Equipment For Microbrews

 

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Microbrw Equipment
Microbrw Equipment

Before you can start brewing beer, you’ll need to have the right equipment.  If this is your first time brewing, you should start simple.  Before you begin, the first thing that you’ll need is a brew pot.  Before you rush out and buy one, you may already have one that will work just fine.

The pot should hold at least three gallons of
liquid.  The next thing you’ll need is a fermenter.  For the average five gallon batch, the fermenter should hold six gallons or more, allowing space for a foam that will form during the vigorous process of fermentation.

For this stage, a glass carboy or food grade
plastic bucket is often used.  You’ll also need
an airlock for your fermenter to allow the C02
to escape while also keeping the air out.  A
siphon hose is also needed to transfer beer from
the fermenter when it’s ready, without having
to mix air into it.

A bottling bucket will also help to make the
process much easier.  Bottling buckets are
similiar to fermenters, except the fact that they
have a spigot at the bottom that allows you to
fill the bottles directly, which makes the
entire process less messy and gets things done
much quicker.  You’ll also need a capper to
seal your bottles; as bottles and caps or even
a keg will be needed to store and serve your
brew.

If you look around, you may be able to find a
kit that will contain everything you need.  You
can purchase kits on the internet, many of
which offer the top quality equipment you’ll
need to brew.  All you have to do is look around
the net, as there are many different web sites
that offer equipment for microbrews.

If you don’t want to buy a kit, you can always
buy each piece of equipment seperately.  This
tends to be a bit more expensive than buying
a kit, although you’ll be able to pick each
piece of equipment yourself, without having to
take what’s included in the kit.

Once you get all of the necessary equipment
together, you should know how to use it before
you get started.  This way, you won’t run into
any problems once you start brewing.  The
equipment needed for brewing is easy to use, so
you shouldn’t have any problems.

Brewing microbrews can be both fun and exciting,
especially when you start brewing your own
creations.  You can drink the brew yourself,
or serve it to friends and family.  Microbrews
are fun to drink and create – which makes having
the proper equipment all the more while.

Home           Microbrewing equipment

Discovering Microbrews

Discovering Microbrews
Descovering Microbrews

Brewed on every continent around the world and enjoyed in every nation, beer can quench every type of thirst and go down as easily as spring water to thick, heady concoctions that resemble that of the thickest oatmeal.

Just as the gourmet blends have conquered a large portion of the coffee business, handcrafted brews continue to keep a firm hold on the most serious of beer drinkers.  There are hundreds of thousands of brews out there, which are sure to please even
the hardest to please.

When it comes to the gourmet types of microbrews,
there are some things to keep in mind.  If you
are new to microbrews and gourmet types, you’ll
find the tips below to be very beneficial.

Start light

When you go to a pub or just out to drink, you
should start off light with a basic lager, pilsner,
or wheat beer.  After that, you can work your way
towards the full flavored beers, such as porters
and Oktoberfest beers.  These can be very potent,
especially for those who don’t really drink that
much.

Starting light is also good for your overall
tolerance, as drinking light will prepare you for
the more potent drinks.  This way, you can enjoy
plenty of microbrews without having to worry
about stopping too early.

Brewpub

The ideal way to try new types of beer is to pay
a visit to a local brewpub.  Many of these small
brewery/restaurants will offer samplers, which
feature small glasses with four to five of their
most popular beers.

This way, you can experience a variety of beer
tastes without having to spend a lot of money.
Once you have tried a couple of the beers, you’ll
know what to order.

Dark beers

If you are a casual beer drinker or can handle
your tolerance, you shouldn’t be afraid in the
least to try dark beers.  The dark color doesn’t
mean that the beer is heavier or contains more
calories, it simply means that the malt in the
beer is roasted longer or roasted to a more darker
color than most.

Small business

Small businesses and small businessmen are yet
another reason to get into microbrewed beer other
than the taste.  Local microbrew producers brew
their beers in small batches, so you’ll be helping
to keep the business afloat, rather than supporting
the large giants of the industry.

