Yeah, been working on the book. We're months past deadline, so we need to keep the editor happy! Speaking of judging, I'm judging a homebrew contest fro Reddit and I have a doppelbock to judge when we're done here.
I'm not handy enough to actually build something like that. I'm lucky that we have fairly moderate winters here in Oregon. I can't imagine how you and others manage to brew in that kind of weather. When I was growing up in Iowa it sometimes got that cold.
I last brewed on the 15th. First run at downsizing my rye IPA recipe into an APA. It usually takes me 3 batches or so when I develop a new recipe before I get what I want. I know a lot of brewers hate to brew the same thing twice, but I find that being able to accurately replicate a recipe is a great way to hone your brewing skill.
Yeah, I think that I like the brewing process even more than the beer I produce. I think that of the 445 batches I've brewed, only once or twice have I hit "the recipe" on the first try. Fortunately, I have the time to tweak and like I said, I love to see what happens. I think it would drive me carzy to brew something different every batch.
Drew Beechum, who's written several books about homebrewing and cider making, invited me to co author a book called "Experimental Brewing". It's a little bit like Randy Mosher's "Radical Brewing" but we focus on more than just strange ingredients and procedures. The real focus of the book is how to improve your brewing by experiemting and testing what you do.
Although, we do include recipes for a Chanterelle mushroom Wee Heavy and a Pork Chop pale ale!
The thing I like best os that it's wriiten as a kind of conversation between Drew and me. After one of use writes somethign, the other will chime in with comments. Unlike any other brewing book I've seen.
I hope it will be out by spring. I'll know more once we finish it! I also contributed to a book called "Commercial Beer recipes for Homebrewers" that shoiuld be released shortly after the first of the year. Recipes right form the brewmasters themselves!
Melanoidins, yes...keeping in mind that melanoidins are color, not flavor. It does bump up the malt flavor a bit, too, but it produces a sweetness that doesn't seem overly sweet. If that makes any sense.
It's not that I find anything wrong with it. It's just that I haven't found that the effort justifies the result. Like step infusions, I still do them soimetimes just to see if I've missed something. So far, I don't think I have.
That last sentence are kind of the words I live to brew by! Make the best beer possible with the least effort possible while having the most fun possible. With the corollary to do whatever it takes to make great beer, but be sure the effort is worth it!
When I read George Fix talk about batch sparging 15 years ago, a light bulb went on in my head. You have no idea how difficult it was to convince people that it not only worked but that you could make great beer doing it.
Yeah, I kept hearing "if it's so good, why don't commercial breweries do it/" Well, DUH! Different goals, different equipment...I think it's folly for homebrewers to try to emulate commercial brewers. we have so much more freedom, we shoud revel in it, not artificially constrain ourselves.