Hop Chatter

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Home Brewing for Competition

Home Brewing for Competition

By: Bill Ramsey | January 18, 2017 | in: Homebrewing

Home brewing is a great hobby. Your friends will always love the free beer you share with them and tell you how awesome it is. But how do you know how awesome it really is? Most of you're friends, if they are not jerks, will tell you they like your beer and how great it is and how you should start your own brewery, even if they dump it into the planter when your back is turned. That is where home brew competitions come into play.

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Homebrew Holiday Gift Ideas

Homebrew Holiday Gift Ideas

By: Bill Ramsey | December 13, 2016 | in: Homebrewing

Tis the season to buy gifts for your loved ones, but what should you get for that beer geek looking to start the adventure of homebrewing? Here is a quick gift guide with some ideas for a beginner home brewer.

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The Great Pumpkin...Beer (Or How to Brew One)

The Great Pumpkin...Beer (Or How to Brew One)

By: Nate Reynolds | October 4, 2016 | in: Homebrewing

If Charlie Brown brewed beer, I imagine that he would brew a beer called "The Great Pumpkin Ale." Regardless of how farfetched this may sound, at least I have your attention. Pumpkin or pompion beers, as recent an innovation as they may seem, actually have a history dating back to the colonial American period. Pumpkins are indigenous to North America and have been used, at least parts of them, by Native Americans since 6000BC.

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5 Tips For the Aspiring Homebrewer

5 Tips For the Aspiring Homebrewer

By: Bill Ramsey | September 13, 2016 | in: Homebrewing

I've been a homebrewer for about five years. It's a great hobby and one of the few that the end results make you feel so happy. After brewing my latest attempt at the world's greatest Belgian Witbier, I decided to share the five most important things I've learned about homebrewing.

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The Basics of Home Brew Recipe Formulation Part 2 Process and Repeatability

The Basics of Home Brew Recipe Formulation: Part 2, Process and Repeatability

By: Ben Fredette | September 6, 2016 | in: Homebrewing

If you read the first post in this series, and as you research the subject of recipe formulation, you will find that it is more information than one should (or could) attempt to cover in a small format (such as a beer blog). Like the first post, this one too hopes to further coerce the budding home-brewer down the rabbit hole of brewing, and direct them to one or more of the many books on the subject. At first, those books, and brewing itself, can seem like such a massive topic that one may never dive in to it without some help.

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The Basics of Home Brew Recipe Formulation Part 1 an Introduction

The Basics of Home Brew Recipe Formulation: Part 1, an Introduction

By: Ben Fredette | July 13, 2016 | in: Homebrewing

So you took the dive and started home-brewing. After many trips back and forth to the LHBS (Local Home Brew Store), a pile of buckets, carboys, wort chillers, boil kettles, propane tanks and measuring tools now occupies a good sized corner of the garage. You’ve got a few batches under your belt, drinking your mistakes until you’ve made a few brews you were proud enough to share with your beer drinking buddies. You’re hooked, and moving on from those pre-packaged kits, into the deep unknown-- recipe formulation. Where do you start?

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Quality Extract Beer (is Not an Oxymoron)

Quality Extract Beer (is Not an Oxymoron)

By: Ben Fredette | December 8, 2015 | in: Homebrewing

Maybe you're new to home brewing, and want to learn the craft without the added investment of a mash tun and hot liquor tank. Perhaps you're a seasoned all-grain brewer, and want to brew a great beer, but you're short on time. In either case, extract brewing is a great way to make quality beer, but there is a stigma attached to extract brewing that it produces inferior beer. Much of the stigma might be attributed to the fact that many extract brewers are new, and therefore haven't begun making yeast starters, or using proper temperature control during fermentation. Either way, a lot of the "this tastes like bad home brew" flavor is falsely blamed on the extract, instead of the skill of the brewer.

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An Introduction to Water Chemistry in Brewing

An Introduction to Water Chemistry in Brewing

By: Ben Fredette | October 27, 2015 | in: Homebrewing

When I began Home-brewing, I had no idea that one day, six years later, I would be emailing the head of my city's water department to ask how much calcium, bicarbonate, and magnesium was in my drinking water. Water makes up more than 90% of the beer, but it rarely gets any of the press. Hops, malt, and even yeast get more of the attention than water does. The contribution that hops make to a beer is obvious, especially with the popularity of hop-forward American styles. Drink an English porter, Irish stout, or German Vienna Lager, and the flavor that malt adds to a beer becomes obvious. The growing popularity of Belgian-style Farmhouse Saisons shows that we can appreciate the phenol and ester compounds that yeast bring to the party. The common denominator between all these varied styles is water, but what does it do for the beer?

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