The Film
The story of my latest home brew Grounds for Madness began in 1997.  Between 1997 -1998 a couple of friends and I created a film company called STIFF Films and during that year we produced 13 short films. Grounds For Madness was part of our “Off the Cuff” series, where a film was conceived, shot & edited in a single weekend.

Grounds For Madness was a tribute to the 1937 cult classic Reefer Madness, but instead of marijuana our story warns the audience of the dangers of Coffee!

Written by Christine Savory, Directed by Paul Tartaglio, and starred a young fresh-faced Scott “Smitty” Smith who also edited the film.


The Brew
Inspired by fond memories and a desire for making great beer, I followed the Coffee and Cream Stout recipe from Extreme Brewing, Sam Calagione’s fantastic book on home brewing.  The only change to the recipe that I made was to bump up the amount of coffee. I did as the recipe suggested but added two double shots of espresso. How else are you gonna bring the “Madness”?

The addition of the coffee was the only unique step in this straight forward brew. I used my favourite medium roast coffee from Trader Joe’s because I enjoy a rich flavoured roast vs something overly strong and bitter. The coarsely ground coffee steeped for about 36 hours then the liquid was added to the bucket on the 5th day of fermentation.
The brewed turned out absolutely fantastic, which is no surprise as the recipes in Extreme Brewing are well written and really help the novice home brewer make some exceptional beer. If you’re interested in home brewing I highly recommend this book.