Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale Clone Recipe

Bottle Of Sierra Nevada Celebration AleOne of my all-time favorites is Sierra Nevada’s Celebration Ale, and I’d like to have it year-around. That’s why I started digging for a Celebration ale clone recipe.

Celebration ale a full-bodied IPA brewed with two-row malt, caramel malt, and the season’s freshest hops. In true Sierra Nevada style, Cascade and Centennial hops are in the spotlight. A touch of Carapils malt adds a frothy white head that lasts and lasts, providing a billowing pillow for the spicy hop aroma that emanates from the glass.

As a big time mega craft brewer, Sierra Nevada has access to the very first hops of the harvest. Given the changes in the growing season from year to year, Celebration is a little different each year it’s brewed. If you grew your own hops this year, you may want to play around with your own crop. If adding your own fresh, un-dried hops to the boil, read this short article about wet hopping. Otherwise, we can still obtain abundant hop flavor and aroma using pellets.

The following Celebration ale clone recipe is adapted from the October 2000 issue of Brew Your Own magazine. Use it to enjoy Celebration Ale year round!

 

Celebration Ale Clone Recipe
(All Grain, 5 Gallon Recipe)

Specifications:
OG = 1.064
FG = 1.014
IBUs = 60
SRM = 12
ABV = 6.4%

Ingredients:
11.5 lbs. two-row malt
1 lb. Crystal 40L malt
.5 lb. Carapils malt
1 oz. Chinook hops at :60 (11 AAUs)Shop Steam Freak Kits
1.75 oz. Cascade hops at :30 (8.5 AAUs)
1 tsp. Irish moss at :15 mins
.66 oz. Cascade hops (dry hop)
.66 oz. Centennial hops (dry hop)
Wyeast 1056: American Ale Yeast or Safale US-05
.75 cups corn sugar (if bottling)

Directions:
Mash the grains with a single infusion at the higher end of the temperature range (~156°F) for big body and mouthfeel. Draw off and sparge to collect enough wort for a full-volume boil. Boil for 90 minutes, adding the hops according to the schedule. Add 1 teaspoon of Irish moss with 15 minutes left in the boil. Whirpool, chill, and transfer to a clean, sanitized fermenter, then ferment at 66°-70°F for seven days. Dry hop for five days in secondary. Bottle or keg at you would normally.

 

Partial Mash Option

Shop Conical FermenterIf you are not an all-grain brewer, no fear. Here is an alternate procedure for making a Celebration ale clone from extract in a partial mash.

Replace the two-row malt with 6.6 lbs. light LME and 2.75 lbs. two-row malt. Steep the two-row with the Crystal 40L and Carapils (all crushed) for 30 minutes in 1.5 gallons of water at 156°F. Strain out the grains and rinse them with 1 gallon of water at 170°F, collecting the runoff in the boil kettle. Mix in the liquid malt extract and bring to a boil.

Boil for 90 minutes, adding the hops according to the schedule. Add 1 teaspoon of Irish moss with 15 minutes left in the boil. Whirpool, chill, and transfer to a clean, sanitized fermenter, topping off with enough water to make five gallons. Ferment at 66°-70°F for seven days. Dry hop for five days in secondary. Bottle or keg at you would normally.

And there you have it… a Celebration ale clone recipe for brewing all-grain or extract in a partial mash, so know is the time to get started!
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David Ackley is a beer writer, brewer, and self-described “craft beer crusader.” He holds a General Certificate in Brewing from the Institute of Brewing and Distilling and is founder and editor of the Local Beer Blog.

A Quick Tip For Racking Wine

Girl Racking WineFirst off, many of you may be wondering, “what does racking wine mean”? So let’s get that out of the way first. In terms of making wine, the definition of racking wine is the process of transferring a wine or must from one fermenter to the next so as to leave the sediment behind.

Racking wine is necessary because you do not want the wine to sit on excessive amounts of sediment over extended periods of time. Doing so, can cause your wine to develop off-flavors.

Many beginning winemakers will often lose too much wine during the racking process. This happens because they try to eliminate all the sediment with each racking at the expense of losing some wine. In other words, they leave behind too much wine because they feel it has too much sediment with it.

