Beer Brewing Process

  • Oak Barrels and Oak Alternatives in Home Winemaking

    Barrels and Staves and Cubes, Oh My!

    Oak Barrels Picture of rack of oak barrels


    You’ve done it! You’ve made your very first batch of wine. You crushed the grapes yourself, taken countless hydrometer readings, checked the acid levels, waited what has seemed like forever.

    It’s time to bottle – but before you do, you give it a taste and something is missing. You can’t put your finger on it. This is good, sure, but it’s not as smooth as you’d like, or not as complex. It doesn’t finish on your palate quite right.

    What could it be? Did you miss an important step? Did the fermentation not go as well as you thought? What is this je ne sais quoi that is missing?

    Could it be oak?

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  • 7 Flavors to Try in Your Next Homebrew

    7 Herbs & Spices to Try in Your Next Homebrew

    A Few Ideas to Ban the Dreaded “Brewer’s Block”

    While talking with a fellow homebrewer recently, we both agreed how easy it is to get into the rut of making the same old recipes, over and over. When you first start brewing, you feel adventurous and excited to try anything and everything you can get your hands on. Well, after a few years, and a couple batches that weren’t up to standard, you begin making your tried and true recipes only - rarely deviating from the handful of favorites that your friends ask for time and time again. You know the crowd pleasers, and it’s a risk to spend a lot of time and money experimenting with new flavors.

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  • 5 Reasons for Stuck Fermentation (and How to Fix Them!)

    5 Reasons for Stuck Fermentation
    (and How to Fix Them!)

    A lot of work goes into the fermentation process. The process of taking hours to pick fruit, crush berries, squeeze juice, check Ph and Acid levels takes a lot of time and effort. A slow or stuck fermentation can be frustrating and disappointing. However, most of the issues causing a stuck fermentation are easily remedied. Here are a few of the most common reasons for a slow or stuck fermentation process, and the steps you can take to fix them and get back to wine making!

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  • Comparing Glass and Plastic Carboys: Expert Advice

    Comparison of glass and plastic carboys

    The Question I Hear at Least Once Per Day: Glass or Plastic?

    For years, homebrewers and wine makers have fiercely debated on whether to use plastic or glass carboys during fermentation. I’m going to warn you now: if you are looking for a definitive answer, you are going to be disappointed. There are pros and cons to both. I will lay them all out, and you, mighty homebrewer, will have to decide the best choice for yourself.

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  • Brewing is Better with a Buddy

    3028696-poster-p-two-beersHomebrewing is more than a mere hobby - it is a way of life. But it doesn't start out in this manner and is actually a life long journey. In the beginning, normally, you first became interested in homebrewing when a friend brought over a fancy looking beer and he "humbly" announced to everyone that it had cost $4 per bottle. You took a swig, and it was delicious, much better than what your father drank after a hard day's work. So you started visiting local breweries and began building up your beer palate. And then one evening, after sipping on a mild IPA, a kernel of an idea planted itself, "Why don't I try to make my own beer?"

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  • How Seasonal Beers Are Made

    If you’ve been following us for a while, you’ve probably learned a little bit about some of the seasonal beers that you can make at home with your own beer brewing kit. While it’s actually pretty easy to make these or any other style of beer using a homebrew kit, it may interest you to know a little bit more about how these seasonal favorites are made.

    If you happen to be up for a bit of a bigger project than usual, you can of course give these a try the old fashioned way – but of course you may just want to expand your base of brewing knowledge and make things easy on yourself by using a beer brewing kit and ready-made malt extracts and other ingredients to make these classic brews. As our examples, we’ll use four seasonal favorites. Continue reading

  • A Few Tips For Brewing High Alcohol Beer

    Sometimes you just want to make a beer that has more of a kick than the average brew. Fortunately, you have a beer brewing kit; so you can make literally any kind of beer you could ever want and that includes high alcohol beer. In fact, it’s actually easier to make high alcohol beer than you might think, but you’ll need some basic equipment in order to get started: namely, a beer brewing kit and the usual ingredients, water, hops, malt and yeast. Continue reading

  • How Temperature Affects Wine And Beer During Fermentation

    Having one of the new, easy-to-use wine making kits or a beer brewing kit is a very exciting thing for anyone who loves beer or wine. Being able to make your own wine and beer at home lets you make some of your favorites and discover new ones, all while learning a lot more about how it’s done.

    There are some variables in the process that every beginning vintner and home brewer needs to be aware of in order to ensure that their creations turn out as they intended. Temperature is one of the most important of these factors. Continue reading

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