A Good Beer Blog


Have you read The Unbearable Nonsense of Craft Beer - A Rant in Nine Acts by Alan and Max yet? It's out on Kindle as well as Lulu.

Maureen Ogle said this about the book: "... immensely readable, sometimes slightly surreal rumination on beer in general and craft beer in particular. Funny, witty, but most important: Smart. The beer geeks will likely get all cranky about it, but Alan and Max are the masters of cranky..."

Ron Pattinson said: "I'm in a rather odd situation. Because I appear in the book. A fictional version of me. It's a weird feeling."


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jesskidden -

re: salt

Didn't most of the Albany NY brewers interviewed in that 1835 NY State Senate report say they used salt, with most of the them saying it was for "flavor" ("...the same purpose as for preparing the ordinary food of mankind..." was how one group of brewers put it). But a couple mentioned it's preservative and clarifying qualities with one adding it helped fermentation.

Craig -

My guess is that the salt was for softening the water, which in turn would affect the "flavor" of the beer. I'll have to go back and check how many of those brewers using salt were Albany, proper, brewers versus Hudson Valley, Troy and NYC brewers. These records are not from an Albany brewer, so perhaps the omission of salt was due to already sufficently soft water.

Craig -

Omission of salt in previous recipes, that is.

Craig -

Now that I'm thinking about it, perhaps the salt was used intentionally to reduce the Amber's hoppiness--softer water produces maltier beer. If the hop poundage was reduced by almost 100 pounds, perhaps the salt was added as another level of hoppiness/bitterness reduction. Perhaps "Amber Spring" was akin to a modern, maltier Mild-like brew.

Alan -

Yet the same named beers sometimes have salt additions noted and some not. Maybe it was used to achieve consistency, too. I should cross reference the salt additions to the descriptions of style.

Chad -

If I remember correctly, some of the notes in the brewing accounts mention that various batches were blended. I'll need to look through them to find specific instances. It may be that salt was added with this in mind. I also have some hints from the brewer's letters that he was often looking for ways to improve his brews. He spoke of other brewers' products, comparing them with his own. Salt additions may be part of that tinkering.

Billy -

Could the salt refer to Calcium Chloride rather than Sodium Chloride.