April Dirty Thirty Day 2 – Heavy Seas Powder Monkey Pale Ale

We made it to day two. What do we have today…

Heavy Seas Powder Monkey Pale Ale

Heavy Seas Powder Monkey Pale Ale

Heavy Seas Powder Monkey Pale Ale

Critical Information:

  • 4.75% ABV
  • 28.5 IBU
  • Hops: UK Fuggles, Cascade, UK Goldings
  • Malts: 2-row, Munich, Crystal, Caramalt

My Experience:

– Pour

Poured from bottle into mug. Only cooled in fridge for about an hour before serving. Has a reddish-straw color. It is very see-through with minimal carbonation. Most bubbles disappeared in the first couple minutes along with the head. Continue reading

Will this theory help you enjoy new beers?

Unless you’re brand new to beer (nothing wrong with that though) you know that hops are measured on a scale of bitterness. IBUs, International Bitterness Units, measure the bitter alpha acids from hops that are isomerized and dissolved during the boil.

Some beers, like Hefeweizens, have IBUs of 10-15 while Double IPAs will go to 80+ IBUs.

Randy Mosher’s Tasting Beer: An Insider’s Guide to the World’s Greatest Drink has a great graph in chapter four that shows the relationship of IBUs to Original Gravity (think the amount of alcohol in a beer. Yes, it’s more complicated than that but now’s not the time.). What I noticed that was generally the hoppier the beer, the more Original Gravity, OG, is has. Mosher describes why a lot better than I am able to.

So looking at the chart I came to this hypothesis: if you enjoy a certain beer, wouldn’t you enjoy a beer with a similar hoppiness-to-OG?

I challenge you to try this experiment. Ladies Hefeweizen lovers – try a Doppelbock. Pale Ale fans (like myself) – try a Maibock. And IPA buffs – try an Irish Dry Stout.

Continue reading

Short Notes: Tasting Beer Chapter Three

Tasting Beer Cover

Brewing and the Vocabulary of Beer Flavor

As my studying to become a beer expert continues, here are the main points I took from Chapter Three of Randy Mosher’s Tasting Beer: An Insider’s Guide to the World’s Greatest Drink.

Chapter Three – Brewing and the Vocabulary of Beer Flavor

  • The difference between wine and beer is that wine mostly depends on nature to do the work while beer rests on man to assemble and nurture it
  • The ions in water effect brewing
  • Harder water is wanted for pale ales and softer water for pilsners
  • Enzymes in barley make brewing possible because they reduce the energy needed in the chemical reaction
  • Protein is a major difference between two-row and six-row barley
  • Most beers that aren’t Bud, Miller or Coors are brewed with two-row barley Continue reading

Short Notes: Tasting Beer Chapter Two

Cover of "Tasting Beer: An Insider's Guid...

Tasting Beer by Randy Mosher

Here are the main points I took from Chapter Two of Randy Mosher’s Tasting Beer: An Insider’s Guide to the World’s Greatest Drink.

Chapter Two – Sensory Evaluation

  • Your tongue is covered in small bumps called papillae where taste buds are embedded
  • Humans can taste six basic flavors – sweet, sour, salty, bitter, umami and fat
  • Try to associate the aroma of a beer with memories
  • Diacetyl, a by-product of fermentation, can make beer taste buttery
  • DMS is a sulfur compound in pale beer that can cause off-flavors of corn
  • The matrix effect is when flavors play off each other to create new flavors
  • Masking is when one chemical hides the flavor of another, i.e. carbonation masking hops
  • Protentiation is when one chemical enhances the flavor of another

Give this book a read if you enjoyed the points above. There’s a lot I did not include. Be on the lookout for chapter three coming soon!

Have you read any good beer books recently?

Short Notes: Tasting Beer Chapter One

Open book with hand

Definitely not my hand

Here are the main points I took from Chapter One of Randy Mosher’s Tasting Beer: An Insider’s Guide to the World’s Greatest Drink.

Chapter One – The Story of Beer

  • Beer was essential for survival because it was a cheap source of drinkable water
  • Nomadic people in the Middle East started growing barley about 10000 BCE
  • Beer was well established by 3000 BCE
  • Sumerians and Egyptians really enjoyed beer
  • Around 1000 CE hopped beers were founded in Germany
  • Hopped beers caught on because they allowed beers to stay fresher longer
  • By 1600 all English beers had some level of hops
  • Popularity of porters and pale ales grew in Britain
  • Pilsners were invented in Germany in 1842
  • Belgian beers use a lot of spices and herbs because they weren’t bound to purity laws like German beers
  • Beer wasn’t that successful in North America after the Europeans started to settle because the climate couldn’t easily grow ingredients
  • Spirits became very popular in the United States
  • Prohibition and the soda industry hurt the beer industry in the US
  • Michael Jackson publish the World Beer Guide in 1977
  • Homebrewing began to pick up popularity and the craft beer revolution had started to gain momentum by the early 1990s

Give this book a read and support the author. There’s a lot I left out. Be on the lookout for chapter two coming soon!

Are there any good beer books you’ve read recently?