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snow bucket

Can I Brew with Snow?

Well, we’ve been getting pounded by snow here in Chicago, so figured this would be a good subject to tackle. Maybe it sounds like a cool ingredient for your Eisbock? It might even add that certain je ne se qua to your beer you’ve been looking for. Well, that’s partly right, but not in a good way. When I first started brewing… Read more →

yeast starter

How To Make A Yeast Starter

I recently had an epiphany that I was under pitching. By creating a yeast starter, I seemed to have fixed that problem. Here’s a quick guide on how to make a yeast starter. Ideal Pitching Rates Ales – you want to pitch around 750K cells of viable yeast, for every ML of wort, for every degree plato. Lagers – you want… Read more →

blueberry amber ale

Blueberry Amber Ale Recipe

While I’m not a huge fruit beer fan, I was in MI last summer and we went blueberry picking. Ended up with about 13 lbs worth. After making all the blueberry flavored baking goods you could think of, decided to make a beer. Started with a  basic amber ale recipe, tweaked slightly and added 3 lbs of fresh blueberries to… Read more →

Canoe-Beer-Flight

How-to Properly Taste Beer

Ok, before you start pointing fingers and saying I’m a beer snob, let me explain. As a brewer your ability to taste beer –  properly taste beer – is one of the strongest tools you have at your disposal. Not being familiar with flavor, what works and what doesn’t, is like a chef who’s only eaten oatmeal. You have no perception… Read more →

First Wort Hop

How To First Wort Hop

As I mentioned in Going Small Pt 1, I’m planning on trying to first wort hop my Scotch Ale. While the technique has been around for a while, I recently stumbled upon it. From what I gather, it can not only improve the flavor of your beer, but also your hop utilization. While Scotch Ales aren’t an extremely hoppy beer,… Read more →