Six months have passed since I was last in the States. It was a long time without brewing. I came back feeling a bit apprehensive, somewhat doubtful that my brewing abilities didn’t atrophy. Nonetheless I was eager to turn around something quick, and so just a few hours after my return, I walked over to Bitter & Esters to pick up ingredients to brew a new version of my summer session ale, now named Lazy Day Ale. While I might enjoy this beer on such a day in just a few weeks, brew day was anything but lazy, exercising my new knowledge of brewing water as well as trying out some new beer body building techniques.
One of the overlooked advantages of homebrewing is that brewers maintain a stock of unusual ingredients and equipment on hand. One of most common ingredients across brewing is malt extract — for many brewers it is the main ingredient in their wort, but even after I’ve moved on to all-grain brewing I still need malt extract for yeast starters and priming bottles. I discovered that this ingredient is useful for making bagels, and my curiosity to try out a recipe was instantly piqued.