-Ryan Blankenship- All great beer begins with the mash. So what actually happens when we’re mashing grain? In a nutshell, the mash is a process in which malted grains are mixed with water at a specific ratio, temperatures, and pH in order to activate the enzymes in the malt and convert the starches in the grain into fermentable sugars. If grain goes unmalted, then the starches bound in the grain are inaccessible to yeast due to the size of the molecule. This can sometimes be desirable, … [Read more...] about All Grain Brewing: Step Mash vs. Single Infusion
-Tyler Newman- In this blog post, I will address the basic steps of kegging, so that you can safely and properly keg your delicious beer! Before I get to the specifics, it’s good to remember that brewing is mostly cleaning. Every piece of your brewing equipment needs to be cleaned AND sanitized before each piece’s involvement in brewing your beer. First, we clean! I suggest using a product called PBW (Powdered Brewery Wash) to clean all the organic and inorganic material that has built … [Read more...] about Intro to Kegging Beer
Hello! My name is Tyler Newman and I’m a beer lover and brewer. While in Seattle, I was privileged to work for some of the best breweries in the United States, but I have since moved to Charlottesville where I am currently loving my “late 20’s retirement.” Here in Charlottesville, at Fifth Season, I have continued to pursue my love of beer and brewing. I feel blessed to be a part of a great work crew and community, which leads me to one of my favorite topics – coffee porter! To start, I … [Read more...] about Coffee Porters
-Kristin Weeks- When it comes to seasonal beers, there’s no time quite like fall. The light, easy-drinking beers typically associated with warm weather, sunshine, and yardwork give way to heavier-bodied, maltier, and more complex styles that pair perfectly with cool nights and campfires. Historically, beer has always been seasonal. Before the days of refrigeration, the brewing season lasted from the onset of fall through early spring (March), where lower temperatures kept beer fermenting with … [Read more...] about Festive Fall Homebrewing (Without Pumpkin!)
Last weekend we had a brew demo in which we brewed a German Hefeweizen. I followed the Reinheitsgebot, which is the German Purity Law. What this consists of is a set of regulations limiting you to certain ingredients when brewing a beer in Germany. The only ingredients a brewer is allowed to use are grain, hops, water, and yeast. This law was instated in 1516 to prevent price competition with bakers for wheat and rye. The restriction of grains to barley was meant to ensure the availability of … [Read more...] about Reinheitsgebot
Once you’ve reached a certain point in your homebrewing journey there are only so many horizons left to conquer. All-grain is the only thing you’ve known for years, your draft setup is totally dialed in, you’re involved in a number of homebrew forums, and maybe you’ve even played around with souring microbes. So, what’s the next big project going to be? How about setting that sweet kegerator up to serve homebrew on nitro?! That’s right, you can serve your very own concoctions using the same … [Read more...] about Beautiful Bubbles: Adding Nitro to your repertoire
It never ceases to amaze me how reticent many brewers are to use whole cone hops when presented with the option. In the era of IPAs and heavily hopped beers, every brewer should have the full repertoire of hop products available to them and at their disposal. That being said, I felt it would be helpful to discuss some of the differences between pellet hops and whole hops, so that deciding between the two doesn’t have to be challenging. Regardless of whether you’re considering whole cone hops … [Read more...] about Hop Pellets vs. Whole Hops
One of the biggest benefits that homebrewing affords the brewer is the ability to produce an infinite variety of beers with little to no concern for cost. Professional breweries have to focus on producing large amounts of a single product, sourcing ingredients in scale and contracting out the hops and malt they need. Homebrewers aren't bound by this constraint, allowing them to garner more experience and variance in flavor from a single brew session. Personally, I often grow tired of a beer by … [Read more...] about Split Batches: More bang for your buck!