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Showing posts from October, 2015

4 Brothers Bottle Caps

I've been home brewing for a few years now.  I've bottled my beer using a variety of different bottle types, from bombers to plastic bottles with screw-on caps.  I've always treated bottles and caps like a basic commodity.  Bottles are more or less the same, and caps seemed simple enough objects that they didn't require a lot of thought.

With that mindset, when a homebrew site offered 4 Brothers bottle caps at a huge discount (around $1.99 for 144), I jumped at the chance and bought about 600 of them.  It's proven to be one of the worst purchases of the year.  (I am not mentioning the site because everything else I've ever bought from them has been excellent and I don't view this purchase as a failure on their part.  There are reviews on the site of these caps. One of them does mention having trouble capping some bottles with them.

I brewed a Belgian Tripel earlier in the year, which fermented unusually fast and completely.  I had just gotten these caps an…

How to keep an extract based beer lighter in color without getting too bitter

A full wort boil is recommended by most brewers as a good rule of thumb.  A full boil ensures a good hot break, and makes the hops bitterness calculation easier.  There are times, though, that full boil may not be the best option.  Equipment limitation is one of those (e.g., you have only a 4-gallon kettle and are making a 5-gallon batch).  Another is when using extract to produce a lighter-colored beer like a Pilsner, Kolsch, or Wit.

Doing a full boil with all of your extract may cause the extract to darken and ruin the appearance of your beer.  The amount of darkening depends on the boil time and the concentration of the wort.  The longer the boil and the more concentrated the wort, the darker it will be.  To reduce darkening, a partial boil with a late extract addition is a better choice.  Adding extract late in the boil ensures that it's sterilized while minimizing darkening.

Malt extract doesn't need a long boil, as it's already been boiled during manufacture.  A 90-…