Ask the Beer Guy Podcast Episode 4

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In this episode we discuss, Octoberfest, alcohol taxes, beer for bone health, Boston Beer, Cooking pork with beer, yeast and diacetyl in beer. Visit: http://askthebeerguy.com/

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Ask the Beer Guy Podcast Episode 4

  1. 1. Weekly Podcast Episode 4 With your host Jon Griffin “The beer drinking professor”
  2. 2. http://askthebeerguy.com/ Podcast Episode2There’s nothing like a cold beer. In this episode we talk about:What I am drinkingAlcohol taxes, do they work?Beer for bone health, drink up!Boston Beer, Sam AdamsBucket list beer and real cask beer eventPork butt roast with beerYeastYour questions answeredWelcome to another edition of Ask The Beer Guy. This is your host Jon Griffin, “The BeerDrinking Professor.”What I am drinkingWe are talking about the “What I’m drinking” section this week and I should saywhat I’m drinking right now, because I’ve drunk a lot of the different beers thisweek. As you may read later on or hear later on this podcast, I had someOktoberfest beer that I cooked with, and that happens to be what I was drinkingright now. I had some Sam Adams Oktoberfest, which I think is a decentexample of an American version of an Oktoberfest. The German versions aredefinitely a little more authentic, but they’re also not catered to the Americanpalate.Sam Adams Oktoberfest when it comes out I tend to drink, I like it and if you’renot sure of the difference between Oktoberfest and fest beer and Marzen and allthose others. They’re all really related, but Oktoberfest is really an amber lagerthat has a lot of malt aroma and it usually toasted, it’s from the Vienna or theMunich malt that used if you’re a Brewer.It’s very clean; there shouldn’t be a lot of fruit on it. No hop aroma, no caramel,just basically toasted malt. If you think of Grape Nuts heated up that would bekind of the aroma that I think of to compare it to. Usually it’s a dark gold to deep
  3. 3. http://askthebeerguy.com/ Podcast Episode2amber color; some people will call it an orange-red. Dark gold to me is a littlemisleading. There are very few that are that light, I would put those under thefest beers, which are usually a little bit darker versions of the Munich Cala thatare made for beer festivals, not necessarily Oktoberfest. Of course they’re brightthey’re filtered in most cases, unless you’re drinking homebrew.The head on it could be a little off white, but it should have a fairly decent headretention to it. They start off malty sweet, but they finish kind of dry, which isvery typical of a well-made German style beer. Even though their sweet theresidual sugars are gone and they end up dry, which makes you want to drinkanother one, makes you want to eat some food, which is exactly happenswhenever I’m over in Munich or Germany. I tend to not drink one, but I’m doingit for professional reasons, that’s my excuse, I don’t know what yours would be.They should be toasted some complexity in the maltiness, could be some hopbitterness, but a lot of times it may be just a little bit of dark grain that you thinkis bitter. You might get a little tiny bit of hop flavor, but it’s going to be more of afloral, noble, hop aroma but definitely, the balance is towards the malt.The mouth feel on these is usually medium. I’ve seen some that are medium-light, but they should be a medium body. They’re not meant to be a summerdrinking beer they’re fall time festival time, the harvest is over, should be creamymedium carbonation and fully fermented, again like I say, that’s what causes thedryness and it should not be sweet at the finish at all, that would be a flaw. I likeit if you want to try some versions that are not from Sam Adams, there’s a lot ofdifferent German versions out Hacker-Pschorr, Oktoberfest, Ayinger is great. ThePaulaner I like it. Over at the Firkin Frog I actually had the WarsteinerOktoberfest on draft, that’s surprisingly such a much better beer on draft than inthe bottle, if you happen to see it on tap try it out. Spaten of course is anothername. If you’re looking for American versions, Gordon Beers has one they calltheirs a Marzen. If you’re back east and you can get Goose Island, try theirOktoberfest.
