Homebrewing blogs

Cherry Wine: Flanders Red Recipe

The Mad Fermentationist - Mon, 12/11/2017 - 3:38pm
When it comes to adding fruit to sour beer I've long advocated waiting, both on the blog (and in American Sour Beers). This serves two purposes. First, it delays the decision point, allowing the brewer to taste the unaugmented beer and decide the optimal treatment for each carboy or barrel (blend, fruit, dry hop, drain etc.). Second, it allows you to drink the packaged sour beer while the fruit aromatics are still fresh and vibrant. But is that approach sacrificing anything?

Talking to Scott about his "two season" peach sour, and hearing the approaches at a few breweries (e.g., Wicked Weed - Red Angel has 1 lb per gallon of raspberries in the barrels at three weeks and then 3 lbs more per gallon at the end) got me thinking. Early fruit allows for yeast-interactions before the pH falls far enough to inhibit those enzymes; theoretically it could produce a richer perhaps "jammy" fruit profile. Reserving a portion of the fruit could adds back those aromatics that would be oxidized or volatilized by the end of aging.

The base beer for my first attempt at the technique was a Flemish red. The recipe is not far from numerous beers I'd brewed before except for two notable tweaks. I used American Munich/Vienna instead of European. I used pre-aged "Lambic" hops from Yakima Valley in hopes of pushing some of the fruity depth they can provide.

While I enjoy cherries in pale lambic-type beers, they can easily dominate the subtle malt profile. I've had good results with them in sour reds in the past, and wanted to try staggered additions. I opted for Scott Labs 58W3 wine yeast for primary fermentation. A previous Flemish red had done well with another wine strain, and I hoped that given this strain was selected to free aromatics (bound terpenes and glycosides) from wine grapes, it might benefit the cherries. For ease of timing and considering that all of the bright-fresh aromatics are already gone, I added dried sour cherries a month into souring. Russian River adds dried sour cherries to the Pinot Noir barrels for Supplication along with the Brett, so I was in good company. As I usually do, I rinsed the dried fruit briefly in StarSan to remove the oil that prevents them from sticking.

Souring was provided by dregs from De Garde Saison Facile. And I can say without question they did a much better job than the other half of the batch with Wyeast Roeselare (no tasting today as it has a strong sulfur character).

Once the dried cherries had given their all, I racked onto a 2:1 combination of homegrown sour cherries and farmer's market sweet/dark cherries. I have read and heard from several reliable sources (Wild Brews and Dave Pyle) that the sour cherries of Belgium are somewhere between sweet and sour cherries in America.

The attendees to my February Sour Beer BYO Boot Camp in San Diego will have a chance to taste this beer (and blend it with several of my other dark and cherry sours) as those in Indianapolis did in November! The early bird $100 discount only runs through 12/15.

Cherry Wine

Smell – The homegrown sour cherries really shine. It smells like the defrosting bag of fruit. Light spice, almost cinnamon, something I’ve gotten in the past from dried sour cherries. Not much malt coming through.

Appearance – Clear garnet. The base beer without fruit is red, the cherries provide depth and push it more burgundy. Small light-tan head, good retention.

Taste – The fruit flavor is true and saturated... jammy. The various types of cherries adding depth without muddling the overall fruit impression. Firm lactic acidity, with added sharpness from the fruit. The malt doesn’t have the oomph I expect from that amount of Munich and Vienna. Not much Brett character, but it does have more funky-depth than a kettle sour. A touch of perceived sweetness lingering with the fruit and almondy pits.

Mouthfeel – The high FG provides some substance to the otherwise crisp profile. Solid carbonation, not too much.

Drinkability & Notes – A showcase for cherries without being only about the fruit. One of the best cherry sours I’ve brewed. Saturated with fruit, and good balanced acidity. I’ve been enjoying this and it has been going quickly as I've been nervous that the gravity finished higher than I expected.

Changes for Next Time –  Maltiness could be firmer, will likely switch back to Weyermann for the Vienna and Munich. I'd get my timing better and add the dried cherries to the carboy before I transfer the beer in.

Recipe

Batch Size: 5.50 gal
SRM: 13.9
IBU: 13.3
OG: 1.062
FG: 1.018
ABV: 5.8%
Final pH: 3.27
Brewhouse Efficiency: 71%
Boil Time: 90 Mins

Fermentables
-----------------
37.0% - 5 lbs Briess Borlander Munich Malt
33.3% - 4.5 lbs Briess Goldpils Vienna Malt
18.5% - 2.5 lbs Rahr 2-Row Brewers malt
7.4% - 1 lbs Weyermann CaraRed
3.7% - .5 lbs Weyermann CaraAroma

Mash
-------
Mash In - 45 min @ 158F

Hops
-------
2.00 oz YVH Lambic (Pellets, 2.00% AA) @ 90.0 min

Water
-------
5.5 g Calcium Chloride
.5 Whirlfloc Tablet

Calcium Chloride Sulfate Sodium Magnesium Carbonate 90 110 50 15 10 90
Fruit
-------
1 lbs Dried Sour Cherries
3 lbs Homegrown Sour Cherries
1.5 lbs Dark/Sweet Cherries

Yeast
-------
Scott Labs 58W3
De Garde Saison Facile Dregs

Notes
-------
Recipe adjusted to reflect only half of the batch tasted here.

Brewed 2/19/17

Collected 7 gallons of 1.056 runnings from 8 gallon mash with 5.5 g of CaCl, and 1.5 gallon cold water sparge.

Lambic hops from Yakima Valley Hops. Bagged. No idea on AA%, wort had almost no bitterness.

Chilled to 62F, shook to aerate, pitched 8 g of BM45 in one half, 5 g of 58W3 in the other. No other bugs, yet. Left at 70F to ferment.

3/5/17 Racked both to secondary.

BM45 - 1.026, pitched a pack of Roeselare

58W3 - 1.032, pitched De Garde Saison Facile dregs.

Left at ambient basement temperature, ~60F.

4/8/16 Added 1 lb of dried cherries to the 58W3 half. Rinsed in StarSan to remove any surface oil (more than sanitation).

7/21/17 Racked the 58W3 half onto ~3 lbs of sour cherries (half homegrown) and 1.5 lbs of sweet cherries. Frozen and defrosted, purged with CO2. Left the dried cherries behind.

10/1/17 Bottled both halves with rehydrated Pasteur Champagne. 4.75 gallons of each, 97 g of table sugar, aiming for 2.3 volumes of CO2. The non-cherry half had a slight sulfur aroma and foamed oddly during bottling.

Cherry 3.27 pH and FG of 1.018 (higher than I expected although it did drop considerably from when it was transferred).

