Topic: Ingredients

Brewing with Maple: Tips from the Pros

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Nothing says spring in the Northeast, Upper Midwest, and Canada like the sight of smoke and steam rising from sugar shacks. Many automatically envision drizzling the sweet maple syrup being boiled down on pancakes, but it doesn’t all have to be destined for your breakfast plate. How about using it to brew? No matter where

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Adding Herbs and Spices to your Beers

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A spice is typically defined as a dried part of a plant used to flavor, color, or provide preservative properties to food (or drink). In that regard, every beer you drink is spiced with at least hops, which provide a variety of flavors and some preservative elements to your brew. As we delve into the

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Brewing with Hemp Seeds

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As a longtime homebrewer and a professional brewer at Madison Brewing Company in Bennington, Vermont, I’m always looking for new ingredients to brew with. A while back, I was approached by the Vermont Seed and Oil Company about the possibility of incorporating hemp seed into a beer. Not knowing much about hemp seeds, I decided

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Homebrewing with Chocolate

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I believe it was Fred Eckhardt who first put the idea into my mind that chocolate could go well with beer. My reaction was that this was nonsense and that adding chocolate to any beer would simply spoil both the beer and the chocolate! I have loved chocolate all my life, and beer for almost

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Crafting Coffee Beers

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Coffee and beer are two of the most popular beverages in the world. Both have complex flavors and aromas and can be found in a wide variety of styles. Even better, coffee and beer work great together. It’s time to liven up your homebrewing with the addition of this long-loved, flavorful, and stimulating bean! In

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Foraging for Wild Brewing Ingredients

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There was a long time when nature was humanity’s supermarket, pharmacy, and even homebrewing store. When our ancestors wanted a beer they first had to gather and process grain to provide sugar, capture wild yeast to convert that sugar into alcohol, and forage seasonings to balance both the residual sweetness and questionable fermentation character. Luckily

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Brewing Sweet Stout with Lactose

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Unlike many beer styles sweet stout has a quite specific origin, and for the better part of the 20th century only one version from one English brewer almost completely dominated the market for this type of beer. That beer, Mackeson Stout, although still around, declined in popularity and the style might have disappeared completely, as

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Brewing with Peppers: Tips from the Pros

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When it comes to chili beer, the options are endless. What base beer style do you want as the backbone? What chili varieties will you use? When should you add them, and how many should you add? Roast them first, or add them fresh? Subtle spiciness, or a heat wave in your mouth? We’ve rounded

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Experimental Brewing with Veggies, Pork & Chicken

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To say homebrewers are a creative group is an understatement. We’ve all seen posts like this on brewing forums: “I want to brew a Dijon mustard red wine celery beer. How much red wine should I use? Should I add the celery to the boil or dry celery in secondary?” Just as you’re about to

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Brewing with Spruce Tips: Tips from Pros

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Spruce tips were common in Nordic and Scandinavian beers, and were used by colonists when hops could not be sourced (they also helped prevent scurvy). Over the past decade, Craft Brewers have brought back the use of spruce as an ingredient in many styles of beer. Brewer: Tim Roberts, Yards Brewing Company, in Philadelphia, PA

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Pumpkin Beer Tips & Clone Recipes

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“Drip…drip…drip.” I only had 2 ounces (57 g) of rice hulls in my grain bag while brewing my second-ever pumpkin beer. In hindsight, I should have ditched the plan, but at 10 p.m., and with pumpkins already baked, I was mentally ready to go through with the brew. But with the sparge going at less

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Homegrown Grain to Glass: An All-Michigan Beer

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It seems as though there are a few things you learn early on as a homebrewer, including where your ingredients come from. Your hops come from the Yakima Valley, Germany or more recently New Zealand and Australia. Your barley was probably grown in the Pacific Northwest, Great Plains, Canada or Europe. But what if that

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