First Scheduled Workshop and What Else Has Been Brewing


Just bottled a Dark Vienna Lager with Figs and Meyer Lemon Leaves. The figs were from last Summer’s harvest.

It’s been a busy Spring. Here’s the short of it: The first scheduled workshop is now open for registration: Hops & Herbs: Organic Gardening for Home Brewers. Only 20 spots. Get yourself in there now! And more workshops are in the works.

The other big thing brewing is a major campaign. (You know what kind of campaign I mean…) And I’ve updated the logo to put a stake in the ground. It’s a sketch–which means we’re at the beginning of something big. Ideas are flowing. Pencil has been put to paper! You’ll see the website, and a whole lot of other stuff, developing out of this sketch into something HUGE!

For all the details, keep on reading…


It’s my favorite time of the year. And this year, in the Bay Area it feels like Summer has arrived early. Which is great if you like hot weather, but not so great for real estate values in low areas. But Summer is not really here! There’s a lot more where this heat came from, especially later in the Fall…

So I’m sure you’ve been busy–busy brewing the beer you want to drink all Summer long and busy doing all your Spring gardening.

Spicy Jalapeño Saison

Finally brewed a Spicy Jalapeño Saison!

Last Friday I brewed a beautiful Spicy Jalapeño Saison using a recipe from Brooklyn Brew Shop’s Beer Making Book: 52 Seasonal Recipes for Small Batches. It’s fermenting like crazy right now. I’m looking forward to brewing another batch of California Common Lager. What are you brewing right now for Summer?

On top of brewing, I’m sure you’ve been busy planting. There’s still time to get your broccoli, peas, beans, and tomatoes in the ground. And you’re going to have to get your pumpkins and squash in the ground soon. Those are the things still on my list! Luckily, with the late Summers in the Bay Area, we’ll probably still be harvesting huge, ripe, juicy tomatoes all the way through November.

First Scheduled Workshop!

The first scheduled workshop Hops & Herbs: Organic Gardening for Home Brewers is taking place on September 14, 2013!

You might think that a gardening workshop should happen in the Spring. Well, it could have, but after talking with K. Ruby Blume about hop rhizomes and growing cycles, it made way more sense to have it in the Fall. Hop rhizomes spend a lot energy in Spring sending up shoots and climbing as high as they can get. That means planting rhizomes in the Spring may be fine, if you’re a farmer and you will uproot everything when you harvest. But, if you’re a homebrewer and want to keep your plants producing year after year, you’ll want them to get firmly rooted.

By planting in the Fall they can spend their energy developing roots, instead of shoots, and be strong and ready for the growing season the following Spring. Fall is also be a great time to see, touch, and smell fully ripe hops on the vine. This will help you know when it’s exactly the right time to harvest. Ruby’s own hops plants are going to be used as the main examples. They are mature and grow all the way up past her second story deck and onto a pole mounted at the highest point of her roof. It’s a sight to see! We may also take a field trip during the workshop to take a look at a neighbor’s setup for another example.

Ruby will also show you how to dry and store hops. Jim Pesevento will be on hand to talk about the best way to use fresh hops in your brew.

But this class is not only about hops. It’s about growing things. And not just growing anything, but things to put in your beer. Exclusively using hops to flavor and bitter beer is only a recent trend, made popular (if by law) only in the last five or six hundred years, where brewing has been going on for several thousand years! There are a ton of other herbs and spices you can add to your beer and you can grow many of them in your backyard, or on your back porch, or even a kitchen windowsill!

You may already know all of this. And you may already have hops growing in your backyard. But what do you know about gardening? I didn’t know a whole lot before I met K. Ruby Blume.


K. Ruby Blume, Founder and Head Instructor of The Institute of Urban Homesteading

Ruby is the founder and head instructor of The Institue of Urban Homesteading in Oakland. She’ll teach you how to grow your hops to the max and get a mega harvest. She’ll get you thinking deeply and differently about plants and the wild, natural world right in your backyard. She will make you awesome!

Hops & Herbs: Organic Gardening for Home Brewers
Saturday, September 14, 2013, 2:00 – 5:00 PM

Eventbrite - Hops & Herbs:  Organic Gardening for Home Brewers

The Workshop Series

The gardening workshop is only the first scheduled workshop in a series of homebrewing workshops hosted as part of the Temescal Homebrewing project. I hope to feature at least one big workshop every month.

For the month of June, I’m putting the final details together with a couple of local brewers to put on a workshop tentatively titled “Introduction to Homebrewing: Summer Beers”. In the workshop we’ll be brewing all-grain batches and everyone will get to take something home.

The idea behind the Intro to Brewing classes is to have a bunch all year round, but each one will focus on a different style of beer depending on the season or holiday or one of a many other great reasons to brew your next beer. If you want to know when registration opens for this class, sign up for the newsletter.

As you can see by the gardening workshop, not all of the classes will be “intro” classes or just brewing workshops. Temescal Homebrewing will host workshops about culturing yeast, malting grains, making cask beer, making cider, and more. Which homebrewing workshop would you want to see scheduled next?

What Else Has Been Brewing

I’ve been making updates to the website and more updates are coming. Since this project is a work-in-progress and we’re just at the beginning, really at the stage where ideas are finally being put down on paper, I put up a sketchy version of the logo. (It’s temporary. This is not going to be one of those websites where everything is hand drawn!)

The truth is this project is moving way beyond the idea stage pretty quickly–people other than myself are now involved!

Look for lots more updates coming soon! Now, time to get back to work! …and have another homebrew!



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