October 5, 2011

Notch beer launch: this Friday 10/7, 8pm, HSQ

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This is Chris from Notch brewery, he’s testing the sugar content of the beer mash in that big kettle behind him. Chris showed us this test when we were out in Ipswich the other week. We were helping him make the beer that we’ll be launching this Friday at the Clover restaurant.

We got to the brewery at a very exciting time. There was a ton of action going on. Notch shares the brewery with a bunch of other small brewers. We actually got to throw the hops into the vat, but before that, we watched this test happening. The copper pipe cools the hot mash from the kettle, which gets poured into the tube where the sugar content gets measured. When the hydrometer rises to a certain point in that tube, the amount of sugar is correct for the specific type of beer you’re going to make.

Funny thing – sugar content is measured in units of Brix. It’s used in wine-making too, and when I used to make sorbets, I would always try to hit a certain number of Brix, which would ensure the sorbet would be frozen but not icy. You can use a little device called a refractometer, or you can go old-fashioned like Chris does.

The beer is going to be an American session beer. All the ingredients are local. We’ll be launching this Friday 8pm on, at the restaurant. It’s also the first midnight close in Clover history. And it’s whoopie pie Friday.

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