Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Local Home Brew Shop Expands

The Saratoga Zymurgist came out of the ashes of The Wine Shoppe and The Hoppy Troll on June 13th, 2009. In February of 2009 the Hoppy Troll was closed down. After 4 months working with the the NYS Liquor Authority, I helped open the store and as you all know, we retail in a very tight space. The owner of my building has been impressed on how well the store has done; so much so, he is willing to expand my space. I can proudly announced that construction has started for the lengthening the building. It will as long as EBI. Our space will soon be over three times the size we are now.  Please follow us on FaceBook to see daily posting of pictures of the progress.
This blog will be my adventures as a Local Home Brew Store Owner. I will enjoy writing about the day to day events about the new expansion. If you read home brew forums, you will see this acronym LHBS; I am very proud to serve this area as a LHBSO.  Today the mason has starting digging into the asphalt. The decisions on how the store will be laid out looks quite challenging. We have been able to secure off Craigslist some nice shelving. We do plan to have an area for wine and beer making demonstrations. So stop on in and see the "before" before the after arrives!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Recipe, Recipe, Recipe

When trying to decide what recipe to use on your next batch of beer, one should be careful on what one sees on the Internet. Many recipes could be very old when the Internet was young, like home brewing. First see what volume they are creating, second what is your starting gravity, and thirdly how much information on the hops, including the hop schedule. Look to see if they are using brands of malt extract that the manufacturer is still in business or a brand you cannot find at your LHBS. Does the crystal malt have a degree of Lovibond? Are they using trademark name for the malt you need to use. Briess markets a dextrin malt called CaraPils. Dingemans used to label their crystal malt Caravienna and Caramunich, now they are called Cara 20 and Cara 45 respectfully. Debittered black malt is sold by Weyermann's has their Cara Special.  Is the yeast they suggested a brand you can find or is something you can substitute with dry yeast or use a competing yeast company. Never assume, plan your next brew. You will glad you did.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

How do you shop?

Every time I go with Mary to a store, especially if it is a grocery store, I am busy looking at what items I can turn it a fermented product. First I observe if apple cider is available and it is! So you hard cider fans should be keeping busy. Then I look to see what fruit is in stock. Can it be used in a beer, mead or wine. I love looking at all the hot peppers, think what kind of pepper beer I could make. Does anyone remember Ed's Cave Creek Chili Beer? Then as I go by the spices I always am thinking what metheglin mead I love to make. My mind goes racing by the cooking utensils and gadgets aisle. I wonder what item I can use with my brew system.You should see me behave in Bed,Bath, and Beyond! Sensory overload with all those items on their walls. So what is in your shopping cart?

Friday, February 17, 2012

Saratoga Beer Week

So what are you doing for Saratoga Beer Week? (www.saratogabeerweek.com )

Originally, I had nothing planned, but as luck has it, I have been asked to do a home brewing demonstration at the City Tavern on THIS Saturday, February 25th at 6 pm.

City Tavern (third floor called "the apartment floor")
21 Caroline Street
Saratoga Springs, NY

We didn't know what to brew; maybe an English Mild or a Stout or maybe even a barley wine for Saratoga Beer Week 2013.  We settled on brewing a stout to be kegged and drank on St. Patrick's day.  Following the brewing demonstration will be plenty of real casked ale.

The second event I am now involved with is with the Prime at the Saratoga National.  Joel Jaffe from DeCresente Distributing Company asked for my help in creating a display of beer making ingredients. He has some malted grains and hops for people to see and appreciate. Plus I plan to give a one-gallon glass container of wort that has been inoculated with yeast. It should look like a miniature fermenting carboy! I have a beer that will be light in color, with a starting gravity around 1.050. By using a 11 gram package of Lallemand Windsor yeast with some yeast nutrient, this baby should be rocking for a couple days and then the krausen will drop just has quick, a good example of real beer fermenting.  I am just hoping somebody will enjoy seeing the process.

           I hope to see many friends visiting Saratoga Springs this up coming week!

Saratoga Zymurgist,
Reed Antis

Monday, February 13, 2012

BYO:Lager Yeast Origins

This past weekend I received my new issue of BYO, for those that not are aware this is a magazine for home brewers. It comes out 8 times a year. In this issue they have an article on the origins of lager yeast. It is an awesome article. Plus another article on yeast starters growing yeast and the importance of pitching with enough CFU's at pitching. Terry Foster has published his Cy Young beer recipe for home brewers. Looks like a great recipe to brew. I will post more how this issue as I read it.

Welcome All


Upstate New York's Premier Home-Brewing and Wine-Making Shop

St. Patrick’s Day is a little over 30 days away so there is still time to make Irish Stout from the Brewer’s Best Kits. These can also be done in 30 days or less.

Or for the more adventurous, here is Reed's dry stout recipe...

Dry Stout
Final volume: 5.5 gallons
Original gravity: 1.048
Final Gravity: 1.010
Grain Bill:
8.50 Lbs. Maris Otter Pale Ale Malt
1.30 lbs. Carafa Special® III
0.6 lbs. 80°L Crystal MaltMy 
Efficiency: 70%
One addition, for 60-minutes, Kent Goldings, 15 AAU. 30 IBU’S
Strike temperature 152°F
Total boil time 60-minutes
1099 Whitbread from Wyeast®, but the 1084 Irish Ale is also an excellent choice