Strong – Brewing Better Beer

Brewing Better Beer: Master lessons for advanced homebrewers by Gordon Strong

Date read: 09-19 February 2016
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Challenges: 2016nfc

Cover image of Strong's Brewing Better Beer book

Paperback, xvii, 316 pages
Published 2011 by Brewers Publications
Source: Own

This was an amazing book and it has vaulted to the very top of the list of homebrewing books (as far as I’m concerned) for anyone beyond ultimate beginners. I intend to get very good use from this. Strong writes that it’s meant for advanced homebrewers but as Michael “Musafa” Ferguson writes in the Foreword:

“Gordon would say that this is for the experienced home brewer already brewing all-grain recipes. I say that this book is a book for anyone who has ever contemplated or attempted homebrewing, from the newbie looking in through the window to the professional brewer who has returned to his or her roots, not unlike what I have done” (xiv).

I think the author of the foreword makes the more accurate assertion, although I disagree with the whole “anyone who has ever contemplated …” claim. I believe it would be a bit overwhelming for them. But it is for anyone else with almost any amount of experience, and especially if any of that is with all-grain.

Highly recommended for everyone except those who have only contemplated trying brewing, and somewhat reluctantly for those who have only done extract brewing.

[I finished this book a month ago. I would prefer to write the review that this book actually deserves but I am seriously backlogged on book review writing and want to get something out. I guess I am telling myself that I will revisit the review and improve on it, just as I intend (and already am) revisiting the book. Perhaps I can give you enough of an overview to make a decision whether it is for you or not; that is kind of the idea anyway.]

With that in mind, I have provided the outline of each chapter at one step below the chapter heading so that you may gauge the book’s coverage. Keep in mind, there are a couple levels below many of those headings also.

Contents:

  • Acknowledgements
  • Foreword
  • Introduction
  • Part I: Philosophy
  • Chapter 1. The Philosophy of Brewing
  • Part II: Mastering Your Craft
  • Chapter 2. Mastering Techniques
  • Chapter 3. Mastering Equipment
  • Chapter 4. Mastering Ingredients
  • Part III: Applying Your Knowledge
  • Chapter 5. Evaluating Your Own Beer
  • Chapter 6. Envisioning Your Beer
  • Chapter 7. Troubleshooting
  • Chapter 8. Finishing Beer
  • Chapter 9. Competition Brewing
  • Chapter 10. Conclusion
  • List of Recipes
  • Index

Foreword [by Michael “Musafa” Ferguson]

I liked several things Ferguson said. The first is in relation to book forewords and does go on just a bit more for a little more clarity but this excerpt is what you get. The others are more directly about the book in hand.

“There are basically two reasons to read a foreword. You have either already bought the book and are looking to get everything out of it you can, or you are contemplating buying the book and are looking for insight into whether or not you should spend the money.” xiii

“This book, however, is not a how-to book; it’s a “do you want to” book.” xiii

“This book is just like having a mentor.” xv

“This book flows along the lines of analogy, technique, and practice.” xv

Introduction

  • Blown Up, Sir
  • The Journey Is the Reward
  • Structure of This Book
  • Using This Book
  • But Why Nothing on Extract Beers?

The recipe for Old Draft Dodger, an English Barley Wine [p. 3], gave me a solid slap upside the head in full acknowledgment of how large a mash tun I need. And since my mash tun will also be my boil kettle—am going to use Brew in a Bag—that was a good and solid bit of info. I had been working with estimates of 25 lbs but this uses 30.25 lbs of malt + 1 lb muscovado sugar [yields 8 gal to boil down to 6 gal]. Thus, this was a critical equipment and process control point, for me, which I will discuss in a bit.

There is a fair bit in the intro but mostly Strong lets us know what he isn’t about and a touch of what he is attempting to be about. In the process, he gives the authors and texts he turns to in a pinch or otherwise necessary, as he does throughout the book. Pay attention as he tells you exactly who he turns to for a topic.

What the book is not

  • “isn’t a textbook or a purely technical brewing book.”
    •     SEE brewing reference textbooks – “De Clerck, Kunze, Narziss, Briggs, Bamforth, and Lewis.” 5
    •     more towards homebrewers SEE Fix and Noonan 5
    •     “online technical studies by A.J. deLange and Kai Troester that describe practical experiments, ….” 5
  • “isn’t a scholarly study; …” 5
  • “is not a recipe book, but I provide many of my award winning recipes.” 6
    •     illustrate points & add color
    •     “If I’m looking for a new recipe, I often look at books by Zainasheff/Palmer, Noonan, or the Classic Styles Series published by Brewers Publications.” … “If I’m looking for ideas on formulation, I’ll look to Daniels and Mosher.” 6
  • “is not a basic brewing book and it doesn’t discuss extract brewing at all; … … won’t teach you how to get started brewing or give you step-by-step procedures for bsic brewing processes.” SEE Palmer, Korzonas 6

What the book is

“What this book does is fill an unaddressed niche in homebrewing literature. It describes how to think about brewing, how to select and apply proper techniques, and how to continue to learn and develop your own brewing style.” 6

Stories, recipes, and anecdotes are used to illustrate points, analogies (and other influences) will be used liberally, and he states strong opinions based on his experience. [quasi-paraphrase] 6

Part I: Philosophy

Chapter 1. The Philosophy of Brewing

  • Everyone Has a Story
  • Channeling Influences [Write out your own]
  • Mastering Skills [On what it means to be a master]
  • Developing Your Own Style

“Think about your own style being your framework for brewing. You’ll find out the details as you learn and grow in your abilities. Select the tools and methods you want to use and learn. Work towards mastering a core set of skills that let you make the beer styles you enjoy most. …” 23

“Reconsider what you are able to do whenever you make modifications to your system.” 23

Part II: Mastering Your Craft

“In the next three chapters, I will review the stages of brewing, the choices to make, identifying the critical control points, and what your choices will imply later.” 25

Books for all-grain knowledge:

“My favorites are John Palmer’s How to Brew and Greg Noonan’s New Brewing Lager Beer. Noonan’s book is more advanced and is really a great reference text. I also like Al Korzonas’ Homebrewing: Volume I as a source  of useful information, although it doesn’t cover all-grain brewing. For a person first learning to homebrew, I still like Dave Miller’s Homebrewing Guide. All of these books have given me information that I still use today.” 25-6

Some of the things that will come up in the next several sections are control points [e.g., single-infusion mash], decision points [e.g., lautering options], techniques of interest [to me], and critical process/system decisions [e.g., moving liquids]. These are strewn throughout the book and add immense value to Strong’s clear system thinking.

Chapter 2. Mastering Techniques

  • Transforming Grain
  • Mash Temperatures, Final Gravity, and Maltsters
  • Step Mashing for Attenuation Technique
    • Tripwire–Belgian Tripel (recipe)
  • Decoction and Tannins
  • Hochkurz Double Decoction Mash Technique
    • Procrastinator Doppelbock (recipe)
  • Step and Decoction Mashing Techniques Combined
    • El Hefe German—Hefeweizen (recipe)
  • Cold-Steeped Roasted Grains Technique
    • Headlights On Sweet—Stout (recipe)
  • Unusual Technique: The Overnight Oven Mash by Joe Formanek
  • Lautering
  • Part-Gyle Technique Producing Two Beers
    • Seven-Year Itch—English Barley Wine (recipe)
    • Session Slammer—Northern English Brown Ale (recipe)
  • No-Sparge Technique
    • Pride of Warwick—Strong Bitter (recipe)
  • Managing the Boil
  • Intentional Caramelization Technique
    • Gunn Clan Scotch Ale (recipe)
  • Using Hops
  • First Wort Hopping and Late Hopping Techniques Combined
    • Avant Garde–American Pale Ale (recipe)

An example of control points [for single-infusion mash] under Transforming Grain:

  •     mash temperature
  •     rest time
  •     mash thickness
  •     mash pH [measured at mash temp; NB: pH is temp dependent; generally regulates itself] 33-34

Lautering Options are a [decision point]

