What are some good home brew beer blogs/sites?

One of the most popular drinks around happens to be the beer.

A drink that goes back thousands of years, it is today a very popular beverage around the world.

With plenty of different flavors, preparations and indeed, a whole history behind it, this is one drink that isn’t going away anytime soon.

 

For a lot of people, beer is nothing more than a drink to be enjoyed on special occasions.

But to others, it is a passion like no other. It is usually those who are passionate about beer that usually prepares them at home. And then there are those who just happen to be curious about the whole thing and nothing more.

 

When it comes to making beer at home, there are a few things that need to be taken care of.

For one, preparing beer requires a lot of specialized equipment, in order to get that final beverage.

Then there is the need for information on how to prepare the drink, which in turn ranges from generalized information to specific details about unique recipes.

If you happen to be searching for home-brewed beer recipes, it would be an excellent idea to check out online.

With more information than you know what to do with, one is essentially spoiled for choice.

Given in the list below are some good home brew blogs and sites:

 

  1. American Home brewers Association

The American home brewers Association is an excellent source for home brews, with a host of amazing recipes and strategies available on how to make beer at home.

The organization itself is non-profit in nature, and is entirely about the love of beer, and helping out beer enthusiasts everywhere.

With a host of amazing posts published, this is one blog that one shouldn’t miss out on.

Site: homebrewersassociation.org

 

  1. Home Brew Answers

The Home Brew Answers is a great home brewing site, focusing on the bare essentials and basics of making beer at home.

While there is a lot of other details and information as well, the blog’s primary focus is on the actual preparation process, and dealing with the many challenges along the way.

Site: homebrewanswers.com

 

  1. The Mad Fermentationist

A private blog by a renowned beer fan and enthusiast, this is one of the best blogs you can check out if you are into home brewing.

The site contains a host of amazing and interesting information on how to prepare beer, unique recipes, tips, tricks and more.

Focused on just about every aspect of beer-making that you can imagine, this is one site you shouldn’t miss out on.

Site: themadfermentationist.com

 

  1. Craft Beer & Brewing Magazine

This site is an excellent source of information, if you are interested in unique craft brews, and their preparation. With a host of interesting details on the preparation of craft beers, this is one beer blog you should definitely check out.

In addition to this, there is a lot of general beer information as well to look forward to, when you visit the blog.

Site: beerandbrewing.com

 

  1. Experimental Homebrewing

This is a great online resource on how to prepare home-brewed beer.

As much as it is a great source of general home brewing information, the real treasure of this blog is in its interesting beer recipes and preparation styles, all of which make it a wonderful beer blog.

Site: experimentalbrew.com

 

  1. The Not So Professional Beer Blog

As the name would suggest, this is a blog dedicated to beer, in a ‘not so professional way’.

The main focus of the blog is about preparing craft and nano beers, in an experimental way. In it, you will find some very interesting experiments on the subject, as well as an insight into the beer culture of Portland.

Of the many things that it offers, this blog is a great pick if you’re into new tastes and beer recipe experimentation.

Site: notsoprofessionalbeer.com

 

  1. Four Brewers

As the name would suggest, this is a blog where different brewers get together to discuss about the world of beer.

The blog features a host of rich content, ranging from general information on beer, to specific details on home as well as craft beers. In addition to this, the site also features a beer podcast that you can check out when you visit.

Site: fourbrewers.com

 

 

It should also be added that there are indeed many more amazing resources just like the ones mentioned above.

So if you are interested in finding suitable resources in your quest for excellent homemade beer, there is plenty to go around online.

Raw Materials and Equipment Required for Homebrewing

As the name suggests, homebrewing is the process through which an individual(s) makes beer, cider, or mead from home. The operation marks the 40th anniversary of the federal legalization in the United States. It has seen dedicated technicians and casual hobbyists drive craft beer trends and culture. Currently, the homebrewers association has 46,000 members since its inception in 1978.

There is a considerable variation in the starter kit, and the list of available options is continuously growing. However, there are standard equipment and ingredients that must be in use if one is to brew their favorite drink successfully.

Ingredients for Breweries

Quality is king, and there is no room for compromise. One has to choose from sourcing the best raw materials from the best producers in the world. It is of utmost importance for a brewer to have access to the highest quality products. Consequently, it is only fair if one works with well-established, quality-conscious producers.

  1. Malt from Germany

Weyermann is a German producer famous for producing the best lager and special malt. The producer is widely known due to their high-quality and consistency, and also for offering the most extensive known selection of own-produced crops. The organization has more than 85 kinds of malt. Depending on what one is looking to brew, they can get wheat, smoke, rye, Czech, and organic malt, among others.

  1. Hops from Britain

Apart from Charles Faram being renowned for their extensive knowledge with hops and hop products, they also deliver over 100 various hop types from all the larger hop producing regions in the world. Hop products are essential in home brewing as they are primarily used for flavoring, bittering, and act as a stability agent in beer. They are responsible for imparting the various flavors and aromas found in a beer.

  1. Yeast from Fermentis

Fermentis is owned by the French company Lesaffre and is known for offering the best yeast solutions in the world. For example, they are known to deliver different types of yeast for various uses (distillation, beer, and cider). The yeast offered differs in quality, and the packets are available for a microbrew, homebrew, and industrial brewing. The entire assortment lives up to the firm’s standards, the same way that it has been approved for organic labeling. Additionally, the yeast that is produced at Fermentis is usually used for the production of cider and distillation of alcohol.

  1. Natural Solutions

Most brewers use the natural solution as it helps produce extracts for aroma, flavor, and bitterness from hop pellets. Also, they extract the oil making it easier to get the right balance of aroma and flavor in a finished beer. The products usually come as blends, but also from specific types of the hop.

  1. Water

Water is crucial in beer brewing but not something to worry about as tap water will work perfectly.

Homebrewing Equipment List

The best way to highlight the necessary equipment for homebrewing is to break the process up in various phases.

  1. Creation of Wort

During this phase, there is the making of sugary solution that becomes beer after being fermented using yeast. There are two varying ways in which a wort can be created (all grain or extract).

Extract Equipment

8-gallon beer brewing kettle: The kettles are specialized stainless made explicitly for brewing. Usually, a steel or aluminum kettle will work perfectly. As part of the process, one is required to boil water for around 20 minutes to create an oxide layer, and it is only done once. For a 5-gallon boil, a kettle should be at least 8 gallons, but if possible, a bigger pot should be used.

Heating source: Several ways can be used while heating the wort with the propane burner being the most common one. Nevertheless, it is possible to use the electric systems if they are installed with a specific electric element that helps in boiling.

Mash Paddle: The mash paddle is not required during extract brewing but is required during stirring of extracts into the water to prevent scorching and clumping.

Chiller: It should be noted that having a chiller is optional, although it helps reduce the brew day time and also the chances of an infection taking hold in the beer.

Thermometer: This is required to check the temperature of the wort before transferring it to the fermenter and pitching yeast.

All Grain Additions:

When brewing all grain, there is a need for some extra equipment.

Mash tun: This is an igloo style cooler which has a false bottom and a ball valve drainage port.

5-gallon kettle: It is usually used as a hot liquor tank (HLT). It is has a drainage valve port and used to store hot water for sparging. However, HTL and mash tun can be replaced by a more affordable BIAB bag.

  1. Fermentation

Hydrometer: It is used to measure the remaining amount of sugar in the beer. Usually, the reading is taken before pitching the yeast and after two weeks.

Iodophor or star san: These are sanitizers that are used to kill bacteria present in fermenters for testing equipment.

Bucket: This is used as a fermenter for the beer and should be big enough to hold the wort and have space for foam buildup.

Stoppers: This is to be used to fasten the buckets.

Temperature control: During fermentation process temperature plays a critical role. In most cases, yeast warms the fermenting beer above the ambient temperature by several degrees which might create off flavors.

  1. Bottling

Bottles: For every gallon of beer made, a maximum of 10 bottles is required.

Siphoning equipment: This is necessary for moving the beer to a bottling bucket or directly into the bottles.

Caps: They are used to seal the bottles. It is also advisable to use oxygen absorbing caps as they help reduce oxidation in the beer.

Capper: This is used to fasten caps onto the filled bottles.

The equipment required during the three processes is available online or from the supermarkets. The list comprises of essential equipment needed to brew beer. However, there are many upgrades available that can help a person brew better beer and more efficiently.

How to Handle Nano Brewing Equipment

The German beer culture has caught on and become a critical part of our lives. Nowadays, some people are looking to brew for themselves, which requires the use of brewing equipment. Nevertheless, the process of making beer has proved to be involving and sensitive, meaning one must take care in every aspect of the creation process. One of the best ways to ensure that care is taken is thorough cleaning and sanitizing of the nano-brewery equipment. Additionally, the environment in which the beer is being made should be cleaned and disinfected to ensure that the beer is healthy and well preserved. As such, there are a few things that need full attention.

