Homebrewing

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 […]

This week in Part 2 of my series on beer pumps, I review the new Blichmann RipTide Pump. Last week in Part 1 I covered general brewing pump features as well as the popular March and Chugger pumps. The Blichmann RipTide Pump Review While the March and Chugger pumps covered in Part 1 have been […]

This week I take a look at the most popular models of home brewing pumps: the March Pump and the Chugger Pump. Next week in part 2 I will cover the new Blichmann RipTide pump which has some significant advantages over the traditional brewing pump. Home Brewing Pumps In the last 10 years, larger stainless […]

In part 1 of this series I covered some of the general considerations in planning an electric brewery including size of the system, availability of water and in particular the electrical needs of the system and electrical safety considerations. This week I take a look at the other major physical constraint which is ventilation. Why […]

This week I’ll take a look at some of the considerations that come into play with planning and building out an electric brewery. There are huge advantages to brewing indoors in that you can brew in any weather year round, but properly installing and operating an indoor electric brewery does require some planning – especially […]

Siphon Secondary.

Siphoning is one of the necessary evils for homebrewers. Unless you are fortunate enough to have a large RIMS/HERMS brewing system with wort pumps and conical fermenters, and pumps for transferring between fermenters, you have probably had to siphon your beer at some point. We siphon to move wort to the fermenter, we siphon to […]

This week we take a look at the most common connectors used for home brewing systems on pumps, kettles, and fermenters. I compare Tri-clover, Camlock, Blichmann NPT and Quick Connect options for your brewing systems. We look at the advantages and disadvantages of each. The 1/2″ NPT Standard Connection and 1/2″ Silicone Tube Lets start […]

A common off flavor in both commercial and home brewed beers is a skunky “light-struck” flavor and aroma. It can give your beer a strong skunky aroma and make it most unpleasant to drink. The Cause of Skunky Beer Skunky beer occurs when beer is exposed to light. Some of the compounds in hops remain […]

Aeration Wands (Pure Oxygen) for Beer Brewing

by Brad Smith on March 14, 2017 · 5 comments

This week I take a look at the Anvil Oxygenation Kit (aka Aeration wand) which lets you aerate your wort using pure oxygen without spending a ton of money. The oxygen wand is actually my favorite new brewing toy and I’ve used it on beer, meads, wines and cider with great results. The Importance of […]

How to Backsweeten Beer, Cider and Mead

by Brad Smith on March 7, 2017 · 3 comments

This week we take a look at backsweetening – a technique commonly used in mead and cider making but not well known by beer brewers. In certain cases, backsweetening can enhance the flavor of many beers, ciders and meads. Why Backsweeten? Backsweetening is a technique used in hard soda, meads and ciders, particularly those containing […]

This week I offer a tip for extract brewers about steeping grains and why its important not to steep your grains with too much water. Many extract brewers start by steeping their grains with their entire boil volume, which can lead to excessive tannin extraction. Steeping Grains in Extract Brewing and Tannins Tannins are a […]

Making Wine from Kits for Beer Brewers

by Brad Smith on February 14, 2017 · 2 comments

This week I take a look at what’s needed for the average beer brewers to make wine from a kit. Making wine is actually an order of magnitude easier than brewing beer, though it requires more time to age. The good news is that the average beer brewer already has the equipment needed to make […]

Last week I covered the basic features and setup of the Brewmaster Chronical from SS Brewtech. This week I ferment a few batches of beer to see how well the fermenter performs. [Note – I included some affiliate links in this post – use them if you want to support the blog] The SS Brewtech […]

This week I take a look at the Brewmaster 14 gal (52 l) Chronical from SS BrewTech. In this first part I’ll cover my initial impressions after unboxing, assembling and cleaning the fermenter. In part 2, I’ll cover brewing and fermenting with the unit. Do You Really Need a Stainless Conical for Home Brewing? Lets […]

Some time ago I wrote an article on steeping vs mashing dark grains for all grain beer brewers. That article recommended steeping some dark grains into a separate tea to minimize burnt, harsh flavors. This week we take a look at a simpler method for achieving the same effect. Steeping vs Mashing Dark Grains As […]