Archive for the ‘Foremost Brewing’ Category

+2 for Ego!

It’s wonderful how the little decisions can impact your life.  Back in April I joined a Winemakers Club in Janesville (Milton), WI.  I’m pretty new to making wine – but have been home brewing beer for 4 years.

Being a member of the club has been a wonderful experience and I’ve learned a lot.  Most importantly – my wine doesn’t suck as bad as I thought!  Seriously – While most of the other’s wines have been deliciou – I’ve tried some other home vintner’s wine that tasted like they fermented dirt!

Low and behold – everyone in the club know’s I’m more of a home brewer than a home wine maker.  Hey, I’m still young (and poor) enough to realize that a quality micro-brew 6-pack is still cheaper & will last me longer (by at least an hour ;D) than any “comprable” bottle of wine.  So I drink beer more often than wine.

Moving this post along…

One of the members of the wine club (Dan D.) was contacted by the local newpaper about doing an article on people who brew their own beer.  Since Dan only makes wine – he passed along my contact information…. and that’s how this lucky homebrewer scored a newspaper interview!

Talk about an up-swing in motivation.  With a pending interview I realized what had just happened.  I was the interviewee – the expert per se. You know – so I had to practice brewing to make sure I get all the steps right in the interview.  And to practice – I had to make multiple batches of beer!  And to save money making multiple batches of beer – I had to buy grain in bulk!  And if I was gonna buy grain in bulk – I had to have a Barley Crusher!  (Hey, the logic worked on my wife ok)

Bingo!  A home brewery upgrade!  +1 to Ego!

I purchased the Barley Crusher online for crushing my (bulk order) grain when it was needed.  I also purchased a digital thermometer to make sure my mash water was correct.  And I had to purchase a digital scale for weighing out the grain….. logical of course.

In all – I brewed 3 times in 2 weekends.  Well actually 4 times.  The first batch had such strong wort runoff – that I had enough wort left over to make a second “weaker” style beer.  And trust me – the first batch has reached an ABV of about 10%!!

The Interview…

For the interview I brewed a Belgian Pale Ale beer.  It was great.  I had the grains mashing when the reporter and photographer arrived.  They took pictures and I answered questions…. you know… like an interview would go.

About a month later – when the Belgian Pale Ale was finally carbonated – I was contacted by Shelly Birkelo, the reporter and told the story was going to run the next day.  No doubt I was excited – I’ve been in the paper before – but for speeding tickets and such.  I was actually going to be in the newspaper for home brewing!!  What an honor and priviledge!

+1 more for EGO!

The next day – when I went to purchase the newspaper – there I was, larger than life on the FRONT PAGE!!  My interview was the feature article of the newspaper!

You can read the full article here on my website.

A big, big thank you goes out to Shelly Birkelo – the reporter for the Janesville Gazette who interviewed me.  Simply being interviewed about home brewing was beyond anything I’ve ever imagined – and her article has opened many new lines of communication between me and other home brewers in the area.  Thank you so very much Shelly!

Loving Beer and Life

It’s amazing how fast time can fly. Seriously — it’s days from June – I’m a heartbeat away from turning 33 – and my son is now 3 months old. Gawrsh!

I start to feel bad when I don’t accomplish as much as I would like in a week on – but this project is very much alive! Unfortunately – most of the improvements have not been with the homebrewing recipe database.

That project is far from dead also. I honestly get decent time to work on this wonderful homebrewing site – and it really motivates me as I see people register and/or use the site to contact local homebrewing supply shops, wineries, brew pubs, etc.

So what have I accomplished? Well, I’ve been implementing a lot of “sugar” for your homebrew shops, brew pubs, wineries, breweries, etc.

What do I mean? Well – the idea of is to help you find the tools you need for making great beer and wine and to help you get in touch with those that can help YOU!

I would appreciate if you would tell your local brew pub, homebrew supply shop, winery, etc about us. We are a FREE source for them to help advertise themselves. All of the listings you see in the directory has the ability for you LHBS owner to control – and add/edit the information best for them.

I want to help the homebrewers, and the home brew shops! It’s my hobby to help bring this to you!

To steal from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. — “I have a dream” that one day American’s will turn from their lame taste of lite beer and enjoy the goodness and efforts of ones who care – and realize that light beer is to “beer” as rice cake is to cake!

Progress has been made – I promise!

I just noticed I haven’t posted here since late October — gosh! I’ve been working on the site at least 4 days a week! That and things have been extremely busy – my wife gave birth to our wonderful baby boy (our first child!) — and he was 2 months early!! So it has been busy and exciting!

Here’s some of what I have done in the meantime:

I’ve added all kinds of new features such as Homebrewing and Winemaking clubs.

I have completely revamped the custom search to be faster and more efficient.

I have begun to add homebrew and winemaking supply shop listings for Canada

Added a complete Social Networking type members section

Changed some layout and aesthetic features through out the site. This was evident from a forum thread at Midwest Supplies.

I appreciate the feedback. Especially since I’m not a real “graphics” guy. I usually dress myself unless it’s a nice occasion – then my wife dresses me!

I have re-embarked on the recipe database – this time – I figure – to start basic and we’ll work mor into it. I want to get something out to you and your feedback is welcomed!! Click here to share your thoughts on Foremost Brewing.

Improving the User Experience!

In an all out effort to bring ease of use to the masses – I’m glad to annouce that I have made some SWEET changes to the Foremost Brewing directory!

I’m in a lucky position to be able to combine my passions for the work of good and hopefully benefit you the homebrewer or home winemaker. Using my passion for making homemade wine and beer and eagerness to learn more about this great hobby – I created this website with the goal of bringing tools and information close together in a nice, easy to use format to the home winemaker and home brewer for FREE!

Being a web developer – I get to explore and learn new techniques and ideas to enrich the user experience in a “close to home” setting that will also benefit “my day job!” And by combining them both – I strive to gain a greater knowleged in both homebrewing and winemaking. Win Win Win for me! Win Win Win for you!

With the big picture in mind, I have taken many many small steps towards this goal and have ironed out a few wrinkles in the directories. In an attempt to make communication easier between you and various brew pubs, breweries, homebrew supply shops and wineries – I have implemented the “Comments” and “Contact” forms into the listing page. Just to make things smoother on your experience here at Foremost Brewing.

I have also added a nice “lightbox” effect to directory listings images (those that have images). My hopes is that these nice new features will help drive micro-breweries, wineries, and homebrew supply shops to Foremost Brewing to update their lsiting to bring you the best and most up to date information available!

Only places that have an email address on file will have a “Contact Us” form. And those emails are sent directly to the place intended – so any replies will go directly to your email!

I am pretty excited about these new changes as they have really sparked new creative ideas for both the homebrew beer recipe database and the wine recipe log database. They are coming, I Promise!!!

Wine Recipe Database and Other New Features!

I haven’t posted in almost 2 months – but the work on has been constant! I’ve added so many new features which include a wine recipe database, directory for homebrewing clubs and wine making clubs, and Google Map searching!

As you are well aware – is new – and so it takes time to build up our content and functionality of this site to reflect my original dream. A FREE Online homebrewing recipe calculator, brewing log, with access to other homebrew recipes, wine recipes mead recipes — as well as a directory of local homebrewing supply shops for making your own beer or making wine at home — and homebrewing clubs and wine making clubs to help you brewer/wine maker find a nearby club to join. I have made good on parts of that dream over the last two months.

Free Wine Recipe Database

The wine and mead recipe database is in place! I am new at making my own wine and mead – and wanted to have a place where I could share the recipes I have tried or created. If you have a recipe you want to share – you can share your wine and mead recipe with the community FREE! Simply register on the site and you can list your own wine recipes!

Google Map Custom Search

Going to visit the in-laws and want something to do while you’re there? Use the new Google Map Search to find brew pubs within 5 miles of where you’re going! It’s very easy to use and plugs into all of the listings we currently have available! New to homebrewing and want to find a local homebrew supply shop or find wine making supplies close to where you live? Use our custom Google Map search to find those homebrewing supply shops!

Homebrew Clubs & Wine Making Clubs

I have added pages for homebrewing clubs and wine making clubs. Do you belong to a brew club? Then list your homebrewing club or wine making club for free on and get more exposure and members for your brewing club!

There is so much more coming in the next few months on – so be sure to bookmark us and visit again!

Many New Exciting Features Coming!!!

I haven’t been working on the beer recipe catalog lately. For that I apologize. But I have not been sitting idly by, that I can promise!

