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Archive for the 'booze' Category

Some of my Favourite Beer Ingredients

Friday, February 26th, 2021

As a committed home brewer it’s a natural thing to have favourite beers and favourite ingredients that go into those beers. Yes, I’m one of those lone wolves of the home brewing scene because I don’t belong to any club, and I’m not interested in meeting specific style guidelines for competition. What I’m interested in is making beer that is at least as good as the craft beer that I buy. Hopefully, sometimes, fresher and better beer than I can buy. Pouring a super fresh XPA into a glass from my own fridge is a special experience.

Home Brewing Motto

My home brewing motto is simply to love the beer you’re with. Sometimes it’s not the beer you set out to make, but is it a good beer? If so, enjoy the hell out of that beer and make another one. Another way of saying that is don’t expect perfection because perfection is like a rainbow and you’ll never get to the end. Chasing rainbows is fun; just do it knowing tomorrow is another beer. Keep it real.

Home Brewing Philosophy

My home brewing philosophy is pretty simple, too. Follow your tongue. I’m not much into the style guidelines as a Bible of right and wrong; I am into whether or not it’s a Porter in my glass or a Pale Ale as far as I want to describe one. If it tastes good, then drink it. And if your tongue suggests you might like to tweak the flavours, then it’s your experience to experiment and enjoy. Experimentation is fun. I have a basement riddled with bottles of experiments that keep paying off in my glass.

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Inside the Beer Fridge in February 2021

Saturday, February 6th, 2021

My hobby (and to some degree obsession) in recent years has been the pursuit of making good beer. I’ve been making beer for over a decade, but moved to all grain Brew in a Bag about three years ago and disappeared down the rabbit hole of science and chemistry. A big part of that hobby has been about learning to appreciate and value beer, especially some of those that I previously wouldn’t have considered worth the money.

The fact is that the more you learn about making beer and appreciating beer, the more you understand the value in barrel ageing, souring, wild and spontaneous beers. The more you learn about hopping, for example, the more you appreciate what it takes to bring you a good IPA in that glass at the cost you’re willing to pay.

In the beer fridge, I’ve got a few beers that are definitely for drinking in the near term; but there are also beers that I’d like to open in years to come. If I can resist the temptation. And I often fail. This collecting hobby has been a secondary part of my pursuit as a maker. I’m not interested in pursuing good examples of style so much as creating flavours that I want to drink from my own kegs and bottles. So you might love my beers or hate them. I certainly succeed and fail along that pathway. If it intrigues me, I make it. If I can’t buy something or it’s cost prohibitive, I think about making it. This week I’m drinking XPA and coffee stout; next week I’ll pull something else from the basement or the fermenters, or put on tap. That’s the joy of the hobby.

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On Finding and Being Yourself as a Home Brewer

Monday, December 7th, 2020

Beer is an agricultural product that spreads it’s tendrils back to the early fermentations and distillations beginning with the dawn of human civilisation. It may even be the case that society formed around the creation and consumption of this magical ethanol. Making beer is a dark art of our cultural heritage. Beer is crafted and created by human beings from basic ingredients and comes with it’s own traditions, lore and legends. Beer is a social glue; beer is a chemistry experiment on every occasion; beer waxes poetic on a porch watching the sunset. And beer comes together into your glass both industrially (with the big lager producers) and by various scales down to the craft brewer and the home brewer.

And times have changed. There has never been higher quality or a greater choice in malt, hops and yeast available on the home brew scale. In fact, you only need look at the last couple of centuries of commercial beer to realise that craft brewing and home brewing have mushroomed hand in hand with the technological explosion of globalisation, the Internet and improved IT logistics. In other words, don’t underestimate the power of shipping containers, asynchronous communication, the speed and ease of Internet business and the ability of IT to improve production and supply chains. Historically, agricultural products never got to their destination at this level of quality. Without all that supporting business framework the craft brewing and home brewing landscape would be devoid of opportunity.

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About the Author

Steven Clark Steven Clark - the stand up guy on this site

My name is Steven Clark and I live in the Derwent Valley in Southern Tasmania. I have an MBA (Specialisation) and a Bachelor of Computing from the University of Tasmania. I'm a mazer & a yeast farmer (making beer, fruit wine and mead as by-products of continuous improvement in my farming practices). I'm a photographer, although my film cameras are currently silent. I do not tolerate idiots. I do not tolerate bigotry. I do not tolerate excuses. Let's be clear, if you sit with my enemies you my are my enemy for life.

Blogger. Thinker. Brewer. Drinker. Life partner to the amazing and incredible Megan.

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