Homebrewing Index

I’ve been a very active homebrewer and meadmaker since I started with the hobby in 2009. There’s a certain amount of material on homebrewing, beer, beer history, and brewing/beer books on this site.

This page is the index for all of that.


Blog Posts on Brewing History

I have been blogging about brewing history while working on a novel which involves brewers, distillers, alchemists, and political radicals in early 18th-century Georgian England. The posts are a bit scattered, but here are a few tags that are pretty consistent:

  • beer history
  • Gin Craze (posts on Georgian London, including some stuff on the gin distilling industry and law of the time: I’ll be sorting these posts out more soon!)
  • alchemy (linked to distilling since alchemists invented distilling!)

Reviews of Homebrewing/Beer Books

I’ve reviewed a number of Homebrewing and Beer History-related books:

Notes For Fiction Writers Writing About Beer and Booze

I’ve also written a long essay on writing about brewing and alcohol production for SF/fantasy authors. It’s here:

My Brewday Logs

I’ve logged pretty much ever batch of beer and mead I ever made. I haven’t been particularly careful about adding photos or tasting notes, but I hope to add some of the pictures and reflections from my notes to the archive at some point. In any case, there are lots of recipes, ideas, and more here. Or, if you want just the recipes, they’re all up at Brewtoad.

There’s also a complete index of all the beers I brewed from 2009 till late 2012 here. I’ll update it someday to include everything in 2013, including group brewdays… but I did a lot of brewing in 2012, so it might take some real work.

My Homebrewing: A Profile:

Despite a few early encounters with homebrewing and craft brewing, I didn’t brew my first batch of beer until 2009. It was an extract stout, and it measured in at about 2% ABV because I used a can of extract, made five gallons, and didn’t add any dry malt extract or sugar. Still, it wasn’t all that bad, to be honest, and over the next couple of years I branched out into making cider and mead (and even experimented with making makkeoli and chicha, though those two didn’t go so well).

Mainly, my interests run toward sour, farmhouse, and abbey-styled beers. Belgian, generally, is what I’m into.

That doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy good beers of other styles, mind you. Two of the finest beers I’ve even been involved in making were a DoppelBock fermented with Kolsch yeast (thus, DoppelKolschenBocker) and an English Northern Brown Ale that were among the most popular beers served at my wedding to Mrs. Jiwaku in 2013, a mere four years after I began homebrewing. (The brew team for those beers was “For We Are Men!” with Rowan Chadwick and Ian Lynch.)

However, my desert island beers would be a good Saison, a characterful dubbel, and nice acetic sour flanders red ale, above all others, so those are what I focus on brewing. I also very much enjoy smoked beers (and like my smoked beer smoky), and “extinct” brewing styles like the Grodzisky/Grätzer, Kotbusser, and the Gose. One book I’d love to write someday is simply a recipe book of extinct local styles that deserve a renaissance.

I also very much enjoy making mead, though in Korea honey was expensive enough to keep my experiments relatively infrequent. I look forward to experimenting with meadmaking more in the future… when I’m living someplace where brewing and meadmaking is feasible, anyway.

Since I moved to Vietnam in 2013, I haven’t been able to brew at all… but I look forward to getting back to it someday!

Homebrewing Prizes/Awards

  • The Gosling: Best in Show and 1st Place (Sour Beers Category) at the Korea Homebrewer Contest, held by the Korean Homebrewers’ Society (May 2014) — A group brew by Ian Lynch, Rowan Chadwick, and myself.
  • His Fructiform Glory IPA: Audience Pick for Best Beer, Seoul Brewers’ Throwdown (Feb. 2013) — this beer was part of a team effort. Team Name: “For We Are Men!” (Rowan Chadwick, Ian Lynch, and myself)
  • Wonmisan Silvered Moon Barleywine: 3rd prize, grain-focused category: Seoul Brewer’s Throwndown (2013)
  • Wonmisan Pale Ale: 3rd place in the Craftworks Bukhansan Pale Ale recipe competition (2011)
  • Wonmisan Tripel-IPA: 3rd prize, pale beers category, Homebrew Korea Brew Your Hops Off competition (2010). 

Co-Organizer for Homebrewing-Related Events:

  • Seoul Brewers’ Throwdown: Seoul, South Korea (2013)
  • Brew for Japan (Post-Earthquake Fundraiser): Bundang, South Korea (2011)
  • The 15-Minute Hopping Challenge: Seoul, South Korea (Summer 2011)