When you know that your money is going to help the
little people, you’ll normally find the brew to go
down much smoother.  Small microbreweries need
all the help they can get to continue brewing,
which is reason enough to support them.  You’ll get
a great beer for your money – and you’ll be
supporting those that actually need your help.

Home      Greatest Microbrews in America

Differences Between Keg And Cask Ale

Keg And Cask Ale
Keg And Cask Ale

Over the years, keg beers have gotten a lot better.
If a cask beer is in poor condition, it’s actually
possible for a fresh keg beer to be much better
tasting.  Even though this may sound absurd, it’s
very common for someone who’s unfamiliar with cask
ale to not be able to taste the difference between
keg and cask beer.

The warm temperature that cask beer is famous for
doesn’t apply in the summer months all that often
these days, as temperature control units in pubs
have beer run through coolers.  The fact is, some
pubs will run cask ale lines through lager chillers
in order to get the beer below the maximum temperature
required, so cask ale may very well end up just as
cold as a keg lager.

This isn’t really a good thing, as ale requires a
cool rather than very cold temperature to bring out
all of its flavors.  In a well run pub however, the
cask ale will be served at the right temperature –
cool but not too cold.

The smell of cask ale is much fresher and more
wholesome than keg beer.  Keep in mind, the aroma of
cask ale doesn’t have the stored up impact of
bottled type beers, as this beer has already been
exposed to the air for a couple of days – meaning
there is no impact when you transfer it to your
beer glass.

Normally, the aroma wil be released into the air when
it has been warmed up, which will probably happen
when you get near the bottom of the glass.

The flavor of cask ale is very similiar to the aroma
in it, which is very fresh and delicate. Unlike
other bottled beers, the flavor of cask ale is
even more noticeable than the aroma.  At first,
the aroma is very slight, although the flavor
more than makes up for it.

The intensity of the flavor will depend on the style
of beer.  The CO2 bubbles themselves will have
very little flavor, therefore a mass of bursting
bubbles against your tongue will prevent the actual
beer from making contact.

With cask ale, there is little to no carbonation,
so more of the flavor will connect with your taste
buds.  You should be able to note the fruity taste
up front, with balance in the middle and bitterness
in the end.  The flavor of a cask ale is much more
noticed than keg or even bottled beer.

Bottle conditioned beers will also have this type
of flavor profile, although they’ll need to be
prepared and conditioned well in advance, meaning
that the bottle will need to be opened and allowed
to settle for a while.  Cask ales offer the
conditioning being done fro you, so you won’t need
to do it.

The most important aspect of cask ale is how it
feels in your mouth.  It shouldn’t be fizzy.  If it
is, it’s either a keg beer or a cask ale that’s
been put on too soon.  There will be a natural feel
in the beer, a life that makes you want to drink it.

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Clipper City Microbrew Company

 

The Clipper City Brewing Company was founded by
by pioneer Hugh Sisson, with the intention of
restoring a rich brewing tradition to the entire
Baltimore area.  By focusing on the classic styles
of beer that are made with fresh ingredients and
high standards, Clipper City is the largest
brewing company in Baltimore, giving the entire Bay
area residents reason to celebrate.

After the inception of craft brewing in Baltimore,
Hugh immersed himself in developing and market
recognition of both Sisson’s brewpub and all of its
beers.

The Clipper City Brewing Company produces three
regular offerings year round – Chesapeake lager,
Chesapeake amber, and the Chesapeake gold ale,
which was chosen as the official beer of the
Baltimore City bicentennial.  Clipper City also
includes a line of specialty beers under the
Clipper Reserve heading.

These types include a Pilsner which is available in
May, Irish stout available in February, Oktoberfest
available in September, and a winter ale that’s
available in late November.  Clipper City also
manufacturers a seperate line of beer, known as
the Oxford Brands, which include an English pale
ale and a refreshing summer blend made with real
raspberries known as the Oxford raspberry wheat.

