All-Grain Homebrewing A Focus of The Beer Thirty Show with Guest Levi Fried
Last night’s episode of The Beer Thirty Show focussed their show on extract brewing and brought in a special guest to talk them through it. In addition to Cody, one of the co-hosts, brewing from all-grains while the show was going on, the show featured guest Levi Fried, who has homebrewed a lot. Fried, who was previously on the show in the summer, has not only homebrewed dozens of times, but is opening up a brewery along with Ariel Druck, who also appeared on the show with him last night.
Cody and Dino, the other co-host of the Beer Thirty Show, asked Fried about his involvement and background in brewing, just to bring listeners up to speed who may not have caught his appearance on the show in the summer. He grew up in Long Beach and got into craft beer in college and graduate school. With a background in drug research, he had a good basis for brewing. He got into homebrewing when he moved to Israel and quickly got into all-grain brewing from malt extract brewing in Israel because lack of availability of malt extract with which to brew. Soon enough, his home brewing was not only one of the biggest in Israel, but he was brewing even more than most craft breweries in Israel. Eventually, he then started selling in growlers and kegs in Israel. He also built the largest bank of brewing yeast in Israel, with 84 strains of brewing yeast strains. Then, unfortunately – or fortunately – he came back to Long Beach, having missed family, friends, and more.
Now that Fried is back in Long Beach, he’s got plans for opening up a new brewery in Long Beach with “really experimental styles with alternative yeasts” and he also wants to get into barrel-aging. So far, he said, he has “been acquiring that stuff and moving forward with our plans”. Speaking on his interest in barrel-aging, Fried said that “barrel-aged beer is much more in tune with other beverages, especially if you’re talking about malty beer styles.”
Moving on to homebrewing, Fried first pointed out that the “biggest concern is to make sure you’re having fun even when the work is harder,” such as with all-grain brewing, when there is more equipment and, thus, more cleaning. Beyond that, though, Fried pointed out that conversion is the biggest integral concern with all-grain brewing, as well as that a huge concern “is that people feel that it is too scientific.”
With Cody’s in-studio brewing (well, to be exact, it was in the hallway immediately adjacent to the studio), he was brewing up a coffee milk stout and had planned to do a 60-minute boil, but, at Fried’s suggestion, decided to up it to a 90-minute boil. Fried said that he is a fan of a 90-minute boil, since it further allows one to boil off DMS precursors, as well as to “get the caramelizations that are nice.”
Also on the topic of homebrewing, Fried mentioned that some homebrewers he knows have been using 3D printers to help them get equipment they need, yet can’t find. He saw this being done especially in Israel, where there is not as much of a homebrewing scene as there is in America. Yet, Fried, observed, “homebrewers are the kings of DIY.”
On-air, there were a couple of brews of Fried’s that were tasted, the first of which was his Petite Raspberry Sour and the second of which was a Honey and Apple Sour Cider. With his Petite Raspberry Sour, everyone in the studio enjoyed it and Dino especially enjoyed how solid of a sour it was. With Fried’s Apple and Honey Sour Cider, he said it was a one-time experiment for Rosh HaShanah, when apples and honey are commonly enjoyed at the holiday. So, he decided to brew up some apple, honey, and malt, then added in Brettanomyces. This was a really fascinating sour apple cider (how many apple ciders use Brettanomyces?). Speaking on Brettanomyces, Fried said that “Brett is my little best friend buddy.” He said that with fermentation, “you got to have patience”, since one may taste diacetyl (popcorn flavor) when their beers are fermenting, but that’s normal, since it is “a precursor of normal alcohol metabolism”. But one can then use Brett, which comes last and “will clear out the butter taste.”
Also in-studio was Ariel Druck, who has brewed professionally for a few years, including working with Fried. Druck, in addition to speaking about brewing, was there to talk about BeerPic, an iOS application (Android to hopefully be on its way) with which one can scan a beer label and the application brings up the rating from RateBeer. The application uses photo augmentation to identify the label of the beer, which yielded excitement from the co-hosts about how awesome it was.