I get a commission if you buy something after clicking the links to MoreBeer/Amazon/Adventures in Homebrewing/Great Fermentations!
Categories: Homebrewing blogs

Imperial Yeast and Starters with Owen Lingley, Jess Caudill – BeerSmith Podcast #161

Homebrewing from Beersmith - Sun, 12/10/2017 - 10:46am

Owen Lingley and Jess Caudill from Imperial Yeast join me this week to discuss brewing yeast, yeast starters, pitch rates, and caring for your beer yeast.

Subscribe on iTunes to Audio version or Video version or on Google Play

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Topics in This Week’s Episode (43:36)
  • Today my guests are Owen Lingley and Jess Caudill from Imperial Yeast. Owen is co-owner at Imperial yeast and worked at Wyeast and also runs Craft Canning and Bottling company. He started Imperial Yeast about 2-1/2 years ago. Jess is head of the technical services department and has been in the beer industry for 22 years including Wyeast and also “Everybody’s Brewing” head of production.
  • We start with a discussion about the importance of high quality yeast in making great beer.
  • Jess explains how many yeast cells are needed for a typical 5 gal (19 l) batch.
  • We talk about starting gravities and the importance of matching your yeast pitch rate to the batch size and gravity.
  • Owen explains the concept of viable cells and how viability (living cells) decrease as a package of yeast is stored.
  • We discuss dry yeast and why it has a longer shelf life.
  • Jess tells us how to ideally store and preserve yeast to extend its viability over time.
  • We discuss yeast packaging and Owen tells us about his future packaging plans for Imperial yeast.
  • Jess explains why you need more yeast cells when working with a lager.
  • Owen talks about yeast starters and why they are important for many beers.
  • Jess tells us what size a typical homebrew starter might be.
  • We talk about how to make a yeast starter, typical sizes and why you might want to use a stir plate with a starter.
  • Jess explains the limits of starter size growth (typically 2-3x).
  • We discuss multi-stage starters and how to use them.
  • Owen and Jess explain how yeast is grown commercially.
  • Owen talks about Imperial yeast, some of their future plans and also Homebrewcon which is coming to his home town.
Sponsors

Thanks to Owen Lingley and Jess Caudill for appearing on the show and also to you for listening!

iTunes Announcements: I launched a new video channel for the BeerSmith podcast on iTunes, so subscribe now! At the moment it will only feature the new widescreen episodes (#75 and up). Older episodes are available on my revamped Youtube channel. Also all of my audio episodes are on iTunes now – so grab the older episodes if you missed any.

Thoughts on the Podcast?

Leave me a comment below or visit our discussion forum to leave a comment in the podcast section there.

Subscribe to the Podcast on iTunes or BeerSmith Radio

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Categories: Homebrewing blogs

Making An Orange Mead and Evaluating The Early Progress

Brew Dudes - Fri, 12/08/2017 - 8:26am

Mike made an Orange Mead, all unbeknownst to me. It was a few weeks old and he wanted me to taste it at this point to see if I thought it was on the right track or not. As homebrewers, we get really confident in our ability to rate the quality of our beers at […]

Read the original article Making An Orange Mead and Evaluating The Early Progress and other Brew Dudes posts.

Categories: Homebrewing blogs

Brew Dudes Homebrew Swap – Exchange #22

Brew Dudes - Sun, 12/03/2017 - 3:37am

Number 22 on the old beer exchange board gives us 2 beers to try. Adam from Madison, WI (USA) sent us a Czech Pilsner and an Octoberfest and we were excited to try them. Watch this video to see what we thought of Adam’s beer. The Twenty Second Homebrew Swap Adam wrote to us and […]

Read the original article Brew Dudes Homebrew Swap – Exchange #22 and other Brew Dudes posts.

Categories: Homebrewing blogs

Digital Thermometer Options for Beer Brewing

Homebrewing from Beersmith - Wed, 11/29/2017 - 2:29pm

This week I take a look at digital thermometer options to use with your beer brewing system. Digital thermometers currently on the market have a wide temperature range, are inexpensive, very accurate and easy to use.

Types of Brewing Thermometers

In this article I want to focus on digital thermometer options, but first I’ll describe the most popular analog options which include the floating glass thermometer and the kettle thermometer.

Most brewers are familiar with the ubiquitous floating glass thermometer which comes with the vast majority of homebrew starter kits. These glass thermometers typically have a temperature range of 0-100 C (32-212 F) and can simply be dropped in the pot or mash tun and left to float. They are fairly reliable though some have questionable accuracy in some cases (usually within a few degrees) and also they are quite fragile. I’ve broken a bunch of these.

The next most common thermometer in brewing is the common kettle thermometer (brumometer, brew thermometer) which typically has a dial face that is adjustable so you can calibrate it. These are inserted in a hole drilled in the kettle, and if calibrated properly before use are typically accurate within perhaps two degrees. These are analog thermometers that are often sold with higher end brew kettles or systems, and are great for brewing.

More recent innovations include digital thermometers both of the cooking (metal tip) kind and the infrared kind. Finally, Blichmann has introduced a bluetooth kettle thermometer called the BrewVision thermometer that is also digital but communicates directly with your phone. I’m going to cover these three models in this article as each has its advantages over the two more common types.

The Infrared Digital Thermometer

First up is the infrared digital thermometer. I bought this model from TackLife (Amazon affiliate link) as it was inexpensive and had roughly a one percent +/-1F (0.5 C) accuracy.

An infrared thermometer shines a low power laser at an object and measures the temperature based on the infrared reflection. So basically to use it you just point and shoot it at the surface of the water and it will give you the surface temperature reading. I found it to be quick and accurate for measuring water, the temperature of the pot itself, and external temperatures of fermenters.

Unfortunately the laser fell short when working with an all grain mash tun. I believe the foaming and grain on top of the mash tun interfered with the laser and I found it often gave inaccurate results when compared to my kettle thermometer or other digital thermometers. So I could use this device while heating my water, but not when measuring the mash temperature after adding grains. So unfortunately this is not a great option for all grain brewers who require accurate mash step temperatures.

The Digital Cooking Thermometer

Next up, I tried a simple digital cooking thermometer. This is the inexpensive model I purchased – an RTS digital waterproof thermometer (Amazon affiliate link). Again the unit claimed a +/- 1 F (0.5 C) accuracy level.

To use this thermometer you simply dip it in the water, mash or beer, and it very rapidly will give you a temperature reading. At high temperature, I found it worked very quickly – usually settling on a temperature within a second or two. At room temperature it took a bit longer to reach a final temperature, but still gave accurate readings within a few seconds.

This unit also did not have any trouble reading mash temperatures or the temperature of any liquid – just dip it in the liquid and you get an accurate temperature reading. I also like the fact that it is waterproof and came with a nice cover and wrist strap so you can keep it handy while brewing.

