Monday, November 14, 2011

Throw Back Brew Day

I am going homebrewer old school today. I have been homebrewing for five years, and I have been brewing all grain for all but three or four of my first batches. But today, I am going back to my roots.

Today I brew extract.

Extract brewing is the process of adding either dry or liquid extract to water to create the (sweet) wort.* In all grain brewing, the brewer creates wort by steeping crushed malt in hot water (148 F - 159 F) allowing the starches of the malt to be converted into sugar. They then drain the wort into the boil kettle and begin the boil. All grain brewing allows the brewer more control over their process.

***Standing on Soap Box*** 
Extract brewing is sometimes looked down on by some know-it-all brewers as an inferior form of brewing. I believe that that notion is incorrect. I believe that if you use fresh extract and understand proper fermentation you can make great beer with extract. In fact, every year an extract beer medals in the National Homebrew Competition. 
***Dismount Soap Box*** 

The main benefits I find with extract brewing are speed and less clean up. Today I am extract brewing for speed. Check out Northern Brewer or More Beer for access to these goodies shown below.

Munich Liquid Malt Extract (LME)

Pilsner Dry Malt Extract (DME)

The real goal of today's brew session is to do some research into the hop called Palisade. I plan on using pilsner extract with a touch of munich extract for the malt bill, then a bit of Magnum hops at 60 minutes and Palisades from there on out. Palisade hops are supposed to have a floral, fruity, and "pretty" flavor and aroma. I think that pretty is a terrible descriptor for a hop. That aside, I am looking at using it as a substitution to cascade hops in the Professor IPA. I would like to use some hops that aren't just the same old, same old when it comes to IPA's. Also, I would like to be utilizing hops that will be easily accessible in what can be a sometimes difficult hop market.

Anywho...I am hoping to find this hop expressive enough to be a part of my IPA recipe. I will report back with my findings.

Drink good beer with good people!

* I think the term "sweet wort" is creepy. However, I love uttering the phrase "sveet, sveet, vurt." Imagine a bad german accent.

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