Clone again. Bitter American 4

I brewed this a while back, kicked the keg tonight while bottling for homebrewing club night. I said I’d share my notes / recipe. The Recipe is based on the BYO Clones from cans recipes. (no recipe here). I’ve been making … Continue reading

If I had it all to do over again… How I recomend getting started brewing.

Hindsight . As a homebrewer you are often asked about starting out, what’s the best kit to get, what recipe to use, what did you do etc. I’m doing this for Learn to homebrew day, I’ve greatly benefited by those in the community willing to share a recipe, tip, DIY plan, etc. Here is I’d do if I were to do it over again.

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Read, but don’t obsess. You aren’t going to brew a perfect beer the first time, and there is only so much you can do with your first batch. Pick a book, and read it. The two most common are How to brew by John Palmer And The Complete Joy of Home brewing – Charlie Papazian. They are different takes on brewing, read a few pages from amazon, and pick the one that suits your style, and read it. I read and read and read, and listened until I was filled with crazy ideas, and worried about doing it perfect. I didn’t understand what I was reading. Just pick a book, read it, and get a bad first draft done.
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Fall is the Saison Season

Saison is a style I feel a closeness to, I’m a small farmer and french Canadian by heritage. The idea of making an artisanal product with a raw edge, using my own hops, and rustic grain just moves me. This recipe is a simple table saison, something I think the farm hands may have enjoyed during the long work days. I found the recipe on via Nathan Smith. He’s a staple on the brewing network, has presented at NHC, ANHC, Beersmith, and Basic brewing radio. He’s even given talk on Saisons. Continue reading

Brewing ‘Mildly alcoholic’ beer

Looking back through my brewing logs, I’ve never brewed two batches as close together as I did these past two. I’m of the school of thought that the best way to get good at something is to do it often. It was nice to have my brewing process fresh in my mind when approaching this brew night. The last batch a hoppy pale ale is just off dry hops as I write this brew day up. This batch is a rebrew of the english mild I brewed last summer. The first time I brewed this, I made a biab beer. Taking a very simple approach and not worrying about it. This might have been one of the better batches I brewed last year. This time I have a slightly different target. I’ve been asked a few times if it is possible to make an NA beer, so I’m trying to brew a very low abv beer, and make it as close as I can to Non Alcoholic Beer(NA). I figured it makes the most sense to start with a flavorful low abv beer. Research (googling) and turned up anecdotal stories, but no well documented first hand experiences with abv testing. I found two approaches to making NA beer, heating the beer to evaporate the alcohol, or freezing the beer to concentrate the alcohol and sugars leaving behind low alcohol beer ice. There are issues with either approach. Heat and Oxygen are known to damage beer. However I can’t think of a way to achieve the goal of low abv beer w/out exposing the beer to these factors. If someone has done this and has found a reliable way to do it with good results please let me know.
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Very small batch Cyser

Making a mead has been in my brewing pipeline for quite some time. Last fall I took a swing at a cyser, but it was really more of a honey fortified cider, than a real cyser. Having tried a really good example at one of the BFD club meetings, I knew I wanted to make a better example. After listening to Michael Fairbrother (member of, and former President of BFD) of Moonlight Meadery on BeerSmith’s podcast talking about meads, and specifically Kurts Apple Pie (Cyser) I had a fairly good idea how to make a cyser I was hoping for. Continue reading

Mild brew night with friends

I’ve taken a layoff from brewing and beer related activities which doesn’t make for a very exciting homebrewing blog. The good news is, for the first time in nearly two months, I brewed. While I did not really need beer, I’ve been feeling the pull. When I started planning I didn’t have anything specific in mind when I started eyeing recipes. Well, that’s not entirely accurate, I always have ideas, but nothing was screaming to me, brew me next. After having brewed a hoppy pale session beer, and a very hoppy double ipa, I wanted something malty, low gravity, and on the darker end of the spectrum. Continue reading

New Years Eve Miracle, Milk Stout

I try to brew as often as reasonable, which is usually when I’ve got a keg free, when I’ve got a competition to enter, or it’s been way too long. In 2012 it was more like every 3 months, despite wanting to brew more often. That is what makes brewing 3 times in december quite an accomplishment. This last batch pushed the 2012 total to 6 batches, 5 beers, one cider, an extract only batch, extract and steeping grains, a partial mash, all grain, and brew in a bag all grain. To say I’m a dabbler might be an understatement. One thing that hasn’t changed a whole lot is what I brew.

This New Years eve brew session was pretty much on a lark. I had picked up a pair of 2.5 gallon kegs from adventures in homebrewing as a christmas gift to myself. From a trip to Valley Malt this fall, I have a stock pile of grain. From stocking up during the fall harvest I also have an abundance of hops. I’ve been thinking of how to fill one of the small kegs, while taking advantage of what I had on hand. 90% of the grain, 100% of the hops, came from what I had on hand. I did still have to make the trip to the home brew shop to pick up yeast, and a few misc things, but it was a little easier on the wallet. I only needed caraffa II, lactose powder, and yeast. Anyone guess what I brewed from the ingredients I picked up? Since kicking the Oatmeal stout, I’ve wanted to brew something dark to go beside the pales I usually brew, and have on tap. My wife likes stouts more than my typical beers. I Continue reading