Month: May 2015

Time Lapse Brew Day

Here is a time lapse video I did for fun on May 10th. I used my Samsung s5 phone with the default camera mounted to an Arkon smart phone tripod. Settings: Record Mode – Fast Motion x4 on shorter clips and x8 on the longer clips.

My brewery setup and the brewing technique (batch sparge) is pretty much just like Denny Conn’s. So instead of writing what I do, you can just go to his site. Only difference is that I do 40L.

The recipe for this batch is here.

Burning Barrel Brewery – Grain Crush

Here is a time lapse of my setup for crushing my grains.

I use a Porkert Mill, a 5 gallon water jug (with the bottom cut out) and a Craftman 1/2″ drill all mounted on a 35 year old Black and Decker Workmate. This setup will crush 9-10Kg of grain in about 3 minutes. I have heard that some have issues with the crush coming out as flour with a porkert, but I have never had this issue. I use a plastic bag to guide the crush into my mash tun or bucket.

I would not recommend cutting the bottom off of the water jug but to only cut a hole from the bottom as the bottom rim of the water jug will keep the structural integrity of the jug.

The Workmate is used as a table for my mash tun also. Once the mash tun is not needed, it is used as a table to hold my beer. But I will be honest, I typically do not drink while brewing.

Other than the Workmate and the plastic bag (o.0), I have been using this equipment since I started all-grain brewing back in 2004. I am not big on spending a lot of money on my brewery, so I make do with what I have on hand. If memory serves me correctly, this setup did not cost any more than $30 (maybe less) thanks to yard sales and a Sears gift card.

Propane Burner and the Dreaded Yellow Flame

Well if you are like me and brew using propane, there will most likely come a time when your propane burner will start to emit yellow flame and not the cleaner blue flame that it should. Yellow flame will cause a lot of soot on your brewing pots. Thus making your brew day very, very messy. Yellow flame is caused by an obstruction in your intake. This could be a combination of many things like bugs, pine needles, matches etc. Regardless, it needs to be cleaned out.
Cast Iron BurnerFirst off, I removed the regulator hose from the burner. When removing the regulator hose from the burner, be sure to keep an eye on the spring that keeps the air intake shutter in place. You don’t want to lose that.

I removed the cast iron burner, much like the one on the left, from the burner frame and then proceeded to take the burner apart. I was even lucky enough to remove the inner burner face (that star shaped piece in the burner head). With my particular model, the burner face is held in with a hex bolt which is easier than a phillips head which I have on one of my other burners. I lightly hit the burner on a patio stone and the inner burner face came out, along with a LOT of debris.

I cleaned out the neck of the burner with a bottle scrubber and used steel wool to buff up the parts of the burner. After I put it all back together, I fired it up and lo and behold…the mighty blue flame emitted from the burner.

It can be the small victories that can brighten up your day.

Hero’s Last Rite

Since ignoring to update this site in such a long time, a lot has happened. The band that I am in, Hero’s Last Rite, released our second album last April. The album is called The Mirror’s Face. On a personal level this album is by far the most rewarding creative endeavour I have done in years.

As we pumped out the album to various webzines, some great reviews started popping up. Also, the album has charted well across Canada and in a few charts it was ranked at number 1. As of this writing, The Mirror’s Face is still charting one year later! We, as a band, are very proud of this album and it recently won the 2015 East Coast Music Association award for Loud Recording of the Year.2015 ECMA Loud Recording of the Year

As in a previous post, we have been lucky to have made another video with the help of Tim Rayne, Jeff Crawford, Art Thompson and many others. The video is for our song Viral Judgment and it is about the affects of cyber bullying and inspired by the tragic story of Amanda Todd.

Moving forward, the band is currently writing new material for our next release. If you would like to support the band, please check out our Bandcamp page.

First Homebrew in almost 3 Frackin’ Years

Great beerWow, have I missed home brewing. Last weekend I brewed for the first time in almost 3 years! I started my journey back into to the brewing world with my go to Ordinary Bitter recipe. I altered the recipe with ingredients that I had on hand. So, Victory Malt instead of Biscuit and used Willamette for the 60 and 30, then Sonnet Golding for the last addition.

The brew day was going so well that I decided to make another batch. So, I went into my recipe database and grabbed my Heinrich Märzen recipe. This is a killer recipe and I have a lot of friends ask me to make it. Seeing as I really have missed this tasty beer, it seemed the right thing to do and a tasty way to do it.

The day didn’t without any glitches though. I brew with propane. I realized that I had no BBQ lighter and only had 3 matches (that I only found after a 15 minute house search). Instead of driving to the store, I lit a candle with one of the  matches I had. It worked, much to the questions from my family as to why there was a candle lit on the stove on a sunny 25C Sunday afternoon.

80L of goodnessAll said, at the end of the brew day, I had 80L of wort ready to ferment and could not wait for the tasting.

Tonight, with a pint of my Ordinary Bitter, I am raising a toast to being back into the fold of creating my own crafted beer.



Brewers Bash a No Go for 2015

From Picaroons:



Due to some process changes in the ordering system, combined with our extra busy schedule constructing our new brewery, we’re postponing the PICAROONS’ BREWER’S BASH until next year. We’re already moving forward with plans to execute the festival in the summer of 2016, though this year we can’t promise that we would be able to provide the same quality festival that we’ve done in the past. We certainly don’t want to give you anything less than you all deserve. We’ve weighed all of our options very carefully and taking a break this year is the best way to ensure future BREWER’S BASH festivals are successful! Sincerest apologies if we’ve ruined any summer plans, though please be happy that we WILL be able to continue this festival in the future. See you in 2016.



This is a shame, as this is such a great social event.

Picaroons Brewers Bash


What the hell happened to this site?

Almost 3 years without an update. Well, life got in the way. Busy teenage boys and playing in a band will do that. Would not trade it in for anything though.

With that, I have redesigned the site using a great customization theme builder called Make and I am going to try and get regular post written. However, we will see.

Over the next day or so, I will be posting some updates as to what has been going on with me and my brewing.