Beyond making sure to have flawless sanitation, what else can you do to brew better beer at home?
'homebrewing' on Serious Eats
While your neighbors, colleagues, and cousins are all sipping green smoothies and headed to the gym on their brand new bicycles, why not make some resolutions you'll actually keep?
It can be tricky to figure out what's causing your beer to have "that homebrew flavor." Here are some of the most common yeast-derived off flavors and how to avoid them.
A step by step approach that you can follow to become a beer competition judge and join in the fun.
It turns out you can acquire that unique Belgian strain used by your favorite brewery, even if there isn't a viable substitute at your local homebrew shop. Commercial breweries rely on yeast just like homebrewers do, and if they are bottle-conditioning their beers, there are likely some living yeast cells in the bottle, just waiting to ferment your next batch of beer.
One of the biggest challenges in homebrewing is finding recipes you trust, so we thought we'd give you a head start. Here are 15 Serious Eats-tested-and-approved recipes for homemade beer, from easy-for-beginners to more advanced projects.
Looking for a project to fill your 3-day weekend? Sure, you could declare Sunday or Monday a brew day, but what about investing in your homebrewing habit, and doing something that will make brewing beer better, easier, or more fun.
By focusing on just two ingredients, you can filter out the other "noise" and learn your Centennials from your Chinooks and your Munich malt from your Vienna. You'll know exactly what each ingredient tastes like, and learning those flavor and aroma characteristics on their own will help you tweak recipes with more components later on.
For this SMaSH (Single Malt and Single Hop) beer, I chose Mosaic hops, the daughter of American IPA hop stalwart Simcoe. Mosaic hops only became commercially available following the fall 2012 harvest, but they're already picking up steam among home and craft brewers for creating an array of flavors and aromas that have been said to include cedar, stone fruit, tropical fruit, blueberry, and floral notes. To round things out, I paired the Mosaic hops with the sweet, clean Golden Promise pale malt.
Folks in the beer industry like to say that brewers don't really make beer. Brewers make wort—which is the stuff that yeast makes into beer. Yeast and its performance has a huge impact on a brewer's final product. But what does that taste like?
A dubbel is a fantastic entry point for those not familiar with Belgian beer and an even better partner for food. It's a malt parade with a restrained bitterness keeping the whole thing in check.
Days before I left New York for St. Louis, my good friend Chris Cuzme invited me to write this dubbel recipe—I call it 'Parting Glass'—and brew it with him at 508 Gastrobrewery in Tribeca.
Found a homebrewing kit under the tree this year? Awesome! But before you get started, allow me to share a few tips that will give you a leg up and improve the quality of your initial batches of beer.
Holiday shopping for the discriminating beer lover can be a stressful prospect. Which beers should I buy? Which homebrewing supplies does she need? How many times can I get away with buying novelty beer-themed boxer shorts? (Answer: none.) But don't worry, we're here to help. Here are 9 useful gifts for the beer-obsessed person on your list.
Careful readers may have caught my first article on how to identify the "three C" hops in beer a few weeks back. If you did, the fun must be winding down by now—there's only so many times you can call out a whiff of that Cascade grapefruit before the other regulars at your local get a little sick of you. It's time to expand your repertoire.
Malt is undeniably more important to beer production than hops—it not only provides the foundation for beer's flavor, but it also imparts the essential sugars necessary for fermentation. Without malting, there is no beer. But ask a homebrewer about his malt, and you'll probably get blank stares.
I brewed the Presidential homewbrews, following the recipes exactly, and the result was not as thrilling as I'd hoped, especially in light of Garrett Oliver's evaluation of the beer as being "perfectly balanced." If you follow the original recipe word for word, you might be disappointed. If you want to brew the President's beer yourself, read on for some advice.
Big, deep, and rich, Belgian dark strong ales are perhaps the most complex beers Belgium has to offer. Brewing this style isn't cheap—I generally expect to spend an extra $10 to $15 per 5 gallon batch once I've bought the extra grains and sugars. However, considering commercial domestic and imported versions start at about $6 per 12-ounce bottle where I live, it's a relative steal to make your own. Here are a few tips to help you get started.
Inspired by the Trappist and abbey beers I drank during a trip to Brussels last fall, I first brewed this Belgian Strong Dark Ale in January.
Using 3 stainless kettles to brew all grain beer offers more flexibility in mash temperature and recipe design. If you chose to go with a 3 vessel system, here is the setup and process you'll go through when you brew.