Shop Auto SiphonLosses can total up to 3 or 4 bottles in a 5 or 6 gallon batch when using this type of methodology. Losing wine is something I’m not particularly to fond of, and I doubt you are either.

Here’s the tip for racking wine: to minimize losses when racking wine, always try to get as much liquid as possible each time you rack, even if some sediment comes with it. It’s not about leaving all the sediment behind. It’s about leaving the bulk of the sediment behind. Get as much wine as you can. It’s not until you get to your very last racking – usually the racking right before bottling – that you will want to eliminate all of the sediment at the expense of a little wine.

By the time you get to this point in the wine making process, there is usually only a little dusting of sediment to deal with, anyway. So your wine loss will be very minimal – usually it will be less than half a bottle of wine.
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Ed Kraus is a 3rd generation home brewer/winemaker and has been an owner of E. C. Kraus since 1999. He has been helping individuals make better wine and beer for over 25 years.

The Trick To Avoiding Oxidation In Homebrew

Oxidation In HomebrewOne of several problems that can happen in beer brewing is oxidation. Blogger Bryan Roth explores oxidation, its effects, what causes it, and how to avoid it.
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The process of oxidation is detrimental to your beer, but it’s something that can be difficult to avoid. To some degree, oxidation in homebrew will occur whether you keg or bottle your beer.

Oxidation in homebrew is a chemical process that can destabilize it and cause stale, off-flavors. Most commonly, people describe the taste of oxidized beers as having flavors of wet cardboard, sherry, or fruit, but that’s not the only issue. Along with altering the taste of your beer, oxidation can also affect the quality of your beer. Having oxidation in your homebrew can cause it to be less stable, meaning it will not stay as fresh as long.

 

When Oxygen Is Good For Homebrew?

A tricky part of the oxidation concept is that oxygen is actually beneficial early in the brewing process, so there is a time when oxidation in the homebrew is good. Properly aerating your wort on brew day can be pivotal to a successful homebrew, as oxygen is critical for yeast health.

Shop Wort AeratorAfter you’ve boiled and cooled your wort and moved it into your primary fermenter, take a few minutes to rapidly stir or shake and rock your wort. At this early stage, building a frothy head on your wort is good, as pitched yeast will need the air for healthy growth and will remove the oxygen during the fermentation process. You can even purchase aeration devices to help this process.

After you’ve pitched your yeast and fermentation has begun, you’ll want to avoid shaking and agitating your beer as much as possible.

 

When Oxidation May Occur In Your Homebrew

Oxidation can take place at many points throughout the brewing process, from creating a large froth while stirring your mash to the moment you move your beer into a keg or bottle. For most homebrewers, their beer is at greatest risk of oxidation while racking from one carboy to another or into their final vessel of choice, whether it be bottle or keg.

In all these instances, it’s important to try and avoid splashing of your beer. You’ll be able to tell when you’re at risk whenever you see a growing froth on top of your wort or beer. If you’re racking, pay attention to your tubing: if you see a lot of bubbles moving through, check the fitting of your tubing Shop Chugger Pumpand siphon connections to make sure they’re tight. While moving beer from one carboy to another, allow your siphon tubing to rest on the bottom of the secondary fermenter or as close to the rising beer as possible. This will dramatically reduce the oxidation in your homebrew.

 

How to Avoid Oxidation In Homebrew When Kegging or Bottling

Homebrewers who keg their beer may have an easier time avoiding the effects of oxidation so long as they’ve been careful in other steps of the brewing process. Purging a keg with CO2 before and after filling it with homebrew will help keep the beer fresh.

Those who bottle, however, will still want to make sure to avoid unnecessary splashing or air bubbles while racking into bottles. Moving a homebrew from a carboy to a bottling bucket can help, as a spigot and properly fitted tubing will move the beer safely from one vessel to your bottle. Luckily, the yeast that will carbonate your beer will consume some of the oxygen that may make it into the bottles.

Shop Oxygen Absorbing CapsMany homebrewers also prefer to use oxygen absorbing bottle caps that will help mitigate oxidation. Be sure to also store your beer in a place where temperatures are controlled and preferably cool. Warm storage can promote oxidation in homebrew.

