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Issue 1 - May 3, 2012

BrewPub Now Open!

Hey!

Break out the bottles and polish the beer glasses! We're taking a happy hour trip to your own brew pub "PubFood that Rocks". Yes, we are cooking up our own great food with either your favorite craft beer or some home brew. It's your choice - so get your appetite on!

Along the way, we'll learn some about beer styles. Each issue or so we'll briefly examine a beer style. Learn each one and use the "trivia" you've learned in fun times with your friends. Today we also explore tips that certain home brewers have used to become Craft Beer Pros.

 

Cheers,

David Ivey

 

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Beer Styles 101

Hefeweizen

  • A wheat beer that is not filtered.

  • Hefeweizen means: Yeast (hefe) Wheat (weizen) and is pronounced, "HAY-fuh-vites-sen".) The prefix - hefe - tells us that it is bottle conditoned with enough yeast (hefe) still in the bottle to make the beer cloudy or turbid in appearance.

  • Pale golden, straw colored, spicy, fruit-like, wheat ale, that originated in Germany.

  • This style has about 5% alcohol by volume, and is lightly hopped, giving it very little bitterness. This "top fermenting" - an ale - unfiltered`beer is cloudy, using yeast that stays in suspension, producing a unique banana and/or clove taste.

  • Weissbier (white beer) is what it is often called in Germany. Called white due to the light color that contrasted with those of the dark beers that were made before its creation.

 
Home Brew Pros = Craft Beer BrewMasters - Part 1

Twelve Steps to Better Home Brew (aka "Craft Beer")

by David Ivey

Brew Like the Pros!

What do the names Sam Calagione, Dale Katechis, Jim Koch, Ken Grossman, Bill Cody, Jeff Lebesch, and hundreds of others have in common?

Well, besides each one starting a craft beer brewery, they all began as – Home Brewers. Yes, they all got their start by hand crafting what they loved – great beer! Thanks, guys!

  • Dale’s Pale Ale recipe of Oskar Blues was developed while he was in college. Yes, a real campus radical, with a thirst for chemistry and microbiology as hobbies.  ;)

  • Jim, a sixth generation brewer in waiting, received his Boston Lager recipe as a hand-me-down from his great-great grandfather, and brewed his first batch in his kitchen. What a great start for Boston Brewing Company!

  • Jeff’s recipe for “Fat Tire Ale” came from his basement brews after he toured Belgium on a “Fat Tire” bicycle. Fat Tire is New Belgium Brewing flagship brew.

Their background as home brewers propelled them to become – Brewmasters.

Let’s dive into the realm of the Pro brewer, gaining knowledge from their adventures into home brewing. In future articles we’ll explore the art of home brewing in more depth.

Use Brewmaster Best Practice Techniques

  1. Always prepare ahead for brew day. Pro brewers take care to insure that all their ingredients and equipment are “in stock”, or on hand, before starting the brewing process.
  2. Don’t be caught without the yeast you need or that specialty grain that was supposed to be in your grain stash.  ;)

  3. Sanitize all the equipment before starting to brew. Sanitary conditions are essential for successful brewing. Bacteria and wild yeast can and probably will invade your beer otherwise. The rule of sanitization is a brewer's best one!
  4. Take the time -- clean and sanitize. You’ll relax and enjoy your effort later with each great brew.

  5. Pre-measure all ingredients as your brew water heats. Lay out,or have nearby, all equipment needed for brewing.
  6. The technique is called "Mise en Place", (put in place). Chefs use it to smooth the cooking process. This one technique will make brew day so much more fun!

    Dominate your brew!

  7. Make a yeast starter* 24 to 48 hours before brew day. Tubes and packs of liquid yeast come in many varieties and are high quality. However, the yeast count is considered by many knowledgeable brewers to be too low to properly ferment a 5 gallon batch.
  8. It sure is fun to see the fermentation process start just hours after pitching yeast*.  :)

    Using DME (dry malt extract) and distilled water, plus yeast nutrient, it’s easy to quickly prepare a starter*, and to insure that the yeast is at both an optimum count, and at their peak health. Hey – they have a big hill to run-up soon – your wort!

  9. Print out your recipe or have one with your ingredients. It should include step-by-step instructions, including boil & hop schedule. Hang it in an easy to read place – close to your brew kettle.

