Pushing a double stroller, in the snow with the brakes on, up hill… both ways.

Hey everyone!
If you have been following us and keeping up with all the fun brewing related posts we hope you can continue to follow us over at our new site http://wwe.alwayshomebrewing.wordpress.com always/home\brewing.  We will slowly be transfering over the brewing related content from this site to the new site, but also sprinkle in some new posts as we go along.  Hope to see you all at the new site


So it seems the 1 gallon brewing adventures have continued here at our house.   We have been having such a fun time brewing these that I decided to brew an American Wheat Ale this time.  If you are just stumbling on to this page, I have created a step by step tutorial for brewing these 1 gallon batches HERE also included is a recipe for a Robust Porter and an American Pale Ale.

For the designing these recipes I used the On-line version of the  StrangeBrew Brewing Software.  It is very easy to just plug in your numbers and all your ingredients.  You can log in with your google account and save your recipes.


American Wheat Ale

Pre Boil volume : 4.75 Liters
Post Boil Volume: 3.8 Liters
OG: 1.052
Eff: %64
ABV: 5.2%


Canadian 2 row .4969 kg
Wheat malt .2484 kg
Rye .3106 kg
Total  1.055kg


 Fuggles 4.8% AA   6 g 60 minutes  18.9 IBU
 Fuggles 4.8 % AA   2 g 0 minutes 0 IBU
 Centenial 11.10 %AA   2 g 0 minutes 0 IBU
Total  10 g  IBU


Safale US-05 ½ packet


Mash in with 2.2 Liters of water for 1 hour- keeping temperature between 63 and 68

When I was sparging my grains I got a little bit of a “stuck sparge” – My guess is the wheat makes it all a little more gummy.  I used my spoon to make a bit of a path for the wort to flow through the strainer better.

For this batch I changed up the way I have been “spargeing”.  This time I dumped my grain into my colander to strain it. then I put the grain back in the pot again and soaked it with about a Liter of heated sparge water.  I stirred it up and after about 5 minutes I poured it into the colander to strain for the second time.  I then proceeded to “set the grain bed” and proceeding like I had before by sparging my grain with another Liter of water.  I cleaned out my original pot and then poured the wort back through the grain again.  I sparged one final time with the rest of my hot water, rinsing off as much sugars as I could from the grain.  I stopped sparging When I had collected 4.75 Liters of wort.  I passed the wort through a fine mesh strainer this time to eliminate all bits of grain from the wort.


So for now, as these little batches are brewing I am thinking of what kind of experiments I will be doing with them.  In the spring I will make a few Wheat beers and add fruit to them.  As for the porters I have downstairs, I think I will put a bit of Vanilla Bean in to it, or maybe some cold steeped coffee.

I have been having a lot of fun brewing 1 gallon batches of beer lately.  A lot of fun actually.  I started doing these smaller batches because I heard about International Woman’s Collaboration Brew day coming up on March 8.  I wanted to be able to put together an easy tutorial so everyone can brew – even with just a few things that you already have in your kitchen and a few extra basic brewing items.  How cool would it be if all the Barley’s Angels were brewing on that day?!  If you are, make sure you tweet it with the hashtag #IWCB.  Once you catch the brewing bug, I am convinced you will want to continue brewing again and again.  

For IWCB the plan is we are all going to be brewing an APA on March 8

The beer:
4% pale session beer with a universally available hop (still to be decided).

EBC: 10
IBU: 25
ABV: 4%
Late hop: Cascade (US/UK/NZ/German)

Only problem is there is a shortage of Cascade at our local brew shops here.  Some of us have decided to just brew something that we want to brew on the date and have fun with it.

I have posted a recipe for an APA below – all the ingredients and equipment should be able to be purchased locally.

For the FULL TUTORIAL on brewing 1 gallon batches please check out my post from last week HERE

Brewing a 1 gallon batch  is quite a different brew day compared to our normal 15 gallon brew days.  It is even more laid back than our 5 gallon brew days.  It is great because I can squeeze a brew session in the afternoon or even just do a quick batch after the kids go to bed.  Clean up is so much easier too!

