Sunday, September 14, 2008

Brewski Iwanesski

I make my own beer. I realize that I can't be objective in my opinion of its quality, but I think it is as good or better than most craft beers we can buy in this area. And that includes Big Boss, Highlander, Foothills, Carolina and many from out of state.

Now, When I say it is as good or better, I need to qualify that by saying that style for style it compares well to the other beers, and since I make only three different styles, then the comparisons become more circumscribed. Those styles are nominally Autumn Amber, Pilsner, and a dark Porter. The Autumn amber and Porter are the easiest to make from a brewing standpoint, but the Pilsner is not difficult either; it just takes more time to brew.

That is not to say that I haven't made some bad batches. Some have been foamy (too much priming sugar or other fermentable sugars, at the time of bottling), some have been an acquired taste (my wife doesn't care for my autumn amber), and one in particular was an experiment born of hubris. Not undrinkable, but not very good, to say the least.

I stick to the formulas that depend on extracts. When you start working with whole grains and mashing, then you're talking about real work. I am probably going to stick to the commercially available extracts, just because the time and work involved is so much less and the product is quite amazingly good.

We have been working on remodeling our kitchen all summer so the beer operation has ground to a halt. All we have left in the basement is about a case of undrinkable and/or foamy beer that we haven't touched until recently.

The batch in question is P5, my fifth Pilsner batch from early this year. I have notes on when I brewed and bottled it, but its been sitting in the cellar for around 4 months. Its problem is that it is foamy.

It tastes good, but it's a pain to pour because it is just too excitable. However, once you get it in the glass and get past the giant four inch head, it is really great beer. So the trick I've learned is to take a chilled bottle outside, pop the cap, and let it quietly erupt from the bottle for 5-10 minutes. After that time it is relatively easy to pour and it is still cold and delicious.

So raise a glass to St. Jimmy Carter (who legend has it signed a tax bill that functionally legalized home brewing thus ushering the new renaissance of beer) and drink to the patriots and brewers out there doing the good work of our nation.


H.J. said... I taste? H

John I said...

Who are you? Maybe.

Mindy Iwaniszek said...

When do I get my free sample? I am family, ya know? LOL