“The method used to get the wort into the kettle is a decision point for the brewer: Will sparging be used, and if so, what technique? We examine the techniques of continuous sparging, parti-gyle sparging, batch sparging, and the no-sparge method.” 50

Some decision points under Using Hops are:

  •           Varieties to use
  •           Form of hops
  •           How much of each
  •           Techniques used during/after boil 65

All-Late Hopping [technique of interest]

“In a nutshell, the techniques involves adding all your hops within the last 20 minutes of the boil, adjusting your amounts to compensate for the reduced utilization.”  … You will want to watch out for excessive vegetal and grassy flavors coming from the increased hop material (as weel as the volume loss due to absorption). The advice to keep your total hop bill to less than 8 ounces (227 grams) per 5-gallon (…) batch still applies.” 66

Chapter 3. Mastering Equipment

  • Matching Equipment to the Task
  • Learning Your System
  • Optimizing Your Brewing

“In order to be a great brewer, you have to learn your brewing system in detail and make it your own. You have to know its strengths and weaknesses and how it responds to different brewing conditions.” 75

“The major topics in this chapter are selecting your equipment, learning your system, and optimizing your brewing.” 75

Matching Equipment to the Task tells us to:

“Start with what you need to accomplish, then find devices to best meet those needs.” 76

“Consider your equipment selections along with your process choices.” 76

“In this section, I’ll walk through the common brewing tasks that require equipment and discuss alternatives and tradeoffs. 76

This section is most valuable for brewery planning. I am really happy that I have read this before I finalized my ideas on what I think I am doing. Nothing changed except I feel better prepared and better educated/validated in my decisions. I appreciate that. [I have read quite a few how-to-brew books. This one works for me.]

To give you some idea of the further breakdown and amount of information covered by Strong, Matching Equipment to the Task covers all of the following: Measuring Ingredients, Crushing Grain, Moving Liquid, Managing Heat, Mashing, Lautering, Boiling Wort, Chilling and Separating Wort, Fermenting and Conditioning, and Packaging.

Moving Liquids under Matching Equipment to the Task brings in the most important decision, per Strong, as to system design:

“Water and wort have to be moved between vessels during brewing. This is generally accomplished manually, with gravity, or with pumps. To me, this decision, along with the number of brewing vessels, is what drives the overall design of your system.” 79 [critical process/system decisions, emphasis mine]

“The phases of this that are important in this step are how water gets into the hot liquor tank, how brewing liquor is added to the mash tun, how sparge water is added to the mash tun, how the outflow of the lauter tun is directed to the kettle, and how the boiled wort is moved to the fermenter.”  79

Learning Your System contains a massive amount of useful advice, again, especially still validating your system design.

“Think of systems in abstract terms, like black boxes with inputs and outputs. … This is the systems approach for managing complexity; it allows you to learn the system a piece at a time.” 89

Some of the key things to understand about your system: The range of anything that can be adjusted, How those changes affect the outcome of each step?, …. 90

Some examples of process control points: How accurate are your thermometers and other instruments?, …, When step mashing, how do I increase temps? Direct fire, how long continue to rise after cut-off? Responsiveness of thermometer?, …, What is my evaporation rate?, How much loss do I have from final boil volume to initial fermenter volume, and from initial fermenter volume to final finished beer volume? Also from mash volume to IFV, …, In general, how many pounds of grain needed to hit different gravity targets?, …, What kinds of techniques are possible on my system? How difficult are they to perform? 90-93

Not all control points are of equal importance; focus on those that make a big difference first. 94

Optimizing your Brewing

“…, since the difference between a competent brewer and an expert brewer is often measured in how efficiently and effectively they perform the same tasks.” 94

“… internalizing the techniques and processes so that thoughts and desires are more directly translated into actions and outcomes.” 94

“Some of this mastery comes through simple repetition and understanding of processes and techniques we’ve previously discussed, while executed on your particular system. However, other parts involve changing the way you think and plan your brewing, and how you approach tasks.” 94

Planning Your Brew Calendar under Optimizing your Brewing

Provides several reasons why to plan out your brew calendar, including the most obvious … have a beer available for a certain date but there are others. 95

Planning Your Brew Day, also under Optimizing your Brewing, provides reassuring ways to think about planning out your brew day, even if you’ve never done it on your own before.

  • Think like a chef; do the prep work before cooking. Mise en place, having all that you need to cook ready and waiting. 96
  • Start with breaking down all of the steps. Think about order, equipment needed, ingredients needed, time required.
  • What consumes the most time? If can start longest task first you may shorten the brew day.
  • “Critical path,” from project management : the sequence of dependent tasks that must be completed to get the job done on time. ID the minimum time needed to complete a complex project involving multiple tasks.”
  • Checklists help to not forget certain tasks 97
  • Have extra consumables on hand in case run out : extra propane, DME or LME, …
  • Pay attention during brewing sessions and take notes of things to improve in future; sticking points, etc.
  • Prioritize tasks also; where do I need to focus my energy and attention? 98
  • Avoid wasted effort by understanding the end-to-end process of brewing, and what decisions drive the quality of my final beer.
  • Now, how can I extend this critical path planning if add a 2nd or 3rd batch?
  • “Finally, remember that brewing is often a series of small course corrections.” 98

Chapter 4. Mastering Ingredients

“I’m going to focus on how you categorize, characterize, differentiate, and select each of these types of ingredients.” 103

“The goal is for you to be able to choose ingredients that allow you to brew what you want, to be able to understand cause and effect and how ingredient choices affect the finished beer, and to be able to evaluate new products …” 103

“For each of the types of ingredients I’m discussing, I provide some background on the key points you need to know to properly work with them. I’ll also share the selections I’ve made, and how I approach using these ingredients.”103 His selections are in the So What Do I Do? sections under all of the individual ingredients.

  • Assessing Ingredients
  • Malt
  • Adjuncts
  • Hops
  • Yeast
  • Water

Part III: Applying Your Knowledge

Chapter 5. Evaluating Your Own Beer

  • Understanding Beer Styles
  • Developing Your Palate
  • Critically Assessing Your Own Beer

Chapter 6. Envisioning Your Beer

  • Basic Beer Math
  • Recipe Formulation
  • Adjusting Balance
  • Avoid Clashing Flavors
  • Recipe Formulation Examples
  • Conceptualizing New Styles

Chapter 7. Troubleshooting

  • Detecting Beer Faults
  • Technical Brewing Faults
  • Style-Related Faults

Chapter 8. Finishing Beer

  • Factors Affecting Beer Stability
  • Conditioning
  • Lagering
  • Clarifying
  • Carbonation and Packaging
  • Final Adjustments
  • Blending

Chapter 9. Competition Brewing

  • Brewing for Quality
  • Brewing for Quantity
    • Three Beers From One Base Beer by Steeping Specialty Grains
    • Two Beers From One Mash, Using Different Yeast
    • Making a Fruit Beer Using Mead
  • Winning BJCP Competitions

Chapter 10. Conclusion

  • Expanding Your Knowledge
  • Staying Current
  • Final Advice
  • Staying Alive

My conclusion

Highly recommended for everyone except those who have only contemplated trying brewing, and somewhat reluctantly for those who have only done extract brewing. I have already gained immense benefit from this book and intend to get even more from it. It has been a blessing in planning out my brewing system and processes.

You know? This may be all you’re getting review-wise for this book. I would much rather spend time making this book useful to me than telling you about it. As you can probably tell, my notes aren’t even fully typed up as I decided to invest in the reading first.

You ought have enough to go on to decide if it is of use to you. You can also attempt to look at it at a bookstore–new or used–or see if your library can get it for you, which I deem as highly likely. Then buy a copy! Or buy your library a copy, if you can.

This was actually the 11th finished nonfiction book I finished this year but it is the 14th review written and posted.

This is the 14th book in my Nonfiction Reading Challenge hosted at The Introverted Reader

Announcing the next Session #109: Porter

For The Session 109—my first as host—I would like us to discuss porter. It seems that this highly variable style has not been done in The Session before.

The Session, or Beer Blogging Friday

The Session, or Beer Blogging Friday

What is The Session?

