Homebrewing Tips

  1. What is Diacetyl in Your Beer and How to Prevent & Fix It?

    What is Diacetyl in Your Beer and How to Prevent & Fix It?

    Have you ever gone to taste your beer and noticed a slight buttered popcorn taste or smell to it? Well, that would be the unfortunate chemical compound called Diacetyl. In this episode, we will take how to prevent it and fix it if that happens.

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  2. How to Pair Beer With Food Like A Pro

    How to Pair Beer With Food Like A Pro

    If you are like most of us, you probably enjoy imbibing your awesome, home-brews with some delicious food, but sometimes that can seem like a challenging task. Worry no more, I am here with an easy guide to get you well on your way to beer-pairing greatness!

    Below you will find some general suggestions, but these are just ideas and what’s here is only a few of them so do not be afraid to experiment and try things, too! Sometimes, rules are meant to be broken!

    Basic beer and food pairing suggestions:

    Light lagers: Spicy food, burgers, salads

    Crisp, refreshing, and typically more neutral in flavor, “Light Lagers” tend to pair harmoniously with most savory foods, but they can really become an asset when it comes to spicy food. Grilled foods like chicken, hot dogs, brats, and even raw veggies also pair nicely with Light lagers.

    Wheat beers: Spicy food and fruity desserts

    Typically, soft on the pallet with a light grain character, garnering most of its “flavor” from the yeast character, wheat beers are another style that is well-matched with a broad range of foods. Try pairing wheat beers with Buffalo wings, Spicy noodles, Salads, Fruit tarts, or Pastries.

    India pale ales (IPAs): Steak, barbecue, and Mexican food

    Hoppy, bold, and often delightfully bitter, IPAs, characterized by their strong flavor, often do best when paired with rich-tasting and “fatty”, meals. They can hold their own against dishes such as Barbecue ribs, French fries, Mozzarella sticks, Steak, Burritos, and Fajitas.

    Amber ales: Pizza, fried food, smoked pork

    Toasty, and typically slightly bready on the aroma, with a crisp, clean finish; Amber ales do well at balancing out rich, savory foods, without getting in the way of their flavor. For this reason, they pair well with comforting foods such as Barbecue pulled pork, Jerk chicken, Pizza, and Brisket.

    Dark lagers: Pizza, burgers, hearty stews

    These beers typically boast a light caramelly sweetness, that is balanced by darker, roasted flavors. I find these beers really shine when they are paired with certain traditional European dishes, like Sausage, Goulash, Potato dumplings, Bangers, and mash or pretzels!

    Brown ales: Sausage, sushi, fish

    Heavier roast, and rich roasted flavors of coffee and chocolate, brown ales showcase a round and nutty flavor with a drier finish. Truth be told… Brown ales pair well with MANY things, but here are a few suggestions to get your wheels turning: Sausage, Roast pork, Barbecue, Fish, Sushi.

    Porters: Seafood, coffee-flavored desserts, game meats

    Porters are made with roasted brown malts that give the beer strong notes of chocolate, caramel, and coffee. Like Brown ales, but richer. They are typically drier on the finish and though similar in flavor to Stouts, they are not as “creamy” in texture. Try them with Lobster, Crab, Mexican mole, Barbecue, Rabbit, venison, and game meats.

    Stouts: Chocolate desserts, shellfish, Mexican food

    Stouts are best known for their black color and dark, roasted flavor. Despite their appearance, stouts are not necessarily high in alcohol content, bitterness, or flavor, and there are many mild, well-rounded types of stout. Usually characterized by strong hints of chocolate and coffee as well as a silky-smooth consistency. Try pairing with: Chocolate truffles, Chocolate mousse, Lobster, Barbecue, and Shellfish.

    Well, I don’t know about you, but now I am STARVING! So, do as I do, get yourself some homebrew, and whip up some of these delicious foods to pair along with it! If you enjoyed this article, or if you have tried any of the above pairings, let us know in the comments section!

    Until next time… CHEERS!

    Ashley

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  3. How to prepare fresh fruit to add to your beer during fermentation?

    How to prepare fresh fruit to add to your beer during fermentation?

    Beer is good, fruit is good… Beer with fruit in it is even better! Like myself, many homebrewers enjoy incorporating fruit flavors in one form or another, into their beer, especially during the hot summer months. Every spring and summer season, we get lots of questions about how to safely add fresh fruit to a brew, during fermentation but after high Krausen has passed, without introducing unwanted infection.

    Sure, you can always use store-bought or pre-pasteurized purees, but if you h

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  4. Is brewing all grain really cheaper?

    Is brewing all grain really cheaper?

    Many craft beer enthusiasts choose home brewing as an enjoyable hobby and extension of their love for fermentation and the freedom to create their own custom recipes, but another notable advantage is, financial. If you love craft beer; I likely don’t have to tell you that buying it can get expensive, a “bottle shop” 6-pack, at a time. For many, homebrewing can a great way to reduce overall costs, especially if you like to enjoy and share those classy-craft-brews, on a regular basis.

    H

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  5. What is Kveik yeast?

    What is Kveik yeast?

    You probably have heard of this word, or maybe you have not until today, so let’s go ahead and answer the question in our title, first; “What is Kveik yeast?”. The very simplest explanation is that “Kveik” refers (currently) to about 3, brewer’s yeast strains that are native to Norway, specifically. Now, that is the short definition, but Kveik gets much more interesting than that! I field many questions about Kveik yeasts, every summer because, unlike most other brewing yeasts, it can tolerate very high temperatures by comparison, and it attenuates VERY quickly. Because of this higher temperature tolerance and blazing speed, warmer months seem to be when ya’ll really want to know about the stuff! Hey, I get it and you know by now, I need very little justification to talk about brewing yeasts, so here we go!

    “Where does Kveik come from?”

    As already briefly mentioned above, Kveik yeast originates in Norway and the word itself literally means “the yeast”! Certain varieties of Kveik can also be found in Lithuania, Latvia, and other surrounding areas… But these yeasts are part of the family associated with the “Norwegian farmhouse” style, or as we often call it nowadays, just “Farmhouse” style. Many of the original varieties of “old world” Kveik have been lost to time, but on the west coast of Norway, from Hardanger in the south to Sunnmøre in the north, there are still some yeast cultures that have survived and are in use to this day, along with more contemporary strains and blends, as well. Specific, regional cultures were usually passed down as well guarded family secrets, so the wild varieties of Kveik that we may not even know of today, likely existed on a vast spectrum.

    “What’s it got, that other “Ale” yeasts, don’t?”

    You likely already gleaned; Kveik’s special talents are SUPER fast fermentation and high-temperature tolerance… But so, what? There are other yeasts that do that too, right? Well, sort of… But there are not many yeasts that can do all that and still taste GREAT, that’s where Kveik gets “extra” special if time and temperature are management issues for you. Depending on the specific variety of Kveik you are brewing with, “ideal” fermentation temps can run anywhere from 90-104 degrees F! That is some sultr

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