Basic How-To Help

Just the basics of how to brew beer, mead, wine, or cordials

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 […]

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 […]

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? […]

Makin' the White House Honey Porter

Makin’ the White House Honey Porter

I am gearing up to try the White House Honey Porter recipe this weekend.  There are a few mysteries in the two beer recipes released by the White House, which of course are being widely discussed among homebrewers as many of us buy the ingredients to check these puppies out.  […]

Books for Brewers: Basic List of Books of Modern How-To on Beer and Mead

Books for Brewers: Basic List of Books of Modern How-To on Beer and Mead

This is my collection of books of modern how-to on beer and mead – all the books I currently have in my library plus a few.   There are even a few country-wine-and-liqueur books here.  Suggestions for additions are welcome; so are corrections.  Maybe there’s something here you haven’t seen before […]

Fruit flavoring and glycerine - dubious is the word

Fruit flavoring and glycerine – dubious is the word

I added flavoring and glycerin to a test batch of cordial for the first time ever this week.  I had split a batch of peach cordial made with lovely orchard peaches gathered last summer, soaked in white brandy.  It had a wonderful nose but very, shall we say, delicate flavor.  […]

Is making a cordial really brewing?

Is making a cordial really brewing?

Making cordials is often lumped in with brewing.  Should it be?  Is making a cordial, with modern restrictions and requirements, really a brewing activity?  Why do people make cordials, anyway? Now, whether you’re pro or con, you’ll find I have a number of cordials recipes on this site.  Most are […]

Feeding Yeast

Feeding Yeast

Proper yeast nutrition means your brew ferments faster and cleaner, leaving fewer off-flavors that have to age out.  We’ll call that a good thing.  Yeast is a pretty complex little organism, though, with a lot of nutrient requirements that change from life phase to life phase.  So how do we, […]

Starting Yeast

Starting Yeast

I’m getting to brew a recipe from last year’s American Homebrewer Association’s national competiton – the Underwood’s “Blasphemy at GobblersRoost” (you’ll need an AHA login to view their Homebrewopedia); it’s a sack with buckwheat honey, raisins and oak aged with whiskey.  In getting ready, I’ve been mulling over yeast starters and […]

Homebrew Clarifiers

Homebrew Clarifiers

This is a class handout, and rather chatty.  You’ve been warned. Clarifiers  

Mead Glorious Mead: A Class Talkthrough

Mead Glorious Mead: A Class Talkthrough

Mead making is one of the most fun things to teach. This class handout on how to make mead is very chatty, but covers pretty much all the basics.  It’s copyrighted, folks. Elspeth Payne Class Handout A plug for varietals (different kinds of honey), or meads that are just mead […]

Kegging for Bottlers

Kegging for Bottlers

This is Ed Westemeier’s article from Zymurgy magazine, Summer 1995 issue.  A very valuable piece for those who bottle every single batch. A Bottler’s Guide to Kegging Oak beer barrels!