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Category Archives: Ask The Brewmaster

Ask The Brewmaster Brewing Equipment

Beer Cookies – Homebrew, Chocolate Chips, Bacon, and Cayenne Pepper

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So holiday time rolls around, and parties are a plenty.  I had to come up with a new luncheon treat to bring to work, and I wanted to use my own homebrew in it somehow.  After some research I found this recipe.  Perfect! It uses beer, chocolate chips, bacon (everybody loves bacon, right?!?), and cayenne pepper.  As with most things, I had to do some modifications to make it my own and work with what I had at home, so here is what I came up with.

 

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Ask The Brewmaster Homebrew Talk

Father’s Day Wishlist – Gifts For the Homebrewer

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So Father’s Day is coming up.  A homebrewer should be a simple father to shop for!  My wife often asks me for a wishlist for major holiday shopping.  Often times I give a list of a few upgrades or needs.  Why not compile a list of things that can be a gift for any homebrewer!  I will split them up for price levels, so you can find things in any budget range.  This is just a starting list!  If you have any suggestions, add them in the comments below!

$9.99 and Under

This is a great category for little gift.  These are items that most brewers need on a usual basis.  They are a great gift from the kids to dad too!

Muslin Bags – These are great little bags for adding hops into your brew.  As a homebrewer, it seems like I am always picking these up….one can never have enough of them!

Long Stainless Steel Spoon – This is a great upgrade for most brewers.  The length makes it easier to not dip your hands into that boiling wort.

 

$10-$30 Range

10″ Anti Splash Funnel – nothing makes a wife happier than a brew transfer that doesn’t splash on the floor.

Every brewer, or beer drinker for that matter, has a need to transport some cold beer from point a to point b.  Enter the Insulated Six Pack Bottle Carrier With Opener.  Now, a buddy of mine has a similar thing, and he uses it weekly coming to our poker game.  Keeps your brewer’s beers cold and easy to carry.  A bottle opener included is a bonus!

 

$30-$50

The Kettle Spider™ makes it easier to add your hops mid boil, and remove them before it hits the fermenter.  This allows for a clearer beer setup.  In order to be used, you do need to add on a bag.

 

$50-$100

Torpedo Kegs – Kegging will make any dad’s day.  Stackable kegs….even better!  These stainless steel beauts are a brewer’s best friend.

 

$100 and more

Ss Brewtech Brew Bucket Stainless Steel Fermenter – Who doesn’t want a cool looking fermenter?  The conical design helps the trub stay out for clearer beer.

 

 

What’s on your list?

 

 

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Ask The Brewmaster

Big Brew Day 2016 – Throw Mama From The Flame

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So May 7th was Big Brew Day.  What is that?  According to the American Homebrewers Association website, it says:

“In 1988, May 7 was announced before Congress as National Homebrew Day. The American Homebrewers Association (AHA) created AHA Big Brew as an annual event to celebrate National Homebrew Day around the world. AHA Big Brew is held each year on the first Saturday in May.”

So what did I do?  I had to brew!  Only problem was my wife was out of town for a trip, so I had to brew by myself.  That is really ok, but I wanted to be sure I brewed, so I did a quick batch.  Throw Mama From The Flame was born.  This is kind of a followup to a previous brew, Too Hot Mama, but a different style.  This brew didn’t just use two ghost peppers, but rather much more.

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Ask The Brewmaster Homebrew Talk

Clarifying Or Not To Clarify – That Is The Question

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So one of the things that I have been thinking about lately with brewing is things that clarify your homebrew.  With a major explosion on the interwebs today based on two articles: 

  1. BRÜ’S VIEWS W/ JOHN WIBLE | ON THE HAZY BEER CONTROVERSY

  2. New England/Vermont-style IPA Is/Not a Thing

I decided it was time to think about this again.  I think that really most beers “look the part” in beauty pageants. 

I have some Irish moss in my supplies.  I have used it before.  Did I notice a difference?  Can’t say that I did.  Why?  Well, my brewing has been an interesting journey.  I really never made the same brew more than once.  There was one brew that I made 7 times, but the thing was, I never used a clarifying agent  with it.  So let’s dive into what it does and how it can help. Continue reading

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Ask The Brewmaster Homebrew Talk

Interview With Chris From Homebrewfinds.com

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So Chris from HOMEBREWFINDS.COM agreed to be my first interviewee.  I found his site a while ago, and find myself visiting quite often.  I think it is cool to find out more about the “man behind the curtain”.

 

How long have you been homebrewing?  What got you into it?

I started brewing in 2007. I had been interested in craft beer for a few years and watched a Modern Marvels on the subject of brewing. There was a segment in that show on homebrewing featuring Drew Beechum. It looked like something I wanted to try… so I did. I did a lot of research and decided on a Coopers setup. I thought that one purchase was all I’d ever need. 🙂

What was your biggest homebrewing mistake or let down? Why?

My biggest mistake would have to be the time I dropped a full 6.5 gallon glass carboy down 2 or 3 steps. There’s nothing quite like a hours long brew day that results in – no beer, glass shards in your feet, loss of equipment and a massive mess that you have to clean up with bleeding feet. That incident prompted me to (mostly) stop using glass fermenters. That’s one of the reasons I like my Speidel Fermenter so much. I do still use glass fermenters, but only for aging sour beers. Continue reading

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Ask The Brewmaster Brewing Equipment

FastFerment Conical Fermenter Setup and Overview

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For Christmas, I got the FastFerment Conical Fermenter as well as a few of the accessories.  So I decided to do a quick setup and overview of it as my first video done for the website.  I will do a full review of it after I use it on an upcoming brew.

A few things to note:

  1.  I needed another quarter turn of the main valve assembly, and I found this out during my water test.
  2.  I forgot the carrying strap that I got as well.
  3. I need to boost my audio next time  (sorry)
  4. I should put away the kids’ games before videoing…..I got excited and blasted ahead without cleaning.

 

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Ask The Brewmaster Homebrew Talk

Interview Series – Homebrewer Style!

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One of the best ways to learn about something is get information from people who have been doing it longer, have had more mentors, and have more information available to them.  So, I figured why not check in with some homebrewers on the internet, as well as homebrewers from my local area who have made the jump to commercial brewing.  Thus, the birth of the Homebrewer Interview Series!

As a starting point, I contacted Chris from HOMEBREWFINDS.COM.  You will notice that I mentioned Chris’s site in a past post and I find myself checking it often.  I reached out to Chris to see if he would be willing to chat with me, or type some answers to a few probing questions.  He agreed, so here we go!  The interview will be posted soon!

 

I am working on getting some more interviews set up….so stay tuned!

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Ask The Brewmaster Brewing Equipment Homebrew Talk

Why Use A Conical Fermenter?

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In the realm of brewing, there are just a few equipment upgrades that really make a big difference in your brewing process.  The big thing?  A conical fermenter.  When you visit a brewery of any commercial scale, they are not using a bucket brewing system like most home brewers.  They don’t have carboys lined up.  They have large shiny conical fermenters.  These pieces of equipment for homebrewers are like vision of sugar plums dancing in children’s heads.

So on my wishlist for the holidays this year was a conical fermenter.  I knew that a bright shiny stainless steel one was not an option, so instead I asked for a more affordable and movable one.  I went for the FastFerment Concical Fermenter.  I chose this one for a few reasons.  The price point was right on, there were a bunch of add-on accessories,  and it was movable.  I will post a full setup and review of it in the future. Continue reading

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