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> Chat transcripts - guest Keith Klemp, columnist for All About Beer mag
post Apr 26 2004, 08:22 AM
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Keith Klemp (aka the Hammer) will be our guest this Sunday.
Mr. Klemp Beer is a Columnist for All About Beer Magazine, style expert, and a homebrewer of 17 years.
Please keep things orderly for Mr. Klemp, because he's a crazy SOB and will crawl though your internet connection and tear your lungs out if you don't, and follow the "?" protocol.

ale:...Chat has started...
ale:Mr. Klemp is a long time homebrewer (17 years), style sxpert, and columnist for AAB mag.
ale:Go Thomas
Thomas:what do you think about the new proposed styles and the reorganisation of bjcp styles?
ale:Good Question.
hammer:I have looked them over briefly. I am glad that they included Baltic porters in the mix with brown and robust. They are unique beers and I've heard they are becoming rare. I heard there was some grumbling about the light lager classification though...
hammer:Send me something specific and I'll mull it over re: the new styles.
Thomas:just the complete reordering of the styles
Thomas:now there's going to be pre-2004 and post 2004 "categories"
Thomas:like, they're not compatible at all
Thomas:(it's hard including all the new styles I know, and trying to come up with a better categorization is even harder)
hammer:I honestly can't say I've looked them over that close yet. But I though the cold-conditioned ale thing was odd....end
Thomas:okay, thanks
ale:My personal feeling is that the BJCP is starting to overcomplicate things.
ale:Go Thomas
Thomas:You mentioned baltic porter, have you brewed any lately yourself?
Thomas:agreed ale
hammer:Agreed ale, I have brewed baltic porters. I make a doppelbock strength beer, with a little bit of chocolate a tiny bit of molasses ( not Reinheit, I know ), but after several attempts it's the only way to get the flavor. Lager ferment...end
JDonovan:go ale
Thomas:thanks, I tried that too
Thomas:actually I cold steeped my dark malts per suggestion of ted, it worked out well
ale:First of all, and I certainly don't want to be kissing your butt...
Thomas:too late
hammer:Mine turned out pretty well. Czech yeast works great for me in that style....end
ale:...but whenever my copy of AAB arrives in the mail...
ted:yes you do Ale!!
hammer:I wrote a column about B. Porters in AAB about 2 years ago, issue 23, 2.
ale:...the last page - your column - is the first thig that I look at...
ale:...a couple of basic questions..
hammer:Okocim, Zywiec, Utenos, and Kozlak are my faves. Synebrekoff and Carnegie are good too, but more like a robust porter.
Thomas:"baltika" is what I can get here, it rocks
ale:...What, in your opinion is the significant difference between a Porter and a Stout?
hammer:Also a good one. I 'm from Wisconsin and load up whenever I go there. I did hear a rumor that some brewers might stop making them....end
hammer:I would say the main difference is that porters rely most often on black malt whereas stouts use roasted unmalted barley. Porters can be browner too, even the robust versions. The lines blend a little though...end
ted:I agree with that!!!!
JDonovan:I would agree with that. Roast Barley should not be present (or ir very, very small qauntities) in a porter.
JDonovan:Where-as you can load up on Roasted Barley in a stout.
MtnBrewer:I agree 100% with Jeff
hammer:There is a perceptible difference in my opinion between the two ingredients...end
Thomas:go ale
hammer:I generally go with 10% roast in a stout..end
ale:Swartsbeir (?) and Dunkel?
hammer:Ale, are you asking me to elaborate on the diff. between schwarz and dunkel?
JDonovan:may the swarz be with you
ale:I warned you.
hammer:I made a schwarzbier recently with a tried and true recipe of mine. I use 3% black for a red-black color and use a lower mash temp to get a dry finish. Dunkel, lots of munich malt, some dark crystal, maybe a little chocolate and a medium mash temp..
hammer:for extra body. No black malt, let the munich do the work...end
ted:sounds tasty hammer!!
ale:Go Thomas
Thomas:just wondering what your favorite style is, and your number uno house beer is
hammer:Would you like one, I have one on draft down stairs..
ted:I'll take a pint!!
MtnBrewer:Ever try de-husked Carafa in a schwartzbier?
JDonovan:I'll be right over hammer.
ale:Hold on... one at a time...use the '?' protocol.
hammer:My favorites are bocks, especially doppels, baltic porters are rare so I enjoy those as a treat. House beer, I would have to say altbier, dortmunder, kolsch, or IPA. I make lots of different types though...end
ale:Go M-Brewer.
hammer:De-husked carafa, haven't used it. According to Horst Dornbusch it is a much less aggressive flavor than regular roast. Judging by the smoothness of commercial schwarz, I'd agree...
hammer:My latest column is schwarzbier by the way...end
MtnBrewer:asked and answered ale...sorry for the breach of protocol
Thomas:go ale
ale:Hammer, Please identiy the significant differece between 'Dortmunder' and 'Export'
ale:There seems to be a lot of confusion here.
hammer:Exports are technically the indigenous beer of Dortmund. They were first produced on the heels of the pilsner revolution and became so popular in No. Germany that they became a profusely exported beer. Hence the name...end
hammer:Chad, how's it hangin' ( bad joke )
ale:How did you get your start in writing about Beer?
