What’s New?

Screen Shot 2015-08-05 at 5.45.52 PMSo you started brewing awhile ago, and you’ve gotten pretty good at it. You’ve brewed some ales, and some more ales. You’ve added more hops, and even more hops, to some of your beers and they were great. But maybe you’ve been noticing a certain sameness creeping into your brewdays and want to try something new — but what is there?

For intermediate brewers, there are a ton of “new” things you can try. Few of these are new to brewing as a whole, but most are underappreciated in the homebrewing community and mostly attempted only by advanced homebrewers. If you’re looking to try something new to you, consider the following options. [Read more…]

All-Grain Brew Day Walkthrough (II: Milling)


A two-roll homebrew grain mill, with some malt in the hopper.

This is the second installment in the All-Grain Brew Day Walkthough, which started with a post on strike water preparation

Once your brewing liquor has been made, tasted, and is being heated towards strike temperature, it’s time to turn your focus to your grist. The first thing you should do is take a few kernels of your base malt and chew them. Most importantly, ensure that the malt has not gone stale. Secondarily, note any impressions you have of the flavor or aroma. If you’re new to brewing, you may find it hard to describe what you are sensing, but you will get better when you have other malts to use for comparison.

You may also want to chew a few grains of the lighter specialty malts, such as crystal malts. Darkly-roasted grains — such as chocolate malt or black malt — are much harder and often very bitter when tasted alone. I usually just smell them to see if their aroma is good.

Record your observations in your brewing notebook or brewing software, and it’s time to mill the grain.

[Read more…]