Bottled beers can’t help but become oxidized over time, so know that some beers styles may be impacted greater than others. Your IPA, for example, may have a shift in its hop flavor compared to a barleywine or imperial stout, which may actually find pleasant tastes from sitting in cool storage for a little longer than normal.

The important thing to remember when it comes to oxidation in homebrew is that once properly carbonated, many beer styles are meant to be consumed fresh. Don’t be afraid to pop your cap and enjoy it!
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Bryan Roth is a beer nerd and homebrewer living in Durham, North Carolina. You can read his thoughts on beer and the beer industry on his blog, This Is Why I’m Drunk, and send him suggestions on how to get his wife to drink craft beer via Twitter at @bryandroth.

My Wine Recipe Doesn’t Call For Yeast

Man Fermenting Wine Without YeastI have an old wine recipe that came from Germany, through the family, but the wine recipe doesn’t call for yeast of any kind… What does the yeast do and is it essential in home wine making?

Thanks Connee
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Hello Connee,

Simply put, yeast is where the rubber meets the road. Without wine yeast you’ll have no fermentation, and with no fermentation you’ll have no alcohol! That’s why it is imperative that the starting wine must has yeast of some kind, even if the wine recipe doesn’t call for yeast.

 

What’s Going On?…

What’s happening when you make wine is sugar is being turned into alcohol through a process called fermentation. Yeast is what performs the fermentation. Each yeast is a single-celled, living organism that literally eats the sugars that are in the wine must and turns it into alcohol and CO2 gas. This is what wine making is all about.

 

Where Does The Yeast Come From?

Shop Wine YeastSome older wine recipes – like the one you have – will have no yeast of any kind in the recipe. This is because the yeast are expected to be provided by the fruit, naturally. Fruit, whether it be grapes, peaches, or strawberries, already have wild yeast on them so there will be a fermentation of some kind; it will just be fermenting wine without yeast you’ve added.

Using the yeast that Mother Nature provided was an acceptable practice way-back-when because wine yeast was not readily available. And, if your wine recipe is really, really old, they may not have even known that yeast doing the job. The connection between yeast and fermentation was not put together until as recently as 1857. So as you can start to see, this may be why your wine recipe doesn’t call for yeast of any kind.

 

Is The Wild Yeast Good Enough?

Homemade wines made from wild yeasts are marginal at best. Typically, the yeast found out in the wild have trouble fermenting to an acceptable alcohol level. The flavor and aromas they put off can be objectionable. Wild yeast wines also have a harder time clearing up. This is primarily because the yeast do not collect and clump Shop Grape Concentratetogether like domesticated wine yeast do (flocculation). The clumping helps the yeast to drop out cleanly and quickly. Domesticated wine yeast are bred to do this.

The only exception to this are some Old World wineries that rely on feral yeast from the vineyard. Feral yeast is maintained but out in nature. Great care is taken to keep the yeast strain maintained in the fields. Spent pulp from the fermentation is put back into the soils along the fines so that the yeast within the pulp can cover next year’s crops.

 

Yeast Today

Today things are different. Wine making yeast are readily available from wine making shops like us. These are the same strains of wine yeast used by professional Shop Wine Presswineries. They are able to ferment to an acceptable alcohol level and produce a much cleaner flavored wine. And, their cost is not that much different than buying a pack of baker’s yeast.

There is an entire array of wine yeast strains from which to choose. Each one has slightly different flavor characteristics or different qualities that make it well suited for a certain style of wine. You can find an example of some of these characteristic in this wine profile chart.

 

Here’s My Recommendations

My advice to you – without seeing the wine recipe – is to go ahead and follow it, but I would also add a packet of wine making yeast for every 5 or 6 gallons of must. You may also want to take a look at the article, Why Should I Use Wine Yeast that Shop Wine Making Kitsis listed on our website. This will give you a little deeper explanation about yeast and its role in wine making.

You may want to give up on using the wine recipe all together. While using a wine recipe that doesn’t call for any yeast can be done. Why risk your time an effort when there are so many more modern wine recipe available.

