Archives for September 2015

Quick Spiced Holiday Mead


This guest article originated with a listener’s question to Basic Brewing Radio. James asked mead fan Tim Leber to respond to a question involving the desire to make a mead in time for the holidays. Tim’s answer was so thorough that James suggested that Tim flesh it out and let us publish it. So here’s Tim’s suggestion for making a spiced holiday mead in time for the holidays. He recommends de-gassing the mead during fermentation, to keep the yeast working as quickly as possible. And, when primary fermentation is finished, the mead is stabilized with potassium sorbate (which is commonly used in winemaking).

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Hedgerow Tripel


A Sherman tank, with a hedgerow cutter, crashes through a hedgerow in WWII.

Here is my recipe for tripel. As I mentioned in the series of articles on tripel, the recipe for a good tripel can be very simple — and this recipe is as simple as you can make it, just Pilsner malt, sugar, hops, and yeast. They key to brewing a great tripel is running a good fermentation. Using high-quality malt and hops is also important.

If you plan to brew tripels often, take good notes when brew this, and tweak the beer to your liking in subsequent brew sessions. Relatively little changes in the fermentation can lead to tastable changes in the finished beer, so take extra care to monitor the fermentation and record all the details.

Hedgerow Tripel

by Chris Colby

All-grain; English units


This is a classic Belgian-style tripel, based on the famous Westmalle Tripel. It is a strong (9% ABV) beer that is light in color. The (relatively) high hopping rate, low final gravity, and high level of carbonation give the beer a dry feel, relative to other beers of this strength. There are no spices in this beer. However, the yeast strain and fermentation conditions add a moderate amount of fruity esters and phenolic “spice” to the beer. 

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Beer News (Aug. 3–Sept. 10)

BWJlogoOK, it’s been awhile, so this is a fairly large installment of Beer News. As always, let’s start with a listicle. In a list concept that seemed totally forced, but that I couldn’t stop myself from clicking on, Thrillist has compiled the perfect beer for every NFL team. Somehow, the best beer for the Browns isn’t a brown ale. Uproxx has also compiled the best breweries in South Dakota. I’m from there — although currently living in Texas — and I hadn’t heard of some of these.

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