Once again, I managed to get into the Opening Tap Ceremony of Baltimore Beer week, and managed to capture video of the event.
A good time for sure, though Duff kind of stuck his foot in his mouth with the Oktoberfest comment â€” It lasts for 16 days in Germany. I would like to see more homebrewers involved in the opening ceremonies next year, and more grassroots, community involvement as well, but we’ll see what’s required to help make that happen.
This year’s Baltimore Beer Week starts this Thursday at the Baltimore Museum of Industry with a passing of the Star Spangled Banger from last year’s awesome Opening Tap Ceremony. This year’s event will feature local food celebrity Duff Goldman taking up the mallet from Boog Powell to tap the first cask of beer for the week.
All of these are great opportunities to get out and see what’s happening in the world of Baltimore’s emergent beer culture. Check out BBW’s events page for details on the hundreds of events that are part of the week.
It’s one of those thingsâ€¦ brewers, like many hobbyists have a tendency to at least seem like they’re doing less during the long hot days of Summer. I’ve been doing less too, but for a lot longer than the hot months. Between rather unexpectedly purchasing a house, being absolutely slammed with the real life job, and working on Baltibrew stuff, I’ve slacked on SYD. To my shame. My Twitter account spent about six months broken, and I just plain didn’t have time to devote to keeping things very well updated, much less upgraded as I promised back around Christmas.
That said, with things calming down at work, Baltibrew running at least a little bit more smoothly, and the houseâ€¦ well the house is probably never going stop being interesting, I’m back to thinking more about beer, back to working on upgrades, and back to brewing more.
I’ve finally got my own fermentation space, and I spent Saturday and Sunday working on upgrading my rig from batch sparge only to a fly sparging rig with a copper manifold in one of my mash tuns. The result was a Roggenbier which will be my first solo entry into a competition. The tun worked well, and the sparge seemed to go off almost too well, perhaps maybe even a little bit fast. All of this got me back to thinking about the mash series I’ve been working on, and the importance of detailing mash efficiency, etc. Read the rest of this entry »
Max’s recently had its grand re-opening and featured a beer I had the good luck to try last September at the German Beer Fest â€” and it’s a weird one. I took a fellow Baltibrewer with me late on the grand opening evening and shoved a mug of it into his hand and asked him to tell me what the weird ingredients were.
“It’s definitely a wheat beer.”
“There’s Coriander in thereâ€¦”
“Uh huh. Andâ€¦?”
“Not sure about that last flavorâ€¦”
“Kinda’ makes your mouth water a bit, doesn’t it?”
“Yeah, that’s weird. It’s really refreshing! What the heck is that?”
A thousand-year-old style nearly lost after World War II, Gose is a beer brewed with wheat, coriander, and salt. It might seem kind of weird to think of salt as being a good additive for beer â€”salt does retard the growth of yeast after all â€” but the chemistry involved with salt in beer makes a lot of sense. Mineral salts are flavor enhancers.
Think about Burtonized water; it’s basically adding salt to the water to achieve a number of effects, but most especially it brings the flavor of hops to the forefront of the beer. The naturally saline aquifers around the town of Goslar â€” where Gose originated â€” led to a salty beer that enhanced the spicy coriander notes, lactic tartness, and wheat derived flavors that make Gose so perfect for summertime drinking. Read the rest of this entry »