I am currently working on a cider recipe that will use local, Massachusetts apples and good ol' Massachusetts Dirty Water. I'll be heading out to the orchard one of these beautiful Autumn days, and hopefully return with many, many jugs of cider. These will then be magically transformed into farmer's cider! I can't wait to enjoy this New England cider with a bit of Vermont Cheddar cheese.

Thank you for reading!


Getting Back to it. . . Soon!

As I sit here, eating my ‘Cup-o-Lunch’ I am realizing how much I miss brewing. I think it has to do with both the change in season and apathy at work. Summer was far too hot for me to want to stand over a boiling batch of hot grains, but, now that fall has started to appear I am ready to take to the kettle once again! I think I’m going to re-learn how to do everything, that way I can correct mistakes I made in the past. In the vein of going back-to-basics, I am going to work on a Pale Ale in my first Massachusetts batch. Pale Ales are my typical go-to when trying a new brewery, so I feel it is a fitting trial for the re-start of my hobby.
One of my biggest problems was this one lingering taste; some call it the ‘homebrew taste,’ I want very badly to get rid of this. I spoke with a friend of a friend about this, I’m hoping he will be able to help further. The running guess of this taste is oxidation, probably from the bottling stage. There is too much oxygen getting into the beer, and ruining the taste. The other option could be the sugar used. I’m thinking of trying treacle instead of corn sugar, but maybe not in this first re-try.
Thanks for reading!


Brief Update

Hello friends,
I have recently made a rather large to Boston. I am hoping to get brewing sometime in the near future once the job search turns in my favour. I have doing a fair amount of research about my new neighbourhood, and luckily there is a home brew shop right down the street from me! Given my mixed results with previous brews, I am going to try and perfect a pale ale before attempting more difficult styles. I am going to tweak the Old 1930s Pale Ale, an English Pale, and hopefully add a new recipe for a hoppy bitter (ESB). I hope to have some updates quite soon.


Label Design

My good friend Jeff finished the label for the Imperial Stout, and it looks awesome! Thank you so much for doing that man, it is very much appreciated.


Brief Update

I just cracked open one of the pale ales that I brewed around last Christmas and age has greatly improved this beer! It was pointed out to me the other day by a friend of mine that this very same pale ale was the 'world's worst beer,' so obviously I hoped it would taste better. When aging, the first taste to fade is the hop flavour, this is definitely true with this beer and it really helped. I had used Willimite hops and some Kent Goldings, but I think in the wrong proportion and what resulted was a kind of soapy taste that was not very pleasant. The flavour has really mellowed out and it really tastes style appropriate. I'm excited to get back behind the brew-kettle soon, but there may be a little gap with the looming of an upcoming relocation and all that is involved.
Thank you for reading!

P.S. I know the glass is not perfect but at the time of this picture (about a year ago) I couldn't afford a good ale glass, I now own far too many glasses; ask my girlfriend.


I'm Distracted

One thing that home-brewing has done for my appreciation of beer is forcing me to think about the distinct process that every bottle of beer on any given shelf goes through. There is an impressive chemistry behind beer that upon further thought is well worthy of pause as well as praise. It is this very respect for the ancient process that should force any beer drinker to think more deeply about the beverage of their choice. As Garrett Oliver discusses in his essay The Beer Matrix: Reality vs Facsimile in Brewing, there is a gigantic difference between beer and beer-like beverage. Oliver draws on the example of a well-known ‘American-cheese’ brand which boasts that it is comprised of 70% milk which, as Oliver states is the problem with the extent of over-processing of food and drink in American mass industry, it should be made of 100% milk! This is the problem with the huge industry beers; they are not 100% beer. The macro-brews are comprised of only a fraction the basic ingredients that a beer should be made of, substituting instead cheap alternatives to full-grain recipes such as rice and corn which hinder flavour, colour, and body of the beer. Because these beers are not made of the correct ingredients, or at least in the correct proportion, they like the ‘American-cheese’ cannot be fully regarded as beer.
As a home-brewer one becomes more sensitive to these differences between well-made, hand-crafted beers and those created simply to sell mass quantities to unassuming drinkers.*

Oliver, Garrett. ‘The Beer Matrix: Reality vs Facsimile in Brewing’, from, Beer & Philosophy: The Unexamined Beer Isn’t Worth Drinking, ed. Stephen D. Hales (Oxford: Blackwell Publishing, 2007) 31-44.


What Are We Drinking on This Election Night?

*I'm going to preface by saying that this is not very well written, it's sort of a short word explosion written on an extreme coffee high*

The purpose of this blog is to aid in my self-important narcissism. With that, I need to stroke the old ego once more by talking about one of my least favourite subjects; American politics. Back in my early days at University I was very interested in politics, but this also did correspond with the West Wing still being on regular television. I attended rallies, owned bumper stickers and candidate buttons, and even fervently listened to Air America-this is no longer the case. I chose a different path in my education and decidedly became apathetic about the process. When it came time for this election I also opted to not really pay attention until the final bout of the debates and of course the actual election. I don't think I will ever become fully apathetic and not vote, I threatened this year, but like my taste in women, it was shallow. There was also no real threat of me voting Republican, but I have toyed with the idea of voting Green or Nader Independent because if nothing else I am tired of the two party system.

After spending my last few days in one of the hearts of Republican country (Southern California-L.A. County, not Hollywood) I return to civilization full of despair and actually truly hurt by the vile hatred spewed by some of these people about Obama. My brother told me about a Daily Show bit where they were at a McCain rally and spoke to a women who was still adamant about his being Muslim, to which the Daily Show guy said, "besides not being a Muslim, what makes [Obama] a Muslim?" This is what we are dealing with as a country, a sort of fingers-in-ears and petulant nonsense denial. What hurts also is people in my own family saying that I am an idiot for my liberal beliefs, elections truly bring out the worst in many Americans on either side of the isle.

This brings me to the most important question of the day; What are you drinking tonight? Despite my loyalties to English and Irish beers, I will be drinking American tonight, most likely Samuel Adams Boston Ale. Their standard is the Boston Lager, but my favourite offering from them is the Ale primarily because of my affinity to the style.
There are loads of political blogs on the internet, so this will most likely be my only post of this nature.