“The Session, a.k.a. Beer Blogging Friday, is an opportunity once a month for beer bloggers from around the world to get together and write from their own unique perspective on a single topic. Each month, a different beer blogger hosts the Session, chooses a topic and creates a round-up listing all of the participants, along with a short pithy critique of each entry” (The Sessions at Brookston Beer Bulletin).

It takes place on the first Friday of every month, so 4 March 2016 for this one.

Porter

“The history of porter and the men who made it is fascinating, for it deals with the part that beer has played in the development of Western Culture. Conversely, of course, much of porter’s growth was the result of profound changes in the nature of British society. It is also a microcosm of how our industries have developed; events in porter’s history explain the structure of the modern brewing industry, not only in Britain, but in the other major Western countries.

Porter is intimately tied in with the Industrial Revolution, in which Britain led the world. Through the growth it enabled the brewers to achieve, it was instrumental in the development and technological application of a number of important scientific advances” (Foster, Porter, 17).

I am not talking about your long dead relative’s porter—although you might be—but about all of the variations currently and previously available. Hey, feel free to write about the porter of the future or some as-yet-unrecognized sub-style of porter.

There are English porters, Brown porters, Robust porters, American porters, Baltic porters, Imperial porters, Smoked porters, barrel-aged variants of most of the preceding, and so on.

With as many variations as there are it is hard to believe that porter is perhaps a neglected style. Then again, it did disappear for a while [see Foster, Porter, and others]. Of 14 beer people asked about overrated and underrated styles three of them said porter was most underrated and no one suggested it as overrated in our current market climate. [Yes, I know that is from Thrillist; feel free to ignore it.]

I would like you to sit down with one or more porters of your choosing. Pay a few minutes attention to your beer and then use that as a springboard to further thoughts on the style.

Possibilities include:

  • Contrast and/or compare two or more of the styles
  • Contrast and/or compare two or more beers within/across porter styles
  • The history and development of the style
  • Your love/hate relationship with any porter style
  • Baltic porter – ale or Lager or a mixed fermentation?
  • Is hopping the only difference between English and American styles?
  • Food pairings with your favorite porter or style of porter
  • Review the porter(s) you are using as a creative springboard
  • Construct a resource along the lines of Jay Brooks’ Typology style pages, see for example American Barley Wine or Bock [I’ve already collected some of the information below for you.]
  • Recipe and procedures for brewing your version of a great porter

How to Participate in this month’s The Session

On Friday 4 March, you may comment on this post and leave the URL to your Session post in your comment, or you may email me with your URL at mark . r . lindner @gmail . com, or you may tweet your link with the hashtag #thesession and it wouldn’t hurt to @ me too @bythebbl.

By the way, my blog’s comments are moderated for first-time commenters but it will be quickly approved as long as it doesn’t look like spam.

Within a day or two of the first Friday (March 4th) I will post a round-up of all of the submissions with links.

Further Resources

To give you some food for thought I am providing some resources below:

I took some inspiration from Jay Brooks’ new Typology Tuesday [see this for example] but being inclusive of all the porter variants precludes doing anything close. There’s no way I am copying and pasting all of the descriptions from all of the style guides I can find for all of the versions.

Style References

BJCP

  • Baltic Porter BJCP 9C [Strong Euro Beer]
  • English Porter 13C [Brown British Beer]
  • American Porter 20A [American Porter and Stout]

The only mention of Imperial Porter in the 2015 BJCP is in a comment under Baltic Porter.

Comments: May also be described today as an Imperial Porter, although heavily roasted or hopped versions are not appropriate for this style. Most versions are in the 7–8.5% ABV range. Danish breweries often refer to them as Stouts, which indicates their historic lineage from the days when Porter was used as a generic name for Porter and Stout” [9C, p. 17).

Brewers Association 2015

  • Brown Porter : British Origin Ale Styles : Ale Styles
  • Robust Porter :British Origin Ale Styles : Ale Styles
  • American-Style Imperial Porter : North American Origin Ale Styles : Ale Styles
  • Smoke Porter :  North American Origin Ale Styles : Ale Styles
  • Baltic-Style Porter : Other Origin Lager Styles : Lager Styles

World Beer Cup 2016 or PDF  

  • 17B American-Style Imperial Porter : Other Strong Beer : Hybrid/Mixed Beer Styles
  • 31F Smoke Porter : Smoke Beer : Hybrid/Mixed Beer Styles
  • 34 Baltic-Style Porter : Styles of European and German Origin : Lager Beer Styles
  • 74 Brown Porter : Styles of British Origin : Ale Beer Styles
  • 75 Robust Porter : Styles of British Origin : Ale Beer Styles

GABF 2015 or PDF   

  • 17B American-Style Imperial Porter : : Other Strong Beer : Hybrid/Mixed Lagers or Ales
  • 31E Smoke Porter : Smoke Beer : Hybrid/Mixed Lagers or Ales
  • 47 Baltic-Style Porter : Lager Beer Styles
  • 82 Brown Porter : Ale Beer Styles
  • 83 Robust Porter : Ale Beer Styles

BreweryDB

This looks a lot like the Brewers Association style breakdown. I wonder if they’re using an older version of the guidelines. Seeing as the schema is the same as BA above,  I am just going to list and link these.

Periodic Table of Beer Styles

  • Brown Porter 34
  • Robust Porter 48

UnTappd

UnTappd lists the following styles of porter: American, Baltic, English, Imperial/Double, Other

Other References

Foster (2014) – Brewing Porters & Stouts: Origins, History, and 60 Recipes for Brewing Them at Home Today

I consider this to be a significant update to Foster’s Porter below. My reasoning is included in my reviews [the links].

Foster (1992) – Porter (Classic Beer Styles 5) [Publisher’s page]

Pattinson (2012*) – Porter! [see here for a bit of info on author]

Eckhardt (1989) – The Essentials of Beer Styles

Alworth (2015) – The Beer Bible pp. 140-165

Daniels (1996) – Designing Great Beers chap 23, pp. 263-282

Klemp – “BIG BALTIC PORTER” (Stylistically Speaking column), All About Beer, 29:1, March 2008 [There may be others.]

Fodor – “Robust Porter: Style of the Month” Brew Your Own, December 1997.

Dornbusch – “Robust Porter: Style Profile” Brew Your Own, September 2006.

Zainasheff – “Robust Porter: Style ProfileBrew Your Own, September 2012 [May be others.]

Michael Jackson – Beer Styles: Porter

Oliver, ed. (2012) – The Oxford Companion to Beer 

Baltic porter, 82. See also porter

porter, 27, 30, 84, 107, 166, 179-80, 195, 356-7, 422, 439, 479, 483, 485, 494, 587-88, 638, 660-64, 770-1, 792-93, 824, 841; Americanized porters, 663; Baltic porter, 663; comeback of, 663; craft brewers, 663-64, decline of, 663; origins of, 661; robust porter, 663; smoked porter, 688; stout porters, 663. See also stout (index)

[Main entry for porter by Horst Dornbusch and Garrett Oliver]

Oliver (2005) – The Brewmaster’s Table 

porter beer, 30, 43, 137

American, 47, 313-25

British, 135-38, 145-52

food with, 138-39, 314-16

producers of, 145-52, 316-25 (index)

And, to leave you with some potential choices although I suggest going further afield than some of these, according to Men’s Journal on Yahoo the “15 Best Porter Beers From Across the Globe

For more history, see Cornell (2003) – Beer: The Story of the Pint and for recipes see, among many others, Lutzen & Stevens (1994) – Homebrew Favorites chap. 5, pp. 97-116 or Zainasheff and Palmer (2007) – Brewing Classic Styles which contains recipes for Baltic, brown and robust porters, including smoked and vanilla porters.

See you and your thoughts on porter—whatever that is for you—on Friday, March 4th.

