Saturday, October 24, 2009

On Brewing Three Distinct Hanoian Beers

A while back I was researching the effect of water quality and ion concentrations on beer styles. this prompted me to look at several different bottled waters that we have available here in Hanoi. After a while I settled on three potentials each with quite distinct and different ion profiles. These were, bottled, still, drinking water from Laska, La Vie and Kimboi. I then proceded to match them to particular well-known beers styles, like Blonde, Amber and Dark beers, and developed three recipes using Beer Alchemy (I'm on a Mac) to adjust ingredients towards something that might be characteristic of a particular style.

The only problem was that I'd never actually brewed these recipes to see how they'd turn out - Oh the shame, the shame!

Now, it's easy to be an armchair expert and pontificate from the sidelines! However, there's no substitute for real experience. so, I bit the bullet, I had to brew these beers, a Laska Blonde, a La Vie Amber, and a Kimboi Brown. They are all ambient temperature brews using an ale yeast, so technically they are Ales.

The Blonde is a pale ale, sort of the typical colour we're all used to when we crack a commercial beer. I expect it to be a little cloudy, so the beer that comes to my mind at least, commercially, as representative of the style is Cooper's Sparking Ale.

The Brown is targeted at approx. the middle of the style. I had a lovely English Brown Ale recently, it was a medium brown with a slight reddish tinge and I'm hoping for something similar from the La Vie Amber.

The Kimboi Brown is targeted at the bottom end of a Black Beer/Stout. It's meant to be a very dark brown bordering black. So we'll have to wait and see how that turns out. Hopefully it's come in somewhere around a Milk Stout like colour.

Now, I just have to get off my tail and away from the iMac and start doing some real brewing. Until the next time,

It's Your shout, Mate!

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