Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Manifesto Emerging...

Drinking beer is great, writing about is fun too but I really don't want Fuggled to become a mere diary of the beers I drink. I think that is one of the reasons I decided to make my own beer, to get a greater appreciation and handle on the process of making the drink the world loves. The joy and wonder I got from watching little bubbles of CO2 plop out of the blowoff tubes was unexpected, as was my frustration at slopping beer over the floor because bottling was more tricky than I imagined - hence yesterday I went and bought one of the jerry cans with a tap on the front.

Of the six bottles of EDM I managed to fill on Sunday, the stronger of the beers is still bubbling occasionally so I am leaving it in the fermentor an extra few days, I got great delight to see that they have dropped bright, and my beer has very little cloudiness in it. I still don't know how fully how it tastes, but we shall see in a couple of weeks once conditioning is done.

All this though has led me to think more about beer than I ever used to, how it has developed and changed, particularly in the Czech context at the moment. Some questions that have popped into my head of late:
  • Why was Plzeň beer so bad before 1842?
  • What beer did the Bürgerliches Bräuhaus Budweis originally make?
  • What were the various monasteries in Prague brewing?
  • What beer styles is Prague water naturally suited to?

So many questions, and so I will spending a lot of time reading, asking questions and if I find the answers, trying to re-create some old Bohemian beers.

But why stop there? I am glad that brewers like Pivovar Náchod and Pivovar Kocour Varnsdorf are broadening the range of styles available on the Czech market, but what about brewing old style Bohemian beer as well? Why must the Czech market be so enslaved to pale golden lager?

4 comments:

  1. Al, just on the bottling front, did you get yourself a bottling wand? If not, basically a little tube at the end of a syphon with a valve on the end that opens when you press it against the bottom of the bottle. Makes bottling pretty simple. Have a look at my bottling article on ICB for a pic of it in action.

    Brewing your own certainly makes you appreciate the art that real brewers produce, and it's fun to try to recreate the tastes you like, even if they don't quite hit the mark :)

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  2. I bought myself a jerry can yesterday with a tap on it, so I am planning to attach a bit of tubing to the tap and control the flow that way. I will probably go nuts today and take pictures of me bottling the 1.052 OG version of EDM.

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  3. Cool new look! And I've wanted to started playing around with homebrew to gain a greater understanding of beer - you can't know food by only eating it, you have to cook and prepare it too!

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  4. Totally agree Mark - which probably explains the "velky" in Velkyal - it means "big" in Czech!

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