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Beer People Revisited

August 9, 2010

Last week, I met the president of the local homebrew club.  He happens to also provide homebrewing ingredients at rock bottom prices.  A couple of my friends had been using him as a supplier.  Since my gift certificates from the local shop are now all used up, I had no excuse not to check out his setup.

Friday after work, I headed on over to get the ingredients for a beer I intend to brew in the near future:  Amarillo Red ale.  I headed over to his house and a lively conversation about beer ensued.  As a beer lover and brewer himself, he was eager to share a few tastes of what he had on tap.  Of course, I had time to chat and sample a few beers.  🙂  First up was a wit.  It was light and refreshing… I’d love a couple of pints of that after mowing the lawn.  Next, a Belgian golden strong ale.  This one might convert wine aficionados to beer.  Smooth, yet crisp and with just enough residual sweetness to make you do a double take.

Also available, were red and brown ales the latter being something of a “mistake.”  He related the story of filling a recipe order, and ended up putting too much chocolate malt into the grain bill.  Well, he kept those grains, refilled the order, and adjusted the “mistake” to a larger batch and made a roasty, chocolatey brown ale.  The last two were a porter and a schwarzbier.  All said and done, these beers were excellent.

We chatted about ingredients and some of our favorite beers.  He too is a huge fan of the amarillo hop for flavor and aroma.  For bittering, he primarily uses magnum.  At around 14% alpha acid, you get quite the bittering punch for less cash outlay.  We also have a couple of the same books in our libraries:  Radical Brewing by Randy Mosher and Designing Great Beers by Ray Daniels.  One that he suggested, specifically for water treatment tables was Beer Captured by Mark and Tess Szamatulski.  I mentioned that I hadn’t ever treated my water when brewing.  Well, he gave me a little bit of gypsum to aid in that endeavor.

He asked about my cooling setup… immersion wort chiller.  He suggested that I back off my flavor and aroma additions by about 10 minutes to get peak flavor and aroma.

Yes, folks, people in the beer community are good people.  This by far has been my best experience ever buying my ingredients for a brew day.  I had six great samples of homebrew, and I learned a few things in the process.  If I ever get the second Thursday free on a regular basis, I’ll be going to some of those meetings.

Amarillo Red Ale

10.00 lbs.   2-Row Malt
8.00 lbs.    Munich Malt
2.00 lbs.    Biscuit Malt
2.00 lbs.    60L Crystal Malt
0.50 lbs.    120L Crystal Malt
0.25 lbs.    Chocolate Malt
1.00 oz.     Amarillo hops ,60 min
2.00 oz.     Centennial hops, 60 min
2.00 oz.     Amarillo hops, 10 min
2.00 oz.     Amarillo hops, flameout
2 pkgs.      American Ale dry yeast, Fermentis US-05
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