Tips for Brewing with Rye

Sack Of Rye For Brewing BeerHave you ever wanted to brew a Rye IPA or a Rye Saison? Though rye beers are easy to brew, it just helps to know a few techniques before you get started. Here’s some tips for brewing with rye.

 

How is rye different from other brewing grains?

While most beer is made primarily from barley, other grains can be used to add complexity of flavor or to affect the mouthfeel of the beer. Rye, like wheat, is higher in protein than barley so it helps to give beer a smooth, chewy, filling mouthfeel. It does not have a husk, so sometimes rice hulls are used to help with lautering. Rye also has a unique flavor, one that some describe as spicy, tangy, or rustic. It seems to pair well with spicy hops and phenolic yeast strains.

 

How to Add Rye to Your Homebrew

Brewers have a few choices when adding rye to their brew. Rye malt is the standard ingredient for brewing with rye. It can be crushed just like other malted grains, though rye tends to have a smaller grain size, so it may be necessary to mill the rye separately on a smaller setting to get a good crush.

Flaked rye has been heated and pressed through rollers. Flaked grains don’t need to be milled, so they can be added directly to the mash or steeping bag.

Chocolate rye malt is a specialty grain that combines the roasty, chocolatey flavors of a darker specialty malt with the spicy notes of rye. It’s a fun way to add some complexity to darker beers! Use up to about a half-pound or so in a five-gallon batch.Shop Barley Crusher

Similar to chocolate rye malt, Cararye malt is a rye malt that’s been kilned just enough to develop some amber color and sweet caramel flavor. Recommended usage is up to 15% of the grain bill.

When brewing with rye it is important to understand that it has a higher protein content than other grains and no husk. Because of this rice hulls are recommended when brewing with more than about a pound of rye. This will improve filtering ability of the grain bed and will help reduce the likelihood of a stuck mash. Rice hulls will not affect flavor or color, but they will greatly improve the filtering ability of the grain bed. For an all-grain batch of homebrew with more than 10% rye, 0.5-1 pound of rice hulls are recommended. They do not need to be milled.

 

Rye Homebrew Recipes

Ready to make some rye beers of your own? Here’s some beer recipes to help you start brewing with rye…

 

Have you ever tried brewing with rye? What’s your favorite style of rye beer? 
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David Ackley is a writer, brewer, and craft beer marketing consultant. He holds a General Certificate in Brewing from the Institute of Brewing and Distilling and is founder of the Local Beer Blog.

Simple Style Guide: Oatmeal Stout

Oatmeal StoutIn the world of stouts, Irish stouts are dry and milk stouts are sweet, but oatmeal stouts fall somewhere in the middle. The use of a small amount of oats in the grist give this roasty brew a smooth, somewhat creamy mouthfeel. This is, in essence, what you are looking for when making an oatmeal stout.

Topping Serious Eats’ list of Top 5 Oatmeal Stouts, Samuel Smith’s Oatmeal Stout is a classic. Rich and luscious, flavors of toasted malt and chocolate combine with oats for a smooth finish. A similar beer is made by Highland Brewing Company in Asheville, NC, – an excellent oatmeal porter. Flaked oats give the beer a smooth, silky character. 5.9% ABV, 35 IBUs using American hops, Chinook, Willamette, and Cascade. These are two great examples to seek out when crafting your oatmeal stout recipe.

 

Brewing an Oatmeal Dry Stout

The key question when making an oatmeal stout is how to add the oats. Oats contribute a little extra body to the beer, but if overused can make the beer seem oily. 5-15% oats is ample for an oatmeal stout, but some grists may include up to 25% in the most extreme cases. As for the oats themselves, flaked oats will contribute the most fermentable sugar and can be added directly to the mash, while raw, steel-cut oats from the store must be cooked, boiled separately before being added to the mash. Some brewers even use a pack of oatmeal from the grocery store – just be sure to avoid those with flavorings – unless you’re going for a cinnamon oatmeal stout, of course!

