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While taking a break from painting the inside of my new home studio/office this weekend, I tasted a glass of the blackberry pale ale that my friends and I have been working on for the past two weeks. The ale is a recipe we got from Brewer’s Connection here in Tempe, AZ, and we added four pounds of frozen berries to the wort right at the beginning of fermenting (for a five gallon batch of beer). Freezing berries breaks their cell walls, allowing the juices to be released upon thawing, and the berries had to be “flash pasteurized” by pouring two pitchers of hot wort over them in the fermenting bucket before cooling down the rest of the wort. This sanitized the berries without ruining their flavor. The brewmaster at the store suggested using a fruit extract as an alternative, if we so desired. The color of the beer is just out of this world, and the flavor’s pretty far up there, too.

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Here’s a review of the beer by RC, one of my brewmates’ cat (photo by Matt Mets):

The first thing that I noticed upon opening the bottle was the sweet, delicate fruit aroma that had just the right punch of flavor to tease the palate and whet one’s appetite. Unfortunately, the neck of the vessel proved impossible to drink from (neither head nor paw would fit), which meant that the beverage needed to be decanted to a more suitable container for tasting. After moving the liquid to a glass, the complex flavor of the drink was analyzed and found to have the same fruity kick as the initial whiff predicted, and was followed by light notes of hops, with a smooth finish. Overall, the the beer receives a rating of 9/10, with points removed for not being milk or heavy whipping cream.

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Becky Stern

Becky Stern is head of wearable electronics at Adafruit Industries. Her personal site: sternlab.org


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