Foster – Brewing Porters & Stouts

Brewing Porters & Stouts: Origins, History, and 60 Recipes for Brewing Them at Home Today by Terry Foster

Date read: 31 January – 04 February 2016
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Challenges: 2016nfc

Cover image of Foster's Brewing Porters & Stouts

Paperback, 211 pages
Published 2014 by Skyhorse
Source: Own

I loved this book! It was everything I was hoping it would be as an update to the author’s 1992 entry in the Brewers Association Classic Beer Styles Series, 5, Porter, which I reviewed here.

There is more history, a great update on the proliferation of ingredients available to the homebrewer, far more recipes, and I love the inclusion of the stouts. There are also more opinions and they are awesome. Dr. Foster is full of opinions and he tells you why and then it is up to you to choose where you stand. Most are well-reasoned and I generally agree with him.

Highly recommended!

Table of Contents:

  • Introduction
  • Chapter 1: How It All Began…And Nearly Ended
  • Chapter 2: Porter and Stout Definitions
  • Chapter 3: Porter and Stout Raw Materials
  • Chapter 4: The Other Ingredients
  • Chapter 5: Brewing Porters and Stouts—Recipes
  • Selected Bibliography

Introduction

“I started brewing my own beer in Britain, just as the craft of homebrewing was beginning to be revived, then moved to the United States just as homebrewing was legalized here. I have therefore lived through two homebrewing revolutions, and of course through the great craft brewing revolution here. The quality of beer I can now produce at home, and that of those craft beers I can buy, has improved dramatically. Proudly numbered among all these new beers are many porters, stouts, and their sub-styles, and new variations on these are appearing almost daily. Therefore, it seemed that this was a good time to review those styles, their histories, and their brewing methodologies” (2).

Chapter 1: How It All Began…And Nearly Ended

“Since this book is essentially about brewing porters and stouts, I needed to condense this history, and have chosen to do so in a fairly loose chronological manner. That means there may be some omissions of material that other brewing historians consider to be significant enough to be included. I have limited the number of references in the text for reasons of brevity, and have instead appended a list of some of my sources. Note that some of the points I make are purely of my opinion, although I have endeavored to base them on as much fact and general brewing knowledge as possible. I make no apology for this; rather, I hope I might stimulate some intriguing debates on them!” (7-8).

The history of porter and stout is broken into sections by century, from the eighteenth to the twenty-first.

There are a couple times here and elsewhere, and I have seen it in other books, where he writes something like, “And in 1875, Whitbread, for the first time, brewed more ale than porter or stout” (33). What?! They are ales. Were they not thought of that way earlier? And I do believe this sort of thing crops up historically or when writing about beer history so perhaps so. Or is this simply an ‘ales other than stouts and porters’ thing? I believe I got the point in this case and often do when this kind of reference crops up but it seems disconcerting. If it is the case that they were definitely not considered ales in, say, the eighteenth century I think making that explicit would go a long way towards educating the reader. Very small point, I concede.

Chapter 2: Porter and Stout Definitions

This section discusses the style parameters, from the perspective of the Brewers Association, the Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP), and his own. He discusses where they overlap and where they disagree. For instance, he does not consider smoked porter to be its own substyle but merely a variant (53). From this he narrows down the styles/substyles he will be discussing in the rest of the book and providing recipes for.

“I am therefore going to stick to considering the nine designations of brown, robust, and Baltic porters, along with dry, sweet, oatmeal, foreign extra, American, and Imperial stouts. Since most of them have demonstrable historical pedigrees (even the American stout), these categories are useful as a way of looking at these beers. However, they do not include every variety of porter available commercially (let alone those brewed at home)” (53).

From this he goes on to provide sections on each of these nine, plus a couple page discussion of flavored porters and stouts.

Chapter 3: Porter and Stout Raw Materials

This chapter covers malt (and other grist products) primarily, with a small diversion into a few flavorings (lactose, licorice, vanilla, coffee, chocolate, and ‘barrels’). Hops, water and yeast are covered in the next chapter.

The ‘malts’ covered go from the general to the very specific, while he covers how much of what to use in all of the assorted styles he is discussing. They include: base malts (including Vienna and Munich), malt extract, specialty malts (caramel/crystal, Special B, two particular biscuit malts, Special roast malt, Melanoidin, amber, brown, chocolate, black, roasted barley, flaked barley, oat malt/flakes, rye malt, and smoked malts. Foster also includes a section on making your own amber and brown malt.

Chapter 4: The Other Ingredients

Hops, yeast, water, and finings get the Foster treatment here.

Chapter 5: Brewing Porters and Stouts—Recipes

For many this will be the gist of the book and I do look forward to making use of it but, so far, I believe I have and will get the most value from his thoughts in chapter 3 on malts and other grist ingredients.

For each style/substyle he discusses he has included several recipes. These include a couple of all-grain ones and a couple extract and extract plus partial mash recipes per style. After that is a section he entitles, “My Ten Most Interesting Recipes.” Five of these are historical recreations (as best as possible) and the other five he says “are based on modern craft-brewed beers” (189).

At the end of this chapter is his addendum to recipes where he discusses carbonation, kegging, bottling, and stout dispense and nitrogen gas.

One thing not included, unlike in his previous work, are recipes for one-barrel batches. Craft brewers (and homebrewers wanting more than 5-gallon batches) would be on their own to scale up the recipes. Personally, I find that a fair tradeoff for all of the new and updated information, the additional recipes, and the inclusions of the stouts. Recipe scaling information can be found elsewhere.    

Selected Bibliography

This bibliography is much more extensive than the one in the Classic Beer Styles Series from 1992 but he also cites a fair few works in the text that are not listed in the back. This is not an exhaustive list by any means, nor does he intend it to be. Nonetheless, it is several times longer than the one in the 1992 work.

Final comments

Again, I loved this book and I highly recommend it to anyone interested in the brewing of stouts and porters. I will be visiting and revisiting it, no doubt.

This is my favorite book of 2015 so far. It may seem a tad early to make this claim but I did write “so far.” I have also completed 25 books so far this year so not a completely absurd statement.

This is the 6th book in my Nonfiction Reading Challenge hosted at The Introverted Reader

Allen and Cantwell – Barley Wine

Barley Wine: History, Brewing Techniques, Recipes (Classic Beer Styles series no. 11) by Fal Allen and Dick Cantwell

Date read: 26 February – 04 March 2015

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Image of cover of Barley Wine: History, Brewing Techniques, Recipes (Classic Beer Styles series no. 11) by Fal Allen and Dick Cantwell

Paperback, 198 pages

Published 1998 by Brewers Publications

Source: Own

Fal Allen is currently the head brewer at Anderson Valley Brewing Co. (AVBC). You can see more of his brewing background at that link. Dick Cantwell was one of the co-founders of Elysian Brewing in 1996 and is still their head brewer.

Contents:

  • Acknowledgments
  • Introduction
  • Chapter 1: The History of Barley Wine
  • Chapter 2: The Flavor Profile of Barley Wine
  • Chapter 3: The Five Elements: Malt, Hops, Yeast, Water, and Time
  • Chapter 4: The Brewing Process
  • Chapter 5: Professional Barely Wine Breweries
  • Chapter 6: Recipes
  • Appendix A: Festivals
  • Appendix B; Troubleshooting
  • Appendix C: U.S. and Canadian Barely Wine Breweries
  • Appendix D: Unit Conversion Chart
  • Glossary
  • Further Reading
  • Bibliography
  • Index
  • About the Authors

NB: Publication date 1998. At the time perhaps it made sense, but 17 years later App. C is kind of useless. Chap. 5 is better in that we get some data and descriptions, so even if the beer or brewery are long gone it still provides some context, especially compared to the others in the rest of the chapter. [This book is no. 11 in the series and no. 10 Stout (see below) also has an appendix “Commercial Stout Breweries,” which seems of the same limited value and ends with “Note: This is only a partial listing of the numerous brewers of stout.” You think?]

