Brew your own beer and become a wine expert this winter

Classes that teach you how to know a good wine when you see one, plus tips on how to become a brewmaster.

© Kubais / (wine); © Grafvision / (beer)

The Little Washington Winery hosts Wine Bootcamp through their Foodie-U Wine School. For $40, learn the basics (aeration, pairing, chemistry) in this two-hour class and sample wines paired with savory food and chocolate.

Grape and Bean in Old Town Alexandria hosts two to four wine classes per month, in topics ranging from varietals to world regions, and plans to expand its educational menu in future classes.

For those looking to become a brewmaster, follow these tips from Ono Brewing Company‘s Scott Hoffman:

Tip #1

Buy a quality kit and consider kegs. Try a Brewer’s Best kit for novices and a Grainfather system if you’re a committed home brewer. And kegging your beer offers a drinkable product in a much shorter time span than traditional bottling.

Tip #2

Be sure everything that touches the wort (unfermented beer) is clean and sanitized.

Tip #3

Only use great water—opt for filtered water if you smell or taste any chlorine or sulfur in your water.

Tip #4

Try to hit and maintain the recommended temperatures, which will ensure that enzymes can achieve their purpose.

Tip #5

For something fun, try adding fruit, which you can infuse in the fermenter or keg, or experiment with different types of yeast.

(February 2018)