  4. 4. http://askthebeerguy.com/ Podcast Episode2 Alcohol TaxesIt seems like everybody wants to tax alcohol and especially beer. Wheneverthere’s a crisis, politicians love it because, of course, it’s a sin tax and not sin taxlike a programming word, but sin tax as in, “You’re a sinner and you should betaxed for your moronic use of drinking a God-given natural drink”.France is the latest one. Britain had a major problem raising their tax rate earlierin the year and many of the pubs and brewers are seeing a significant drop inmoney. Now in France, taxes on beer are set to increase by more than 160%under a new law being pushed through the French Parliament. That’s whathappens when you get Socialist Presidents in your country. It’s supposed to add$0.06 a glass but the President, Francois Hollande, he’s saying that it’s going toraise €480 million to invest in social projects for young people and the elderlyand the ministers out there, the goody-two-shoes, say it’ll help reduce alcoholand tobacco consumption.Trade groups, though, of course, are arguing that it could damage the beerindustry. Reading this article, at $0.06 a glass, when you’re paying $4 to $8 for aglass of beer in the European Union, I don’t think an extra $0.06 is going tomatter. The reason I would object to it is it’s … first it’s $0.06, then it’s $0.10,then it’s $1, then it’s $2. Then, well, they can take two, so now it’s 10. It’s theslippery slope.This particular one, I don’t agree that there should be a major problem, but ofcourse, a lot of the owners of bars are saying that there’s going to be a bigproblem. This guy Richard Wilson, who works at the Bower … it’s a British pub inParis … he’s telling his employees that it’s a bit catastrophic. The industry’shaving problems already. People are drinking at home more and the bar sectorin France is diminishing quite considerably so it’s going to affect us quite badly.Again, I don’t see how $0.06 can make that big a difference. I think it’s a societalshift that more and more people want to entertain at home. The economy’s bad.They don’t want to go out. It’s a good boogey-man and I don’t agree with thetax increase. I think the politicians should spend what they have wisely instead
  5. 5. http://askthebeerguy.com/ Podcast Episode2of just saying we need more, more, more. That’s a political question which Idon’t really feel like getting into on these Ask the Beer Guy podcasts.Please let me know what you think. Is $0.06 this time a big problem, going tocause the major collapse in the bar industry in France or anywhere in Europewith these increases in taxes? Do you think these people are just whining or doyou see it like me, that it’s going to be a slippery slope that the next time theyneed money, it’s going to be a $0.10 increase, then $0.20, then $1. Please let meknow at askthebeerguy.com.Beer for bone health, drink up!It looks like even Dr. Oz is getting into the beer world. He’s talking specifically tomen, which are probably the majority of beer drinkers in the world even to thisday, even though a lot of women are drinking beer. He’s basically talking aboutbone health, and they find out now that there’s a bone saving secret in brew,and that is silicon. That’s the chemical that stimulates collagen, and collagen is aprotein that makes your bones denser and your joints more flexible. People takeglucosamine and chondroitin and that, but now they’re finding that drinkingbeer can actually help your bones. He’s actually advocating beers with a lot ofhops and malt and barley as being the richest in silicon. So all you Imperial IPAdrinkers, keep on drinking, and if anybody says anything just tell them, “Hey,basically I’m doing it for my bones.” Bananas and brown rice are also high insilicon, so if you can find a way to make a banana, brown rice Imperial IPA, youcould sell it as a health food.That’s my health tip for the day, for the week, for the month. Anyways, you allknow that drinking beer is healthy. The hops have been proven to be antiseptic,and we’ll talk about some other stuff as the weeks go on and I dig up some moremedical news.Boston Beer, Sam AdamsI just read an interesting report about Boston Beer. You may know them as SamAdams, but on the New York Stock Exchange their symbol is SAM. They actuallyreported some really good numbers for the third quarter of 2012, with net
  6. 6. http://askthebeerguy.com/ Podcast Episode2revenue increase of about $31.6 million, or 23% over last year’s same period.They are claiming that’s mainly over the core shipment growth of 17%, and thenet income was 20.8 million, or $1.53 a share, if you happen to have the stock.That’s also an increase of $0.34 per diluted share from the third quarter of 2011.It looks like for Sam Adams and the Boston Beer company, the beer business hasbeen very, very good.One thing I want to mention to people, as they always ask me, especially in class… I always get one or two a semester that they take my beer class because theywant to open up a beer company. I want to stress that even though somecompanies do good, there are so many businesses failing in the beer world, justlike the restaurant world. The few that are making a lot of money, make a ton ofmoney. There’s a few making good money. Most of them barely survive. There’sall those that drop off. The reason I mention that is the beer market’s really …it’s not an ever-expanding market like people think. In fact, if you followed myblog or my AskTheBeerGuy site, you’ll see that beer, in most cases,consumption’s gone down in the United States and