Experimental Brewing – Introduction

Authors’ Note: Way back in the Spring of 2013, we were approached to write a book titled Experimental Homebrewing that would “Out Randy” Randy Mosher and his wonderfully crazy Radical Brewing. Drew teamed up with Denny to write this book and together we quickly decided that it was a practical impossibility to achieve that goal. Instead, we pivoted to focus on the word “Experimental” and what it means. Drew was the outlandish one; Denny, the practical digger of how things worked in his brewery and for his tastes. It took us over a year and three editors to pull this book together. (Many thanks to Thom O’Hearn for dragging us across the finish line!)

Experimental Homebrewing is now approaching a decade old and is out of print, we’ve decided to bring the book online over the course of the year. Please note: you can still find used or never sold copies of the book (We’re still partial to having a physical book in hand for practical purposes!)


CLOSE YOUR EYES FOR A MOMENT and picture the classic mad scientist’s lab: bubbling beakers, electricity arcing through the air, thunder crashing on a dark and stormy night. A wild-eyed, white-frocked man is at work bringing his newest creation to life—he zips around the lab with the excitement of discovery.

Now open your eyes. Do you get this feeling when you brew? It’s okay. We aren’t sizing you up for a padded cell. We feel the same way. In fact, we’re obsessive when it comes to unlocking the secrets of beer and stumbling upon the next great discovery. New flavors! New sensations! One day, they’ll see our true genius! We’ll show them!

Ahem . . . sorry about that. It’s hard not to get carried away when you get us going about homebrewing. If you’re just beginning to brew or haven’t yet begun, oh are you in for a treat. Some of the stuff we talk about will seem bewildering, but don’t worry. There are great beginners’ books out there to help you master the basics (see page 236). In this book, we’ve tried to create a companion to those books, a book that will help you on your way from ordinary brewer to accomplished mad scientist.

For those of you who brew but go into a cold, sweaty panic when you hear the word science, don’t worry. You won’t find us breaking out anything more complicated than what was available to the average brewery of pre-Prohibition times. The idea is to try new stuff, decide if it makes beer that you like, and go from there. Really, we’re all about getting a chance to play and learn in the brewhouse. Continue reading

Brew Files – 159 – The Old Foggy Parrot

The Brew Is Out There!

Craig Shapland (of Triple IPA fame) and John Jackson of the Wild Parrot are back on the show while brewing Craig’s massive “Old Foggy” Russian Imperial Stout. What challenges and changes did the recipe undergo? Find out!
Continue reading