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Batch 051: Bush Select

by pj on December 14th, 2015

051BushSelect


Andrew Bush did a bunch of work on my house. He saw me brewing one day and was intrigued, but said he hates “heavy” beers. So, as a tip for his work, I thought it’d be nice to brew him a nice light beer he would actually drink.

I’d never brewed a light lager before. Supposedly they’re a good test of a brewer’s mettle, since the beer’s lack of flavor will allow any off flavors to shine through. I had all the proper equipment to pull it off (especially fermentation temperature control) so I thought this would be useful for me to try.

As for the recipe, I followed Budweiser pretty closely. Barley and rice, plus a small dose of Saaz hops. One difference between me and the real thing is that AB-InBev brews a higher-alcohol beer and then waters it down to around 5% (to save on time and labor), whereas I brewed mine to 5% from the start. AB-InBev’s more concentrated production probably adds some color and flavor, so if anything my beer would come out even lighter.

The beer came out fine. Very light, indeed. Some people said it was too sweet; others, too bitter. I think it’s so light-flavored that your perception depends crucially on what you most recently ate or drink. If I were to do it again I think I’d brew it stronger and water it down, and give it a pinch more clean bitterness.

As for the name, Andrew Bush claims he was a “guinea pig” for Bud Select when AB-InBev first rolled out that product. Somehow he got it before the rest of the market. So naturally I named this beer “Bush Select”. The label steals from the Busch Light label (with the “C” removed, to match Andrew’s name) and the Bud Select label. Pretty simple, but I kind of like it.

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