September 02, 2013

Labour Day Brewing

Saturday was my long weekend brew day and it was full of increasingly annoying challenges. It began with a 50km drive to Brampton, where I sometimes pick up ingredients. I could see the sign “CLOSED FOR THE LONG WEEKEND” as I pulled up and remembered thinking “bollocks”. I quickly called my wife from the car and asked her to run point… there was still Hamilton but to my disappointment they were closed too. I remembered @NickelBrookBeer supplying me with ingredients a while back and as a live human answered the phone, my spirit began to come back! I was behind schedule, but one step closer to brewing with Nugget hops and Yeast in hand (not to mention some #Headstock IPA). Shortly after I got home I realized that my scale battery was dead so I decided to guess the weights. Also, my electric drill quit working after milling half of the grain – imagine having to hand crank! I suppose that is where the name In-Threes Ale stuck.

It had been a while since my last home-brew and I couldn't remember how thorough the cleaning was so I started from scratch. I was blessed with a couple of sequentially off-tasting batches a few months ago. I fixed this by cleaning all the equipment thoroughly with bleach so I repeated this process just in case. 

Getting some water up to temperature was the next step so I hooked up the propane to the burner. As soon as the tank was in my hands I began to think that I would only get half-way through before running out. I decided to tempt fate anyways and was lucky enough to finish the batch. For the first time in my brewing process, I decided to use a 30 minute protein rest at 120 deg. From what I can tell, the wort seemed to be clearer than it usually is but before I endorse the additional step, I need to see the finished product. 

Although clear, the wort also came out much darker than planned but given that I had no scale to measure out the grain, I was very happy with what I was able to achieve. The wort started to ferment early Sunday morning and is well on its way to becoming what I would expect to be an exceptional beer. 

Making beer in the garage is not always filled with this much excitement but it is difficult to control certain elements. As mentioned, I have had some horrible tasting home-brew (3 sink pours) but I have also had at least 20 amazing tasting batches. This batch should be ready to taste in around 5 weeks and good or bad, I will post about it. The recipe has been posted on the craft brewing page.


  1. Now that is a serious operation. So excited that you decided to start this blog. Looking forward to reading about your adventures with brewing.

    1. Thanks Heather. I'm glad to have a spot to share my experiences!