Fraser Millings

Brewing Your Own Beer - The FAQ

Posted by Tim Vandergrift on

  What is Homebrewing? Homebrewing is the brewing of beer and other beverages through fermentation on a small scale as a hobby for personal consumption, amateur brewing competitions or other non-commercial reasons. Brewing on a domestic level has been done for many thousands of years but has been subject to regulation and prohibition during some time periods in certain places. Modern Homebrew brewing is now convenient, easily accessible and yields excellent results from the very first batch. Why should I get into Homebrewing? People make their own beer for a variety of reasons. It can be cheaper than buying commercially...

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Leap Year, Hilarity and Bachelor Day Brews

Posted by Tim Vandergrift on

Celebrating the leap year with a traditional irish ale recipe. Not celebrated: medieval sexist customs, non-hilarious Popes.

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Wassail Your Ale: Brewing a Holiday Beer

Posted by Tim Vandergrift on

We pretty much feel the same way, Ebenezer We know, we know: way too early to be talking about the holiday season. We'd rather face the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come than think about what's barreling towards us, with parties, dinners, ugly sweaters, shopping, relatives, woof! But it's not too soon to think about brewing your holiday beer! We love to have a mildly spicy, nicely malty ale on tap to chase away the chill and to welcome friends and family (or to make them seem more fun).  Heavenly The secret to a satisfying holiday beer is to add...

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Making Mad Mead Part Three: The Meadening Continues

Posted by Tim Vandergrift on

When We Last Left the Barkshack Gingermead it was fermenting strongly, fizzing away for five days. When the vigorous fermentation dropped off, we took a specific gravity reading.   Looks done to us!  The reading went from 1.044 to 0.994, indicating complete dryness and an alcohol by volume of around 6.5%. That was a little more than expected: the Saison yeast is very thorough!   Upsy-downsy  The colour is great, and the aroma is fantastic, but the flavour is dry. It isn’t overly acidic, and the tannins derived from the raspberry seeds aren’t overwhelming (on the contrary, they're  like a backbone...

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Making Mad Mead Part Two: Honey, I’m Home

Posted by Tim Vandergrift on

Honey Costco sells buckets of honey quite cheaply, but you can do better than mass-market stuff. Apiarists told us that the BCB Honey Farm was run by fanatics who took honey extremely seriously, to the point of treating it like a sacrament and a medicine as opposed to a foodstuff. That might sound like an exaggeration, but it turns out to be the truth: Dr. Iman Tabari came to Canada to produce medicinal honey and help reverse the decline of honey bees. Entering his shop you get a lecture on how most honey is not worth the money, how his...

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