CRAFT BEER ARTICLES

Red Wine: Choosing the Best for Your Health

People who took an active interest to know for a fact that alcohol is not good for the body. However, there might be something that can be an exception, and that might be red wine. According to researches, numerous...

6 Tips For The Beginner Brewer

The craft of home brewing has swept the nation. Beer brewing contests and competitions are rising in numbers, as well as the competitors. If you're a beginner when it comes to home brewing, then there are things that you...

5 Tips for Entering Your First Homebrew Competition

If you've been into the craft of brewing for a long time, the thought of engaging in a homebrew competition surely have already crossed your mind. If that's the case, then your skills and excitement shouldn't be the only...

Home Brewing: Hard Cider For Beginners

The perfect time to make a hard cider brew is when it's apple harvest season. You can brew this fresh and organic drink in the comfort of your own home if you're someone who's into the craft of home...

Home-Brewing Mistakes Beginners Usually Commit

If you're a beginner in the craft of home brewing, it can be discouraging whenever you commit mistakes; however, you can turn that mistake as a chance to learn and have yourself become better in brewing. Here are the most...

Red Wine: Choosing the Best for Your Health

People who took an active interest to know for a fact that alcohol is not good for the body. However, there might be something...

6 Tips For The Beginner Brewer

The craft of home brewing has swept the nation. Beer brewing contests and competitions are rising in numbers, as well as the competitors. If...

5 Tips for Entering Your First Homebrew Competition

If you've been into the craft of brewing for a long time, the thought of engaging in a homebrew competition surely have already crossed...

Red Wine: Choosing the Best for Your Health

People who took an active interest to know for a fact that alcohol is not good for the body. However, there might be something...

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Red Wine: Choosing the Best for Your Health

People who took an active interest to know for a fact that alcohol is not good for the body. However, there might be something that can be an exception, and that might be red wine. According to researches, numerous health benefits are inherent when it comes to drinking wine. One of the benefits include the blocking of the formation of fat cells – this can be explained because of the compounds called flavonoids. Flavonoids inhibit the oxidation of bad cholesterol. Aside from that, wines also have resveratrol that has anti-inflammatory properties, can help protect nerve cells from damage and even Alzheimer’s, aid in preventing diabetes. Here is are a selection of the best red wines for your health:

Pinot Noirs

Grown in cold and wet climates, Pinot Noirs are proven to contain highly concentrated resveratrol. When choosing Pinot Noir, it might be best if you select the ones that were developed in old-fashioned wineries since they maintain the high levels of resveratrol.

Cabernet Sauvignon

This type of wine is produced from Red Tannat grapes, and they have high levels of procyanidins. Studies found that wines with high levels of procyanidins are linked to high rates of longevity.

Madirans & Merlot

Made from Tannat grapes, Madiran wines are also highly concentrated of procyanidins. This type of wine is usually sourced from France, Sardinia, and Italy. Merlot, on the other hand, is made from black grapes.

Syrahs (or Shiraz)

Also containing huge amounts of procyanidins, these wines are sourced in all regions and can be flavored with blackcurrants.

Barbera

Originated in Italy, but now widely created in California, the Barbera contains massive amounts of resveratrol and provides similar health effects.

Note:

Though it is good for your health, there should still be a limit to how much wine you should drink. Studies suggest that you limit your drink to 5oz if you’re a woman, and 10oz for men. The sweeter the wine, its level of flavonoids and other polyphenol are also minimal. Dry wines are likely to have almost all the good antioxidants in high amounts. The darker the color, the more anthocyanin it contains

6 Tips For The Beginner Brewer

The craft of home brewing has swept the nation. Beer brewing contests and competitions are rising in numbers, as well as the competitors. If you’re a beginner when it comes to home brewing, then there are things that you have to be knowledgeable about. Below are among the necessary and most vital things that you should get used to for you to become adept in the craft.

