Thursday, June 14, 2007

Beer: An Insider's Guide - Beer Connoisseur

We go behind the scenes of the world’s largest annual competition for professional brewers to see how they decide the beers worthy of Champion Trophies at the Australian International Beer Awards. Three weeks before the winners are announced at the “Academy Awards of Beer”, from 9am to 5pm for five straight days, the nine judges will each sample the 502 entered beers… and unlike wine judges, they don’t spit it out.Head judge Rob Greig says one of the key taste components of a good beer is its level of bitterness and to test that thoroughly, the bitterness glands are at the back of the throat so the beer must be swallowed… all 502 times.

Beer: An Insider's Guide - Appreciating Beer

There are around 50 styles of beer that can be broadly categorised into distinct groups. We begin the series by explaining what makes each beer style unique and what distinguishes ales from lagers; the two major beer ‘families’. As the world of beer flavours grows every year, new respect for its gastronomic worth is pushing beer back onto the dinner table. We already drink five times more beer than wine but now public attitudes are changing about when and how we drink it. Hosting hundreds of “Beer Appreciation Dinners” around the world, Brewmaster Bill Taylor – responsible for the taste of two million bottles of beer brewed daily at Lion Nathan Breweries – is one of the key players involved in raising public awareness about the new age of beer. We drop in on one of Bill’s dinners to see what foods complement what beers, we learn how to pour a beer correctly and we discover the truth about much-debated points like whether beer is best from a bottle or can.

Beer: An Insider's Guide - Beer and Food

Their campaign to take barbeque cooks back to school is part of a gastronomic revolution that has swept beer along in its wake. We join their new age barbeque class that shows men how to cook moderncuisine and how to match particular beers with particular foods. Beer and food matching has become a buzz topic in gastronomic circles. Multi-award winning chef Tim Pak Poy is an uncompromising epicurean – quality is everything and beer is no different. Tim is preparing his new season beer list and has asked acclaimed brewmaster Bill Taylor to help match styles with various dishes. Bill is one of the world’s leading authorities on beer and its relationship to food. We check his recommendations and learn why what food, goes with what beer.

Beer: An Insider's Guide - Beer Mania

After touring their beer-filled house, we follow them to the 25th Anniversary “Canathon” where beer can collectors from all over the world gather to swap andtrade. Beer can collectors are just one example of people afflicted by “Beer mania”. From the Latin “bibere” – to drink – this ubiquitous beverage has developed its own sub-culture. Collectors of cans, bottles and memorabilia, home and pub brewers, beerjudges, brewing historians and plenty more are fascinated by the wider world of the amber.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Carbonation Issues

What the hell, it figures I would run into problems with my carbonation right before a local homebrew competition. I was going to have about 4 beers that I wanted to enter in the Hereford and Hops Homebrew Competition coming up at the end of June BUT I had started using DME to carbonate my last 3 batches of beer, all of which have shitty CO2 going on. They just so happen to be the beers that I had been REALLY looking forward to brewing because I spent a lot of time working out the recipes, well one was a JZ recipe, but my RIS was all off the top of my head. I'm bummed out because the RIS I brewed tastes so bloody amazing aside from the fact the the carbonation isn't up to par. I have to brew this bad boy again and get the Carb right this time. The other one is a 10 gallon batch of smoked porter that I used Jamil Z's recipe for. I tastes damn good too but again, the Carbonation is just not 100%. Oh well live and learn. Not sure why I decided to change to DME in the fist place. I have had such success with Dextrose or just straight up Sucrose. Oh well, now I now. I think for any of you brewers that decide you want to go with the DME, go by a weight that you know will work rather that a volume that you are uncertain with....Or just stick with the dextrose or sucrose. That is what I have found to work the best, aside from force carbonation.

Peace out,

May all your brewing experiences be merry.