David Doucette

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Finally! New Brewing System That Can Brew A Single Pint of Homebrew

The world of automated brewing systems has exploded since the launch of the Pico Brew in 2013, automated brewing systems have been popping up like fruit flies in a house made out of bananas. Some big name examples like the BeerDroid / BeerFlo, the MiniBrew, IGulu, the Brewie and all the variations of the Pico line. However, there was one system that really caught my attention for a few reasons. It's called the BrewBro and it brews a single pint of beer at a time. What makes this brewing system unique, unlike the others previously listed, is that it brews a single pint of beer at a time. Founder, Ted Bronson, gave us a first-hand look at the BrewBro. Ted Bronson on the BrewBro Brewing System The BrewBro is a revolutionary brewing system that we're launching in April of 2018. What makes this system so groundbreaking is 3 factors. First, it has three phase fermentation. This means that you have your standard fermentation, a secondary fermentation, and an optional third phase; cold...

Fermentation Flavors : How Fermentation Affects Flavor

One thing that most brewers know is that your fermentation plays a big role in how your final beer tastes. If you didn’t know that before, now you do, you just read it. In this article, we look for flavor contributions beyond the grain bill & hop additions, and see how we can bend fermentation driven flavors to our will. Control Your Esters One major contributor of fermentation driven flavors are esters. You may have heard that word thrown around a lot before, and it can get confusing as to the meaning. “This beer is an estery mess” or “This beer has a nice ester profile”. Well now there’s a fork in the road. We have good esters and bad esters it seems. So what makes a good ester good and a bad ester bad? Three things will answer this question: 1. The type of ester you have in your beer: Here some of the common ones you’ve likely experienced at one point or another in a homebrew or commercial beer. Isoamyl Acetate - Produces ripe banana flavors Ethyl Acetate - Nail polish remover...

New Bill Could Allow States to Add Homebrew Sales on Cottage Licenses

I have a friend who's really into politics, and more importantly, digging into what bills congress are voting on to see what they include. He found something on homebrew sales that might be pretty cool for us homebrewers. In fact, really cool. Homebrew Sales Could be Legal to Sell With a Home Cottage Production License Apparently the Bill, H J Res 59;14 has additions to the the Cottage Food Production licenses. Well technically it will legally allows amendments to be made so that states can vote to add them to their individual cottage production licenses (as each state has their own). If the bill passes, it could allow homebrew sales as early as 2018 in some states based on voting schedules. What About Red Tape? Those opposed to the "Homebrew Sales" bill have given the standard response, with concerns of consumers going blind, or catching some other rare illnesses such as botulism. Yeah, Someone said those things. Other concerns have been similar to those states which were picky...

The Top 10 Homebrew Talk Articles of 2016

Some people say 2016 was an awful year, peppered with celebrity deaths, political hi-jinks, exploding cell phones, and seemingly rampant terrorism. But when all the dust settles there's always Homebrew Talk, and homebrew conquers all. We even got up and running on a new Wordpress platform for the article area, and posted 72 articles this year, but which ones were the best? Let's take a look at some of the top articles from last year that you may have missed. #10: Idiots Guide to Temperature Controllers Brewing the inaugural batch! Full Article by Stephen Burch : Stephen put together an extremely well rounded article on his electric brewery build, and the process from start to finish in general. If you are into electric brewing, or are interested in starting, this is not one to miss. This article also has a lengthy extended discussion in the comments section. Pictured above is his finished setup in action. #6: Rise of the Gruit Full Article by Justin Amaral : A home run out of left...

The Brewer's Friend Recipe Kit Giveaway!

It's giveaway time folks! Our sponsor, Brewer's Friend, has upgraded some of their features and added some new ones as well. In celebration of their new content, they will be giving away 10 recipe kits offered by Homebrew Supply! Let's look at some of the new features that are available on Brewer's Friends website. New Features Provided by Our Friends at Brewer's Friend! Personally, I've used Brewer's Friend calculators for just about everything, and some of these new features look great for all levels of homebrewers. Here is a small sampling of some of the kits available provided by Homebrew Supply Thanks again to our wonderful sponsor Brewer's Friend for hosting this giveaway and good luck everyone!

Product Spotlight: HOPTOPs

Hello everyone, and welcome to our first "product spotlight". In these articles we are looking to shine the light on some of the new or up and coming products available to us homebrewers. This spotlight features HOPTOPs, a new product which is an airlock created to fit on mason jars. Let's dig in. [/hide]

Study Shows Isomerized Alpha Acids Can Help Increase IQ

By David Doucette The tides have turned on the “healthiness of beer” several times throughout my life, and likely yours too. Thankfully over the past few years newly discovered benefits have been more plentiful than newly discovered negative effects. Even WebMD (where we go to find out if our sniffle is actually an ultra rare brain infection) has stated that Beer is better than, wine, liquor, and even water at preventing heart disease.

