-Ethan Johnston- The saying goes that a rising tide lifts all boats, and the rise in craft/artisan beer has certainly had a similar impact on the various beer styles. Styles like Gose and Grätzer, which were bordering on extinction until recent years, are enjoying exponentially more of a market share than they ever have. However, no style has been lifted to the height of India Pale Ale and its various sub-styles. IPA has been the hottest craft beer style on the market since the most recent … [Read more...] about New England IPA Part 1: Clarifying a Murky Style
-Ryan Blankenship- All great beer begins with the mash. So what actually happens when we’re mashing grain? In a nutshell, the mash is a process in which malted grains are mixed with water at a specific ratio, temperatures, and pH in order to activate the enzymes in the malt and convert the starches in the grain into fermentable sugars. If grain goes unmalted, then the starches bound in the grain are inaccessible to yeast due to the size of the molecule. This can sometimes be desirable, … [Read more...] about All Grain Brewing: Step Mash vs. Single Infusion
-Tyler Newman- In this blog post, I will address the basic steps of kegging, so that you can safely and properly keg your delicious beer! Before I get to the specifics, it’s good to remember that brewing is mostly cleaning. Every piece of your brewing equipment needs to be cleaned AND sanitized before each piece’s involvement in brewing your beer. First, we clean! I suggest using a product called PBW (Powdered Brewery Wash) to clean all the organic and inorganic material that has built … [Read more...] about Intro to Kegging Beer
Hello! My name is Tyler Newman and I’m a beer lover and brewer. While in Seattle, I was privileged to work for some of the best breweries in the United States, but I have since moved to Charlottesville where I am currently loving my “late 20’s retirement.” Here in Charlottesville, at Fifth Season, I have continued to pursue my love of beer and brewing. I feel blessed to be a part of a great work crew and community, which leads me to one of my favorite topics – coffee porter! To start, I … [Read more...] about Coffee Porters
-Ryan Blankenship- I have used several different types of brewing setups throughout my life, starting with the extract kits on the stove and moving my way to all-grain brewing. At one point I had a Sabco system, which is a self-automated system with its own pumps and built-in heaters. I also built my own recirculating system using some old kegs and a chugger pump. We recently started carrying the Mash and Boil Unit, and I wanted to put it to the test. This system is designed to make a … [Read more...] about Brewing with the Mash and Boil
-Kristin Weeks- When it comes to seasonal beers, there’s no time quite like fall. The light, easy-drinking beers typically associated with warm weather, sunshine, and yardwork give way to heavier-bodied, maltier, and more complex styles that pair perfectly with cool nights and campfires. Historically, beer has always been seasonal. Before the days of refrigeration, the brewing season lasted from the onset of fall through early spring (March), where lower temperatures kept beer fermenting with … [Read more...] about Festive Fall Homebrewing (Without Pumpkin!)
Last weekend we had a brew demo in which we brewed a German Hefeweizen. I followed the Reinheitsgebot, which is the German Purity Law. What this consists of is a set of regulations limiting you to certain ingredients when brewing a beer in Germany. The only ingredients a brewer is allowed to use are grain, hops, water, and yeast. This law was instated in 1516 to prevent price competition with bakers for wheat and rye. The restriction of grains to barley was meant to ensure the availability of … [Read more...] about Reinheitsgebot
One of the biggest benefits that homebrewing affords the brewer is the ability to produce an infinite variety of beers with little to no concern for cost. Professional breweries have to focus on producing large amounts of a single product, sourcing ingredients in scale and contracting out the hops and malt they need. Homebrewers aren't bound by this constraint, allowing them to garner more experience and variance in flavor from a single brew session. Personally, I often grow tired of a beer by … [Read more...] about Split Batches: More bang for your buck!