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Home Brew Tips From An LA Brewmaster

February 15, 2013 6:00 AM

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(credit: Angel City Brewery)

(credit: Angel City Brewery)

(credit: Angel City Brewery)

(credit: Angel City Brewery)


Brewing homemade beer may sound intimidating, but if you are prepared to follow instructions, get a little creative and have fun, it might be your new favorite hobby. Downtown L.A.’s new craft beer manufacturer Angel City Brewery’s brewmaster, Dieter Foerstner, offers several tips for at-home brewers. Foerstner’s recommendations stem from his unique passion for beer, a long legacy in beer making and a zen attitude in the kitchen.

Angel City Brewery
216 S. Alameda St.
Los Angeles, CA 90012
(213) 622-1261
www.angelcitybrewery.com

(credit: Angel City Brewery)

(credit: Angel City Brewery)

Angel City Brewery, a boutique brewing company, is currently brewing Eureka! California Wit and Angeleno IPA. Eureka! Wit is a California-style white beer that is citrusy and full flavored, while the copper-hued Angeleno has bigger and bolder flavors hopped with Citra, Nelson, Simcoe and Nugget. Both are being distributed to bars and restaurants downtown, with distribution expanding throughout 2013. Led by craft beer veteran Alan Newman, the brewery is currently under renovation and will re-open in Spring 2013. It will feature a bar with at least eight taps including a variety of ongoing experimental creations. Tours and tastings will also be announced later this year.

(credit: Angel City Brewery)

(credit: Angel City Brewery)

Recently appointed Brewmaster Dieter Foerstner is passionate about making and drinking beer. His favorites are Angeleno IPA, and Eureka! Wit but, when he’s not drinking either one of those, he gravitates more towards session beers, which have a lower alcohol content because, he says, “I really enjoy the flavor of beer, but I don’t really care for its intoxicating effects.” Foerstner brings his passion and legacy of crafting brews to Angel City from Gordon Biersch Brewing Company, where he was head brewmaster. Both his great grandfather and great uncle were L.A. brewers, and his goal today is to share the craft beer joy with Los Angeles.

(credit: Angel City Brewery)

(credit: Angel City Brewery)

First and foremost, Foerstner recommends taking good notes and being flexible in the brewing process. He explains that the more details you can include in your recipe, the better. “It is extremely frustrating when you brew what you find to be an extraordinary batch of beer, but you have no idea how it ended up that way,” he says, “Even the pros run into difficulties when trying to get through a batch of beer. If you can adapt to what is happening with your brew, it will determine your triumph as a brewer.”

Foerstner says to be meticulous. The best way to ruin a batch of beer is by not being thorough. Use the freshest and highest quality ingredients, which will give you the best opportunity for success. Refrigerate liquid yeast, store grains in a dry pantry and put hops in the freezer. Keep your brewing station clean and welcome a solid sanitizing regime by utilizing glass or stainless fermenters – they are easier to keep clean and sterilize.

(credit: Angel City Brewery)

(credit: Angel City Brewery)

Foerstner encourages home brewers to experiment. “If you want a certain style of beer you can go to your local grocery store and pick it up. If you’re anything like me, you picked up this hobby so you can have a brew that is designed for your taste preferences.”

Related: Where to Drink the Most Unique Cocktails In Los Angeles

Weather in Southern California doesn’t really affect brewing, and Foerstner suggests searching on the Internet and visiting local home brew shops for ideas and equipment. Glass or stainless steel fermenters, an immersion wort chiller for clarity and quality of your brew, fermentation refrigerator, and glass carboys all come in various sizes – you just have to figure out what suits your brewing style.

Share. Beer is meant to be enjoyed with friends family loved one, even enemies. Is meant to be enjoyed with others. Just remember, not everybody has a palate for craft beer, so don’t take criticism to heart. If you like it, that’s all that matters.

Related: Best Homegrown Craft Beers In Los Angeles

Sheryl Craig is a writer with a passion for interesting finds and treasures in Los Angeles. She has a background in journalism and public relations. A mother of two daughters, Sheryl integrates her healthy lifestyle into raising her children. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.

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