Blichmann Brewvision Bluetooth Thermometer

The final digital thermometer I got to play with was the Blichmann Brewvision thermometer. While I don’t own one of these yet, I have been able to see them in action both at Homebrewcon and also another BYO event, as well as play with it as a standalone device. The Brewvision is a kettle thermometer intended to be mounted through a hole in your brew kettles as a direct replacement for the popular dial thermometers used on most kettles and mash tuns. The accuracy of the device is +/- 0.5F (0.25 C).

The Brewvision does have a unique feature set in that its bluetooth transceiver connects directly to your iPhone or iPad which lets you monitor and record temperatures (within about 30 feet/10 m if no obstructions). While certainly more expensive (around $99) than a handheld thermometer, I like the flexibility it offers, particularly for monitoring and recording mash temperatures.

As every all grain brewer knows, there are considerable waiting periods when mashing – either waiting to achieve your strike temperature or waiting for the mash to complete. Being able to monitor the kettle from across the room on my phone frees me up for other tasks like cleaning, sanitizing or relaxing.

Since the Brewvision software also lets you import your BeerSmith recipes directly from the BeerSmith cloud, you can easily record and track progress of the mash or boil remotely. Overall a pretty neat solution to ease what could be a long all grain brew day.

Summary

So what do I recommend? Having broken more than my fair share of glass thermometers, I’ve basically given up on them. My current brewing setup has a set of conventional (analog) kettle thermometers on it which are accurate enough for basic brewing work, and I also have an electric controller (Tower of Power) that monitors temperature on my system when recirculating.

I supplement my analog thermometers with a digital cooking thermometer (Amazon link). The reason I do this is that the analog scale is only accurate to a degree or two F, and also you need a reference point to calibrate the kettle thermometers against. The digital thermometer provides that steady reference point so I can make sure the thermometers on the kettle are giving me the right answer. This style of thermometer would also be suitable for those brewing without kettle thermometers, as it is fast and accurate to use.

I am seriously considering a BrewVision thermometer for my mash kettle. That would let me monitor the temperatures on my iPhone from nearby work areas and give me more flexibility during brew day instead of worrying about watching the kettle thermometer while I brew.

If you have thoughts on brewing thermometers leave a comment below! Thanks for joining me on the BeerSmith Home Brewing Blog. Be sure to sign up for my newsletter or my podcast (also on itunes…and youtube…and streaming radio station) for more great tips on homebrewing. Also check out the How to Brew Video series I shot with John Palmer if you want to learn more about all grain brewing.

Categories: Homebrewing blogs

New England Pale Ale: Brewing Video

The Mad Fermentationist - Mon, 11/27/2017 - 3:11pm
NEIPA has a well-deserved reputation for short shelf-stability. I've heard homebrewers refer to it as intentionally poorly brewed... but that's like saying a souffle is poorly baked because it sinks minutes after you remove it from the oven. If there was a way to achieve a beer with the same juicy hop flavor and pillowy body plus long shelf life I wouldn't complain!

There are brewers like John Kimmach, who says Heady Topper is at it's best at 10 weeks old. I've heard brewers from three or four other breweries advocate holding onto their hazy IPAs (especially the double-dry hopped sorts) for a month or two. Not exactly cellaring potential, but better than the versions that fall apart after a couple weeks.

Cold storage and minimizing oxidation both improve stability, but what else can we do to extend the life of hazy IPAs? Wheat and even more so oats contain higher concentration of manganese than barley malt. Manganese can catalyze oxidative reactions as well as increase protein solubilization. However, I don't think you can drop wheat and oats from a NEIPA without replacing the extra protein contribution, which adds body and head retention (not to mention haze).

To replace the protein usually imparted by flaked grains, Scott bought a sack of Best Chit Malt and shared a few pounds with me. Chit is essentially the Reinheitsgebot-approved replacement for unmalted barley. It is under-modified, retaining a range of long-chain proteins. Theoretically these proteins could fill the same role as the oats/wheat, enhancing foam and mouthfeel but without the associated drawback to stability. For the first try, I used chit at about the same rate I would flaked oats, 20%.

For hot-side hops, I went for a budget option as I did in my previous batch. For that last batch I used Chinook and Nugget to provide linalool and geraniol. For this batch I used Columbus and Simcoe. Columbus makes up a large portion of the kettle hops for many of Trillium's fantastic IPAs, providing a nice dank base-note to balance the fruity hops added on the cold-side. I added the Simcoe to the boil because the 3MH it contributes increases during the boil (while catty 4MMP decreases). Certain yeast strains have the ability to converts 3MH (grapefruit and passion fruit) to 3MHA (similar flavors with a lower threshold). Something we'll be playing with at Sapwood Cellars!

Rather than talk about the brewing process for the 200th time, I took videos of the key points in the process and posted them to my YouTube channel with my descriptions, plus a version without a voice-over. Enjoy! I'm hoping to do more of this, especially as the brewery gets up and running and I have more interesting action to record!



Good Chit NEIPA

Smell – Pleasant mixture of tropical and lightly dank. As always I appreciate a balance rather than the “straight juice” aromatics of some examples. If I want a fruit beer, I’ll drink a fruit beer! The volume could be turned up, despite the heavy hot-side, fermentor, and keg hopping it doesn’t leap out of the glass like my favorite batches. A result of the yeast or something else? Clearly it isn't malt aromatics in the way.

Appearance – It isn’t clear, but it certainly looks more like an unfiltered West Coast IPA than a standard NEIPA. I don’t brew for appearance, but there certainly is some eye-palate interaction that it doesn’t fit. There are some suggestions that above a certain point more proteins (especially large proteins) are likely to coagulate and drop from suspension. It was hazier the first few weeks, but it cleared up in the keg.

Taste – Crisp, missing the malt sweetness to support the fruity volatiles. The saturated hop flavor is nice, again walking that line between fruity (grapefruit and passion fruit) and dank. Malt is subdued, could use a boost from a portion of English malt or crystal malt. A friend commented that it has a zwickelbier-like maltiness, hard to argue with it being more subdued than most.

Mouthfeel – While the head lasts it is thick and luxurious. It really adds creaminess to the body. While retention started off lackluster for the first couple weeks, it really came into its own. Although after the head fades the body is lackluster. Thin, crisp, just a hint of tannins in the finish. The screen did a good job keeping the powder burn to a minimum.

Drinkability & Notes – It is a unique interpretation of the style. Somewhere between the crispness and cleanness of a Russian River IPA, and the fruity-tropical hop character of NEIPAs. While I don’t want sugary, I think the style benefits from a little perceived sweetness. Drinking this seven weeks after brewing I have to say that it did hold up better than my typical oat-heavy NEIPAs!