 

Grain Bill and Fermentables

An oatmeal stout gets its dark color from specialty grains like chocolate malt and roasted barley. Roasted barley helps to impart the dry, bitter flavor of coffee that stouts are known for, but it must be used sparingly (a maximum of 5-7% of the grist). Reduce the roasted barley in favor of chocolate malt to avoid overly burnt or charcoal flavors.

To accentuate the oatmeal character, Jamil Zainasheff and John Palmer John recommend, “Toasting the oats in the oven at around 300°F (149°C) until they begin to slightly color up and give off a nutty oatmeal cookie character.”

These ingredients can be combined with a standard base malt or light malt extract to form of your grain bill. Your original gravity shouldn’t exceed about 1.065.Shop Dried Malt Extract

 

Hops

An oatmeal stout is an English creation, so English hops work best when making this beer style. Examples include Kent Goldings, Fuggles, and Target. Shoot for 25-40 IBUs. Hop aroma is low to none, so use restraint in the late hop additions.

 

Yeast

Oatmeal stouts typically have some mild fruity aromas, which are best delivered by the use of English ale yeast. Safale S-04 is a good dry yeast option. A number of liquid yeast strains will work as well. Wyeast 1099: Whitbread Ale Yeast is a fast-fermenting, high flocculating strain with relatively clean fermentation characteristics, especially at lower fermentation temperatures. Other strains, such as Wyeast 1318: London Ale III, will give a slight fruity character and may leave some residual sweetness. It’s generally recommended to rehydrate dry yeast, and if using liquid yeast, to prepare a yeast starter.

Now you’re ready to make your own oatmeal stout!

Do you have an excellent recipe for making oatmeal stout? Share it in the comments below. What kind of oats do you use, and for what percentage of the grain bill?

Sources: Brewing Classic Styles: 80 Winning Recipes Anyone Can Brew (p. 168). Brewers Association.

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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.

Why Didn’t I Start Reusing Yeast a Long Time Ago?

Yeast From Primary FermenterOne thing that has constantly surprised me about homebrewing is that once you peel back the mystery on a particular method or aspect of brewing, pretty much everything turns out to be pretty easy. Which is part of the reason it’s such a rewarding hobby.

My latest discovery is reusing homebrew yeast. I’ve known since I started homebrewing that people would reuse and even “wash” yeast cake, but after reading about it and watching videos, it seemed like a process, which was difficult and was prone to introducing infection.

In addition, when you have racked your fermenter into a bottling bucket or keg, let’s face it, the stuff that’s left over is pretty nasty.

Well, a few weeks ago, I realized I had quite a few partial bags of hop pellets leftover from previous brews, so I decided to make a “kitchen-sink” beer to use up as much of those as I could. As chance would have it, the ideal day for brewing that was the day after I was going to be bottling a different batch of beer in which had used US-05 yeast. So, I decided that as long as I wasn’t going to spend money on hops and this was a largely experimental beer, I might as well try reusing the yeast from the primary fermenter.

I had read about an experiment where the brewer had used a pint or so of the yeast slurry at the bottom of a primary fermenter, along with new homebrew yeast which had been made into a starter. He brewed a batch, and split it into two fermenters, pitching the different yeasts. To make a long story short, there wasn’t much noticeable difference in the finished beers.

Well, that was enough for me, so in this latest batch, I just grabbed a little over a pint of the yeast cake from the primary fermenter. I put it in a mason jar in the fridge over night. The next day I took it out of the fridge in the morning, and when ready to pitch, I decanted off the liquid on top and pitched the sludge into my experimental beer.

Shop Liquid Beer YeastThe reused homebrew yeast took off pretty fast, and within four hours, it was bubbling away in the airlock. A little faster starting, but otherwise really nothing different than usual. I will say I noticed a larger krausen ring than I normally see. I cleared with gelatin, bottled, and waited.

I’ve been drinking this batch for about a week now. It’s not a heavy beer, but was meant to be a lighter beer. Not hoppy, but very well balanced. Very enjoyable, and in fact, as much as I hate to admit, it’s a little better than the previous batch which is a beer I’ve brewed quite a few times.

I am very happy with my decision to reuse the homebrew yeast cake from the primary fermenter, and I would encourage everyone to give it a try.

 

Do you ever reuse homebrew yeast? Why or why not?
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John Torrance is a database developer, gadget lover, and avid home brewer living in Lafayette, Colorado. When he’s not actively brewing, he’s generally daydreaming about what he’s going to brew for his next batch.

Rinsing Beer Yeast For Reuse

Rinsing Beer YeastWhile it’s possible to pitch wort directly onto an old yeast cake, a better method of reusing yeast is called yeast rinsing. It’s a simple technique that can help make the most of your raw ingredients and keep your yeast cost down. And if you ever decide to take your homebrewing hobby to the pro level, rinsing your beer yeast will become part of your fermentation and yeast handling routine.

 

What is yeast rinsing?

Yeast rinsing is a method of taking a yeast slurry from a fermenting beer and separating the healthy, viable yeast from the dead yeast cells and trub. It’s always best to pitch as pure a yeast culture as possible, and rinsing removes much of the other particulate from the yeast slurry. This yeast can then be reused in another batch of beer. It’s best to reuse yeast from a low to moderate gravity beer after fermentation has started to slow. Yeast used in a high-gravity beer is more likely to be stressed and to produce off-flavors.

 

Directions For Rinsing Beer Yeast

  1. At the end of primary fermentation, boil 2-3 cups of water and chill it to room temperature.
  1. After transferring the beer into secondary, pour the pre-boiled, pre-chilled water into the primary fermenter. Swirl the fermenter to stir up the yeast at the bottom.
  1. Pour the slurry into a sanitized quart-size or larger glass container. A mason jar works well for this. **Remember – everything that touches the yeast at this point should be thoroughly clean and sanitized: the glass jar, the lid, and funnel (if used).
  1. Place the jar in the refrigerator for several hours or overnight.
  1. The slurry will stratify into three layers: a liquid beer layer on top, a dark layer of trub on the bottom, and a whitish layer of healthy yeast in the middle. That middle layer is what we’re after.
  1. Prepare another sanitized container. Pour off (decant) most of the top layer and discard, then transfer the white yeast layer into the container, leaving behind the darker trub.
  1. Keep refrigerated and use within a week (the sooner the better).Shop Beer Yeast Culturing

 

That’s it! Now you can try rinsing your own beer yeast. Then you’ll be able to reuse it in a new batch of beer! I recommend using a yeast pitch calculator to estimate how much of the yeast slurry to use in your next batch.

 

Some pointers:

  • Though professional brewers may reuse yeast for ten or more generations, I wouldn’t recommend reusing the same yeast more than 2-3 times. You can aim for more if your sanitation practices are spot on, but as soon as you notice fermentation problems, start with a fresh batch of beer yeast.
  • Reusing yeast will take some foresight and planning. Chances are you won’t want to brew the exact same beer back to back, so keep the beers at least similar stylistically. That said, rinsing your beer yeast can open up some interesting cross-over experiments. For example, reuse your English ale yeast in an American IPA, or reuse your Kölsch yeast for an American cream ale.


Have you ever tried rinsing beer yeast? Why or why not?

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David Ackley is a writer, brewer, and craft beer marketing consultant. He holds a General Certificate in Brewing from the Institute of Brewing and Distilling and is founder of the Local Beer Blog.

Barrel-Aging Your Homebrew – Without a Barrel!

Barrel-Aged BeerAs with wine, beer will often benefit from barrel-aging. Depending on the type of wood used to make the barrel and whether the barrel was previously used or not, barrel-aging homebrew offers an additional realm of complexity, with flavors ranging from oak, vanilla, and toast, not to mention the characteristics of the wine or spirits that previously occupied the barrel.

Though homebrewers can certainly obtain barrels for aging their beer, an easier and more cost effective method is to let the beer age on wood chips. Oak is the wood of choice, and brewers can get French or American white oak, each of which offer a slightly different flavor profile. Additionally, these oak chips may be toasted, which will lend the beer notes of coconut or vanilla. Plain, or non-toasted oak offers more of a “raw” wood flavor. The oak should be sap clear. This is typically done by allowing it to sun-dry for 18 months to 3 years.

 

So what types of beers work best for oak-aging?

Generally, the best beers for oak-aging are more robust beer styles. Imperial and barleywines are good choices, as the higher gravity lends itself to longer aging. The intensity of the flavor in more robust beers can also more easily stand up to the oak flavor without getting covered up. Some of these stronger styles may be aged for months before developing the appropriate balance. That’s not to say I haven’t had great oak-aged saisons and IPAs. It can be done, but achieving the right balance is a more delicate operation.

To avoid over-oaking your homebrew, you might try one of two different strategies:

  • Option 1: Add 1-2 ounces of oak chips to your beer in the secondary fermenter. Taste the beer periodically, every week or so, and rack the beer off the oak chips when the taste is to your liking.
  • Option 2: Remove 1 gallon of beer by racking it into a 1-gallon glass jug with 2-4 ounces of oak chips. This will result in strongly oaked beer, which can then be blended back into the main batch at the ratio that tastes good to you.

 

What about mixing in wine or spirits when barrel-aging homebrew?shop_toasted_oak_chips

If you’re into craft beer, you’ve probably come across beer aged in all kinds of different barrels: red wine, white wine, bourbon, tequila, brandy. If you’d like to add the flavor of a wine or spirit to your wood-aged beer, simply soak the oak chips in about a cup of your wine or spirit of choice for a week or more. Then strain out the oak chips and place them in your secondary fermenter. If desired, you can blend in some of the reserved wine or spirit to taste. The best way to do this is to pull out a small sample of beer and then dosing it with small amounts of the wine or spirit. Then you can calculate how much to blend back in to the larger batch. Err on the side of caution – you can always add more, but you can’t take it out.

Barrel-aging homebrew – with or without wine and spirits – introduces a new skill set to the brewer’s palette: tasting and blending. Barrel-aging may be more of an art than a science, so for best results, taste your beer as it ages on the oak and if needed, blend together multiple oaked and un-oaked batches to get the flavor your want.

Do you barrel-age your homebrew? What are some of your favorite beer styles for barrel-aging?
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David Ackley is a writer, brewer, and craft beer marketing consultant. He holds a General Certificate in Brewing from the Institute of Brewing and Distilling and is founder of the Local Beer Blog.

How and Why to Brew With Yeast Nutrient

Glass Of Homebrew Sitting In GrainsIf you’ve ever thought about using yeast nutrient in your beers but haven’t, then you may want to reconsider. There is little-to-no downfall in doing so and the additional costs are minuscule.

Yeast is the magical microorganism responsible for turning sugar into alcohol. Without yeast, we would have no beer, wine, or cider. And in order to do their jobs well, those billions of yeast cells have certain requirements. They’re not about to do all the hard work of fermenting your beer without a little something in return!

Though yeast are happy to eat up a bunch of sugar in just about any situation, there are some conditions that affect just how well they thrive. Temperature, for one, is important. Yeast can be killed when either too cold or too hot. When it comes to beer yeast, they tend to do best within a relatively narrow temperature range. Luckily for homebrewers, the ideal temperature for ale yeast is right around room temperature.

Another important factor in yeast performance is yeast nutrition. Since malt provides most of the nutrients yeast needs to ferment a batch of beer, yeast nutrition is usually covered when homebrewers progress beyond the basics.