in most of the world, soyou’re fighting for a bigger piece of a smaller pie. That takes a lot of money.I think I mentioned before, I had some guys from out of the country that wantedme to help them with a distribution arrangement in the States, and I turnedthem down. I basically said it’s almost impossible unless you’ve got millions ofdollars for budget, because the competition is so fierce and the big guys havesuch a big hold on the market, and I’m including more than just the Big Three.I’m talking about probably the top 100 breweries in the country. They make itvery difficult to get shelf space. You can go to all the free tastings you want andgive away all the beer you want. The distributors, in many cases, don’t care. Theywant you to do all the work for them, so you’re going to have a sales fleet prettymuch on your own in each state. If you don’t, you’re probably barely going tomake any money.That’s just a little warning for anybody that’s really thinking about opening abrewery, especially if you’re trying to brew in the package market, you’rebottling and canning for sale. If you’re going to open a brew pub, that’s adifferent story. That’s still a hard road to hoe, as they say, and one thing you
  7. 7. http://askthebeerguy.com/ Podcast Episode2might want to think about is you’re really opening a restaurant, not amicrobrewery because you have a huge restaurant that happens to sell the beeryou make. There’s still opportunity for that because people locally still like bigbeer. It’s just much harder to get state or national distribution, much lessinternational. That’s my two cents. If you have any comments and think I’m fullof it, please let me know at AskTheBeerGuy.com.Bucket list beer and real cask beer eventI mentioned last week those of you in Las Vegas, if you were there forHalloween, you could get the last of the Gonzo. I actually had some the otherday as well. There are still a little bit left of the 9.2 percent Gonzo Imperial Porterthat’s been aged for five years from Flying Dog. If you happen to be in Vegas, goto the Freakin’ Frog and get it before it’s gone.I also mentioned that there’s going to be a special Cask Number Six which is oldengine oil reserve from Clackmannanshire, UK. That got changed so you stillhave time. I know it didn’t sell out because the date changed but it’s now goingto be this Sunday, November 11th, that’s 06:00 at the Freakin’ Frog. It’s 45 bucksa person. You don’t want to miss this bucket list. There’s never going to beanother chance for you to have it.It’s a classic and intense Jet Black Stout. It should be on anybody’s list, any beerdrinker’s list, as I mentioned in the last podcast. If you need more info, go toFreakinFrog, that’s F-R-E-A-K-I-N-F-R-O-G, (dot) com, or you can call them at 702-217-6794. I highly, highly recommend being there this Sunday for the Engine OilReserve. If you’re there, let me know. I wouldn’t mind talking to you and seeingwhat you think.Pork butt roast with beerI’ve been doing a lot of cooking with beer lately and one of the things I like to dois convert recipes that I find and add beer to them. The other day I happened tobe at the local store and they had a nice big pork butt roast with the bone in iton sale about half price. It was expiring that day but it was vacuum packed so Ididn’t really worry about it being old. I just know that you can buy some stuff
  8. 8. http://askthebeerguy.com/ Podcast Episode2that’s on the last day and it lasts a couple of weeks, especially when it’s vacuumpacked, so I decided to do that.This is a really simple recipe. I love the crock pot because a) it makes the housesmell awesome and b) you don’t have to sit over the stove. For those lazy cooks,it’s great. You can start something in the morning. For those of you that aren’tlazy but just like cooking and you just want to do a nice slow cook, crock pot’sgreat for that … or the slow cooker.What I did was take this pork roast and did a really simple thing with it. I hadabout four big leeks that I bought also on sale at the same day, cut off the greenpart and got the sand out of them. Throw those in the Cuisinart along withabout 10 or 12 cloves of garlic. You can use more or less depending on what youwant. Minced those up really nice. Took all of about 30 seconds. Threw that inthe bottom of the slow cooker. Then I salt and peppered them a little bit just toget a little flavor. I also salt and peppered the pork butt roast and threw that ontop of the leek and garlic mixture.Then I took one bottle that I had of some Oktoberfest beer and I used a amberlager for a reason and that was because I was looking for a little bit of characterfrom the beer, but I didn’t want something dark with chocolatey and coffee orburnt notes in it that a darker beer would have given me. I also wanted a littlebit of some nutty sweetness or beer character that I probably wouldn’t have gotfrom a light lager. You could use an amber ale as well. In fact, you couldprobably use almost any beer, but like most cooking, you don’t want a highlyhop beer because that hop character may not go well with the beer … or I’msorry … may not go well with the food.I threw all that in there. Put the top on and six to eight hours later, it was done… fall apart good. Threw it on a toasted piece of a Kaiser roll with somemayonnaise … actually I think it was a Mexican bolillo roll … or a telera roll …and ate that up. The rest of the family loved it. They just ate it plain. It’s a greatthing for sandwiches or as a meal. Try that. It’s on the website ataskthebeerguy.com.
