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Here are a few reasons why you should give homebrewing a try

It’s Cheap

After the initial cost of equipment, the ingredients for a 5 gallon batch of beer start at just $35. That’s only about 70 cents per beer. Drive to the super market and craft beer is $10 a six pack or $12 for a 4 pack. When you home brew, you make exactly the beer you want to drink. With a little practice, you’ll even be able to create amazing beer right in your kitchen that rivals many craft breweries and you will do it with your own touch of love.

It’s Easy

The brewing process is surprisingly simple. If you can boil water, you can make beer. By far, the most difficult part of making beer is waiting for the fermentation and carbonation to finish. Probably the worst 4-6 weeks of your life. After that first batch, you will get a rythm and you will never run out of beer again.

It’s Fun

Making beer can be a great way to spend time with friends or just relaxing in the garage with a cold one keeping an eye on your boil kettle.

It’s Educational

When you see a brew go from raw ingredients to finished beer, your better able to appreciate all that goes into making beer and how each ingredient impacts the final outcome. This will help you understand what beers are your favorites and why.

It’s Legal

Homebrewing is officially legal in all 50 US states. Check the law in your state to see what restrictions may be in effect regarding quantity and transportation of your homebrew.

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Brew Kettles and Pots

Boil Big or Go Home! Big brew kettles are better. The more wort you boil, the better hops are utilized, and the clearer and paler the beer will turn out. Brew kettles are a lifetime investment, and if you’re an extract brewer, you can still use them when and if you switch to all-grain brewing. My Brew Supply carries brew pots in all sizes and configurations. We offer the best beer brewing kettles with sizes, prices, and styles for every budget and home brewery. Give your beer the space it needs!  
MegaPot 8 Gal

8 Gallon Brew Kettle

This kettle is perfect for a 5 Gallon batch. When making 5 gallons you often start out boiling 6.5 gallons with a target of putting 5.5 gallons into your fermenter.

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How Important is Fermentation Temperature in Homebrewing?

Yeast is very sensitive to temperature. Different strains of yeast have different ideal working temperatures for fermenting beer. You want to follow instructions for your yeast to make conditions optimal to produce a great beer.

Fermenting ale’s generally require a temperature between 68 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit. On the other hand, lager requires a temperature between 45 and 55 degrees Fahrenheit.

Not maintaining the proper temperature for your wort during fermentation can result in off flavors. Many of the off flavors will be produced in the first 3 days of fermentation as that is when the yeast is most active. Not to mention that the process of fermentation will produce heat and will raise the temperate of your wort above the room temperature.

For me, I’m considering making a fermentation chamber. The keezer build went very well and it maintains a chilly 36°F. Way too low for fermentation, but great for serving. The best thing is that I didn’t have to wire anything to make it work. I just bought a chest freezer, made a wood collar to make it taller for kegs, provide a medium for installing the taps, and added a temperature controller that turns the freezer on and off to maintain the temp just 3 degrees above freezing.

This time, I can’t spend $180 of a chest freezer, but would love to convert my old mini fridge into fermentation chamber. Still need to get a temperature controller, but the price on those has come down significantly since I purchased the one for my keezer.

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Ohio State Fair Homebrew Competition

Are you ready? The deadline is almost here.

Entry Fee: $6
Entry Deadline: 05/15/2018
Competition Date: 06/02/2018
ohiostatefairhomebrew.com

I might be a little late for this one. But I will enter a competition this year. Dang, I need to be on top of these things. I wonder what other deadlines I’m missing.

Actually, after reading a little more on their website, I need to register by May 15th. I have until May 29th to get my beer to them. Hmmmm, this might be possible. Too bad I just finished off a keg of my best beer “Dead Ringer”. It was very clear and tasted great. I have an English Pale Ale on tap now, but it’s cloudy and probably wouldn’t score well. I have 2 batches Fermenting right now:

  1. Rocky Racoon Honey Lager. I never made this before, I brewed it on April 14th.
  2. Rogue Chocolate Stout which is also a new recipe for me and was brewed on April 19th. The chocolate nibs need to be removed on May 11th and I should be able to keg it then.

I usually like to condition the beer. While I don’t have a hard and fast rule, I think they taste best 6-8 weeks after brewing. I guess, if it’s in the bottle by May 15th and the Event isn’t until June 2nd, that would fall right into the sweet spot.

Wow, with 10 days left to register, 279 entries have already been received.

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Is it true? Does beer reduce inflammation?

