When I was young, my Dad and Uncle Bill would make beer and wine at our house. I guess that’s how I caught the bug.

I started brewing when my kids were small…before the craft beer industry took off in Victoria. I found that I could make beer that was as good (if not better) than anything that I could buy in the liquor store or at a pub.

It's Brewday

I started with kits and eventually progressed to whole grain mashing which, while more complicated, produced a much better product for a fraction of the cost. I got busy with work and other projects, (CAMRA related) & I found that I didn’t have the time to keep it up. I’ve rearranged my priorities and I’m starting my 3rd batch since the restart…Brew V2.0

This is going to be a post in parts…as the day and the brew progress. Check back to see how it’s going.

The first step is to crush the grain. (please pardon the messy bench)

Next, let’s get the yeast going. When I started, yeast came in a dry packet that resembled the bread yeast that Baba used to make the best buns in the world. There’s another B that I could have used. I’m sure that I’ll use her later.

Anyway, the best yeast to use these days these starter packs of liquid that ensure that you have a thriving yeast culture in your brew very quickly. The package contains 300 Billion (go ahead…do the pinkie thing) yeast cells and some nutrient that kicks the yeastie beasties to life when you smack open the packet. In three hours, it’ll be ready.



Yeast Before

Yeast after 4 hours

With 9 litres of hot water added to the grain, we’ll let the enzymes do their thing for 2 hours.

Start of a nice rolling boil:

Start of a 1 hour boil

Added more hops after fifty minutes, then cooled everything down. When the temperature was right, I transfered the wort to the fermenter and pitched the yeast. Now it’s beer.

Now it's beer.

B is also for blue…which is the colour of Autism Awareness Day. To raise awareness (and believe me, people will ask me about it) I have made a guest appearance on a blog that my daughter and her friend of hers have. Check it out at

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6 Responses to Brewing

  1. Suzanne Shaw says:

    wow Maureen great fun for you – I have some empty – clean – Howe Sound bottles to contribute, or? if your interested

  2. Bud Ezekiel says:


    how much do you figure that it costs you versus store bought? it looks like a dark ale. i made home-made blackberry wine once and it knocked me right on my can. i liked your Artic story. my wife wants to take a cruise to the Anarctic.

    • Mark says:

      Hi Bud,

      Lately, I’ve been buying my ingredients one batch at a time. 8 pounds of malt, 8 oz of hops (I’ll have enough for another batch) and the liquid yeast was about $30. That’s for 5 gallons.

      When I was brewing before, I would buy my malt from a local brewpub ($35 for 55 lbs) and propagated my own yeast. I was doing a batch for less that $20, then. Grain has gotten more expensive (mostly due to shipping costs) but I should be able to do it for $25 now. It’s pretty easy to spend $25 or even $35 on craft brew these days.

      I love the Arctic and I think that I’ll make it up there again this summer.

  3. Man, I bet you were good at Chemistry! I bet all the neighborhood block parties are at your house. Ingenious ‘b’ post.

    • Mark says:

      Thanks, Valerie. If one of my teachers had have explained the importance of microbiology in High School, I might have spend less time smoking in the parking lot and more time in class. 🙂

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