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Brewing Amalgam in the Middle: A Beer/Cider Hybrid

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We recently brewed a graff (or for non Stephen King fans, a beer & cider mix) using Briess Special Roast Malt. Side note: “graff” is actually a beer/cider hybrid that was drank in one of Stephen Kings novels and was also named and invented by the author. This is not any sort of technical name in the same way you can’t pop into a store and buy Butterbeer. Anyway, the special roast was the one ingredient that all brewers for the B.E.E.R OctoBEERfest brew off were required to use and we wanted to do something unique with it. Turns out, everyone in the club was very creative with their application as it wound up in everything from an Oatmeal Stout to an Apricot Ale to a Sourdough Roggenbier.

Having just successfully brewed a few ciders, we decided to try our hand at it again, but this time we wanted to make a porter style wort to add to our fermenting apple juice. As an added bonus, since we only wanted to wind up with about 1.5 gallons of wort, we were able to brew on the stovetop.

A cider/beer hybrid that was born from our desire to combine the roasted flavors of a dark beer with those of a tart, refreshing cider. It began with a porter base, which was brewed using Briess Special Roast, 2 Row, Chocolate & Brown malts. It was fresh hopped using hops that were hand harvested (by us!) right here on Long Island. Once the wort was cooled we put it in the fermenter along with apple juice, Danstar Nottingham yeast and nutrients and left it to do its thing.

The result was Amalgam in the Middle, an offbeat yet harmonious marriage of two completely different beverages in one glass. Our first “graff” brew was a learning experience and its definitely a style we would like to experiment with in the future. There are almost endless possibilities of flavor combinations and while there may be a few wild results, that’s half the fun of brewing new things.

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Written by A+K

September 21st, 2013 at 5:35 pm

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