Friday, January 31, 2014

Episode 9: OK in Doug's Book

Last week, Xtreme Brewing in Laurel hosted an advanced extract brew class, which is something of a rarity. Loosely speaking, home brewers tend to leave extract brewing for all grain once they become more advanced. I say loosely speaking because there are plenty of reasons that a person might want to continue brewing from extract throughout their home brewing career. The first is time. Brewing your own beer from extract requires a commitment of about two hours. An all-grain batch can take the better part of a day. Extract batches tend to be done in 3-5 gallon batches, whereas all grain brewing tends to be a bit more efficient in 10 gallon batches. For many brewers, this means an upgrade in equipment that they may or may not want to undertake.
Doug (actually, Shawn and Edd who work at Xtreme as instructors) held the course so people who have been extract brewing for at least a few months could get a better handle on their options going forward. They spoke about using Beersmith, an application that helps brewers manage and convert their recipes, keep track of supply inventories, and lots more. Doug installed a teaching screen that Edd used, in conjunction with his laptop, to walk people through the site's potential.
Shawn discussed some of the different types of yeast a home brewer might prefer and how the yeast affects a beer's flavor.
Also in this episode, Doug and Tony discuss the value a small brewery has to a neighborhood. Xtreme Brewing has been ground zero for many if not most of the home brewers in the area. Several of them went on to open area breweries. Doug talks about what it takes to start a brewery, ad some of the pitfalls brewers have learned to avoid.

If you're interested in being the next call-in guest on the show or you'd like to come in and share a beer with us, email me here, or message me on +State of the Beer. The show's Facebook page is Beer with Strangers and we're "@beerwstrangers" on Twitter.
Finally, and please, consider subscribing on iTunes'cause that way Apple will remind you to listen (your iTunes window will open, don't be afraid).
If you are or know anyone who is interested in taking a brewing basics class (the class is free and lots of fun) have them reserve a space here. Taking a class is the best way to figure out whether homebrewing is for you. Many people take several before trying on their own at home.