  9. 9. http://askthebeerguy.com/ Podcast Episode2YeastToday’s home brewed geek lesson and beer lesson is going to be about yeast.I’m not going to try and make this the be all and end all about yeast becauseyeast is probably one of the most complicated parts of the brewing cycle. I justwant to go over some general concepts and maybe help people understandwhat yeast is; how it affects beer especially home brewers.As most of you know there’s Lager beer and there’s Ale beer and of coursethere’s Belgian – that’s more of a flavor profile as opposed to a type.There’s Lager, there’s Ale and there’s also what we might call hybrids, whichmight be warmly fermented Lager or cool fermented Ale. In the case of Scottishbeer that would be like cool fermented Ale yeast and in the case of CaliforniaCommon, or Anchor steam type beer, that would be a warm fermented Lageryeast.What does yeast do? A lot of people understand that it eats the sugar in thebeer. The two bi products that really most people know about are C02 andalcohol, but there’s a lot more that goes on with that.There’s Esters, there’s Phenols, there’s Diacetyl which I’ll talk about in thequestion this week. Flocculation and attenuation … there’s also more than thetwo normal types of yeast which are the Lager and the Ale.There’s also yeast that aren’t really even in the same family as the normal, whatpeople think of as yeast. There’s Brettanomyces yeast there for Lambics orLambic if you want to pronounce it more professionally.The main thing to understand in the two type of yeast and that’s what I’llconcentrate on today is Ale versus Lager – is the temperature difference.Lager yeast is fermented cooler, so generally below 60 degrees, usually in the50s, 55-50 degrees. Ale yeasts are fermented warmer, usually 68 or 72. It couldbe anywhere from 65 to maybe 80 on a Belgian yeast.
  10. 10. http://askthebeerguy.com/ Podcast Episode2All yeast – even Lager yeast – they all ferment higher but they put up more andmore bi products and the bi products are the flavor profiles in yeast but thoseflavor profiles can be good and they can be bad.By fermenting your Lager yeast really warm, you’re going to get a lot of oddflavors or things that don’t seem beer-like. The yeast are just doing their thingbut they’re more accustomed to being cool and they breath slower, theirmetabolism is slower, they tend to be a lot cleaner. When we think of Lageryeast we think of clean crisp refreshing beer. It doesn’t have to be yellow fizzywater. There’s Lagers that are dark, there’s Lagers that are amber. AnOctoberfest which I was drinking is really an amber Lager. You can getSwartzbier which is a dark Lager.Basically you can see by keeping the same grain vial on the same hop load. Justchanging the yeast and the temperature fermentation is going to create acompletely different beer.Ale yeast is warm fermented so it’s known for more Esters more Phenols more biproducts but one advantage it has is there’s less Diacetly. Diacetyl is thepopcorn butter type flavor and aroma. It’s generally a flaw though, Ale –especially some English ones – it is okay but you shouldn’t overpower the beer.Also in Czechoslovakian style pilsners, they don’t get rid of the Diacetyl eitherbut in general in most beers you don’t want any noticeable Diacetyl. The waythe Lager brewers get rid of it is they warm their yeast up for a couple of dayswhen it’s almost fermented out to raise the temperature to 65 degrees or so.Then the yeast reactivate. They get more active and when they get more activethey start to clean up their own mess, you could say.Ale yeast is fermented warmer but at the same time as we talk about in ourquestion that’s coming up, you still need to let the fermentation processcontinue. If you cut off fermentation and just start cleaning everything up you’renot allowing the yeast to clean up after itself, so that’s a good thing to know.Even if your beer may ferment out in three days, if it’s an Ale, let it sit anotherweek or two. It’s not going to hurt anything and it’s only going to clean itself up.
  11. 11. http://askthebeerguy.com/ Podcast Episode2Another thing we talked about is Flocculation and that’s the ability of the yeastto clump together and maybe fall out of suspension. Lager yeast tended notflocculate to the top. They tend to just fall down to the bottom which is whyyou’ll hear Lager being called the bottom fermented yeast. That doesn’t meanthat yeast is at the bottom. Fermenting it really means that the yeast have atendency to drop out of suspension or flocculate out well.Ale yeast on the other hand tends to be top fermenting or tend to clumptogether at the top of the fermentor that you’re using. That’s how you get thoseterms. I’ll go in to flocculation and attenuation when we get into serious homebrewing and how you can tweak your yeast out and those kinds of things.You’ll also hear about attenuation and that’s the ability for the yeast to eat allthe sugar that’s available. There’s certain sugars that can’t be eaten by Ale yeast.Raffinose is one. In general highly attenuating yeast tends to consume more ofthe sugars that are typical in a wort or in a beer.Low attenuating would leave more of a mouth feel and have obviously lessalcohol because there’s more sugar left in the beer. A brewer doesn’t just pickthe Ale and Lager yeast, they also pick base on the flocculation characteristics,the attenuation.One case where you may want a yeast that doesn’t fall out of suspension easilyusually or clump together is a Hefeweizen – especially the German style or theBelgian wheat beers – where you have an unfiltered beer but part of the style isactually to have that yeast in suspension. That’s why they’re cloudy. Nobodyfilters it. If the yeast was highly flocculating it would just drop to the bottom andit would still be pretty much a clear beer and that’s not want you want. There is alot of consideration into that.I want to clear up another myth. A lot of people say, “Oh, yeast wasn’tdiscovered until Louis Pasteur or right around that time.” Actually the firstknown instance that I could find was 1674 when Anthony Van Leeuwenhoekdiscovered yeast. That was a long time … that was in the middle ages. Theyprobably didn’t know a lot about it at that time. They just knew it existed.
