A Yeasting We Will Go

Written by Damon on December 27, 2008

Brewers have it pretty easy. Basically, all we do is create the conditions under which yeast will thrive. Yeast does all the work, we get all the credit. We make sure it’s not too hot or not too cold. We make sure it has enough to eat. And we try to protect it from bad influences like bully-bacteria and the yeast-gone-wild.

I started brewing after returning to Canada from the Lager Hell that is Japan partly because I never wanted to

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Almost Heaven Belgian Wheat Beer Recipe

Written by Damon on December 20, 2008

I posted most of the details for this recipe in my Belgian Witbier Roundup a few days back, but I really wasn’t feeling very generous in my evaluation and I left out a few minor details that make it more difficult to copy.

I only post recipes because they are interesting or excellent. The roundup’s comparison was interesting, but the Almost Heaven Belgian Wheat Beer is excellent. I not only nailed the style, but I’d say it is as good as

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Bottle Conditioning in the Warm Room

Written by Damon on December 17, 2008

I’ve learned brewing mostly from books, the Internet, and Dan, mentor and vendor to Vancouver’s homebrewers. On top of what I’ve read and been told, there are a few things that I do because they make sense to me. One of those things just made sense was leaving freshly bottled beer in a heated area of the house for the first few days. You know, to quicky awaken dormant yeast to carbonate my beer.

Well today, for reasons that will be

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Belgian Witbier Roundup and Recipe

Written by Damon on December 14, 2008

The last of my Belgian Wits is now ready so I’d like to do a little roundup of the whole project.

I wanted to do at least three large batches and three small batches, but, because the yeast (Wyeast 3944 Belgian Wit) was so slow, I only did 2 large batches and 3 small batches. Of the 3 small batches, 2 were very experimental (Chanterelle and Burnt Orange) and can’t really be called Witbier. So that leaves me with three batches

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Peated Matsutake Porter Post-Mortem

Written by Damon on December 4, 2008

My very limited edition Peated Matsutake Porter (note the Matsutake is also known as Pine Mushroom) came to an abrupt end last night. I only made three bottles worth from Peated Porter leftovers after racking an over-filled primary fermenter to the secondary.

Photo Credit: soggydan

String of Setbacks

At first I thought the beer was ruined by some sort of infection. It was actually the inspiration for my Halloween Fermentation Friday post which is actually a piece of fiction because still

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Something Interesting on Tap

Written by Damon on November 22, 2008

I finally bottled the last of my Belgian wheat beers. I had planned on doing 6 different beers (I often mash 20% more and then do a mini-batch on the side) but the Wyeast 3944 Belgian Witbier took forever to stop bubbling.

In retrospect, I recommend that you use gravity measurements rather than cessation of visible activity to decide when fermentation has stopped with this yeast. It kept bubbling lightly, but its attenuation didn’t change much.

In addition to the basic Belgian

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Making Better Beers Together

Written by Damon on November 19, 2008

I’m very new to the beer blogging scene, so if this idea is to go anywhere I’ll need to trust the more long-standing beer bloggers to promote the idea if it is to fly. But I think it is a good idea, so it just might.

Fermentation Friday is fun because it helps us homebrewers connect and it makes us write about topics we might not have thought of on our own. I think we can do better.

While writing yesterday’s Scottish

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Scottish Ale Massacre

Written by Damon on November 19, 2008

Scottish Ales

Not every beer that I make is a masterpiece, but even the ones that I consider failures are usually quite quaffable. In the interest of making better beer, I decided to try tasting my beers next to some commercial varieties of a similar style.

I brewed a clone of Storm’s Highland Scottish Ale mostly because I’d never brewed a Scottish ale before and because I wanted to get a culture of Wyeast’s 1728 Scottish Ale yeast up to

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The Terror that Infects the Noble Spirit

Written by Damon on October 31, 2008

I never would have guessed at the horror that could result from such innocent inoculations.

Most people live their lives safely: without ever knowing the random terrors that can suddenly infect the unsuspecting. They go through their comfortable, daily drudge: eating, working, loving, hating, drinking beer…without an inkling.

But ill events have torn that blissful torpor from my eyes. I may have been a little careless, but I’m not wholly at fault. I took precautions and presumed the fungal adjunct safe and

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Okanagan Wine Festival Thoughts: Brewing vs Winemaking

Written by Damon on October 22, 2008

Last weekend I (gasp!) went to the Okanagan Wine Festival. I must, at risk to all my beer-cred, confess to liking wine. I’m not a very knowledgeable wine drinker, but I do appreciate a good quaff.

Okanagan Winery

Okanagan Winery, photo courtesy www.thewinefestivals.com

Not only did I enjoy the opportunity to taste a lot of different wines over a short period of time, but I also learned a lot about wine and even a little about brewing

I got to

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