Happy Wine Making,
Ed Kraus
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Ed Kraus is a 3rd generation home brewer/winemaker and has been an owner of E. C. Kraus since 1999. He has been helping individuals make better wine and beer for over 25 years.

Short Boil Brewing: Put Time Back Into Your Day!

Short Boil Brewing Being Done By HomebrewerFor many, brew day is all about taking it easy. Setting up a chair and kicking back as the wort boils away can be as therapeutic as laying on the beach, listening to the tide come in.

But for me, when I’m home brewing I like to strike a balance between relaxing and being efficient with my day, even if that means rushing around like a mad cheetah at times. That’s where short boil brewing comes in…

One of the easiest ways I’m able to cut down on my brew day is focusing on the boil, especially since I brew extract batches. Instead of a normal 60-minute boil time, cutting down to 30 or even 20 minutes not only produces homebrew that’s still great to drink, but puts a little more time back in my day.

While not every beer style lends itself to short boil brewing (bocks, for example), it is easy to shave off minutes for lots of other kinds of beers, from stouts to IPAs. The key is using extract and some specialty grains for steeping, which can be placed in the water as it heats up. Since malt extract doesn’t need to be boiled for a specific amount of time, you’re simply mixing it in the hot water to sanitize the liquid as you create your wort.

My favorite use of short boil brewing is with IPAs because it forces me to use my favorite technique for the style: hop bursting. This process is exactly what it sounds like – you add a ton of hops, but boil them for a short period of time. This provides an intense burst of hop flavor and aroma.Shop Liquid Malt Extract

Hop bursting is perfect for short boil brewing because you’ll extract little bitterness from the isomerization of hops, but get left with all the flavor. The biggest catch for a shortened boil is that you’ll want to use a lot of hops to make sure you still get some hop bitterness to balance the sweet malt, but that can be a good thing, too.

Here’s an IPA recipe I call “Little Hop Monster” that I’ve developed through short boil home brewing. Try it out to get you started on your next (shortened) brew day. Feel free to substitute hops for whatever you like, but I enjoy the intense tropical fruits of these American hop varieties:

 

Little Hop Monster IPA
(five-gallon batch, extract with specialty grains)

Specs Shop Brew Kettles
OG: 1.050
FG: 1.010
ABV: 5.2%
IBUs: 48
SRM: 8

Ingredients
0.5 lb. Crystal 60
0.5 lb. Crystal 40
6 lb. light DME
2 oz. Amarillo hops at 10 minutes left in the boil
2 oz. Simcoe at 10 minutes
1 oz. Amarillo at 5 minutes Shop Hops
1 oz. Simcoe at 0 minutes
1 oz. Amarillo – dry hop
1 oz. Simcoe – dry hop
1 pack of Safale US-05 

 

Directions
In this short boil recipe the boil time can last from 20 to 30 minutes. Steep the grains as you bring the water up to boil, removing your grain bag once the water hits 170°F. to 175°F. Add the malt extract, bring the wort to a rolling boil, then add hops according to schedule above. Proceed with the rest of the brew as usual.

Shop Accurate ScalesShort boil brewing may not be a home brewing method for everyone, but it certainly has its place. With having time saved as its reward it may be something you’ll want to give a try.
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Bryan Roth is a beer nerd and homebrewer living in Durham, North Carolina. You can read his thoughts on beer and the beer industry on his award-winning blog, This Is Why I’m Drunk, and send him suggestions on how to get his wife to drink craft beer via Twitter at @bryandroth.

Wine Oxidation Prevention – Keeping This Destructive Process Under Control

Reason For Wine Oxidation PreventionYou don’t have to have a commercial winery to create excellent wines.  In fact, many home winemakers produce fantastic wines that are similar, if not better, than the wines you buy at your local wine shop.  However, as we’ve seen many times before on this blog, making top notch wine isn’t something that magically happens.  You need to take great care during the winemaking process, follow all instructions, and carefully guide the process through to the very end.

One of the more common faults plaguing home winemakers is wine oxidation.  At certain times during the winemaking process, particularly after the primary fermentation, it is important to be careful about the exposure of the wine to the air. Excessive air exposure is a catalyst for wine oxidation.