Introduction

“These days barley wine brewing is alive and well, if somewhat besieged in its native Britain. Its history is not continuous or easy to trace. Studying barley wine is like following footprints which disappear and reappear, forking and veering, stamping for a time in a circle and then dispersing, leaving trails that seem to go cold and then suddenly present a host of destinations. It’s an enterprise requiring a few leaps of courage and fancy simply to consider the widely variant examples and information that is part of the same theoretically coherent style. We will challenge and define the parameters of barley wine, examining every stage of the brewing process to wring the utmost from ingredients, equipment, and procedures. We will explore the contributions of each of brewing’s basic raw materials, including one not ordinarily considered—time. We will also offer practical hints based on our own home and professional brewing experience” (Introduction, 6-7).

Chapter 1: The History of Barley Wine

Seems reasonable. Anyone aware of other histories of barley wine? I like that we’re off to an inclusive start.

Chapter 2: The Flavor Profile of Barley Wine

Covers a lot of ground fairly succinctly.

“There are, in fact, a number of proper versions of the style, each with a historical and geographical precedent, and each matching the original qualities” (31).

Includes: alcohol, color and clarity, hops, age, yeast and other influences, conditioning and carbonation; “families” of barley wines: The Trent, the Thames, and Others: English Barley Wine Brewing; The Northeastern United States—The Great Between; Northwestern Barley Wines; Other Beers Defying Classification.

The “Other Beers Defying Classification” section was interesting in that it told me that Michael Jackson considered Russian Imperial stout to be a dark barley wine. I just checked his The World Guide to Beer and sure enough, pages 170-171 are “Russian stout and barley wines” (1977, First american ed.). I did not remember that. Perhaps partly due to the fact that it was many years later before I had tasted either style. I am not saying I agree with Michael, though. His reasoning was a little loose.

This section also reminded me that “in Stout, Michael Lewis considers imperial stout such a break from traditional stout styles that he devotes to it only a brief discussion (Lewis 1995)” (50). That’s right. I can find almost nothing on Imperials in it. That’s my biggest gripe with Stout. But back to this book.

Chapter 3: The Five Elements: Malt, Hops, Yeast, Water, and Time

I like how they bring out in the section on “Pale Malt” that English pale malt is best (with Maris Otter at the top) because “it has a more complex flavor than American malts, which are generally malted to microbrewery specifications” (55). That is soon to change, although mostly likely remain sparsely dispersed and very small-scale for a long while. Micromalting. Heirloom and landrace barleys. Barleys not even suspected by the macros.

Photo of emblem for the High Desert Museum exhibit Brewing Culture: The Craft of Beer

We went to the last panel discussion at the High Desert Museum as part of their exhibit, Brewing Culture: The Craft of Beer. It was Feb. 19th and this was its remit:

“Join us for a dynamic conversation with Seth Klann of Mecca Grade Estate Malt to learn how barley is farmed and malted in the High Desert. Klann will be joined by Scott Fish a barley breeding researcher and resident malster at OSU and Dustin Herb, a graduate research assistant in OSU’s Department of Crop and Soil Science whose work is on barley and malting.”

The researchers actually went first with Seth finishing before questions for everyone. Mecca Grade Estate Malt. We have locally grown barley and a micromalting facility in Central Oregon. I know there are a few around the country. Michigan, for sure. Colorado somewhere? New York? Montana? Barley region states anyway.

For far more information on this panel discussion of malt see “The day I learned about barley.”

Hmm. Ambled away from the topic at hand again.

This chapter covers some ground but does it fairly efficiently: The Malt Bill: Pale Malt, Specialty Malts, Adjuncts; Hops: Boiling Hops, Finishing Hops; Yeast: Yeast Flavor, Alcohol Tolerance, Attenuation, Flocculation, Oxygen; Water; Aging; Packaged Beer; Wood.

Chapter 4: The Brewing Process

Let’s just say that if you want to brew your first barley wine you perhaps had best read this chapter. I’m not saying it is the last word, by any means. But it gives you a good idea of how much you’ll be taxing your knowledge, your system, your ingredients and your processes.

Chapter 5: Professional Barely Wine Breweries

Provides the specifications, and variably some notes or description, on twenty barley wines, beginning with Bass No. 1. The specs provided are slightly variable and/or not available for some pieces of data on each beer. Basically: Name, Brewer, Original Gravity, Terminal Gravity, ABV, IBU, Hop Variety, Malt, Mash, Boil, Fermentation Temperature, Yeast, Fermentation Time and Aging.

Some of the other beers are Sierra Nevada Bigfoot, Fuller’s Golden Pride, Anchor Old Foghorn (1996), Thomas Hardy (1989), and Hair of the Dog Adambier.

Chapter 6: Recipes

Eleven recipes “from a wide-range of brewers and brewing backgrounds” (131) are presented and each is sized for both 5 gallons and 1 barrel. Some of the brewers are Ray Daniels, Charlie Papazian, George & Laurie Fix, Fred Eckhardt, and Randy Mosher.

Appendix A: Festivals

Clearly several more by now and The Brickskeller is closed.

Appendix B: Troubleshooting

From stuck fermentation to stuck mash and other issues in-between.

Appendix C: U.S. and Canadian Barely Wine Breweries

No doubt it was partial then; now not so much interesting even as an historical document since we have no idea of the scope of its limitations to begin with.

Appendix D: Unit Conversion Chart

Glossary

Not even sure half of those terms are in the book. And they’re mostly not indexed soit  makes it hard to verify.

For now I am recommending this book. The issues I have pointed out above are inherent in any text like this that becomes dated. My single caveat for otherwise not wholeheartedly recommending it is that I have yet to brew from it. Based on other things I have read their recommendations seem sound but I have not tested any of them in practice. Take that as you will.

This is the 15th book in my Traditional Chesterfield armchair

Citations

Lewis, Michael. Stout. First American ed. Boulder, Colo.: Brewers Publications, 1995. Print. Classic Beer Style Series, 10.

Cross-posted at habitually probing generalist for purposes of the above reading challenge.

Beer and Brewing vol. 8

Beer and brewing: National Conference on Quality Beer and Brewing, 1988 transcriptsVirginia Thomas; Brewers Publications 1988WorldCatLibraryThingGoogle BooksBookFinderBeer and Brewing vol. 8 is composed of the edited transcripts of the National Conference on Quality Beer and Brewing, held in Denver, CO, June 1988 (ed., Virginia Thomas).

My 4-star goodreads review was short and sweet: A bit dated now but it is interesting to see when/where some ideas arose/evolved.

I’ll try to do a bit better here, although I’m not making any promises other than you get the table of contents and some of my notes.

Read 5-28 October 2014

Contents:

  • Acknowledgments
  • Foreword
  • 1. Ten Years of Homebrewing – Charlie Papazian
  • 2. Sensory Evaluation for Brewers – Jean-Xavier Guinard and Ian Robertson
  • 3. Issues in All-Grain Brewing – Dave Miller
  • 4. Aroma Identification – Charlie Papazian and Gregory Noonan
  • 5. The Excitement Is Brewing – Hans Bilger
  • 6. Improved Record-Keeping – Randy Mosher
  • 7. Bavarian Breweries – Prince Luitpold von Bayern
  • 8. Making Amazing Mead – Leon Havill
  • 9. Brewpubs of Austria – Baron Henrik Bachofen von Echt
  • 10. Beer for Lunch – Michael Jackson
  • 11. Hop Flavor in Beer – Dr. George Fix
  • 12. Beer Formulation – Daniel Carey

Jumping in…

1. Ten Years of Homebrewing – Charlie Papazian

lists his 5 foundational texts for homebrewing [very perfunctorily] 4-5

He published Joy of Brewing in 1976

Mostly a personal recollection of his previous 10+ years in homebrewing and possibilities for the future.

2. Sensory Evaluation for Brewers – Jean-Xavier Guinard and Ian Robertson

Sensory Evaluation as a Research Tool

The Notion of Experimental Design

The Choice of the Proper Sensory Test(s)

     2 main types: analytical-laboratory and consumer tests

         analytical: if there is a difference b/w beers, & nature & magnitude of diff 20

         consumer: acceptance, degree of liking, and preference 20

     Analytical Tests

     Consumer Tests

         “Fortunately, the pioneering work of Meilgaard, Pangborn, Clapperton, Mecredy, Neilson, and others has given an edge in sensory evaluation to the brewing industry and the literature is now virtually error-free.” 24

     Statistics: Friend or Foe?

