Club sweden, i’m not proud of you!

So, to start with i don’t have anything against the foreign craft brew industry. Without it, Swedish craft brew would be nothing. Sierra Nevada, modus hoperandi, chimay, Westmale, mikkeler etc. You are all a good inspiration to us.

But when I see three different brews in the fridge at a club and I’m like: so what happened to all the good Swedish brews? That’s bad, it’s not acceptable to have a domestic flowing beer market without representation at the biggest club in the capital city.

In one way I’d like to say: fuck you mass production. But I do get it, taxes are high, money are low (not really) and people are innocently not knowing.

I’m just shouting out to all my homies in sweden. We got Sundbyberg upcoming brewery, pang pang, Sigtuna and Nils Oscar old timers, st Eriks, Nynäshamn, hbg2, and all the rest of the home brewers out there. Help sweden ffs. We need good quality club beer! Lagers, apas, wits, you know. Invest and fucking make it happen!!!

I’m out, seriously… I’m out.

Alcohol free alternatives.

I’m still lingering on the post from last night. Alcohol consumption, the dangers etc. Now I’m at work having lunch and enjoying a beer. Whaaaaat!?! Hell yeah, a beer.

No but seriously. There’s a couple of alcohol free beers showing up recently that taste quite alright. I’ve been trying some of them during my lunch breaks since since I work at systembolaget and have to know our products. And I’m surprised over how they taste! My favorites are störtebecker and Mariestad. Both are international lagers with low hopping, light in color… You know the style. But the upside is, they taste better than their full alcohol version!

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Here’s the Mariestad, brewed with magnum and citra.

Over and out.

Them light beers…

It’s not uncommon for people in the home brew community to talk about the risks with alcohol and how easy it is to drink too much when you always have beer at home. Something that isn’t discussed as often as the risks is how you can still keep on brewing, drinking and working on your skills without getting in the danger zone. In this post I’m gonna give you my best tips and tricks to keep the beer flowing without you getting hit in the crossfire.

No. 1: Distribute

Most brewers brew batches around 5 gallons/18.9 liters and maybe one or two times a month. Say your making an IPA and a APA and you will want to drink the beer fresh, which it is during the first two months, that will give you roughly 60 days to finish almost 40 liters of beer. 60/40=1,5. That is 1,5 liters a day, every day, for two months! Now now, I know you can drink more during the weekends and less during the week days. Still though, think about it – it’s a lot of beer!

To solve this you can distribute. You are probably already sharing the beer with a girl/boy friend, spouse, room mate etc. But from what I have experienced, there is always one of you that will drink more than the other. That often results in a tension between the two parts and ends up in discussions that will risks the home brew… We don’t want that!

The solution to that problem is friends… We all have someone we can call a friend or acquaintance and that is who we will give our home brew ”left overs” to. It will, hopefully, end up with people liking your beer and most likely you! Win win.

No. 2: Long term projects

To brew is to learn. It takes time to brew and therefore it takes time to learn. Some styles will take long time to master because of the time they need to mature and develop. This is a great opportunity for you to keep brewing and not having to drink it all. Get yourself a good set of bottles and find a place to store them; your parents house/basement, a dark closet at work, a friends house etc.

Another result of this will be that your bottles will rise in value, not market value – emotional and sentimental value, which is going to make you open the bottles at special occasions!

No. 3: The light styles

Some of the very popular styles today are IPA, APA, Belgian doubles and tripels, IMPERIAL EVERYTHING…. and you see where I’m going here; they are all high alcohol beers. Ranging from 5% abv to 12%+ abv these beers will quickly make you get a buzz on, nothing wrong with that. It is just that sometimes when you are longing for a beer it’s not always appropriate for a 5% or higher beer. Sure, you can always skip that one beer and sometimes you will. But think of the times that you don’t skip that one beer for some reason, wouldn’t be great to have a beer on hand that won’t get you drunk or even influenced. There are many styles that have been drunk for a long time that aren’t strong in alcohol but still tastes great! All over Europe you can find different styles. You have the berliner weisse, swedish svagdricka, english mild and ordinary bitter, dry stout, Scottish 60/- etc.

