Category Archives: Homebrew

Misadventures in homebrewing

My leap back into the homebrewing circuit after a 6-month recess is with a style that, naturally, is also a couple months late off the block: the Christmas beer. Throw a few spices in a dark brew and suddenly you can only drink the thing from October to December. Well, I ain’t buying it. As long as the mercury stays below 0˚C – which will be a while, no matter how many outdoor rinks they close – beers like my Spiced Bourbon Oatmeal Stout will serve as ample restoratives.

The brew day started with the toasting of two cups of oatmeal. I first read of this in Randy Mosher’s great book Radical Brewing, who says that when using toasted Continue reading

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AHU: Home sweet homebrew

Ever been intrigued by the thought of brewing your own beer, but turned off by the “science” or intimidated by foreign words like sparge and flocculate? Well, you needn’t be. Brewing in your kitchen is actually pretty easy. I like to compare it to making a big pot of soup, but the secret ingredient is a live organism and you leave it out for two weeks before dipping in. To take away the mystery, I’ve illustrated the major steps of homebrewing so you can see what you’ll be getting into before you roll up your sleeves. Continue reading

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AHU: Because the beer won’t brew itself

Originally published in The McGill Daily on January 31, 2008. Keep reading for a homebrew recipe and instructions on how to make your own Brown Ale.

graphic by David Pullmer

graphic by David Pullmer

Forty-five years after the repeal of Prohibition in America – that 13-year federal black hole of fun and good spirits – the vestiges of this legislation forbade the brewing of beer by private citizens. But in 1978, the U.S. Congress passed a bill reinstating homebrewing into the public sphere, which then-president Jimmy Carter later ratified. This bill resulted in a flurry of activity in the craft brewing world. It provided an entry point for anyone to turn a hobby into a career, and many of these professional brewers began with just a pot and a big spoon.

Homebrewing is, by nature and practice, a laid-back pastime. Continue reading

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