Ask a Brewer: New Day's Emi Grinvalds 

... with Emilija Grinvalds

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The process of homebrewing, like life, is full of lessons to be learned. Sometimes, you try to brew a stout only to end up with something that tastes like soy sauce. Sometimes, life hands you challenges that don't require fine-tuning your sugar and require the wisdom distilled from taste-testing 100 batches of beer. Either way, brewers tend to be fountains of many-faceted knowledge, so every week, you can send your brewing, love, or cosmic queries and have them answered by the finest minds in Indiana brewing.

This week, we're asking all your brewing and non-brewing queries to New Day Craft's head of brewing and operations, Emilija Grinvalds. Not only does she run the day-to-day operations at New Day's headquarters, but she's also an accomplished ballerina and traditional Latvian dancer. Girl's got layers.

Question: Can I nitro-tap my mead? Always wanted to know if it would taste like old champagne.

Emilija Grinvalds: Yes, it is possible. Honestly though, I've never done it because we can hardly keep up with the demand for our carbonated mead styles. I like using carbon dioxide because the bit of carbonation helps to offset the sweetness from the fruit and honey. I imagine our darker styles of mead, such as Breakfast Magpie, would work well with nitro — it would be less fizzy, but the nitrogen might give the black raspberries and espresso a creamier, rounder texture. Sounds like a good experiment!

Question: I recently switched from a creative job to a regular 9-5 with less action. How do I keep myself feeling alive?

Grinvalds: Well, if you don't have a cat already, you should adopt one (or two) from the FACE Low-Cost Spay/Neuter clinic on the near-east side. Trust me, I have three cats and they never cease to provide hours of free entertainment and snuggles. After you've done that, I would suggest getting involved with some form of gardening. Whether it's planting heirloom tomatoes in your own yard, or volunteering on a local urban farm, gardening is amazing medicine. There's something greatly satisfying about starting and transplanting seedlings and watching them grow week by week. It reminds you that you are a part of something much greater and powerful: nature.

Have a question for a brewer? send it to

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Sarah Murrell

Sarah Murrell

Sarah Murrell covers all things food, beverages and sometimes gives decent sex and relationship advice. You can stream her consciousness on Twitter, if that's where life has brought you.

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