Skip to main content

It's Time to "Begin Brewing"

There is a lot to learn and know about brewing beer.  I've been doing it for a few years now, and I definitely don't consider myself an expert.  I've made mistakes that required me to toss out a batch of beer, mistakes that resulted in a beer that didn't meet my expectations, and mistakes that cost me some extra money.  If you're interested in brewing your own beer but feel like you have a lot to learn, I understand your concern and I built this blog to help folks like you.  I want to help you make good choices of equipment, pick recipes that challenge you but don't exceed your skill level, show you how to do some basic things in brewing, and hopefully help you avoid the mistakes I made early on.

You might see posts like these in the coming weeks:

  • Articles about brewing terminology like wort, flocculate, sparge, and attenuation
  • Selecting the right equipment to start out
  • "Brew along" posts showing a beer from recipe selection through bottling

  • Beer recipes that are easy for a beginner to follow and produce a good beer
  • Demonstrations of common brewing techniques
  • Getting good deals on equipment and ingredients
  • Alternatives to the more-expensive brewing equipment
  • Links to other good sites on brewing
  • Reviews of books about brewing
  • Reviews of brewing equipment
  • Different grain types and how they change a beer's flavor
  • Pellet vs. whole hops
Those are just a few things off the top of my head.  If you have suggestions for posts you'd like to see, let me know in the comments.

While we're on the subject of comments, I totally encourage them - provided that your comment is related to the post and constructive in some way.  Can you correct a mistake or misunderstanding in my post?  Do you have additional information (or a good link) to share on that topic?  Do you have a solution to a problem I'm describing?  Do you just want to say "thanks" for the article?  Go ahead.  

The first "real" post will appear in about 24 hours.  Posts should appear approximately weekly after that, or more often when I can write them.  I hope you'll be back, and share this site with your home brewing friends.  Thanks!

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Things I've Learned Brewing with The Grainfather, Part 2

In the last post, I shared an overview of The Grainfather, recommended equipment to use with it, and an overview of the brewing process.  In this installment, I'm going to talk specifically about mashing and sparging. Having brewed over a dozen batches with it, I'm finally becoming very comfortable with the device, the mash process, and how to get what I want out of it. I don't consider myself a "master" of it yet, though. For those who have never done all-grain brewing, I want to provide a quick overview of the mash process itself. Mashing - With or Without The Grainfather The goal of mashing is to turn the starches in the grain into sugars. More specifically, you want to turn the starches into a mix of fermentable and unfermentable sugars that provide the flavor profile associated with the beer you are brewing. A sweeter beer might warrant more unfermentable sugars. A more dry beer will demand few unfermentable sugars. To a great extent, controlling the

Yellow Label Angel Yeast vs. Typical Brewing Yeast

I currently have my second batch of rice wine fermenting with the "magical" yellow-label Angel Yeast from China, and wanted to share some of the more unusual aspects of using it.  If you've never seen or used this yeast, I suspect you're not alone.  It ships in a 500 gram package that looks like this: What makes it "yellow label" is that yellow box you see in the upper left corner of the package.  This implies that it's yeast for distilling (though you do not need to have a still or distill the output to use it).  As I understand it, inside the package is a mix of yeast and other materials which will convert starch into sugar and directly ferment it, without the need for a traditional mash step.  This can radically shorten your brewing time.  For my most-recent batch of rice wine, I heated 3 gallons of water to 155F, poured it over 13+ pounds of uncooked rice straight out of the bag, let that soak for an hour, rehydrated some of this yeast in warm water,

Grainfather Specifications for BeerSmith, Beer Tools Pro, and Other Software

Recently, I've been trying to "dial in" settings in BeerSmith and Beer Tools Pro so that I can do a better job getting my actual brewing results to match up to the figures in the software. Below are some of the figures I've worked out with my US Grainfather. Given manufacturing variances and possible measuring errors on my part, these might not match exactly to yours, but hopefully they're close enough that it will help you. BeerSmith Equipment Profile: Brewhouse Efficiency: 83% (based on my experience, yours may vary) Mash Tun Volume: 8 gallons Mash Tun Weight: 8.82 pounds Mash Tun Specific Heat: 0.12 Cal/gram-deg C Mash Tun Addition: 0 gallons Lauter Tun Losses: 0 gallons Top Up Water for Kettle: 0 gallons Boil Volume: 6.25 gallons Boil Time: 60 minutes Boil Off: 0.40 gallons per hour Cooling Shrinkage: 6% Loss to Trub and Chiller: 0.53 gallons Batch Volume: 5 gallons Fermenter Loss: 0.40 gallons (yours may vary) Whirlpool time: 0 minutes B