One way to prevent too much oxygen exposure is to top up the wine to ensure very little space is available for oxygen to set up camp and cause wine oxidation. Topping up is one of the most important things you can do in the way of wine oxidation prevention.Shop Carboys

In addition to topping up the wine, you should also be using air lock during the secondary fermentation.  There are many different types of air locks, though the most common type uses water as a way to minimize oxygen exposure and maximize ease of set-up and use. The water in the air lock basically acts to allow carbon dioxide from the fermentation to escape out of the vessel while keeping oxygen from entering inside and oxidizing your wine.

Another stage where you can inadvertently cause problems with wine oxidation in your wine is during the racking/siphoning and bottling processes.  Use can add fining agents to your wine to help minimize the effects oxidation, as well as use specific techniques such as positioning the exit end of the siphon hose down into the wine to reduce splashing. Minimizing splashing is another wine oxidation prevention technique.

Of course, if you exclude too much oxygen, you run into problems with reduction, which is a whole other topic on its own.  If you smell Shop Wine Clarifiershydrogen sulfide (H2S) or “rotten eggs”, you may have excluded too much oxygen and you should aerate your wine right away to get rid of the smell.

Just remember that for the wine oxidation process to take place you need air. The best way to manage your wine oxidation prevention efforts is to manage the air that comes into contact with the wine.
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Ed Kraus is a 3rd generation home brewer/winemaker and has been an owner of E. C. Kraus since 1999. He has been helping individuals make better wine and beer for over 25 years.

 

5 Beer Recipe Kits For Home Brewing In Winter

Home Brewing In WinterIn a lot of ways, winter is high brewing season. For many, it’s time to get the brew kettles out and the beer recipe kits on the way. Not only do the lower temperatures encourage us to hibernate, they support more moderate fermentation temperatures and open up beer styles that are more suitable for home brewing in winter. If you have a cold basement, winter is the perfect time to take advantage of brewing lagers, steam beer, and other styles that require lower fermentation temperatures.

Winter is also a good time for brewing some hearty, high gravity beer styles. These more substantial styles give rise to the idea of a “winter warmer” – a beer with higher alcohol content that offers a warming nip in the colder months.

As you’re planning your seasonal brew calendar, consider one of these 5 beer recipe kits for home brewing in winter:

 

  1. BrewCraft Ultimate: Russian Imperial StoutA big, Shop Steam Freak Kitsroasty imperial stout is the perfect cold weather beverage, featuring notes of coffee, chocolate, and dark fruit. Some imperial stouts can be pretty hoppy, but generally the dark roasted malts take center stage. Some brewers like to brew an imperial stout in the winter, then let it age all year for consumption the following winter.
  1. Brewers Best Vienna LagerIf you’re unable to brew lagers during the warmer months, winter is a great opportunity to give it a try. You’ll need to be able to keep fermentation temperatures in the 40-50˚F range, so a cold basement might work out. This Vienna lager beer recipe kit is a great choice for home brewing in wine. It’s a smooth, malty lager, well worth the wait of an extended lager fermentation.
  1. Brewcraft Premium: Black IPABlack IPAs are one of the more robust styles of beer, combining the roasty flavors of a stout with the hop-forward bitterness and flavor of an IPA. This beer recipe kit offers a complex dark malt flavor and a range of spicy and citrusy American hop character, fairly stout at 7.3% ABV. Getting this beer recipe kit and home brew it in the winter will add a clean, crispness that bring out the citrus character, even more.
  1. Steam Freak Barnstormer Barleywine – Similar to with Shop Temp ControllerImperial Stouts, some brewers like to let their barleywines age for a before consuming (of course you’re welcome to open some bottles early!). This barleywine clocks in at 10% ABV and 96 IBUs – it’s definitely a sipper!
  1. Steam Freak Spring Loaded BockA bock is a high gravity German lager, rich and malt-forward, high gravity yet silky smooth. Expect a traditional bock to be in the ballpark of 7% ABV, with just enough hops to balance out the malt and the alcohol.

