Wednesday, February 11, 2009

SMaSH update

So, I've become more intrigued by the SMaSH concept of brewing. I'm now certain that that's how I'll do my next batch (a week and a half from now); I think I'll follow that up with a slight modification for the batch after that.

Rather than doing a basic Pils-style beer, I'll probably use an ale yeast, most likely one that will ferment at slightly cooler temperatures (the unseasonal weather we're having right now can't last). Also, to help add a bit of complexity, I think I'll play the Scottish Ale game and caramelize the first runnings a bit. That should darken things just a hair. (I'm debating using a Scottish yeast; I may go that way, or I may use an Alt yeast...)

Then in March, I'll repeat the technique as best I can, and use the same recipe, subbing a pound of the base malt for the pound of carawheat I picked up out of curiosity, not knowing what I'd do with it. I'll probably even pitch onto the yeast cake from the earlier batch. If I play my cards right, I should be able to do a nice side-by-side taste test; this would show me exactly what (if anything) the carawheat is good for. Heck, I could probably continue the experiment, subbing out the carawheat for other specialty grains (Munich, Victory, Crystal 80, Honey malt, etc.), and finally determine what each of those specifically does to a beer. I could even go all-out crazy, and decide which basic one I like best, then spend next year playing with different yeast strains for that beer. The year after, I could go with different hops. Hah! If I didn't get tired of the same beer month after month, I'd have some interesting data to play with later.

Maybe I'll do this, but after next month, hold it to every other brewing session...

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