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The Right Glass for your Next Home Brew

15 Dec
beer glasses

The right glass can add quality to any beer

It’s true, most people reading this would drink a craft beer or homebrew out of a paper cup and be perfectly satisfied.  But beer has been around a long time, and over that time brew masters, scientists, and engineers have designed, tested, tweaked, and redesigned glasses that are made to perfectly complement a particular beer style.  For example, snifters allow barleywines to be swirled and oxygenated while wheat beer glasses have a wide base to trap yeast; so it would be a shame to allow years of research and fine tuning to go to waste, plus having the right glass for your homebrew could add some quality, not to mention it will look like you know what you’re doing.  Check out the list below to educate yourself on which glasses go with which beers.

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Deschutes Brewery Clone Recipes

15 Dec

If you’re familiar with the ever expanding, high quality beer from one of the Northwest’s largest craft breweries, Deschutes Brewery, then you may be as thrilled as we were to discover the homebrew page on their website.  Deschutes is famous for its Black Butte Porter, Mirror Pond Pale Ale, and Inversion IPA.  They have won many Great American Beer Festival (GABF) awards for their high quality and unique brews.  Venture over to the Deschutes website and delight in the fact that you can find the recipes for almost all of their offerings.  Deschutes won’t tell you the brewing schedules or volumes, but experimentation is part of the fun of homebrewing.  As they say: “Temps, times and weights are the challenge. Happy Brewing!”  We agree. Brew On!

Homebrew for the Holidays

12 Dec

Gift giving season is among us.  All homebrewers have to start somewhere, and many companies have created great starter kits that make it easy to begin brewing great beer at home.  If you have someone special in your lives this season that has an affinity for beer, consider giving a gift that will keep giving…Great Beer!

We’ve compiled a list of starter kits from around the web.  We’ve tried to select kits that include everything needed to start brewing great extract beer in your kitchen at home .  There are many more options out there, but we hope this helps at least one person discover a wonderful new hobby.  Brew On!

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Homebrew Competitions

2 Dec

Probably the greatest aspect of brewing and beer in general is how accessible every facet of the field really is.  If you’d like to try to recreate your favorite IPA at home, there’s a decent chance the recipe will be on the brewery’s website, or at least on a brewing forum like HomebrewTalk.com. Even at the commercial level, one will often find local breweries working together to create a collaborative beer or hosting a homebrew competition for the local community.  These competitions are often entered by homebrewers as a way to gain some constructive criticism and attempt to take their brewing to the next level.  But again, they are remarkably accessible to anyone with a couple extra 12 oz. bottles of homebrew and the five dollar entry fee.  The fee will vary of course, but the point is, competitions are very ubiquitous and very easy to enter.  Here are a few resources to get you started on entering your local competition.

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A Case for Labeling

26 Nov
Beer Labels

The label sets the expectation

It’s a step in brewing process that is often overlooked even though I believe it contributes to the quality of a homebrew just as much as any ingredient in the beer (except hops or malt or any ingredient that actually goes into the beer).  The label is what sets the expectation for the entire drinking experience.  A bottle with an interesting and unique label will be much more remembered than that 2nd IPA you brewed last February without a name in a nondescript brown bottle and handing out a nicely labeled beer is a satisfying, enjoyable gift.  I believe in labeling every beer I make, not only for others, but it helps me remember each specific beer much more vividly.  A great resource I use is a website called BeerLabelizer.com.  It’s a great starting point for a nice looking label plus it’s always fun to add some personal touches as you can see in 2 of my labels above.  So consider this a recommendation to not skip that final step, it’s a great way to increase the quality of your beer.  Prost!

-Travis Neufeld

The Dangers of Hops to Your Pets

26 Nov
hop dog bad

Though rare, hop reactions can be fatal

There is somewhat of a mystery to whether or not hops are bad for pets.  With very little data available on the topic (only one veterinary journal article has ever been published) most pet owners are ignorant of the dangers that this all-important ingredient can pose, yet many homebrewers have hops around the house for brewing or may even grow their own in their back yard.  We here at Brewing and Beer love our hops, but we also love our dogs, so continue reading to educate yourself on the dangers hops can present to your pets.

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Common Homebrew Off Flavors

22 Nov green apples

It’s a problem all too common in homebrewing and with such a large number of variables that can contribute to off-flavors, Murphy’s Law seems to have quite the advantage.  The most occurring reason for off-flavors is lack of sanitation leading to bacterial contamination but there are still a plethora of other possible culprits.  So if you finally crack open that first homebrew only to find a strange, unwelcome flavor staking out in your bottles, check out this list from morebeer.com, it ought to help determine what caused it and should help you prevent any unwanted tastes in the future.

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