January-February 2023

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BYO’s Belgium Brewery, Biking & Hiking Tour

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We recap and share pictures from a week BYO’s publisher and a group of readers spent exploring Belgium’s breweries, beer cafes, and scenic countryside.

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The Dark Side of Lager

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From Germany and the Czech Republic, to the Baltics and North America, dark lager styles are seeing growing popularity among craft brewers and homebrewers alike. The styles are all different, but also share commonalities in how they are created. Get tips for brewing your own crisp dark lager this winter.

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Recipe

Oakshire Brewing Co.’s Doppelbock clone

FREE

Doppelbock is one of our favorite brews to make each year. Ferment low and slow to ensure a very smooth and malt-forward beer that can withstand the high alcohol.

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Recipe

Oakshire Brewing Co.’s Tmavé Pivo clone

FREE

Tmavé pivo is the overlying style of Czech dark lager. We use an extensive malt bill to add depth to the final beer while eliminating as much of the roast character as possible. Supremely drinkable and one of our favorites to make!

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stemmed glassware with a porter beer

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Oakshire Brewing Co.’s Doggerland Baltic Porter clone

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This recipe snagged a silver medal for Oakshire at the 2018 World Beer Cup.

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Recipe

Oakshire Brewing Co.’s Miel Mi Amor clone

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A mix between Vienna and dunkel lagers, we incorporate polenta (coarse ground cornmeal) to build a crisp body, while using Mexican coffee honey for a touch of sweetness and flavor, while helping the body dry out during fermentation.

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Kellerbier

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Kellerbier is the beer of choice throughout much of Germany’s Franconia region. Yet, it is difficult to define kellerbier as there are hundreds of examples that may be pale or quite dark, and taste equally unique. Learn about the history of these young, unfiltered lagers from a brewer who spent a decade at the source, plus tips on brewing your own at home.

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Recipe

Bierkeller Columbia’s Kellerbier clone

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An unfiltered Franconian lager with a bready malt character that is balanced by soft carbonation and clean Perle hops.

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The Paths to Homebrewed Beer

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The end result is beer, but there are many ways to get there. There are pros and cons to brewing with malt extract, brewing all-grain batches, or falling somewhere in-between. We break down the basics of these approaches so prospective homebrewers and those new to the hobby can better understand the basics and decide which method fits their goals.

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Recipe

Beppy’s Brown

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This simple brown ale recipe illustrates the differences between brewing all-grain batches and extract batches of beer with extract replacing one malt in the ingredients and different techniques to get your wort in the boil kettle.

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author Obakeng Malope enjoying a craft beer from a local South African brewery

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Beer Is Art

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When viewed as an opportunity, the craft beer world can open doors in places throughout the world. One woman is bringing her experience and teachings to show the next generation of fellow South Africans what beer can do for them. Be sure to read about the Beer is Art movement

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a visual of the e-ink faucet handle

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E-Ink Faucet Handles

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Have you ever thought about projecting a digital image on your kegerator’s faucet handle? One homebrewer figured out how to make it happen and it’s definitely worth a look.

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carboy filled with starsan s and a carboy cleaning brush

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The Sanitation Department

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Once your equipment is clean, any gear that touches your wort and beer after the boil should be sanitized. Take a walk through the various ways homebrewers can achieve sanitation.

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slightly hazy pale beer in a stemmed tulip shaped glassware

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Simply Saison

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With roots in the agrarian lifestyle in northern Europe, many brewers pigeon-hole saisons to look and taste a certain way. But the truth is that it is a fairly diverse class of farmhouse ales. Learn about many of its renditions and a recipe.

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slightly hazy pale beer in a stemmed tulip shaped glassware

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Gordon Strong’s Saison

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I like my saisons like my cocktails, with some rye in them. In this case, I’m using some flaked rye but malted rye can be substituted.

Mr. Wizard

Mr. Wizard

Developing a Brewing Calculator

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I also consider developing my own calculation tools a key part of my hobby and, previously, part of my job as a commercial brewer. I have a pretty handy collection of calculations

Mr. Wizard

Mr. Wizard

Accidentally Frozen Beer

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The good news is that frozen kegs can be saved! I hope you decided to keep your beers, let them thaw, and enjoyed them post arctic chill. Accidentally freezing beers is a

Mr. Wizard

Mr. Wizard

Overly Foaming Draft Beer

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Your problem is caused by overcarbonation that is slowly occurring over time. Let’s dig into what you are observing over time beginning with your method of carbonation. Based on your question, I

Mr. Wizard

Mr. Wizard

Digging Into Sparge Water Temperatures

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A Hi, Barney. Based on your question I am assuming you are either relatively new to all-grain brewing or starting to question basic practices brewers follow. One thing I wish I knew

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sparge arm during active lautering

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Sparge Temperatures, Overcarbonation, Frozen Beer, and Brewing Calculations

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Brewers often have a specific routine when it comes to lautering their mash. But in reality it’s a very forgiving process. Mr. Wizard provides his thoughts on this key step as well as overcarbonated kegs, a frozen beer crisis, and brewing calculations

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paradigm shift craft brewery's logo

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Paradigm Shift Craft Brewery

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Craft beer lovers in the Massillon, Ohio, area scored big when corporate America let go the Founder and Owner of Paradigm Shift Craft Brewery. Learn about the brewery’s rise and one of its iconic beers, Neighbor Girl Tripel.

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picture of neighbor girl tripel from paradigm shift craft brewery poured on tap

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Paradigm Shift Craft Brewery’s Neighbor Girl Tripel clone

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Continental Pilsner malt makes up the majority of the base with a few specialty malts for character. The secret ingredient to this 8.2% ABV, 3.7 SRM tripel is a heavy-handed addition of Belgian candi sugar.

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key performance indicators translate numbers into decision making

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Key Performance Indicators

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Too many breweries find out the hard way they’re not properly tracking their true profits and losses. Using key performance indicators, or KPIs, is one way to do so. Learn how to calculate them and which ones you should be looking at.

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Sugar Syrups

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While they can be time consuming, making them isn’t hard. Get the scoop on using and making your own sugar syrups for your brews.

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Fermenting and Conditioning Lagers: Tips from the Pros

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Three brewers churning out award-winning lagers share cool tips on fermenting and lagering that homebrewers can employ on their own homebrew setups.