I found there were a few challenges with brewing small batches that I do not encounter when I brew larger batch.  Measurements or water and grain need to be more exact.  My scale that I use to measure my hops and grain is a little less precise when it comes to smaller measurements.  I had a difficult time trying to weigh out hops in such a small quantity.  We plan on getting a more precise scale that measures brewing salts in the future – Until then, I will just wing it as best as I can!

So without further ado, here is the recipe for an American Pale Ale – make sure you keep those spent grains to make some yummy yum yums – like Katy’s Granola or some bread and other recipes HERE

American Pale Ale

Pre Boil volume : 4.75 Liters
Post Boil Volume: 3.8 Liters
OG: 1.052
Eff: %65
ABV: 5.1%


Canadian 2 row   902 g
Munich Light   62.12 g
Crystal 40   62.12 g
Total   1.043 kg


 Cluster   7% AA  5.5 g 60 minutes  34.4 IBU
 Falconers Flight   10.8 % AA 2.5 g 10 minutes 5 IBU
 Falconers Flight   10.8 %AA 2.5 g 0 minutes 0 IBU
Total      10.5 g    IBU


Safale US-05 ½ packet

Let’s Start

Mash in with 2.17 Liters of water for 1 hour- keeping temperature between 63 and 68

2014-03-05 14.42.59

Sparging the grains

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a handful of hops –

Cooling the wort in the Sink - using a a few icepacks

Cooling the wort in the Sink – using a a few icepacks

The following recipe is based off the book “brewing Classic Styles” by Jamil Zainasheff.  I have scaled down the recipe and it works pretty well for  our stovetop brewing method.  It is a little bit less than a 1 gallon batch.  I brewed this in my kitchen and  I  have written down the step by step method for you. Please read over the instructions first and make sure that you have all the equipment on hand.

Robust Porter

Pre Boil volume : 4.75 Liters
Post Boil Volume: 3.8 Liters
OG: 1.064
Eff: %65
ABV: 6.5%

Fermentables (must be milled)

Canadian 2 row   973.8 g
Munich Light   124.2 g
Crystal 40   82 g
Chocolate Malt   62.15 g
Black Patent   41.47 g
Total   1.28 kg



East Kent Golding   5.5% AA 9.14 g 60 minutes 29.7 IBU
Fuggles   4.5 % AA 3.83 g 15 minutes 5.1 IBU
East Kent Golding   5.5 %AA 3.83 g 0 minutes 0 IBU
Total     16.8 g   34.8 IBU


Safale US-05 ½ packet

Items needed For Brewing:

8-10 Quart pot x2 (larger pots are better)
large colander or spaghetti strainer (with small holes)
Large Pyrex Measuring cup (2 Liter capacity)
bamboo skewer
large spoon
scale for measuring grain and hops
no rinse sanitizer – such as starsan
bucket for sanitizing solution
auto siphon and hose
1 gallon jug
2 Liters of water boiled and cooled
6.5 size bung
three piece air trap

Items needed for Bottling:

auto siphon
bottling wand
coopers carbonation drops
8-12 grolsch style swing top or PET bottles




Ensure all items are cleaned and prepared.  Have a small batch of no rinse sanitizer (starsan) mixed and ready.  Measure out 4.75 Liters in your pot with water and use the skewer to mark where the level of water reaches.  Make an impression on the bamboo with your finger.  This will be your measuring tool and it will help you later when you need to know how much wort to collect.


Let’s Start

Heat  2.648 Liters of water to 72 degrees

Stir in your Milled Grain – try to not make any splashes. This is called the mashing process. Heat the Mash gradually and break up all the dough balls.  Bring the temperature of the mash between 63 and 68 degrees.  Put a Lid on it and remove it from the heat.  Start your timer for 60 minutes and check on it every 15 to 20 minutes.  Stir it and take a temperature reading at different points in the pot.  Make sure it stays between 63 and 68.  If the temperature falls below 63 heat it on medium for about a minute, stirring continuously.  Once temperature is reached. Remove from stove and let sit with the cover on.

