Homebrew Con 2017 & Why You Should Attend Next Year!

Another year, another whirlwind of fantastic Homebrew Con experiences! This year was our 3rd year attending, and of course it was the most fun yet.

I’m writing this blog post because I’ve had trouble rallying my fellow GTA Brews members to attend. This annual event is a must for Rebecca and I. I hope by sharing all the awesome things we did, I can get people excited to attend next year!

Homebrew Con is an annual conference of 3000 homebrewing and craft beer enthusiasts put on by the American Homebrewers Association. Each year a new city is chosen, which keeps things exciting since you get to visit somewhere new. It’s an amazing experience to see and meet so many people that are passionate about the same thing you are Continue reading

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Becoming a Beer Judge (BJCP)

It’s been over a year since I got back my exam results from my Nov 2014 BJCP exam. I’ve always meant to make a post like this, but never got around to it. So here it is!

I wrote the exam on Nov 9th, 2014 and got the results back March 18th, 2015. Many thanks to my graders, admins, and proctors for volunteering their time to help me become a BJCP judge. That’s about 4.5 months for those keeping score, not to mention there were Christmas holidays in there. In 2014, while I was studying for the exam (shout out to Craig, Kyle, and Shaun the best study group ever!) I used to hear BJCP took 6-8 months for grading so I was pleasantly surprised that it only took 4.5 months. I believe it might even be quicker than this these days.

BJCP certified certificate

I earned the rank of Certified on April 2nd, 2015 after getting the 1/2 point I needed to advance from Recognized after getting my exam back.

Since getting my results back I’ve Continue reading

Eric’s Brew Day Template v4.0

I’ve uploaded my latest brew day template v4.0 to the blog for those interested.
Latest revision updated the sheet to reflect my brew process on my new system. Biggest change is related to switching from batch to fly sparging. Also added lovibond line for malts, indented certain lines for 3 hole punch, and other minor formatting changes.

Induction Brewing: Using the Avantco 3500

This post is an overview of my experiences as an induction brewer using the Avantco 3500 cooktop.

Apologies, again, for the long blogging hiatus. Things have been quite busy on the homebrew club side and GTA Brews has eaten almost all of my free time. The club is doing extremely well, over a thousand people in our Facebook group, and about 100 people (growing quickly since it was recently introduced) that have elected to become paid members.

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This was my last brew day that used the induction cooktop (after I got a lower table for the new system)

I’ve still been brewing plenty often but haven’t had much time to write up overviews of my recipes. I also recently finished setting up a brand new brew system from the ground up (20 gal Stout Kettles, HERMS, with eBrewSupply BCS panel), so I’m hoping to start blogging more Continue reading

Homebrew Podcasts Fall 2015

This is my first blog post in what 6 months? It’s been pretty crazy over here with the number and scope of activities I have been doing with my local homebrew club. It’s finally starting to quiet down so hopefully I can get back to blogging on a somewhat more frequent basis. This post is a bit of a departure from my previous recipe focused posts and is more of an opinion piece. Some of you are going to disagree with what I say, and that’s fine, this is just my opinion, not facts.

I love homebrewing podcasts. There are a lot of different kinds of homebrew media out there, but podcasts is one of the ones I explore the most (in addition to internet/blogs). I enjoy all the magazines and books that are written but I don’t have much time to sit down and read.Screenshot_20151111-161940[1]In my one and bit hours of driving to and from work every day I have some time to work through podcasts. I’ve been listening to homebrew podcasts almost every day for the last 2.5 years so by now I consider myself to be pretty on top of things and finally in a good position to write a loose review of some of my favourites. Continue reading

Kona Coffee Blonde

I recently brewed a coffee blonde ale and it was quite the hit with my homebrew club and friends so I decided to share the recipe in the form of a blog post. The coffee was only added to half of the batch so I only netted about 2.5 gallons. The 1/2 keg kicked in under a week, so it must be good.

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One of the most memorable beers I tried on my honeymoon in Denver was a pale coffee beer by Former Future. They took their regular Countinghouse Cream Ale and infused coffee (I think through cold brewed coffee). As you can see in this picture the middle beer had a gold colour, but with fantastic coffee aromatics. I had also previously read a blog post by The Mad Fermentationist on his coffee blonde. With these two sources of inspiration I set off on my quest to craft a pale coffee beer. Continue reading

How to Pull Off a Homebrew Wedding

Tap List

Well, it’s over! I have to say I’m relieved, it took way more effort to brew all the beer for my wedding than I expected it would. It was definitely worth it, and I know there are a lot of people out there in the process of planning to do the same thing so here is a post going over everything I experienced and learned while brewing the 11 kegs of beer that I served at my wedding. Continue reading