Barleypopmaker's Beer Blog

~I know you drank the beer, but did you experience it?

Barleypopmaker's Beer Blog - ~I know you drank the beer, but did you experience it?

New Product: FermentArmour

Normally I only like to post items on my blog that I actually get to use or to test, but this one I am making an exception for. I took a look at this product and thought based on the price and it’s uses it may come in handy for those brewers using carboys. Unfortunately, I don’t have carboys to purchase and test this out on and I don’t want to purchase carboys simply for testing. The FermentArmor is more than just a carboy carrier, it’s also a light shield, and a temperature insulator from ambient swings. But take a look below at the information provided by the creator and their kickstarter page.  I will also mention that I am not being compensated for posting this, this is honestly just something I thought many of you would find useful, and it’s nice to get on the front side of a kickstarter sometimes.

Check out the FermentArmour by Clicking the image above!

Anyone who brews naturally has a creative side. It shows up not only in the unique recipes they create, but also in the equipment they use. But the one thing every brewer has in common is that they’ll do anything they can to keep light away from their beer, but they don’t always do it effectively. I myself used cardboard boxes for a long time, which just wasn’t that great to look at and didn’t keep my brew in total darkness.

So I created the FermentArmour Brewing Sleeve, a product now being sold on Kickstarter. FermentArmour will protect your carboy from harmful light in a way that makes you look more like a professional brewmaster than a mad scientist. It’s made of the same quality fabric as wetsuits, and its two short handles make it easy to carry around when needed. It also looks damn sexy — well, as sexy as a glass carboy can get. The fabric itself helps regulate the temperature of your beer, making sure that it never gets too hot or too cold as the temperature of the room changes.

If you like what you’re hearing, please support my Kickstarter campaign by purchasing a FermentArmour. If you have any comments or feedback, I would be happy to discuss them with you, just message me at

To view the Kickstarter campaign, click on the link HERE.


Get a little bit more from your propane burner (Turkey Fryer)

This will be short and simple post. I use a turkey fryer to do my boils outside. We have noticed that you get a lot of heat loss to the sides of the burner and one of our homebrew club members (Brian Lesperance) came up with an idea on how to get just a little bit extra from your propane burner. I have finally gotten around to making the brewing ring that he made and I can say I have gone from a decent boil, to a vigorous boil. Not only is the boil more intense, but it comes a lot faster as well. All you need is either some aluminum flashing or in my case, 2 pieces of 18″ X 24″ sheet metal. The sheet metal I got was in the heating duct section of my local Lowes and one edge had folded over grooves which I used to place the other end into. I folded the straight edge over onto itself and inserted it into the grooves on the prefabricated side and hammered them in together. Below is the result of my half hours worth of labor. You do have to cut a slot into the ring for your propane hose.

The Brewing Ring, it's a simple concept but does wonders for the boil!


Brewing Ring with Keggle on it.

Food Recipe: Lamb Stew with Pere Jacques (Belgian Dubbel)

Lamb Stew with Pere Jacques

Today I’m going to do things a bit differently. Instead of simply talking beer, or talking beer and food pairing, or cooking with beer. I am going to invite you in and show you a recipe I created using Pere Jacques from Goose Island. Although in this recipe I used lamb, this will work with pork or beef as well since dubbels pair nicely with both those. There are a few beer styles that pair well with lamb, but I chose the Belgian Dubbel because I felt the yeast character, particularly of Pere Jacques, would work well with the mild gameiness of the lamb.

My wife and I have discovered the joys of grass-fed animals. Come to find out, corn is not the natural food for cows, and this can lead to health issues, not only with the cow (or other grass-eating animals) meat, but some say it can be linked to the presence of E. Coli in the meat. Now, I’m not going get all preachy on it, but this was something interesting I learned. Moreover, grass-fed meat does taste a bit different, and I actually like the flavor. We get our meats from a place called grassway organics.

With all that, here is the recipe I came up with.

Lamb Stew with Belgian Dubbel


1 tablespoon olive oil (more if needed)
2 pounds lamb shoulder or leg meat, trimmed of fat and cut into 1-1/2 inch cubes
2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
Salt and pepper to taste
1 bottle (12-ounces) belgian dubbel
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1-1/2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1/2 tablespoon mediterranean seasoning
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 large onions, sliced into rings
4 shallots
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 large potato cut into large cubes
3 medium-sized carrots, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
3 celery stalks
2 sprigs of fresh rosemary*
2 fresh basil leaves*
a few sprigs of fresh mint
3 bay leaves

*use dry store bought if fresh is not available.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add lamb to skillet in batches, being careful not to crowd the pan, and sear well on all sides.

Sear the meat.....

Remove from skillet.When all the lamb is seared well, return it to the skillet. Sprinkle with flour and stir to blend. Season with salt and pepper. Cook 3 minutes. Remove to a Dutch oven or slow cooker.

Degrease skillet. Place over medium-high heat; add beer and stir, scraping up any browned bits. Blend in vinegar, mustard, and mediterranean seasoning. Pour over meat mixture.

Add the beer mixture

Melt butter in same skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions and shallots and sauté until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and sauté an additional 2 minutes. Mix onions and garlic into meat.  Add carrots and potatoes along with  rosemary, mint, bay leaves, and celery.

Ready to cook.

Bring stew to a simmer. Reduce heat to low, cover and cook until meat is tender, about 1-1/2 to 2 hours.If the stew is too thick or dry, add a little more beer as needed. If too liquidy, cook uncovered until desired consistency or use a cornstarch and water mixture.

Now reap the rewards of your labor!