It seems like I blinked and suddenly two months had passed since my last BYO blog. To be fair, there's been quite a lot going on behind the scenes here. Lots of editing, lots of traveling, and of course — lots of homebrews!
One of the biggest projects to come out of the last two months is the new Best of BYO Guide To All-Grain Brewing — a collection of our best information about all-grain homebrewing. A major project that's been on my desk for a while now, I'm so happy with how the issue turned out, and I hope everyone who reads it will agree.
Also in the mix of what's been going on are two really great regular issues of Brew Your Own: May-June and July-August, and I'm a little bummed that I was so busy that I didn't get the chance to talk about May-June when it came out. We really committed to talking about sour beers in May-June, including a story by Horst Dornbusch about Berliner Weiss — a style that's been popping up in all kinds of different iterations all over the US lately. The Mad Fermentationist Mike Tonsmeire also wrote a story about the solera method of brewing, which was something all new to me. Plus we ran a story by a great new (to us) author, Derek Dellinger, about brewing an all-Brettanomyces-fermented IPA, which is a (literally) funky new form of hoppy pale ale that has emerged thanks to the progress of modern yeast isolation techniques. If you're brave enough to bring the bugs into your homebrewery, I'll share a recipe worth checking out: A clone of Modern Times Southern Lands IPA (scroll down to the end of this post for the all-grain and extract with grains recipes)
July-August brought things back to simplicity with a cover story by Brad Smith (of Beersmith.com fame) about SMaSH brewing - that is, single malt and single hop brewing. The concept is an interesting approach to brewing on two fronts: You can learn a lot about individual hops and malts, and it also forces the concept of less is more — you learn to make better beers by using restraint. It's like the Twitter of brewing — just choose your malt and hop wisely....