Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Home Brewing Discussed on Recent Kojo Nnamdi Show

My local NPR station is WAMU and one of my fav programs is the Kojo Nnamdi Show, which airs from noon till 2 pm weekdays.  Sometimes I can catch the show at lunch, but often I have to rely on the web archive to listen to old shows. I just listened to Kojo's 16 Feb Food Wednesday show on the subject of home brewing. This discussion makes me want to brew!

Kojo's Guest's:

Tiffany MacIsaac
Home Beer Brewer, and Pastry Chef at Birch and Barley (Washington, D.C.)
Andrew Passell
Home Beer Brewer; and Roaster at Qualia Coffee (Washington, D.C.)

Keep an eye out for Andrew's Rocket Science Brewing Co. Great name!

Tiffany mentioned the word "infuse" several times. I think of infusion with tea. i.e., soaking or steeping without boiling. I do not think of infusion with beer. Wort is boiled and the process is decoction, not infusion!

Andrew offered an interesting PSA at about 32:30 re: chloramine. He says that our water supply is treated with choramine. Unlike chlorine, chloramine will not dissipate in standing water and will not boil off. I wonder what local brewers are doing about chloramine in the water? Andrew recommends adding potassium metabisulfate to clarify the local water before brewing. Either that, he says, or use bottled spring water. The chloramine leaves behind a nasty phenolic or band-aid taste.

Andrew dropped the ball on the coffee and beer question. A caller who heard that Andrew is a barista by day and home brewer by night wondered if there was any similarity between brewing coffee and beer. Kojo must've gotten a deer in the headlights stare from Andrew because he quickly changed the subject. Too bad, because the answer could've been quite interesting. For one thing, roasting coffee beans is an art with direct parallels to roasting malted barley. I need to get invited onto Kojo's show.  LOL!

Here's a link to the program:

With a hat tip to Angelo who heard the program and sent me a link. Grazie!