Heat up 3.8 Liters of water for sparging in a small pot to 78 degrees (my pot holds 2 Liters so I heated 2 liters, then 1.8 liters)  Return the mash to the stove after 60 minutes is up and heat it the mash to 77 degrees, stir then remove from the stove. (mashing out)

Time to Sparge.  Basically you’re going to drain the grain and wash away the sugars and collect everything into a pot.  Scoop a few spoonfuls of mash into a colander that is fitted over another large 8-10 quart pot.  Gradually dump the rest of the mash into the colander.  Once all the grain is removed, rinse out the pot – ensuring no grain is left in the pot. Slowly pour 2 Liters of water over the grain and continue to drain the liquid into the pot.  This liquid is called wort.  Heat up the remaining 1.8 Liters of water.   Place the colander back on the original pot and pour your sparged wort back through the grain again.   Now add the 1.8 Liters of water to give the grain a final wash. Make sure there are no bits of grain floating in the wort.  You need to collect 4.75 Liters of wort.  Place your measuring skewer into your pot and stop sparging (adding water) when you have reached your notch on your bamboo skewer.  Now you are finished with this grain.  Keep the grain in the fridge. Make awesome recipes with it!  Delicious bread, pizza dough, or Katy’s granola. Wunderbar!

Begin to heat up the wort to boiling temperatures. Keep an eye on the pot because a boil over is a very sticky mess to clean up.   Once boiling point has been reached lower the heat slightly so the boil isn’t too strong.  Add your first hop addition and start your timer.  Your next hop addition will be added when 15 minutes remain in the boil.  Your final hop addition will be added at zero on the timer and your pot will be removed from the heat element.

Once the timer is up you will need to cool this down as fast as you can.  In the last 15 minutes of the boil the wort is very sensitive to contamination so ensure that everything that touches the wort is clean and sanitized.  Place the pot of wort into a sink filled halfway with cold water and ice packs (or even snow).  Stir the wort with a clean, sanitized spoon.  You may need to change the water in the sink once or twice because it will heat up as the wort is cooling down.  Cool the wort to below 20 degrees.  Make sure you use a sanitized thermometer to check your temperatures.  Once it is cool enough you can let it sit so all the trub (debris from the proteins in the wort and the hops) settles to the bottom.  Some people like to stir a swirl (whirlpool) that makes all the trub nestle in the middle of the pot.

Use your auto siphon to siphon as much of the wort into your 1 gallon jug as possible while leaving the trub remaining in the pot.  Don’t worry if you get some of the trub in the jug, it is not a big deal.

Once you have collected all your wort you may need to fill your jug with water that has been boiled and then cooled.  Top  it up with the water to just above the “1 Gallon “ mark.

Cover the jug with a sanitized cap or over with a sanitized bung.  Make sure your hand is clean and soaked in sanitizer and shake the  wort (aerate)

Add Yeast and give the jug a gentle swirl to wet all the yeast.  Place sanitized bung and fill with a three piece airlock with sanitizing solution up to the fill line and place it into the bung and put in a dark cool place (between 18-21 degrees)  Check on it everyday to make sure that the fermentation has not blown the airlock off the jug.  Sometimes it can be quite vigorous.  If you are worried you can place the jug in a bucket to collect any spill over.



While your beer is fermenting, try to collect flip top “grolsch” style bottles or purchase plastic PET bottles. You will be bottling your beer in these.  Please don’t use small growlers or other types of bottles.  They might not be designed to withstand the pressure of carbonating beer and may explode.

Once your beer is ready you can use your auto siphon and a bottling wand attachment to fill each clean sanitized bottle. Place the wand in the bottle and remove when the foam starts to reach the top and starts to overfill.  Removing the wand will allow just the right amount of headspace in the bottle.  Add a coopers Carbonation drop to the bottle and seal it up.  Place in a cool dark place for 3 weeks.

