Nobody's Throwing Stones Like This!
It was a cold, snowy day in Denver, and Wibby Brewing alongside Denver media folks pushed boundaries with one of the oldest, and potentially most dangerous, brewing methods known to man! They brewed a steinbier, a beer made with the addition of SUPERHEATED rocks - we're talking 600 degrees Fahrenheit - to add a caramelized, smokey flavor unachievable with regular malt. We heard from Ryan Wibby himself, the Co-Founder and Brewmaster at Wibby Brewing. Here's what he had to say about this incredible brew (which, we hear, is already starting to taste "like a champ").
Scroll down to see the video from the brew day!
How did you decide on what to brew?
We decided to brew a stienbier, a beer made with superheated rocks, after a lot of back a forth with all the members of the media. We all came to realize that brewing a stienbier is very unique, and is something no one else in the Colorado beer community was doing at that time. I received a lot of help from Andy Sparhawk at CraftBeer.com and Chuck Skypeck of the BA in preparation for this brew. Chuck had won several awards with his steinbier that he brewed at Boscos in the late 80's. I was able to take lessons that he had learned from his brews and ideas from different members of the media to create a completely new recipe.
Why did you decide to work together?
I think we all decided to work together because members of the media get to cover so many different aspects of the brewing world but rarely get to actually make beer. This is a great way for different photographers and journalists to get their hands dirty making some beer with us.
What’s your favorite thing about this collaboration?
My favorite thing about this collaboration was the challenge of producing a beer with superheated rocks. I was forced to figure out what kind of rocks we were going to use, how we were then going to heat up those rocks, how we were going to measure how hot the rocks were, and how we were going to add those hot rocks to the brew in a safe way, all the while trying to produce a super tasty brew. This challenge forced me to really push my abilities to the limit and I feel like I am a better brewer because of it.
What do you plan to name this beer?
Throwing Stones Stienbier after the Grateful Dead song "Throwing Stones" which was written by the late John Perry Barlow.
Can you describe the flavor you strive to achieve with this beer?
We were striving to produce a well balanced, caramelly, slightly smoky beer. We brewed this beer with Vienna and Munich malts for a solid malt backbone. Caramunich malt was also used to give the beer some red color and caramel flavor. Rocks were heated in a fire of aspen, pine, and apple wood then added to the mash in hopes that the ash and the smoke from the fire would give the beer a slightly smoky flavor and aroma.
We also added superheated granite to the boiling wort on two different occasions. These rocks were heated to over 600 degrees Fahrenheit. When the boiling wort came into contact with the superheated granite, a secondary boil commenced creating lots of thick steam and extra caramelization on the surface of the granite. This caramelization creates a caramel flavor that cannot be replicated by any malt giving the Throwing Stones Stienbier a unique flavor for this special collaboration.
What kind of music, if any, did you listen to while blending this beer?
We brewed on a Saturday so we kept everything chill starting off with "Throwing Stones" by the Grateful Dead.