From the HBD Archive
From: Dave Sheehy <dbs@hprnd>
Subject: John Courage, grain bags, brewpubs, etc...
Date: 1989-07-25 17:16:28 GMT

John Courage

John Courage is a bitter brewed by the Courage brewery. However, the
John Courage that's available at a local British style pub isn't very
bitter, in fact it's very slightly sweet and smooth with some body to
it. I found a recipe for John Courage and brewed some up and it is quite
bitter. Is the John Courage served in the U.S. just not fresh anymore? It's
seems odd that a bitter should not correspond to its namesake so I
suspect the freshness of the brew I'm being served is suspect especially when
the recipe intended to duplicate this beer comes out so differently. I've
read that imported beer loses alot on the trip over but this is quite a
dramatic difference (I realize that in a sense I'm comparing apples to
oranges since I'm comparing a copy to the real thing but the difference is
really extreme). What are people's experiences with comparing the same beer
as sold in the U.S. as compared to how it tastes in the country where it's
made. John Courage is a keg beer and doesn't have a big market in the U.S.
as far as I can tell so I don't think Courage changes the recipe as is done
with Guiness.

Grain/hop bags

I always use a bag when steeping adjunct grains prior to the boil. I just
make sure to prod and knead the bag while its steeping to encourage all
the good stuff to leave the grain. This seems to be the easiest way to do
it and I've always done it this way with extract recipes without any problem.

Brewpubs in Sacramento

There are two brewpubs in Sacramento who brew and serve
their own beer, both are in the downtown area. The first
is The Rubicon brewing Company located on Capitol near
20th. They usually serve 3 beers (sometimes 4). The India
Pale Ale and the Amber Ale have always been on tap every
time I've been there. The third beer (and fourth) tends to
be a roamer and in the past has been Ol' Moe Porter, Irish
Stout and a Winter Wheat Ale. The atmosphere is very Yuppie
but the beer is quite potable. They do serve some food like
sandwiches and appetizers. The Hogshead is the second brewpub
and is down in a basement in Old Sacramento (sorry I can't get
any more specific but Old Sac' is pretty small only a few streets
so it shouldn't be hard to find). No fancy names for the beers here
just pale lager and dark lager (and maybe one or two ales). To my
palate the dark lager is just wonderful, it is sweet and fruity (in
a good sort of way) and it is dangerous because once I start drinking
it I don't want to stop :-). The Hogshead is more what I visualize an
old pub to look like, wooden booths and tables, one wall is the exposed
brick foundation of the building (lots of character!).

Who the hell is Elbro Nerkte?

Elbro Nerkte Brown Ale is a extract recipe from Papazian's
book. In the text of the recipe Papazian says that if you
ever see him you can ask him who Elbro Nerkte is? I happen
to be rather partial to this particular recipe and so have
been wondering, Who the hell is Elbro Nerkte? Does anyone
happen to know?

Dry versus Liquid Yeasts

The consensus seems to be that liquid yeasts are better in general
than dry yeasts. Does anybody know why this is? Are dry yeasts
composed of lower quality yeast strains? Does the dehydration/rehydration
of the yeast affect its performance? What's going on here?

Malting your own barley.

Just out of curiosity, has anybody out there ever attempted to malt
their own grain? Is it even possible to do (and do a reasonable job that is)
without extremely special equipment?

Dave Sheehy

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