Changes for Next Time – A little hop extract might add the longevity the head needs. In exchange I’d move the 10-minute addition later or slightly cool before adding the whirlpool addition. Maybe a small dose of light crystal malt to add sweetness?

Recipe

Batch Size: 11.00 gal
SRM: 3.8
IBU: 62
OG: 1.055
FG: 1.012
ABV: 5.6%
Final pH: 4.65
Brewhouse Efficiency: 68%
Boil Time: 75 Mins

Fermentables
----------------
80.0% - 20.0 lbs Rahr 2-row Brewer's Malt
20.0% - 5.0 lbs Best Chit Malt

Mash
-------
Mash In - 60 min @ 156F

Hops
-------
2.00 oz Simcoe (Pellets, 13.00% AA) @ 10 min
6.00 oz Columbus (Whole, 15.00% AA)  @ 30 min Whirlpool
2.00 oz Simcoe (Pellets, 13.00% AA) @ 30 min Whirlpool
4.00 oz Mosaic (Pellets, 12.25% AA)  @ Dry Hop Day 2
4.00 oz Simcoe (Pellets, 13.00% AA) @ Dry Hop Day 2
2.00 oz Citra (Pellets, 13.00% AA) @ Dry Hop Day 2
2.00 oz Simcoe (Cryo, 26.00%) @ Keg Hop
1.50 oz Citra (Cryo, 24.00%) @ Keg Hop
1.50 oz Mosaic (Cryo, 25.00%) @ Keg Hop

Other
-------
1 Whirlfloc Tablet @ 5 mins

Water
--------
19.0 g Calcium Chloride @ Mash
15.0 g Gypsum @ Mash
2.0 tsp 88% Lactic Acid @ Mash

CalciumChlorideSulfateSodiumMagnesiumCarbonate15015015010540
Yeast
-------
WLP013 White Labs London Ale

Notes
-------
Brewed 10/8/17

10 gallons filtered DC water and 6 gallons of distilled. All of the salts in at the start of the mash. 2 tsp of lactic acid to lower the mash pH from 5.47 to 5.23.

Sparged with 3 gallons of room-temperature distilled water.

Collected 14 gallons of 1.046 runnings.

Chilled to 76F, placed in the freezer for an hour before pitching, and shaking to aerate. An hour later down to 69F, moved to 63F room to ferment. Internal ~68F for most of primary.

10/10/17 Dry hopped. Around high krausen.

10/20/17 Kegged with the Cryo in the stainless steel canisters. Mosaic and Citra were pellets, Simcoe was powder.

I get a commission if you buy something after clicking the links to MoreBeer/Amazon/Adventures in Homebrewing!
Categories: Homebrewing blogs

BeerSmith Black Friday Sale – $21.95 for BeerSmith Desktop & More!

Homebrewing from Beersmith - Fri, 11/24/2017 - 7:46am

I’m offering my deepest discount on BeerSmith in years – $21.95 for the desktop version of BeerSmith. The sale lasts through Cyber Monday (and Tuesday) and will close on Tuesday, 28 November 2017 at midnight Eastern US time.

All BeerSmith Desktop Bundles on Sale

Get the world’s most popular software for home and professional beer brewing. In addition to our best price on BeerSmith desktop software, you can also take advantage of deep discounts on my BeerSmith gold, platinum and professional bundles. Get 20-25% off our BeerSmith desktop software and cloud bundles through 28 Nov!

How to Brew Videos on Sale

The digital editions of the How to Brew All Grain and How to Brew Extract videos I shot with brewing legend John Palmer are also on sale. If you are looking to transition into all grain or have a friend who wants to start out brewing extract beer, these videos take you step by step through the extract and all grain brewing process. The digital editions are on sale now for $14.95 discounted from their regular $19.95 price.

Join Me in San Diego for the BYO Boot Camp 2-3 Feb 2018

Save $100, and join me for an all day session on recipe design!  I’ll be teaching two all day classes, limited to 35 people each at the BYO boot camp in San Diego. This are limited to only 35 people per class, and we’ll cover recipe design strategies, detailed ingredient flavors and tastings, troubleshooting off flavors, using BeerSmith, beer clarity and general brewing tips and techniques. A location like San Diego will sell out quickly, and you get $100 off if you sign up before December 15th!

Categories: Homebrewing blogs

PicoBrew Plinius Maximus Tasting

Brew Dudes - Wed, 11/22/2017 - 5:30pm

We looked over the equipment, we loaded the Pak, we pushed the button, and a few weeks later, we had beer. We bring the first brew session on the Pico Pro system to a close with the tasting of the Pliny the Elder clone recipe, Plinius Maximus. Watch this video to see how our beer […]

Read the original article PicoBrew Plinius Maximus Tasting and other Brew Dudes posts.

Categories: Homebrewing blogs

Belgian Styles with Tomme Arthur from The Lost Abbey – BeerSmith Podcast #160

Homebrewing from Beersmith - Tue, 11/21/2017 - 7:21am

Tomme Arthur, the Director of Operations at The Lost Abbey, joins me this week to discuss Belgian beer styles, producing high end craft beers, sours, barrel aging and more.

Subscribe on iTunes to Audio version or Video version or on Google Play

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Topics in This Week’s Episode (44:24)
  • Today my guest is Tomme Arthur from The Lost Abbey. Tomme is co-founder and Director of Brewing Operations. Tomme holds an English degree from Northern Arizona University and has worked at a number of breweries as well as White Labs and Pizza Port, which eventually led to the founding of The Lost Abbey in 2006. He holds dozens of medals including GABF, World Beer Cup, Regional and local awards.
  • We talk a bit about our experience at the Craft Beer and Brewing retreat where we met.
  • Tomme tells us how is love of home brewing evolved into a career in professional brewing.
  • We discuss the story behind Lost Abbey which evolved from Tomme’s 10 years working at Pizza Port.
  • Tomme explains the philosophy behind the “celebration” bottling and distribution in 750 ml bottles
  • We talk about Lost Abbey’s year round lineup of beers.
  • He shares why many of Lost Abbey’s beers don’t fit neatly into a single beer style category.
  • We discuss the challenges of barrel aging, souring, barrel souring and making complex specialty beers on a commercial scale.
  • He shares his thoughts on barrel aging including the barrels they use and methods.
  • We discuss his “Gooze” beer as well as Framboise – two difficult styles to produce.
  • Tomme shares thoughts aobut his seasonal lineup as well as how they rotate production from season to season.
  • We talk about “Red Poppy” which is a celebration of red cherries as well as the complexities of working with fruit.
  • I ask Tomme how he decides which beers to produce for their commercial lineup as well as how new beer development is done.
  • We talk about his most difficult beer to produce as well as his personal favorite.
  • Tomme finishes with his thoughts on crafting beers that are truly unique.
Sponsors

Thanks to Tomme Arthur for appearing on the show and also to you for listening!

iTunes Announcements: I launched a new video channel for the BeerSmith podcast on iTunes, so subscribe now! At the moment it will only feature the new widescreen episodes (#75 and up). Older episodes are available on my revamped Youtube channel. Also all of my audio episodes are on iTunes now – so grab the older episodes if you missed any.

