PAX East Brewing 2015 - Dan Ryckert's Super Secret Beer (VIDEO!)

Hey all!

Another PAX East is rolling around, which means that around these parts I am brewing beer in preparation for the Giant Bomb panel. A lot has changed in the world of Andy brewing beer in the last year - most importantly, I have an all new system for maintaining temperatures over the course of my brew day.

For the impatient - the video is at the bottom!

RIMS - Recirculating Infusion/Immersion Mash System

The new system is called a RIMS system. It stands for Recirculating Infusion Mash System - it's all about temperature control. Over the last six months, and electrician friend and I have put together an electric temperature controller that operates a 1500w hot water heater element mounted in a stainless steel tube. The whole setup looks like the photo at the right.

The control panel is the biggest addition. It uses a PID temperature controller wired to a 2 inch temperature probe to measure temperature from within the stainless steel tube as liquid is pumped through it.

It sounds like a waste of money, but it isn't. Brewing beer is about control of temperature - especially during the starch -> sugar conversion process. Being able to constantly maintain temperature over the course of that process is a huge help in getting the end result you are looking for.

Plus it's flashy as SHIT.

I use the RIMS setup for heating water at the beginning of my brew day, as well as for maintaining temperatures.

This Year's Beer

This year's brew video documents one of two planned beers. This one is a brew for Dan Ryckert. The name is super secret, but a few mods might drop some hints as to its quality. Suffice it to say, I am making the most Dan Ryckert beer I can think of.

Drew is also on the docket this year, so he will be getting a brew in his name within the next few weeks leading up to PAX.

As always, I'm happy to answer any questions not addressed in the video. See you at PAX East!


Quick tag shoutouts to the inspiration and assistance with this brew: @danryckert @drewbert


Brewing Beer with Andy - PAX East 2014 (VIDEO!)

PAX East 2014 - The Brewening

As PAX East 2014 gets closer, I am once again preparing a handful of beers for this year's festivities. Those that know me know that I traditionally bring beers to the Giant Bomb panel at PAX East, and those beers are consumed throughout the panel. This year, I brewed three different beers - a super-secret beer for Patrick, a beer for Vinny, and a re-brew of last year's beer for Ryan.

Two of these beers got double batches for Max Temkin and the rest of the Cards Against Humanity crew.

During today's brew day, I put together this video for you all to enjoy! See you at PAX East!


Hey Ryan, just let me know where to ship your beer.

At this point, writing this blog seems like just another coin tossed in a fountain. Everyone has shared amazing things about Ryan Davis, and my story isn't any more special than anyone else. I never worked with him, I haven't been visiting Giant Bomb since its inception, and I never watched him in the Gamespot days. But Ryan has meant a lot to me over the last few years.

When I first started visiting Giant Bomb and listening to the Bombcast, Ryan was the immediate draw. He was funny, engaging, and knowledgeable. The Jeff/Ryan power team was unstoppable. I laughed out loud in more inappropriate venues than I can count, and I was thankful for it. I watched mailbag after mailbag, wanting to come up with something to do for the guys that had given me so much entertainment over the last few years. Then PAX East rolled around.

On a whim, I decided to brew up some Giant Bomb themed beer for the guys. I'm not anyone special. I'm not in the games industry, I didn't expect anything to come of this; I just wanted to give something back to the guys that had given me so much over the years. When I finished the initial brewing, I sent a message to Ryan via Twitter, and just told him plainly: "I have ten gallons of beer for you."

Days passed, and I heard nothing. And then Ryan followed me on Twitter and sent me a DM:

The next day we were chatting logistics on the phone, and we settled on the most basic of solutions. I was to pack some beer in a backpack and drive to the Brattle Theater, where the Harmonix crew was hosting them for Rock Band night. When I arrived, I waited around for word that Ryan and co. had arrived, and approached him with my sketchy heavy backpack. It was like he had known me for years. He brought me up to the balcony where everyone was setting up, I poured beers for everyone, and we all started chatting. I have never met a group of guys that are more personable and in tune with their fans than the Giant Bomb crew, and Ryan is a shining example of a guy that can make you feel welcome instantly and talk to you like you've been friends forever on day one. At one point, I pulled him aside and asked him if he wanted me to head back downstairs for a few. I told him I didn't want to intrude. His response? "No no no, you're in now. You're good."

That's the welcoming bastard I love.

I don't want to get long winded, and I don't want to get hyperbolic, so I'm going to keep this to bullet points. These are things that Ryan Davis has done for me since that day when I sent him a twitter message:

  • Welcomed me to the Giant Bomb/Whiskey Media family
  • Introduced me to John Drake, Pope, Casey, and the rest of the Bomb crew, all of whom I consider friends
  • Pimped my beer more than anyone
  • Put me in touch with Joey Fameli from Tested, who I started a beer podcast with
  • Introduced me to Pascual, Phil Reno, and the mod team, who I consider good friends
  • Reached out to try and help get me a job when I lost my teaching position
  • Remained endlessly supportive of my stupid brewing and dumb ideas, for which I am grateful

Ryan, wherever you are, know that when PAX East rolls around, I'll be brewing up a batch of this for the whole crew, and I'm gonna pour one out for you.


Learn to Brew Hard Cider with Brewmaster Andy! (VIDEOS)

Hello all! I decided to put another video together after my last set seemed pretty popular. Brewing hard cider is a lot easier than brewing beer, and involves a lot less equipment and time. These videos will walk you through the process of crafting a 5 gallon batch of malty, delicious hard apple cider (around 6% ABV). Enjoy!


The Brewcast - Episode 18 - Dehydrated Beer

Episode 18

Andy and Ben discuss dehydrated beer for camping, bears, The Witcher 2, Olympic beer chugging, and more! It's episode 18 of The Brewcast! Ask a question at our Formspring or drop us a line on Twitter, @overtheandyhill,@HDJoey, and@BenJaminYoMom

As always, you can subscribe to the podcast via iTunes or through this RSS feed:

Check out the latest episode


The Brewcast - Episode 15 - IPA Day!

Episode 15

Happy IPA Day! Ben and Andy celebrate everyone's favorite hops with a spirited discussion of IPA, Batman, and plenty of dumb stuff! It's the fifteenth episode of The Brewcast! Ask a question at our Formspring or drop us a line on Twitter, @overtheandyhill,@HDJoey, and@BenJaminYoMom

As always, you can subscribe to the podcast via iTunes or through this RSS feed:

Check out the latest episode here!


The Brewcast - Episode 14 - Reading Rainbow

Episode 14

Take a look, it's in a book, a reading rainbowwwwwww! Andy and Ben get nostalgic and sample some IPA's and summer beers, as well as take a look at some beer news and user questions! It's episode fourteen of The Brewcast! Ask a question at our Formspring or drop us a line on Twitter, @overtheandyhill, @HDJoey, and@BenJaminYoMom

As always, you can subscribe to the podcast via iTunes or through this RSS feed:


Brewcast Ep. 14 Questions Thread

Episode 14

Ben and I will be recording the new episode of The Brewcast tomorrow night. We're looking for any and all questions to be answered during recording! Whether you have a question about beer, brewing, or something completely unrelated, drop us a line! Ask a question at our Formspring or drop us a line on Twitter, @overtheandyhill, @HDJoey, and@BenJaminYoMomAs always, you can subscribe to the podcast via iTunes or through this RSS feed: