Podcast Episode 98: Revolution Brewing’s Jim Cibak and Marty Scott: Intentional Brewing and Aging for Blending Barrel-Aged Beers

The Brewmaster and Barrel Operations Lead for Chicago, Illinois’ Revolution Brewing discuss their mathematical approach to brewing blending stock at different ages and attenuation levels, then delve into the process behind Hazy Hero IPA.

Jamie Bogner Aug 30, 2019


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Once upon a time, brewing barrel-aged stouts was a simple case of putting one batch into a barrel then pulling it out and releasing it. But for Revolution Brewing, a happy accident led to a new way to think about blending stocks of barrel-aged beers in order to achieve more depth and complexity. Today, the brewery now intentionally brews to replicate that effect, and has extended the concept behind it across the various styles of barrel-aged beers they brew. In this episode, they discuss the details of this process—manipulating mash temperatures to produce sweeter and drier versions of each of their base recipes, aging those different versions for different lengths of time, and blending percentages of beer at different ages and sweetness levels to create beers that achieve the metrics they’ve developed for “balance value” and “malt complexity value.”

“[By having] all these barrels with extended aging and different finishing gravities, it allows us to put a metric on it and create and design a beer rather than just having it go into a barrel and then emptying it every year," says Scott.

In addition to barrel-aging, Cibak discusses their approach to the newly released Hazy Hero IPA, including their counterintuitive approach to hops—bittering with hops extract in the whirlpool and dry hopping the yeast pitch—and more.

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Jamie Bogner is the Cofounder and Editorial Director of Craft Beer & Brewing Magazine®. Email him at [email protected].