Homebrewing

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 […]

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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 […]

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William Brennand and Stefan Occhi from the University of Nottingham in the UK join me this week to discuss their Master’s level brewing project called “zerogravity”. They are part of a team brewing at a commercial level as a capstone project for their degrees. Subscribe on iTunes to Audio version or Video version or on […]

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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

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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, […]

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Today I present a 90 second book review on Randy Mosher’s comprehensive home brewing book called “Mastering Homebrew”. I really enjoyed the book and felt it provided a unique perspective on brewing you won’t find in other books. You can order Mastering Homebrew here and send a few pennies my way (Amazon affiliate links). BeerSmith […]

Using Fresh Wet Hops in Home Brewed Beer

by Brad Smith on March 22, 2016 · 0 comments

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Wet hops are hops that are freshly harvested and have not yet been dried or processed. These can be used for home brewing beer, but you need to make some adjustments to your recipe and expectations when using wet hops. Wet Hops Some time ago I wrote an article on the growing hops in the […]

Low Calorie Beer Brewing Recipes at Home

by Brad Smith on March 10, 2016 · 0 comments

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While some commercial low calorie beers have a poor reputation with many brewers, you can brew your own low calorie beer at home in a wide variety of beer styles. For those of us looking to loose a few pounds or cut down on carbs, low calorie home brewing gives us a chance to be […]

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When brewing high gravity (big) beers, it is important to adjust your brewhouse efficiency down a bit. You simply won’t get the same number of gravity points from a pound or kilogram of malt on a “big” beer. BeerSmith Quick Brewing and Software tips are some short 1-3 minute video clips I’ve put together for […]

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This week I take a look at Residual Alkalinity, and what it means for your mash pH for all grain beer brewing. Residual Alkalinity is an important characteristic of your brewing water that you need to understand if you’re going to get the mash chemistry right. The Importance of Mash pH I’ve written previously about […]

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Today’s tip explains why you should not cover your pot when boiling up a batch of beer. An important function of the boil is to release a number of volatile chemicals including DMS that you don’t want in the finished beer. BeerSmith Quick Brewing and Software tips are some short 1-3 minute video clips I’ve […]

The Sulfate to Chloride Ratio and Beer Bitterness

by Brad Smith on February 11, 2016 · 2 comments

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This week I look at the Sulfate to Chloride ratio and how it can have a significant impact on the perceived bitterness of your beer. In fact, it is probably second only to mash pH when we discuss the flavor impacts of water as a beer ingredient. The Sulfate to Chloride Ratio Chloride ions tend […]