Posts Tagged ‘beer’

In several cities in the US, fast food joints such as Sonic and Burger King are expanding their drink menus to include beer and wine.

Personally, I’d stick to beer with fast food.

What wine would you have with a Whopper?


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This is the third and final installment of The Grand Crew beer series.  Personally I think this stuff is great because I don’t believe in restricting one’s palate to only one fermented beverage, especially since I belong to what for some can be considered an overly snobbish and close-minded wine geek community. So cheers to more beer drinking and beer appreciation!

In contrast to last week’s light Irish Red recipe, this week’s recipe is for a Hefeweissen.

Marshall’s recipe numero tres:

“Next up, Hefeweissen:

This is a remarkably simple brew, and I recommend it as a first effort.  The flavor profile of a wheatie makes it very tolerant of heat issues.  Warm fermentation of an ale leads to phenolic and banana flavors.  Wheaties actually seem to thrive at the higher ale temps, which makes them good for less-than-stringent temp controls.  No clarifiers, no flavoring grains, etc.  Again, don’t skimp on the yeast.

7#  60/40 wheat malt DME (dry malt extract).  Be careful with DME.  It is the stickiest substance known to man.  Even though it looks like a dry powder, it will suck moisture out of the air and stick to every damn thing it touches.  Turn off all fans, as an experienced word of caution.  It’s actually only 5-10 less moisture than the liquid extract.

After that, it’s Tattinger at the corners.  1 oz. bittering, 0.5 oz aroma, and 0.5 oz. finishing.

Yeast is the Whitelabs WLP 300 GERMAN profile hefe yeast.  The American profile blows, as do many American wheaties.  No citrus, no banana, no acidic tingle.  Widmer is a notable exception, but I still loves me some Franziskaner.  Anything with a monk rubbing his belly has to be good.  Definitely my favorite Spaten label.

BTW, In addition to alcohol, hops are actually a preservative, so a wheatie is best consumed within about 12 months of brewing.  Russian Imperial Stout comes in at a winelike ABV, as it was brewed to be shipped overland.  In contrast, IPA (India Pale Ale) has a massive hop content so that it could be shipped by ship to his/her majesty’s forces in India.  Both serve the target market, and IPA is relatively high ABV for a pale, but it relies more on the hops for preservative value than alcohol.

BTW2, most Germans are shipped to the states in green glass.  If at all possible, do not bottle your stuff in green glass.  Sunlight and hops don’t react well, and green glass allows whatever the skunk wavelength through.  Amber is always your best bet.”

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I was planning on posting earlier in the week; however, I was tied down by a Global Public Policy conference in Singapore.  And to avoid any further delay I’m typing right now from my hotel room in Bali.  So this will be a quickie but a goodie.  BTW if I’ve made any of you jealous by my prior comments, then good I’ve met my objective, haha.  Sorry to gloat but this past week has been a much needed breather from the hustle and bustle of Paris.

Anyways, without further ado here’s Marshall’s recipe numero dos:

“Okay, this one is my own.  Irish Red is a bit heavy during the hot months in Texas, so I wanted to come up with something lighter, but with a similar flavor profile as the Red.  I called this the Light Red.  Good malt flavor, low-to-moderate hopping.  About as big a post lawn mow beer as one should consider.  This would probably be considered an ESB (Extra Special Bitter), but it’s my recipe, so it’s a light red.

BTW, I titled my brewery “The Pogue Mahone Brewery”  Pogue Mahone is Gaelic for “kiss my ass”.  I’ll try to find a copy of my logo.

Anyway, a good warm weather beer that I’m proud of:

6# light extract
1 oz Northern (bittering 60 min)
1.5 oz Cascade (finishing 5 min)
2 oz. Special B
2 oz. Aromatic
2 oz. Caramunich III
1 tsp Irish moss.

Yeast:  Good old WLP004.  Nice, clean but soft profile.”

Refer back to Part I for some additional beer references.


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The Grand Crew Also Drinks Beer!

Whoever said that The Grand Crew was restricted to wine chat? … Well, technically I did, referring to my “Join the Crew” tab and the title of my blog, “a wine blog”.  But I’m the founder and editor so I’ve decided to do whatever the hell I want and open up this forum to all fermented liquids and spirits.  Thus begins a 3 post series on beer, inspired by my friend Marshall—amateur brew master and my former supplier from Texas.

I am going to keep this rather raw with as little editing as possible, as I was very impressed by some emails Marshall sent me over the summer, highlighting some of his top beer recipes.  So basically I’m copy-pasting the recipe below, extracted from my email exchange with Marshall.  Marshall has over 20 years of experience in home brewing so although he’s not a trade professional, he has the experience and certainly the passion!

Marshall’s recipe numero uno:

Marshall's Irish Red Ale“Here’s the Irish Red recipe.  Big rich deep malty taste.  Mild bitterness.  Kind of like an overhopped Wee Heavy.  I haven’t found a good commercial example of this style, but I’m going to Ireland in November and will by-God do it.  Definitely my best and my favorite.  This is morebeer.com’s original recipe.  They have since changed the kit formulation.  This one is better.

7 pounds light malt extract (liquid)

1 pound Chrystal malt (120 deg. Lovibond)
0.5 lb.  Aromatic
0.5 lb Caramunich
2 oz roasted barley
2 oz special B
3/4 oz Target (Galena) hops (60 min)
2 oz Willamette (last 10 minutes.)
1 tsp Irish moss. (traditionally in the last 20 minutes of the boil)

You will have to learn about bittering, flavoring and aroma hops, but it’s not that big a deal.  The primary concern is heat.  You are familiar with tannins, and phenolics.  These are components in beer, as well.  As beer is cooked, however, your ability to control them is in the wort (beer equiv. of must).

Brewing is different than winemaking.  There is about 4 hours of work, then two weeks of waiting, then about 2 hours of work then 2 weeks to 18 months worth of waiting.  You can involve yourself more in a secondary (clarifying rack), but the flavor won’t differ much.  Temperature is important, light is important, foresight is important.  As to foresight:  I had a hops blowoff incident that almost soured the sale of my first house.  A wad of hops during high ‘kruesen”, blowing the hose off of a carboy and depositing said load of hops on the ceiling of the laundry room apparently looks like a termite infestation coming down from the attic, at least according to the buyers inspector.  That took a bit of explaining…

Forgot the yeast.  Besides methodology, the most important thing that a homebrewer can do is buy quality yeast and make a starter culture.  The yeast for the Irish Red is a White Labs WLP 004.  I’ve made it with a dry yeast, but the difference between that and the White Labs is night and day to a good palate.”

Two more recipes will follow in the coming week, but just in case any of ya’ll out there are truly interested in kicking off your own home brews, check out these sources, which are also direct recommendations from Marshall the Brewmeister! …

“If you are going to get into homebrewing, the best book out there is Snyder’s Brewmaster’s Bible for recipes and processes.  He goes all the way from extract to grain with a complete explanation of the processes.  Mine is covered in notes and wort stains. Principles of Brewing Science is also good for advanced knowledge.”

And finally morebeer.com is a comprehensive online supply store, which sells “Absolutely Everything! for Beer-Making”

So happy brewing! … Oh and please understand that The Grand Crew HAS NOT deviated from its wine focus.  But this blog is all about exploration and a community approach … which brought us to Marshall and his passion for beer!  And well I must admit that I have a vested interest in this topic as well since I’ve always been a big beer buff and I look forward to brewing my own beer at home, along with el vino of course, in the near future.


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