Friday, September 16, 2016

The Growler

Last night was poker night and I wanted to bring the boys a sample of my latest brew. While I didn’t have a bottle officially designated a growler, I did have a clear glass, half gallon jug that had originally contained fresh apple cider. I cleaned it with Starsan with the notion of filling it with beer and taking it along to the game. However, after doing a little research while waiting for the jug to dry, I abandoned the notion

Garrett Oliver, brewmaster at the Brooklyn Brewery and editor-in-chief of the Oxford Companion to Beer, is not a fan of the growler. “Growlers are basically beer destroyers. They’re often unsanitary, and the refilling process mixes in a lot of oxygen–the tiniest amount of oxygen kills beer so quickly. Then, if you walk across the street with say, an IPA, in full sunlight, with a clear growler, the beer will skunk before you get to your car.”

Good things come to those who wait. I am hosting the next poker game and I look forward to serving my beer fresh from the kegerator tap. Did I make the right decision? What is the view of those experienced in the use of the growler?

Friday, September 9, 2016

I Have Suds!

Suds? Man, do I have suds! I recently brewed a Kolsch style beer and stored it in a Cornelius Keg. My approach to carbonating a brew has been to turn up the CO2 pressure to 30 lbs, leaving it in the kegerator for a few days. This has always proven a successful method. Seemingly not so in this case. Pouring a glass of beer proved a 5 minute challenge. Essentially you got a glass of suds that when settled was flat.

Occasionally, the tap produced a burst of liquid that was tasty and well carbonated. However, gaseous bubbles were the norm in most pours, an exercise that proved most frustrating.

I have researched possible causes. The most probable, it seems is a short output line from the keg. While my output line is not as lengthy as most kegerator designs recommend, the system has produced beautiful pours before and since this keg of Kolsch.

At this point, the Kolsch is resting, unattached from any lines in or out. I’m enjoying my most recent brew, a sweet, bubbly, golden coloured Bavarian Hefe while pondering the cause and possible solution to my problematic Kolsch.