homebrewing Archives – PorchDrinking.com
As part of the PorchDrinking AleBlazers Series, I was excited to get to chat with Sarah Flora of Flora Brewing. If you’ve had a chance to peruse her website or YouTube channel, you know that she is a top-notch homebrewer. Additionally, she just made her commercial debut at Pilot Project Brewing, a brewery incubator in Chicago, with Medusa, a Pale Ale that is perfect for summer!
In 1999, Learn To Homebrew Day was established by the American Homebrewers Association to promote the most rewarding, and delicious activity of all time — homebrewing. This is what is written on the AHA’s website about this event. It is a day that many homebrewers the world around have come to their local homebrew stores or friends or even the internet to learn the hobby that you can literally drink to!
Most of the time when we see Farmhouse Ale on a beer label in this country, the beer in question is a Saison or Bière de Garde. A new book about northern European rural brewing traditions expands the world of farmhouse ales and opens readers’ eyes to a thriving Nordic subculture of farmhouse brewing and expands our understanding of farmhouse ales beyond popular Belgian and French traditions.
If you’ve been paying attention to the Gourmet YouTube scene, many classic publications are rejuvenating themselves through spectacular new digital content series. Bon Appétit has been pushing forward with glorious junk food recreations in “Gourmet Makes” and fermentation experimentation in “It’s Alive With Brad.” America’s Test Kitchen has transitioned to online magnificently through highly informative videos on products and cooking techniques. But the series that’s been most interest in terms of flavor analysis is “Price Points” by recipe index Epicurious.
Picture this, fellow beer lovers: you are at a brewery and one of the beers is touted as a medal winner from the Great American Beer Festival (GABF) or World Beer Cup (WBC). You order the beer; anticipated to fill it up in a growler to share with your buddies. After a lengthy sniff and thorough gulp, you realize that it’s good, maybe great, but not something you’d quite define as “award-winner.” Then you pull out your phone to cross-reference ratings and opinions through RateBeer, Beer Advocate, Untappd, etc…
Homebrewing isn’t just a hobby; it’s an art form defined by our country’s do-it-yourself spirit through combining dedicated scientific research and passionate culinary engineering. According to the American Homebrewers Association, there are approximately 1.2 million homebrewers in the United States after every state had legalized the act in 2013. Just as craft beer opens you up to whole new world of flavors, there’s infinite number of possibilities when you realize what you can make with your first homebrewing kit. And as you ignite this new exciting hobby, you really start to appreciate the artistry and craftsmanship that goes into the industry as a whole.
After a few beers I gained the cojones to start an email string suggesting the PorchDrinking team start homebrewing together. I’m humble about a lot of things I do, but dammit, I make damn good beer. All of my best friends can attest to that… or maybe I just have really nice friends. Either way, I decided to invite the team to my house to brew on my MacGyver’d homebrew setup and this is how we got started Homebrewing Gingerbread Stout.
Since I started homebrewing I have been looking for ways to push flavors and try new things with brewing. Lately, I have been really intrigued by the use of brettanomyces as the primary fermenting yeast strain in beer. I have done a few experimental small 1 gallon 100% brett batches and I have been happy but I really wanted to take it to the next level. As soon as my local home brew store, High County Hombrew, got some fresh Mosaic hops I knew it was time. I felt that the mango, lemon, citrus, earthy pine, tropical fruit, herbal and stone fruit notes that the Mosaic hops produced were made to go with a fruitiness of some strains of brettanomyces. Below outlines the recipe and thoughts behind Passing Afternoon – 100% Brett Mosaic Pale Ale.
Most people know how to cook. In fact a lot of people excel at this skill, but if asked if they could make a drink from scratch using raw ingredients, most would pass. Well never fear fellow beer lovers, beer is no harder to make at home than Ramen. With some basic equipment, patience, and curiosity, you can make some amazing beers at home. First up in the series: Equipment & Sanitation
In order to make beer, there are some items that are must haves, and quite a few items that are optional but will make life easier if you have them, most of which come in handy during fermentation and bottling. Once you have the basics down, you can then explore into some equipment for more advanced brewing, but we will cover those when we reach that part of the series.