Constructive Liquid Criticism

Something totally face-meltingly awesome happened the other day: someone poured me the very first homebrewed variation on a Modern Times Beer. Consider how remarkable that is given that Modern Times doesn’t even exist yet.

My goal for open source brewing is to create a community of tinkerers that are perpetually pushing us to evolve and improve. Publishing our recipes will certainly allow homebrewers to attempt clones if they want—and there’s some value in that, as far as dialing in your process—but modifying our recipes is the far more stimulating path, to my mind.

The actual beer I got to try was fascinating. The brewer, Will Unkel, decided on a modified version of Blazing World: he replaced Nelson with Motueka, and Palisade with Columbus. He’d attended the first Modern Times tasting, so he had a chance to try the original version of Blazing World.

The beer was a window into what Blazing World would be if it were intensely fruity with a vibrant lemon zest note. While delicious, I don’t think we’ll end up swapping Nelson for Motueka, but we’re definitely going to find a way to use it in something else. I’m going to invite Will to help us formulate and brew whatever that is, and we’ll make a delicious Motueka-centered beer as a result. See how everyone wins in this scenario?

Perhaps we’ll even occasionally release modified versions of our beers based on the open sourced batches, just to let a wider audience have the same experience.

All of our recipes can be found on Mike’s blog here. If you’re thinking of brewing one of the recipes, here are some problems you might consider tackling:

1)    Fortunate Islands is an incredibly tasty beer & we’re very happy with the recipe. Problem: Amarillo is really hard to get. Is there anything we can replace it with that will make a beer that is every bit as good or better?

2)    What is the best coffee profile for Black House? Mike has been using a dark roasted Mocha Java blend. How about a Tanzanian peaberry? A Guatemalan Huehuetenango? Something from El Salvador?

3)    We haven’t settled on the third hop variety for Blazing World. Ahtanum’s citrus-qualities didn’t seem to integrate well, and Columbus somehow ended up being too fruity. Palisade’s floral character has worked the best so far, but I’m not completely sold. Is there a better option?

The most helpful answers to these questions will come in liquid form.

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