Home Brew

After a lot of exposure and research, I decided to step up my hobby of cooking a notch into the arena of home brewed beer. I really learned to like beer while living in Berlin, Germany, and appreciated the different varieties available in Europe. I worked as a software developer at a microbrewery for a while, and began to really appreciate the styles of beer, and the art of brewing, from their brew master.

So I started by buying a basic beginner’s brew kit (two plastic barrels, and the usual capping and racking equipment). I elected to make a Lager using a Cooper’s kit for the first batch. I got all this from Hearts Home Brew here in Orlando. Dave, one of the owners, and I connected quickly on the first visit. I am a software developer who’s moving into home brew. Dave is a home brewer, who taught himself how to write software.

After brewing the first batch and starting the fermentation, I really wanted to establish a good name for my home brewery. I noticed that a lot of home brewers treat their brewing as if it were a small, commercial microbrewery in their house. So not only are the individual beers given names, but a virtual commercial sounding name is given to the brewery.. some with excellent logos and branding potential.

With this in my mind, along comes the 2008 US Presidential Election, and people associating the Democrats and Obama with “steal from the rich and give to the poor socialism” (what else is new, right?). The “stealing from the rich …” leads to an interesting thought in my mind: Robin Hood. In Kevin Costner’s movie of Robin Hood (The Prince of Thieves), Little John rides in on a wagon with a barrel of brew in the back. And I’m thinking, Robin Hood must have set up a brewery in Sherwood forest. After all: a humble servant of King Richard, fighting off the Sheriff of Nottingham, needs a proper way to celebrate victories and drown out defeats.

And that led to the name for my brewery…

… and a special label for the fermentation bucket itself…

I’ve created a link for each batch below, which acts as my brewer’s log. I give each brew a unique name, so you’ll see the logo for it in the log as well. I’m also logging my experiments in each batch. Hopefully, you’ll get some insight, and maybe some useful ideas.

Wikipedia has a very good, in-depth article about the brewing process and ingredients here.

The Brews:

  • indicates a recipe with an interesting history
  • indicates a crowd pleaser

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

2014

  • Took a year sabbatical.  It wasn’t the same without all my beer drinking friends around me in Pittsburgh, and I had a broken wrist.

2015

2016

  • Batch #1-16 (Ginger Beer): schedule pending.
  • Batch #2-16 (Red Bock): schedule pending.
    • I’m taking an indefinite hiatus after #1-16.  Enjoy the brew logs: hopefully they will give you some insight on problems to avoid or tricks which improve your own batches.

Future