I came across some interesting trivia about a perennial favorite beer of mine, always a good choice when there’s nothing of interest nearby: Guinness Irish Stout. Yes, of course, it makes for a great St. Paddy’s day overindulgence, but it is, quite simply, the best and most widely known example of the style and is quite an interesting beer. The consumption of some Guinness the other night prompted the consumption of a very interesting fact/legend (since I couldn’t find a Guinness-direct reference, there is no official recipe posted by the brewery): brewers extract about 3% of the mash, SOUR that beer, then add it back to the secondary fermenter after boiling it for sterility. This gives that black heady treat a signature “tang,” non-reproducible by those unaware of this uncommon style component. After repeated confirmation of this tang, I wanted to dive a little deeper into the history of Irish stout and other beers that are blended for stylistic reasons.
I at times have the pleasure of teaching a few friends of mine the art of homebrewing. I’m in a really great position to teach people because of my method of choice right now – partial boils. It’s a great way to show beginners all aspects of the brewing process, from mashing to boiling to hop additions. It also allows for me to give as much information as those beginners can handle. Luckily for me, Vartan and Kayln are smarter than your average chumbuckets.
We chose something simple, the Irish Red, as their first beer. With St. Patty’s around the corner, it seemed like a good decision. We also toasted our own 2-Row for those additional toasty nutty flavors we wanted – easy as pie. The process went smoothly and these two were a fantastic help in the brewhouse – mostly when I asked them to pose like they were doing something productive for a photo op.
Recipe’s posted here. I’m trying mine tonight – happy Saturday!