Episode 14 - Season of the Bruce

drew's picture

Another episode and a new feature! Read on!

In feedback we hear more about people's weight loss journies. Could we be on the way to skinny brewers? Also a listener chimes in to let us know that he won serious medalage with Drew's Peanut Butter Jelly Time recipe. 

In the pub, we talk our "plans" for Homebrew Con in Baltimore in June - a live Q&A, a Troubleshooters Corner, Book Signings and more! We talk about the 500th Anniversary of the Rheinheitsge-whatever and we revisit the Moonlight vs. Moonlight Trademark fight. 

In the library we discuss Scott Janish's great article about how dry hopping adds bitterness, just not the way you think it does!

At the lab where we talk the next experiment you can join in on - Saison Yeast and the dreaded "stall". Drew's advocated a simple change - open fermentation - to avoid the nasty tendency that WLP 565 and Wyeast 3724 have to start strong, take a two week nap and then finish the job. Is he right? Let's see!

We launch a new variety of interviews that we're tentatively calling "Unknown All-Stars" where we interview brewers that you may not have heard of, but that we think you should. For our first crack, we're talking with one of Drew's brewing mentors - Bruce Brode. A long time brewer, ex-President of the Maltose Falcons and one of the shaping forces of the BJCP Guidelines. You'll really want to hear all the knowledge Bruce can drop.

After that, we're off to the books as we try and answer more listener questions.

Lastly, the guys talk a bit about Prince (boo) and Drew's most recent YouTube obsession.

Episode Links:

Episode Contents:

00:00:00 Our Sponsors

00:03:33 Theme, Intro and Feedback

00:08:35 Beer Life from the Experimental Brewing Pub

00:22:20 The Library - Bittering from Dry Hops

00:30:00 Casa Verde Labs - Saison Open Ferment vs. Closed Ferment

00:40:00 The Lounge - Unknown All-Stars - Bruce Brode

01:16:17 Q&A wth Denny & Drew

01:30:54 Something Other Than Beer - Prince and James Townsend and Sons

01:34:29 Question of the Week, Wrap up and Coming Attractions

This episode is brought to you:

American Homebrewers Association

BrewCraft USA Craftmeister NikoBrew PicoBrew

Wyeast Labs


Interested in helping Denny and Drew with the IGOR program (aka help us run experiments!) - contact them at [email protected]. We want more Citizen Science!

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jengum's picture
Someone to interview

One vote for Kal Wallner, who is responsible for www.theelectricbrewery.com. Of course not everyone can or should spend $3-10k to build what amounts to a small commercial brewery in your house. I understand how and why frugality is such a prominent tradition of homebrewing in the US. Even so...

What I have found remarkable is this:

  1. Dedicated to repeatability and control - his systems and processes allow homebrewers to have potentially pro-levels of precision throughout the hot-side brew process. Not to mention, that these systems often register over 90% brewhouse efficiency.
  2. Off the shelf components - everything in his design can be serviced and replaced with components that have been around for years, won't soon go obsolete, and are readily available on line (if not at your local hardware/electronics/homebrew stores).
  3. Open source construction - he was masterful at documenting both his build process and design choices along the way. He sells products assembled, but on his website are detailed build instructions for everything he sells. On the forums, he'll talk anyone through the process of building, testing, and troubleshooting the very components he sells. Whether you've purchased something from him or not, his forum host advice and responsiveness is remarkable. I've never seen a business be so absolutely generous with their intellectual property.
  4. Forum - it's pretty special to have a robust network of people who use substantially similar systems. There can obviously be problems with this kind of thing...homogenous cultural/academic institutions come to mind. But the intelligence and comradery around virtually all aspects of building systems, creating work-arounds, and then actually brewing beer is wonderful. It's actually a pretty far flung group of international brewers. People are generally rational, experienced, and generous with support...most of whom, is Kal.

Anyway, I think a conversation with him could be great. Meanwhile, keep up the good work and thanks again.



Portland, OR, USA

Making stuff - adult bevs, charcuterie, music

Mostly brewing Belgian Triple/pale inspired

drew's picture
Great Idea - Into the List!

Great Idea - Into the List!

Podcast Feedback

So I enjoyed this episode and even listened to it twice, but I disliked the Bruce interview.  After listening the second time, I realized why - the quality of the recording.  I imagined it like Drew and Bruce were sitting in a big empty warehouse room on metal folding chairs.  Bruce himself was great and listening to him talk about the huge brew kettle and it taking years to put their brewery together was cool.  It just sounded much worse than the rest of the episode.  Listening to a few other podcasts, like Basic Brewing from NZ and Fermentation Nation, they've also had this problem lately and it drives me crazy.  I'm getting grumpy in my old age. Enough complaining, "lets talk about beer... beer, beer, beer, beer"

drew's picture
yeah, this wasn't our best

yeah, this wasn't our best audio quality- we're still sussing out how to make all of that work. Have also picked up lav mic's to get closer. 

Interestingly, we were in a small office off the main shop - compared to the Barrett interview where we were literally in the back of a large empty liquor store!

A problem with not measuring strike water volume

Regarding the brewer who asked if it was OK to estimate the volume of strike water to add when mashing in rather than measuring this volume , I was very surprised that you failed to mention what I consider the most important reason for measuring the volume of the strike water. That reason is the volume and temperature of the mash water (along with the mass of the grain and its temperature and the mass and specific heat of the mash tun) determine the temperature of the mash at the time of mash in. Without measuring the volume, you can't consistently hit your target mash temperature.

Fred L Johnson
Apex, North Carolina, USA