The fall has been outstanding! Not too much rain, and wonderfully non-seasonal high temps. Which bodes well for someone who makes beer outside.  But this past Saturday was a little different: the thermometer barely hovered above 3 degrees F, so needless to say, I snuck indoors whenever I could. Which begs the question: what am I going to do when the snow flies and it’s 20 below?

I have enough all-grain ingredients for about 4 more batches.  If I can make it through November brewing outside, I will – otherwise, I may just have to go back to extract kits, brewing in the kitchen. *Sigh*. The memories of filling up my 2 little Mr. Beer plastic kegs last year about this time…

Speaking of ingredients, I was short of a couple specialty grains for the blonde ale I was brewing Saturday, so I modified the recipe to suit what I did have. Essentially, my blonde ale is a simple recipe of 8 pounds of Canadian 2-row barley, a pound of a grain called “Carared”, which lends a golden colour to the ale, then 1/2 a pound of “Carafoam” for head retention. Without the Carared, it would look like dishwater. I actually tried that once, just to see how it would turn out. “Yup” I said to myself. “Dishwater”.  Tasted okay though.

With no Carared, I substituted it with an ounce of roasted barley, which is a VERY dark grain (see below), and normally used for porters, stouts, that kind of thing… i.e., really dark beers.  (Grains such as these get their colour from roasting, just like coffee beans.)  So, the software I use to design recipes has a colour prediction graphic, so by adjusting the amount of colouring malt, I can basically get the same looking ale, but the flavour may be different – check back here in a few weeks for tasting notes!


Cheers for beers,



The barley grain on the left is Canadian 2-Row,on the right is roasted barley.