Of all places, Popular Mechanics has some very good beer articles. One selection of ten basic brewing recipes caught my eye. Trying to choose ten recipes that provide a decent range of all the different kinds of beer is a pretty challenging task any day. Because the first page gives some pretty basic brewing info like starting gravity and color, I was prepared to sneer and be unimpressed. Er…check that. This is a good selection of recipes from very reputable brewers, if taken from pretty predictable sources. One in particular, Kai Troester’s Imperator, is now on my must-brew list. It’s a 22 IBU, 18 SRM, 7.5% ABV** recipe that Troester describes thusly: “it is of a dark mahagony [sic] color without roasted notes in aroma or taste [emphasis mine]. Though intended to be complex in flavor it is also very drinkable.”
Like all well-mannered brewing recipe collections, both whole-grain and extract versions are presented. Most of these are recipes you’re aware of if you follow homebrewtalk forums, or listen to Jamil Zainasheff’s podcast , or own Brewing Classic Styles. Still, in a world of over 100 styles of beer, this is a pretty admirable selection.
Blood Orange Hefewiezen: this requires the use of flavoring, which got me ready to set that sneer into place. Still, it’s a very pretty and rather tasty beer. This is from Calagione’s Extreme Brewing.
Cascade Orange/Coriander Pale Ale: I am so not a fan of American hops starting with ‘C’. They are far more bitter than my girlish tastebuds enjoy. However, orange and coriander is a combination I very much like. Mat Kurth added orange zest lat in the boil to EdWort’s Haus Pale Ale, and dry hopped it for a big hop nose.
Centennial Blonde: Kevin Mattie, biermuncher, made an excellent blonde beer here, even if it does have American hops that start with ‘C’. Very drinkable, wide appeal. Your friends who haven’t been converted to homebrewed beer yet will probably love this one. This recipe also appears on Hopville and Adventures in Brewing,. He’s got a Homebrewspace profile.
Capt. Lawrence Smoked Porter: Capt. Lawrence Brewing Co. head brewer Scott Vacarro (who’s kinda cute) made this one up. Do you like smoked beers? This was featured on Can You Brew It, the Brewing Network radio show. If you are a homebrewer and haven’t checked out the Brewing Network, hie thee thither with haste.
Black Scapular Dubbel: Jamil again, in Brewing Classic Styles. The historical brewer in me loves this name, a reference to the short cloaks monks wear that cover the shoulder (sometimes falling as far down as the knees; originally I think they were front-and-back aprons). Since devotional scapulars are now two pieces of cloth or wood or whatever that hang front and back like medals, you could also look for slopping this down the front of your shirt – but don’t, it’d be a waste of a good beer.
Imperator by Kai Troester at braukaiser.com. It’s a German doppelbock. Kai likes brewing science. I try to keep up. Troester says this is complex in flavor yet very drinkable. Sounds like my kind of beer. I really must try this one.
** IBU: unit of measurement used to express a beer’s bitterness as milligrams of iso-alpha-acid (a compound created when alpha acids are boiled) per liter of beer. It’s the hop bitterness in a finished beer.
SRM: Standard Reference Method for identifying the color of beer.
ABV: Alcohol by volume, typically measured (by homebrewers) with a hydrometer at the start and end of fermentation to calculate the alcohol content of their beer.