Posts by Wes
A Tale of Neglected Wine, or How I Turned My Neglected Wine into a Tasty Holiday Treat!
It has happened to just about everyone here at Great Fermentations at one time or another. You start a wine fermentation, and then life takes over. You get busy, and you wait three or four weeks before moving from primary to secondary. An even longer time passes before you get around to clearing and stabilizing the wine, then it sits, forgotten, in an out-of-the-way carboy. Before you know it, a year has passed! Even if you kept up on keeping the airlock topped off, your wine has no doubt become somewhat oxidized, and is not the wonderful treat you were originally hoping for. Read the rest of this entry »
Autumn…what a perfect time for a porter! Of course, there are several kinds of porters. Though the dark, chocolatey beer treat hails originally from England, it had disseminated throughout the world and been localized to several countries and places. We think of brown porters, robust porters and Baltic porters as generally covering the whole of the porter world, with possibly a modern American porter in the mix. However, if we look back on history, we can find yet another type of this delicious, dark style: pre-prohibition porter. Recognized in the latest revision of BJCP guidelines in 2015, pre-prohibition porter is a style of beer brought to the New World by English colonist and adapted to the local ingredients and by other immigrants to the burgeoning United States. Read the rest of this entry »
September 12th, 2016 // By Wes
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Summer is ending, and as we transition into fall, it is an exciting time for us brewers: the time when fresh hops, full on the bine, are ready for harvest and use! We have many customers who grow their own hops, from rhizomes that we sell by pre-order at the beginning of each year. It usually takes two years to get a usable quantity of hops from rhizomes, but once they start coming in, a little knowledge can go a long way. Our own resident hop master, Brady Smith, has come up with a few tips on harvesting and using fresh hops that are helpful for every homebrewer wanting to brew with fresh hops. Read the rest of this entry »
Greetings, and welcome once again to another Recipe of the Month post! This month, we will be looking at the Belgian Pale Ale style, a simple, sessionable beer style that is lower in hops and higher in fruity flavors than its English and American counterparts. This is the perfect beer to enjoy during these last few days of summer as we transition over into fall!
There are a host of commercially-available examples of Belgian Pale Ale available both from Belgian breweries and breweries right here in the states. Many of these are a bit higher in alcohol than is called for in BJCP (Beer Judge Certification Program) guidelines, but are still considered as classic examples of the style and are thoroughly enjoyed worldwide, such as Orval Trappist Ale and Ommegang BPA (Belgian-style Pale Ale). These two both come out at slightly high on the ABV scale (6.2% or so) but are wonderful beers. Russian River makes their Redemption ale a bit more sessionable and along the traditional line of potency at 5.15%. Read the rest of this entry »
July 20th, 2016 // By Wes
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Chilling your wort is an important step in making beer. Whether you realize it or not, quickly getting your wort down to pitching temperature and adding your yeast culture is an indispensable step in making the best beer possible. In the next few paragraphs, I’ll explore the reasons why quick chilling is so important in making great beer. Read the rest of this entry »
This month’s recipe post is brought to you by our Avon store manager, Steve Kent (affectionately called Steve Kent Goldings by us)!
Many craft beer-lovers have contempt towards the beers of Mexico. This is no doubt because of that country’s role in the popularization and proliferation of watery, lime wedge-adorned, adjunct-laden pale lagers. But Mexico has a rich brewing history of its own, and in fact is singlehandedly responsible for saving a beer style from extinction: the Vienna lager. This style’s history is based on ingenuity, war, geopolitical intrigue, and cultural cross-pollination (and you thought Mexican beers were boring). Read the rest of this entry »
It’s time again for another recipe of the month blog from Great Fermentations! As we are finally starting to escape the cold winter here in Indiana, I have been thinking about what beer would be good for this time of year. Still cold, yet easing into spring and the eventual summer, what would I want to drink at this time of year? It didn’t take long for me to reach a decision: American amber ale!
Think of American amber ale as the American answer to an Irish red ale, which also makes it a perfect beer to feature this month. While we all love a good Irish red ale, sometimes you need something a little bigger, a little maltier, and with a little more hop character to get you through the spring. Read the rest of this entry »
Hello again, and welcome to another Recipe of the Month Blog post! We are posting this in hopes that you have enough time to prepare and get this brewed for spring! This month, we will be focusing on one of the famous festbiers of Germany, Maibock (a.k.a. Helles Bock).
Maibock, or Helles Bock (the two are largely considered the same, though the BJCP guidelines point out that Maibock is sometimes thought to hit the higher ends of the scales as far as color and alcohol go), is a bock bier to be sure, but is of a lighter golden color than its dark relatives, bock and doppelbock. Having a distinct grain character that comes from the pilsner base, it is clean, with no fruit character usually associated with esters, nor any butteryness from diacetyl. It should not be cloying or sweet, but rather should finish medium dry and be fairly easy to drink for its size. Hops can be more pronounced than the other bock styles, but hop flavor and aroma should still be kept to a minimum, if present at all. The main line with this beer style is that it is lighter in color and hoppier than the other subcategories of bock. Being a traditional German style, noble hops, especially those exhibiting spicy characteristics, can be used to craft wonderful examples of the style. Read the rest of this entry »
Hello, and welcome to another Great Fermenations recipe of the month post! Being January and thus the in the heart of winter, I thought it would be nice to focus on a style that is often overlooked and can make a great winter beer: Baltic Porter!
Before we dive headfirst into the recipe, first a little history on the Baltic Porter. Of course, you can’t even say the full style name without saying “porter,” a style that originated in England in the 18th century that quickly became popular among the working class. Many of those working at shipyards (“porters,” as some of them were known) not only drank the style Read the rest of this entry »
Hello there, and welcome to Great Fermentations’ recipe of the month blog! This month, our focus is going to be on a hop variety from the South Pacific. Even though there are a handful of hop varietals from down under and beyond, one of these has risen above others: Galaxy! Known for the fruity flavors and aromas it imparts to beer, Galaxy is a hop that you may or may not have used, but one you have most likely heard about!
According to Hopunion, Australian Galaxy hops are a cross between an Australian high-alpha female hop plant and a male Perle hop plant. Galaxy is typically used as an aroma hop because of its fantastic aromatic properties. Descriptors used to paint a picture of Galaxy’s profile include citrus, passion fruit, peach Read the rest of this entry »