Chads:ouch, I am not from florida tho (IMG:style_emoticons/brewboard/smile.gif)
hammer:I recruited brewers for the World Beer Festival about 6 years ago, and the magazine employees realized that I knew my stuff, wrote a book review ( Clone Brews ) and next thing ya know, I'm writing a column, first was Dortmund Export.
hammer:Homebrewers tend to know more about beer than anyone else, save the pros...end
ale:Where did you gain your kowledge?
hammer:Started drinking German beers back in the early 70s and was intrigued by the variety. Lived above a bar in La Crosse, WI in college in the late 70s that had 86 different beers. My first real epiphany was Septante 5, Biere de Garde...end
ted:LaCrosse, home of Old Style!!!
hammer:No more, now the City Brewery and they make about 4 "micros"...end.
ale:Last question, would you agree with me that, by far, the best beer on this planet is being brewed by homebrewes?
M12:And currently LaCrosse Lager, not a bad beer for swill.
ted:I agree Ale!!!!
ale:Go Gary
hammer:Best beer? I would say envelope pushing beers yes. I would still defer to the good micro brewers and traditional brewers. I wish I could consistently brew as well as the best in the world. Good homebrew though, nothing like it!...end
Gary:Can I call you Hammer? Just wanted to say hello to you and Ale - saw the chat announced somewhere and thought I'd drop in..end
hammer:By all means..just don't call me late for happy hour...end
ale:Go Chads
Chads:Whats your favorite style, or what do you feel you are best at criticizing? And do you often brew this style?
hammer:Bocks, especially doppelbock. Critiquing? I have a soft spot for German beers so I would say those as they invite more interest from me. But, like most of the good beer judges I know, one can get good at rating any style. I brew bocks about 4 times per...
hammer:...year, maibock, doppel, and the odd traditional bock...end
hammer:I've even made eisbock. Ale remember 1997 at the comp in Charlotte?
ale:Awesome. Go JDon
JDonovan:I know that marketing stats can bear this out for the entire mag, but in your opinion, how many of those that read your column are also brewers?
ale:Yes, I do.
hammer:All of the local brewers that I know read it. And when I travel, they were all familiar with me. Great folks those darn brewers. I see a copy in most breweries that I visit. Some of my individual beer critiques are posted in the brew pubs around here...end
ale:Go Mt. Brewer.
JDonovan:yes agreed, GREAT folks. Thanks....end
MtnBrewer:What was the name of the bar you lived above and is it still there? (I work with someone from LaCrescent - he may know the place)
hammer:Back in the day it was called the River City Palace, building might be there but the bar not. Most of my friends in college were from La Crescent right across the mighty Mississippi...end
MtnBrewer:I'll mention it to him....thx
ale:Go Aeneas
Aeneas:I applogize if this has been covered before I entered the chat... What do you think of the BJCP process, what advice would you give to people preparing for the exam and eventual judging/tasting?
ale:Go Ted
hammer:The process is a little involved. I don't think it's necessary to have the BJCP diploma to be a good judge, it only takes a passion for beer. But for some people, it seems like the ticket. Differnt people focus different ways...
ted:do you use decoction mashes when making Bock beers? and if not, are you able to achieve that level of maltiness/flavor by using spec grain?
hammer:but ya gotta have the passion...end
Aeneas:thank you Hammer
ale:Go Chads
Chads:What was your first article about? And how did you get into writing about brewing? And how did you get into brewing to start with?
hammer:I do single decoction mashes, from protien rest to sacch rest for bocks. I really don't think it's necessary anymore with the well modified malt. Munich malt is key in a bock, as is a high mash, temp, strong starter, and a diacetyl rest...end
Thomas:mmmm decoction, I'm addicted to them
ted:Thanks hammer, glad I didn't have a follow up!! (IMG:style_emoticons/brewboard/wow.gif)
hammer:Starting brewing because a friend of mine did, and another friend owned a shop in Houston. I'm a tinkerer when it comes to fermenting things and a biologist so that helps. First article was Dortmund Export after a couple of book reviews...end
hammer:Decoctions are kinda fun, just because of the method and the aromas...end
Chads:I have a bio degree also.. cool
ale:Hammer deals with DNA evey day...
Chads:thanks hammer
ale:..be afraid...
ale:...VERY AFRAID!!!
