Montana is thought for its grain, and Mark Hastings of Überbrew and By All Means is within the thick of it. Wheat is the most-grown crop statewide whereas barley is third; regardless of their ubiquity, Hastings steered away from Montana’s brewing grains for the primary 20 years of his brewing profession. Primarily grown for the wants of macro brewers, these grains by no means fairly nailed the flavour and technical efficiency he sought. Nevertheless, latest strides in gear for craft maltsters have opened the door for higher-quality malt at a smaller scale, and he’s slowly been making shifts.
It’s one factor to alter malt in a beer with few expectations, and it’s one other to try this in a beer with an extended medal-winning pedigree, however that’s precisely what he did with the malt in Überbrew’s White Noise, a American-style wheat beer that’s gained two silvers and two golds on the Nice American Beer Pageant and World Beer Cup from 2014 by way of 2022. He’s gained the same variety of accolades for the black IPA Alpha Power Double Faucet—GABF golds, bronze, silver, in addition to prime honors at Alpha King.
On this episode, Hastings discusses:
- avoiding darker malt flavors in black IPA
- shifting base malts from Maris Otter and Golden Promise to pilsner and Vienna
- dialing in recipes utilizing native craft malt
- constructing hop combos utilizing spider plots of flavors and aromas
- fermenting all the pieces from wheat to clear IPA with London Ale III
- avoiding the “donut impact” in hoppy beers
- deciding on malt for grassiness in wheat beer
- constructing a steady haze
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