Brewing lagers at home can be a bit daunting. There’s lots of information out there about how challenging lager fermentation can be, and truth be told it may require some new skills and new equipment. Lagers can be seen as something of a mystery, but this article is here to explain the basics, and potentially give a head start to anyone considering brewing their first lager. Come, let us explore…
If you home brew for long enough, one question is inevitable: “Can you make (insert popular beer)?” If I had a dollar for every person who’s asked if I can make Corona I’d retire a rich man. A good answer to the question above is “yes, but have you tried (insert craft style)?” Home brewers are in a privileged position to offer new and interesting alternatives to the mass produced beers that dominate the marketplace. We have the power to convert beer drinkers to craft beer drinkers! I’ve compiled a list of 5 beer styles that every home brewer should master to properly introduce Joe Average to the world of craft brewing.
Dos Equis Amber is one of my favourite general drinking beers. I know Mexican lagers are maligned in the craft beer world, and sometimes for good reason. They can be bland and tasteless and substitute almost seamlessly for water on a hot day. But there’s something compelling about the darker Dos Equis – every hardcore pale lager drinker who I’ve introduced to the Amber has fallen in love immediately. This brew is a strange paradox; thin yet rich, sweet yet dry and somehow still retaining that thirst-quenching character of a pale lager. So with summer around the corner in Australia I thought I’d brew up an amber to keep on hand and try to convert a few more pale lager drinkers!
Hops are one of the 4 essential ingredients in beer. They have many important functions in brewing and have a very big effect on the character of a beer. But what are they, and how are they used? Read on to find out!
When it comes to home brewing, one of the most tedious jobs is chilling the wort after the boil. It can be time consuming, even with a wort chiller. A simple, but controversial, solution is at hand – the no chill method! Many brewers use the no chill method and claim it is very effective and easy, but others feel that the method may have a number of downfalls. Read on to learn all there is to know about the no chill brewing technique!
The mash is one of the least understood processes among brewers. Mashing is both a procedure and a scientific phenomenon – it’s possible to properly conduct a mash without any knowledge of chemistry. But the more you know the better your chances of squeezing every bit of sugary goodness out of your grain. To fully understand the mash a bit of background knowledge about malting is useful – check out my articles on malt and base malts for more information.
It’s important for new brewers to know that there are a few different methods for making beer at home. Some are dead simple and require very little equipment, some are more challenging and require a whole brewery! Never fear, this article is here to take the mystery out of the various methods that you can use to make beer at home. I recommend you first read this article for some background on how beer is made. For more beginner’s tips for brewing, check out this article. To hear more about the different methods of making home brew, read on!
From flaked corn to rolled oats, malted wheat to roasted barley, adjuncts are the final piece of the malt puzzle when crafting a beer. Adjuncts are non-barley malt additions that add fermentable sugars and contribute unique flavours and textures to the finished beer. Adjuncts are usually used in small quantities to make adjustments to the character of a beer. Adjuncts can be divided into a few basic categories: Non-barley malt, unmalted grains, non-grain carbohydrates and sugars.
Adjuncts must be mashed with base malts to convert their starch into sugars. For more information on base malts, check out this article.
Specialty malts can be that extra little something that take your beers to the next level. They add depth and complexity to the malt profile and can be used to make adjustments to the colour of your brew. Some beer styles like stout even rely on specialty malts for their characteristic colours and flavours! There is a staggering array of specialty malts available to home brewers and an exhaustive list would not be possible or practical. This article will cover the major varieties of specialty malts and provide some information about how they can be used to really amp up your brewing. For an introduction to malts please click here, and for information about base malts check out this article.
Base malt, as the name suggests, is the base of every variety of beer. But don’t think for one second that base malts are basic! This article will explore the different types of base malts and their characteristics. If you’re looking for a general introduction to malt then please click here.