No. 4: The tabberas (Swedish word for eating/drinking it all)

Sometimes you end up with kegs filled with 3-5 liters of great beer that just isn’t being drunk or a beer that is about to getting close to it’s best before date. The same thing goes with bottles, you may need them for new batches or you may need the space. If you want to get rid of the last drops you should have a party. Get your friends together, setup an easy way for them to pour their own drinks and don’t forget to keep the beer cold – that way it will be more desirable for most. If you have a lot of friends that don’t drink that often or are just not that well oriented in the beer world, tell them about your brews. That will help you and your friends. After the party your friends will thank you and you will thank them!

 

I hope you will find these tips useful! Sorry for any grammar, spelling or language faults, I wrote this in a hurry. I will come back to correct later!

pz out.

Analytic tasting.

Me and my two good friends got together yesterday for some blind beer tasting. The point of this tasting is to learn how to pick out certain flavors, flaws and characteristics in the beer and then guess the style and place the sample within the guide lines (we use the swedish type definition for SM). This is the second time we do this kind of tasting together and it has shown to be a real eye opener. A lot of what I’ve never thought I would find in some beers are just really present when you don’t know what’s in your glass. A beer that hasn’t tasted hoppy to me forever is the Brooklyn Lager. We have also noticed that a lot of the really big commercial breweries have a lot of flaws in their beers.

The reason why we started doing this, except it’s fun, is that my two friends Edvard and Roger will take an Beer Judge Exam on saturday, best of luck to you two, and they needed to some training – much like a study group. So we sit down and take notes and talk about odors, flavors, flaws and styles that are hard to define and find. Sometimes we also throw in a home brew to mix things up.

I really suggest you and your friends try sometime. It doesn’t take long to set up, it won’t cost you a lot of money, it will be really helpful if you want to expand your ability to taste beer. The only thing you need is some glass ware (it’s good to have a set with three glasses per person of the same shape and size), some pens and paper and beer of course.

Here’s how we do:

  1. Draw three circles on a piece of paper and number them 1 to 3. All participants gets one of these.
  2. Have some paper, a notebook or something similar and a pen at hand.
  3. While the participants walks out of the room get a friend/girlfriend/boyfriend/spouse/etc to pour three different kinds of beer into the glasses placed in the circles on the paper. Tell them to write down in what order they have poured the beer. Ex. 1. Budweiser 2. Stella Artois 3. Staropramen.
  4. If you can’t get an additional person to pour you can take turns pouring.
  5. Sit down and start observe, smell and taste.
  6. Take notes on everything you think is important or less important.
  7. Go through each beer together talking about whatever you may have found and/or not found.
  8. Guess the style.
  9. Reveal the style.

Here’s some pictures from our tasting.

The head wear.

The head wear.

"The tasting board"

”The tasting board”

Fun with knifes and such

Fun with knifes and such

Blended beer

Blended beer

Roger

Roger

Thoughts on American Farmhouse Blend

As I wrote earlier I’m planning on brewing a Saison using the white labs american farmhouse blend. The blend has saccharomyces- and brettanomyces yeast in it. The later of the two is a far slower grower and this got my friend and I talking about how a starter may not be a good idea since it would mess up the ratio. At first I searched the web a bit to see if I could find something that would shed some light on the matter but I couldn’t find anything solid.

So I e-mailed White Labs some question about the yeast and how it would end up after been pitched into a starter. They responded quickly with a soothing reply.

Hello Sebastian,

Making a starter with a blend can be tricky since the yeast could grow at different rates, especially when using a blend like the Farmhouse that contains Saccharomyces and Brettanomyces.  However, since you will get the majority of fermentation from the Saccharomyces, you will probably be just fine.  The Brett will grow a bit less due to fewer sugars being available, but that’s OK since the Brett is really there to add some attenuation and flavor complexity…

 

Good luck and happy brewing!