For many years, Clipper City has proven that they
are the dominant brewing company in the entire
Baltimore area.  Residents of the area enjoy the
many varieties this brewing company offers, as
they have everything for the seasons.

Even if you don’t live in the Baltimore area, there
are other ways to get the excellent beers that
Clipper City has to offer.  There are several bars
and pubs that carry their beers, although most are
in the Baltimore and surrounding areas.  If you’ve
been looking for a brew that is different from the
rest, you can count on the Clipper City Brewing
Company to deliver everything that you’ve never
thought possible about beer and microbrews.

Brewpub Heaven

brewpub heaven
Brewpub heaven

Everyone knows that if your looking for the best in
coffee, you go to Seattle.  For wine, you go to
California.  When it comes to the best in beer, you
go to Portland Oregon, where your never more than
15 minutes away from a quality brewpub.

The Williamette Rive in western Oregon has been
the center of hop growing and brewing since the
days of the pioneers.  When the microbrew revolution
began, the history and the hops were already there,
along with the spring water, the grain, and the
fruit for summer beers.  As a result, regional
brewers and microbrewers began to pop up all over
the place.

After that, it didn’t take long at all for the
brewpub to follow.  These beers weren’t just for
washing down food anymore.  The hand crafted beers
could be used in cooking, just like wine.  In
the brewpubs of Portland, the beer also forms a
base for salad dressing, spices up marinades, and
even helps to sweeten the desserts as well.

Many brewpubs will offer a sampler of the best
in beer tasting.  You can think of it as wine tasting
without the snooty steward.  You sip on small
amounts of a variety of brews to see what the
brewer can do, from the light and hoppy to the
dark yet sweet brews.

What to expect

1.  Good head on the beer.  Good head
ensures that you’ll get a strong smell of the
brew, so be sure to pour it into your glass very
carefully.
2.  Always use a glass.  You should always
use a clean glass, a very clean glass.  In most
brewing establishments, the glasses are always hand
washed and air dried to ensure that there isn’t a
speck of grease in the glass to deflate the head
and leave soapy looking bubbles behind.
3.  The English are right.  As the English
know, refrigerated beer is too cold to fully
appreciate the taste.  In brewpubs, the beer is
served at temperatures that are cool but not that
cold.  The iced and chilled glasses are saved for
martinis.
4.  Vocabulary.  Beer has a mouth feel,
which describes the body of the brew – light,
medium, and full.  The color can be misleading,
as even light bodied beers can be full bodied.

Anytime you are looking for the best in microbrews,
you can count on Oregon to deliver the best in
beer.  There are hundreds of brewpubs here, with
everything you could ever want.  Anytime you
are in the area, don’t hesitate to stop off and
see why the microbrews here are easily among the
best in the United States – or the world for
that matter.

Beer Ingredients

beer ingredients
Hops

The main ingredients found in beer are water, malted barley, hops, and yeast. There are other ingredients such as flavoring, sugar, and other ingredients that
are commonly used. Starches are used as well, as they convert in the mashing process to easily lamentable sugars that will help to increase the alcohol content of beer while adding body and flavor.

Water

Seeing as how beer is mainly composed of water, the
source of water and its characteristics have a very
important effect on the character of the beer. A
lot of beer styles were influenced by the
characteristics of water in the region. Although
the effect of minerals in brewing water is complex,
hard water is more suited to dark styles, while
soft ware is more suited to light styles.

Malt

Among malts, barley is the most widely used due to
its high amylase content, and a digestive enzyme
that facilitates the breakdown of starch into
sugars. Depending on what can be cultivated locally,
other malts and unmalted grains can be used, such
as wheat, rice, oats, and rye.

Malt is obtained by soaking grain in water, allowing
it to germinate, then drying the germinated grain
in a kiln. By malting the grain, enzymes will
eventually convert the starches in the grain into
ferment-able sugars.

