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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review April 2, 2004 / 12 Nissan, 5764

Tastes great, less chametz

By Jacob Berkman


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Ramapo Valley Brewery answers the question, "Why is this beer different from all other beers?" Because it's kosher for Passover

If we ran this yesterday, folks, it would have been dismissed as an April Fools' gag


http://www.jewishworldreview.com | It's 10:30 in the morning the day after Valentine's, and a brew pub owner, a brew-master, and a rabbi are sitting at a bar waiting for a pot to boil.

More precisely, they're waiting for a couple of thousand gallons of water to boil in the cooking vat at the Ramapo Valley Brewery just across the state line in Suffern, N.Y.

Once boiled, the water will pass into a second cooker, over a cooling element, then into each of six fermenters. Making the metal beer brewing vessels kosher for Passover will take about eight hours, said Rabbi Zushe Blech, who is overseeing the kashering.

That's right: kosher-for-Passover beer.

The brewery is making the first batch of kosher-for-Passover beer that the world has seen in about 2,000 years, said Danny Scott, who owns the bar along with Egon Linzenberg.

Kosher-for-Passover beer may sound like a stretch for a brewery that produces about 10 other varieties of beers — among them "Divine Light," "Demon Fuel," and "Horney Blonde Lager." But, Scott said, the brewery wanted to reach out to a local market in Monsey, Kiryas Joel, and New Square, which includes a number of Orthodox and fervently Orthodox residents. So it approached Blech about how to get all of its beers certified.

But when they called the rabbi, Blech recalled, he told them that "if you really want a challenge, why don't you try making a kosher-for-Passover beer?"

Blech said that although most modern beer is made from some sort of grain, the art of fermenting food to create alcohol was known before even Noah's time.

"Every culture fermented whatever it could get its hands on," said Blech. "If they had apples they'd make cider. If they had honey they'd make mead. If they had grapes, they'd make wine. And in other countries, they found that if you malted grain, you could ferment that too."

The Talmud, he said, even describes four types of beer: Shechar, date beer; Pirzuma, barley beer; T'ainy, fig beer; and Asni, berry beer.

So, Blech, the bar owners, and the bar's brewer, John Caleb, got together to see if they could find a kosher-for-Passover beer facsimile.

Beer brewing, said Blech, in its most rudimentary form, is pretty simple. Some sort of sugar is mixed with water and hops — dried flowers from the vine of the hop plant — the mixture is boiled, and yeast is added, which causes the mixture to ferment.

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In most beers, the sugar comes from some sort of grain, normally barley. That grain must be malted. The barley grain has three layers, the germ, the endosperm, and a layer of bran. During malting, the barley is mixed with water, which causes the germ, the only living part of the barley grain, to grow. When it grows, it secretes an enzyme that breaks the other two layers into sugar.

After the germinating process occurs, which normally takes about 48 hours, the sprouted kernels are roasted, then mashed, creating a mixture called a grist. The grist is mixed with water to create a sweet mixture called "wort".

In the normal brewing process, that wort is mixed with the hops, creating a mixture called hopped wort, and that mixture is boiled, the yeast is added, and then allowed to ferment.

The length of time that the barley roasts, what other grains are added to the wort mix, and which variety of hops is used create beer variety.

Fermenting barley — which is essentially the same process that bread goes through when it rises — is the reason that traditional beer is not kosher for Passover.

Ramapo Valley Brewery's kosher-for-Passover beer skips the malting process.

Instead of extracting sugar from a grain, the brewer simply eliminates the grain and uses molasses and honey, which he mixes with hops. He will cook the mixture in the newly koshered cookers, pass the mixture over the koshered cooling elements, let it cool in the koshered fermenters, then add yeast — which did not come from a bread product — and wait about two weeks for the whole thing to ferment, creating "a reasonable facsimile of beer," according to Blech.

And in fairness, the barley-less brew is an approximation. Without the strong taste of the barley, it tastes a bit like carbonated sugar-water with a hint of a pilsner aftertaste. Those who do not like the bitterness of beer will probably thoroughly enjoy the flavor — and, make no mistake, it has a pleasant taste. But it is no rich, deep stout.

Nevertheless, Scott says, the approximately 28,000 bottles that the brewery produced have moved, well, a lot faster than the molasses that was used to make them.

"It's like gold," he said of the beer that sells for $50 a case or $350 for a keg.

Only those 28,000 bottles will be kosher for Passover, but the brewery will still continue to use the molasses recipe throughout the year because there is a market for the beer among people with a disorder that prevents them from digesting gluten.

The Passover beer is part of Ramapo Valley's attempt to expand its market.

Though the brewery now makes all of its beer in the storefront brew system at its pub at 120 Orange Ave., it will soon start brewing at a larger off-site location.

"This just gives us something a little different," said Scott. For more information about the Passover beer (or one of Ramapo Valley Brewery's other spirits), check its Website, www.ramapovalleybrewery.com, or call (845) 369-RVBS (7827).

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Jacob Berkman is a reporter for The Jewish Standard. Comment by clicking here.

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