Archive | Homebrewing

Keeping your cool

Cool-brewingfermentation coolerIt’s always a sad day when a beer doctor suggests to a homebrewer that her or his beer might be “fermentably challenged.”

The Cool Brewing Fermentation Cooler works much more effectively to keep fermentation temperatures from soaring, and thus ruining a batch, than swamp coolers or other homemade coolers.

It is designed specifically to accommodate standard 5-gallon and 6.5-gallon fermentation buckets and carboys, and is built to hold ice packs, ice, or anything cold (such a frozen-2-liter jugs) and 100 percent waterproof. It costs $56 plus shipping.

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Essential brewing books: new and old

Sadly, those who were hoping to find Randy Mosher’s new book, “Mastering Home Brew: The Complete Guide to Brewing Delicious Beer,” under the tree next month will have to wait — the release has been delayed until spring. Mosher showed off some of the pages earlier this year at the National Homebrew Conference and it is clear it will belong on any list of essential homebrewing books.

Here are some others, starting with the newest release in Brewers Publications “Brewers Elements Series”:

- “Water: A Comprehensive Guide for Brewers”

- “Yeast: The Practical Guide to Beer Fermentation”

- “For The Love of Hops: The Practical Guide to Aroma, Bitterness and the Culture of Hops”

- How to Brew: Everything You Need To Know To Brew Beer Right The First Time

- “Designing Great Beers: The Ultimate Guide to Brewing Classic Beer Styles”

- “The Complete Joy of Homebrewing Third Edition”

- “Radical Brewing: Recipes, Tales and World-Altering Meditations in a Glass”

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AHA gift memberships

A recent survey conducted by the Brewers Association found that American homebrewers make about 62 million gallons of beer each year.

Obviously, the hobby is on the rise. Fewer than one in 25 homebrewers belong to the American Homebrewers Association, but that number is also on the rise and gift memberships are easy to purchase.

Benefits include:

- Zymurgy magazine & eZymurgy
- Discounts at some breweries and brewpubs
- Access to all of HomebrewersAssociation.org
- AHA Member Deals
- the AHA Forum
- AHA Rallies
- Competition, Event & Book Discounts

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An IPA book for drinkers and brewers alike

 IPA: Brewing Techniques, Recipes and the Evolution of India Pale AleWhat should “the authoritative guide to the brewing techniques and history behind” India pale ale include?

- A complete and accurate history of the style, one that addresses the various myths. Check.

- Plenty of historic recipes. Check.

- Lots of recipes for modern day versions, including many variations, and details about ingredients and process. Check.

- All the data beer and brewing geeks could ask for, packed into handy appendices. Check.

- An author who knows a little about brewing IPAs. Check.

The book is IPA: Brewing Techniques, Recipes and the Evolution of India Pale Ale and the author is Mitch Steele, head brewer at Stone Brewing Company.

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Barrels of bourbon fun

Bourbon barrel

Used bourbon barrels are all the rage these days, but filling a 53-gallon barrel (the standard size) can be a challenge for a homebrewer.

These five-gallon barrels from Woodinville Whiskey Co. are more suited to smaller batches. In addition, the smaller barrel sizes provide a greater surface area to volume ratio (more wood in contact with liquid) which results in increased extraction.

Woodinville currently is sold out of these barrels, but is taking orders now for deliveries in February.

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