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Cory's picture
Review by: Cory

I arrived at Old Town Beer Exchange in downtown Huntsville eager to find a good beer to review. My malty sweet tooth was in control, so when I saw Florence's Singin' River had a doppelbock out, I immediately knew I would be taking a crowler of Orchestrator home with me.

The Experience

Shortly after getting home, the crowler was popped open and the clear copper brew was poured into a glass. I may have been a bit timid with the pour but I expected a little bit more than the very thin cap which never quite melted away. It seemed to be mostly made up for the fact that it left plenty of white lacing on the glass.

I got a general sweet smell when I first brought the pint glass to my face. As I drank more, I could discern caramel and a bit of booze. I'm a bit disappointed by the lack of aroma. I decide to leave the crowler on the counter to warm up in hopes of eliciting a stronger aroma on my second glass. Sure enough, the aroma bloomed as it warmed. The caramel still dominated, but I started to pick up some vague dark fruit aromas (kinda plum-ish) along with a char affectation to the caramel sweetness. The warming definitely helped. It wasn't a night and day difference, though. The second glass seemed like a more fuller experience.

Most Recent Blog Entry

Cory's picture
Posted by Cory

Beer is made of these core ingredients: barley/malt, hops, water, and yeast. In this blog post, I'll be writing about malt and some of what I've been reading in Robert Moser's Tasting Beer. First off, barley is the grain of choice for making beer, although other options exist. But regular old barley isn't in a good condition for releasing starches for making alcohol. Barley first needs to be malted.

Making Malt

First, barley is soaked in water for about 24 hours, or until it reaches 45% water content. The grain is pulled from the water and allowed to cool and dry. During this process, the grains will start to sprout. This growth and cracking of the shell is vital to getting what brewers want from the malted barley. The grain is then kilned to complete the drying process and to roast the grain to the desired darkness. It is possible to create two different malts of similar color but different flavors by varying the moisture content during kilning. If roasted dry, there will be a sharp, biscuit-like toastiness. If roasted moist, there is more of a toffee-like richness.

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