Monday, June 18, 2012

HolzBrew is Moving!

Sadly the brewery has been packed up, but brewing will resume upon arrival in Bloomington, Indiana in a few weeks.  Stay tuned.

Lets go Hokies and Hoosiers!


Sunday, June 10, 2012

The Church Brew Works

A few weeks ago, Meg and I were up in Pittsburgh for a wedding and we had a little time before the service started. As you'd probably expect, my brain started thinking of a cool beer related thing to do. Several years ago I remembered reading an article in Beer Advocate magazine about a church that was converted into a brewery. Through the modern magic of the iPhone (Meg's not mine. I've got a BB, frowny face.) I was able to find the address and operating hours of the Church Brew Works. Upon entering, we were blown away by the shear sight of this fantastic establishment. The picture above is an accurate depiction of what the inside of this place looks like. Just stunning! They actually brew where the altar used to be.

We promptly got seated in an old converted pew and ordered lunch and brew (rhyme intended). We both order a Pittsburgh buffalo chicken salad which included French fries in the salad (people in the ‘burgh will put fries on freaking everything). The salads were tasty, but the brew was even better. I got the opportunity to try the Saaz Monster and the Dunkel. Both brews were incredible, but the Saaz Monster really stood out in my head, because it never occurred to me to highly hop a brew with Saaz hops before. I love using Saaz as aroma hops in Belgian ale, but I’ve never experimented with them in other beers.

A few days later I emailed the brewery and inquired about the recipe. Steve Sloan, the brewery manager, was kind enough to get back to me with some solid parameters to attempt a homebrew clone of this beer. If you are in Pittsburgh and have a couple of extra hours, find this place. You will not regret it! Below is my first shot at a Saaz Monster clone recipe. I hope to brew it sometime this fall.

Saaz Monster Clone

Style: Unassigned    
OG: 1.064
Type: All Grain    
FG: 1.016
ABV: 6.29 %
Calories: 209
IBU's: 42.86
Efficiency: 70 %
Boil Size: 5.83 Gal
Color: 6.8 SRM
Batch Size: 5.00 Gal

Boil Time: 60 minutes

Fermentation Steps

NameDays / Temp

Primary 7 days @ 62.0°F

Secondary 21 days @ 70.0°F

Grains & Adjuncts

Amount Percentage Name Time Gravity

13.00 lbs  92.86 % Pale Malt (2 Row) US60 mins 1.036

1.00 lbs  7.14 % Melanoiden Malt60 mins 1.037


Amount IBU's Name Time AA %

2.00 ozs 25.13 Saaz First Wort 4.00

2.00 ozs 15.22 Saaz 20 mins 4.00

2.00 ozs 0.00 Saaz 0 mins 4.00

2.00 ozs Saaz 7 days4.00


AmountNameLaboratory / ID

1.0 pkgKolsch YeastWyeast Labs 2565

Mash Profile

Medium Body Infusion In60 min @ 154.0°F

Add 17.50 qt ( 1.25 qt/lb ) water @ 170.9°F


Sparge 15.10 qt of 170.0°F water over 60 mins