Based in Portland, Oregon, Sam Zermeño is the brewer behind Brujos—a nomadic brand that’s given him the opportunity to make some intensely flavored, highly regarded beers with friends and favorite brewers from around the country. Yet behind the acclaim and heavy-metal imagery is a mind of real technical know-how and experience. Previously an R&D brewer at Portland’s Great Notion, his accomplishment there include a GABF gold medal last year for their Feniks grodziskie. Nor was that his first GABF gold; in 2018, he won for a hazy double IPA brewed while at Black Market in Temecula, California. Now, Zermeño is embarking on the next phase of Brujos, taking over a now-closed brewhouse that he’s transforming into a dark church worthy of the heavy brand.
In this episode, he talks about brewing hazy IPA, with glimpses into his process that include:
- building inefficient grain bills with more wheat and oats than barley
- brewing with a thick mash, treated gently
- finishing gravities that pull the most out of heavy hop loads
- boosting calcium chloride
- drying out triple IPA for balance
- managing giant hop loads
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