 

What are some of your favorite styles for home brewing in winter months? Have you brewed any of these beer recipe kits?
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David Ackley is a beer writer, brewer, and self-described “craft beer crusader.” He holds a General Certificate in Brewing from the Institute of Brewing and Distilling and is founder of the Local Beer Blog.

Making Wine In Cold Weather

Making Wine In Cold WeatherI live in Louisiana in the south. Is it too late to make wine? Is there a problem making wine in cold weather? I have a lot of fruit left from the summer.

Mildred M. — LA
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Hello Mildred,

You can make wine all throughout the year without any problems. The only real issue is that you need to control your fermentation temperature. For a wine fermentation to go as it should, the temperature range needs to be between 70° and 75°F. If you get out of this temperature range, issues can arise, but beyond this, there is nothing wrong with making wine in cold weather.

If the temperature gets below 70° the wine yeast will start to go dormant. They can slow down to the point of not being active at all. This is known as a stuck fermentation. Or, the wine yeast may not start up at all. Warm the fermentation up to 70°F., and you will start to see activity.

This temperature range is true for most wine yeast except for a few exceptions like Red Star Pasteur Blanc wine yeast which can ferment at cooler temperatures without stopping completely. However, it will ferment very slowly.Shop Thermometers

If the fermentation temperature starts to get over 75°F., then the wine yeast can start to produce funny off-flavors and aromas. The resulting wine will not have a clean taste.

Beyond these concerns, there is absolutely no reason why you shouldn’t be making wine in cold weather, even in the middle of winter. Just have a means of controlling the fermentation temperature.

If you are not sure that you can keep the fermentation in this range, you may want to look into tying an artificial source of heat. It needs to be a very gentle source of heat. Most items you find around the house such as heating blankets are too warm and will put the fermentation well over the 75°F. This is just as bad, if not worse, as having the fermentation too cool.

If a fermentation is too cool there is no permanent damage done to the wine. It’s just not fermenting. Warm it up and the fermentation will start up again. But, if the fermentation becomes overly heated, youShop Heating Belt can encourage bacteria growth and the production of unwanted enzymes in the wine. Nothing harmful, but it will make the wine taste off or fowl, and it will be irreversible.

You may want to consider getting a thermometer for monitoring temperature when making wine in cold weather. Putting your hands on the side of the fermenter and guessing is not good enough. If you are making temperature adjustments you should have a fermentation thermometer of some type.

A heating belt is one way to warm up your fermentation a few degrees. This works good for cold basement situations or when fermenting in some cold corner of the house. It’s basically a strap that goes around the fermenter and plugs into an outlet. The only downfall is that there is no way to adjust its temperature of this belt.

Something else you can do when making wine in cold weather is to get a thermostat power switch. This is a power-interrupt thermostat with a temperature sensor.Shop Temp Controller It plugs into an outlet and controls the power to a heating source – such as a heating blanket or the heating belt – base on the temperature to which it has been set.

Mildred, I say if you got the fruit, then go ahead and make the wine. The month doesn’t matter. Making wine in cold weather is easy to do. It’s simply a matter of taking control of the fermentation’s temperature.

Happy Wine Making,
Ed Kraus
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Ed Kraus is a 3rd generation home brewer/winemaker and has been an owner of E. C. Kraus since 1999. He has been helping individuals make better wine and beer for over 25 years.

Tips For Home Brewing In Cold Weather

Home Brew In Cold WeatherMany homebrewers prefer to home brew in cold weather because it tends to be easier to keep beers within proper fermentation temperature range. Historically, the only way to brew lagers was to brew in the winter and store the beer in caves while it conditioned.

While in some ways home brewing in cold weather is preferred over brewing in the summer, it still offers its own challenges – but also some opportunities to try some different beer styles.

 

Home Brewing In Cold Weather: The Challenges

Challenge #1: Proper fermentation temperature
Hot or cold, proper fermentation temperature is always important. Determining the appropriate fermentation temperature begins with yeast selection. Lager yeasts by nature do better at 45°-60°F., so if you have a cellar that stays cool in the winter, this may be the best time for homebrewers to try making a lager. If brewing an ale, Wyeast 1007: German Ale, Wyeast 2565: Kolsch, and Wyeast 1028: London Ale all work as low as 55°-60°F.

