Writer: Dawson Raspuzzi

Cloning Beers for Beginners

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There are hundreds of resources available to homebrewers looking to clone the world’s most popular beers. But, inevitably, we’ve all stumbled upon that obscure brew that flies below the radar — be it a brew at the local pub or a limited release seasonal beer that came and left all too soon. Don’t fret, just


Stainless Steel Care for Beginners

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With qualities that prevent it from rusting, stainless steel is highly regarded and often used in every facet of homebrewing — from stainless kettles with stainless immersion coolers, to hot liquor tanks, mash tuns and conical fermenters. While it is durable and rust-resistant thanks to a shield of chromium oxide, that doesn’t mean caring for your


Oak Alternatives for Beginners

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Aging your homebrew in an oak barrel can add more dimensions to your beer by imparting complex wood characteristics such as vanilla, cloves, coconut, or caramel, but barrels are not ideal for


Using Fresh Hops for Beginners

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One of the best things about growing your own hops is the opportunity to then experiment with them in your homebrew. One way to do this is to try fresh hopping (sometimes called wet hopping) — that is, forgoing the drying process and using the hops in your brewing the same day you pick them


Crushing Grains for Beginners

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Whether it is grains, hops or adjuncts used in brewing, the freshness of your ingredients makes a huge difference. When it comes to grains, you can order them pre-crushed, but if you want the freshest taste, and can spare some cash to buy a grain mill or build one yourself, crushing your own grains is


Nitro Beers: Tips from the Pros

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Joe Schiraldi is Vice President of Brewing Operations at Left Hand Brewing Company in Longmont, Colorado. In 2011 Left Hand was the first American craft brewery to release a nitrogen version of a bottled beer. The brewery now bottles three nitrogen beers. There are obviously pros and cons with nitro. From a visual perspective, a


Diacetyl Rest

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One of the most common flaws in the beers brewed by homebrewers who are new to the hobby, particularly in lagers, is diacetyl. Diacetyl, which has a taste and aroma of butter or butterscotch, is naturally present in all beer during fermentation. Also known as 2,3 butanedione, diacetyl is produced through a chemical reaction out-


Filtering for Beginners

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Many homebrewers bypass the step of filtering their homebrew and instead use fining agents and cold crashing (storing the beer after fermentation has completed in a cold place for a week or longer to allow the yeast to drop out of suspension and the beer to clear naturally). Cold crashing works well for most beer


Brewing with Spices for Beginners

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Spices allow for countless variations and experiments in homebrewing — in styles that require it like pumpkin ales and Belgian wits, to saisons or wheat recipes that you may want to add complexity and your own twist to. When developing a spiced beer, the first step is to determine what role you want the spice


Wort Aeration

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Aeration can be done immediately before adding your yeast or right after, but you don’t want to aerate your wort until it is cooled to fermentation temperature. Aerating hot wort can lead to unwanted color pick-up and decreased solubility.


Maximize Partial Boils

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If you are an extract brewer, there is a good chance you will hear (if you haven’t already) that you need to be doing full-wort boils (boiling your entire 5-gallon/19-L batch of beer). The recommendation isn’t bad — a full-wort boil is ideal as it results in a higher hop utilization, ensures all of the ingredients


Cooking with Malt Extract

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In addition to the purpose we know it best for — making beer — malt extract can be a tremendous ingredient to keep on hand in the kitchen. Next time you find yourself with leftover extract after brewday, give it a try as a natural replacement for sugar or an addition to a recipe to


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