I have been working on functionality to allow you guys to add your own Home Brew Supply Shop or the one you use! If you know of a brewery we missed, let us know! I’m also working on expanding the site to include home brewing clubs and wine making clubs! What better way to enjoy a hobby than with those who enjoy it too!

I am nearly complete with the revisions and they should be launched within the next week or so! This is great because it should act as a nice launching pad into the home brew beer recipe database!

It’s coming!!! I promise!!

Where we currently stand

I love brewing beer and I love tools to help me brew better beer. What I HATE is paying money for some of these tools! If you’re like me, you spend enough of your hard earned money on the tools for the trade… burner, boil pot, parts for a cheap and easy mash tun, and other homebrewing equipment, that you just don’t want to spend $20 more on a tool to store your recipes.

If you are still reading, I am sure you feel the same, so FREE IT SHALL BE!

As stated in another blog post, you can read about the current specifications here for the online beer recipe management system. The plan is to get some sort of beta version available on the site.

Possible Development Stalls:

Real Job – I’m Owner/Partner/Lead developer at Foremost Media – so work may get in the way.

Work On Other Sites – what stemmed this idea was the current work my business partner and I do for hunting – his passion

  • Foremost Hunting – a directory for the hunting sportsman. (Much of the same technology and community that is aimed for this site)
  • – the site that started it all. A portal aimed at the upland bird hunters out there.

Real Life – my wife is pregnant with our first, and real life issues should always take a precedence

Currently I am in “alpha” stage, where a user can create a recipe and calculate SRM, ABV, ABW, Potential OG and FG, IBU and other good stuff. Be sure to check out the homebrewing glossary page to know what these terms mean.

It’s in alpha because I have not converted that to be able to work with this website. I plan to take on that challenge within the next week or two.

The Road So Far…. was started around July of 2008. And while it is now October 17, 2008 and the site is slowly starting to take shape, I would say that we are about half way through our “rest” for mashing. I’ve got the grain bill (the ideas) all calculated, heated up my mash water and have set the ideas to mashing.

While working on the site tonight – I began to take note that the only way for you, the visitor of Foremost Brewing, to understand progress is taking place is to see some kind of progress. Like watching the wort in your carboy ferment like crazy.

I’ve got many aspirations for this site, greatest in my opinion is the free online recipe repository I’ve outlined here. While I am building this from scratch – it’s easy for me to state that the project is “in active development” – but without seeing anything new, the users of this site will fail to see progress. So I am starting this blog and will post regularly my progress on this site.

For those of you simply interested in the progress of the beer recipe repository, I’ve created a child blog that you can subscribe to in order to track my progress. My plan is to have a farily stable beta version ready for release on the website for the registered users to use. And I want to know your feedback. Let’s brew this community together!

I have also got some great motivation to really get moving on this site in the next few months. My lovely wife of 3 years is pregnant with our first child. While not due until mid April, it gives me a great (and hopefully realistic) goal to get this site well on it’s way.

A little background on me:

I have been home brewing for a little over 2 years now. It wasn’t until I went to a buddy’s bachelor party and he served us some of his home brew. I had a swig and asked “And you made this yourself?” I was amazed, I never thought about making your own beer.

Well that was it, I was bound and determinded to brew my own. My first was an extract kit called “Badger Amber Ale.” Well, the finished product was “pretty flat… but pretty good.” I was determined to do better!

Besides wearing my homebrew cape on occasional weekends, I am an ASP.Net developer. My business partner and I have done a couple hunting websites for ourselves on the side. He’s a hunting nut, and I’m a programmer. If you’re a hunter you should check them out: and

Over the last 2 years, I have really began to thirst for more brewing knowledge. And in my search for various brewing information (shops, clubs, etc) I found some of the information quite hard to find. And finding a decent recipe calculator for free was impossible. Everyone seems to want your money!

So it seems this was my calling. What better way for me to increase my brewing knowledge and get a sense of giving than by bringing that knowledge onto my fellow homebrewers… and give it to them for free (As in beer!).

There you have it in a nutshell, where we are, why we’re here, and kinda where we’re heading. As with brewing good beer, it takes time and attention to detail. So we have begun our “brewing” session together. But as with making your own beer, you like to see progress… just like watching that wort ferment so crazy in your carboy you think the bung is going to shoot out! Exciting!