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Brew-niversity

The best way to improve the quality of your beer, is to learn more about brewing.  Use the resources below to help make better beer.

Podcasts

I’ve learned more about brewing from podcasts than any other medium. Whether sitting in front of the computer, walking to work or out in the garage on a brew day, podcasts give me access to information that helps me make better beer. Below are some of the best.

If you’re new to podcasts, don’t be deterred, they’re simply like on-demand radio programs you download to your computer. It’s easy to find and listen to podcasts through iTunes (or other software) on your computer or right on your iPod (and other devices). There’s more about what podcasts are on the Apple site.

Jamil Show Icon
The Brewing Network has a number of great podcasts (** All contain advertisements and have explicit ‘locker room’ language).If you’re interested in how to brew the best version of a style, The Jamil Show, hosted by Jamil Zainasheff will take you through the processes and recipes that make award winning beer. Look in the back catalog for the style you want to brew and you’ll learn techniques and ingredients that will help you brew a terrific example. After producing a show for each of the 80 BJCP sub-styles, the show went on to describing how to brew clones of some of the best craft beers out there (e.g., Firestone Walker, Lagunitus and Nogne).

Brew Strong Icon
After years of working on The Jamil Show, Jamil Zainasheff started the Brew Strong podcast on the Brewing Network with How to Brew author, John Palmer. This podcast explores the fine details of brewing, from enzymes to melanoidins, from metallurgy to mash pH. Brew stronger after you tune into this podcast.

Brewing TV Icon
Brewing TV is a weekly video podcast put on by some guys from Northern Brewer that demonstrates some really neat homebrewing techniques (spontaneous, natural fermentation comes to mind) and visits the homebrewing roots of many of the top US craft brewers.

Basic Brewing Icon
As advertised, the Basic Brewing Radio podcast delivers some great basic brewing information. Typically not a ‘how-to’ podcast, James often publicizes results of homebrewing experimentation. For example: What are the outcomes of hot-side aeration? What difference does yeast pitching rate have on the flavour of the beer?

Books

Whether you’re brand new to brewing or you’ve been all-grain brewing for years, How to Brew will teach you something you don’t already know. It covers everything from your first batch on your stove-top to the effects of water chemistry on your beer to the fluid dynamics of wort in a mash tun. For a preview, check out the free online version of John Palmer’s book.

Once you’ve mastered the basics, Brewing Better Beer will help take your beer to the next level. Gordon Strong is the three-time winner of the Ninkasi Award (the prize given by American Homebrewers Association for the brewer who gains the most points in the second round of the National Homebrew Competition) and is the on the Board of Directors for the Beer Judge Certification Program.

Don’t randomly pick recipes off the Web. Jamil Zainasheff’s BCS has proven, award-winning recipes for each of the BJCP classic styles. It’s the book that will change the quality of beer you brew immediately. **Also a good book for those considering the BJCP certification.

Brewers make wort. Yeast make beer. Learn how to give your yeast the best possible environment to make great beer from a Ninkasi winner and the founder of White Labs.

While now a little dated, the father of modern homebrewing, Charlie Papazian’s Joy of Homebrewing is another great place to start learning.

Organizations

American Homebrewers Association Icon
Founded by Charlie Papazian, the AHA is dedicated to promoting the community of homebrewers and empowering homebrewers to make the best beer in the world.Their national conference happens every year in June. In 2012, it’s nice and close: Seattle. Check out the ‘Brewing with Big Foot’ website for more… and make plans to be there.

Beer Judge Certification Program Icon
The BJCP has a mandate to promote beer literacy and the appreciation of real beer. The program certifies beer judges and promotes beer competitions world-wide.

Brewing on Vancouver Island

Water Profile: Victoria

Victoria has some of the ‘cleanest’ water on earth.

2010 Water Report of treated water below Japan Gulch

Calcium (Ca+2): 5.08ppm
Magnesium (Mg+2): 1.2ppm
Bicarbonate (HCO3-1): 16.8ppm
Sulfate (SO4-2): 2.07ppm
Sodium (Na+1): 1.63ppm
Chloride (Cl-1): 3.43ppm




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