Author: Drew Beechum

Drew Beechum is a member of the American Homebrewers Association Governing Committee, and author of The Everything Homebrewing Book and The Everything Hard Cider Book.

Controlling Wild Fire: The Lambic Method for Homebrewers BYOB by

Follow this souring schedule to mimic the natural order of critters in a traditional Belgian Lambic. In a year or three, you’ll have an amazing beer that you’ll be both proud and jealously protective of.

Nectar of the Gods BYOB by

A Witbier recipe with pomegranate juice, inspired by the fruit’s place in Greek mythology and February’s ubiquitous pink color scheme.

Cosmic Fluff BYOB by

A homebrew with lactose, powdered peanut butter and vanilla extract evokes the childhood memory of peanut butter-and-marshmallow fluff sandwiches.

The Death of an Interestingly Potable Ale BYOB by

The beer consuming public wants us to turn everything into an IPA. I love a good IPA, but we’ve hit a point where if a beer isn’t an IPA, regular folks just don’t buy it.

Smoke on the Oder BYOB by

Grodziskie was a small, sessionable oak-smoked wheat beer produced from the 1300s to the 1990s near the river Oder. Today, it’s surrounded by debate: Was it sour? What sort of yeast did it use? What is the beer supposed to taste like?

Playing the Percentages BYOB by

To divorce recipe amounts from purely physical measures, think of grain as a percentage of the total grain bill. Combined with the target gravity you can use a little math to re-create a recipe that’s theoretically independent of system efficiency and volume.

A Viking Meets the Sumerians BYOB by

Mark Schoppe of the Viking-helmed Austin ZEALOTS just grabbed his second Ninkasi Award at this year’s American Homebrewers Association competition. This sour smoked German ale, a Lichtenhainer, was one of them.

Taking Control of Quality BYOB by

Every homebrewer acts as the hobby’s vanguard. Everyone you serve beer to is a possible convert to the hobby and the larger world of good beer. We’ve all made them, but why don’t we stop serving bad beers?

Brewing with a Tropical Flair BYOB by

This month’s recipe is all about reliving a Brazilian journey—a little bit German, a little bit tropical and a lot of fun for the heat and humidity.

Dry and Sour BYOB by

In ye olden days, the drying process consistently contaminated yeast with Lactobacillus and Pediococcus. This was considered a very bad thing. With modern processing improvements, it’s not the case anymore, hence the explosion of dried yeast choices.

Celebrate with Cake BYOB by

Cake is a mixture of wheat flour, sugar, flavorings, eggs and butter. The last two ingredients contain copious fats that make it a complicated beer additive. Yet to brew a true chocolate cake beer, one must have chocolate cake.

Lager Experimentation BYOB by

Why aren’t brewers playing with lagers like they do ales? For one thing, lagers are more difficult to homebrew due to the extra refrigeration requirements. Lager yeasts also leave a crisper, more delicate edge that makes it tricky to lay another flavor down without overwhelming the beer.

A Little Perspective BYOB by

This spring, brew an updated, “cheater” version of a Bock—a darker, heartier version of a traditional lager.

The Belgian Highlands BYOB by

Belgium was wrecked after WWI. It was enough to drive citizens to drink, but in 1919 the Belgian government passed the Vandervelde Act banning the sale of distilled spirits.

The Cleanup Crew BYOB by

This massively honeyed beer was inspired by the intensely spicy flavors of tupelo honey. The idea was to build a big wheat beer that smelled like a clovey Hefeweizen.

Full of Potential BYOB by

In just a few weeks, a well-meaning loved one is going to hand you homebrewing supplies. No doubt, you’ll have questions. I’m here with answers and “wisdom.”

Passing the Test BYOB by

When statisticians crunch numbers, they traditionally want big piles of data to ensure accuracy. But what if the question is something simple, like: Did this new hop affect people’s perception of my beer? Most breweries can’t whip up thousands of opinions for a single batch of beer.

A Case For Brown Ales BYOB by

Brownish ales have a long history, but what we’re talking about is the classic Brown Ale born in Britain and transmogrified here. To me, Brown Ales have roasty, toasty brown bread tones that hang out over a medium malted beer with a restrained caramel sweetness.

Style Wars BYOB by

When the the Beer Judge Certification Program last updated their style guidelines in 2008, there were 23 beer categories. The newest draft guidelines have 11 more classes for a total of 34!

Brew Club Brew BYOB by

Many of us treat brewing like a solitary act and can’t see intruding on someone else’s session. Remember though, for most of history, brewing was taught through apprenticeship. Showing is a massively effective way to teach the craft.

Last Port of Call BYOB by

Here’s something homebrewers can do that the pros typically can’t: fortify. Winemakers have categories of “fortified wines,” like Port, where the addition of a spirit stops fermentation short.

Hate / Respect the Law BYOB by

The rise (or rumor) of aspiring-professional brewers serving without proper certification will make any state ABC turn a jaundiced eye to the motivations of a homebrewer. So if you’re thinking about serving your homebrew semi-commercially, realize that you’ll be impacting the rest of your community.

The Yeast Bay BYOB by

Most of our hobby’s engineers and sciencey types futz over sculptures and process controls. But biology nerds? They get yeast obsessed. The truly crazy are expanding commercial frontiers with hyper-local yeast companies. San Francisco’s The Yeast Bay is one of the newest.

ThaiPA BYOB by

The heat from this Thai Chile Basil IPA is tamed with a caramel cracker base, while a fruity punch of hops melds with lime leaves and a minty blast of Thai basil.