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Homebrew Clubbing

John LaPolla Brooklyn Homebrew Clubs NYC Online Queens Shopping Staten Island

You know what’s awesome about NYC? All the boroughs have at least one brew club, and some have more! Most clubs have a monthly meeting where they discuss upcoming homebrew events and contests, vote on experiments that they want to try, and brainstorm things the club can do in the homebrewing community at large. The meetings are always a great time and a bit of a drinking fest. I recently decided to go on a mini-tour of some of the brew clubs by going to meetings with Brewstoria, Pour Standards, and the Brewminaries. It was a great way to talk...

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Just One Word: Kegging

John LaPolla Bottles Keg Kegging Packaging

Just One Word: Kegging

What’s the best part of homebrewing? Drinking your beer of course! But in order to get beer you have to boil your wort, cool it down, pitch the yeast and wait for fermentation to turn that wort into delicious beer. Then when you are done fermenting you need to package your beer somehow. You can drink flat beer right out of your fermenter if you want to, but . . . no thanks. Bottling is a great way to package when you first start homebrewing, and priming your beer has it’s advantages. With the help of a little more sugar,...

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Sours Galore

John LaPolla Blog Sour

The first time you try a sour beer can be intense, but once you start acquiring the taste you will notice much greater complexity. The traditional European sours are Berliner Weisse, Flanders Red, Oud Bruin, Lambics, Geuze and Gose. Saisons, pale ales, even porters and stouts can work with some sourness to them, big hoppy beers not so much. The sourness in these beers come from the blends of yeast and bacteria used to ferment them (often referred to as "bugs"). The main souring bugs are Lactobacillus, Pediococcus, and Brettanomyces. Lactobacillus is the bacteria that turns milk bad. Its byproduct...

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On Dry Hopping

John LaPolla Dry Hopping Hops How To IPA Pale Ale

Dry hopping is the process of adding hops to fermented, non-carbonated beer. It allows for the hop oils to get into the finished product without adding any bitterness and really accentuates hop aroma. The result will be fresh hop aroma as soon as you pour a glass. IPA’s are always dry hopped and pales ales usually are. Any beer style can be dry hopped if that’s what you want to do, although many styles do not call for it. It’s your beer so it’s up to you! I’ve had dry hopped stouts, kolsch’s, saisons, brown ales, sours and even cider!A...

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Amber Ales

John LaPolla Amber Ale Irish Red Seasonal

Some beers are seasonal, some are not. Some seem seasonal but can be enjoyed any time of the year. This is the case with amber ales. Although their colors range from ruby red to light brown, they are perfect drinkers for anytime of the year. Amber ales can be dry and malty or caramel sweet. Some have strong hop profiles while others are lightly hopped. Every country has their version of an amber beer, be it lager or ale. Today I am going to showcase two of my favorites, Irish Red, and American Amber Ale.The general perception is that the...

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