Brewing Plans for the Year

Written by Damon on January 30, 2009

I have a mild distaste for New Year’s resolutions. If they help you, then great. But if I’m not going to change my life for the better now, then I’m probably not going to do it on New Year’s Day either.

That’s why I like this month’s Fermentation Friday topic about setting goals. It’s like a New Year’s resolution, without being on the New Year. Other bloggers can write about their New Year’s resolutions, and I can still write about my

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Time for a Bock Beer Bailout

Written by Damon on January 28, 2009

Yesterday the Canadian government here came out with a budget including stimulus spending many different sectors of the economy. Similarly, the US government passed a stimulus package today.

But even with all of this money going around to support struggling sectors, I don’t see anything to support Bock beer.

The Case for Bock Beer

Bocks are deserving of stimulus spending, more so than many other areas of our economy.

Bock beer is a very smooth and accessible style that is very rarely brewed in

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Barley Crust Chocolate Porter Labneh Cheesecake

Written by Damon on January 24, 2009

After my recent beer and Labneh pairing, I thought I might try something a little unusual and make a Labneh cheesecake glazed with chocolate porter while using spent grains from brewing for my crust.

Labneh Cheesecake with Beer Glaze

Tasting the Labneh Cheesecake

The first thing you notice is strong expresso notes from the chocolate porter glaze. The espresso blends into raisin, chocolate, vanilla, and other flavours all balanced across the palate no one taking prominence except when you look for them. Then

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Labneh and Beer

Written by Damon on January 21, 2009

Labneh is a really simple middle-eastern yoghurt-based cheese. It’s really easy to make. You drop yoghurt into a hankerchief or coffee filter and let the whey drain off for a day or two. What’s left is labneh.

Tasting Labneh

Labneh tastes like cream cheese with a little yoghurt sourness. I expected it to be very sour, but a lot of the sourness drains off with the whey.

Labneh is used in all sorts of middle-eastern cuisine, but I wanted the labneh flavours featured

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My First Biere de Garde

Written by Damon on January 14, 2009

I just had my first French biere de garde. I don’t often come across styles of beer that I haven’t sampled, so it is really quite a treat to when I do.

The beer was a present from my sister who lives in Abu Dhabi and writes an urban planning blog, but spent the holidays in France with my mom who brought the beer back. So thanks to both of you.

The biere de garde that I tried was Jenlain Ambree and

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Disgust for India Dark Ales

Written by Damon on January 13, 2009

Jeff at Beervana shares my dislike of Black IPAs. He writes

add 100+ IBUs of hops and blast away all the maltiness.

I fully agree with this sentiment. India Dark Ales, as I know them, are all about putting roast and hop bitterness at war with each other.

Weaker stouts ┬ácan share the stage with hop bitterness, but the really strong India Dark Ales put those flavours in conflict. And I just don’t like the resulting beer.

If this is a style

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Burnt Orange Belgian Wheat Recipe

Written by Damon on January 5, 2009

I found a food-blog post extolling the virtues of burnt citrus fruit when I was doing research for my duck breast prosciutto.

Unfortunately I can’t find the blog recommending burnt citrus fruit so no link, but basically they said burning citrus fruit causes a chemical reaction that radically changes some of the flavour compounds and and kills the oils.

Being the adventurous little brewer that I am, I instantly recognised the potential for new potential brewing ingredient. I had some Belgian Witbier

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Chanterelle Belgian Wheat Beer Recipe and Tasting Notes

Written by Damon on December 28, 2008

I can’t decide if this beer made with Chanterelle mushrooms good or bad. It’s definitely an interesting beer which is why I’m sharing the recipe and my thoughts. My intent with this beer was to see how the fruit flavours of the Chanterelle would complement the fruit flavours from Belgian wheat beer yeast.

The base beer was taken from my excellent Belgian Wit. I removed and cooled half of the wort before adding the spices and other adjuncts for the witbier.

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A Yeasting We Will Go

Written by Damon on December 27, 2008

Brewers have it pretty easy. Basically, all we do is create the conditions under which yeast will thrive. Yeast does all the work, we get all the credit. We make sure it’s not too hot or not too cold. We make sure it has enough to eat. And we try to protect it from bad influences like bully-bacteria and the yeast-gone-wild.

I started brewing after returning to Canada from the Lager Hell that is Japan partly because I never wanted to

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Pairing Duck Prosciutto and Beer

Written by Damon on December 21, 2008

When deciding choosing a beer to pair with my duck breast prosciutto, I decided to begin by looking at foods that go well with prosciutto.

The classic combination is prosciutto and melon. I don’t know of any beers with melon flavours, but a nice fruity wheat beer should probably do the trick. I chose my own Almost Heaven Belgian Wheat Beer.

Another combination is prosciutto with plain bread or crackers to cleanse the palate without interfering with the flavours of the prosciutto.

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