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Archive for the 'booze' Category

For the Love of Hops (Book Review)

Friday, September 4th, 2020

For the Love of Hops coverBy far and away the sexiest brewing ingredient in the craft brewing / home brewing landscape is the not-so-humble hop. We’re in the age of the IPA and the NEIPA. And there have never been more varieties and opportunities to mix and match these flavourful bittering additions to work our artistic visions for designing the beer we desire. So, as an all grain home brewer, it was inevitable that I would fall into the pages of For the Love of Hops: The Practical Guide to Aroma, Bitterness and the Culture of Hops by Stan Hieronymus.

There are a many aspects to this farm product we call hops (a close relation of cannabis) and our relationship to hops. We have the history of hops and it’s cultural impact on society through beer. We have the personalities and places that figure in that history as beer evolved and science improved and global politics pushed us into the 20th Century and through World Wars. And we have the botany and chemistry of hops with ever-evolving frontiers of knowledge about what can be achieved by using hops in a variety of ways.

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Outstanding Beers from our Little Red Fridge

Monday, August 31st, 2020

Often I complain about so-so craft beer in our fridge that doesn’t measure up. However, some great beers have passed through that fridge and it’s worth recommending them to anybody interested in a good beer experience. Admittedly, most beers that I purchase are in the high ABV range and are predominantly stouts. So here goes, a dozen good beers you might want to try.

  1. Kasteel Barista Chocolate Quad
  2. Mismatch Brewing Bourbon Barrel Aged Russian Imperial Stout
  3. Rare Breed Mountain Goat Barrel Aged Blended Porter
  4. Amager Bryghus Hr Frederiksen Imperial Stout
  5. Little Bang Sludgebeast Imperial Stout
  6. Trappistes Rochefort 10
  7. Chimay Red
  8. Dieu du Ciel! Aphro Rhum
  9. Peche Mortel Imperial Coffee Stout
  10. Brasserie Dupont Monk’s Stout
  11. Bourbon Barrel-Aged Arrogant Bastard
  12. Colonial Inquest Edition #4 2020 Belgian inspired Imperial Stout

I’m a sucker for a good thick stout and bourbon barrel-aged stout. But that Kasteel Barista Chocolate Quad was to die for… and the Danish brewery Amager has hit it out of the park with Hr Frederiksen Imperial Stout. I’m on the Sludgebeast fan boy bandwagon. You get the idea… Brasserie Dupont Monk’s Stout is lovely, too.

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Homebrew Dogmas: Kill Your Darlings, Darlings

Tuesday, August 4th, 2020

In the amateur brewing community we have a legacy of furphies and dogmas passed down through the years. A lot of those misunderstandings are based around the premise that we’re replicating professional brewing environments at scale; some are based on historic misunderstanding about chemistry or inputs; others, a lack of science that has been corrected over time, or experimentation that has proven that the dogma doesn’t hold true.

This is where I really do enjoy the input of people like Drew Beechum and Denny Conn from Experimental Brewing, Marshall Schott and the contributors at the Brulosophy podcast, and Ricky The Meadmaker from Groenfell Meadery with his ongoing video series Ask The Meadmaker.

And I owe many thanks to the authors of a growing number of books, articles and papers and presentations (like the Chemistry of Beer course from the University of Oklahoma) who constantly offer insight into the chemistry of beer and brewing. Because, I’m a geeky kind of guy… if I just wanted beer I would have stuck to the beer kits and kept it all simple.

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About the Author

Steven Clark Steven Clark - the stand up guy on this site

My name is Steven Clark and I live in the Derwent Valley in Southern Tasmania. I have an MBA (Specialisation) and a Bachelor of Computing from the University of Tasmania. I'm a mazer & a yeast farmer (making beer, fruit wine and mead as by-products of continuous improvement in my farming practices). I'm a photographer, although my film cameras are currently silent. I do not tolerate idiots. I do not tolerate bigotry. I do not tolerate excuses. Let's be clear, if you sit with my enemies you my are my enemy for life.

Blogger. Thinker. Brewer. Drinker. Life partner to the amazing and incredible Megan.

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