Well, I got it from a couple of sources now that beer (wheat beer in particular) reduces muscle inflammation. The articles I’ve read so far, mention specifically studies done on marathon runners. The phenols in the beer are being given the credit and the runners were drinking non-alcholic beer because the alcohol could cause dehydration. My question is, if I’m not an athlete, will beer reduce my back pain which is caused by inflammation?

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Chest Freezer to Kegerator (Keezer Build)

I purchased a 7.2 Cu Ft chest freezer using points I earned at christmas. Then I added a wood collar around the top using some left over Mahogany I had from another wood working project.

Keezer full front

The key with making the collar is making the height of the collar equal to the distance between the 2 sets of screws on the hinge. This allows you to just move the hinge up by 1 set of screws and you don’t need to put any new holes into the chest freezer. After installing the collar, I used silicone chaulk to glue it to the chest. I also drilled a hole in the back of the collar for the temperature probe. Make sure you get the probe all the way to the bottom as it’s colder down there. I originally had the probe hanging about 1/2 way down and ice started to form in the bottom. I set the temperature on the thermostat to 36 degrees, so only 4 degrees above freezing. 

For me, not damaging the freezer was important as this freezer only holds 3 kegs. If I want to upgrade later, I can just remove the collar and sell it for money towards a larger freezer or (more likely) re-purpose the freeze for temperature controlled fermenting. I’m sure I can fit at least 2 SS BrewTech Brew Buckets into this freezer with or without the collar.

Hinge with and without cover

When I finished, I was able to fit 3 kegs very nicely into the keezer. I even have space to store chilled glasses and even some moonshine. 

Keezer inside

My wife was nice enough to make these chaulkboard cards with magnets on the back for labeling what is on each tap. I can store extra/unused cards along the back of the lid.

Labels for Tap

To finish it off, I got a wall mounted drip tray. Again, I didn’t want to put screw holes in the freezer, so I created a little “L” shaped stand out of left over hard wood flooring. I mounted the drip tray to the stand and slid the base of the stand under the freezer. I left the screws a little bit loose, so I can remove the drip tray for draining/cleaning.

drip tray stand
Keezer front

In addition to the freezer and wood, here is a list of items I had to purchase:

  1. Drip tray
  2. Temperature Controller
  3. Kegs with CO2 tank, regulators and lines
  4. Faucets with knob and shank
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Chocolate Stout

I’m brewing a Chocolate Stout today. I don’t drink a lot of stouts, but I had a couple of really good stouts recently and wanted to try it out. My friend Erik just made this same recipe and it turned out really good. Unfortunately, he drank it all and I only got 1 pint of it:(

When Erik made his, he used the chocolate extract that is called for in the recipe. I bought the chocolate nibs to add in secondary.

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Sunday Quote

Today is Sunday you might be interested in this Russian Proverb

“The church is near but the road is icy. The bar is far away but I will walk carefully. “
As a craft brewer you needn’t brave the nasty spring storms we are experiencing to enjoy a fine home brew. Yet another benefit of home brewing.
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Gardening Tips???

Beer can do more than quench your thirst after a day working in the garden.

Stale beer left after a party shouldn’t be poured down the drain. Instead use it to fertilize the garden. Be cautious to use beer without preservatives.

Another use for beer, preferably some cheap brand not your best home brew, is to control slugs. Place a shallow dish at ground level and fill about three quarter full of beer. The smell of the beer attracts the pests and they die happy.

Beer can also efficiently clean your metal garden tools. Just pour beer on, leave it awhile and wipe it off. Because of its acidity it cleans and shines the metal surface.

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Making Beer is Easy

hops, grains, yeast

Who knew brewing beer was so simple, involving only 5 basic steps.

Step 1: Malted barley is soaked in hot water
Step 2: Malt is boiled with hops
Step 3: Solution is cooled and yeast is added
Step 4: Yeast ferments
Step 5: Beer is bottled with added sugar

Of course these are simplified steps. If you are willing to give it a try, you will find it is fun, easy, and creative. If you are willing to experiment you will be able to spend vast periods of time enjoying a stimulating, inspired hobby.

Are you contemplating joining the vast numbers of people enjoying brewing their unique beers but don’t know how to get started? We suggest that you start with the purchase of a starter kitrecipe kit, give it a try, evaluate your results and at this point you will likely be hooked on a fascinating pursuit of your best brew.

Amber TrueBrew Ingredient Kit 5 gallon ingredient kit
Amber Ingredient Kit
India Pale Ale TrueBrew Ingredient Kit 5 gallon ingredient kit
IPA Ingredient Kit
Amber TrueBrew Ingredient Kit 5 gallon ingredient kit
Red Ale Ingredient Kit