Homebrewing

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 · 2 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 · 0 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 […]

Despite its reputation as the perfect metal for beer brewing, stainless steel can actually corrode or rust. So this week we take a look at how and why stainless steel can corrode as well as how you can passivate your stainless steel beer brewing equipment to protect it. Stainless Steel and Rust Steel is made […]

How to Make Hard Cider – The Easy Way

by Brad Smith on January 2, 2017 · 4 comments

I’ve never been a big cider fan, but a friend sent me a recipe he said I must try, so I made my first batch and it actually came out great! I thought I would share the recipe and method with you so you can give it a try. This is a simple recipe made […]

In Part 2 of my Blichmann BrewEasy detailed review I brew some beer, and record my experience and lessons learned with the new system. Last week in Part 1, I gave an overview of the system specs, setup and my first impressions. [Note – this is a very long post – and full disclosure: Blichmann […]

This week I take a up-close and personal look at the BrewEasy electric “turn-key” brewing system from Blichmann Engineering. For several years now friends have been pushing me to give up my ancient pot and igloo cooler for an electric system – so in part one I cover unpacking, setup and first impressions, and in […]

Wort, Whiskey and Scotch when Brewing Beer

by Brad Smith on December 14, 2016 · 2 comments

Here’s a quick tip about whiskey, wort and beer brewing I picked up at my last Craft Beer and Brewing retreat in Colorado. John Mallett from Bell’s Brewing shared it with me though I’ve since found that other brewers also know this trick. Hot Wort and Whiskey or Scotch So the tip is this: while […]

Fresh beer glass over white background

BeerSmith Mobile 2.3 Coming in December Some news and links you may have missed…I’m finishing up the updates to BeerSmith Mobile 2.3 – The 2.3 updates to BeerSmith mobile will include Add-ons, Session Data, Mash pH estimation and adjustment, improved whirlpool support and more. I’m starting beta testing next week and expect to release it […]

This week we take a look at how to set up and use BeerSmith with the “Brew in a Bag” (BIAB) home brewing method. Brew in a bag offers simplicity in all grain brewing with less overall equipment expense and less cleanup. Brew in a bag methods and equipment are outlined here. A large number […]