Sanitation

In brewing, sanitation and sterilization are the ones that you should always make a priority. Issues on sanitation can occur even before the process of brewing, and it doesn’t end until you finally put them in a capped bottle. Sterilization should be maintained right after you cool your beer to avoid bacterial contamination and infection.

Cooling of Wort

It is vital that you always cool your wort at the soonest possible moment. A fast cooling process will allow an increased fallout of proteins and tannins which are bad for your beer. Aside from that, it can also minimize the chance for bacteria to cultivate. Cooling your wort fast can also improve the clarity of your beer, making it visually appealing.

Darker Beers

No matter what your favorite beer may be, the best option to start with is the dark ones. Porters and stouts are usually best at cloaking the mistakes that you may have done because of their physical and flavor profile.

Ingredients

The logic that fresher, better ingredients produce better output is also correct when it comes to brewing. This means that you should also have a profound understanding of your ingredients and the best ways to keep them fresh and clean. Having quality ingredients will most likely give you a good flavor and aroma.

Choose Glass Fermenters

Usually, home brewing kits include plastic fermenters. Though they are inherently inexpensive to have, you should consider having a glass or stainless steel fermenter because they provide a better barrier when it comes to blocking oxygen and contents also don’t stick as easily if compared to plastic fermenters.

Always Think Long-Term

Engaging in home brewing is a form of investment. Whenever you purchase equipment for brewing, you should always consider buying ones that are of quality and efficiency to save costs. Thus, purchase things wisely. Homebrewing is a mixture of science and art which makes it a lot of one. For you to successfully become successful in it, you have to think strategically and wisely. Learn from every mistake, and you’ll surely have the best beer.

5 Tips for Entering Your First Homebrew Competition

If you’ve been into the craft of brewing for a long time, the thought of engaging in a homebrew competition surely have already crossed your mind. If that’s the case, then your skills and excitement shouldn’t be the only thing that you have to prepare. When going to your first brewing competition, here are some tips and things to keep in mind for you to be fully equipped and prepared to have a better chance of success.
  1. Read the rules

Usually, competitions will have the generic and specific set of rules for entries. These rules can involve limitations and caps on recipes, kind of packaging, and volume requirements. You have to familiarize and heed these rules to avoid having all your efforts put to waste just because you overlooked one rule, which led you to disqualification.
  1. Packaging

Most of the time, competitions require at least two or three 300mL of beer, packed in each bottle. The wise option is to use standard crown top bottles for some competitions request that you give them output in quart swing top bottles. Another thing to consider is the bottle’s appearance. Aside from making sure that it is clean, you should also be sure that there are no identifying marks since most competitions want bottles that are clear from any labeling. This is to maintain the anonymity of the brewer to avoid bias from the judges.
  1. Entry labels

Competitions would usually ask you to fill out a tag and attach it to every bottle. In most cases, they’ll request you to attach the labels with rubber bands. This is a rule that you should always follow to provide the organizers ease in sorting entries.
  1. Classifying

Be sure that you choose the beer to brew in accordance to the competition’s requirements. Aside from that, you also have to make sure that the beer that you produced won’t be miscategorized. If you’re unsure what your beer classification is, it might be best if you find a friend with superb palate and have him/her discern the classification.
  1. Give Back

Usually, these competitions are run by volunteers. These people usually donate their time in support of the craft. With that being said, it would be great if you show a spirit of solidarity by supporting the event by having more understanding and patience whenever there are delays. Or better yet, give them a beer!

Home Brewing: Hard Cider For Beginners

The perfect time to make a hard cider brew is when it’s apple harvest season. You can brew this fresh and organic drink in the comfort of your own home if you’re someone who’s into the craft of home brewing.