Thomas:my wife deals with me every day, be more afraid!
hammer:I currently have goat cheese, red and white wine, kimchi, saurkraut, creme fraiche and buttermilk that I made in the house..fermentation rules!...end
JDonovan:if my water supply is contaminated with bock everyday I'll be ok
ted:wow, you a mad man!!
ale:Go Thomas
Thomas:hammer: have you tried making sake?
hammer:There's a new book out called "Wild Fermentations" by Sandor Katz if anyone is interested. Reviewed by me in AAB two issues ago...end
ale:Go Ted
ted:back to decoctions, have you tried the undermodified malts?
hammer:Haven't made sake. But it's not that hard apparently. Convert the rice ( not Uncle Bens method ) then ferment. The organism is koji, actually a mold I believe...end
Thomas:I've got a batch I've forgotten about in the basement (of sake)
hammer:Have not tried the undermodified malts. Imported from the Czech Republic correct?...end
ted:yes, but Briess makes some now too!!
MtnBrewer:doing one now, Thomas
Thomas:ted: even durst malt is mostly undermodified
ted:I thought that was moderately modified Thomas!!
Thomas:MtnBrewer: cool
hammer:I've been using mostly Weyermann malt for the past few years...end
ted:good stuff too, hammer!!!
Thomas:ted: well, according to the malt analysis, it's ndermodified
ale:Correct, For st> Pat's. But they're no longer doing that.
ted:OK, cool!!!
ted:Grape& Granary picked it up , Ale
hammer:Damn, I'm out of beer.
ted:me too!! brb
ale:Ted, I can look into it, but I think that it's a fad.
hammer:Like decoction, it's a lot of extra work, and it's debateable wether it's worth it. Plus, if not done absolutely correctly, crappy beer. Which really sux...end
ted:cool Ale, fad or no fad, I'll use it!!
ale:Never mind.
ted:mmm, Ayinger Dunkel
Thomas:go ale
Thomas:I have done 5 decoctions, an none of them have turned out bad!
ale:done, thanks.
Thomas:today being the first double decoction that I hit both temps on
hammer:Greg Noonan has always been on the decoction horse. Though his last book came out some time ago, and I wonder if he's going to make another edition, or "modify" it...end
ale:On the topic of decoction mashing...
ted:no pun intended, right!!
hammer:Decoctions leave little room for error, but I do them too sometimes...end
ale:I visited about 24 German breweries about 6 years ago...
twocents:24 breweries in how many days?
ted:2 days twocents!!! lol
ale:..nobodt seems to decoct any more (IMG:style_emoticons/brewboard/sad.gif)
ted:just kidding!!
Thomas:ale: that sounds hard to believe
Thomas:ale: even Summit Brewing Co here in St Paul do a decoction for their maibock
ale:2 cents - in 9 days. - Thomas - everybody told me that all of the work was being done in the malt house...
hammer:Ale, you're an animal!
ale:..and didn't need to be done by the brewer.
ted:Ale, you're my hero!!!!!
Thomas:ted: suck up!
twocents:thanks ale...
twocents:in 2 days, I wasn't sure anyone coudl walk after that..
JDonovan:that explains a lot ale
ted:yeah, so!!!! Ale was sucking up to hammer!!
ted:I'll suck up to Ale!! lol
MtnBrewer:Thomas: I hit my sacc temp, but I was a little low on the mash out. My temps were 140, 154, 168.
ted:cool Mtn!!!!
JDonovan:ok time to bail over here, wife just pulling in...Hammer thanks so much for participating in the chat, was a pleasure having you here! Night gents, c-ya next week
ted:later Jdon!!!
twocents:thanks ale, and all
ted:oops, to late
Thomas:MtnBrewer: about your sake..
ale:BTW, My clock now reads 9:04, So Hammerhead is officiallly off of the hook. Any more questions for the Hammer?
hammer:My pleasure, I think there's a pint o' doppelbock in the basement with my name on it...end
Thomas:MtnBrewer: did you use one of the koji kits?
ted:thanks hammer, this was an excellent chat!!!
MtnBrewer:Thomas: I'm not making sake, I was talking about the decoction I'm doing.
Thomas:yeah,thanks hammer, now where is that dobbelbock
ted:please visit us again!!!
Thomas:MtnBrewer: oh, doh!!
newtobrew:anyone have a transricpt?? i just got here... =*(
Thomas:I'm as drunk as ted tonight!!!
hammer:Now that I'm in the loop, I'll stop back frequently.
MtnBrewer:LOL @ Thomas
ted:that would be great!!!
ted:Thomas, I'm not drunk.......yet!!!!
twocents:you planning on being up late ted?
Thomas:if I loose signal on my laptop now, it's because there's a mad woman with a vacuum cleaner trying to make my laptop go b ad
twocents:Hi Aeneas..
ale:BRB, phone call
Aeneas:Hi Twocents
Aeneas:Is the chat still happening?
Chauvan:So, how was the chat?
hammer:See ya later!
Thomas:later hammer
Thomas:Chauvan: good!!
Aeneas:thanks hammer!
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