. Luckily mead evaluation has vastly improved from the days when some just expected to taste a dominant raw honey sweet character. That being said, there’s always room for improvement! So with that in mind, here are some thoughts from both experienced judges and entrants on what makes up a quality scoresheet.

What are entrants looking for?

Continue reading “Producing a Good Mead Scoresheet”

Last Call: Alabama Breweries Merge; Truly Hard Seltzer to be Available on American Airlines Flights; Local Roots Acquires Latitude 33’s Facility

Two Alabama craft breweries announced their merger on December 9, according to AL.com.

Straight to Ale, a microbrewery based in Huntsville, will merge with Druid City Brewing of Tuscaloosa, the owners of both companies announced on Monday.

The deal will create a partnership that will allow Druid City to grow and enter distribution in the state, Druid City co-owner Bo Hicks told AL.com. Hicks co-founded Druid City in 2012 with Elliott Roberts and will retain ownership of the brewery post-merger.

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5 Tips for Homebrewing Lager


In case you haven’t been paying attention, lager is back. Homebrewers and commercial craft brewers who had initially focused on ale have rediscovered the joys of cold fermentation and the diverse array of lager beer styles. Lager is not synonymous with mass-produced yellow fizz water (though that is one of many lager styles), and many who initially stayed away from these fun styles are starting to rediscover their allure.

Brewing a great lager does require that the brewer pay a little extra attention to technique, but it needn’t be terribly complicated. Here are 5 tips that will improve your homebrewed lager, whether you’re a seasoned veteran or a first-timer.

1) Pitch lots of yeast

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“A HEAVENLY DRINK, LIKE CONCENTRATED SUNSHINE”: VIENNA LAGER PAST AND PRESENT


A few years back, the beer world came together to celebrate the 500th anniversary of the Reinheitsgebot (Beer Purity Law) promulgated in 1516. The atmosphere across Bavaria was festive. Breweries touted the Reinheitsgebot during their tours, museums staged exhibitions about the edict’s history, and beer enthusiasts began a fresh round of debate about the relevance of this centuries-old writ.

Four hours east of Munich as the RailJet flies, the Viennese were marking a milestone anniversary of their own, albeit with much less fanfare: 175 years of Vienna Lager. Even if no museums commemorated the fact, and even if the media resonance was akin to the sound of one hand clapping, Vienna had good reason to celebrate its contribution to the culture of brewing. Bottom-fermented beer had been produced for centuries in Europe’s Alpine regions, but it wasn’t until Anton Dreher, owner of the Brauhaus zu Klein-Schwechat, brought together technological advances he learned in Britain and Bavaria that he was able to produce the first lager beer that could be brewed year-round. That happened in 1841. Up until then, Vienna’s top-fermented beers had a poor reputation: a dark brown, turbid, and frothy concoction that contemporaries dubbed “recht miserabel.” (I probably don’t need to translate that.)

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Thankful for 45 Years


As the Holidays are upon us, it’s time to give thanks with this episode of Denny and Drew reflecting on the Maltose Falcons 45th Anniversary Party with the band, the beer and Steve Grossman of Sierra Nevada Brewing. And then we talk what we’re brewing for the rest of the holidays and doing some weird things with beer!

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The Impact Of Adding Zinc At Yeast Pitch

Zinc, in it’s raw state.
One of the keys to making consistently good beer is to ensure consistently good fermentation practices, which for many brewers involves using various nutrients to encourage solid yeast performance. Viewed as being one of the most important nutrients, zinc is readily available for purchase and generally gets added to the wort just before pitching the yeast.

Zinc is a co-factor for certain enzymes that assist with yeast growth and metabolism. Even at relatively low concentrations (0.2-2.0 ppm), zinc is said to have a noticeable impact on fermentation by allowing the yeast to work more efficiently during the growth phase, resulting in a quicker start and healthier fermentation, which ultimately leads to a cleaner tasting beer. While too much zinc can inhibit yeast growth, usage rates at the higher end of the recommended range are also believed to contribute to beer foam stability.

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