First Timer’s Hard Cider

Volume: 1 gallon Ingredients and Equipment Needed: One clean glass gallon jug One packet of bread yeast 1 gallon of organic and fresh apple juice 2 cups of sugar 2-3 cinnamon sticks One pinch whole cloves One balloon and one rubber band

Optional:

1 airlock & stopper (replacement of the balloon and rubber band) One packet of wine yeast (substitute of the bread yeast)

Note:

The amount of sugar that you add to your brew before fermenting it is a factor that will affect the cider’s alcohol content. Aside from that, various yeast and sugar combination will create different alcohol content, taste, and body.

Here are the rough estimates:

0 added sugar ≅ 5% alcohol 1 cup added sugar ≅ 8.5% alcohol 2 cups added sugar ≅ 12% alcohol

Directions:

Mix sugar and apple juice into the jug. Shake until sugar is dissolved. Add cinnamon sticks and whole cloves. Activate the yeast. Make sure that you follow the instructions as seen on the packet. Proceed by adding the yeast into the jug and mix it. Attach the balloon to the opening of the jug, and add the rubber band to secure it in place. While the yeast is fermenting, the balloon will be filled because of the emission of gases. Release the gas from time to time by moving the rubber band and pulling the balloon. Place the cider undisturbed in a dim, warm place to aid fermentation. Allow sedimentation. After about 14 days, the balloon should no longer be inflating with gas – this means that your brew is no longer fermenting. Leaving your cider longer would allow sediments to settle at the bottom, making the clarity increase. Siphon your cider and leave behind muck. To have light carbonation, return the cider to the jug and add a few spoons of sugar, and follow the above steps for fermentation and sedimentation.

Home-Brewing Mistakes Beginners Usually Commit

If you’re a beginner in the craft of home brewing, it can be discouraging whenever you commit mistakes; however, you can turn that mistake as a chance to learn and have yourself become better in brewing. Here are the most usual brewing mistakes that beginners commit:

No Sanitation

One of the most prone dangers that a brewer can expose their beer are bacteria and wild yeasts, and this can occur whenever everything else is well-done except proper sanitation. Your brew can result into an over-attenuated, sour, and can potentially have phenolic flavors if you don’t give sanitation importance. To counter this risk, you should always make sure that your apparatus and gears are clean and free from exposure to bacteria and contamination.

Overcomplicating the Process

Beginners in brewing usually tend to have themselves overcomplicate the process of brewing, thinking that a longer and more detailed process would result in a great brew. However, overwhelming the details of your brewing process is highly unnecessary since brewing is just a straightforward and non-complex process, and professional brewers can attest to this fact.

Uncontrolled Fermentation Temperature

Fermentation-temperature control is the second most vital part of brewing, next to sanitation. Yeast, a variable in home brewing, works within a specific temperature range, and the quality of aroma and flavors will depend on that temperature range. Aside from that, the temperature should be maintained at an even level during the fermentation; this way, you can avoid having an unpleasant brew output.

Sudden Changes

Experts in brewing suggest that beginners in brewing should take it slow saying that the key to perfecting the process it to change one thing at a time. For instance, if you want to create a specific kind of beer, the best and most appropriate thing to do is to change one detail at a time. This way, whenever you make corrections, you can still mark and keep track of your progress until you finally have your desired type of beer. Brewing is more of a craft and not an exact science. Along the way, you will make mistakes and errors, but what’s important is you learn from them and never stop until you get the perfect brew.

6 Tips on How to Avoid Mistakes in Homebrewing

Even the smallest interest in brewing can lead to a serious passion for the craft. Beer and ale lovers opt to homebrew because it can save them a lot of money. This way, they can also craft their beer as well as practice the craft. Naturally, when you’re going through the journey of learning how to brew, you will make mistakes, and this can be a good thing for it can provide you a chance to learn and improve, however, time and money are also at stake when it comes to committing too many mistakes. Thus, it is important to be knowledgeable enough to avoid the things that can be well avoided. Below are some of the most common mistakes that beginners in homebrewing commit:

Too Much Haste

Usually, beginners get too excited to brew large batches of beer. Though it is fairly fine, it can be disastrous if it goes downhill especially in the fermentation phase. Ideally, beginners should start small and practice a lot of simple recipes to produce in small quantities. This way, you can learn what to improve whenever the brew fails or not.