Hops

Since the seventeenth century, hops have been
commonly used as a bittering agent in beer. Hops
help to contribute a bitterness that will balance
the sweetness of the malts. They also contribute
aromas which range from citrus to herbal.

Hops also provide an antibiotic effect that favors
the activity of brewer’s yeast over the less
desirable micro-organisms. The bitterness in beer
is normally measured on the International
Bitterness Units scale.

Yeast

Yeast is a micro-organism that’s responsible for
fermentation. Specific strains of yeast are chosen
depending on the type of beer produced, as the
two main strains are ale yeast and lager yeast,
with other variations available as well.

Yeast helps to metabolize the sugars that are
extracted from the grains, and produces alcohol
and carbon dioxide as a result. Before the functions
of yeast were understood, all fermentations were
done using wild or airborne yeasts.

Clarifying agent

A lot of brewers prefer to add one or more
clarifying agents to beer that aren’t required
to be published as ingredients. Examples include
Isinglass finings, which are obtained from swim
bladders of fish and Irish moss, which is a type
of red alga.

Since these ingredients can be obtained from animals,
those who are concerned with either the use or
consumption of animal products should obtain detailed
information from the brewer.

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Beer Culture

the coulture of beer
The couture of beer

Social context

Many social traditions and activities are very
associated with drinking beer, such as playing cards,
darts, or other games.  The consumption of beer in
isolation and excess may be associated with people
drinking away their troubles, while drinking in
excess with company may be associated with binge
drinking.

Around the world

All over the world, beer is consumed.  There are
several breweries in the Middle East countries as
well, such as Iraq and Syria.  There is also
breweries in African countries and other remote
countries such as Mongolia as well.

Glassware serving

Getting an appropriate beer glass is considered
desirable by some drinkers.  There are some drinkers
of beer that may sometimes drink out of the bottle
or can, while others may choose to pour their
beer into a glass.  Drinking from a bottle picks
up aromas by the nose, so if a drinker wishes to
appreciate the aroma of a beer, the beer is first
poured into a mug, glass, or stein.

Similar to  wine, there is specialized styles of
glasses for some types of beer, with some breweries
producing glassware intended for their own styles
of beer.

Temperature

The conditions for serving beer have a big influence
on a drinker’s experiences.  An important factor
when drinking is the temperature – as colder
temperatures will start to inhibit the chemical
senses of the tongue and throat, which will narrow
down the flavor profile of beer, allow certain
lagers to release their crispness.

Pouring

The process of pouring will have an influence on
the presentation of beer.  The flow rate from the
tap, titling of the glass, and position of the
pour into the glass will all affect the outcome,
such as the size and longevity of the head and the
turbulence of the bar as it begins to release the
carbonation.

The more heavily carbonated beers such as German
pilseners will need settling time before they are
served, although many of them are served with the
addition of the remaining yeast at the bottom to
add extra color and flavor.

Beer rating

The rating of beer is a craze that combines the
enjoyment of drinking beer with the hobby of
collecting it.  Those that drink beer sometimes
tend to record their scores and comments on various
internet websites.

This is a worldwide activity, as people in the
United States will swap bottles of beer with those
living in New Zealand and Russia.  The scores may
then be tallied together to create lists of the
most popular beers in each country as well as
those throughout the world.

Anheuser Busch And Microbrews

Anhouser Bush and Microbrews
Budweiser Team

Beer brewing has always been the core business of
the Anheuser-Busch company.  An industry leader
since 1957, Anheuser-Busch currently owns over half
of the domestic beer market.

The market share has grown so much that Anheuser-
Busch now has a bigger portion of the market than
the next four competitors, with the international
sales being no different.  Anheuser-Busch remains
the leading exporter of beer from the United States,
with sales in more than 60 countries.

Microbreweries, or microbrews for short, have been
gaining a lot of attention in the past several
years.  Microbrews are best classified as breweries
that produce less than 15,000 barrels in a given
year.

