Friday, May 29, 2009
Beer Quest Shoots Brooklyn
This past Memorial Day weekend, my friends Jon And Kieran from Beer Quest did some filming both at Sixpoint and in Ray's backyard. I was pretty stoked for this not because I'm a media whore (which I am), but because I think a little web-available video footage would be a great addition to my brewing resume, especially when it comes to sending that resume out to breweries that are out of town. I already got a little press coverage in a really swanky beverage magazine called Imbibe Magazine this past January, and let me just say that I was the only guy featured that was wearing flip-flops and a T-shirt. Mostly Imbibe features columns about $15 mixed drinks with names that I can't pronounce, so homebrewing seemed to be an interesting and off-kilter feature for them, but I thought it was a well written article that fit the magazine pretty well.
Here's a short sample from the video: You can't see much homebrewing in this part, but we are sparging out the grainbed as we are cracking into our first homebrew. Shortly after the clip, I explained the importance of having a good "panty dropper" recipe in your repertoire, i.e. a beer that is around 8% and has a sweet or fruity profile that will appeal to the ladies. Then we had a little discussion on the use of corn, rice, and other adjuncts in beer, how these ingredients are being accepted by craft brewers and not the maligned substances they used to be, and also the general concept of what effect macrobrewers have had on our concept of beer as a culture. Personally I think that artisanal and local are the buzzwords of American food, and the beer scene is slightly behind the food movement in this regard but catching up quickly. Macrobrewed lagers are the Velveeta cheese of the beer world, and I'm glad to see we are stepping out of the TV dinner and canned lawnmower beer astetic that has reigned supreme for too long in this country. That being said, I did swill a tallboy of PBR at a local dive bar after my last Sixpoint shift, so it's not like they don't have their place...sometimes.
The interesting thing about filming homebrewers is that I think we really got to show them a side of brewing that would not have been available from a commercial brewery. I think because the batch size is smaller, people can relate to it more. It's not that far off from the scale of cooking a large meal. Also, instead of all our processes being inside of large stainless steel vessels and moved around by pumps, they are in coolers, carboys, and things you can look into to see what's happening inside. Everything is moved around by hand and by gravity. And because it involves drinking, having fun, and joking around, it's kind of a mix between a party and a work day. I hope in the end we got to add something to their beer experience and that it makes a great segment for their show.
Viva La Homebrew...
By the way, here's the recipe That Ray, Vlad, and I brewed on Sunday:
"BQ" IPA: Recipe is for 14 gallons pre-boil, 12.75 gallons post-boil
O.G. 1.068 F.G. 1.014 ABV 7.2% IBU's 75
27 lb. 6 oz. Glen Eagle Marris Otter malt
(Once again, this is a very dark malt at 5-6 Lovibond, almost like mixing a portion of crystal and munich into a base pale malt)
Hops: All whole hops were added in bags because we did not have a way to filter them out.
43 gr. Horizon 10.9% pellets 60 min.
36 gr. Chinook 13% whole 60 min.
56 gr. Columbus 12.3% pellets 15 in
65 gr. Amarillo 8.2% pellets 10 min.
112 gr. Centennial 8.5% whole 0 min.
Dry Hops: 38 gr. each Amarillo, Centennial, and Columbus pellets. Added loose in the primary after 12 days and left in for 1 week before racking to keg.
Mash: 8.5 gallons H2O + 3 tsp. gypsum. 150 degrees for 1 hour.
Sparge with 170 degree H2O to collect 13.5 gallons at 1.066. This was way over our expected efficiency so we added 2 quarts of water.
Boil 1 hour with hops as noted, whirlfoc at 15 min, yeast nutrient at 10 min.
Chill to 68 degrees, whilpool, and rack to 2 carboys.
Aeration: 90 seconds of pure O2 per carboy.
Yeast: Slurry of Wyeast 1056 from a previous pale ale batch. Pitched entire slurry from a 5 gallon batch.
Ferment at 68 degrees.