CCHBS News for February 2006
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- Recipe Specials for February
- Lager Yeasts on Sale this Month
- Muntons Bulk Extract in Stock
- Hours For the Weekend of February 17-19
- Take a Look at Our Website at www.brewsupply.com
- Spotlight on fermentation: Brewing Lagers
Recipe Specials for February
In April, Pacific
Gravity will feature Brown ales. These beers run the gamut, stylewise
and we've got a recipe for almost every palate. Our first recipe special
is Melrose Mild. Mild
ales are low-alcohol but still flavorful – exactly what light
beers should be but almost never are. Best of all, during February it's
only $16! Next up is Brown
Derby Ale. If you like the English Northern Brown ales, like Newcastle
Brown, this should be a favorite, especially since it's only $22 this
month. Queen Mary Brown Ale
is a good example of a Southern Brown ale. If you were lucky enough
to try a sample while we had it on tap, you'll know that this is a great
style for folks who don't like hops. It's also $22 during February.
Finally, we've got Malibu
Brown Ale for those who do love hops. The American Brown Ale style
was created by during the `80s by homebrewers who were just discovering
the contribution that hops could make to a beer. Think of it as an American
Pale Ale with a dark tan. It too is on special for $22.
Lager Yeasts on Sale this Month
February is the best month of the year for fermenting lagers, so we're
putting all of our lager yeasts on sale for $5.50. That's a full dollar
off our regular price! Whether you've been thinking about making a Bohemian
Pilsner, Bavarian Bock or Venna Lager, this is the time to do it!
Muntons Bulk Extract in Stock
Due to delivery problems with our usual supplier, we had to look elsewhere
for our bulk extract. This is actually a lucky break for those of you
who like to brew English beers, because the replacement is Muntons extract
from England. This is a high-quality extract, just like the Alexander's
we usually stock, but it's made using British malts instead of American
malts. Think of it as buying imported beer for the same price as domestic.
What could be better?
Hours For the Weekend of February 17-19
We will be open while Pacific
Gravity travels to San Francisco for the Homebrew Club of the Year
banquet. However Friday hours are still uncertain at this time, so please
call before coming over.
Take a Look at Our Website at www.brewsupply.com
If you haven't visited our website lately, it's well worth taking a
look. Our webmaster, Jillian
Wallis, has been hard at work and people are now telling us we've
got one of the most informative websites of any homebrew supply store!
We're also in the process of adding graphics to Fred Waltman's original
instructions on How to Brew Quality
Beers at Home, to make it even better!
Spotlight on Fermentation: Brewing Lagers
Many homebrewers are intimidated by the thought of brewing lagers,
but there's no need to be afraid. The only thing different about brewing
lagers, rather than ales, is that lager yeasts prefer lower fermentation
temperatures. While ales may be fermented at typical room temperatures,
primary fermentation for lagers must be in the 50-60º range –
lower than room temperature but warmer than a refrigerator. Achieving
this does take a little more work, but at the right time of year these
temperatures are easily attainable in the coastal regions of Southern
The first thing to do is find the coolest part of your house. During
February, it's easy to find an area that stays in the low 60°s.
Next, you'll need something to use as a water bath. Those rope-handled
utility tubs are great, but a new plastic trash can with a lid works
even better. If you wrap an old sleeping bag around it as insulation,
temperatures in the low fifties or even high forties are easy to reach.
The last piece of the puzzle is to find a way to cool the water bath
even more. Frozen plastic bottles of water work well. If using the rope-handled
tub, try putting an old t-shirt over your fermenter so that it touches
water, then pointing a fan at it to hasten evaporation. You might need
to do both. Whichever approach you choose, a floating thermometer in
the water batch will give you an idea of the temperature in your fermenter.
Once primary fermentation is complete, you'll need to lager your beer.
Lagers get their name from this step in the process, which means "storage"
in German. Cold storage is what you want, the colder the better. If
you have room for a carboy in your refrigerator, that's great. If not,
just keep your secondary fermenter as cool as you can. A water bath
works just as well here, if that's all you've got. Once you've bottled
your beer, allow it to carbonate. When you're sure they're carbonated,
store them in a fridge if possible. They'll lager in their little 12
or 22 ounce bottle and improve with age. While it's true that the colder
you can lager, the better, successful lagers can be brewed at temperatures
in the 50°s.