Topic: Mr Wizard

Cacao Nibs Advice

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With any brewing ingredient it is helpful to consider what the ingredient contributes to beer, how the contribution is best transferred from the raw material to the wort and/or beer, if there is any benefit to cooking the ingredient, and if there are microbiological risks associated with the ingredient or flavorant, e.g., used oak barrels.


Digging into the Hazy IPA

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It is easy for us “old-school brewers” to joke about the cloudy-IPA style, and dismissively suggest to just do the opposite of what is required to make clear beer. Although there is truth in this suggestion, it requires an in-depth understanding of physical stability that is not exactly common knowledge. In brewing jargon, the term


Beer Sensory Training and Homebrew Tips: Mr Wizard

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QI’ve researched a few kits to help in training a brewer to recognize off-flavors in homebrew, but I’ve also heard that you can make a less expensive kit yourself for a fraction of the cost? Can you give me some tips on where to start?  Justin ParrishCharleston, South Carolina A I have used kits and


Wedding Stout Ideas

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I have been holding this question for several months, scratching my head each time I read it. I now have a pretty good answer that I hope is not too late to help you with your quest to celebrate your friend’s wedding with a special brew. The “summery stout” descriptor is definitely interesting, and part


Mr Wizard’s Top Homebrewing Tips

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Wow, nothing like an open-ended question! I do have a single thought about brewing that influences my general approach, and that is to keep brewing processes as simple as possible unless there is a specific need to add complexity. With this idea in mind, here are some tips that ring true to me. I hope


Training Your Palate – Beer Sensory

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I have used kits and commercially available beers for flavor training, and they both have pros and cons. I like to use color as an example when explaining the challenges involved in flavor training. When a color is explained to sighted people, a color swatch is shown along with a name. End of story. Pretty


Quick Carb Method To Avoid Overcarbing Keg

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In my brewing opinion, the only redeeming quality of the old crank and shake method of beer carbonation is that it may properly “carbonate” beer to a desired level when correctly executed. That’s on a good day. On a bad day? I really cannot imagine a day much worse than the one you describe. You


Defining Yeast Slurries and Dealing With An Overcarbonated Keg: Mr Wizard

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Q I just finished reading your reply to a question on re-using yeast. I’m about ready to get started doing so, most of the process is clear to me. One exception; what


Benefits of Counter-Pressure Bottle Filling

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The amount of carbonation lost during filling is heavily influenced by the carbonation level of the beer being filled. Highly carbonated beers lose more carbonation when bottled compared to beers with lower levels of carbonation. It is almost impossible to give hard numbers, but based on personal experience, you will lose a considerable amount of


Storability of Counter-Pressure Filled Bottles

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This is the question that every brewer who bottles their beer wants answered, and the answer depends on your bottling techniques. When carbonated beer is bottled, the shelf-life clock starts ticking. With very few exceptions, dissolved oxygen increases when beer is transferred to a bottle. Even commercial brewers with the most modern fillers equipped with


Counter-Pressure Bottling Tips

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If there are problems, what I would check first is the length of the fill tube. One of the most important rules of bottle filling is to gently fill the bottle. There are two types of filler-tube designs used in commercial breweries: long-tube and short-tube fillers. Short-tube fillers fill the beer by directing its flow


Counter-Pressure Bottle Filling

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A counter-pressure bottle filler is designed to deliver a carbonated product into a bottle without excessive foaming. The basic idea behind these devices is to first pressurize the beer bottle to the same pressure as the keg holding the beer. After the bottle is pressurized and the beer valve allowing beer to enter the bottle


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