Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Laser Salt and The Beer Model

"Not too hoppy and not too dark".

She isn't just a gorgeous face and hot body. The SheppyBrew Beer Model also brews beer once and a while. She, of course, helped me brew the first batch of 15 Year Amber Ale. I helped her brew a batch one of her favorite beers, Summer Lovin' American Wheat. (see Beer Model Brew Day).

Both those beers turned out fantastic, so obviously she is a great brewer. And, let's be honest, the pictures on this blog of her brewing are much more pleasant to view than ones of the usual SheppyBrew Brew Master. She adds some tasteful class to the whole SheppyBrew Brewery persona. I am quite certain our sales would be practically nothing without her as our Beer Model and part time brewer.

As many of you know, this weekend is the American Homebrewers Association's BIG BREW DAY. The idea behind the day is a huge social experiment where Homebrewers get together and brew the same recipe. It is like a huge brewing party all over the country.

Here at SheppyBrew Brewery, we have made it tradition that on BIG BREW DAY, we use the day as an excuse to make sure the Beer Model does brew with me at least once a year. So far, we have not done the "official" AHA Big Brew Day Recipes, coming up with recipes of our own instead.

After all, we want to make sure they are "not too hoppy and not too dark".

Brewing up Summer Lovin' on last year's BIG BREW DAY
So, I tasked the SheppyBrew Beer Model to decide on a style of beer she would like to make. Her initial answer, of course, was "not too hoppy and not too dark".

You probably remember that it bugs me a bit when people discriminate against beer based on color (see Pale Ale if you want a refresher). When the Beer Model says she doesn't like "dark" beers, she means she doesn't like the highly roasted coffee flavors of stouts / porters and similar beers.

"Too hoppy" is pretty subjective. I don't ever recall calling a beer "too hoppy". The beer model calls lots of beers "too hoppy". Actually, I don't think the hop flavor or aroma is what she has a problem with. When she says she doesn't like "hoppy" beers. She really means she doesn't like bitter beers.

For example the 15 Year Amber Ale was a beer that I described as hoppy. It has a burst of flowery / noble-like crystal hops that are wonderfully flavorful in that beer. It was not real bitter, though. The bitterness it had was balanced (I thought perfectly) with a nice caramel malt backbone. She drank a lot of the 15 Year Amber and never once commented on it being "too hoppy".

But, we have been drinking beers together for quite some time, so despite her aggravating vocabulary, I did know what she was talking about. Even so, "not too hoppy and not too dark" leaves a wide range of beers.

Brewing 15 Year Amber in 2010
Big Brew Day was approaching fast and "not too hoppy and not too dark" was not narrowing the recipe down for us. What would we do? How would we decide? How is it possible that we could we develop a recipe in time the purchase the ingredients and brew on Saturday? What the hell is Laser Salt and what does it have to do with the Beer Model and/or brewing and/or the BIG BREW DAY? Are the Tweedle Beetles involved?

OH NO!!!!!!!

Stay tuned for the exciting continuation of Laser Salt and The Beer Model.


  1. How *dare* you leave us hanging like that?!

  2. It was getting long and I wasn't anywhere near done.


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