Quality Wine and Ale Supply Blog
Wine making and beer making instructions, hints and tips.
7 Herbs & Spices to Try in Your Next Homebrew
A Few Ideas to Ban the Dreaded “Brewer’s Block”
While talking with a fellow homebrewer recently, we both agreed how easy it is to get into the rut of making the same old recipes, over and over. When you first start brewing, you feel adventurous and excited to try anything and everything you can get your hands on. Well, after a few years, and a couple batches that weren’t up to standard, you begin making your tried and true recipes only - rarely deviating from the handful of favorites that your friends ask for time and time again. You know the crowd pleasers, and it’s a risk to spend a lot of time and money experimenting with new flavors.
Concord Grapes - Not Just for Jelly!
Most Americans eat Concord grapes all the time! They are tasty and versatile, and basically anything you buy from the store that is grape flavored is made with Concord grapes: jams, jellies, juices, spreads, preserves, fillings, baked goods, candies, and much more. However, take a walk down the wine aisle at your local grocery store and you would be hard pressed to find any wine at all made from Concord grapes.
The Justice Department approved the acquisition, gives conglomerate 70% market share of beer sales in the United States
After nearly a week of speculation, it has been announced by the founder of Northern Brewer, Chris Farley, that the homebrew supply store, along with its sister company Midwest Supplies, has been acquired by the world’s largest beer company. The 107 billion dollar deal received the go ahead from the Justice Department, after the merger caught the attention of antitrust and DOJ officials last fall.
The announcement comes on the heels of several Anheuser-Busch acquisitions, including the purchase of many craft breweries around the country.
The company will keep its existing leadership and employees, Todd Jackson of Northern Brewer has confirmed, however, it has many in the homebrew industry, both craft breweries and homebrewers alike, asking how this take over of the country’s largest homebrew shop will affect the homebrew community.
There is much speculation and worry within the homebrewing community that Anheuser-Busch’s deep capital could allow them to pivot into the wholesale market in an attempt to gain massive control of the homebrew industry in a vertical growth move.
What are the possible implications of one of the world’s largest conglomerates taking control over a small, tight-knit community? Only time will tell.
5 Reasons for Stuck Fermentation
(and How to Fix Them!)
A lot of work goes into the fermentation process. The process of taking hours to pick fruit, crush berries, squeeze juice, check Ph and Acid levels takes a lot of time and effort. A slow or stuck fermentation can be frustrating and disappointing. However, most of the issues causing a stuck fermentation are easily remedied. Here are a few of the most common reasons for a slow or stuck fermentation process, and the steps you can take to fix them and get back to wine making!
If your kids are anything like my kids, then they love going to the apple orchard every year. For many parts of the country, this is prime picking season for several types of apples. Every year we fill our baskets with Jonathans, Golden Delicious, Granny Smiths, Cortlands, and Galas. We keep a ton of them in the fruit basket on our kitchen table for munching (both of my toddlers love that they can reach up and snag a snack all by themselves). We make a few pies, we make our fair share of caramel apples, we’ve even made apple bread - but without fail - we always have extra apples.
Sour beers are making a comeback in a big way. I watch a lot of brewing trends come and go, but this one has been the most fascinating to me, because, in many ways, we’re getting back to our roots. Once upon a time, all beers were sour to some extent. In early brewing, pure yeast cultures were not available as they are today, so the yeast starters used from batch to batch almost always contained wild yeast and wild bacteria. Sour beers are still made this way, by “wild fermentation” that simply utilizes the wild yeast and bacteria that live, well, everywhere.
People are freaked out by chemicals. We picture slimey billionaires, scheming behind a desk, counting their vast sums of money that have been made by poisoning innocent people with their chemical laden products. I understand your concern. There are enough class action lawsuits pending out there to make anyone leary of the word “chemical”.
However, not all chemicals are necessarily bad, just as not everything labeled “all natural” is good - arsenic comes to mind - it’s naturally occurring in the world, but would you eat it?
I am so ready for fall. Every year, when September 1st rolls around, I’m done with summer. I’m over it. I can pretend to be a beach goer, I can tolerate skimpy shorts and tank tops, I can even flirt with barbeques, but really, my soul belongs to fall. It’s a lot like a summer fling, really. We had our fun, but my heart belongs to another.