Recently I decided I’d like to brew a classic example all of the Brewing Judge Certification Program (BJCP) classic styles. The BJCP is a certification program for homebrewing judges, and they clarify style guidelines. Examples include beers like altbier, kolsch, American IPA, American wheat beer, and pretty much anything else you can think of.
I decided to do this when listening to the Brewing Network, where Jamil said that brewing award winning versions of all these styles was one of the things that helped his brewing and his understanding of historical styles the most.
The BJCP has a new style guide out for 2015, and since it sounds like most judging is focusing on these guidelines now, I’ll be focusing on this guideline. I’m not going in any particular order, but instead I’ll just brew what I feel like at a given time, checking them off the list. I’ll post about each one as I go.
I decided to start this now because I finally have the ability to do 2 things – lager beer, keeping it at a low temperature for a long time after fermentation, and brew 100% all grain.
The graf I posted about isn’t a classic style, but for my first entry I’ve already started a post on a Kolsch beer, sub-style 5b, in the pale bitter European beer category.
Kolsch is technically an ale (meaning it’s fermented with a top-fermenting strain of Saccharomyces yeast at a higher temperature), but it’s very light and dry with just a little bit of bready malt flavor, more like a traditional German lager.
I’ll probably follow that up with a winter ale or a British style for the holidays, or something to use up the many pounds of hops I have in the freezer from the harvest.
The Kolsch was very fun to make. It’s lagering right now, and I’ll be posting about it very soon.
Check out the BJCP guidelines here: