How Do You Evaluate a New Hop? SMaSH It!

Every brewer I know loves to experiment. Most brewers I know revel in trying new processes, ingredients, and flavors in their beer, so whenever we get a new hop variety, we can get a little excited. When I am evaluating a new hop variety, I often make hop tea, brew a SMaSH beer with the hops, … [Read more...]

RECIPE: Mosaic Multi-Grain IPA

One of my favorite types of hops out there right now are Mosaic. They have a wonderful intriguing aroma that is hard to put a finger on. Some people say they smell fruit juice, some say they smell garlic, dill, onions, others say that they get a lot of floral characteristics. I get a bit of … [Read more...]

No Sparge Brewing: How to Save Time on Your Brew Day

One of the best things about being a homebrewer is the freedom that comes with the hobby. Homebrewers are free to experiment in many ways which would be considered impractical, expensive, and even crazy in a commercial setting. This freedom often creates some fantastic ingenuity at the homebrew … [Read more...]

4 Popular Methods of Dry-Hopping Your Beer

Dry hopping is a process in which, after the beer has completed primary fermentation, hops are added back to the beer to steep. This process is very much like making tea by steeping tea bags in room temperature water. It is a slow process, and it contributes huge amounts of aroma to your beer … [Read more...]

RECIPE: Dark Forest Black IPA (All-Grain & Extract)

I previously discussed my favorite tips on how to brew a Black IPA, and in that article I mentioned that I have a great recipe to start with. Because the final product is so delicious, I thought it deserved it's own article, specifically focusing on the recipe itself. No matter if your an … [Read more...]

How to Brew Black IPA

There are a lot of conversations in the home brewing and craft brewing world about creating a “New Style” of beer called Black IPA (also called the Cascadian Dark Ale or the American Black Ale). The truth is that, even without its own style designation, the Black IPA is here to stay, and it is … [Read more...]

How to Test & Calibrate Your Brewing Thermometer

No single tool can have as much of an effect on your home brew quality as your thermometer. Whether you are an extract brewer cooling wort to pitching temp or an all grain brewer trying to hit your mash temps, having a reliable and accurate thermometer is one of the primary keys to … [Read more...]

8 Must-Have Brewing Gadgets

Homebrewing is a hobby that offers a relatively low cost entry point for people who are thinking about making their own beer. Starter kits are a great way to start off. They're easy to find, and offer a range of products that include fermentation/bottling buckets, bottles/caps, cappers, siphons, … [Read more...]

Specific Gravity: How to Measure it When Brewing Beer

Most homebrewers measure the specific gravity of their beer at the beginning of fermentation and then at the end. They then use these numbers to calculate (usually using software) what the ABV of their batch of beer is. This can be very useful knowledge, especially when the brewer is asked the … [Read more...]

RECIPE: Goose Island’s Bourbon County Stout Clone

As a club, we purchased a 55-gallon bourbon barrel from a local distillery. 11 people made 5-gallon batches to add to the barrel. Your numbers may be significantly different on an individual basis than those listed below. The numbers below represent an average of the 11 batches. This was a great … [Read more...]

How to Calculate Brewhouse Efficiency

Brewhouse efficiency is an important concept to understand. The efficiency of an individual’s brewing practices and system is ultimately responsible for their original gravity and how much grain will be required to brew a given recipe. What is Brewhouse Efficiency? Brewhouse efficiency is a … [Read more...]

Homebrewing 101: Barrel Aging for Beginners

Barrel Aging for Beginners If you have been a part of the craft beer / homebrewing scene for a while, you would know that barrel aging is very much alive and well. Historically speaking, all beers were barrel aged, given that beers were served directly out of wooden barrels and even stored in … [Read more...]

When to Dump a Bad Batch of Beer

When is my homebrew ruined beyond repair? There are a lot of things that can go wrong with a batch of beer. From under carbonation to bacterial contamination, there are many things that can steer your beer from its intended course. However, just because your course changes along the way does … [Read more...]