The strength of microbrews is found in their
philosophy that beer should be of the highest
quality.  Therefore, microbrews are only brewed
with malted barley, hops, water, and yeast, which
are the only four ingredients found in the purist
German beers.  Mass bottled beers normally add
rice and corn to help lower costs.

The only drawback to microbrews is what they cost.
The more expensive ingredients found in microbrews
cost on average 60% higher than the mass bottled
beers.

Beer isn’t like wine, which tends to get better
with age.  Beer is instead a food that should be
consumed as soon as possible after production.
With this in mind, pubs or microbrews that
produce beer on the premises are the hottest new
trends, with four new pubs on average popping
up each and every week.

Each year, sales of microbrews goes up an average
of 40% each year.  This figure is very impressive
when you consider that the market is shrinking
as a whole.  Even with this amazing success, the
microbrew sales represent around two percent of
the entire beer market.

In their pursuit to continue dominating the
entire beer market, Anheuser-Busch has tapped
into the trend of microbrews.  They recently
purchased a stake in the Seattle based Red Hook
Ale microbrewery.  The new products they released
into the beer market include Red Wolf, Elk
Mountain Red, and Elk Mountain Amber Ale.

Microbrews are normally produced regionally,
therefore Anheuser-Busch is developing regional
manufacturers and distributors.  By doing this,
they must decide on the best possible way to
handle their short term cash needs for purchasing
inventory in these tiny plants.

With their recent transition into the world of
microbrews, you can count on Anheuser-Busch to
make quite the impact.  They will be offering
more microbrews in the future, which is great
news for beer drinkers.  If you like the wild
taste of microbrews, Anheuser-Busch is more than
worth your time and money.

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Alaskan Brewing

Alaskan Brewing
Alaskan Brewing

The Alaskan brewing company is the oldest operating
brewery in Alaska, with their amber beer being
their most popular brand.  They produce two other
brands as well, pale ale and Alaskan frontier
amber.  If you enjoy fresh amber beer, Alaskan
brewing is what you want.

As you may already know, brewing beer in Alaska is
very hard to do.  The coastal community of Juneau
doesn’t have road connections to the lower 48 states,
so everything arrives and leaves by water or air,
with weather always having the final say.

In 1986, the Alaskan brewing company became the
67th brewery to operate in the United States and
the only one to operate in Alaska.  Since that time,
Alaskan brewery has received more than 30 major
medals and awards, including the best beer in the
nation award during the 1988 Great American Beer
Festival.

The popularity of their beers has led to a great
amount of efforts to keep up with the demand from
consumers.  They also hold the unnofficial record
for the production on a 10 barrel brewing system,
which produces an amazing 42 batches a week.

The Alaskan Brewery offers several different styles
of brew as well, which are listed below:

1.  Amber – This is the company’s flagship
beer, based on a turn of the century recipe that
was used to quench the thirst of the miners during
the Gold Rush era.  It provides a smooth, malty,
rich taste that goes well with meals – or friends.

2.  Pale – Pale is fresh, crips, and
inviting.  Alaskan pale is great with crab, pawns,
and salads.  The floral aroma of the hops is
derived from dry hopping the tanks during the entire
fermentation process.

3.  Stout – The oatmeal style beer of stout
doesn’t have the harshness of other stouts.  Great
with chocolate and hearty meals, stout is also
ideal to enjoy while walking in the snow.

4.  ESB – If you like hops, the infusion
of hops in this delight will amaze your nose while
the refreshing cascade hops will provide a wonderful
crispness to both the flavor and the finish.  This
beer is great with spicy food, wild game, and other
wintery food.

5.  Smoked porter – Very exclusive, Alaskan
smoked porter has a world class reputation for its
excellence.  Brewed in the fall, this beer is ideal
for storing in the cellar for later enjoyment.

6.  Winter ale – This tender brew of spruce
trees has been used for brewing in Alaska since
the late 1700s.

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