Tips and techniques to help you brew better beer at home.


How to Harvest Yeast from Beer for Homebrewing

It turns out you can acquire that unique Belgian strain used by your favorite brewery, even if there isn't a viable substitute at your local homebrew shop. Commercial breweries rely on yeast just like homebrewers do, and if they are bottle-conditioning their beers, there are likely some living yeast cells in the bottle, just waiting to ferment your next batch of beer. More

We Test the White House Honey Ale and Porter Recipes

I brewed the Presidential homewbrews, following the recipes exactly, and the result was not as thrilling as I'd hoped, especially in light of Garrett Oliver's evaluation of the beer as being "perfectly balanced." If you follow the original recipe word for word, you might be disappointed. If you want to brew the President's beer yourself, read on for some advice. More

How to Brew Your Own Belgian Dark Strong Ale

Big, deep, and rich, Belgian dark strong ales are perhaps the most complex beers Belgium has to offer. Brewing this style isn't cheap—I generally expect to spend an extra $10 to $15 per 5 gallon batch once I've bought the extra grains and sugars. However, considering commercial domestic and imported versions start at about $6 per 12-ounce bottle where I live, it's a relative steal to make your own. Here are a few tips to help you get started. More

Homebrewing: 3-Vessel Brewing

Using 3 stainless kettles to brew all grain beer offers more flexibility in mash temperature and recipe design. If you chose to go with a 3 vessel system, here is the setup and process you'll go through when you brew. More

Homebrewing: 3 Ways to Chill Your Wort

On brewday, chilling your wort as quickly as possible has a lot of benefits. Since it's the last big thing on the brewing schedule, faster chilling means you can finish your brewday more quickly. From a chemistry perspective, faster chilling increases protein coagulation, known as "cold break", which can lead to clearer beer. From a sanitation perspective, the faster you chill your beer and pitch your yeast, the less likely you will get an infection. More

Homebrewing: How To Brew an Imperial IPA

Citrusy, resiny, and bitter, the American Imperial IPA is an aggressive beer—and a rich one. This style grew out of the demand for hoppier beers at the start of the American craft beer revolution. As IPAs were brewed with more and more hops, the amount of grain needed to balance out the bitterness increased. The results were IPAs that were so extreme that they took on the moniker Imperial, which was previously reserved for only the biggest stouts. Here's how to brew one of your own. More

What We Learned at the 2012 National Homebrewers Conference

Homebrewers from around the country gathered in Seattle recently for the 34th Annual National Homebrewers Conference, which featured a range of expert panelists, the latest homebrewing equipment, and more beer than a couple thousand participants could drink over five days. Throughout the conference, we were struck by some trends that are emerging in the world of homebrewing and in beer in general. More

Homebrewing Protips: Shortcuts to Make Brewing Easier

Beginning homebrewing recipes all start with simple steps. A first- or second-time homebrewer has enough to think about without an overly complicated list of instructions. But after brewing a few batches, it's pretty common to figure out a few tweaks and adjustments to the process that help you brew beer on your specific setup. Here are a few tips that we hope will help to simplify your brew day. More

How to Read a Homebrew Recipe

Homebrew recipe writers often take the experience level of their readers for granted. They usually assume that every reader knows the process, acronyms, and abbreviations that they use. Most of the written shortcuts that homebrew recipe writers use are pretty simple to understand, so there's no need to let recipe conventions get in the way of learning how to brew. Today I'll share the basics of how to read any standard homebrewing recipe. More

Homebrew Recipes: Decoding The Acronyms

To the untrained eye, a homebrewing recipe can look like a secret code with abbreviations, acronyms, and lists of numbers. Over the years, brewers have condensed the essentials of a brewing recipe into an easy to reference format that can be quickly reviewed during the brewing process. But today we're going to demystify the code so that you can read a brewing recipe like the pros. More

How to End Your Homebrewing Hiatus

All homebrewers have been there. We plan on brewing that IPA, and then family comes to visit, or work gets in the way. The brewday gets pushed back a week, then another week, and before you know it we haven't brewed for 3 months. Or maybe you don't get busy, but discouraged and bored with the beers you're making. Let's get back on track; it just takes a small change in approach to feel excited about homebrewing again. More

Homebrewing: Brewing Outside

Sitting in the backyard and sipping on a homebrewed beverage as the wort boils away is one of my favorite ways to relax on a warm weekend. While homebrewers typically first learn to make beer inside their homes, most will eventually move the kettle out of the kitchen and onto the porch. It's not hard to make the change to outdoor brewing, and once you do, you'll find your brewdays to be more efficient and much more carefree. It just take a couple pieces of equipment and a little extra care to bring your homebrewing outside. More

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