In order to thrive, yeast need not just sugar, but also elements like nitrogen, fatty acids and sterols, amino acids, and vitamins. When yeast lack these ingredients, such as when brewing with large amount of adjunct grains and sugar, we begin to think about using yeast nutrients in the beer. Personally, I’ve found that yeast nutrient is a worthwhile addition to every batch of beer I brew.Shop Yeast Nutrient

 

Types of Yeast Nutrient and How to Use Them

  • Brewer’s Yeast Nutrient – One of the chief contributors to a healthy fermentation is nitrogen. It is most often lacking when brewing a beer with a high proportion (more than 10%) of sugar or rice. Nitrogen-based yeast nutrients are usually added to a beer before fermentation, though they may also be helpful in resolving stuck fermentations. Typical dosage for beer is 1 tsp. per three gallons.
  • Yeast Energizer – Yeast energizer is specifically designed for enhancing and speeding up fermentation. It has a slightly different mix of ingredients than yeast nutrient, providing what yeast needs a little later in the fermentation process. So, it is often added part way through fermentation and is especially useful in a stuck fermentation situation. Typical dosage is 1/2 tsp. per gallon.

Shop Yeast EnergizerProperly using yeast nutrients when brewing beer will frequently reduce fermentation time and produce cleaner tasting brews. Many brewers are in the habit of adding yeast nutrient to every batch.

 

Are you in a habit of using yeast nutrient in your beers? Why or why not?
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David Ackley is a writer, brewer, and craft beer marketing consultant. He holds a General Certificate in Brewing from the Institute of Brewing and Distilling and is founder of the Local Beer Blog.

Where Do Brewing Hops Come From?

Hops Being HarvestedHops are the flowers from the plant known as humulus lupulus. The hops plant sends up vines (technically “bines”) in the spring, which may climb as high as 20 feet or more. Since only the flowers are used in the brewing process, only the female hops plants have commercial value for brewers.

 

Where Do Brewing Hops Grow

Brewing hops grow best between the latitudes of about 35 and 55 degrees. This translates to a strip ranging across roughly the northern two-thirds of the US and most of continental Europe. If you live in this zone, you may be able to grow hops yourself.

Many traditional beer styles are characterized by the variety of hops that grow in a given region. For example, American ales, such as American IPAs, typically exhibit characteristics of hops grown in the Pacific Northwest – notes of citrus and pine are common. The majority of brewing hops grown in the US come from Washington, Oregon, and Idaho. Examples of American hops include Cascade, Centennial, Columbus, and Willamette.

There are a number of hop varieties specific to continental Europe. The noble hop varieties (Hallertau, Tettnang, Saaz, Spalt) all come from Germany and the Czech Republic, and are most often found in traditional European styles like German ales, German lagers, and Czech lagers. Many Belgian beers feature these same hops, as well as Styrian Goldings from the region of the former Yugoslavia.

The UK is another popular hop growing region. Fuggles, East Kent Golding, and Bramling Cross are natural choices if brewing English bitters, porters, barleywines, or stouts.

In recent years, brewing hop production has increased in the southern hemisphere. Hops grown in places you might not expect have started to hit the market: Chile, Argentina, New Zealand. Sierra Nevada pays tribute to some of these distant hop growers with their Southern Hemisphere Harvest IPA.

 

From the Growing Fields to Your Home BreweryShop Brewing Hops

At the end of the growing season, hops are harvested by machine or by hand, then processed either into pellets or packed in whole cone form. They’re usually pressed into bales for easy shipping and storage.

At some point in this process, the hops may go to a broker who effectively buys the hops from farmers and then distributes them to the various buyers: breweries, homebrew shops, and other hop suppliers.

Throughout this process, hops must be stored cold in order to preserve their flavor and bittering characteristics. This makes sure that by the time the hops hit your brew kettle, they’re just as fresh as they were when they left the field!

Have you ever grown your own hops? What are some of your favorite hop varieties?

