Homebrewing

Hydrometer

Original Gravity is a key parameter for beer recipe design. The original gravity of a beer is a measure of the potential sugars, about 60-75% of which will be converted into alcohol during fermentation. So original gravity drives both the alcohol content and the residual body of the beer. This week we’ll cover how to […]

Should you use a Secondary for Beer Brewing?

by Brad Smith on January 15, 2015 · 14 comments

Siphon Secondary.

About ten years ago a secondary fermentation in beer brewing was considered a “must do” by most top brewers. But in the last ten years, much has changed so this week we take a look at the eternal question “to Secondary or not?” Primary, Secondary and Tertiary Fermentation Beer fermentation starts in the primary fermenter. […]

Conical Fermenter Advantages for Home Brewing

by Brad Smith on December 30, 2014 · 3 comments

FastFerm1

Conical fermenters, once out of reach for home brewers, have recently become very popular as companies have started making conicals in small and affordable packages. Many home brew sized conicals have entered the market in the last few years in the sub-$200 price range. I have to say, I’ve been using primarily carboys for many […]

Five Quick BeerSmith 2 Home Brewing Software Tips

by Brad Smith on December 16, 2014 · 1 comment

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I often get questions about BeerSmith and how to get the most out of it when brewing. BeerSmith 2.2 with its cloud features and tight integration with BeerSmith mobile has been very popular with home and professional brewers. So this week, I thought I would share a few tips for users of BeerSmith 2.2. Create […]

Five Critical Tools for Beer Recipe Design

by Brad Smith on November 25, 2014 · 0 comments

barley_beer_web

Designing a recipe from scratch can be a challenge for new brewers or those who are transitioning from brewing with kits to making their own beer recipes. I’ve written before about my approach to designing recipes, but this week I thought I would explain the critical “dials” brewers use when building a new recipe. First, […]

beer background

Efficiency is an important number to understand for all grain beer brewing. Your system efficiency determines the original gravity of the beer as well as how much grain is required to develop a given recipe. Understanding the difference between mash and brewhouse efficiency is also important – as it also drives the grains required. Efficiency […]

AllGrainWeb

Looking to Master All Grain Brewing? My video masterpieces are finally done… Want to make the leap from extract to All-Grain brewing? Would you rather watch it done than read a book? How to Brew All-Grain teaches you how to brew with malted grains, and covers everything from selecting your equipment to brewing, bottling, and […]

clarity

This is the fourth and final part of my four part series on improving beer clarity. In the previous sections we discussed how to measure clarity, causes of poor clarity, proteins and tannins and how to control and improve beer clarity in the mash and the boil. Today we’re going to discuss fermentation finings and […]

Beer Glasses

This is the third part of my four part series on improving beer clarity. In the previous sections we discussed how to measure clarity, causes of poor clarity, proteins and tannins and how to control and improve beer clarity through ingredient selection. Today we’re going to discuss both techniques you can use to improve clarity […]

Beer Colors

This is the second part of my four part series on beer clarity. Last week we covered how to measure beer haze and some of the major causes of beer clarity issues. This week we’re going to go in-depth and discuss yeast, proteins and tannins and begin to cover how to control and improve beer […]

SONY DSC

This is the first part of my detailed series on beer clarity and finings, and is based on a presentation I did for this year’s National Homebrew Conference on the same subject. In this first part, I’m going to cover what beer clarity is, how its defined and measured and the potential causes of haze […]

Top 10 Surprising Benefits of Drinking Beer

by Brad Smith on August 5, 2014 · 8 comments

Sampler-web

I bet it comes as a surprise that beer or any other alcoholic drink for that matter can be beneficial for our health. Well, it can! While wine is good for your heart, beer has up to ten health benefits starting with bone breakage risk reduction to warding off mental decline. Obviously, we cannot neglect […]

cooler_web

Sitting next to a big pot of boiling wort is my favorite part of the brewing process (except for tasting of course!), and cleaning is my least favorite part. But after you boil you face the challenge of what to do with 5, 10 or 15 gallons (19-57 liters) of really hot wort. So this […]

Caramel and Crystal Malt in Beer Brewing

by Brad Smith on June 26, 2014 · 6 comments

Grain-Glass-Web

This week we take a look at crystal and caramel malts used in home brewing and commercial brewing. Caramel malt is a staple in a wide variety of beers worldwide, and is used to add color, flavor and sweetness to beer. I’m going to discuss how caramel malt is made, as well as when and […]

barleycrushers _sm

In conjunction with BC Products, I’m offering the Barley Crusher at our lowest price ever – $99.95+ shipping for the 7 lb crusher, and $119.95 + shipping for the 15 lb hopper. This is a great dual steel roller mill, and it is the one I personally use to brew beer. Its adjustable, gives a […]