May 092014

When I make mead or a beer that I want to sit and age for an extended period I like to keep it in a glass container. Since meads tend to sit in primary for months and the flavors are delicate I prefer glass fermenters.  I also use glass secondary fermenters with both mead and beer.  Big Mouth Bubbler - 6.5

In the past the only real option has been to use a glass carboy.  If you don’t drop it, a glass fermenter will last you a lifetime.  They don’t scratch or absorb tastes and odors.  The problem is that they are really tough to get clean.

A few months ago I found a potential solution. It is the Big Mouth Bubbler. Continue reading »

 Posted by at 8:25 am
Mar 242014

When it comes to brewing there are several maxims that I have learned to live by.  I’ve decided to call these The Immutable Laws of Brewing because it sounds cool.  I’ll add to this list as I discover more truths.

The Immutable Laws of Homebrewing

  • It’s just beer!
    Yes.  It is just beer.  If you miss a hop addition, your mash temperature is off by a few degrees, or something gets infected, nobody is going to die.  Use your mistakes as a learning experience.  If you don’t know what they issue was, share your beer with some friends, try to figure out what happened, and try not to make the same mistake next time.  A mistake can also help you discover something new and delicious.Boiling Continue reading »
 Posted by at 7:38 am
Dec 032013

Many homebrewers start brewing with extracts.  It provides a great way for new brewers to get their feet wet while keeping the equipment and time investment lower.  I have written more about the benefits of this here.

Recently I’ve spent some time helping out some non-brewer friends that are working on a product offering for beginning homebrewers. I’ll be posting more about that as it becomes reality. As a part of this they wanted to give  brewing a try to make an extract batch of beer.

2013-11-23 13.39.21

After they acquired a basic equipment kit, a Lemon Coriander Weiss Extract Beer Kit, and some StarSan we got together on a Saturday a bit more than a week ago. We wanted to make the recipe with little more than the contents of the beginner’s kit so we decided on a partial wort boil on the kitchen stove.

Following the example of some friends who make some very fine extract beer and given that the beer is supposed to be rather light in color I decided that boiling all the extract for the full sixty minutes was not the thing to do. Continue reading »

 Posted by at 7:19 am
Oct 212013

When asked what the most important factor in making good beer is most brewers will put cleaning and sanitizing at the top of their list.  I keep sanitizer handy throughout my brew day and transfers using two methods.

Brew Day

Brew Day

1. The Bucket.  I keep a bucket full of sanitizer within arms reach the whole day.  If a piece of equipment like a thermometer or a spoon aren’t in use at the moment, they are in the sanitizer.  This not only helps to keep things sanitized but makes them easy to find.

2. The Spray Bottle.  I also like to keep a spray bottle of sanitizer handy.  This is useful on brew day but can also be quite nice during fermentation, transferring, and packaging as well for those items you can’t throw in a bucket.

What tips and tricks do you have for making sanitizing easy?

 Posted by at 9:00 am