Monday, August 3, 2015


I just finished up watching "Brewing with Wil Wheaton" on Brewing TV, pt II (here's pt I).  I was actually on YouTube looking at some non-brewing related videos, and saw that that part II was available.

We were at The V Eatery in Ashburn a while back and picked up a copy of Mid-Altantic Brew News.  Reading through the paper this morning, I found out about Love2Brew, an online home brew supply store.  Checking out their site, they have a bunch of interesting recipes, as well as a small supply of one-gallon kits.  One of the things I really like about sites like this...other than the availability of the that they also share the ingredients and recipes.  For example, I've got a rye ale fermenting right now, and I'm kind of excited about it because this is the first time I've used the Safbrew T-58 yeast.  Well, the Belgian Golden Strong Ale partial mash recipe uses the same yeast.  Browsing the recipes lets me see what others are using to achieve various results, such as "Belgian" or some other characteristic of the beer.

Another example of this is the recipe in the brew news paper (pg 12) for a Hefeweizen IPA.  It's clearly a 5 gal recipe, and uses a combination of grain, DME, and LME.  For the yeast, the recipe says "Safale S-06", but I think what they mean is "Safbrew WB-06".  I've seen Belgian IPAs on the shelves, and I like this collision or cross-over in styles, and I'm thinking that using a similar recipe and swapping out the yeast will let me go from a Hefeweizen to a Belgian-inspired style.

Speaking of Belgian, here's a Belgian Tripel recipe that uses Safbrew T-58...I may have to try this one to redeem myself for the Tripel that I lost.  I used the T-58 in my rye pale ale #2, and it turned out pretty well, I think.

Learning/Educational Resources
When I was going into college, I chose to get my BSEE, which was something I picked without any foresight or direction, other than I wanted to know how things worked.  Later, during my time in the military, I had an opportunity to get my MSEE, as well.  As of now, I've been out of the military for 18 yrs (at the time I'm writing this, 18 yrs and 2 days), and in that time, I've enjoyed a career that, well, used neither of those degrees.  I will say that coming out of the military, the MSEE opened some doors that might not otherwise have been opened for me (I was told as much several times, so...).  In fact, when I started in this career, there were no college courses you could take in DFIR; in fact, a great deal of what I did during incident response was cobbled together out of my military experience.  Over time, as I've written books in my technical niche, those books have been used in some of the training and education courses that are now available in the field.

Anyway, I was wondering if there were any courses available on how to be a (more) professional brewer, and I found a couple:

Top Online Beer Making & Craft Brewing Courses
Options in Education

Homebrew Believer
The Homebrew Believer blog appears to be pretty much defunct (hasn't been updated in almost 2 yrs), but if you're in search of interesting recipes, check it out.  He's got a dubbel recipe, as well as a witbier IPA recipe. Not all of the recipes are all-grain, either...there's a "Georgia Peach" wheat ale extract recipe, as well.  Finally, there are some other recipes, as well as how-tos at the blog.

For recipe conversion to small batches, the wheat ale calls for 7 lb of wheat LME, with 1/2 used at the beginning of the boil and the rest added at "knockout".  For a 1 gal batch, that would equate to 1.2 lb total extract, with .6 lb at the beginning and the rest added at the end of the boil.

What I Like About HomeBrewing
What I like about home brewing is not just the process, but also the freedom and the creativity.  We go to stores to find our favorite bottles of beer, and find that much of what we like is seasonal.  But what if you want a wheat beer or hefeweizen in the middle of winter?  Or a hearty IPA in the heat of the summer?

I got up one morning and found an email from NorthernBrewer with a recipe for a Belgian wit that's pretty easy to make, and also found another recipe for a 20-minute boil pale ale.  Lots of freedom...these can be made and enjoyed at any time.

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