CRAFT BEER ARTICLES

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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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.

Cooking Fish in an Original Way

These ways of cooking fish are suitable for other fish than sea bream or wolf, whole fish if they are not too big or fish in pieces. Recipes like this can be difficult to cook, but you don’t need to be a personal chef in cleveland to figure out how to cook fish. Take a wolf (bar) of about 700 Gr. Peel, empty, and wash thoroughly. With a sharp knife make 4 or 5 notches 1 to 1, 5 cm deep on each side of the fish. Salt and pepper. Put a few drops of olive oil in a baking dish. Place the fish in the dish and add a tablespoon of olive oil. Bake at 200 ° for about 10 to 14 minutes. Serve immediately with the vegetables of your choice. Eat the natural fish or with a little olive oil, possibly add lemon juice. You can also prepare a sauce a little more sophisticated but nevertheless simple to achieve.

Here’s the recipe:

Put half butter and half cream in a small saucepan. Add salt, white pepper or Espelette chili and a drizzle of lemon juice. Boil for a minute and serve!

Note: You can fill in the notches you made in the fish with a farce of your choice. Herbs, spices, condiments, etc. You can also stuff the fish belly with a prank. Fresh or dry herbs. In Provence, we frequently use fresh or dried fennel sticks.

A Corsican recipe for a baked wolf proposes to stuff it with goat cheese or sheep with a mixture of herbs and spices and breadcrumb. Prepared so the wolf is delicious.

Thais have a recipe in which they fill the notches of the fish with a mixture of black pepper, garlic and coriander pounded in the paste. You can use this way before putting the fish in the oven. Serve it with a sauce made with water-soaked tamarind paste to which you will add a little honey. (Don’t forget to switch to the fine sieve to remove the tamarind nuclei.

A variation of this recipe is to pack the fish in a banana leaf (Asian stores) and then bake it in the oven or steam.

Different Kinds Of Pubs That You Have To Visit

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Pubs attract different people of different sectors of the society. Their needs and desires can vary from one sector to the other. That is the reason as to why we have different kinds of pubs which attract different kinds of people. The kinds of pubs differ based on the type of people who visit it and the different types of services that they cater. Different kinds of pubs have different experiences to offer, and that is why we are listing the different kinds of pubs that you have to visit at least once in your lifetime.

Theme pubs:

They are quite similar to the city pubs, but the only difference is that they specialize themselves in some genre and their services fall in the same line. For instance, they can be comedy pubs, jazz pubs, Goth pubs, rock pubs and much more. Since they are theme-based bars, we call them theme pubs. These are the type of pubs that also have a certain sector of visitors, and these visitors are predominantly the lovers of such genres.

theme pubs

Destination pubs or country pubs:

One of the simplest ways to define a country pub is it is that kind of a pub that you don’t mind visiting, travelling a long distance. That is why country pubs are also known as destination pubs. You initiate a trip only with the aim of visiting this pub. It is not a common pub that you find in multiplexes and the ones that you can drop by after work.

The City pubs:

The city pubs are the most common type of pubs that you get to see everywhere in malls, complexes and places nearby. These are the common pubs that you can drop by after work, and you can have fun with your friends. The city pubs do not carry any restrictions, they aren’t the famous ones nor are they expensive. They are simply places you can chill out with friends and have fun.

The Local pubs:

The local pubs are the ones that you probably do not want to visit the next time if you are not one among them. We wouldn’t want you to visit a local pub if you are visiting the pub for the first time. This is the kind of bar that is always unwelcoming, and the people there are anti-social.

The Chain:

These are the kind of pubs that you would love to drop by on the go. They are found in malls, railway station and many other similar places where there is large public movement. These pubs offer mass services, and people can’t expect the real pub-like authenticity here in terms of services. You simply drop by, pay for a drink or grab a bite, then pay for it and leave.

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