Homebrewing

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 […]

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 · 8 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 […]