Tag Archives: beer

No-Sparge Brewing

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For many brewers the steps together from grain to glass are a no brained – mash in, conversion rest, mash out, lauter, and sparge. For those who seek to get the highest efficiency possible and ring every last bit of sugar out of the grain, the sparge is pretty important.

But what about those who just want to make good beer and don’t really concern themselves with high efficiency, but rather consistent results (yours truly included)? Do we need the sparge?

There was a very inspiring article in the November 2011 edition of Brew Your Own about no-sparge brewing. My own personal experiences have fallen pretty much inline with what the article said, and it make sense; the efficiency falls off pretty quick the higher the gravity (above 1.045-1.050), but the beer has a nice round maltiness. Theres seems to be little or no difference on low gravity beers as far as efficiency goes, but it rounds out the flavour and keeps it from seeming too thin.

The technique is petty simple – add all the water you will use for brewing (mash and sparge) to the grains and when it’s converted, run it out into the kettle and boil. Couldn’t be easier. This is a pretty thin mash, but it’s forgiving. The one thing to keep in mind is that the mash tun needs to be able to handle the whole volume – this isn’t too much of a problem for low strength brews. You might need a bit more grain to make up for the loss on efficiency, but its a minimal cost.

For some comparison, in the days of ol’, most brewers were pretty much doing this already, they’d run out the first lot of wort and make a strong beer, the difference is they’d add more water and do a second (or third) running to make progressively weaker beers. This is known as parti-gyle, with the first gyle resembling a no-sparge type batch. Also, there is a rise in “Brew-in-a-bag” style brewing, where the brew kettle acts as the mash tun and a large mesh bag contains the grains. The whole volume of water is typically used and to lauter, the bag is just lifted out and let to drain. Sounds like no-sparge to me.

The greatest thing about home brewing is the ability to experiment. I once heard Michael Dawson say (and I’m quoting from memory), “Whats the worst that will happen? You’ll get some beer”. So, experiment, have fun, enjoy some beer, and share your experiances.

Review: Propeller Double IPA

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From the brewer:
“Propeller Double IPA is a full bodied, American style Double India Pale Ale that is brewed with premium Pacific Northwest hops and a rich blend of 2-row Pale and Crystal malts. Following fermentation it has been heavily dry hopped (a process that enhances the aroma without imparting bitterness in beer) giving this bold brew its big west coast nose. Double IPA delivers a huge amount of piney, floral, and citrusy hop aroma and flavour from start to finish that is balanced by sweet malt flavours. At 8.2% alcohol by volume and 85 IBUs, Propeller Double IPA is not for everyone… It is a TRUE hop bomb, for TRUE hopheads.”

Appearance
Brilliantly clear. Dark copper, amber. Little head, settling to slight film that lasts. No lacing to speak of, but with 8.2% ABV that’s to be expected.

Aroma
Not a hop bomb. Citrus, grapefruit, earthy, with sweet-malt/caramel notes.

Flavour
Up front carmel sweetness with a firm enough bittering to balance. Citrus, grapefruit. Bittering doesn’t last on the tongue but is there long enough to cut the sweetness.

Mouthfeel
Medium body with a fairly light carbonation.

Overall
A good beer with a good balance. Fairly easy drinking, especially for 8.2%. Not a hop bomb, but a good introductory beer for hop-head-wannabes.

75/100

VIDEO: Review of Rodenbach Grand Cru

Rodenbach Grand Cru is one of those classics that everyone should try once in their lives. This is the example of what Flanders Red/Brown ale should be – malty, tart, and refreshing.

I recently sat down with Trevor Adams, editor of Halifax Magazine (@HalifaxEditor on Twitter) and enjoyed a bottle. Check out our tasting experience and take the flavour journey to West Flanders with us.

Style for the Season

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Everyone has a particular style they like, most of us probably have several, but does your style change with the seasons? I know that mine does for sure. Basically, the colder it is, the darker I want my beer. I don’t think that I’m strange in this, I expect that many other people are the same. Don’t get me wrong, I will drink any style and time of year, but it seems that some beers just go with the seasons.

As a home brewer I get to make what I want, but as the seasons change I have to plan out what I “will” want knowing my tastes. The fall brings me to amber lager, red and brown ales, and leads me to stouts and IPAs for winter. By spring/summer I’m looking for pale ales, wheat beers, and amber lager (I’m a big fan of amber lager).

What do you look for as the seasons change?

Review: Garrison 3 Field Harvest Ale

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From brewer:
“Almost 200kg of wet (green) hops were harvested and hand-picked at four separate Nova Scotian farms then added directly to the boil. Wet hops impart a more subtle hop fragrance and bitterness, making them a pleasure to brew with. Lemon, orange, grapefruit, pine and ginger notes are all present to some degree in this truly special harvest brew.

100% of the hops were grown in Nova Scotia at the following fields: Meander River Farm and Wentworth Creek (Ashdale), Fiddlehead Hop Farm (Glenholme) & Ross Farm Museum (New Ross). The complex flavours showcased in 3 Fields can be attributed to the wide variety of hops in the beer including Nugget, Newport, Galena, Cascade, Zeus, Centennial and Brewers Gold.”

Appearance:
Light copper/orange in colour. Small amount of head that settles to a thin film. Hazy but clears a bit as it warms. There appears to be some hop matter in suspension.

Aroma:
Some malt sweetness with overtones of citrus. Hits of flowers and some alcohol as it’s swirled.

Flavour:
Carmel and toasted malt. Hops aren’t as forward as expected. Citrus and pine with a bit of resin. Some floral and bready notes.

Mouthfeel:
Moderate carbonation leaving a nice medium mouthfeel.

Overall:
Well balanced. I’ll admit, I’m not the biggest hop-head, but this wasn’t as hoppy as might be expected, but very drinkable (true hop-heads might be a bit disappointed). At 6.3%, there could be several of the 500mL bottles in ones future. Well done.

4/5