How to sour mash homebrew (AKA: sour beers for impatient homebrewers)

As the thirst for sour and funky beer has taken over the craft beer scene in the form of lambics, Berliner Weisses, and various other Brettanomyces and bacteria-inspired beers; homebrewers have also taken a hankering for trying their hand at these unique beers. There is a large gap, however, between the ease of acquiring a bottle of many sour/funky beers and being able to drink a bottle of your own creation. In the former case, you merely have to skip down to your better beer store and part ways with some cash; the latter involves much, much more time and effort. Particularly time: many lambics and sours take upwards of one to two years to 1) reach an acceptable flavor profile and, 2) reach terminal gravity so you don’t have exploding bottles as fermentation continues in them.

With this in mind, it’s no wonder that there hasn’t been an explosion of homebrewing sours. Sure, I’m certain more people are doing so than 1, 5, or 10 years ago, but the number of these people are dwarfed by both the number of new homebrewers and the number of new fans of sours. It makes sense since patience is not a virtue that is widely held by the human race. I bottled my last IPA 8 days after brewing it; I bottled by first sour 13 months after brewing it. Is there no hope for sour beer lovers who would hope to crank something out in a month or two that is both sour and drinkable? This is where sour mashing comes into play. Continue reading “How to sour mash homebrew (AKA: sour beers for impatient homebrewers)”

Guest Post by The Brew Professor: “Women, Don’t Fear the Beer” Part II

[Ed.:Yesterday we published the first half of a guest post from Mike at The Brew Professor. Below is the second half of his post. It seems that some folks got their jimmies rustled by yesterday’s contribution, so feel free to head over there and contribute to the just-almost-civil comments.  Thanks again to Mike for the post -J]

Below are my recommendations of the top three styles that lend themselves to the untrained palate and will let you stick your toe in the water.  These broad style categories include: wheat beers, saisons and farmhouse ales, and even some mild sour beers.  They are all delicious, light, and pretty easy to find locally.

Continue reading “Guest Post by The Brew Professor: “Women, Don’t Fear the Beer” Part II”

Guest Post by The Brew Professor: “Women, Don’t Fear the Beer” Part I

[Ed.: So, we’re going to be doing something a little bit different today. Mike from The Brew Professor was kind enough to submit a guest post on my request. If you like what he has to say, keep an eye out on his site. I read it and think it’s good stuff. He gave us a very informative long form piece, which I am going to split up over the next couple days. Without further ado… -J]

Guest Blogger: The Brew Professor

The Brew Professor (http://brewprof.com) is a new Cincinnati beer blog covering everything from craft beer reviews to homebrewing to better beer stores to beer tasting events.  It’s another take on the world of beer for all you beer nerds out there, whether you like making it or just like drinking it.

 Women: Don’t Fear the Beer

Before I begin, let me start out by saying this mild diatribe will contain generous helpings of broad assumptions and stereotyping.  Most of this is observational “fact” that I have experienced personally.  So sit back, drink a beer, and soak it all in before you fire off the hate mail.  Now then…

The idea to talk about women and beer was originally suggested by my wife.  As my love for beer has evolved she has been along for the ride with me, albeit, begrudgingly at times.  A scant ten years ago, I couldn’t get her to even sip a Miller Lite (and for good reason, I suppose).  However, as a matter of convenience and cost it became easier and easier to convince her to just drink a beer instead of ordering some sort of frou-frou mixed drink.  Standing shoulder-to-shoulder at a bar on Reds Opening Day just doesn’t lend itself to trying to shout a mixed drink order to an overwhelmed and underpaid bartender.  Pretty much the same thing goes with wine.  But when she had her druthers, she would opt for the “not beer” drink. But, things have changed as the craft beer boom continues to surge.  Now she actually gets excited about discovering and trying new beers.  I’m going to provide some guidance on how an open mind and semi-adventurous spirit can bring you into the water, barley, hops, and yeast – beer – family.

Continue reading “Guest Post by The Brew Professor: “Women, Don’t Fear the Beer” Part I”

Top 3 Tips to Help You Cellar Beer

Recently I’ve embarked on a voluntary freeze on cellar beer purchases so that I could force myself to:

  1. Put more effort into brewing beers to drink
  2. Begin drinking down the beers in my cellar that I haven’t tried yet

This has had me thinking a bit about proper cellar technique. I thought I’d pass some tips on to those of you who are new to cellaring beer or are considering starting to do so.

cellaring beer

Continue reading “Top 3 Tips to Help You Cellar Beer”