Metallic off flavors can occur in both commercial and home brewed beers. They are almost always considered an off-flavor or flaw in the beer to be avoided. Metallic off flavors can vary in taste and aroma. Copper, tin or iron flavors are common and even blood-like flavors may be present. The Root Cause of Metallic […]


This week we take a look at how to get the most out of your refractometer using BeerSmith. Many people prefer refractometer for ease of use, small sample size and simpler temperature management, but you need to do some adjustment to the numbers you get from your refractometer to be able to use it accurately. […]

Grassy Off Flavors in Home Brewed Beer

by Brad Smith on September 23, 2016 · 2 comments


Grassy off flavors in beer can ruin an otherwise excellent brew. This week we take a look at the cause of grassy flavors in beer and what you can do about it! Grassy Flavors and Aroma Grassy flavors include vegetal, plant-like, hay, fresh leaves or aromas reminiscent of fresh cut grass. These flavors tend to […]

Whirlpool and No Chill Hop Features in BeerSmith 2.3

by Brad Smith on September 15, 2016 · 1 comment

Beer bottle and glass with fresh green hop and wheat on rustic wooden table still life

One of the many features introduced in BeerSmith 2.3 is improved handling for whirlpool/hop stand handling as well as support for the “no chill” brewing method. These features give home brewers more flexibility than ever for handling whirlpool hops and extended chill periods for your wort. Today we’re going to look at some of the […]

Using Hop Extracts for Beer Brewing

by Brad Smith on August 31, 2016 · 2 comments


Hop extracts have the potential to revolutionize many aspects of both commercial and home brewing. While bittering extracts have been used for many years by large commercial brewers, we are now seeing a new generation of hop extracts entering the craft and home brewing markets. Types of Hop Extracts Hop extract typically consists of concentrated […]


This week we take a quick look at the new session logging features in BeerSmith 2.3. BeerSmith now gives you a single place to record your data for beer brewing including detailed fermentation data. The BeerSmith Session Tab One of the many new features in BeerSmith 2.3 is the recipe session tab. Previous versions of […]

Frosty glass of light beer on black background

One of the most anticipated new features in BeerSmith 2.3 is the new water analysis and mash pH tools available. I’ve written many posts on why the proper mash pH in the 5.2-5.6 range is important for brewing your best beer, and V2.3 of BeerSmith makes it easier than ever! Note: The new tools primarily […]


The BeerSmith 2.3 update features some significant changes to the user interface as well as powerful changes in the brewing engine. This is a big update, so this will be a pretty long post. Here’s a summary of some of the new changes and how to use them! Note that you can download the new […]

Brewery workshop

Some home brewed beers can develop a flavor and aroma of excessive alcohol. This can very from a slight alcoholic warmth to strong alcohol that tastes like moonshine. This week we’ll explore the root cause of an alcoholic off-flavor. Higher Order “Fusel” Alcohols During normal fermentation, yeast cells consume sugars and produce alcohol (ethanol) as […]


Acetaldehyde is a “Green Apple” off flavor that is common in some beers. It is one of the sixteen listed off flavors on the BJCP beer judge score sheet, and can ruin an otherwise enjoyable beer. It can also sometimes have an aroma and flavor like fresh cut pumpkins or dry cider but is distinct […]


Astringency, a bitter tea-bag like flavor in beer is closely associated with mash problems and all-grain brewing, but this week we’ll look at the risk of astringency for extract beer brewers as well. It is not well known that you can introduce astringency when steeping grains for extract. In particular using too much water when […]

Storing and Preserving Your Beer Ingredients

by Brad Smith on June 16, 2016 · 0 comments


Fresh ingredients are important for brewing great beer, but if you buy brewing ingredients in bulk you can also save money. So this week we take a look at how to store and preserve your hops, grains, yeast and malt extract for brewing great beer. When I first started brewing I bought one kit at […]


This week I provide a few tips for avoiding some of the most common off flavors in home brewed beer. Troubleshooting your beer can be a real challenge unless you are an experienced beer judge, but following these tips can help you avoid common pitfalls. Always Clean and Sanitize Unfortunately because beer has a relatively […]


While water chemistry and adjustments are very important for all grain brewers when mashing grains, extract beer brewers may get their best results using neutral (distilled, deionized) water instead since the liquid malt was already made with the proper water additives before it was concentrated. BeerSmith Quick Brewing and Software tips are some short 1-3 […]


A controversial subject in home brewing is whether to treat your sparge water the same as you do your mash water when home brewing beer? This week we look at several competing camps and try to answer this difficult question for home brewers. Treating your brewing water may include adding salts (Epsom salt, baking soda, […]