While storms lingered in the forecast for much of June 1st, Mother Nature spared the homebrewers that had gathered at Short Finger Brewing Co. to celebrate the 1st Canadian Homebrew Day with True Grist.
8 homebreweries were in operation for the event, which combined produced over 240 litres of wort. One of the event’s goals was to showcase to our visitors the many methods of producing quality wort. And for those already experienced with homebrewing, to share practical knowledge and tips with one another over the course of an actual brew day. We certainly achieved these goals, with a wide assortment of setups and methods used including:
- 3 vessel brewer-fabricated system using converted kegs
- BIAB setup producing 15l batches
- Grainfather, operated by SFBC shop manager Mike MacKinnon
- 2 vessel system with a mash lauter tun that was reused as a boil kettle
- 2 vessel system with an hot liquor tank reused as a boil kettle
- and others!
Rob Hern, SFBC co-owner/brewer was able to provide strike and sparge water to participating homebrewers, which sped the brew days along. In an attempt to minimize simultaneous need for strike, sparge, or cooling water by the 8 different breweries, Mike MacKinnon had the foresight to plan for start times that were ~30 mins apart. This also meant that various brewers weren’t all necessarily at the same stage of the brewing process when any visitors came through.
All in all, a wide range of beers were brewed including a funky saison split batch (half with hibiscus), session and mango IPAs, American blonde/saison/golden ale split batch, a re-brew of the winning Belgian pale ale from our Beer Wars Competition, and more.
The Club arranged for a catered lunch for the event by the always amazing Wooden Boat Food. Chef Thompson Tran and his team make delicious Vietnamese foods – the perfect reward and refuel after a vigorous morning of brewing.
Being able to produce homebrew entirely at Short Finger Brewing Co. through this event presented a unique opportunity to be able to serve the beers once finished through the SFBC tap room. On Sunday July 7th, True Grist is taking over the SFBC tap room in Kitchener, ON with many of the beers brewed on Canadian Homebrew Day! All proceeds from this event will be going to local non-profit organization and charity The Working Centre.
Justin Angevaare is President of True Grist Homebrew Club. This article was co-written with Steven Oliver, who is the club’s Special Events Director.