Aromatic Hop Oils in Beer Brewing – Part 1

by Brad Smith on February 23, 2018 · 0 comments

This week I take a look at a few of the most significant aromatic hop oils and the role they play in beer. I also found a great link to an interactive chart where you can explore the oil content of many hop varieties. Aromatic Hop Oils Hop oils contain well over 500 flavor compounds, […]

Beer Blending Strategies for Home Brewers

by Brad Smith on January 30, 2018 · 2 comments

This week I take a look at the often overlooked topic of blending two beers either to correct a flawed beer or make a more complex finished beer. Why Blend Your Beers The vast majority of beers are made in a straightforward way – you brew a recipe, ferment, age and enjoy it. While this […]

RIMS and HERMS Brewing with BeerSmith Software

by Brad Smith on January 15, 2018 · 1 comment

Today I take a look at how to handle RIMS and HERMS brewing systems in BeerSmith brewing software. I’ve had quite a few people ask me how to incorporate these systems into BeerSmith, so below is a quick overview. What Makes RIMS and HERMS Systems Different? Lets start with what makes a RIMS or HERMS […]

Brewing Considerations for Very High Gravity Beers

by Brad Smith on January 10, 2018 · 0 comments

Brewing high gravity beers like barley wines, tripels, and imperial stouts present some challenges unique to high gravity brewing. This week I provide a few tips and considerations that come into play when brewing high gravity beers. Big Beer Challenges High gravity beers which start at around 1.080 original gravity and can go as high […]

This week I take a look at the proper method for hydrating dry yeast for beer brewing to maximize your viability and produce a healthy fermentation. Dry Yeast for Home Brewing While dry yeast does not offer quite the selection of liquid yeast, it does have some significant advantages as it is much easier to […]

Digital Thermometer Options for Beer Brewing

by Brad Smith on November 29, 2017 · 3 comments

This week I take a look at digital thermometer options to use with your beer brewing system. Digital thermometers currently on the market have a wide temperature range, are inexpensive, very accurate and easy to use. Types of Brewing Thermometers In this article I want to focus on digital thermometer options, but first I’ll describe […]

This week I take a look at the Anvil Kettle Strainer, which is actually a pretty efficient way to separate your hops and trub from the wort after the boil when beer brewing. The Anvil Kettle Strainer As I covered in an earlier article, I upgraded to a Blichmann BrewEasy 10 gal system last year […]

Testing for Keg System Leaks for Home Brewing Beer

by Brad Smith on October 31, 2017 · 1 comment

This week I take a look at the pesky problem of beer keg system leaks in a typical homebrew system including how to find and correct them. A keg system leak can lead to an empty CO2 tank, flat beer and even a catastrophic beer leak pouring 5 gallons (19 liters) or more of beer […]

At a recent homebrew club meeting, one of the members asked me a brilliant question – when and how should you adjust your mash pH when all grain beer brewing? This is a devilishly complex question as you want to adjust your mash pH quickly if brewing with modern malts. The Mash pH Conundrum I […]

Kettle Souring Beer – Brewing Techniques

by Brad Smith on October 8, 2017 · 1 comment

This week I take a look at “Kettle Souring” beer which is a technique for making sour beer that offers faster fermentation times and better control over the souring levels. The Kettle Souring Method The traditional method for making sour beer is to brew some wort and then pitch both traditional brewing yeast along with […]

The pH meter has become a critical piece of equipment for all grain beer brewers as well as for cider, wine and mead making. This week I take a look at selecting, calibrating, and using a pH meter to brew beer. Uses for a pH Meter In the last 10 years or so, our understanding […]

This week I take a look at “harsh zone” malts in the roughly 70-200L color range and how they can upset the balance of an otherwise perfect beer. A while back I did a review of Randy Mosher’s Mastering Homebrew book. The book, which I highly recommend, introduces a number of new concepts in balance […]

Strategies for Beer Recipe Design – Part 2

by Brad Smith on August 3, 2017 · 1 comment

This week I take a look at the “building block” approach for designing beer recipes. This method, introduced by Gordon Strong, is a great design strategy for more experienced brewers. Last week in Part 1, I covered the decidedly technical (vs artistic) bent in beer brewing as well as the traditional approach many brewers use […]

Strategies for Beer Recipe Design – Part 1

by Brad Smith on July 20, 2017 · 7 comments

This week I take a look at different approaches to designing your own beer recipes. Though beer recipe design is an artistic and very personal journey, few of us really consider that there are different strategies that one can use to create new and unique beers. A Few Strategies for Beer Recipe Design Beer recipe […]

This week I take a look at the new ASBC method for doing sensory and flavor evaluation of malts for brewing beer. This new “hot steep” technique published last fall by the American Society of Brewing Chemists provides a standardized method to do a sensory (taste) analysis of malts and is a great way to […]