Cleaning Nano Brewery Equipment

Scrubbing has proved the most effective way of cleaning equipment. However, it is impractical to clean commercial brewery equipment as it might take many hours to clean. Consequently, it is advisable to use cleaning agents besides scrubbing to ensure the equipment are clean. It is imperative to avoid damaging the machine during the cleaning process. Using a sponge or a soft cloth reduces any chances of causing any damage. Most household cleaners should be avoided as they are not suitable for human consumption.

Chemicals Used for Cleaning Nano Brewery Equipment

Percarbonates: It is a mixture of sodium carbonate and hydrogen peroxide. The mixture has proved useful during the cleaning process. Cleaning is ensured through activation of oxygen that makes the whole solution to become alkali. This mixture is not only fit for consumption, but it’s also environmentally friendly.

Chlorine: It is highly useful to clean both used and new brewery equipment. However, it should only be used to clean metal equipment as it reacts to plastic.

Powder brewery wash: Most of the equipment used has odd shapes that make it impossible to scrub. As such, it is advisable to invest in a stronger solution that will help remove stubborn dirt from the equipment.

Sanitizing Nano Brewery Equipment

Sterilization is necessary when cleaning equipment as it removes organisms that might cause batch spoilage. The following products can be used for sterilization;

Star san: It is useful in killing microorganisms, and it also has no odor and flavor. Also, it leaves a protective film that keeps protecting the equipment after use.

Iodophor: It is widely used in the food and medical industry for sanitizing food. It is a mixture of sanitizer, iodine detergent, and germicide.

Heat: It is used to sanitize equipment through boiling or use of dry heat. When using heat, one should make sure they stick below the melting point of equipment being sanitized and also to slowly cool them to avoid breakage.

Venting Propane

A room must be well ventilated due to the gases by various burners. For example, when working in a poorly ventilated place can cause carbon monoxide poisoning if using propane burners. In most cases, the side effects range from a mild headache to fainting in the case of extreme levels of carbon monoxide.

Need to Wear Protective Gear

During a brewing day, one should fit on protective gear to avoid sustaining any form of injuries. Equipment used in nano brewery varies from hot to sharp and may cause severe injuries if they come in touch with any part of the body. To protect such burns and injuries, one should not work in a brewery with open-toed shoes or touch a boiling kettle without having the safety boots and protective gloves on. Additionally, one should wear a respiratory mask when milling grain. This is to protect the person from harmful bacteria that are present in grains.

Cleaning Up Spills

When working in a brewery, one should expect spills from time to time. A spill might cause one to fall over and hurt his elbow, knees, and also it might result in burns. As such, spills should be quickly cleaned as a failure to do that might prove hazardous wellbeing of the workers.

Loose Hose Connection Clamps During Hot Liquid Transfer

It is easy to forget to fasten hose clamps which are usually loose after several times of being in use. Well fastened clamps help reduce the chances of a hose being blown off after pressurized pump is fired up, thus sending hot water and wort flying.

Gravity Testing

Not testing the gravity of beer before bottling can prove to be costly afterward. One should make sure that the beer being bottled is fully fermented to avoid chances of the bottle exploding as they can cause serious injuries or damage to the other equipment. To prevent bad blow ups, one should consider putting the bottles inside a box to reduce the chances of damage occurring in the event something goes wrong.

Unscheduled Brewing Day

Planning for a brewing day in advance makes the whole process much safer. It allows one to arrange the equipment and the room as they desire, thus reducing the chances of being injured. In most cases, when one starts brewing without prior planning, the exercise usually leads to frantic actions, which might result in injuries.

Boilovers

Boilovers are a common occurrence during the homebrewing process. Boilovers are common during boiling and hop addition as that is when beer tends to foam quickly. One should be attentive to the kettle and act as required if they notice a boilover. To prevent such issues, one should always have a larger kettle than the boil volume. Failure to have appropriate measures in place can lead to burns and also flare-ups on open flame burners.

Transporting Full Glass Carboy

Glass carboy necks are not very firm and can snap off and shatter, resulting in cuts. It is advisable for one not to carry full carboy by the carboy handle only. Instead, one should consider products like bucket sling and brew hauler.

Conclusion

Nano-brewing equipment has been made highly available, but the quality of the beer is dependent on other aspects such as cleanliness. No one should overlook the significance of such an element if they are to be successful. Also, all the guidelines on how to handle and maintain equipment should be adhered to for the well-being of the people using them.