Thoughts on the Podcast?

Leave me a comment below or visit our discussion forum to leave a comment in the podcast section there.

Subscribe to the Podcast on iTunes or BeerSmith Radio

You can listen to all of my podcast episodes streaming live around the clock on our BeerSmith Radio online radio station! You can also subscribe to the audio or video using the iTunes links below, or the feed address

And finally, don’t forget to subscribe to the blog and my newsletter (or use the links in the sidebar) – to get free weekly articles on home brewing.

Categories: Homebrewing blogs

Split Batch Sour Ale Tasting and Commentary

Brew Dudes - Fri, 11/17/2017 - 6:16am

Mike brewed his second batch of sour beer earlier this year and he split it into 2 separate vessels to try different things. Roll the video to learn more about our split batch sour ale tasting. With batch number 2, Mike took the same recipe he used before and scaled it up from a 5 […]

Read the original article Split Batch Sour Ale Tasting and Commentary and other Brew Dudes posts.

Categories: Homebrewing blogs

Anvil Kettle Strainer Review – Separating Hops and Trub

Homebrewing from Beersmith - Wed, 11/15/2017 - 3:07pm

This week I take a look at the Anvil Kettle Strainer, which is actually a pretty efficient way to separate your hops and trub from the wort after the boil when beer brewing.

The Anvil Kettle Strainer

As I covered in an earlier article, I upgraded to a Blichmann BrewEasy 10 gal system last year when I transitioned to electric brewing. Full disclosure: John Blichmann is both a sponsor of my podcast and a friend, so I asked him what worked best for separating hops from my wort so it won’t plug up my therminator plate chiller? John told me to get an Anvil Kettle Strainer.

I was a bit skeptical. Originally I looked at purchasing a hop basket which is simply a screen basket that you hang in the kettle, but I also knew by experience that these can be a bit of a pain as hops tend to gum up the screen and sometimes create a complete blockage. It is always a delicate balance trying to get a screen with the right size to block the hops without gumming up and reducing utilization.

Other alternatives include hop bags, or some kind of hop blocker which attaches to the bottom of the kettle drain. Hop bags work well but obviously you need to keep purchasing new ones and also make sure you have the right size for the amount of hops you want to use. The kettle drain filters work similar to the anvil strainer but typically have a screen which again can gum up.

Blichmann was insistent – so I got one of his kettle strainers which conveniently fits right over the end of the dip tube on his boilermaker kettles. It has two braided stainless steel arms that provide a good wort flow but also filter out the hop bits.

Kettle Strainer Performance

Honestly I was shocked that this simple device works as well as it does. I did not have to worry about bags or a screen jamming, and just added the hops directly to the kettle to get full hop utilization. Unlike a conventional screen or hop blocker, I get a steady wort flow through the strainer after the boil, and almost no hop bits in the finished wort. I always backflush my plate chiller immediately after use, but have found very little hop matter when backflushing.

I believe it is at least as effective as a very fine mesh screen at eliminating hop debris, with the significant advantage of not being subject to blockage. I can usually draw all but the very thick sludge at the bottom of the kettle out getting as much wort as possible from the kettle post-boil. Obviously some very fine hop and grain bits still get through, but certainly not enough to cause an issue with your chiller, pumps or fittings if you properly backflush after brewing.

The other feature I like is that the hop strainer is very easy to clean. You just remove it from the bottom of the dip tube and clean it with some PBW then flush it with water and it easily removes all of the debris. The hose is flexible so you can flex it a bit and under some moving water to remove and trapped debris.

If you have thoughts on other ways to separate trub and hops leave a comment below!

Thanks for joining me on the BeerSmith Home Brewing Blog. Be sure to sign up for my newsletter or my podcast (also on itunes…and youtube…and streaming radio station) for more great tips on homebrewing. Also check out the How to Brew Video series I shot with John Palmer if you want to learn more about all grain brewing.

Categories: Homebrewing blogs

Stonefruit Vanilla Nitro Sour!

The Mad Fermentationist - Mon, 11/13/2017 - 3:56pm
Vanilla and fruit are an undeniable combination in desserts. As far as beer goes, it’s gained new popularity in Milkshake IPAs. But it isn't a new combination for sour beer, going back at least the original Cantillon Rosé de Gambrinus (and more recently Zwanze 2016). I decided to try adding a vanilla bean to a quick sour with white peaches and nectarines to provide depth and balance.

My concept was similar to the "Pop" series from Grimm Artisanal Ales - although I was unaware of them until after brewing. I sampled the Pineapple variant while mine was carbonating and wasn't disappointed by the bold flavors! My base beer and process shared more than a few similarities with previous batches (including Rhubarb Berliner, Atomic Apricot). Simple pale grist including oats for mouthfeel, no-boil to retain fresh malt aromatics, and no hops in the kettle.

For souring, I turned to GoodBelly probiotics for the first time. While I could have selected a complimentary fruit flavor, I added two “Straight Shots.” Lacto grows remarkably quickly, so no need to make a starter if they are fresh. I only chilled the wort to 85F with my Therminator plate-chiller. There is no need to maintain a high temperature or worry too much about oxygen contact when souring with a pure culture, so I allowed it to slowly cool to my target pitching temperature of the ale yeast to follow. I boiled the remainder of the wort and it continued on to become Nelson Thyme Saison.

After a day of souring I pitched Safale S-04, and shortly after added a split vanilla bean - which incidentally have doubled in price over the last year! The following weekend I visited the local farmer's market and bought a total of 10 lbs of white peaches and nectarines (two of my favorite fruits for sour beer). The nectarines were perfectly juicy and aromatic a couple days later, peaches were a little dry and mealy but still usable. The beer was actually pretty good even before adding the fruit, with the vanilla playing with the doughy malt.

This recipe would be a good candidate for lactose to taste, to reinforce the perceived sweetness that vanilla and fruit contribute, but considering that I’m about to open a vegan brewery… I thought better of it. Instead to replace that “creaminess” I planned to serve the beer on beer gas through my stout faucet. The problem with sour beers (especially quick sours) is that their head retention is often lacking. To combat that, I lowered the pH of the wort pre-souring to inhibit proteolysis by the Lactobacillus.

