By Gail Oberst
Homebrewers Heath and Eileen Haynes were on their way to Disneyland a few years ago when they stopped in at a restaurant and ordered Widmer Brothers’ Drifter Pale Ale, a now discontinued beer. They loved the beer and were inspired to create a recipe to copy it. Whether they managed the imitation or not, the couple won last year’s National Homebrew Competition for their Category 10 Pale Ale, an annual competition put on by the American Homebrewers Association (AHA).
Homebrewers across the nation, including Oregon, will be brewing the Haynes’ Regal Pale Ale, and other recipes, for the Big Brew this year on May 3.
The Oregon Beer Growler is sharing these recipes courtesy of the AHA. Whether you sponsor an event on May 3 or not, the recipes are online and step-by-step instructions begin on this page.
The Big Brew is a celebration of National Homebrew Day, held each first Saturday in May to celebrate and spread the love of homebrewing. Congress made the celebration official in 1988.
Since that time, homebrew shops, clubs and individuals have hosted “Big Brews” on this day. Last year, there were 385 events with more than 8,500 participants across in 14 countries, including 49 U.S. states.
According to the AHA website, www.homebrewersassociation.org, here are the participants who registered to host events for this year’s Big Brew Day in Oregon. All events are on May 3.
Brew Brothers Homebrew Products, 2020 N.W. Alocleck Suite 107, Hillsboro. Bring your equipment and join the fun with free food, music and giveaways. RSVP to reserve a spot by e-mailing email@example.com. Visit their website at www.brewbrothers.biz.
Corvallis Brewing Supply, 119 S.W. 4th St., Corvallis. Get help from the crew choosing ingredients for you Big Brew, or watch them brew theirs. More information at www.lickspigot.com.
Deer Island Homebrewery, 33679 Canaan Road, Deer Island. Plans are to brew on the 1.5-barrel system at the Homebrewery, from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Anyone is welcome to join, and help. Join the potluck, bring samples of your favorite homebrew or micro brew. For directions or to RSVP, send a note to Alan Johnson, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Homebrew Exchange, 6550 N. Interstate Ave., Portland. Bring your equipment and brew with the crew from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. There will be homebrew samples, snacks and music. RSVP at 503-286-0343 or email email@example.com. RSVP please, as space is limited. More info is at www.homebrewexchange.net.
FH Steinbart, 234 S.E. 12th Ave., Portland. The biggest homebrewing event of the year begins at 10 a.m. and ends at 4 p.m. For more information, visit the website at FHSteinbart.com.
Grains, Beans & Things, 820 Crater Lake Ave. Suite 113, Medford. The annual “Learn to Homebrew” events begin at 11 a.m. and last until 4 p.m. Check on details by calling the store, 541-499-6777.
Brew it Yourself on Big Brew Day!
Can’t get out to your local homebrew shop or club? Have a Big Brew Day at home, suggests the American Homebrewers Association. Although homebrewing is always better conducted as a group event, there’s no shame in learning a few basics on your own. Here’s a link to a handy tutorial for homebrewers who want to begin with a simple extract recipe – extracts are condensed, syrupy versions of the material that will flavor your beer.
Download “Brew Day Checklist” and “How-to: Extract Only Brewing” at www.homebrewersassociation.org/lets-brew/beginner/start-brewing.
You’ll also find recipes at www.homebrewersassociation.org/recipes.
The following steps, with more details, are at this website.
Step 1: Gather supplies listed (and pictured) there.
Step 2: Clean equipment thoroughly with unscented and food safe cleanser. Most important! Residue can harbor unwanted organisms that could ruin your beer.
Step 3: Heat 1 gallon of water in your boil pot. Bring to a boil.
Step 4: Remove from heat and add malt extract. Stir completely.
Step 5: Return liquid to a boil, then add hops
Step 6: Boil with hops for time suggested in recipe, allow to settle for 5 minutes.
Step 7: Cool to 100° F if using glass carboys.
Step 8: Fill sanitized fermenting bucket or carboy with liquid (wort).
Step 9: Add cool, clean water to reach 5 gallons.
Step 10: When wort reaches 70 to 75 degrees F, add (pitch) yeast
Step 11: Seal the fermenter with a clean airlock and bung; agitate for 2 minutes.
Step 12: Store for 3 to 4 weeks in a dark place, 65 to 75 degrees F.
Step 13: Package beer in bottles with a bit of dextrose solution to create carbonation.
Here are links to the recipes:
Courtesy of American Homebrewers Association, A Division of the Brewers Association
Stories from the print edition of the Oregon Beer Growler.