Alright most of you may be seeing this and saying to yourself duh!  For the others who normally brew on their kitchen stove and proceed to turn their kitchen into a nightmare resulting in a quick divorce (assuming your married) with repeated batches and boil overs.  Well that is not the only reason a turkey burner is useful.  I will step through them below:

homebrewing and a turkey burner

  • A turkey burner will be done outside.  This is a good time to get outside and get some fresh air.  The other key is that your not having boil overs on the kitchen stove.
  • Most turkey fryers have significantly more power than your kitchen stove.  This means getting a batch of beer to boil faster and freeing up some time in your day.
  • A turkey burner has the power to boil 5 gallons quickly.  If at some point you would expand to 10 or 15 gallon batches your burner may handle that load as well.
  • The most important, speaking from experience, is that the kitchen stove has trouble maintaining a vigorous boil like a turkey burner.  This means that more DMS will be in your beer and it just wont be of the highest quality it could be.
  • This will allow you the horsepower to expand from partial boils to full boils if you haven’t already.

If that isn’t enough reason to spend $50 and buy yourself a burner you will probably never be convinced.  Heck I’ll even do the work for you and post some good quality recommendations below:

 

Im going to start off by stating the fact that beer is much more tastefully complex than wine.  Wine people around the world can take this statement and just accept it because the proof is in the pudding.

Complexity of Beer Exceeds Wine

Regarding taste, beer has a much more complex flavor profile than wine.

1.) Beer has water, yeast, malt, hops, adjuncts, and in some Belgian beers a variety of spices.  Wine on the other hand has only water, grapes or fruit, and yeast.

2.) The hops that are used in brewing can not only create a bitter flavor but can also create an aroma flavor profile.  When you combine these flavors with the combination of different malts and yeast it boggles the mind.  Wine, unfortunately, doesn’t have the flavor complexity and health benefits that the hops offer.

3.) Carbonation of beer has a drastic effect on the taste.  Higher carbonation levels can add a sweetness and bite to the beer such as a Hefeweizen or there are nitrogen carbonated beers such as Guinness which add a very smooth profile.  Wines are not carbonated.

4.) Adjuncts and spices that are added to the beer such as rye, belgian candi sugar, orange peel, coriander, ginger, or flaked oats can add a multitude of flavors.  Wines also may add oak chips or other additions of spices but not to the level that is at times found in beer.

5.) A beer can have a light or heavy body and also be sweet or dry depending on the attenuation of the yeast.

6.) A beer can be fermented colder with a lager yeast (bottom fermenting) or an ale yeast (top fermenting).  There are hundreds and thousands of different yeast types to choose from.  Wine, however, is some what limited in the selection of yeast strains.

7.) Beers can be filtered, unfiltered, and be purposely cloudy with yeast in suspension.  Yeast will add flavor profiles to the beer as well as providing your daily dose of B-vitamins.

8.) Beer colors can come in whites, yellows, reds, browns, blacks.  Wines are typically found in whites and reds.

9.) Alcohol content can vary in beer from 2% all the way up to 55% (world record of 55% by BrewDog named “End of the World” as of July 23, 2010).

Beer into Wine Glass

Next time pour your beer into a wine glass...

So…the next time you take a sip of beer think to yourself how bland and boring it would be if you were instead drinking a glass of wine.  Perhaps you should pour your beer into a wine glass instead and waft before every sip because in my opinion the glass is better used for beer than wine.

 

Once again craft beer sales are up year over year and market share is lost by the large regional breweries. As this shift continues, more craft beers are found on tap in local bars and retail locations. These beers include the likes of New Belgium’s Fat Tire, Sierra Nevada’s Pale Ale, Bootlegger’s Knuckle Sandwich, Dogfish Head’s 60 Minute IPA, and Blue Moon.

Nearly all of the craft brewed beer breweries listed above have a strong tradition of producing quality beers using quality ingredients. Then there is Blue Moon which is brewed by the Blue Moon Brewing Company.  Wait a minute, the Blue Moon Brewing Company?  How come I have never heard of the Blue Moon Brewing company and why is it that a brewery could be so confident that one beer style is so good that they would just name their brewery the name of that same beer?  Something sounds fishy…

Well with some digging this is why Blue Moon is brewed by the Blue Moon Brewing Company.  Molson-Coors is the real brewer behind Blue Moon and as part of their marketing agenda they realized that the only way a craft beer would sell is to completely erase the name of Molson-Coors from the bottle.  Of course that marketing plan worked well because many people have heard of Blue Moon yet many don’t know who brews it.  Don’t get me wrong, I do believe the beer is a good beer and is an excellent example of the witbier syle although it has lost some credibility in my opinion.

