Liquid yeast is simultaneously one of the more rewarding and frustrating products that homebrew retailers work with. On the one hand, carrying liquid yeasts allows brew shops to offer their customers an extremely diverse selection of fermentation options, cater to very specific needs, and greatly expand the potential for batch-to-batch experimentation. On the other hand, liquid yeast is a low margin product, has a relatively short ideal shelf life, and it's difficult to stock what everyone would … [Read more...] about Liquid Yeast: How old is too old?
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
Growing hops can be an incredibly fulfilling undertaking on a number of levels. The most obvious benefit to growing hops is that you can make your own beer with them! However, there are myriad other uses for the hop plant. Hop shoots make an excellent addition to salads or light stir-fries, hop bines make for beautiful ornamental displays, and certain hop compounds are considered a sedative when consumed. If you find that you're inclined to throw some rhizomes in the ground, then there are a few … [Read more...] about Hop Rhizomes: What, how, and when
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!
This is the first in a series of posts on homebrew hacks, tips and tricks for improving your brew equipment. Rubber Carboy Hood This Big Red Rubber Carboy Hood is a great alternative to a stopper or bung for your carboys. They snuggly fit over the mouth of your glass carboy and prevent anything from collecting near the opening. However, I bet you didn't know that they have another, even craftier … [Read more...] about Homebrew Hacks: Rubber Carboy Hood, Carboy Dryer
The recent surge in US craft beer culture has been fueled, in part, by an avid interest in heavily hopped styles from both beer aficionados and casual drinkers. The push for more hop-centric beers has forced breweries to up the ante with their bittering additions, hopping techniques, and nomenclatures. Hop breeders have responded by producing a number of new varietals that defy what we had come to expect from this modest plant. These new hops are highly prized for their exceptional and unique … [Read more...] about Citra: A brief history of an exceptional hop
A properly aerated wort is crucial to ensuring a clean, rigorous, and complete fermentation. Yeast cells generally need about 10 ppm dissolved oxygen in the wort in order to function properly. A lack of oxygen can negatively impact your brew in a number of ways. First, some background. Yeast cells need oxygen in order to reproduce. The oxygen is a critical component in the production of cell membranes, organelles, and various compounds the yeast need to produce in order to survive. In … [Read more...] about Oxygenation when your brew needs it most!