     Sensory Evaluation as a Quality Control and Trouble-shooting Tool

     Preparation of Reference Standards for Flavor Profiling

Includes a table of flavor descriptor and how to make them cheaply. Also provides proper citations for all of those pioneering works mentioned.

3. Issues in All-Grain Brewing – Dave Miller

Interesting and lots of possibly good advice.

4. Aroma Identification – Charlie Papazian and Gregory Noonan

Provides an introduction to the ASBC Flavor Wheel as developed my Meilgaard, et al., amongst other aroma identification issues and topics.

5. The Excitement Is Brewing – Hans Bilger

Another interesting personal story. This one by a German brewmaster in a tiny brewery in Kentucky.

6. Improved Record-Keeping – Randy Mosher

A report, of sorts, on the book The Brewer’s Workbook, which was being published. 101

Some nice things to keep in mind and other “fudge factors”

7. Bavarian Breweries – Prince Luitpold von Bayern

8. Making Amazing Mead – Leon Havill

9. Brewpubs of [in] Austria – Baron Henrik Bachofen von Echt [TOC and chapter title differ.]

10. Beer for Lunch – Michael Jackson

A lunchtime food and beer pairing led by MJ.

11. Hop Flavor in Beer – Dr. George Fix

Kettle utilization 191

12. Beer Formulation – Daniel Carey

Goes through the formulation of a Maibock.

Final comments:

As you can see, there is a great diversity of topics here. It is worth reading as a snapshot of a time and while there is still much valuable information in it, much of it is dated. For instance, the ASBC Flavor Wheel has been updated since then, I believe. [I have read most of the foundational literature—especially Meilgaard and Meilgaard with others.]

I found my copy used at Browser’s Bookstore, Corvallis, Oregon and paid a total of $3.00 for it. It was a good value at that price. Any more would begin to be questionable; for me, anyway. Updated information is widely available on many of these topics, often from many of these same folks.

Some Things Read, Beer ed.

This post is my entry for Let’s Go Long in November or #beerylongreads hosted by Boak and Bailey’s Beer Blog. The goal is to go for 2000+ words on some topic related to beer. I do have a long post / article / something that I am working on but I am fairly confident that my research will not be done by 30 November so I am going to pull out a variation on an old trick from my original non-beer blog.

I used to have a weekly post called “Some things read this week.” Drop that in the search box at habitually probing generalist or simply click this link and you’ll find those posts. Of course, those were almost entirely library and information science related so perhaps you really don’t need or want to.

I have been collecting articles of interest on the world of beer for a while now. Some I have read; many I have not. Some are single finds that I found in my intermittent searches of article databases, some have been sent to me, and some are citations that I tracked down from books and articles read. I may also include book chapters where I did not read an entire book but only scanned a chapter or two. [Above written 12 Nov]

I am going to try a rough, but certainly inadequate, categorization with groupings of Health, Taste, Brewing, Archaeology and Assorted.

Health

§ Is Beer-Drinking Injurious? Science, Vol. 9, No. 206 (Jan. 14, 1887), pp. 24-25. Published by: American Association for the Advancement of Science. Article Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1761606

I am going to lead off with one I wrote about back in March since it is simply so wonderful. I have yet to read the full paper that the short article in Science is based on but I still hope to some day. The short Science piece, all of which is reproduced on my blog at that link, is quite the doozy.

§ Casey, Troy R, and Charles W Bamforth. 2010. “Silicon in Beer and Brewing.” Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture 90 (5) (April 15): 784–788. doi:10.1002/jsfa.3884. http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jsfa.3884. Read 10 November 2013. Found while helping a student with a chemistry assignment. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/jsfa.3884/full

“The purpose of this study was to measure silicon in a diversity of beers and ascertain the grist selection and brewing factors that impact the level of silicon obtained in beer” (abstract). There is no RDA for silicon but the “dietary intake of silicon in the USA is about 20-50 mg day” (784). Among some of the uses of silicon in humans is to promote increased bone mineral density, increase type I collagen synthesis, and protect from the toxic effects of aluminum ( 784; WebMD Silicon).

They tested 100 commercial examples, many of which came from “smaller independent breweries” (785). Average silicon was 29.4 ppm, which was much higher than the averages found in two previous studies (19.2 ppm / 18.7 ppm) which they attributed to those craft breweries use of more malt (785, 784). Pale malts have the highest concentration of silicon, the majority of which resides in the husk (786). Hops can have as much a four times the silicon as barley but so little is used it does not have a big effect on overall silicon levels in beer (786). As you may guess, craft beer IPAs contained the most silicon due to their large amount of paler malts and the large amount of hops (785). There was also a brewing component to this study which I will let you look into on your own. They concluded that “Beer is a substantial source of silicon in the diet” (788). Drink beer—moderately, of course—for strong bones and other health-related benefits.

§ Wright, C. A., C. M. Bruhn, H. Heymann, and Charles W Bamforth. 2008. “Beer Consumers’ Perceptions of the Health Aspects of Alcoholic Beverages.” Journal of Food Science 73 (1): H12–H17. OSU – Wiley-Blackwell. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1750-3841.2007.00574.x. Read 19 April 2013/Re-read 26 November 2013.

This article discusses an examination of the perceptions consumers have of the health benefits and nutritional value of the moderate consumption of alcohol. Focus groups were used to identify themes which “led directly to the style and content of the consumer survey” (H13). The survey was “conducted at large commercial breweries at 3 locations: northern California (West Coast), eastern Missouri (Midwest), and southern New Hampshire (East Coast)” (H13). The study measured “consumers’ perceptions of the healthfulness of alcoholic beverages based on their color or appearance; consumers’ drivers of choice for alcoholic beverages; consumers’ perceptions of the content of alcoholic beverages; consumers’ sources of nutritional and health information; the credibility of these sources of nutritional and health information; consumers’ beliefs about alcohol’s role in a healthy lifestyle; and the potential impact of nutritional and health information on consumers’ actions” (H12).

They rankings for perception of healthfulness of 6 alcoholic beverages was as follows (perceived healthiest to least so): Red wines, whites wines, “light” beers, light colored beers, dark colored beers, and regular beers (H13-14). This was the same for males and females. The 14 factors in choosing an alcoholic beverage varies significantly between males and females and also by age (age groups were 21 to 30, and 30+), although taste was the #1 driver (H14). The most frequent source of health and nutritional information was doctors and magazines, with 11 other sources trailing; though, this varied by location, age and gender (H14-15). “People’s knowledge of the content of alcoholic beverages was limited” (H15). That is an understatement. This varied mostly by age, with the 21-30s being particularly confused about what is in wine, beer, tequila or vodka. Although if you look at the %s in the charts for each the 30+s have no legs to stand on either (H15-16). On a more positive note, “[t]he majority of volunteers, 75%, believed that the moderate consumption of alcohol can be beneficial to your health. Fewer than 3% … believed that this statement [was] false and 22% were not sure how they felt about the statement” (H16). There is a lot more data here and it is interesting to note much of it. They advocate for nutritional labeling on alcoholic beverages so that consumers can make more informed choices.

Taste

§ Langstaff, Susan A., and M. J. Lewis. 1993. “The Mouthfeel of Beer – A Review.” Journal of the Institute of Brewing 99 (February): 31–37. Read 13-15 November 2013. Cited in Bamforth, ed., Brewing: new technologies, ch. 20, “Brewing control systems: sensory evaluation” by W. J. Simpson, p. 434.

This is basically a literature review of “the development of terminology and methods to describe [mouthfeel] and studies of the physical and chemical properties which may contribute to it” (abstract). It is organized into three sections: 1. Development of Beer Mouthfeel Terminology, 2. Physical and Chemical Parameters Which May Contribute to Beer Mouthfeel, and 3. Mouthfeel Studies Using Beverages and Beer. Subsections include History and Beer Flavor Wheel in the first section; and Foam Head, Carbon Dioxide, “Protein” (Polypeptides), Polyphenols, Chloride, Dextrins, β-Glucan, Viscosity, Alcohol, Glycerol, and Caveat in the second. The third section has no subsections.

