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...]

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...]

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...]

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...]

Respect Your Beer: The Importance of a Clean Glass

You’ve had a rough day at work, and nothing sounds half as good to you as opening the first bottle of your newest batch of IPA. You get home, open your fridge, and pull out your treasured treat. As you open the bottle, you hear the satisfying hiss of a perfectly carbonated beer. You hold the … [Read more...]

How to Make Better Beer by Keeping Logs

Keeping a Brewer’s Log: The Key to Making Better Beer? Every brewer wants to make better beer. Whether you are a casual brewer or someone who hopes to go pro, you want your beer to be the best it can be every time you brew it. One of the most important things a brewer can do in order to become a … [Read more...]

What I’ve Learned From a Lifetime of Homebrewing

Fourteen years ago, I was recovering from major surgery and had some time to reflect on what I had not accomplished in my life. I decided to work on financial planning, to develop a list of places I wanted to travel to with my wife, to stop drinking cheap scotch and find out what single malts I … [Read more...]