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CCHBS News for August 2004

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  1. August Recipe Specials
  2. All-grain Class - Decoction Mashing
  3. Winemakers - Grape Harvest Approaching
  4. New Brewing Book - Radical Brewing
  5. Cooper's Kits in Stock
  6. Spotlight on Technique - Beating the Heat

August Recipe Specials

In October, Pacific Gravity will feature smoked beers as their style of the month. Unfortunately, these styles are out of reach for extract brewers, because smoked malts require mashing. But don't worry, we've still got specials this month: Addams Family Lager, Near Dark Dunkelweizen and Double Trouble Belgian Dubbel.

We've noticed that a bunch of you have purchased refrigerator controllers, so we're developing some new lager kits. These things take time, even though we're starting with our next beginner's class. So why not take advantage of a well-tested lager recipe? Addams Family Lager is our version of one of the most popular beers in the country - the one from Boston, named after a famous brewer patriot. Experience it for $22 in August.

Near Dark Dunkelweizen is one of our newest recipes. If you've never had a rich, dark wheat beer, here's your chance. Best of all it's still a great beer for brewing during warm weather. Only $22.

Double Trouble Belgian Dubbel is another great choice for warm weather brewing. It's a great example of a classic Trappist beer, and with 9 full pounds of extract, it doesn't need a vow of silence to sneak up on you. $30 for the month of August.

All-grain Class - Decoction Mashing

We'll be holding the last in our series of all-grain classes on Sunday, August 8th. This class focuses on decoction mashes and is a great class for anyone who wants to learn this traditional approach to brewing Pilsners and Bavarian lagers. If you want to attend, be at the store at 10 sharp, because decoctions take time.

Winemakers - Grape Harvest Approaching

You winemakers will be happy to know that our annual grape purchase is approaching fast. This year we'll be featuring Zinfandel, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon grapes. There won't be a co-op this year, but instead we'll be charging a single price per pound, and including yeast, yeast nutrients, sulfites and day-by-day instructions. We'll be ordering based on pre-purchase, so get your orders in early if you don't want to miss out.

New Brewing Book - Radical Brewing

Randy Mosher's latest book is a great blend of beer and brewing history, recipes, tips, techniques and lots of ideas of how to shake up your brewing - for the better. This one is destined to become a classic and we've got it.

Cooper's Kits in Stock

People have asked us to carry a line of no-boil kits, so we've chosen a few from Cooper's. These are great kits for hot weather brewing because they don't need to be boiled for an hour. We've got Nut Brown Ale, Stout and Bitter to choose from.

Spotlight on Technique - Beating the Heat

The dog days of August are upon us, which means that the summer heat is about to arrive. Sadly, most beer yeasts aren't crazy about the heat. We try to help by featuring recipe kits using yeasts that do thrive in summer heat, but sometimes you've just got to brew something besides wheat beers and Belgians. So what can you do if you want to keep brewing through the hottest days of the year? Fortunately, there are solutions other than the obvious (and expensive) choice of buying a spare refrigerator and temperature controller.

First, set up a water bath. A spare bathtub will work, but for most of us it's easier to get one of those rope-handled plastic tubs, set the fermenter inside it and pour in a few buckets of water. The water will both provide a heat sink for the fermenter and help keep the temperature from fluctuating wildly from night to day.

If the water bath isn't quite enough, pull an old t-shirt over your fermenter and make sure that it extends down into the water. The fabric will wick water up into the shirt, where it will evaporate, which provides a cooling effect. For an extra boost, direct a fan onto the shirt to hasten evaporation.

If you live somewhere that gets really hot during the day, you'll have to get serious and use ice. A few half-gallon milk jugs filled 3/4 full of water and frozen provide a convenient colling medium. Keep one or two in the water bath and swap them out for the ones from the freezer once or twice a day.

If you use all the techiques above, you'll be able to keep brewing straight through the summer, even if the temperature climbs into the 90s!

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