Beer Drought and Other Thoughts

I am up in drought stricken Midland, Texas….and that includes craft beers that are pretty much absent from the landscape!  I have elected to swear off drinking any mass-produced beers this week…..that means pretty much no beer at all this week in Midland. Two hours north in Lubbock Texas there are craft brewers…at least one brewery and a brew pub. Midland needs a pipeline….

I am not ignoring good beer this week! I am reading and learning so I can try something new when brewing my next batch of homebrew. I have been reading a little about hop-bursting techniques. This technique really intrigues me as a way to really showcase your hop choices. I like the scent of the aromatic floral varieties of hops like; Williamette, Kent Golding, Cascade, Fuggle,  Mt. Hood and other low acid hops. These are used toward the end of the boil for aroma purposes as well as a little bittering. The high alpha acid hops usually go in at the front end of the boil and at the end of the boil what’s left behind are the bittering qualities of the hops and a bit of the original aromas. The higher alpha acid hops that have been added early in the boil for bitterness have wonderful aromas….why not keep more of the scent/aroma in the beer…this is where the hop bursting technique comes to bear.  (the list of hops varieties is huge…everyone has their own favorites)

With “hop bursting”, the bittering hops are added with 20 minutes left in the boil rather than at the 60 minute or 90 minute mark, adding some bitterness while retaining more of their aromas – then  the hopping schedule is built from there – the low acid aromatic hops are added at the 10 or 5 minute remaining mark and/or at flame out. Now, I want to be honest I haven’t tried it yet but Saturday the 13th of October I will adjust my recipe for a Honey Blonde and try this technique… I will update all y’all in about 5 weeks or so and let you know how it turns out!

For further reading follow the link.

http://barleypopmaker.info/2010/01/01/hopbursting-3-homebrew-recipes-using-this-method/

The other technique that has entered brewing portion of my pea brain is the Australian No Chill method. It is the result of not wanting to waste all that water used in cooling the beer quickly, as most gurus suggest, and it also make less of a mess – depending on your brewing location. Being in dry West Texas this week I see how this technique makes sense….they are 180 days or less from running out of municipal water supply. Another benefit….the hot wort can add another layer of sanitation protection for the home brewer. Make sure your fermenter can handle the temperature.  My food grade 6 gallon bucket style fermenter can be hot filled up to 180 degrees F. If you have stainless steel fermenters you are not limited to the 180 degree figure. Hun, I need to make another investment!!!!

What else can I learn in my spare time this week? I will share anything that I add to my hard drive!

Hop Flowers and Some Grain

Drink Local

TTFN

Bishop

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