General Category > Zymurgy

Latest issue a good read

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I have just read the articles Wood's Wild Side and The Intricacies of Baltic Porterin the latest Zymurgy.  The wood experiment was interesting and it got me thinking about trying to use some of those new honey comb wood products.  I used wood in an IPA a long time ago and I was a little disappointed, but I think I might give it a try again.  Anyway, I really like the articles dealing with experiments when done the right way (changing one variable at a time and using a control).  Good work!

Yeah I agree.  I thought the current issue was pretty good, especially the wood article.

His finding that you need to leave the wood alot longer than is commonly held was interesting. I did a couple barrel aged beers earlier in the year and left them in the barrel for ~6 weeks (much longer than anyone thought was a good idea) and really liked the complexity that I got from that. this article seems to support that finding.

Just ordered some Honey Combs after reading. Definitely insightful!

The wood article is nice but the author claims something that is completely wrong. He says that "In Russia, birch was traditionally a favorite for barrel production, while Norway and Sweden favored white cedar."

White cedar - Thuja occidentalis - has never been used for that purpose i Norway and Sweden. It does not grow naturally in Scandinavia but it has been imported as a plant för gardens and parks. But Thuja (as we call it in Sweden) is closely related to juniper which has been used for smaller containers in Sweden but not for barrels. Maybe the author has mixed it up here anyway?

I do not recommend white cedar for beer and other beverages -  the wood contains a toxic - thujon.
//Björn Petersson, Sweden.


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