Cleaning & Sanitization

When it comes to brewing, cleaning and sanitation should be the priority. Since fermentation is the most important part in homebrewing, it only emphasizes the need to be sanitary. Unclean surfaces and equipment can lead to bacteria accumulation and build-up which can ruin your brew or even put your health at stake. With this, it is highly important to clean and sanitize your equipment and make sure that the whole process is sanitary.

Quality of Water

Naturally, water is the ingredient in brewing that is the most important; however, a lot of brewers still make the mistake of using tap water in homebrewing. This can be bad since water sets the bar for your beer’s quality and taste. If you opt for tap water, you will most likely get terrible results since it is unfiltered, and this can greatly affect your brew.

Failure to Follow Instructions

The best brewers have one thing in common, and that is precision. Even if the craft of brewing beers is all about trial and error, it is another thing to have a deep understanding of the fundamentals. Usually, beginners make the mistake of not making precise measurements of ingredients. This can be a terrible attitude towards your output since brews tend to be affected greatly because of its ingredients or its amount.

Temperature Control

It is vital for brews to be kept at proper temperature levels. This way, you will not be disrupting the fermentation process of the brew.  Ideally, the process of fermentation increases the temperature up to 7 degrees Fahrenheit. It is important to always give attention to the temperature since the slightest change and alter the brew’s quality greatly. Aside from that, some key ingredients also have required temperatures which is something that you should be cautious.

Level of Expectations

In brewing, mistakes is already a given. You can go on a lot of brews, and you might find yourself disappointed because you set your expectations too high. Bad outputs can still happen. If this happens, what you should do is learn from them and make improvements in your next batch of brew for you to come closer to that perfect brew. Doing this will make your brews improved.

How Beers Are Made

Ingredients Beers are made from 4 fundamental ingredients: Water, barley, hops and yeast. The basic notion is to get the sugars from grains—commonly barley—so that the yeast can make it become co2 and alcohol, which makes beer. Here are the following steps:
  1. Malting

The process of brewing begins with grains—sometimes rye, wheat or other things but most commonly barley. The grains are processed and harvested through the system of heating, drying out and cracking. Malting’s main goal is to separate the necessary enzymes for brewing to make it ready for the following step.
  1. Mashing.

After being malted, the grains then are being gone through a process called mashing wherein they are steeped in hot water for approximately an hour, quite similar for making tea. This activates the grain’s enzymes that cause it to release its sugars and break down. The moment this process is done, from the mash, you drain the water that is now packed with sugar from the grains. This sweet and sticky liquid is also known as wort. Basically, it is unmade beer similar to how dough is an unmade bread.
  1. Boiling

For about an hour, the wort is boiled while the hops and some spices are added many times. Hops are the small, green cone-like vine plant’s fruit. They give bitterness in order to balance out the sugar in the provide flavour and the wort. Moreover, they serve as a natural preservative as well, which is what they were first utilized for.
  1. Fermentation

The moment the one hour long boil is done, the wort is then cooled, filtered and strained. Then, it is placed in a fermenting vessel and it will be added yeast. At this moment, the brewing is already finished and the fermentation starts. For some weeks, the beer is stored at a room temperature or several weeks at cold temperature—depending on what type of beer it is— as the yeast works its fermentation wonders. The yeast basically eats up the entire sugar in the wort and spits out alcohol and CO2 as waste products.
  1. Bottling and aging

Now, you have got alcoholic beer. Although it’s still uncarbonated and flat. The flat beer is bottled in time when it’s either going to be bottle condition or artificially carbonated similar to a soda. It is permitted to naturally carbonate through the C02 that the yeast makes. After enabling it to age from some weeks or several months, you can now try to drink the beer. It’s very delicious.

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