A Poem

I heard this poem last night and wanted to share it. 



When we eat the good bread,
we are eating months of sunlight,
weeks of rain and snow from the sky,
richness out of the earth.
We should be great, each of us radiant,
full of music and full of stories.
Able to run the way the clouds do,
able to dance like the snow and the rain.
But nobody takes time to think that he eats
all these things, and that sun, rain,
snow are all a part of himself.

When Mother Nature Speaks

When Mother Nature Speaks, it can be easy to ignore the whispers of Mother Nature; gentle breezes on sunny days or even misty mornings followed by an overcast sky. Here in the Pioneer Valley we seemed to have had what seems like a very mild summer with very few hot, oppressive days. For a farmer and maltster these whispers of mother nature are music to our ears. They mean that our crops were not being subjected to harsh conditions which will negatively affect our crops. 

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National Organic Brewing Winner

I started home brewing in 2005 and have been brewing organic beers since 2007. I have been a Malt of the Month member since 2012. For the last seven years Seven Bridges Cooperative in California sponsored the National Organic Homebrew Challenge and this year I entered 3 beers and won 3 awards. I won first place for a Classic American Pilsner and a Kolsch and third place for a German Pilsner.

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Oat Pale Ale

By Nicholas Gagnon


I recently had a chance to hang out with the guys at Trillium Brewing Company while they were brewing up One Boston, a delicious, hoppy IPA with a good amount of Valley Malt crystal oats used in the recipe.  I felt inspired to do something similar and when the Munich Oats came out I had to give this a recipe a whirl.  Feel free to substitute hops for what you have available or prefer.    I wanted something citrus/mango/fruit/resiny....your taste may very.  You'll notice there is only a bittering addition to get up to around 55 IBU's (RAGER) during the boil.  I whirlpool for 15 minutes and then stand for 20 so the “steep” addition goes in at whirlpool and stays in the kettle at about 35 minutes near boiling (200F ish).  I get great oil, flavor and aroma from this method and the dry hop.

Oat PA

10-A American Pale Ale

Size: 5.5 gal

Efficiency: 70.0%

Attenuation: 80.0%

Original Gravity: 1.064 (

Terminal Gravity: 1.013 (

Color: 11.49

Alcohol: 6.68% (

Bitterness: 55.6


13 lb Valley Malt Pale

1.5 lb Oat Malt

0.79 oz Magnum (14.5%) - added first wort, boiled 60.0 m

1.5 oz Ahtanum (6.0%) - steeped after boil

1.5 oz Simcoe® (13.0%) - steeped after boil

1.5 oz Amarillo® (8.5%) - steeped after boil

1.5 oz Citra™ (12.0%) - steeped after boil

1.5 oz Citra™ (12.0%) - added dry to secondary fermenter

1.5 oz Amarillo® (8.5%) - added dry to secondary fermenter

1.5 oz Simcoe® (13.0%) - added dry to secondary fermenter

Mash Schedule:

Mash-In for a temp of 152F.  Rest one hour and Sparge.


Ferment with a clean Ale yeast like US-05, WLP001, WY1056 or alike.  For a different take a nice dry English strain like WLP007 might be good.


Buying Local

I was inspired this week by our customer, Chris Lohring from Notch Session. He posted on his blog about the death of the seasonal beer and how it may be easier find to a brewery's summer seasonal in April rather than July or harvest ale in July instead of October.

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