Beer is Now Good For Your Brains[/hide]

The Illustrated Brewer - Trappist Brewing

A beer brewed with love is drunk reasonably. A motto among the devoted monks who produce some of the most sought after and unique tasting beer in the world. Of course, Im speaking of the Trappist monks who create those delectable beers we love. [/hide]

The Illustrated Brewer - Hops

Hops. Those little green flowers that bring so much joy to us, especially to APA and IPA lovers around the world. Lets take an illustrated journey through the world of Hops. Yes, we all know what makes a hop a hop, but what about the history, or how much is grown where? Northwest Hops Production The Yakima Valley region in Washington quickly rose to being one the of top producers of hops in the US. This was because it was one of the few profitable crops that can grow in the area. Within Yakima Valley, Moxee city and Toppenish were the leaders in production by the 1920s, where there were over 1,200 acres dedicated to growing hops. That number more than tripled in twenty years, to 4,600 acres! That amounts to roughly 7.2 square miles. Today, Washington grows just over 32,000 acres of hops. Take a look at this infographic to show how the rest of the US (and Canada) stack up using 2015 acreage numbers. [/hide]

All Grain Brewing Simplified Pt 2: Equipment Profiles

If you missed it, Part 1 of this series deals with the all-grain brewing process. It goes over taking the leap into all-grain brewing in a simple, down to earth manner. https://www.homebrewtalk.com/all-grain-brewing-simplified-part1-process.html In this part, I'll go over some of the different methods and equipment profiles used in all-grain brewing. Each method is different, and you should choose the one that works best for your environment and budget. I'll cover everything from bare-bones systems to sophisticated setups. For any of these brewing systems (minus an electric powered one) you'll need a burner of some kind. A small 50,000-55,000 BTU burner will be large enough for 5 gallon batches, but look to increase your BTUs if you plan on making larger batches. Brew In A Bag (BIAB) [/hide]

Making Bochets: Burnt Honey Meads

To be forward and clear, here is a fact: heating honey does cause a loss of its aromatic properties. Here is another fact: cooking the honey to a boil and caramelizing some of the sugars replaces those lost aromatics with a whole new set of possibilities. It's time to talk about bochets. I do see quite a few posters talk about wanting to make one but haven't gotten around to it yet. Bochets require no more or less skill than preparing a traditional mead must. There are more steps, but assuming you can cook spaghetti, you can overcome those new challenges. Step 1. Grab a big pot (with a lid). We will be cooking the honey to a boil. The honey expands to roughly 3-5 times its original volume. The honey will also move more freely as it heats up, almost like water before coming to a foamy frothy boil. Step 2. Put Your Junk in the Pot. By "junk" I mean "honey" of course. Honey selection is a bit different with bochet making, as those original flavors and aromas get changed out with new...

Objectively Judging Your Homebrew

I've seen this and similar statements posted several times around the forum: "If you don't submit your beer to contests, you don't know if your beer is good". The point they are making is that without having a contest score associated with your beer--OR--a large homebrew club sampling with BJCP judges, you don't know if your beer is good or not. This argument stems from the fact that it may be hard to judge your own homebrew in an objective manner. And if you can't do that, what good is your recipe when it comes to sharing it? Take this as you wish, but those posters are somewhat correct. However, I also don't think you need a BJCP judge at your homebrew club or a high score sheet to tell if your homebrew is good or not. In fact, this article will go over how you can better judge your own homebrew in an objective way. Question 1: Are you a perfect brewer? If you answered yes, move along. This article isn't for you. If you said no, then you're right, and I can work with you. The...

Mead Making - The Profiling of Honey

Mead Making: The Profiling of Honey Not too long ago, I was at a homebrew club meeting where I was the only mead maker in attendance. This was not for a lack of interest by the other members, they just hadn't made mead yet. When I presented my meads for tasting, I got a lot of questions and I continually stressed the importance of nutrients when making mead. The next meeting, a member came to me questioning why I would need to add nutrients to mead musts when honey already has so many nutrients in it. I stated that the nutrients present in honey are not the nutrients that yeast use, and certainly aren't at the level needed for a healthy fermentation. From Flowers to Honey You may know that bees go to flowers, bring the nectar back, puke it up, and honey is made. While this is partially right, there are a few more steps to it. The bee visits the flower and stores nectar inside of a separate stomach; they can hold their own weight in nectar before returning to the hive. Once they...