It is a fairly short article that sadly doesn’t do much other than critique previous studies. I wish it had provided a few more definitive comments about mouthfeel or, at a minimum, had proposed further studies to further elucidate the impact of the physical and chemical properties mentioned and how they actually do or do not impact mouthfeel. According to Simpson, this is the paper that led to the modification of the Beer Flavor Wheel to include a separate mouthfeel section.

§ Gruber, Mary Anne. 2001. “The Flavor Contributions of Kilned and Roasted Products to Finished Beer Styles.” Technical Quarterly 38 (4): 227–233. http://www.fantastic-flavour.com/files-downloads/beer_flavour_wheel.pdf. Cited by Thomas, “Beer How It’s Made – The Basics of Brewing” in Liquid Bread, p. 38 Read 14 November 2013; re-read 18 November 2013.

Based on a poster presented at the MBAA Guadalajara Convention, 2001. A short, 6-page-plus article with lots of pictures and illustrations which reviews “the wide spectrum of specialty malts available and the contribution of specialty malt flavors to finely crafted specialty beers” (abstract). The introduction covers flavor and the Beer Flavor Wheel. “The Specialty Malting Process” covers exactly what it says. “Flavor Contribution (1)” covers kilned, high temp kilned and wheat malt. “Flavor Contribution (2)” covers roasted malts. “Flavor Contribution (3)” covers kilned and roasted malts. “Flavor Contribution (4)” covers roasted barley. The summary wraps things up. All-in-all, this short article contains a fair bit of useful knowledge if you aren’t already well-versed in specialty malts.

Brewing

§ Sancho, Daniel, Carlos A. Blanco, Isabel Caballero, and Ana Pascual. 2011. “Free Iron in Pale, Dark and Alcohol-free Commercial Lager Beers.” Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture 91 (6) (April 1): 1142–1147. doi:10.1002/jsfa.4298. http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jsfa.4298. Read 13 November 2013. Found while helping a student with a chemistry assignment.

This study compared the amount of free iron in pale, dark and alcohol-free beers in order to find a “highly sensitive, selective, rapid, reliable and inexpensive method” to measure free iron in beer (abstract). They looked at 40 lager beers (28 pale, 6 dark, 6 alcohol-free) and found the highest levels in dark beers, followed by pale, with the lowest levels in alcohol-free beers (average: 121 ppb dark, 92 ppb pale, 63 ppb alcohol-free) (1143, 1144-45). They then go on to speculate as to why the numbers are as the found them whether due to production processes or ingredients used. As they state, “It is very useful to know the free iron content in beer since it plays an important role as a catalyst in the oxidation of organic compounds that are responsible for the stability and flavour in beers” (1144). I would be particularly interested in seeing the method developed in this study used to measure the free iron in various ales, especially big NW IPAs with all of their hops and in big stouts and Imperial stouts.

§ Coghe, Stefan, Hélène D’Hollander, Hubert Verachtert, and Freddy R. Delvaux. 2005. “Impact of Dark Specialty Malts on Extract Composition and Wort Fermentation.” Journal of the Institute of Brewing 111 (1) (January 1): 51–60. doi:10.1002/j.2050-0416.2005.tb00648.x. http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/j.2050-0416.2005.tb00648.x. Read 21 November 2013. Cited by Casey & Bamforth 2010, “Silicon in beer and brewing,” (see above).

An interesting article that looks at “the influence of dark specialty malts on wort fermentation. More specifically, the availability of yeast nutrients, the course of the fermentation and the formation of flavour-active compounds were investigated” (59). As for reduced attenuation in dark worts, it was found that lower levels of fermentable carbohydrates and reduced amino acids were the prime reason, although Maillard compounds also affect fermentation (59). Flavor-active yeast metabolites are also affected by dark malts (59). The authors claim that brewers should not worry about these results as the levels of dark malts used are way beyond what are used in practice and thus the findings are only of scientific relevance. “Thus, in normal brewing practice, no drastically reduced fermentation rates and ester profiles should be expected” (59). They suggest some further research that would help explicate some of their findings to a greater degree.

Archaeology

§ Samuel, Delwen. 1996. “Archaeology of Ancient Egyptian Beer.” Journal of the American Society of Brewing Chemists 54 (1): 3–12. Single Journals. doi:10.1094/ASBCJ-54-0003. Read 22 November 2013. Cited in “Beer in Prehistoric Europe” by Hans-Peter Stika, in Liquid Bread, p. 57. Google Scholar.

A fascinating article from 1996 which I hoped had been followed up on but I have been unable so far to find anything further from the “ancient Egyptian beer project” as “sponsored by Scottish and Newcastle Breweries plc and carried out under the aegis of the Egypt Exploration Society” (4). There are a lot of articles which cite this one and are, in effect, followups but those are quite specific to a narrow scientific technique of analysis and not of the more general “this is how our model has evolved based on further studies.” Sections consist of the Abstract, introduction, Archaeological Approaches to Ancient Egyptian Brewing, Cereals Used for Brewing, The Search for Brewing Processes, The Case for Malting, Malting Procedures, Ancient Egyptian Brewing: Single System or Two-Part Process?, Future Research, Acknowledgments, and Literature Cited. In each case, they present evidence ranging from scanning electron microscopy to linguistics, and address the strengths and weaknesses of the techniques and the interpretations derived therefrom.

Assorted

§ DeLyser, D. Y., and W. J. Kasper. 1994. “Hopped Beer: The Case for Cultivation.” Economic Botany 48 (2) (April 1): 166–170. doi:10.2307/4255609. http://www.jstor.org/stable/4255609. Read 27 November 2013. Cited in Bamforth (ed.) Brewing: New technologies, ch. 5 The breeding of hop, p. 102 and 103.

Looks at the available documentary evidence in an attempt “to distill from available evidence a chronology of the early use of hops in beer, its domestication, and worldwide dispersion” (166). From it we learn of some of the other uses for hops, including as a salad vegetable, to cultivate wild yeast, as household ornamental plants, woven as linen, as a hair rinse for brunettes, as a yellow dye, as bedding and insulation and as packing material, among others (167).

The first documentary evidence of hop usage in beer is the Statutae Abbattiae Corbej (822 A.D.) and not St. Hildegard’s usually ascribed Physica Sacra, of ca. 1150 A.D. (168). “The first actual record of cultivated hops comes from documents in the annals of the Abbey of Freisingen in Bavaria (859 to 875 A.D. and onwards) which mentions orchards with hop gardens” (169). Based on this and other evidence they infer that hop use in beer was followed by cultivation, which was driven by demand, and that it was the use in beer which led to cultivation and not something else.

§ Baxter, Alan G. 2001. “Louis Pasteur’s Beer of Revenge.” Nature Reviews Immunology 1 (3) (December): 229–232. Nature Journals Online. doi:10.1038/35105083. http://www.nature.com.ezproxy.proxy.library.oregonstate.edu/nri/journal/v1/n3/abs/nri1201-229a.html. Read 15 November 2013. Cited in “Beer and Beer Culture in Germany” by Franz Meussdoerffer, in Liquid Bread, p. 68.

Short article that informs us about Pasteur and his hatred for Germany due to the Franco-Prussian War. We learn about some of his microbiological work, along with learning about a few of his supporters and detractors, and Pasteur’s “beer of revenge.” The author seems to imply in closing that Pasteur was successful:

“His ‘beer of revenge’ was so successful that to this day, very little German beer is exported, even though some are widely regarded as being among the best in the world. The irony is that the German breweries rendered idle by Pasteur’s strategy were eventually adapted to manufacture acetone for cordite production. So, Pasteur’s vengeance indirectly helped to equip Germany for their attack on France in the First World War” (232).