If regional breweries want to create craft beer go right ahead, but they should not make an attempt to hide behind seudo Brewing Company names in an effort to gain sales.  Until next time, I’m going to stick with the beers that brewers are proud to stand behind.

calorie of beers and light beer

The question continues as to how far the regional and globally distributed light beer breweries will push the market.  It appears that with beers approaching 50 calories per bottle these breweries are well on there way to inventing yellow colored water, how novel a concept!

Unbelievably, there are many people who love these kind of water beers and swear by them.  As part of my investigative nature I broke down what determines the calories found in a beer and what this means to alcohol by volume content.  Check out the link here Beer Calories and Light Beer Myth.

Dec 192010

Want to bottle your already kegged beer but dont know how to do it without buying an expensive beer gun or counterpessure bottle filler apparatus?  Here is how…

Parts needed:

1-beer dispenser with hose and fittings to keg 3/8″ orfice

1-3/8″ racking cane (an old racking can works well also but you will need to upgrade)
1-rubber stopper size 2

  1. Cut the racking cane so that a 24″ section remains.  This is so the cane can reach into the bottom of the bottle.
  2. Cut off one end of the cane at a 45° angle so that it doesn’t plug when it reaches the bottom of the bottle.
  3. Slide the racking cane through the stopper roughly halfway.
  4. Fit the end that is cut at 90° into the faucet spout.

That’s it for construction.  Now how to operate:

  1. Position the stopper for the bottle being used.  Ideally the cane will be at the bottom of the bottle with the rubber stopper sealed to the bottle.
  2. Turn down the keg pressure to 2-5 psi so that there is just enough pressure to push the beer.
  3. Release the faucet handle so beer is allowed to flow.  Pressure should begin to build in the bottle and flow will stop assuming the stopper is sealed.
  4. With your thumb press on the upper portion of the rubber stopper so that the seal to the bottle is just slightly broken.  This will slowly release pressure and the bottle will fill.
  5. Once the bottle nears the top pull out the stopper and give a quick shot of beer in the top of the bottle to cause foaming.
  6. Once the foam rises out the top of the bottle, cap the bottle.  The point of pushing foam out of the top is so that all the air is purged from the bottle.  The reduces oxygen exposure and increases shelf life.

There you have it – a carbonated, yeast sediment free, tasty brew in bottled form.

For the case of brewing I love the Love Controller and I will walk through a DIY that is fairly simple which will allow you to have your brews fermenting ales and lagers within 1 degree of your desired temperature.  As fermentation temperature has a huge effect on the outcome of your beer, it is extremely important that this be controlled tightly.

On to the controller…

Parts Needed:
1-love controller ts2-010

1-Electrical Plugin Chord
1-Dual Outlet Plugin (a standard home outlet)
1-Electrical Box large enough to fit components
1-Electrical On/Off Switch (feel free to purchase what your preference is).
Spare Wire for connections

Mark and cutout where the controller, switch, and plugin will be installed on the unit.  Also drill a hole for the power chord plugin.

Wiring schematic to controller:

Instead of wiring directly to the heater or fridge the controller should instead be wired directly to the plugins that will be installed on the electrical box.  The power switch will enable the controller to then tell the switch to activate for heating or cooling depending on the mode that the controller is in (which is easily changeable).

Fermentation Where Heating is Needed:

Parts Needed:

1-Container large enough to fit a carboy in
1-Aquarium heater – and it is nice if it has suction cups to hold on to the carboy
1-Aquarium water pump

To achieve the best control I have found it is best to place the aquarium heater and pump at the bottom of the bath.  On the opposite side of the carboy I place the control thermistor at the bottom of the bath.  The pump will ensure good mixing when the bath is being heated and will ensure that the temperature remains constant throughout the water bath.

Fermenting Where Cooling is Needed:

Parts Needed:
1-You will need a chest freezer or fridge to place the carboy.
1-Controller Unit

Plug in the fridge to the controller unit and change the settings in the controller from heating to cooling.  This is fairly straightforward and a fridge or freezer can often be found on Craigslist for free or at least for fairly cheap.  Make sure to set the fridge or freezer to the lowest cooling temperature possible so it doesn’t limit your temperature range.

Unless someone tells me otherwise, I am fairly confident that this is one of the best bangs for your buck as far as home brewing is concerned right next to the wort chiller.  I would never brew another batch without it.

Overview of Cleansing and Sanitizing

The most critical aspect of making good beer is the cleansing and sanitizing phase. However, there is often confusion in the brewing community about the differences between the two and incorrect assumptions may lead to bad beer.