I wanted more insurance than that though. Reduced isomerized alpha acids can be terrifically foam-positive, but I couldn't find a reasonably sized/priced homebrew-scale source (e.g., Head Master). I so emailed a couple producers and Kalsec obliged with samples of their Tetralone and Hexalone (tetrahydro- and hexahydro-iso-alpha-acids). These are already isomerized – so no need to boil them to impart bitterness like the typical CO2 hop extracts. I added 1 g of the Tetra at kegging for 5 gallons, enough for 6 IBUs. Incidentally Tetra-hop extract used by Miller to allow them to sell beer in clear bottles with no risk of skunking. Could be eye-catching to serve a fruited sour from a clear bottles...

Creamsicle Weisse: Stonefruit

Smell – Nice fresh white-stonefruit aroma, especially as it warms. Some doughiness (like uncooked pie crust). Vanilla adds depth, but isn’t immediately recognizable. Pleasant aroma, but doesn’t jump out of the glass - partly due to low carbonation.

Appearance – Not a spectacular head in terms of volume or retention, but pretty good considering it is a no-boil fruited quick sour! Tetra seems to have done a pretty good job. The creamy nitro-head doesn’t last to the last sip like some of the stouts I’ve run through the tap, but it is solid. The base itself is hazy and pale yellow.

Taste – Flavor has a nice tartness, sort of citric in the finish. Bright and quick. GoodBelly's L. plantarum did an admirable job, no weird Lacto-gaminess.  Solid fruit, but not the intensity I was hoping from such good nectarines. In some previous no-boil’s the doughy flavor has played well with the fruit, but in this case it muddies the fruit and vanilla. I don’t taste a contribution from the hop extract, so it likely could be increased. Nice lingering white peach aroma.

Mouthfeel – While the head survives it adds creaminess to the palate. Other than the low carbonation, a pretty typical light-sour thin body.

Drinkability & Notes – It’s a really pleasant, sort of weird/unique sour fruit beer. A good first try at something new, but I probably wouldn't order a second pour of it at a bar with other things to sample.

Changes for Next Time – Maybe a little light crystal malt to add some perceived sweetness. Boil before souring. Double to hop extract to see if that improves the head retention. More fruit (or better peaches) and maybe even another vanilla bean if it needs it. Half a pound of lactose would be a nice addition if you want it to add a little sweetness. 1/2 tsp dissolved in warm water in the bottom of the glass cuts through the acidity, make it more like dessert.



Recipe


Batch Size: 5.5 gal
SRM: 3.0
IBU: 6.0
OG: 1.044
FG: 1.011
ABV: 4.3% (ignoring the fruit)
Final pH: 3.46
Brewhouse Efficiency: 70%
Boil Time: 60 Mins

Fermentables
-----------------
81.8% - 9 lbs Dingemans Pilsen
18.2% - 2 lbs Quaker Quick Oats
6 lbs White Nectarines - Day 7
4 lbs White Peaches - Day 7

Mash
-------
Mash In - 45 min @ 152F

Hops
-------
1 g Kalsec Tetralone (Iso Extract) @ Kegging

Water
-------
3.00 g Calcium Chloride @ Mash
2.25 g Gypsum @ Mash
2.00 tsp 88% Lactic Acid @ Mash
0.50 tsp 88% Lactic Acid @ Sparge
3.00 tsp 88% Lactic Acid @ Primary
Calcium Chloride Sulfate Sodium Magnesium Carbonate 85 75 90 15 10 90
Other
-------
1 Vanilla Bean @ Primary Day 5

Yeast
-------
GoodBelly Straight Shot
SafAle S-04 English Ale

Notes
-------
Brewed 8/26/17

Mash pH initially 5.50 at mash temp with .5 tsp. 5.38... 5.27... 5.12 (~5.37 at room temp). .5 tsp Lactic mixed in with cold sparge water.

Heated to 170F, ran off ~6 gallons of 1.044 runnings through the plate chiller at 85F. Pitched 2 Goodbelly Straight Shots and added 2 tsp of lactic: pH 4.67. 1 tsp more and got it to 4.45. Left at 68F to sour and cool for the brewer's yeast. Pitched S-04 without rehydration 30 hours after pitching the Lacto. Left at 68F ambient.

8/30/17 Added one vanilla bean, split length-wise.

8/31/17 Down to pH 3.33, but doesn't taste that acidic.

9/02/17 Added 6 lbs of White Nectarines and 4 lbs of White Peaches (weight before pitting and slicing). Bagged in new nylon knee-highs to contain the pulp.

9/17/17 Kegged, squeezing out the fruit bags. Added 1 g of Tetra hop extract to the keg first mixed with 50 g of beer.

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Categories: Homebrewing blogs

Brew Dudes Homebrew Swap – Exchange #21

Brew Dudes - Fri, 11/10/2017 - 2:55am

Hey there – this week, we continue our homebrew swap series. We are now into the 20s; that’s a great a thing. We taste a homebrewed English Porter from a guy named Rich who brewed in South Dakota but calls Rhode Island home. Check out our video regarding these Brew Dudes Homebrew Swap – Exchange […]

Read the original article Brew Dudes Homebrew Swap – Exchange #21 and other Brew Dudes posts.

Categories: Homebrewing blogs

Brulosophy Brewing Experiments with Marshall Schott – BeerSmith Podcast #159

Homebrewing from Beersmith - Thu, 11/09/2017 - 12:49pm

Marshall Schott from Brulosophy joins me to discuss his ongoing brewing experiments, the Hop Chronicles, Short and Shoddy and his new podcast.

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Topics in This Week’s Episode (51:58)
  • Today my guest is Marshall Schott from Brulosophy.com. Marshall operates the Brulosophy web site which features 160 small experiments in brewing techniques and ingredients. He also joins me to talk about his new podcast, as well as new projects in “The Hop Chronicles” and “Short and Shoddy”.
  • We start with a discussion of some of his recent “exbeeriments” in brewing – beginning with using a starter versus underpitching his yeast.
  • Next we move on to “squeezing the bag” for brew-in-a-bag.
  • We discuss first wort hops versus a boil hops, and loose vs bagged hops in brewing
  • He shares some recent results regarding mash pH and its effects on beer flavor
  • We talk about his ongoing series on beer fermentation temperatures
  • And also his series on off flavors
  • Marshall shares his thoughts on why so many of the experiments do come out “negative”
  • We discuss one of his new projects called “The Hop Chronicles”
  • Also his new ongoing series on poor brewing techniques called “Short and Shoddy”
  • We also discuss his new podcast called the “Brulosophy podcast” available on his web site.
  • Marshall closes with his closing thoughts after over 160 experiments
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Thanks to Marshall Schott for appearing on the show and also to you for listening!

iTunes Announcements: I launched a new video channel for the BeerSmith podcast on iTunes, so subscribe now! At the moment it will only feature the new widescreen episodes (#75 and up). Older episodes are available on my revamped Youtube channel. Also all of my audio episodes are on iTunes now – so grab the older episodes if you missed any.

