All posts by chris lewis

Batch #31 – Belgian Tripel

Batch# 31 – Belgian Tripel


Found a very simple and straightforward recipe on


We have not had a lot of luck with Belgian styles  in the past.  A very early attempt at a saison (batch #1?!) was not great, and our Allagash White clone tasted like vinyl.  (Note: I have successfully brewed the Allagash clone from Extreme Brewing several times in the past, but only since the collaboration began with Ross and his anti-Belgian agenda have we had poor results.  Coincidence?  Because beer.)

So, this was a stab at a Belgian style that BJCP says was “Originally developed at the Trappist monastery at Westmalle.”  My favorite example is Unibroue’s La Fin du Monde, even though it’s not brewed in Belgium.

Continue reading Batch #31 – Belgian Tripel

Batch #27 – Beer, Wheat

Batch# 27 – American Wheat Beer

This is a mysterious brew.  Very little is known about its origins.  It appears to have been brewed at Chris’s home sometime in November.  It is now in bottles with yellow caps.  It contains wheat.

As far as we can remember, it was an extract kit Ross got online in some kind of sweet deal and contained about two ingredients.  I think we brewed it after a minor hiatus as an easy one to get back into the swing of things.


Finally bottled it in early January and gave it a taste.  Wasn’t bad!  Funny that sometimes the brews for which you don’t plan, worry, strategize,  or expect great things can be the ones that turn out OK.  Of course, we know the inverse can also be true.

We’ll have to see how this matures a bit, but this could be a good one to sit on until spring arrives.


Compact Brewing


When you live in a small apartment in the city, brewing on a space-budget is key.  And by space-budget I mean keeping things small, not NASA funding.  Here is our main brewery…all 44 square feet of it.

Chris kitchen

With counter space at a premium, the toaster oven and coffee maker are relegated to the basement to make way for a two-slice and French press.  On brew day, both get the heave-ho to the cabinet.

While you can dedicate entire garages, basements or standalone structures to homebrewing setups, it’s also possible to make beer in a teeny tiny kitchen.  When it comes down to it, you really need little more than a stove top and a sink.  Doing a partial boil can help to keep things smaller, though we also sometimes do a fully.  Brew-in-a-bag is a way to try all-grain brewing with a lot less equipment.  Otherwise, just keeping things tidy and organized helps.  That’s not to say we always follow that advice.  Sometimes the only good spot for the bottling bucket is on top of the fridge, and I’ve ducked under wort chiller tubing while holding a funnel more than once.  But, hey, that’s why it’s homebrewing.

Sure we can dream of the perfect homebrew setup: vast expanses of counter top; a conical fermenter; a hose that’s always handy; power-washable stainless steel as far as the eye can see.  But, when you think about it, that sounds an awful lot like a commercial brewery, and that’s not what we do…..yet(?)  So in the meantime, we just make due (and beer) with the space we have.