Et Cetra

Shit, I don't know where to file this entry. I'll just put it here.

Nothin' like a Nice Package

Chris Jensen · April 20

I love a good package.

While the BJCP judge in me knows that brand and packaging has little to do with the quality of a beer (see our surprising results in our blind Double IPA and Belgian Dark taste tests), I am a marketer at heart. That heart gets broken when I see crappy packaging, as many new and some established beer brands put on the shelf. And, unfortunately for them, as that shelf becomes more competitive and the consumer becomes more adventerous, packaging has ...

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Why I Travel for Beer

Chris Jensen · October 29

This post is part of The Session 93, hosted over at the Roaming Pint.

 
I am fond of beer. I'm also quite fond of travel. So it's  the best of both worlds when I get to travel for beer.
 
Now, candidly, I've really only taken one big trip purely for beer. Two years ago I took my adventure loving wife on a trip to Belgium, beer's holy land, where we spent a couple of weeks touring different breweries and visiting some ...
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The Complete Joy of...Tinkering?

Chris Jensen · July 30

I love this hobby. And I'm not the only one.

If I had a hop pellet for every time I've heard or read someone call it an "obsession" I could brew the most bitter beer known to man!

What is is that makes people so passionate about the hobby? Is it a fascination with the idea of producing something that can get you inebriated? Is it the love of sharing the a great home-made product with friends? Is it the science?

Realistically, it ...

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What's wrong with Beer Glassware in the US?

Chris Jensen · May 7

I’m sick of the pint glass. Although simple and durable, it lacks personality compared to its Central European counterparts. More importantly, it’s definitely not optimized to enhance the aroma and flavor of most of the beers served within. Ordinary bitter? OK. But IPA? The pint glass cannot do it justice.

In Belgium and much of Germany, each brand has it’s own distinct style of glass featuring a unique shape that is meant to highlight the characteristics of that brand’s beer. The ...

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Free Yeast! And why I love my local brewer

Chris Jensen · February 26

I love my local brewer. Or should I say, brewers... Lots of brewers. Denver has been overrun by new breweries, and I couldn't be happier.

Of course, most of them make tasty and interesting beers that I love to try. I appreciate the experimentation of some, but value the diligence of others who try to nail traditional yet challenging styles, such as the German Pils. I love the unique environment they create, each a unique extension of a living room or beer hall which ...

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Homebrewing in the Winter: Tips for Brewing when it's freezing outside

Chris Jensen · January 28

The arctic-freezing-polar-vortex-winter-chillabone is here! It seems like the temps keep getting colder and colder and much of the country can't catch a break, so I thought we should talk about the thing on many brewers' minds this time of year: How the hell am I supposed to mash in when I can't feel my fingers?

Well, rest assured that it can be done, and those freezing temps can actually help you out.

 

A Few Frosty Pointers:

First, make sure you are well organized ...

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The Craftbeer Infographic Infographic!

Jeremy Short · January 23

I will occasionally get requests to have guest posts on this blog and more often than not that guest post has a handy dandy infographic. I am using the term "info" loosely while the term "graphic" is indeed an accurate statement.  There are hundreds of beer related infographics floating around. And if you follow Jay Brook’s Brookston Beer Bulletin you would have run into his massive collection of beer related infographics. While many of them are quite good and even beautifully designed many of ...

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Who'd pay $33 for a 6 pack? Bomber prices gone wild!

Chris Jensen · May 8

Maybe you don’t want to read this post. In fact, if you are content with paying $10 for a bomber of good beer abandon ship now!

OK, so you’re probably already aware of what I’m about to tell you. Buying beer by the bomber is incredibly expensive compared to the relative price in other forms. For example, a bomber that costs just $10 is the equivalent of a $33 6 pack! Wow!

Don’t get me wrong, I’m going to continue ...

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Sustainable Brewing: Uses for your Spent Grain

Chris Jensen · April 24

As a part of our Earth Week series on reducing the environmental impact on brewing, we’d like to talk about one of the easiest opportunities for a homebrewer: reusing your spent grain.

Both all grain and partial mash brewers end up with a surplus of leftover grain at the end of a brew session (all grain, high gravity brewers much more so!). Rather than send them to the landfill, we like to reuse them in various ways as they still have all kinds of ...