For Your Next Brewing Adventure

The next time you want to brew a different recipe of beer the method will mostly be the same.  You can take any 5 gallon recipe you want and scale it down.  Keep in mind that this is not a standard 1 gallon recipe, so you can not just divide any recipe by 5.  This is a little bit less than a 1 gallon. Also keep in mind that when scaling a recipe the hop IBU’s get a bit skewed.  Don’t worry about it, have fun with this.  This is not an exact science.

the formula is :

Pre-fermented Volume of Original Recipe in the Carboy    (÷)    Pre-fermented Volume of New Recipe in the Carboy

20.8 Liters  (÷)    3.8 Liters = 5.473

Divide all the original ingredients by 5.473 and you will get all the correct measurements for grain and hops scaled down to the right amount for your batch size.  Try to keep your weight measurements in Liters, and grams – it is a lot easier.

When mashing your water to grain ratio should be 1 us quart (.946 liters) of water per pound of grain

Stay tuned for my next post…

A recipe for a really easy APA using this 1 gallon method.

This Saturday November 2 marks the 14th annual Learn to homebrew day that is put on by the  American Homebrewers Association (AHA).
 Leading up to this day my husband, brother in law and I got the opportunity to be in an article posted on Ottawa Beer Events as part of a feature done on Homebrewers – If you haven’t read it yet,grab a beer and head here.    
The articles on Ottawa Beer Events gave a great look at some different kinds of brewers, how we all got started with some of our reasons why.  We all talk about the type of systems we have and give some advice to people who may be interested in homebrewing.

 As some of you know, I brew with my husband and my brother in law.  We make a pretty great team.  We can’t always brew together with all the obligations that families have, like driving kids to hockey practice, and attending birthday parties for our childrens class mates.  We try the best we can to brew when we can.  Sometimes that means we brew individually, or with only one other person.  

Sometimes we brew on our big system outside, sometimes we brew indoors.  There is a lot of flexibility with the way that we brew.  We also like to share with people the way we brew and hope that they get inspired to brew themselves as well.

 I had the opportunity last year to brew with some friends from barley’s angels Katy and Amanda.  We had an entire day spent in my kitchen, laughing, brewing, talking, learning and working.  Its not just sitting around and drinking beer (ok, maybe while your mashing, and maybe while your sparging….)  you can read about katy’s take on the day here   and mine here.

Today I got the opertunity to brew with another homebrewer – Greg.  It was nice to be able to brew with someone that brews a different method than i do (He does BIAB)  I got to show him some of the details on how we mash with our mash tuns and we got to kick out an Irish Red that came right on target OG- It was a great day of Brewing, Nachos and our family hanging out together.

 We added the new carboy to the others in the basement, all happily fermening away!  


This is what we have accomplished this month (Sweet Stout, ESB, Pumpkin Ale, Esb, brown ale and the irish red) 

I hope you are able to get out and Brew this Saturday, get involved in watching a friend brew, or ultimately enjoy some delicious brew!

Every time we go to Brinkeetos my kids love to play with the little Bean bags.  I figured I would make some of our own for them to play with at home.  Of course like all my other projects, this was conceived with a million other projects: Paint the keg taps, make breakfast muffins for daily breakfasts on the go, Move furniture around, dye hair, back to back brewing sessions.

Like all my projects, step one is always sourcing out the materials.  You need to have everything so you are prepared for that moment when you finally decide you are going to roll up your sleeves and get down to bizness. Step 2 is where I have problems – actually getting around to start doing stuff…but i digress.

So I thought to make the bean bags and had great intentions but have still not gotten around to making them.  I found the bag of soy beans in the cupboard that were going to be the “stuff” in the bean bags.  I figured I might as well try to do something with it so I thought to make some toasted soy nuts.

I followed some directions I found here and here and came up with my own method.

here is what i did:

Soak 3 cups of soy beans over night for 30 hours.  Make sure to stir them every once in a while.

