May 3, 2009

(Not) A Visit from the Beer Police

As the bottles of Explosivo finish up in Nahum's basement and the carboy filled with Originale II does its thing in mine, a few 2JB details to attend to.

First, I got the following message in an e-mail from Monty: "I was just catching up on the 2JB saga during my not-lunch time, and something caught my eye. I’d noticed it before and kept forgetting to bring it up, and then over time I began to doubt myself about it. But I just looked it up on for verification: you guys aren’t sparging, you’re filtering. Sparging is when you spray warm water over whole grains to release the sugars to make malt. Filtering is passing the wort through something to remove impurities."

He added, "I’m not trying to be the beer police. I’m just sayin’."

Fair enough. I'd found the term in Papazian and thought I'd clocked it right...but clearly I mixed up a couple of ideas Charlie was laying out. I have to admit that I thoroughly like the word "sparging" for a lot of reasons (mainly a kind of linguistic aesthetic, I suppose), but if we're not sparging, then I guess the word has to go. Whatever we call it, the extra step in the brewing has led to a cleaner, clearer beer; it will remain in the mix, albeit under a different moniker.

Speaking of clean & clear beer, Nahum came over on Saturday afternoon with a bottle of Explosivo. We popped the cap and split it in the kitchen.

The flavor had some nice caramel in it, though it's clearly not a stout (as we suspected, it's turning out to be closer to something like Becks Dark). It's also clearly not yet sufficiently carbonated, so the bottles will have to sit for another week.

While he was here, we stepped down to the basement and took a look at the Originale II. We'd racked it to the glass carboy during the week, and all indications are that it's ready to go to bottles. Our quick sampling of it suggested that the taste is remarkably similar to the original Originale (including that nice sharp bite in the back of the mouth), with the slightly darker color being the only real difference at this point. Due to some tricky schedules, it's unlikely that O2 is heading to the bottling assembly line right away, but definitely soon-ish.

Oh, and one last thing. For about a month, I've been holding onto a Politico article that's delightfully titled, "Beer fans glad W.H. has a drinker." The page has a video podcast that features an interview with Craig Purser, president of the National Beer Wholesalers Association. Turns out there's even yet another thing that makes the new guy better than the last guy. Which, I believe, officially makes it everything. Ale to the chief!

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