Last weekend our Wandsworth Town location took on the challenge of replicating Putney’s Petrus tasting event. From lively photos, enthusiastic phone calls, and general knowledge of what the tasting would be it seemed like a fantastic evening to be involved with . . . not that anyone is bitter about it . . . But really we took on task. Nick “The hairy one” came over from Putney to fill the shoes of Phil and guide our guests through beer, food, and blending (you can read in our previous blog the specifics of the tasting.)
Being a smaller location we expectedly had a smaller group. This gave everybody the time to get more in depth into the discussion on beer, and really challenge us on our beer knowledge. In my opinion we all left with an even greater appreciation for the art form of brewing. No employee at The Beer Boutique think they know everything about beer – that is probably impossible – so knowledge, opinions, hear say, any and all input is not only welcome but encourage at our tastings. We love learning from you just as much as we love teaching you so if you’re shy about speaking up, just have another drink.
Here are a few questions that arose during our tasting.
How does one make a sour beer?
Whether letting bacteria grow naturally or adding cultivated yeast it is these components at create a sour beer.
What is the meaning behind double, triple, and quad?
A common thought being this is very similar to moonshine. An easy way in early brewing to mark strength was with an “X” from low to high. EX: X = low alcohol and XXXX = high alcohol. It is in this tradition that beers likely got their names.
Another accepted reason is based on the parti-gyle system of mashing. I am going to let I Think About Beer Blog explain it better than me.
Now just like with English styles they have simply become guideline for breweries to label their beers: you can not test a beer to find out its exact style.
The exception to the rules above are with Trappist Rochefort whose numbers are believed to designate the page number where the recipe is found their their ancient and secret brewing cookbook,
What is the strongest alcohol percentage a beer can be brewed at without distillation?
It generally depends on the type of yeast. However I seem to remember it being around 15% before needing to go into distillation or freezing (the water out)
This is actually a subject I do not know much about. Perhaps some other beer nerds can help fill in my answer.
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Thanks for reading and don’t hesitate to teach us more,
Peace and Yeast