  12. 12. http://askthebeerguy.com/ Podcast Episode2In 1837 Theodore Schwann discovered that yeast metabolizes sugar. He’s theactual one who named it Saccharomyces. Bottom fermenting … really lagerbrewing began in 1841 with a guy named Gabriel Sedlmayr in Munich and thenhis counterpart in Vienna, Anton Dreher.It wasn’t till 1850 that Louie Pasteur came really close to isolating yeast. FinallyLouis Pasteur and Buchner revealed that alcohol was the bi product of carbonmetabolism of yeast involving zymase. Then the famous Carlsberg brewery inCopenhagen was the first one to finally isolate lager yeast and that was EmilHanson in 1881.You could see brewers have known about yeast for a long time but it’s still like ablack art. There’s constant research going on whereas malting and those thingsare pretty well known. There’s some innovation that happens but basically yeastis still the black magic of the brewing world.It’s going to pay to understand how yeast not only affects the flavor but alsohow the brewer picks certain yeast.I hope that helps and if you have any questions or comments please let meknow.Your questions answeredI got a question from Sara this week. It says, “Is there any way to control theproduction of diacetyl?” If you don’t know what diacetyl is, it’s usually a flaw inmost tiles, bit it’s the butter, butterscotch artificial popcorn type butter that youwould get at the movie theater flavor. They’re sometimes in aroma of butter aswell. The threshold is pretty low.If you have it in your beer, a lot of people can taste it fairly easily. I happen to beone of the two-thirds of the country that has a really hard time tasting it unlessit’s a pretty high concentration. There’s an easy test for it and that slickness onthe roof of your mouth. If you rub your tongue on the roof of your mouth, you’llfeel the slickness there.
  13. 13. http://askthebeerguy.com/ Podcast Episode2That means there are some diacetyl. If it feels normal, it’s not dry because it’sobviously watery, but it sticks instead as it is slippery, then you know you mayhave a diacetyl problem. If you can smell butter or you can really taste it, themouthfeel is going to get buttery, then you know you have a problem.One of the things that I have been studying a lot about is yeast production andhow a yeast affects beers. I’ve always said the best thing a home brewer can dois there’s one way to improve your beer above all others is temperature control.That’s because the yeast hate fluctuation. As we talked about yeast in the earliersection, you can see how important yeast is to your beer.One advantage of temperature control is the yeast tends to metabolize theirown diacetyl. Home brewers tend to have this mentality that yeast is an evilthing. As soon as their beer is fermented out, they drop the yeast, freeze it, filterit, rack it over, or whatever. When in reality, what they should be doing iswaiting another week or two before they even lower the temperature becauseeven at ale temperatures, the yeast, even though they may not be fermentingany sugars, they are getting rid of some by-products.Chris White’s book, “Yeast,” talks a lot about how diacetyl production occurs. Ifyou think about it from a lager point of view, they raised the temperature up to65 degrees or so for a couple of days, and that reactivates the yeast and theystart to eat their own by-products. One of the lagering effects is even thoughthe temperature is low, the yeast isn’t dead yet. If you’re beer isn’t filtered out ofyeast, the yeast will slowly, very slowly eat the by-products including diacetyl.It’s still better not to just crash your yeast.I hate to stress this, but most home brewers have some weird obsession withyeast that if your beer stays on the yeast for more than two days after it’sfermented, and I’m exaggerating there, but I’d actually had some people thatthey’ll measure their final gravity two or three times a day. As soon as it gets towhat they think it should be, they rack the beer. They’ll crash it down into 30degree, 35 degree refrigerator, and that is one way to guarantee you that you’regoing to have, not only diacetyl, but other by-products.
  14. 14. http://askthebeerguy.com/ Podcast Episode2Again, temperature control and understanding how yeast works will really helpyour home brew. I hope that answers your questions, Sara.Please sign up for our mailing list to keep up with all the beer news!

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