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Sustainable Brewing: Tips for reducing your environmental impact

Chris Jensen · April 22

For many, brewing represents a battle between the want to conveniently brew excellent beer and the desire to minimize one’s environmental impact.

There are no two ways about it: brewing beer takes a lot of resources. Regardless of whether you’re a modest homebrewer or a world-renowned pro, you still have to heat your water, cool your wort, clean your equipment, and develop your sugars. Many professional breweries have implemented sophisticated systems to waste less water, recapture energy, and reuse their resources. But what ...

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Brew Masters Unseen Episode!

Chris Jensen · March 25

Maybe it's because I'm a beer nerd, but I loved this show! I was disappointed that it didn't make it. There were rumors that it was pulled due to pressure from one of the big brewers, however I don't know how likely that is. I'm guessing it had as much to do with ratings and the strain on operations at Dogfish Head.

In any case, I was delighted when I came across this unaired episode. I can't believe they ...

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Books that Should Be in Your Brewing Library

Chris Jensen · March 12

If you’re like me, once you dipped your toes in the homebrewing pool you wanted to do a triple lindy right in. But before diving in (or moving to the next platform), it’s a good idea to read up to get a feel for technique, equipment, and recipes.

Most brewers have a few go-to recommendations when asked about their book recommendations, so here are our top 3 must-have books for your brewing library:

 

1. How to Brew, by John Palmer. The simplicity of ...

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Book Review: Randy Mosher's Tasting Beer

Jeremy Short · December 21

If you like beer you should own a copy of Randy Mosher's Tasting Beer: An Insider's Guide to the World's Greatest Drink. It's as simple as that. There are few books about beer that are as complete without feeling weighed down with too much information. You can pick up this book with no beer knowledge and then set it down a fully initiated beer geek. That's a good thing. At least I think so.

From the brewing process to drinking ...

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The Session #63: The Beer Moment

Jeremy Short · May 4

The Session is a monthly beer blogging topic. This month's session is about the beer moment.

A beer moment? Why do I want to get so romantic with this phrase? I want to dip my pen into a sappy image of imperial stouts and earthy Trappist ales. See here the big and the bold beer. The craft beer. The, oh god this sounds so silly, artisan brewer stirring a wooden paddle through a thick resting mash. Yes, these are all fine things that define ...

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From Firkins to Ponies: the many ways to measure the volume of beer

Jeremy Short · February 4

There is a surprisingly vast array of ways to measure how much beer you got. Vast! And each of these measurements can get a bit confusing. For example the US and the UK use pints, but while they have the same name they're not the same thing. Why? Because it's more exciting that way. Here's my attempt to sort some of these measurements out.

Let's start with things that fit in your hand, and given the name of this blog I ...

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The Session #59: I Almost Always Drink Beer, But When I Don’t…

Jeremy Short · January 6

The Session is a monthly beer blogging topic. This is my first time participating and oddly enough the topic isn’t about beer.

I almost always drink beer, but when I don’t I drink… I drink. Well, I mean, I guess… this is a harder question than it seems. Water. Water is nice. But that seems a bit boring. What about coffee? I do drink a lot of coffee when I am not drinking beer.  And coffee is brewed. Brewed, hey, that’s kind ...

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Stranded Alaskan Survives by Eating Frozen Coors Light Like a Can of Beans

Jeremy Short · December 6

Yeah, that's right, Clifton Vial of Nome Alaska went on an adventure in his Toyota Tacoma only to get stuck in a snowdrift with just a few cans of Coors Light to keep him going. Stranded in his truck for over 60 hours with the temperature dropping to 12 below (that's not a windchill temperature) Vial found the Coors Light. Since the beer was frozen Vial "ate the beers like a can of beans." Awesome. Vial explains to the Anchorage Daily News, "I ...

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Natty Light in Space Almost Makes Natty Light Cool

Jeremy Short · November 29

Here's yet another big beer making their beer can doing something crazy in attempt to make their beer more interesting. God forbid that they actually just brew a good beer. A couple weeks ago Red Stripe turned their empty beer cans into a speaker array and now we have Natty Light tossing a can of beer into space. As a dork, I think this space one is much cooler and the video is well worth a watch. I guess when you have a beer ...