Thoughts on the Podcast?

Leave me a comment below or visit our discussion forum to leave a comment in the podcast section there.

Subscribe to the Podcast on iTunes or BeerSmith Radio

You can listen to all of my podcast episodes streaming live around the clock on our BeerSmith Radio online radio station! You can also subscribe to the audio or video using the iTunes links below, or the feed address

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Categories: Homebrewing blogs

2017 Harvest Ale Tasting and Review

Brew Dudes - Fri, 11/03/2017 - 8:43am

Since I have been growing hops in my backyard, I have been brewing Harvest ales. Every year, a unique beer is made with the hops of that season. 2017 was a great year for hop growing so I went for it and added as much of the hops as I could to the brew. Here’s […]

Read the original article 2017 Harvest Ale Tasting and Review and other Brew Dudes posts.

Categories: Homebrewing blogs

Testing for Keg System Leaks for Home Brewing Beer

Homebrewing from Beersmith - Tue, 10/31/2017 - 11:48am

This week I take a look at the pesky problem of beer keg system leaks in a typical homebrew system including how to find and correct them. A keg system leak can lead to an empty CO2 tank, flat beer and even a catastrophic beer leak pouring 5 gallons (19 liters) or more of beer under pressure into your refrigerator.

Potential Sites for System Leaks

Any seal in your keg system is a potential site for gas or beer leaks, so when you assemble a new system or add a new keg it is worthwhile to take a few minutes to check these locations:

  • The CO2 Regulator – The interface where your regulator attaches to the CO2 tank is a very high pressure seal, typically running at about 800 psi. Even a small leak here will rapidly deplete your CO2 tank. When you refill your CO2 tank you will often get a crush seal that looks like a paper or cardboard ring you can use to help seal the tank-regulator interface. Some people prefer to run without the seal, but in either case try not to overtighten the large nut as it can lead to leaks.
  • Gas Side Hoses – All of the hoses on the gas side of your system are potential leak points. Typically this happens where the hose is clamped to the regulator or quick disconnects.
  • Beer Side Hoses – Though leaks on the beer side are a bit more obvious, you can get leaks on any of the beer side hose clamps.
  • Quick Disconnects – You can get an improper seal between the quick disconnects and posts on your keg. Often some keg lube on the post will resolve this issue.
  • Keg Top Seal – The large oval seal at the top of your keg can also leak, usually because it was turned or askew a bit when you sealed the keg. Also spraying the keg seal with some star-san when closing your keg will help it seal better.
  • Keg Valves – The poppet valves on the keg posts can also leak, particularly if you don’t have an quick disconnect over them. Usually poppet leaks can be resolved by removing the keg post and cleaning out the valves thoroughly, though in some cases you may need to replace the valve.
Methods to Test For Leaks
  • Bubble Method – One simple way to check for leaks is to mix a small amount of Starsan sanitizer and water in a spray bottle (or dish soap if you don’t have Starsan) and spray it (or pour it) on the interfaces above when the system is under pressure. The Starsan will bubble at the side of any leak making it pretty obvious if you have a bad seal.
  • High Pressure Test – If the bubble method above fails, one trick I’ve used in the past is to turn the system up to a higher pressure – say 25 psi – and check again using the bubble method above. Often leaks that are very slow at low pressure will become quite obvious at higher pressure. As always remember “safety first” and keep your system well below the pressure limits of your kegs and equipment.
  • Static Test – On a new keg system I will also often do a static test where I pressurize the system and then turn off the gas supply to see how long the system can remain at my operating pressure. Its important to do this without beer in the system as the beer will absorb CO2 over time. If the system holds for a day or two then its good to go. If it seems to be losing pressure, I’ll then try the test again, limiting components until I can find the leak or use the bubble test or high pressure test to isolate the leak.

Have a tip on eliminating keg links? Leave a comment below. If you have your own thoughts on sour beer techniques please leave a comment below. Thanks for joining me on the BeerSmith Home Brewing Blog. Be sure to sign up for my newsletter or my podcast (also on itunes…and youtube…and streaming radio station) for more great tips on homebrewing. Also check out the How to Brew Video series I shot with John Palmer if you want to learn more about all grain brewing.

Categories: Homebrewing blogs

PicoBrew First Brew Session – Countertop Brewing

Brew Dudes - Fri, 10/27/2017 - 7:56am

This week, Mike and I kick off the first brew session of our PicoBrew Pro. Since it was generously sent to us for review purposes, we were very excited to give it a try. After unboxing it, reading the instructions as best we could, and taking the machine through its first rinse. Here’s the video […]

Read the original article PicoBrew First Brew Session – Countertop Brewing and other Brew Dudes posts.

Categories: Homebrewing blogs

Nelson Thyme Honey Saison

The Mad Fermentationist - Wed, 10/25/2017 - 5:04pm
Honey is remarkable. The 12 oz/375 g in this saison contained the sugar paid-out by hundreds of thousands of flowers that coevolved with honeybees, incentivizing them to transport their genetic material. Those bees flew a combined distance in the tens of thousands of miles. Then, by flapping their wings to speed evaporation of the nectar, they concentrated the flowers' aromatics and sugars, preserving both for years (or potentially millennia). Boiling the honey drives off the aromatics, so with all of the effort it took to collect and concentrate them I save honey for cold-side additions!

I’ve brewed with more than a dozen honey varieties over the years (including sourwood, gallberry, raspberry, blueberry, acacia, buckwheat, orange blossom, rosemary, meadowfoamheather, and wildflower). "Fruit" honey is the easiest place to start as they are the most approachable (bright, fruity, and sweet). However, it often takes 20-30% of the sugar in the batch to really contribute their unique character. Over the last year I’ve become fond of honey gathered from herbs. These have more punch (not surprising given that herbs are prized for their intense aromas). Honey Bunches of Saison (rosemary honey) was delicious and distinct with less than 10% of the fermentables from the honey, but it was a little one dimensional with the honey overwhelming the late-boil hops.

I’d been tipped-off to look for thyme honey while I was visiting New Zealand. We didn’t see any at the honey stands we stopped at along the road from Christchurch to Nelson (although we did buy a jar of wildflower). Luckily while I was brewing at Marchfest in Nelson, Audrey visited the local farmer’s market and bought 500 g. I though some Nelson Sauvin dry-hopping would be a good fruity-counterpoint to the bold herbal character of the honey, and really make this a Nelson Saison. I opted for Chinook and Nugget for a cheapskate route to beta-citronellol as in my biotransformation NEIPA. I considered adding a bottle of Nelson Sauvignon blanc too (ala my Nu Zuland recipe), but when I tasted the beer it already had enough flavor.

