Frequently Asked Questions
Everyone has a question. We have the answers.
What kind of beer can I brew?
We have many different and popular recipes to choose from on our Beer List varying from the light and refreshing to the dark and hoppy. We are more than happy to tweak your beer recipe to your particular taste whether it’s adding your own specialty hops or increasing the alcohol percentage. Since we make our All Grain Beers from scratch, there is virtually no limit to what we can do. If you do choose to tweak your beer by adding any extras please be advised that your beer will be subject to a small fee reflecting the cost of extra ingredients. We aim to accommodate and we love to experiment!
What kind of wine can I make?
We carry an extensive variety of wines. If there is a particular style of wine that you enjoy and you cannot find it on our Wine List then give us a call at 604-421-2929 and we we’ll do our best to find it for you from one of our many trusted suppliers and we’ll make alternate suggestions to suit your tastes. Don’t hesitate to call us and ask. We have access to almost every type and style of wine.
How much beer or wine will I get?
- Our beer batches work out to about 48 litres. That is equivalent to about 144 cans (355ml size).
- Our wine batches work out to 23 litres. That is equivalent to approximately 28-30 750ml bottles.
- Our specialty wines like Ports and Ice Wine Styles are available in half batches which is equivalent to 11.5 litres.
- Our Ciders and Coolers are available in 48 litre batches or 23 litre batches.
Will I need bottles and how many?
For bottling beer you can use your own plastic screw top bottles or regular glass top bottles. We supply plastic caps and metal caps. You will need enough bottles for 48 litres.
We also have a selection of bottles you can choose to purchase at bottling time:
- 500ml plastic bottles at $12 per 24 pack
- 1 litre plastic bottles at $10 per 12 pack
- 355ml Brown Glass beer bottles at $18 per 24 pack
- 355ml Burnaby Brewing Cans at $40 per batch (46 Litres or 144 cans)
If you are bottling wine you are welcome to bring in your own bottles you will need 28-30 and we supply shrink caps, labels and corks.
We also have a selection of bottling options available for purchase at bottling time:
- 750ml Glass Wine Bottles at $1.25 Each
- 4 Litre Re-Usable Wine Bags at $2.50 Each
- 375ml Glass Ice Wine Bottles at $1.25 Each
- 75ml Glass Port/Wine Bottles at $0.87 Each
How should I clean my own bottles?
First things first, rinse out your bottles! The best way to keep clean and sanitary bottles is rinse them with hot water after every use. Letting them air try upside down after a good hot rinse will prevent mold growth.
If your bottles need a deeper clean, DO NOT USE DISH SOAP. Dish soap will leave a film on your bottles that will mix with your brew and compromise the quality and the taste. Use bleach to get hard to remove yuckies.
We do offer a mild sulphite sanitizing agent for wine bottles that is so friendly to your wine you don’t need to rinse your bottles after sanitizing if you prefer. We also have a chlorine based sanitizer for the stuck-on grime.
Our beer sanitizer is quite a bit stronger and requires a good rinse after sanitizing.
Keeping your bottles clean is the first step to bottling great beer and wine. Try your best to keep empty bottles clean. Washing your bottles at home before you get to the brewery is appreciated as it speeds up your bottling time and enables us to keep our appointments flowing throughout the day.
What if I can’t drink a whole batch?
Most customers bottle and split batches with their friends and family. This makes the bottling process a little more fun and a lot less work. If you really can’t find anyone who wants some great beer at a great price (c’mon ask around!) we can hook you up with other consumers who are also looking for a ‘bottling buddy’ to split up a batch.
How long will my beer or wine last?
We make our beers without any preservatives! This means our beer is better for you and won’t leave you with such a nasty hangover if you happen to overindulge. However, this also means that our beer has to be kept cold as it is a food product. If your beer as kept at too warm a temperature, it will start to re-ferment and you will get some funky flavours going on. Many of our customers say that they have no problem storing their beer in their storage locker or in their cold basement, but we recommend the fridge. Kept cold your beer will last about 2 months.
Though our wines can be made preservatives free upon request (sulphite free), we usually add a very small amount (about 5g to 23 litres) when we stabilize our wines to ensure through their various stages of fermentation and shortly thereafter they will not oxidize. Because our wines don’t have the same level of sulphites and preservatives as commercial wines, storage is important. Your wine can last up to 3+ years if stored in a relatively cool, dark, constant climate, like in the basement or a storage locker. Wine should also be stored on its side after the first week post-bottling to ensure the cork does not dry out and oxygen does not leak in.
How long does it take?
If you want brew your own beer and partake in the whole hands-on brewing process it will take about an hour and a half. Please contact us for a U-Brew Appointment.
Once your beer is fermenting it takes from 2-3 weeks from brew to bottle depending on the style of beer you choose to do.
If you’d like to skip the work all you need to do is swing by to pitch the yeast for your beer (a couple of minutes) and then bottle it a few weeks later when it’s all done! Bottling usually takes about an hour.
If you would like to make your own wine and partake in the whole hands-on making process it will take about 15 minutes. Please contact us for an appointment. If you want to avoid the work, pitching the yeast takes less than a minute and then you only need to come in and bottle it when you it is finished. Bottling your wine takes from 30 min to an hour.
Once fermenting your wine will take from 4-9 weeks depending on what kind of wine you decide to make. The length of time each kit takes corresponds to the juice concentrate to water ratio. 10 litre juice kits take 4 weeks, 16 litre juice kits take 6 weeks and 18 litre juice kits take 8 weeks. All kits produce 23 litres.
When can I drink my beer or wine?
You can start drinking your beer as soon as you bottle it, though we find the taste often improves after a couple of days.
Depending on what kind of wine you make we suggest a minimum ageing time of 3 months ageing for whites and 6 months ageing for reds. Higher end kits with higher juice to water ratio and things like skin and oak packs will require a bit more ageing time to reach their full potential. That being said, many of our customers are ‘trunk ageing’ experts and enjoy their wine right away.
What is the difference between extract and all-grain beer?
The difference between all-grain and extract beer is process. With extract beers we boil malt in water in order to make the wort. ie. the base for your beer. For all-grain beers we make the malt from scratch, fresh, that very day and use that as a base to make your beer. The biggest difference we find is quality, though many of our customers enjoy and some prefer the taste of extract. Think of it like this – its like the difference between freshly squeezed orange juice (all-grain) and orange juice from concentrate (extract).
How long will it take to brew beer?
Ales take 2 weeks and Lagers take 3 weeks. All batches are approximately 48L or 144 cans (355ml size)
What does IBU mean for a beer?
IBUs stands for International Bitterness Units. A beer is more bitter when the IBU number is higher. Lagers are lower numbers while Stouts and Porters are higher IBUs.
Can you make adjustments to a beer recipe?
We are happy to make any adjustment to your beer. Just ask one of our brewers when you place your order. Any specialty beers not listed in our beer list may incur a fee due to additional ingredients.
Do you have any promotions or specials on?
We have a special offer for loyal customers, after your 10th beer you will receive your 11th beer for free! If you are a wine customer, after your 10th wine order you will receive your 11th order free! Have you ordered several batches of beer or wine and not sure whether you are almost at your free batch? Just ask!
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