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Red Stripe beer cans are cooler empty than full

Jeremy Short · November 18

Here's a rather interesting use of used Red Stripe beer cans: a sound sculpture. It's worth watching the whole video, thought it does run a little long, to see the creation of this crazy collection of beer cans. It looks like they did a pretty good job cleaning out the cans before putting them to use here. Good thing, I suppose. This might be the start of several other creations of Red Stripe beer can sculptures from the looks of their facebook page. 

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Cyborg yeast do what you tell them

Jeremy Short · November 7

Can you imagine being able to talk to your yeast? What if you could tell the billions of cells in your carboy to do this or to do that? While this might sound like fantasy it’s actually being done at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich. By using light the reserachers were able to impact the yeast’s ability to produce a specific protein. "upon shining red light in, they could track how much a population of yeast cells was expressing the gene ...

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Calculate Specific Gravity from Plato

Jeremy Short · November 2

Every now and then you may run into a beer or beer recipe that give Plato instead of Specific Gravity. And there's an easy calculation to convert between the two:

 

( Plato / ( 258.6 - ( ( Plato / 258.2 ) * 227.1 ) ) + 1 = Specific gravity

 

Well maybe easy isn't the right word, but to make it easier I made a little calculator to help with the math:

 

//

 

Or, if your just looking for a cheat sheet, here is a quick conversion reference:

 

Plato Gravity ...
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Blind Tasting: Standard American Lager

Jeremy Short · May 12

The ubiquitous beer that is the American Lager, it’s hard to avoid this "domestic" beer. Even the most proud tap-houses carry Budweiser, Coors, and/or Miller. Why? Because people everywhere prefer lager over ale, and it's hard to argue the drinkability of these beers. You know what else is very drinkable? Water. Anyway, it's easy as a craft beer drinker to demonize these mass produced beers, but is there something more to these lagers that we should appreciate and acknowledge? I think ...

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Tour of Brewery Ommegang

Jeremy Short · April 12

Cradled in the rolling Catskill Mountains is the little farmhouse brewery known as Ommegang. It's out of the way, it's quiet, and it's one of the most beautiful looking American breweries I have seen. This is a perfect location to recreate the beers of Belgium. When you arrive at the brewery you drive through an arch in the middle of the old farmhouse and find a growing, changing and very modern brewery is on the other side. What first catches my eye ...

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Best Beer Pairing Ever: Coors & Jelly Beans

Jeremy Short · March 31

As craft beer lovers find great cheese to pair with their tripels, and Imperial IPAs to match up with chicken curry, one pairing has slipped under the radar: Starburst Jelly Beans and Coors Banquet beer. Here is the manna that God gave the Israelites as they wandered the desert. A truly sublime combinations of flavors greet your eager tongue as you chew through the fruity sweetness of the jelly beans and wash it down with the crisp clear coolness of that fine Rocky Mountain beer ...

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How I rescued a lonely bottle of beer

Jeremy Short · March 9

Sometimes great beers end up in the wrong places. Not unlike a poor puppy who was adopted by a family not ready to have a dog. There are hundreds of great organizations out there who rescue/save these poor dogs and try to find new homes and new families. Following their lead, I have started rescuing beers. Maybe not as noble of an enterprise, but a worthy cause none the less. I started to notice that some liquors stores (and occasionally restaurants) on a whim ...

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How I learned to love craft beer

Jeremy Short · March 6

One of the main goals of this website is to spread the infection that is craft beer far and wide. Knowing that, I started to wonder how I came to love craft beer. When did it happen? How did it happen? What beers led me to love beer? What follows is my beer history (express edition). It’s kind of like a list of all my former girlfriends that I occasionally go back and visit. If you are looking to love craft beer or you ...

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Pliny the Younger comes to Denver

Jeremy Short · February 21

I've finally had my chance to drink a glass of Pliny the Younger. We came early (an hour before the tap began to pour) to ensure our chance of sipping this one-of-a-kind triple IPA. Really? You came an hour early to get in line for a beer? Asks any reasonable person.  You see, Pliny the Younger is a bit of a pain in the ass to get your hands on and the Falling Rock Tap House in Denver is one of the few places ...

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