How-To & Science

Articles and email threads that I have collected that I find helpful

How To Make Quick Mead

How To Make Quick Mead

A quick mead takes 10 days-2 weeks, and tastes like slightly alcoholic soda pop. It runs 2-4% alcohol – just enough so it’s more than honey water, but not so much that a long cold drink will hurt you. Quick meads are great for camping events, particularly when you’ll be there […]

Every homebrewer has days like this

Every homebrewer has days like this

Every homebrewer has days like this. I started out to make a perfectly reasonable porter recipe.  English chocolate malt, English dark crystal malt, English black malt, a little wheat malt, Chinook bittering hops and US Goldings. One packet of Lallemand ale yeast with starter.  I was going to add oak cubes and […]

Building a homebrewers website (not this one)

Building a homebrewers website (not this one)

I’ve been building a homebrewers website for a club with some special parameters. Since homebrewers’ clubs are sprouting up like mushrooms (do NOT take that as inspiration, the world does NOT need ‘shroom beer) I thought I’d take some time to look at the kinds of decisions made to get this new site […]

What makes malt go: diastatic power and proteolytic enzymes

What makes malt go: diastatic power and proteolytic enzymes

I made it through a whole hour-long presentation on malt without once mentioning diastatic power (what it is, how it works) or proteolytic enzymes.  Whups.  Thank goodness they were at least in my handout (see my last post for the handout). So, to make up for this rather large omission, […]

Malt: Everything a Homebrewer Wants To Know

Malt: Everything a Homebrewer Wants To Know

In my BJCP class the teacher, Les White, assigned a presentation on malt and malting to me.  We each signed up for our preferred topics, then Les assigned one topic to each student and set the date for their presentation.  Mine was the very first. I was beyond nervous, and of course had work […]

Make Your Malt

Make Your Malt

Ever think of making your malt to homebrew with?  Uncertain you can do it?  Sure you can.  You can make your malt and thus have complete control over its roastiness, diastatic power, everything. I have a couple of friends wanting to reproduce medieval beers starting from scratch – they’re growing old varieties of […]

Homebrewing beer: Potential Extract Values of Grains and Adjuncts

Homebrewing beer: Potential Extract Values of Grains and Adjuncts

BJCP CLASS – we were given a choice of presentation topics, and I chose Malt.  Turns out Malt is one of the very first presentations, so I’ve been scrambling through a very busy week (end of fiscal quarter at work, Baronial At-Home on Wednesday at my house) to get something […]

Starting the BJCP class!

Starting the BJCP class!

Sometimes fate just calls your bluff.  I’ve been saying for a while now I’d like to take the Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP) certification – for mead, and maybe beer – and probably the Cicerone training too, eventually.  Well, last week I got an email from Les White, the president of […]

Aroma and Bouquet in Wine and Beer, and Suggestion for Evaluating Beer

Aroma and Bouquet in Wine and Beer, and Suggestion for Evaluating Beer

I got into a conversation with Peter Barclay last night on aroma vs. bouquet for wines and beers.   For wines it’s relatively straightforward – well, defining it is; experiencing it could be a lot more complicated.  For beers, I’m not happy with the definitions I’ve seen, and I’d like to […]

Where is your wine from? Or, Appelation Demystified

Where is your wine from? Or, Appelation Demystified

Wines are about where they come  from.  There is a critical piece of info on a wine label I’ve been overlooking.  When the label on a bottle of wine says “Cabernet Sauvignon”, I rarely get further than thinking that’s the kind of wine in the bottle.  I’m looking for a […]

Where to find vintage/heritage cider apples

Where to find vintage/heritage cider apples

If you want to make really good hard cider, you need to use vintage apples. But where do you find these superb cider-making apples? I live smack in the middle of prime apple-growing country here in Maryland; Virginia, our next door neighbor, is one of the top five apple-producing states […]

Enjoying your trip to a winetasting room

Enjoying your trip to a winetasting room

So you’re about to walk into a wine tasting room.  Maybe you’ve never been, maybe you’ve done this before but never been quite sure how it’s supposed to go: do I have to swish and spit, or what?  It’s kind of overwhelming.  There’s so much to know about wines, right? […]