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on brewing Posts

Hazy brother: a Trappist single

I’ve never brewed or even drank a Trappist single before. From what I understand about this beer style, it is not typically available for sale, and certainly not export. Rather, the Trappist single is a beer that is produced for the sole purpose of quenching the thirst of monks during their studies of life, the universe, and everything. The definition of the style is less about about the actual physical characteristics of the beer, and more about the purpose of the beer…

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Orval: God’s homebrew

The first time I tried Orval, I was shocked. I distinctively remember thinking that it was like drinking a liquified leather boot. A lot has changed since then. For one, Orval has earned a place as one of my top 5 favourite beers. In my experience as a homebrewer, I’ve generally found pursuing clones unrewarding. However, with Ontario’s limited availability of Orval (every couple years the LCBO seems to include it in a seasonal release, and it quickly sells out), I don’t have much choice but to brew my own. This is a post on version one of my homage to the beer that is sometimes referred to as God’s homebrew; the delicious Orval.

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Brewing schedule 2016

I’ve had a busy couple months. Specifically I’ve been occupied with preparations for my PhD qualifying exam. Last week I passed! Now that it is out of the way, and I’ve gotten some rest, I’m glad to report that I’m back in a place where I can envision the odd weekend brewing rather than working.

As my local homebrew club prepares for our annual malt bulk buy, I’ve been trying to nail down an approximate brewing schedule. This year I aim to brew beers back to back utilizing the same yeast strain as often as possible.

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Review of OBK’s “grain defender” false bottom

During the craziness of the holiday shopping season, one of my favourite homebrew equipment and ingredient suppliers, Ontario Beer Kegs put their false bottoms on sale… I’d been eyeing up one for awhile and couldn’t resist ordering one even though it wasn’t officially designed to fit my mash tun.

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Hops in 3D!

After coming across Scott Janish’s exciting hop visualizations and tools yesterday, I needed to explore this Hopunion dataset for myself. I was excited to throw some statistical clustering and dimension reduction methods at the hop varieties on the basis of their oil composition. The oil composition of hops drive their distinct flavour and aroma contribution to beer… you can see why a brewer would be interested. In a simple case this information could be used to inform hop substitution, but more excitedly it could perhaps help develop new hop combinations in beer.

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