Ale alchemy

I really like this article on homebrewing: Ale alchemy. It’s a good overview of the craft, an interview with and profile of a guy running a homebrew supply shop, and even an interesting source of homebrew trivia/oddities.

Martin poured the dregs of the beer, murky with yeast, into a shot glass. It tasted smooth and sweet. "Usually, the brewer drinks the sediment. It’s really good for you, mostly vitamin B, and it’ll keep you from getting a hangover," he said.

Back at SA Homebrew, I sample a couple more beers, trying to pick out the hops from the yeast flavors. Huntress sets up a small glass of hefeweizen, made from a wheat yeast that tastes of bananas and clover. Next, he pours a Sierra Nevada pale ale that has a sweet apple flavor from yeast, and a citrus hops finish. It’s good but I can’t help noticing it’s a little warm. In the dog days of summer, Huntress explains, you may crave an icy beer, but it’s tastiest served cool, not cold. That said, warmth accelerates bacteria growth, so ideally beer is aged cold. "Most bars serve beer a little too cold," he says. "My advice to consumers is to let it sit for 10 minutes. I know homebrewers who will microwave it for 10 seconds."

I’ve never known anybody to shoot the dregs from a shot glass, much less microwave their beer. That seems kind of hardcore. Probably not something I’ll ever do (the microwaving, not necessarily the shot glass thing).