• Labels and Branding Your Homebrew

    What is a Brand? It’s kind of a broad term, but it all comes down to a consistent “image” or style that is recognizable between products of the same maker. In this case, if two labeled homebrews sat next to each other, could you tell they were all from the same brewer despite being very different homebrews? In this article I’ll go over some of the techniques you can use to create a cohesive brand for your homebrew, as ...

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  • Introduction to Wine - Making Grape Wines

    Wine is an alcoholic beverage whose fermentables come from grapes. Not grocery store grapes (known as table grapes), but from wine making varieties not sold in supermarkets. This is because wine grapes aren’t really good for eating. Wine grapes are, smaller, more pungent, and have thicker chewy skins. Eating them just isn’t pleasant, and if you can’t eat it, ferment it (not always a good idea)! Many wines get their names...

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  • Increasing the Alcohol Content of Kit Beer

    It’s All About Sugar and Yeast It’s the magic combination that turns ordinary fluid into the age old concoction that is alcohol. Let’s say you brew your first all grain beer, and your numbers fall short. Suddenly your 5.3% Pale is will be a 4.1% session beer. Or maybe you just find yourself wanting to increase the alcohol content of an extract kit you bought. We’ll go over a few options at your disposal as a home brewe...

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  • Introduction to Mead - How to Make Mead

    What is Mead?: Mead is a wine whose fermentable ingredients come from honey instead of grapes. It has existed in society for thousands of years. When honey was harder to collect, it was a drink reserved for upper class citizens. Thanks to some really brave people with smoke cans and mesh suits; we can all get honey (and in extension, mead) a little easier. In terms of making mead, you need at least these three ingredients: Hon...

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  • How to Cool Your Wort

    Why Cool? Firstly, yeast can’t handle temps around 95F and up. So at some point, somehow, you’re going to need to cool your wort to a happy 65-68 degrees (for ales) or cooler (for lagers). There are several ways to accomplish this, some being more hands on than others. The longer your beer sits without alcoholic fermentation, the higher the risk of some level of spoilage. That could be a wild yeast infection or even mold i...

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  • The What’s What of Homebrewing Starter Kits

    What’s in a Home Brew Starter Kit?: The prospect of making your own beer can be an exciting one. You go to your local homebrew store or visit one of the online options, and head over to the starter kit section. There you’ll usually find several selections, each claiming to be the ideal set for beginning home brewing, but how do you choose what’s best for you? In this article, we’ll go over all of the most common compon...

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  • Guide to Cleaners and Sanitizers

    What’s the Difference? Cleaning and sanitizing your equipment is a topic that is stressed over and over in the brewing community. That’s because it is absolutely imperative to successful beer making. There are many ways to go about it, but the important thing is that you do it. Think of cleaning as being done on a visual level. If you can see some form build up, dust, hop matter, crusted on krausen, etc. These things requi...

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  • How to use a refractometer

    A refractometer is used to measure the amount of sugar in a solution. This is done based on the refraction index of the liquid. More sugar in solution will produce a higher refraction index. The scale of the refractometer is calibrated to read the equivalent concentration of sugar for a given refraction index. Using a refractometer sounds and looks complicated, but it is easy once you get the hang of it. Making a measurements ...

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  • Guide to Mashing and Sparging

    Mashing is a process used during all grain brewing to convert the starches in the grain to sugars. Depending mostly on the temperature and time of the mash a variety of sugar compositions can be produced. Brew in a bag (BIAB) is an easy way to go about mashing grain with very little special equipment. In fact, the only thing you’ll probably need to buy is a paint strainer bag. If the crushed grain mixture, or grist, is prima...

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