The Greater Culture: Salting, Brining and Aging Cheese

The Greater Culture: Salting, Brining and Aging Cheeses Part 1 (starting equipment, basic processes, making cheese curds): https://www.homebrewtalk.com/culture-cheese-makling-basics.html The HBT Cheese Forum: https://www.homebrewtalk.com/forumdisplay.php?f=130 Before we get too far into more cheese recipes and styles, there are a few more basics to cover. After this, you'll have a solid groundwork to build your cheese portfolio from. In this section, I'll go over what salting and brining are, as well as ideal aging environments. Salting and Brining Salt is a powerful ingredient in the cheese world. It prepares the cheese for aging, helps prohibit mold growth, and boosts flavor. While some mold is expected, and even encouraged, you only want it on the outside (except blue and friends). After your cheese is done pressing, it is time to "salt" or "brine" the cheese. Both are methods of adding salt to your cheese (inside and out). The salt will be drawn into your cheese and moisture...

A Marriage Of Beer And Mead: Braggots

A Marriage of Beer and Mead: Braggots Crisp, malty, and maybe hoppy beer; combined with aromatic, bright floral honey. Add a bit of carbonation (or maybe not) and what do you get? A braggot. A braggot is a type of mead that also uses brewing ingredients like hops, malt, or both. They are typically carbonated similar to beer and finish dryer due to the fermentability of honey. When does a honey ale become a braggot? The Rule of thumb for most meads is having 50% of fermentable sugars coming from honey. You can also work in terms of pounds of honey, and not worry as much about sugar percentage. Once you're adding 3 or more pounds of honey to a fermentation of 5 gallons, you are really changing your flavor and aroma profiles, regardless of the other numbers. I would safely consider that a braggot as well. [/hide]

Blending Sour And Funky Mead P IV: Berliner Style Meads

Sour and Funky Mead Making Pt IV: Berliner Style Meads Previous Parts can be found here: Part 1: Lambic Mead making https://www.homebrewtalk.com/lambic-sour-and-funky-mead-making-pt-1.html Part 2: Adding Fruit https://www.homebrewtalk.com/lambic-sour-and-funky-mead-making-pt-2.html Part 3: Blending https://www.homebrewtalk.com/blending-sour-and-funky-mead-piii.html As we continue our journey into all things wild in the world of mead making; The next process I'll dig into is Berliner Style meads. These meads are soured with just lactobacillus, and don't have funky contributions from brettanomyces or other lactic acid bacteria like pediococcus. Something great about higher acid in meads is that it really softens the harsh aggressive notes you get from very dry meads that lie around 1.000 final gravity. If you don't like the funky farmhouse-esque notes either, you can still cross over through Berliner style meads. There are a couple of approaches (just like regular Berliner Weisse...

A Series of Unfortunate Brewing Accidents

A Series of Unfortunate Brewing Accidents It happens multiple times throughout a homebrewers career. You do your best to prevent mishaps large and small, but at the end of the day, human error is judge jury and executioner. Usually no one actually gets hurt in these accidents, and looking back, you can sometimes share a laugh with some friends about it down the road. I'm going to take this time to go over some of my finest hours in royally screwing up homebrew. Enjoy at my expense, and maybe learn how not to do things. The Strawberry Lemon Explosion. What a great evening for making some mead. Not unlike many nights, I felt like whipping up a batch of mead. This batch in particular, was based off the Joe's Ancient Orange Mead, but with strawberries and lemon. I purposely left plenty of headroom for some serious fermentation. I don't know if it was the acid boost from the lemon or the rapid rising properties of the bread yeast, but this ferment was like nothing I've ever seen. The...

Sour, and Funky Mead Making Part III : Blending

If you missed Part one, it can be found here. Part two is on adding fruit, it can be found here. [/hide]

All Grain Brewing Simplified Part 1 - Process

All Grain Brewing Simplified Pt 1: Process It can be argued that moving to all grain brewing can be the best thing you can do for the quality of your beer (pre-flameout). This being due to even more creative freedom, freshness of ingredients, and is a more engaging hands on process. It can also be argued that it can be an intimidating, confusing, and expensive step to take for your hobby. However, none of these things need to be true. It's all a matter of preference after you decide to try all grain. I'm here to simplify the equipment needed for all grain as well as the process. I'll start with the process and move to equipment later on. With this, I hope everyone can feel more confident about taking the next step in their brewing process. [/hide]

The Greater Culture: Cheese Making Basics

The Greater Culture: Cheese Making Basics Over my years as a home brewer, I've found that both myself and many others in the hobby have an insatiable desire to make things themselves. It comes from the deepest part of our genes. It's in our blood and bones. We all were driven to make things with our hands. Whether you grow your own hops, or rewire your entire house to better suit an electric brewery in your basement, it's that inner drive that compels us to push our DIY attitudes to the next experience. In this case, I'm talking about cheese, and the process of turning liquid milk into hard milk. The earliest parts of cheese making history (like most ancient traditions) are a bit clouded by a lack of dated transcription. We do know that during the height of the Roman Empire, cheese was a big deal. Given milk's shorter shelf life, milk had to be consumed or preserved quickly. Cheese was how farmers preserved their milk for food stores. Since then, cheese in Europe and America has...