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David Ackley is a writer, brewer, and craft beer marketing consultant. He holds a General Certificate in Brewing from the Institute of Brewing and Distilling and is founder of the Local Beer Blog.

How to Clear Your Beer with Gelatin

Gelatin to clear beer.Using gelatin is a very effective way to clear beer. But what is it, and how does it work?

 

What is Gelatin?

Gelatin is derived from animal collagen. Now, hold on to your stomachs for a second. Collagen is a protein found in connective tissue like tendons, bones, cartilage, and skin. It’s processed (heated) to form gelatin, which is then purified for use in the food industry.

Now, before you go all PETA on me, keep in mind that collagen is found in many foods – meat (in its natural state), desserts, and candy – as well as cosmetics. But if the idea of an animal-based product in your beer freaks you out, remember that whatever gelatin you add to the beer will settle out completely. Still, if you’re a strict vegetarian or vegan you may want to avoid using gelatin to clear your beer altogether. For the rest of us carnivores, gelatin is perfectly acceptable way to get a bright, clear beer.

 

How Does Gelatin Work?

When mixed with water, gelatin creates a thin, positively charged solution. When added to the beer, it attracts negatively charged particles – yeast and protein – which clump together. Their collective mass helps them settle to the bottom of the fermenter or keg.

Gelatin works best in combination with other finings, like Irish moss, a fining agent that gets added during the boil. Essentially, Irish moss will help protein coagulate at the end of the boil. Whatever doesn’t settle out in the cold break will then have another opportunity when the gelatin is added at the end of fermentation.

Ready to improve the clarity of your homebrew? Find step-by-step instructions for using gelatin in your homemade beer below:Shop Irish Moss

 

How to Use Gelatin to Clear Your Beer

About two days before bottling or kegging:

  1. Bring 1 cup of water to a boil, then allow to cool to about 150˚F or below.
  2. Measure out the recommended amount of gelatin for the batch size of beer you’re making (typical dosage is 1 tsp. per 5 gallons) and dissolve in the water.
  3. Pour the gelatin/water mixture into your fermenter and wait two days for the beer to clear. You may wish to cold crash to accelerate clearing.
  4. Bottle or keg as usual.

Some homebrewers add gelatin directly to the keg or bottle the beer immediately after adding, but personally, I’d rather give it a chance to settle out in the fermenter before bottling or kegging. Either way, gelatin is an effective tool for improving the appearance of your homebrew.

Do you use gelatin to clear your beer? What other techniques do you use to improve beer clarity?

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David Ackley is a writer, brewer, and craft beer marketing consultant. He holds a General Certificate in Brewing from the Institute of Brewing and Distilling and is founder of the Local Beer Blog.

Is Reusing Yeast Cake From A Homebrew Fermentation Okay?

Reusing Yeast Cake When Homebrewing.After bottling a batch of beer, many homebrewers have looked at that inch-deep layer of yeast and wondered, “Hey, isn’t there something I can do with all that yeast?” As a matter of fact, there is!

When we think about reusing yeast cake, our natural inclination is to pour another batch of wort right onto it and let ‘er rip. Why not save a few bucks, right? While it is possible to be successful with this strategy, there are a number of factors to consider when reusing yeast cake. Among others, these include:

 

