Saturday, November 5, 2011

The Devil is in the brewing Details

As is my custom each week, I stopped by my 'local' LHBS to pick up a few odds-n-ends and some brewing ingredients; an ounce or two of a new hop variety, a few smack packs of yeast, and a couple pounds of specialty grains. I also wanted to pick up a few things for a batch of American Pale Ale that I had planned for Sunday. However, by the time I got over to the yeast and hops refrigerator, I had thought up a completely different beer to brew. Something that I could brew a 3 gallon batch of and let age in bottles - a big and rich Belgian Dark Strong. And they even had my my favorite Belgian yeast - Ardennes, score! So I went back to the specialty grains and started to look for things I might need. "Let's see... special b, need some of that... ah, torrefied wheat, I could use some of that in an English IPA... might as well get some Aromatic malt while I'm here."

I was just about to head to the register and check out when I saw something strange... Weyerman Munich II, 20L!? I knew that didn't look right. I had bought and used a pound of that same malt in my Czech Dunkel; or should I say I used what I though was Weyermann Munich 10L. My head started spinning. "If Weyermann Munich II is 10L, then why then would it be labeled 20L? Who makes a 20L Munich malt?!" I thought about for a minute and then to my horror, realized what I was actually looking at... Breiss Dark Munich, twenty lovibond. That god-awful faux-Munich, crystal malt crap they deviously invented to ruin peoples perfectly good beers. Ah, sh*t!!!

The damage was done. I used nearly 15% of the stuff in my recent Czech Dunkel without ever realizing what I had done. And all the time I have been lagering this beer, I'd thought I had a good thing on my hands. A beer engineered and executed to my high expectations. And now the hammer blow falls. I asked the guy behind the counter about the malt mix-up. He said they didn't carry Weyermann Munich II, only the Breiss crap. Ah sh*t. 

As I sit here typing this, my sorrows drowned in enough beer and whiskey to pacify even the most seasoned of Irish drunkards, I am again reminded that the devil is in the details. And the rule of the five "P's" or something. Prior planning prevents poor performance. Translation, know what your putting into your beer. Another batch of beer brewed and another batch needing re-brewing. I tried some of the beer today. It tasted like a sweet, carmelly dunkel. Bummer. 

1 comment:

  1. I went to my LHBS and asked for a pound of Briess carapils, it looked pretty dark so I asked about it, turns out it is Fawcett Caramalt a 25 Lov crystal malt! They said it was close enough! never shopping there again...


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