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CCHBS News for September 2003

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  1. September Recipe Specials
  2. Grapes Are in Season!
  3. Wine Bottles in Stock!
  4. Bulk Card Program Continues
  5. CCHBS Mentioned in Zymurgy!
  6. Spotlight on Technique - Cold Steeping

September Recipe Specials

The Pacific Gravity November style of the month is Alt and Kolsch so we're featuring recipe kits for those styles this month. To round out our offerings, we're also putting two of our most popular English ales on special. The recipes we're featuring are Angeles Alt, Kalifornia Kolsch, Burton Pale Ale and Brown Derby Ale. All four are on sale for $22.00.

Angeles Alt is our version of the classic Dusseldorf Alt. In German, alt means old and refers to the fact that Alts are ales, rather than lagers. Alts are copper-colored beers which combine maltiness with an assertive hop bitterness. $22.00

Kalifornia Kolsch is an example the other well-known German ale. Like its neighboring city Dusseldorf, Cologne (Koln in German) continued to brew an ale while the rest of the country converted to lagers. In this case, the style is light in color and emphasizes a delicate maltiness over bitterness. $22.00

Burton Pale Ale is our example of the classic English Pale Ale, which are hoppy without being overwhelming. If you enjoy Bass Ale (and it's hard to imagine a beer drinker who doesn't), you'll like this recipe. $22.00

Finally, we have Brown Derby Ale. This beer falls into the Northern English Brown Ale category. Commercial examples of this style include Newcastle Brown and Samuel Smith's Nut Brown Ale. Like the originals, our recipe has plenty of flavor and is always refreshing. $22.00

Grapes Are in Season!

Our long hot summer has resulted in grapes ripening sooner than expected and they will be arriving any day now. Unfortunately, Brian Ignatin's e-mail service has been down, so he can't reply to everyone who expressed interest. Please call Brian at 310-827-7350 if you want to be included in the bulk grape purchases through the Culver City Grapes Co-Op.

Wine Bottles in Stock!

Just in time for bottling last year's vintages, we have a full pallet of wine bottles scheduled to arrive on September 5th. These are antique (dark) green Bordeaux bottles which work well for any kind of wine. In the same shipment, we'll have a few cases of half-bottles available as well. Those won't last long, so move quickly.

Bulk Card Program Continues

A number of people have already decided to take advantage of our Bulk Card program, so why aren't you? Discounts of 25% and more are possible, simply by taking advantage of this program. The way it works is simple - you pay for base malts, specialty grains or hops in advance and we give you a big discount! Once you have the card, you can pick up your supplies as you need them and we'll mark them off your card. Think of it as buying by the sack, only we handle the storage for you!

CCHBS Mentioned in Zymurgy!

If you're an AHA member, or subscribe to Zymurgy, take a look at John Palmer's article on clarifiers. You'll see some familiar names mentioned. If you mention the article, we'll give you a $.25/lb. discount on Clarity malt.

Spotlight on Technique - Cold Steeping

Cold Steeping is a relatively new technique which shows great promise. As the name implies, grain is steeped in room-temperature water overnight, rather than in the typical manner used by extract brewers. However, unlike hot water steeping, cold steeping is not just for extract brewing and may be used with great success with all-grain batches. So why cold steep? Essentially, cold steeping is a way of extracting the "good" melanoidins from darker malts while leaving the "bad" melanoidins behind. An example of this is the English Dark Mild that Tom Rierson brought to the August Pacific Gravity meeting. Dark Milds can be tricky beers to brew because the large amount of dark grain needed for the required color tends to dominate the flavor profile. Tom decided to try cold steeping in hopes of reducing that flavor contribution and, having tasted it, I'd say he succeeded admirably.

The technique is pretty simple, if you want to try it yourself. Start by tripling the amount of specialty grains normally called for in your recipe. In fact, you can include malts which usually require mashing, like Munich, Melanoidin, or Honey malt. Then boil 2-3 quarts of water for each lb. of grain, cover it and let it cool to room temperature. Once the water has cooled, mix in your grain and let it steep 12-18 hours. When you're ready to brew, make your beer as you normally would (skipping the steeping part, of course). With about 5 minutes left in the boil, strain out the grain and pour the steeping water into your brewpot. It's that simple.

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