  • Is the style of homebrew appropriate for the yeast being used? If pitching wort onto an existing yeast cake, the styles of the two beers should be relatively similar. Many American and English ale yeasts can be used interchangeably to produce a variety of ales, so you could probably get away with using an ale yeast to make another ale. The same thing with many of the European lager strains. The main exception is with very distinctive yeast strains,Shop Conical Fermenter especially those for Belgian ales and German hefeweizen. You’d be safe if reusing yeast cake from an English pale ale to ferment an American stout, but you obviously wouldn’t want to use a Belgian strain to ferment an English pale ale (though you may end up with a very tasty Belgian pale!).
  • How long has the beer been sitting on the yeast cake to be reused? The longer the beer has been sitting on the yeast, the greater the number of yeast cells that may be mutated or dead. Dead and mutated yeast cells can contribute off-flavors to your beer, so if you plan on reusing yeast cake, use one that has only been in primary for a short amount of time (7-10 days).
  • What was the gravity of the original beer? High gravity fermentations and the alcohol produced from them stress yeast more than lower gravity fermentations. And yeast stress leads to – you guessed it – off-flavors. You’d be better off pitching a high gravity wort onto the yeast cake from a low – to mid – gravity fermentation.
  • How hoppy was the original beer? The amount of hops in the first beer can influence the second. You generally want to pitch a hoppier beer onto a yeast cake from a less hoppy beer (e.g. pitch an IPA onto the yeast cake of a pale ale), otherwise you may end up with excessive hop bitterness or flavor.
  • What color are the two beers?Shop Liquid Beer Yeast As with hops and bitterness, the color of the first beer can influence the second one. To avoid a change in beer color, pitch a darker wort onto the yeast cake from a lighter beer. For example, pitch a stout onto the yeast cake of an amber ale.

 

Other issues that come into play when reusing yeast cake include accurately predicting the number of yeast cells being pitched and whether there was any infection in the original batch. For these reasons, it may be worth starting with a batch of fresh beer yeast. If you really want to reuse yeast cake, consider harvesting and washing the yeast to reduce the impact of dead yeast cells, beer color, and bitterness, and then use a calculator like Mr. Malty to get an estimate of how much yeast slurry to pitch into the second beer. And as always when working with beer yeast, practice impeccable sanitation techniques to avoid contaminating the yeast.

Have you ever pitched onto an old yeast cake? How did it work out? Shop Temp Probe

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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.

Home Brewing With Hops: A Simple Resource Guide

Beer Wort Boiling HopsWithout hops, most beers would be unrecognizable. Hops are both a preservative and a bittering agent, and their oils are responsible for much of the flavor and aroma found in beer. Whether you prefer a malty beer or you’re a full-blown hop-head, home brewing with hops is a critical part of making beer at home.

Here are a number of resources to get you started on your journey of learning all about home brewing with hops:

 

About Hops

  • The Anatomy of the Hop – Hops, as used in homebrewing, are the flower of the humulus lupulus This post explains what it is about the hop flowers that make them so valuable to brewers.
  • What are Noble Hops? – You’ll often hear the term “noble hops” if you enjoy brewing traditional beers from Europe. Learn what makes these kinds of hops so high and mighty.
  • A Quick Guide to American Hops – What makes American hops different from other hops? What are some popular American hop varieties you can use in your American IPA, American pale ale, or American stout?

 

About Hop Bitterness Shop Hops

  • How to Calculate the IBUs of Your Homebrew – International Bittering Units (IBUs) are a measurement of the bitterness in beer. It’s a factor of how much alpha acid is extracted and isomerized into the wort.

 

About Hop Flavor and Aroma

  • Understanding Hop Oils – Hop oils are the seemingly magical ingredients that give beers a wide range of flavor and aroma characteristics, from citrus and pine, to grapefruit and herbal. Learn more about hop oils and how to maximize their contribution to your homebrew.
  • How to Dry Hop in a Homebrew KegShop Bazooka ScreenSome homebrewers like to dry hop right in the keg. Learn how to do this so you don’t end up with a bunch of hops in your pint glass.

 

Hoppy Extract & Partial Mash Beer Recipe Kits

 

Hoppy All-Grain Beer Recipes

 

Hoppy Home Brewing Resources

Want to learn even more about hops? If after mastering the topics above you still want to learn more, I suggest the following:

Is there something you want to learn about home brewing with hops that isn’t covered here? Share in the comments below!Shop Home Brew Starter Kit
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David Ackley is a beer writer, homebrewer, 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.