I just caught wind of a coup. It's nothing that will make the headlines, except for the occasional drinking or beard-celebrating blogs. But Steve McKenna, co-host (stunt-drinker, mascot, drinking buddy) of "Drinking Made Easy" on HDNet, formerly of "Three Sheets" on Spike, will be hanging up his mug. Permanently.
St. Patrick’s day is among the greatest beer-drinking holidays, where millions collectively fill up the mighty pint of beer, toasting to the patron saint of Ireland.
When you reach for a drink tomorrow, any one of these beers will serve you quite well.
The Craft Brewers Conference (CBC) is the only industry event that serves both brewpubs and packaging breweries. On May 2nd, professional brewers will meet to exchange ideas on how to improve brewery quality and performance. CBC is the number one environment in North America for concentrated, affordable brewing education.
It’s known among my good friends that occasionally, I have the capacity of becoming boneless, beaming and butterfingered when I drink. Imbibing aside, I can also just be a klutz sometimes.
I just upgraded to the iPhone 4S. You know where this is going, don’t you? Yeah, it slipped out of my hand onto the concrete outside, as I was starting my jog. To add insult to injury (or in this case, injury to insult), I cut myself on the damn cracked screen!
November 5th 2009 Brewforia Beer Market opened the doors of its first ever brick and mortar temporary location. Brewforia.com had been live since December 2008. Seeing a massive groundswell of support from the community, they opened Brewforia Beer Market's first permanent location on May 5th 2010.
The culture of beer stretches back more than 4,000 years. Cheers to Jimmy Carter for launching the more recent microbrewery movement back in 1978, by making it legal to homebrew. In most states, it is legal to homebrew up to 100 gallons of beer per year for each adult in the household or 200 gallons maximum if more than one adult of legal drinking age resides there.
Homebrew is primarily made from malt extract, malt, hops, yeast and water. Once you know the basics, you’ll be able to experiment with offbeat ingredients and truly understand the craftsmanship that is home brewing.
In order to get started, visit your local homebrew supply shop. You can search the Homebrew Supply Shop directory at www.HomebrewersAssociation.org or search “brewing” or “home brewing” in your search engine.
ABV: Alcohol by Volume is a standard measure of how much alcohol (ethanol) is contained in an alcoholic beverage (portrayed as a percentage of total volume).
Adjunct: Any grain used in the brewing process besides wheat and barley. The grains used are typically either rice or corn.
Ale: Ales are any beer that is fermented with top fermenting yeast at warmer temperatures. Ales typically are associated with fruity flavors.
Carbon Dioxide (CO2): The gaseous by-product of the fermentation process along with alcohol. Sometimes this is captured and used to carbonate casked or Real Ales.
IBU: International Bittering Units provide a measure of the bitterness of beer. This measurement depends on the style of beer. Light lagers typically have an IBU rating of 5 while big, hoppy India pale ales have an IBU rating between 40 and 140.
Lager: Lagers are any beer that is fermented with bottom fermenting yeast at colder temperatures. Lagers are associated with crisp, clean flavors.
Malted Barley – Barley is a cereal grain that provides the sweetness, body, and much of the flavor in beer including tastes such as: grainy, toffee, toasty, caramel, chocolate, coffee, and roast. Malt extract is sugar extracted from the malted grains. Once malted, the barley provides sugar for the yeast to consume which provides the carbonation for the beer, when the alcohol and carbon dioxide (CO2) is created.
Hops - The hop is a climbing plant related to hemp, and there are both males and females. Hops, flowers of the Humulus lupulus, are the balance to the malt in beer. It takes about an ounce of these dried flowers to bitter a ten gallon batch of beer but different styles of beer require different levels of bittering. Hops lend spicy, herbal, floral, citrus and earthy notes to the beer aroma and tasting experience.
Yeast - Yeast is a single-celled organism that consumes sugar while releasing alcohol and carbon dioxide (carbonation). The life blood of beer, yeast also provides hundreds of flavor and aroma compounds including fruity flavors such as apple, banana and pineapple, clove and smoke and earthy notes.
Water – It’s important to have high quality water when producing high quality beer. Water affects the perceived bitterness and hop utilization of finished beer. Different mineral contents in water will impact different factors in beer.
You will need:
Usually a 6.5-to-7-gallon (24.6 to 26.5 L) food-grade plastic bucket with a tight fitting lid. The lid will have a small hole where the air lock will be inserted.
Racking cane and tubing
Clear or white plastic cane and tubing used for transferring the beer (racking) from one vessel to another and during bottling.
An open-topped plastic bucket used during bottling.
A device used to affix bottle caps to the filled bottles of beer.
Your homebrew shop can recommend various options.
You can purchase clean, new bottles from many homebrew stores. You can also reuse empty bottles and clean them yourself.
This is used to measure the specific gravity or density of the beer before and after fermentation.
Carboy and accessories
Plastic carboys are rated up to 140°F (60°C). For each carboy, you will want a stopper, a carboy brush for cleaning the vessel and possibly a handle or web harness.
It’s a well known fact that I’m a lover of quality craft beer, but it may be slightly less known that I’m a bit of a sucker for marketing...and wine. Yeah, I said it. I'm a cross drinker.
The cold winter months not only bring us sparkly lights, lingering spiced aromas and tryptophan induced naps, but Winter Warmers and Christmas Ales with mountains of malt, spices, fruit and herbs, completely devoid of subtlety. My kinda’ beers.