I have a beer loving colleague, Erik who comes from the Skåne region of Sweden, the southern tip, just over the bridge from Copenhagen. Unfortunately Erik hates sour and hoppy flavours so he has yet to have one of my beers. There’s a great brand of grocery store coffee from Sweden called Zoega’s that I usually pick up whenever I’m over. Erik hordes the stuff, so I brewed him a breakfast stout using this coffee in exchange for a package. I used their Skåne roast specifically a way darker roast than you can even get in Denmark, aside from Starbucks. To make sure I didn’t fuck this up, I again used Michael Tonsmeire’s expertise, and brewed a pseudo-clone of Modern Times’ Black House using the homebrew recipe that awesome brewery provides for free. Nothing particularly special about the brew day, the coffee went straight into the primary for the final 24 hours before the beer was racked off and bottled.
Back to basics as it were. One of the main impetuses to start homebrewing in Denmark was that the freshness of American IPA was unreliable to say the least, and in general, I don’t think Europe has produced really spectacular hoppy beers with consistency. IPA was the first recipe I brewed here, and even though my love for Saisons and sours is growing, IPA is my first love so to speak, and fresh, it is unbeatable. After reading IPA by Mitch Steele, and listening to him on the Beersmith Podcast I wanted to take this fresh information and apply it. Firstly, this is a dead simple malt bill, 86% Maris Otter, 10% wheat and 4% simple sugar for dryness. No crystal, nothing to distract from hops. This recipe will use 7 hop varieties in total, including 2 massive dryhopping sessions, the first with American hops, the second with Australia and New Zealand. It is the second in a series of beers using Conan yeast. It is meant to kick ass, and I’ve wanted to name a beer after a piece of classical music. (I am an orchestral musician by trade.) This is named after Richard Strauss’s orchestral poem, Don Juan. It’s in your face, unapologetic and something I’d like any time.
My wife and I have hosted a large (American, even though I’m a canuck) Thanksgiving gathering every years since moving to Denmark. This year will be the first in our own house, and therefor a beer brewed for the occasion was definitely in order. I am a pumpkin beer hater, and also think that the beer should compliment the food, not mimic it. This beer has no spice additions or gourds. It is a rich, Ron Swanson-brown and generously hopped with an American classic, Centennial. A nice dark base goes with the season (and the lack of daylight at this time of the year) while the ~50 IBUs and copious dry hops will keep the beer refreshing, I hope, while people partake in the great American tradition of eating way too much and then going for seconds. Notably, this will be the first of two beers I am currently brewing with The Yeast Bay’s Vermont Ale Yeast, the legendary Conan. Continue reading American (Hoppy) Brown Ale – Taksgiving