  10. Use a good kitchen timer for the boil schedule.

  11. Gram Scales are essential for consistent batching. Digital scales that weigh to .1 gram are inexpensive. When used, accurate hop and grain weights are assured, so your batches are controlled. Pro brewers are consistent – you can be, too. If just starting out and you are using even ounce amounts – put off getting a scale until needed.

* Hey, don't miss part two - coming soon! We'll talk about yeast starter and other fun things.

 
PubFood that Rocks! Kielbasa...
Beer & Brown Sugar Kielbasa

Slow Cooking Goodness
for Entertaining


Recipe and article courtesy of Guest Chef:
Michelle @ BrownEyedBaker.com

OK, two major disclaimers right off the bat:

#1: I have never been a fan of Kielbasa.

#2: I am even less of a fan of sauerkraut.

Yet, I am hopelessly in love with this recipe! It doesn’t make logical sense. Could it be that beer and brown sugar make all the difference? Given the magical powers of both, it’s certainly possible.

Back on the 4th of July, my Chief Culinary Consultant and I went to his friend’s house for a cookout. He mentioned there was Kielbasa and sauerkraut (which I typically pass right over), and as a footnote said that they were cooked in beer and brown sugar. My ears shot up faster than a dog who hears a bread bag being rustled (or a peanut butter jar open, or a banana being peeled. Okay, my dog is weird!)

I had to try it, even though I still kind of thought I wouldn’t really be crazy about it. Forget being crazy about it, or even liking it, I loved it.

Over the last few months we reminisced about how great those Kielbasa sandwiches were. Finally last weekend we scored the recipe, and within hours had it simmering away in the crock-pot.

This recipe honestly couldn’t be any easier to make – less than 10 minutes to get everything into your slow cooker, and then let the cooker do the work. As with most things like this, the longer you let it cook, the better it will taste. The Kielbasa becomes so tender that it melts in your mouth, and the sauerkraut takes on a sweet flavor – delicious! If you’re a Kielbasa- and/or sauerkraut-averse person, take it from one of your brethren – you NEED to give this a shot! Enjoy!

 

Beer and Brown Sugar Kielbasa & Sauerkraut

Yield: About 10 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Bake Time: 4 to 8 hours

Ingredients:

  • 12 ounces mild ale or lager beer
  • 1 cup brown sugar (light or dark)
  • 3 pounds Polish Kielbasa
  • 1 bag (or jar) sauerkraut (32 ounces), drained
Directions:

  1. Combine the beer and brown sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat, until the sugar melts and the mixture is slightly thickened; set aside.

  2. Cut the Kielbasa into links and place in a slow cooker.

  3. Cover with the drained sauerkraut.

  4. Pour the beer and brown sugar mixture over top.

  5. Cook on high for 4 to 6 hours, or on low for 8 to 10 hours. (We ended up doing a combination – high for 3 hours and then low for another 3 or so. Definitely the longer it cooks the better it tastes!)

  6. Serve on its own or in your favorite sandwich roll.

  7. Serve with a mild ale or lager and – ENJOY!
Michelle @ BrownEyedBaker.com

Get your brew pub ready for more great recipes & pairings in future issues!
I can't wait!

 
Whassup Ahead?

Hey,

A broad flavor palate of interesting, craft beer related topics is coming in future issues. Every article - even if it's not your fave - will have lots of interesting and informative info about what makes delicious craft beer or home brew such a great beverage!

Topics will broadly include:

  • Craft Beer and Food: Beer & food pairings, original healthy recipes using craft beer, entertaining with craft beer, plus others.

  • Home Brewing: Extract with steeping grains, to all-grain techniques, equipment, tested and approved original recipes, recipe development, & others.

  • Breweries: Tours, Brewery owners, brewmeisters & their unique stories, business beginnings, and others.

  • Lifestyle: Beer & fitness, better blogging tips, $$$ help, plus others.

Cheers, David
 
On~Tap~Soon!

* New Craft Beer Breweries
* Great Ideas in "PubFood That Rocks!"   * Beer & Food Flights & Pairings
* Home Brew Primer for Success   * Recipes   * Mystery Beer Fiction   ;)

 
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