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.
I was discussing beer with another ex-pat colleague last year, he’s in his late 40’s or early 50’s, and a solid Midwestern kind of guy. He had just been back to the States to visit family and asked me “Is it even possible to get like just an ‘amber ale’ anymore?” I asked him if it meant like the one’s he drank in the late 90’s, and he said that’s exactly what he meant. It’s true that the craft beer landscape is pretty unrecognizable compared to the micro-brewery boom and crash of the late 90’s, when I got into beer in college. While I became a hop-head pretty much right from the get-go I think I understood what he was talking about.
This beer is inspired by Mark, my American colleague. I am brewing it to help overcome my fear of crystal malt and because I think it’s cool to brew something I normally wouldn’t even think twice about. I still utilized some newer school techniques like a small hop stand, but I will forgo a dryhop of any kind because I want this to be distinctly an amber, and not just a darker coloured pale ale. Continue reading Like Just An Amber Ale
I knew I wanted to brew a fruit saison as soon as possible after Philadelphia homebrewer/homebrew blogger Ed Coffey posted this peach saison to the homebrewing subreddit. Just the photo made my mouth water. Unfortunately here in Denmark peaches are imported from far off lands, and not great. However, many brewing-appropriate fruits grow in an almost weed-like fashion in the very neighbourhood I now live in. This beer will be aged on blackberries grown in my good friend’s backyard, on a street named for the Norse god Heimdallr, with a significant amount of rye and wheat in the grist, and fermentation will be finished with brett from a bottle of Orval. Special thanks to Ed Coffee who offered a lot of helpful advice for this beer.