The Technical Edge: At home water testing

“Serving the technical side of homebrewing”

By Kai, for braukaiser.com

Water composition is important for brewing and many brewers either send their water to a lab for analysis or build brewing water from scratch using very soft (e.g. reverse osmosis water) and salts. It is, however, also possible to test brewing water at home. The precision and amount of detail of such a water test does not match that of a professional analysis, but it is sufficient to estimate the residual alkalinity of the brewing water with an acceptable accuracy. At home water testing also allows regular testing of a water source in order to detect seasonal changes which may warrant a more precise professional analysis.

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Brew Biz: Werts and All

…and a “Where Are They Now” Brewer Profile: Todd Hicks

By Ken Carman

Perdido Vineyards
22100 County Road 47
Perdido, Alabama 36562
(251) 937-9463
http://www.perdidovineyards.com
Owner: Jim Eddins

I’ve known Todd Hicks for many years and through quite a few phoenix like rebirths. The first time I met Todd he was brewing at McGuires in Pensacola with Steve Fried. Since then he has brewed at the various rebirths of a brewpub in downtown Mobile, Alabama. It’s been Cannon, Hurricane; amongst other incarnations.

Can a brewpub be Buddhist in nature? If they used milk in a Milk Stout would the brewer wind up being reincarnated as a cockroach under foot for punishment?

Todd has been involved in almost every attempt to start a brewpub west of Tallahassee, east of Mississippi. Todd took Santa Rosa in Fort Walton from a brewpub that sometimes hooked up a Bud or Miller keg; claiming it as their own, to a brewpub that had one of the finest red ales I’ve ever had, and one of the strangest owners. Marketing “Death Cigarettes?” Luckily that brand name went about as far as where it was first placed: in the movie “Waterworld;” a multi-million dollar, four time nominated for a “Razzie” award including worst picture, worst actor, worst director and worst supporting actor, fiasco.

Santa Rosa may have gone the way of Death Cigarettes, but Todd “the immortal” lives on. You have to admire his stick-to-it-tive-ness and his ability to find ways to continue to perfect his craft. His last brewmaster job was at the now folded Hurricane in Mobile. I had a feeling it wouldn’t last. The menu alone was so sparse and unimaginative I could tell the owner didn’t seem all that serious. The brew business: and more specifically the brewpub business, in this area has always been a bit rocky, with McGuires being pretty much the sole survivor for many, many miles in any direction.

I could go on and provide a long list of achievements and where he has been, but this isn’t just about what Todd was, but where he is now and what his plans are.

So while Todd looks for investors to, yet again, reopen the old downtown Mobile location, he has also been providing his talents to a winery in Perdido, Alabama: about 50 miles north of Mobile, just off of I-65, on the east side of the interstate. Hard to miss. About the only thing at the exit.
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Alabama bill aims to help brewpubs through deregulation

Ben Self, head of quality control at Good People Brewing Co. in Birmingham, draws a sample of the brewer’s Snakehandler Double Indian Pale Ale. (Michael Tomberlin/Birmingham News)

Written by Michael Tomberlin for The Birmingham News

The beer advocacy group that brought higher-alcohol craft beers to Alabama is now looking to release breweries and brewpubs from red tape and what it considers outdated laws that stymie the industry in the state.

The group, Free the Hops, is pushing the Brewery Modernization Act, which has been introduced in the Alabama House of Representatives. A similar bill is planned for introduction in the Alabama Senate.

The goal is to inject common sense into the laws that apply to breweries and brewpubs across the state, according to Free the Hops’ president, Stuart Carter. “Why are breweries and brewpubs under different legislation? At the end of the day, they both manufacture beer.”

Dan Roberts, head of legislative issues for the group, said the Alabama Brewpub Act from 18 years ago has not led to the expansion of breweries inside restaurants that many hoped for because the law made it difficult for brewpubs to find an approved location and to make a profit. For instance, brewpubs are limited to opening in historic buildings and other narrowly defined locations.

Today, only Birmingham and Huntsville have open, operating breweries. Several brewpubs that opened under the current law have closed, including some in Birmingham, Mobile and Auburn.
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A Report on Young’s Kew from England

Written by hywel

(For hywelsbiglog.files.wordpress.com)

THE Bethnal Green Food Center has been useful lately. Over the last few weeks, theyve sold more bottle conditioned British ales than I knew existed. Here is my most recent purchase. A 1.99 pence bottle of Youngs Kew Gold.

This is the same Youngs that brought us Special London Ale and Luxury Double Chocolate Stout. And part of the same Wells & Youngs behind Banana Bread Beer and Bombardier Satanic Mills. As such, hopes are high and the bottle looks very familiar.

Why do I like bottle conditioned ales? Who wants yeast floating around in their drink? Simple. It turbo-charges the flavour, and its divisive. And that makes for interesting comments at the end of this post.

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