Fermentation was provided by my house saison blend, available once again for a limited release from Bootleg Biology today through October 30!

It's Nelson Thyme

Smell – That thyme honey is out of control! Glad I didn't add the whole jar, wish I’d gone even lower. Herbal, woodsy, and waxy. Just a hint of that earthiness I associate with buckwheat honey. There is a faint citrusy-hoppiness, but the classic white-wine Nelson is mostly obscured.

Appearance – Radiant yellow body. Cloudy without being murky. Fantastically airy yet solid foam sitting on top. Beautiful.

Taste – Flavor is brighter than the nose, big citrus (lemon mostly) with a touch of crisp tartness. Honey is still there, but seems more balanced than the aroma. Still strong herbal, although not explicitly thyme. White wine in the finish. Mellow, but present hop bitterness. Malt is restrained. Yeast is buried under the honey and hops. Hint of classic leathery Brett funk in the finish. Lingering retronasal-olfactory is fantastic blend of yeast and honey and hops.

Mouthfeel – Light and crisp, solid carbonation. No harshness or tannins.

Drinkability & Notes – The honey has actually faded and integrated over the last few weeks. More balanced and citrusy. Happy with the combination of hot-side hops as a citrusy base, disappointed with the contribution of four ounces of Nelson Sauvin between the fermentor and keg.

Changes for Next Time – Down to 8 oz thyme honey. Could up the Nelson Sauvin, or swap it for something less precious.

Recipe
Batch Size: 5.50 gal
SRM: 3.0
IBU: 30.1
OG: 1.059
FG: 1.004
ABV: 7.2%
Final pH: 4.16
Brewhouse Efficiency: 70%
Boil Time: 60 mins

Fermentables
-----------------
76.6% - 9 lbs Dingemans Pilsen
17.0% - 2 lbs Quaker Quick Oats
6.4% - 12.0 oz Pure Nelson Thyme Honey (closest I could find online)

Mash
-------
Mash In - 45 min @ 152F

Hops
-------
1.00 oz Chinook (Pellets, 13.00% AA) @ Steep/Whirlpool
1.00 oz Nugget (Pellets, 13.00% AA) @ Steep/Whirlpool
2.00 oz Nelson Sauvin (Pellets, 12.00% AA) @ Dry Hop Day 5
2.00 oz Nelson Sauvin (Pellets, 12.00% AA) @ Keg Hop

Water
-------
3.00 g Calcium Chloride
2.00 tsp Lactic Acid
2.25 g Gypsum (Calcium Sulfate)

Calcium Chloride Sulfate Sodium Magnesium Carbonate 85 75 90 15 10 90
Yeast
-------
The Mad Fermentationist Saison Blend

Notes
-------
Brewed 8/26/17

Mash pH initially 5.50 at mash temp with .5 tsp. 5.38... 5.27... 5.12 (~5.37 at room temp). .5 tsp Lactic mixed in with cold sparge water. Collected 7.5 gallons at 1.044.

Added hops at flame-out after chilling the 7.5 gallons of wort remaining to 185F. Recirculated for 30 minutes before running off the saison portion. 1.054. Chilled to 82F and pitched the House culture (9 month old harvest that had been in the fridge, gushed a little 4 hours with first runnings to get going). Left at 78F ambient to ferment. Good activity by the next morning. Ambient stayed between 77-79F for primary.

8/30/17 Fermentation appeared finished. Added 12 oz of "Pure Nelson" Thyme Honey to primary on the saison (effective OG ~1.059). Warmed in a water bath and then the microwave until dissolved.

8/31/17 Dry hopped with 2 oz of Nelson, loose.

9/10/17 Kegged the Nelson half with 3 oz of table sugar and 2 oz of keg hops.

I get a commission if you buy something after clicking the links to MoreBeer/Amazon/Adventures in Homebrewing!
Categories: Homebrewing blogs

Lake Anne Brew House with Jason Romano – BeerSmith Podcast #158

Homebrewing from Beersmith - Tue, 10/24/2017 - 3:23pm

Jason Romano joins me from Lake Anne Brew House in Reston, VA to discuss his experience in opening and running a small nano-brewery and tap-house.

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Topics in This Week’s Episode (47:18)
  • Today my guest is Jason Romano. Jason is a founder and head brewer at Lake Anne Brew House in Reston, Virginia. He is also an award winning brewer including the 2016 and 2017 Virginia Brewers Guild Beer Cup. He joins us to discuss planning and operating a very small brewery and taphouse.
  • We start with the topic of what inspired Jason and his wife Melissa to found Lake Anne Brew House.
  • Jason shares some of the challenges in planning, opening and operating a small (2 barrel) brewhouse.
  • We talk about his business model which is based solely on sales from the tap room.
  • Jason tells us about how his wife Melissa, who is an architect, designed and manages the tap room.
  • He shares the brewing equipment he uses about twice a week to keep the tap room supplied.
  • We discuss some of the first beers he put on tap.
  • He shares his thoughts on a few of his flagship beers as well as beers that he rotates or experiments with.
  • Jason talks about where he finds inspiration for new beers.
  • We discuss the brewing aspects vs business aspects of running the brewery.
  • He shares his plans for growth and why he things the tap room model is a great model for those who want to enter the world of pro-brewing.
  • We talk about the advantages of staying small as well as packaging options (growlers and crowlers).
  • He shares his advice for others looking to build and operate a small brewery.
Sponsors

Thanks to Jason Romano for appearing on the show and also to you for listening!

iTunes Announcements: I launched a new video channel for the BeerSmith podcast on iTunes, so subscribe now! At the moment it will only feature the new widescreen episodes (#75 and up). Older episodes are available on my revamped Youtube channel. Also all of my audio episodes are on iTunes now – so grab the older episodes if you missed any.

Thoughts on the Podcast?

Leave me a comment below or visit our discussion forum to leave a comment in the podcast section there.

Subscribe to the Podcast on iTunes or BeerSmith Radio

You can listen to all of my podcast episodes streaming live around the clock on our BeerSmith Radio online radio station! You can also subscribe to the audio or video using the iTunes links below, or the feed address

And finally, don’t forget to subscribe to the blog and my newsletter (or use the links in the sidebar) – to get free weekly articles on home brewing.

Categories: Homebrewing blogs

PicoBrew Unboxing and Equipment Review

Brew Dudes - Fri, 10/20/2017 - 11:00am

The PicoBrew company sent these Brew Dudes a Pico Pro brewing machine to evaluate so we took some time to unbox the equipment and review all the different pieces in this video. This post will be one of three since there is a lot to absorb here. We thought it would be good to start […]

Read the original article PicoBrew Unboxing and Equipment Review and other Brew Dudes posts.

Categories: Homebrewing blogs

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