John Palmer!

John PalmerIf you haven't heard us shout it from the rooftops yet, John Palmer, the guy who wrote How to Brew and probably taught you how to brew, is coming to Bitter & Esters! On Saturday May 3rd from 1 to 4pm, we are the first stop on John Palmer’s whirlwind tour of NYC. John will be signing copies of his new book, Water, a Comprehensive Guide to Brewing and he'll be talking to homebrewers about, well, beer! And water! He will also be glad to sign any of his other books (How to Brew, Brewing Classic Styles).May 3rd is also National Homebrew Day and we’ll be doing a Big Brew. Together we'll be brewing a new recipe written by Mr. Palmer on our brew on premises system while he meets you fine folk. Did we mention this event is free? I'm excited. Beside myself really. If there is a home brew rockstar, it's John Palmer. How did our little old brew shop in Prospect Heights get this nationally known figure? Persistence! Two years of it. When I heard that John was coming out with a Water book in 2012, I immediately contacted his publisher, the Brewers Association to see if we could get Mr. Palmer at the shop for a signing. I got a response almost right away from a very nice woman named Kristin telling me that the book was delayed. We wrote back and forth for the next two years and it seemed that the logistics would never work out. Then about 6 weeks ago, out of the blue, we get a phone call saying that John wants to come to the store and do a signing on National Homebrew day. The one thing I could do for them in return would be to organize the entire weekend for John so that he could meet homebrewers throughout New York City. I arranged his weekend of events starting with Bitter & Esters on May 3rd. Here’s the itinerary  in case you missed it: Saturday, May 3rd Bitter & Esters - 1pm-4pm Pour Standards Homebrew Club - Staten Island Makerspace - 6pm-9pm Sunday, May 4th Finback Brewery/AHA Rally - 12pm-4pm 508 Gastrobrewery - 6pm-9pm Monday, May 5th Fuhmentaboudit! Our persistence and hard work have really paid off and we’re so happy to be a part of his visit. We are really looking forward to meeting John and to all of the events that weekend. What I really want is for the whole country to see how cool the NYC homebrewing community is. We know how great it is, but now with a big gun like Palmer visiting, the rest of the country will see it as well. gypsum-2-oz_1_John's book about Water is very informative and inspiring. Most of beer is water after all. I am often asked about water at the shop and it is hard to point to just one thing to do as far as water treatment is concerned. It depends on your water source, your grain bill and your beer style. All of this is addressed in John's book and will be the focus of our upcoming water class (which I’m still writing, who knew H2O was so complicated?). There is one piece of advice I can give if you are using NYC municipal water or any water that is low in minerals and residual alkalinity. This applies to the boil and not to the mash. NYC water is low in Calcium and Sulfates. Calcium is necessary for yeast health and it helps with flocculation. Sulfates help give hops a nice crisp bite. So if you are making an IPA or a british style beer that can use a little minerality, a teaspoon of Gypsum (calcium sulfate) in a five gallon boil in the last fifteen minutes is a great addition. Water additions for the mash takes a little more work to figure out but our water does well with some gypsum in the boil. Looking forward to seeing you on Big Brew Day! John  
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