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Old 04-30-2010, 09:11 PM   #1
Bmorebrew
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Default Organic Brewing

Now that I'm into full blown AG brewing, I'm curious as to what the general communities views are on organic brewing. I am a huge fan of Wolaver's, particularly their brown ale and oatmeal stouts. Here in Baltimore whenever I can find an Oxford I buy it (its made by Clipper City).

My questions are: Do many people here brew using organic ingredients? Have you done side by side comparisons of the same recipe using organic vs. conventional?

I haven't actually priced things yet, but I assume organic is more expensive. Personal taste argument aside, is there a consensus on whether its worth it?

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Old 04-30-2010, 09:16 PM   #2
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Im just curious, what is the advantage to brew organic? I never understood the whole orgo thing.

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Old 04-30-2010, 09:30 PM   #3
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No taste difference, it comes down to whether or not you believe in Organic vs. non-Organic.

I believe in the concept, it is the execution of it that I am more than skeptical. The list of organic exceptions on what is allowed vs not allowed is long. The honesty of the distribution chain, the honesty of business to do the right thing - I bypass it for my brewing purposes. If I had a local supplier who was actually growing everything organic I would be buying it.

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Old 04-30-2010, 09:33 PM   #4
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99% of the folks here do not brew organic. A small but vocal portion of them are outright hostile to it, which is a little baffling.

I brew using organic grains and hops. It is more expensive, no doubt. If you can buy your grain in bulk, that helps cut costs, as well as buying hops in larger quantities when they are on special. For normal sized beers, my costs range from $13 - 18 for a five gallon batch, which i think is pretty reasonable.

The best online source of info and supplies I've found on organic brewing is Seven Bridges Co-op www.breworganic.com. I buy organic malts from Mid Country Malt http://www.countrymaltgroup.com/ because I can pick it up locally. There's a guy in Minneapolis who does a pretty interesting organic brewing blog at http://www.beardedbrewing.org/ Another sometimes interesting blog is www.beeractivist.com written by Chris O'Brien. He has a thought-provoking book out http://www.breworganic.com/fermentin...etheworld.aspx

But your ending question "is it worth it?" is a great question. It depends entirely on why you are brewing organic, in my opinion. For example, I do not harbor any illusions that my organic beers are any better than someone else's non-organic beers. I brew organic because I like to support sustainable agriculture, because I think it makes my beers distinctive, and because it supports my goal of making handmade, artisanal beers.

If you have any specific questions about organic ingredients or recipes, don't hesitate to ask.

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