Monday, November 29, 2010

Brewmasters: Portamarillo and Beervana

On Mondays episode of Brewmasters, Sam worked with a brewery in New Zealand to come up with a beer that included ingredients native to New Zealand.

They started with a porter and added roasted Tamarillos that were smoked with wood from New Zealand trees. Half of the fruit that was included in the recipe was roasted and the other half was fresh. The beer was debuted at Beervana, a large beer event in New Zealand that included some social events that I would love to see on a smaller scale locally.

The first event was the "Mash-in" where New Zealand brewers gathered and sampled each others recipes. I think it would be great to get all the local home brewers together just to sample what others were producing. This event would not have to be large, but we would have to find a restaurant or meeting room that would allow us to bring your own keg (BYOK).

The second event was the Beer vs Wine dinner. This involved a six course meal and each dish was paired with a wine and a beer. Once diners try both the beer and wine, they would fill out a scorecard. Results are tabulated and announced at the end of the dinner. Again this is a great idea and we could easily pit a brewery against a winery; Say Knoxville's Calhouns Brewery vs Knoxville's Blue Slip Winery?

Would you attend this event? Let us know what you think in the comments..

Brewmasters: Punkin

Tonight, another new episode of Brewmasters aired on Discovery channel. This episode covered two beers; Punkin which was Sams fourth recipe as a home brewer and includes pumpkin, nutmeg, and allspice. The second brew was called Portamarillo and it is a porter that includes Tamarillo fruit from New Zealand. I will cover this beer in a separate post.

At the factory they started construction to increase the amount of beer they produce and had a small disaster when thet received a shipment of twist off beer bottles from the glass supplier. Since Dogfish Head does not use twist off bottle caps, they had to quarantine a number of pallets of beer so they did not ship the defective bottles to customers.

Once Sam returned home from New Zealand, he decided that he would make the defective beer "Paycheck Cases" instead of dumping all of it out. Thats right, if you work at Dogfish Head not only do you get a paycheck but you get to take home a case of beer! I wonder if they have and opening for a newbie Brewmaster?

Brewmasters: Chicha

On Sundays episode of Brewmasters we followed Sam from Dogfish Head Craft Ales to Puru where we learned the brew he was making was called Chicha (pronounced chee-cha).

It is mainly a corn based brew and unlike malted barley, it is unable to created the enzyme, called amalyze, needed to breakdown starch. This enzyme is prevalent in one source, human saliva. So the workers at Dogfish Head got tested and then proceeded to grind 40 pounds of corn with their teeth. Since this seems unsanitary to you and I; Sam did mention that this mash produces the wort which is then boiled so as to kill any bacteria from the chewing. The Chicha beer also contained cinnamon and a some other herbs Sam had to ship in from Puru.

I do not know about you, but I would hesitate a little before drinking a brew that came from someones mouth.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Why will my kegs not hold pressure?

The keezer is built and I currently have three kegs in it filled with pumpkin ale, a really good session beer, and some hard cider. I was having issues at first as the cider came out as foam, the pumpkin ale keg would not stay sealed, and the session beer was perfect until it ran out of CO2.

I had the Brewmaster and Yeast Wrangler over for a brew day and let them take a look at it. I thought I was out of CO2 due to a valve or keg leaking. After about 15 minutes we found that I did not have it hooked up properly. Always remember to have a check valve coming out of the regulator, but do not put a check valve on the CO2 line into the manifold / distribution block.

This means you will most likely need this adapter which is sold as an accessory for the Blichmann BeerGun.