Then in a large microwave safe dish I spread them out on a thin layer.  I microwaved them for 4 minutes, then stired them and microwaved them two more times like this.  I had two batches for the microwave.  Once they were done I put them in a bowl and stirred in two tables spoons of coconut oil.

I lay them out on a baking sheet and sprinkled some salt on them.


I heated them in the oven at 400 and stirred them every 5 minutes for about 20 minutes until they were nice and brown. Some of the beans were a bit more toasted, but they tasted like half popped pop corn without the worry you are going to chip a tooth.  :)


I am happy to say that we survived the first week of school!  Loveliness is doing well in Grade 1 and was disappointing when she realized that there is no school on Saturdays.  I am going to take this as a good thing.  She loves school again and is excited about it!

I was pretty excited about it too.  Happy that my little girl is growing up and being more independent and also being more entertained and socialized with kids her own age.  I am also quite excited to be home with Sunshine.  I get to spend time on a one on one basis with her again.  My favorite part is being able to be her teacher and show her fun stuff and do fun things.

For the first day of school I wanted to be close by in case I needed to go to the school.  If there was a situation with Loveliness I wanted to be around so I can take care of it.  We stayed home for the first day and decided to do some reading and work on our lap book together.

We started out by reading our book together.  Sunshine loves Pirates so naturally our first lap book would be based on pirates.  our favorite pirate book right now is called “Shiver me Letters, A pirate ABC” by June Sobel


After reading the book we got out our supplies,  we use file folders to make our lap books with.  They are pretty inexpensive and sturdy.  With this book I used 3 file folders because I wanted a little flap in the center for a fun map.

Our lap book has a little something for Sunshine (3 years old ) to learn counting, colours, her alphabet and puppets to play with.  Its also fun for Loveliness ( 6 years old) counting with coins, letter tracing, board game.

Here is a picture of what our book has.  If you would like to make your own you can find lots of great ideas out there.  I got some of the pirate lapbook print outs from Home School Creations HERE!

cover of our Lap book that Sunshine coloured

cover of our Lap book that Sunshine coloured

ABC booklet that fits in the little pocket I made for it on the back of the cover.

ABC booklet that fits in the little pocket I made for it on the back of the cover.

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Counting bags of gold!

Little Puppets on a stick that we coloured together

Little Puppets on a stick that we coloured together

2013-09-03 14.50.58

I placed a velcro tab on the stick so it can be placed back on the page where it belongs when we put it away

2013-09-03 14.51.07

We made a fun Treasure Map. We painted it with Tea and when it was dried (i took a short cut and dried it in the microwave for a minute or two) we torched it with a lighter and I made a fun “connect the dots with your finger” game

Find the Treasure board game

Find the Treasure board game

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board game for the kids to play

This fun little letter tracing page can be found HERE

trace the letters with dry erase marker

trace the letters with dry erase marker

More fun with matching letters.  Letters are in Lower case and upper case

More fun with matching letters. Letters are in Lower case and upper case

2013-09-03 14.50.22

a little flip book that Sunshine had a fun time colouring and we can flip through it and she tells me the colours

On the last page I made a little Treasure Chest that I used from a free clip art page.  I designed little coins with the denominations of 1 5 10 25 and 100

I made a little “shopping list” for the kids to buy things for their ship with coins.  Loveliness unties the scroll and chooses what she wants to buy from the list and tries to make the correct change for it.  We had a lot of fun playing with it!

pirate shopping list is tied up in a scroll.  coins are in the treasure chest

pirate shopping list is tied up in a scroll. coins are in the treasure chest

then my husband pointed out that the row boat was a rip off?!!

then my husband pointed out that the row boat was a rip off?!!


i printed these on yellow paper and i cut these out.  I glued the chest to a piece of paper and then glued that to the book

i printed these on yellow paper and i cut these out. I glued the chest to a piece of paper and then glued that to the book


Hope this little post helps inspire you to make your own lapbook.  The kids really love making them and they are just as much fun for me too.

Have you made a lapbook before?

Let me know what you think!

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