Inspired by Brew Masters

The wake of Dogfish Head’s interpersonal marketing series Brew Masters is a hit with beer enthusiast. The show host is the brewery's founder Sam Calagione. He travels the world gathering inspiration for his specialty selections.  I’m a new on the scene of brewing interested in watching others make beer. I’ve viewed the episodes of Brew Masters as marketing-hype targeted to sell limited specialty brews. My attention is acutely for the Dogfish Head's brewmaster Floris Delee. He is a top-notch craftsman and also the creator of their Imperial Stout: Bitches Brew. I hope to try more Dogfish Head rarities despite the hype.

Dogfish Head Brew Masters

Friends who brew encouraged me to jump-in and start brewing. The process was simply: heat water, dump grains, add hops and stir. I'm finding the true craft is maintaining consistency for repetitive results.

I'm learning to brew and shall continue with clone beers or classic styles until I’m familiar with process of capturing sugar. My first batch was a collective effort. We brewed a Belgian Sasion using malt extracts with a mini-mash to impart freshness. We setup on Christmas Eve and brewed till dusk. The day continued without commotion as the rest of the world was shopping we spent the day lofting about garage.

Brewing Note: Dissolve the malt extract with slow additions to the boil. Otherwise it tends to settle at the bottom of the kettle.

On Chirstmast day I got a quick lesson in fermentation as the air lock blow off leaving a big mess to clean. I found this to be common to with highly active yeast. A blow off tube was devised to recover. However, this was a holiday and I had no tubing. Luckily I had a vacuum coffee brewer with plunger-carafe assembly. The coffee brewer created a one-way valve allowing gas to escape.

carboy blow off tube

After a week primary fermentation stopped attenuating at a final gravity of 1.018. The beer averaged ~7.5% ABV with fruity under tones and malted characteristics. Overall some aroma was missing but this is an exceptional first batch of beer.

Belgian Sasion homebrew

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