Sunday, July 25, 2004

Assessing the gravity

Assessing the gravity of the situation, at Manayunk Brewing Company, October 1996.

Gravity refers to the amount of fermentable sugars present in the wort (the solution extracted from the malted barley) before yeast is added - and during and after fermentation. In this case, with all that foam present, it appears that I'm assessing the gravity during fermentation.

The photograph was taken when I was the original brewer for the Manayunk Brewing Company, a Philadelphia brewpub. I assisted with brewhouse design and construction (April - September 1996), and, once we opened (October 1996), I was responsible for recipes, brewing procedures, staff training and ... brewing.

I worked with the Chef Bill McConnell to create beer and food pairings printed in the menu. A local beer writer told us that ours were the first he had ever seen.

After Bill moved on, new head chef Ed Fialkowski expanded our beer cuisine program. He added spent grains from the mash to the pizza dough for tang and texture. The Schuylkill Punch, our Raspberry Wheat Ale, he used as the base for the house vinaigrette. He reduced wort (unfermented beer) for his demi-glace.

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