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By: Homebrewers  09-12-2011
Keywords: Beer

Uncategorized | Homebrewers.ca Uncategorized

Wondering when your CABA membership is going to (or has) expired? Forgotten your password?

One of the latest upgrades to the site is checking your membership due date online, and renew all from the homebrewers.ca website. You can also reset your password if forgotten or lost.

If you do choose to renew, one year will be added to your membership starting on the last day of your membership, so don’t worry if you renew a little early, there will be no overlap period.


That brewing experiment happened prior to the holiday season of 2007, and the beer was ready to drink on Christmas Eve. My plan at the time had been to brew a holiday beer every year, but that just hasn’t happened. Something always gets in the way or I come up with an excuse not to brew it. Even this year, I’ve planned out a recipe for a winter spiced ale, but as we’ve just passed the halfway mark for December, I still haven’t brewed it. I’m hopeful that I’ll find the time and energy to do so before 2010 becomes 2011, but it’s definitely not going to be ready for Christmas sampling. Maybe it’ll be ready for Valentine’s Day, at this rate.

As you may have heard by now, Beau’s All Natural Brewing has released the second in its CABA CABA Hey! series.

This year’s beer was designed by John Baine, a long-time member of CABA and an award-winning brewer who won the opportunity to turn his beer into a commercial brew at Beau’s brewery in Vankleek Hill, Ontario. John worked with the folks at Beau’s to design and brew his Boomerweiss Weissbier in early October. Look for John’s full write-up of his experience at Beau’s in the next CABA newsletter (coming in the next couple of weeks).

Beau’s and CABA are officially launching the beer this Friday, December 10th at 7:00 at The Rhino at 1249 Queen St. West in Toronto. No RSVP required. If you’re in the area, come join your fellow Toronto area CABA members for a pint of John’s award-winning beer.

It didn’t take long after I started brewing beer before I discovered the joys of swing-top bottles. As I’m sure happened with many new brewers, my first batch (or two?) was bottled exclusively with capped bottles, and the process was slow. I’m fairly certain my first bottling night back in 2007 was about four hours long. Today, that same bottling night is probably about half that in time; and although much of that increased speed can be attributed to a better understanding of the processes involved, some of it is also because of the number of swing-top bottles (mostly Grolsch and Christoffel) that have found their way into my bottle collection one way or the other.

A tip I’ve learned from my new brewing buddy: If you have a local bar or pub that serves beers with swing-top bottles, talk to the manager about buying the swing-top bottles. Some are bound to let them go for the return price. That will increase your swing-top bottle collection quickly and reduce the number of bottle caps you’ll need come bottling day.

As I’ve written about in the CABA Times, one of the things I enjoy about homebrewing is the experimental nature of the hobby (and the hobbyists). Many brewers like to brew to style, and more power to them, but outside of a couple of reasonable attempts to brew to style, I mostly aim for whatever seems like a good idea at the time — and sometimes those ideas lead into such things as my infamous 2007 Christmas ale or my clone of CABA President Kevin Tighe’s jalapeno ale.

The most recent homebrewing experiment I’ve been involved with is with a new homebrewer who has taken an interest in historical beers, as well as in using ingredients from his garden. Looking into his herb garden and doing some research into historical beers, he discovered that prior to the use of hops as a bittering agent, brewers would use whatever they could get their hands on. The one that caught his interest was sage, an herb that is growing out of control in his garden.

This has rekindled my interest in historical beers. Since I started homebrewing three years ago, the one historical bittering agent I’ve really wanted to use is heather (so perhaps you can expect to hear about a heather ale experiment in a future blog post or CABA Times article).

Keywords: Beer

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Across North America, the first Saturday of November is recognized as “Teach a Friend to Homebrew Day”, and the Southern Ontario Brewers recognize the date by hosting a Learn2Brew event. In cooperation with Amsterdam Brewing, the Southern Ontario Brewers invite you to spend a day learning about homebrewing on Saturday 5.November 2011 at 21 Bathurst Street, in Toronto.


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