If there is one point grasped from this article, it is this; cleansers and sanitizers are not the same. Cleansers leave your equipment shiny and clean; sanitizers keep bacteria and other spoilage organisms counts low enough so that a batch is not spoiled. Before you sanitize, everything must first be cleaned otherwise the sanitizer will not be effective.

Cleaning Purpose:

  1. Remove organic and inorganic deposits.
  2. Removal of nutrient and hiding places for micro-organisms.

Sanitizing Purpose:

  1. Reduce the overall bacteria and micro-organism cell count so that yeast population dominates the fermentation outcome.

Cleansing and Sanitizing Factors:

Both with cleaning and sanitation there is the CATT factors:

  1. C-Concentration:  The stronger the solution often the more effective it is, but this is dependent on the cleanser or sanitizer.  Follow manufacturers recommendations as a starting point.
  2. A-Agitation:  Mechanical means of removal will also make cleaning much more effective.
  3. T-Time: The longer a cleanser and sanitizer can penetrate and break up organics the more effective it will be.
  4. T-Temperature:  Higher temperatures will increase the solubility of water and will also make the cleanser or sanitizer more effective thereby reducing the overall cleaning time.

Other Notes:

Every surface that touches your beer during the brewing process should be clean and free from oil or soap residues. Most brewers use their brewing equipment only for brewing, to prevent odors and oils from the kitchen from affecting the quality of your beer. The cleanser used is also important.

When cleaning avoid at all costs soap and oils in the brewing equipment.  Both will affect the quality and appearance of your beer because they interfere with head retention, causing the beer foam to dissipate rapidly. For this reason, your serving glasses should also be well rinsed to ensure the best possible presentation of your hand-crafted beers.

Cleansing Tips and Tricks:

  1. Let the chemicals do the work and avoid brushes.  They will eventually lead to abrasions and hiding spots for bacteria over time.
  2. Carboys are best rinsed immediately after use with hot water to avoid getting caked on residue.
  3. If residue is stubborn with carboy it may be required to leave the cleanser in the carboy overnight.  Worst case a brush may need to be used.
  4. A spray bottle of star san can come in handy for sanitizing funnels, lids, and other random pieces of equipment.
  5. If rinsing is necessary it is important to rinse with sanitized water.  This may also mean rinsing with cheap light lager beer.

Cleansers:

1. Oxyclean (an industrial version)
2. PBW (Powdered Brewery Wash)
3. Bleach
4. Boiling Water
5. BKF (Bar Keepers Friend).  If you are using stainless steel.
6. TSP (tri-sodium phosphate solution)
7. dishwasher detergent.Calgonite brand
8.Antiformin S (it’s like bleach but with more caustic). It’s rapid! A 20% bleach solution makes an excellent cleaner too.
9. Draftec Beer Line Cleaner for the hoses/connectors/faucets.
10. an unbranded powdered beer line cleaner (not BLC) I get from the LHBS for cleaning my keg lines
11. Straight-A (percarbonate cleaner)
12. B-Brite
13. Easy Clean

PropagationNation’s Choice: PBW – it will remove nearly everything


Sanitizers:

1. Idophor / IO Star
2. Bleach
3. Autoclave
4. Starsan
5. Diversol
6. One Step
7. Everclear (hard alcohol will do the trick as well)
8. Potassium Metabisulphate

PropagationNation’s choice: Starsan – however, the foaming is a little annoying.

One of the most under-rated aspects of brewing is cooling your wort.  If the wort is not chilled fast enough there will be higher levels of DMS (cooked vegetable off flavor) or what I call sheep’s piss.

Here is what you need to build your own chiller:

  • 50′ of copper tubing (1/4″ or 3/8″).  The more, the better…
  • 8′ of vinyl tubing which will mate with copper tubing (size dependent on copper tubing)
  • 3 hose clamps
  • copper bender (if available)
  • 1 Garden hose adapter with barbed end
  • Bend the copper tubing into a coil so that it fits into the kettle you will be using.  Be sure to have both ends of the tubing extend up so that they can hang over the kettle.  It is important that there is enough tubing so it can be bent downward over the kettle so any dripping from the lines does not flow back into the wort.  Cornelius kegs will also work as a way to bend the coil into a perfect coil by wrapping the tubing around the keg.
  • Connect the vinyl tubing to the copper tubing and lock on hose clamps.
  • Hose clamp garden hose adapter onto vinyl tubing so that a garden hose can be attached to supply water to the chiller
  • Plug into a water supply and check for leaks.

Thats it!

© 2011 All Grain Beer Brewing and Beer Recipe Suffusion theme by Sayontan Sinha