Whut?! What German beer factories were rendered idle? What strategy? Being a dick to Germans and refusing to allow a translation of his Studies on Fermentation into German? I am pretty certain that it had probably been translated a couple of times into German, whether or not it had been commercially. Did the writer make this ridiculous claim so that he could use the word “ironic”? It also seems to me that those claims about factories need a citation. I don’t doubt that some breweries were converted to cordite production but that’s not the kind of claim you can just throw out without support in an immunology journal.

Germany may not be the biggest exporter of beer but let us compare a few statistics on French and German beer that are fairly contemporaneous with when the author’s claim was made (from Bamforth, Charles W. 2009. Beer: Tap into the Art and Science of Brewing. 3rd ed. Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press.):

From Table 1.2 Worldwide Brewing and Beer Statistics (2004)

From Table 1.2 Worldwide Brewing and Beer Statistics (2004)

There are only two countries in this chart even close to Germany’s export numbers: Mexico (14.5) and Netherlands (13.0). That made Germany the #2 exporter of beer worldwide in 2004. How the hell was Pasteur’s ‘beer of revenge’ successful?

From Table 1.3 Growth or Decline in Beer Volume (Million hl) Since 1970

From Table 1.3 Growth or Decline in Beer Volume (Million hl) Since 1970

Interesting and informative article. I simply do not know what to say about its conclusion.

Here are some articles that I did not get to this time. Perhaps in another edition of #beerylongreads or simply as an infrequent Some Things Read This Week. Time will tell.

Health

  • “Fiber and putative prebiotics in beer” – Bamforth & Gambill
  • “Beer and wine consumers’ perceptions of the nutritional value of alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages” – Wright, et al.
  • “Is beer consumption related to measures of abdominal and general obesity? – Bendsen, et al.

Taste

  • “Reference Standards for Beer Flavor Terminology” – Meilgaard, et al.
  • “Beer Flavor Terminology” – Meilgaard, et al.
  • “Investigating consumers’ representations of beers through a free association task: A comparison between packaging and blind conditions” – Sester, et al.
  • “Expertise and memory for beers and olfactory compounds” – Valentin, et al. “Do trained assessors generalize their knowledge to new stimuli?” – Chollet, et al.
  • “Impact of Training on Beer Flavor Perception and Description: Are Trained and Untrained Subjects Really Different?” – Chollet & Valentin
  • “Attempts to Train Novices for Beer Flavor Discrimination: A Matter of Taste.” – Peron & Allen
  • “Sort and beer: Everything you wanted to know about the sorting task but did not dare to ask” – Chollet, et al.
  • “What is the validity of the sorting task for describing beers? A study using trained and untrained assessors” – Lelièvre, et al.

Brewing

  • “The history of beer additives in Europe — A review” – Behre
  • “Studies on the Effect of Mechanical Agitation on the Performance of Brewing Fermentations: Fermentation Rate, Yeast Physiology, and Development of Flavor Compounds” – Boswell, et al.

Archaeology

  • “Brewing an Ancient Beer” – Katz and Maytag

Assorted

  • “Drinking Beer in a Blissful Mood” – Jennings, et al.
  • ““Beer, Glorious Beer”: Gender Politics and Australian Popular Culture.” – Kirkby
  • “Women & Craft Beer: Are You Making the Connection?” – Johnson “Beer Color Using Tristimulus Analysis” – Cornell

And others.

Well, this concludes my post. This should be somewhere above 3100 words so I am calling it accomplished.

Bibliography for Bend Beer Librarian Book Talk for Central Oregon Beer Week

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These are the books that I will discuss/discussed during my book talk at Broken Top Bottle Shop & Ale Café on Monday, 20 May 2013 during Central Oregon Beer Week.

Categories

  • General
  • Beer porn
  • Beer & Food
  • Reference
  • Beer business
  • Historical, etc.
  • Breweriana
  • Trivia & Games
  • Regional Guidebook
  • Beer fiction

Bibliography

Note: DPL refers to Deschutes Public Library and COCC to Central Oregon Community College Barber Library.

Anderson, Will. 1973. The Beer Book; an Illustrated Guide to American Breweriana. Princeton [N.J.]: Pyne Press. [Breweriana]

Anheuser-Busch, Inc. 1978. The Beer Cans of Anheuser-Busch: An Illustrated History. 1st ed. [St. Louis]: Anheuser-Busch.

Bamforth, Charles W. 2009. Beer: Tap into the Art and Science of Brewing. Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press. [General]

Bamforth, Charles W. 2009. Brewmaster’s Art: the History and Science of Beermaking. 7 sound discs (7 hr.) : digital ; 4 3/4 in. + 1 course guide (48 p. : col. ill. ; 22 cm.). Modern Scholar. Prince Frederick, MD: Recorded Books. [DPL 641.873 BAMFORTH CHARLES] [General]

Beaumont, Stephen. 2000. Premium Beer Drinker’s Guide. Willowdale, Ont.; Buffalo, N.Y.: Firefly Books. [DPL 641.23 Beaumont] [Beer porn]

Bernstein, Joshua M. 2011. Brewed Awakening: Behind the Beers and Brewers Leading the World’s Craft Brewing Revolution. New York: Sterling Epicure. [DPL 663.43 BERNSTEIN JOSHUA] [General/Beer porn/Beer business]

Calagione, Sam. 2011. Brewing up a Business: Adventures in Beer from the Founder of Dogfish Head Craft Brewery. Revised & Updated. Hoboken, N.J.: Wiley. [COCC HD 9397 .D644 C35 2011] [Beer business]

Cole, Melissa. 2011. Let Me Tell You About Beer. London [England]: Pavilion. [DPL 641.23 Cole] [General/Beer porn]

Eames, Alan D. 1995. Secret Life of Beer: Legends, Lore & Little-known Facts. Pownal, Vt.: Storey Communications. [COCC TP 577 .E27 1995] [Trivia & Games]

Ettlinger, Steve, and Marty Nachel. 2011. Beer For Dummies. For Dummies. http://www.myilibrary.com?id=340229. [DPL ebook] [General]

Fletcher, Janet Kessel. 2013. Cheese & Beer. Kansas City, MO: Andrew McMeel Publishing. [Beer & Food]

Hornsey, Ian S., and Royal Society of Chemistry (Great Britain). 2003. A History of Beer and Brewing. Cambridge: Royal Society of Chemistry. [History, etc./Reference]

Jackson, Michael. 1977. The World Guide to Beer: The Brewing Styles, the Brands, the Countries. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall. [General/Beer porn]

Kenning, David. 2005. Beers of the World: over 350 Classic Beers, Lagers, Ales, and Porters. Bath, UK: Parragon Pub. [DPL 641.23 KENNING DAVID] [Beer porn]

Morrison, Lisa M. 2011. Craft Beers of the Pacific Northwest: A Beer Lover’s Guide to Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia. Portland, Or.: Timber Press. [DPL 641.23 MORRISON LISA] [Regional Guidebook]

Mosher, Randy. 2009. Tasting Beer: an Insider’s Guide to the World’s Greatest Drink. North Adams, MA: Storey Pub. [DPL 641.23 MOSHER RANDY] [General]

Oliver, Garrett. 2005. The Brewmaster’s Table: Discovering the Pleasures of Real Beer with Real Food. New York: HarperCollins. [Beer & Food]

Oliver, Garrett, ed. 2012. The Oxford Companion to Beer. New York: Oxford University Press. [DPL 641.23 OXFORD] [Reference]

Perozzi, Christina, and Hallie Beaune. 2009. The Naked Pint: an Unadulterated Guide to Craft Beer. New York, N.Y.: Perigee Book. [DPL 641.623 PEROZZI CHRISTINA] [General]

Robbins, Tom. 2009. B Is for Beer. New York, NY: Ecco. [Beer fiction]

Schiefenhövel, Wulf, and Helen M Macbeth, ed. 2011. Liquid Bread: Beer and Brewing in Cross-cultural Perspective. Vol. 7. Anthropology of Food and Nutrition. New York: Berghahn Books. [COCC GT 2884 .L57 2011] [Historical, etc.]

Thompson, Logan. 2013. Beer Lover’s Oregon. Guilford, CT: Globe Pequot Press. [Regional Guidebook]