Challenge #2: Maintain steady temperature Shop Heating Belt
Controlling fermentation temperature is always important. Only in the winter you run the risk of beer yeast going dormant if the temperature drops too low. Try to find an area of the home for your fermenters that won’t be too sensitive to big swings in outdoor temperature. A fermentation brew belt may be necessary in some cases.

 

Home Brewing In Cold Weather: The Opportunities

As mentioned earlier, winter is a great time to brew lagers. Here are four beer recipe kits to try when brewing in cold weather:

 

  • Brewer’s Best Vienna Lager – This traditional lager is in the style of Austrian amber lagers. This partial mash kit results in a smooth, toasty lager with a touch of caramel flavor, balanced hop bitterness, and just enough hop aroma for a little intrigue. (ABV: 4.5 – 5.0%, IBUs: 24-28)
  • Brewer’s Best Munich Helles – A golden lager in the south German style, marked by German hops for bittering and flavoring. (ABV: 4.75 – 5.25%, IBUs: 16 – 20
  • Steam Freak Spring Loaded Bock – A stronger, maltier lager utilizing nearly ten pounds of Steam Freak liquid malt extract. Traditional European hop varieties stand up to the higher gravity of this lager. (ABV: 7%, IBUs: 24)Shop Temp Controller
  • Brewcraft Premium Series Rocky Mountain Amber – This balanced American-style amber kit can be brewed as either an ale or a lager. The included Fermentis Saflager S-23 beer yeast works as low as 51F and as high as 75F, though lower temperatures are ideal.

 

What kind of changes do you make when home brewing in cold weather? Share in the comments below!
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David Ackley is a beer writer, brewer, and self-described “craft beer crusader.” He holds a General Certificate in Brewing from the Institute of Brewing and Distilling and is founder and editor of the Local Beer Blog.

Your Wine Might Be Suffering From Bottle Shock!

Splashing WineWhen you think about a wine you normally don’t think of it in terms of being in a good mood, humorous or even under-the-weather, but there is a term used by the wine making industry that might make you think that such terms are appropriate – bottle shock.

 

What Is Bottle Shock?

Bottle shock or bottle sickness is often used to describe a wine that has taken a plunge in quality. The overall impression of a wine going through shock can be described as flat or flabby, or just plain lacking in fruitiness and character.

In home wine making bottle shock usually happens right after bottling the wine. It can also happen again if an aging wine bottle is put through the tortures of shipping or transport.

It is referred to as a bottle shock because the effects are temporary and with a little rest the wine will come back to its good-ole self once again.

 

So, What Causes Bottle Shock, Anyway?

Bottle shock occurs when the wine absorbs too much oxygen in too little time. This is something that is likely to happen during bottling. It can also happen during shipping. Constant temperature changes and the sloshing of the wine in the bottle allows more air to pass through the cork than what is natural.Shop Wine Bottle Corkers

Wines can handle the slow, gradual infusion of air that is naturally allowed by wine corks. In fact, most red wines will benefit from such a scenario, but when the oxygen comes too fast a build-up of an element called acetaldehyde starts to become prevalent in the wine.

Acetaldehyde is naturally found in any wine, at least in small, unnoticeable amounts, but in higher amounts its presence can be detected as an odor of rotting apples or nuts. This is what’s noticed in wines that are suffering from bottle shock. The normal chain of events that happens during aging is disrupted by the production of an abundance of acetaldehyde.

 

Don’t Worry! The Effects Of Bottle Shock Are Mostly Temporary.

Over the course of time the acetaldehyde will slowly convert to alcohol, bringing the wine back into line with something enjoyable to drink. How long this takes depends on the severity of the bottle sickness. It could be as little as a few days or as long as a few weeks.Shop Wine Corks

This is just one more reason why aging is so important in wine making. In theory, you could pick up a newly bottled wine from your cellar one week and wonder why it’s so lifeless or even bitter, then the next week be overwhelmed by its superb flavor. Bottle shock can come and go that quick.
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Ed Kraus is a 3rd generation home brewer/winemaker and has been an owner of E. C. Kraus since 1999. He has been helping individuals make better wine and beer for over 25 years.