June 11, 2015

homemade beer

hi there, b here. so beer could be called a bit of a hobby of mine. and what a better way to start contributing to this blog of ours than a post about beer. i love to try new beers and try to stay close to home (or where ever i am) when choosing what to drink. a few years ago d took this love of mine & made it a pretty awesome gift by buying me a homebrew starter kit.

if you are new to beer making and want to start off simple, the brooklyn brew shop (also sold at byob in toronto) has some great kits available (kits come with malted barley, hops & yeast).  the starter kits also come with most of the tools you need to brew & bottle the beer. you will need bottles & maybe an ingredient or 2 depending on the kit.

the other day i made another batch for us.  i haven't experimented a lot yet, & have been keeping my brews pretty simple.  i decided on another batch of the everyday ipa.  it is a classic ipa taste with a good hop profile, & comes in around the 6.8% mark according to the kit.

here are a few tips on brewing your own beer:
- if you go with a kit from brooklyn brew shop they have printable instructions on their website for each kit.
- you do need to set aside a good couple hours on brewing day.  there is a good amount of watching to do as you need to have a pretty stable temperature going while mashing (cooking the grains) & boiling.
- make sure to mark you calendar: there will be 3 more important dates after brewing day. [1] 3 days later, airlocking; [2] 2 weeks later, bottling [3] 4 weeks later, refrigeration and enjoying! 
- have fun while doing it. it isn't an overly complex process & is pretty awesome to drink/share with friends.
- start simple & than try more complex. i used the kits for the first couple batches, and i'm only just starting to play around with the kits. with the the last batch i made, i used the everyday ipa kit but added orange peel into the boil - the batch ended up with a nice subtle orange hint.


here are a few great resources if you'd like to learn more about brewing your own beer:
- definitely check out the brooklyn brew shop kits, they contain a majority of the equipment & offer a good starting point with instructions and ingredients.
- there are lots of websites out there about beer, whether it is taste reviews, homebrew tips, or industry changes.  craft beer.com, draft magazine, canadian beer news, craft beer time, & ontario craft brewers are a few of my favourites. 
- following your favourite breweries on social media keeps you updated on seasonal batches, new breweries opening, tips & tricks.
- a good number of shops have been popping up around the city that are dedicated to home brewing. they sell equipment as well as grains, hops & yeasts. connecting with these shops lets you chat with the experts, run ideas past them, & get helpful bits of advice.  two brew shops opening/opened in toronto are  toronto brewing and noble hop.
- untappd is a really fun app that allows you to connect with fellow beer drinkers, rate & review beers, and track beers you've tried.

leave your comments about your own homebrewing experiences & if you haven't yet, give it a try!

happy brewing & cheers!

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