Brew Day: Kentucky Common

Today’s brew was the poor man’s brew in northern Kentucky pre-Prohibition.  I’m finding I really like the styles before the Great Mistake – they were more flavorful, stronger, heartier brews than the fizzy yellow stuff that predominated due to economic conditions after Prohibition was repealed.  Here in Colorado, we’re still dealing with some of the fallout.  Our grocery stores can’t sell wine and can only sell 3.2 beer.  That’s 3.2 Alcohol by Weight, not the normal ABV which for 3.2 beer is about 4.5%  The law that forces groceries to sell weaker beer had an unintended consequence:  Local liquor stores, also limited by an obscure Colorado law to one license per person/business, could be talked into stocking local craft brews.  Little breweries didn’t have to pursuade a corporate buyer to stock the stuff, they only had to pursuade the independent liquor store owner down the street.  As a result, Colorado is in competition for craft beer capital of the US.

Of course, the grocery stores want to repeal the 3.2 law.  It won’t be the end of craft beer in Colorado if it passes but it will slow the growth of new smaller breweries.

The brew day was uneventful.  I hit my numbers, no catastrophes, an uneventful relaxing day.  The beer is being made for a Kentucky Derby party so it has to be done by May 7th.  It’s a close schedule but completely reasonable, even given a week to cold-condition and clarify.

I now have a new zymurgological endevour, baking.  Speciically, baking artisan sourdough breads.  It has a lot in common with brewing, four ingredients (flour, yeast, in this case, via a starter, water and salt), fermentation, temperature control, time….  I’ve learned some artisinal techniques that give me great bread with a good crumb, something I couldn’t get before.  I’ll share some of those adventures as well as they happen.  Tomorrow will be the second, the first was a European-style “bauernbrot”, almost the equal of the great breads of Germany.  And I’m changing the title above to reflect the new avocation.  It’s certainly yummy and believe it or not, some of the flavors are exactly the same.

Recipe for Nosy’s Kentucky Common: http://www.brewersfriend.com/homebrew/recipe/view/342571/ky-common-5-1

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