How to Wire a Pump to Your Brew Stand (and other simple applications)

Chris Jensen · March 21

Upon building the Bad Larry wood brew stand, I knew I wanted to include simple electrical to run a pump and my heatstick. I debated about the simplest (and safest) way to do this, looking for a solution that was functional but which also looked clean. I eventually landed on a solution that allowed me quick and easy access to control the pump and heatstick, while incorporating the primary safety elements I was concerned with.

Please note that I am not an electrician, so be ...

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Is the Blichmann BoilMaker worth all that money?

Jeremy Short · March 14

When you walk into your local brew shop or look through a homebrew website one kettle looks more fancy than the rest: The Blichmann BoilMaker. Much of the equipment used and found in the homebrew world looks like it was built for something other than brewing beer like cooler mash tuns, turkey fryers or converted kegs. The BoilMaker is one of those fews products that looks purpose built for homebrewing. All the features and designs of the BoilMaker have the homebrewer in mind and they ...

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How To Brew With Spruce Tips

Chris Jensen · March 6

It's almost spring, which means it's time to start brewing with spruce. Yes, spruce beers may seem like a holiday specialty, but the real trick to brewing a good spruce beer is to start in the spring.

This is because spring is when spruce trees get their new growth: the tiny yet luscious tips that make for a delightful brewing adjunct. You want to harvest the new tips when they are short (1/2 to 1" long) and light in color. They should ...

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Free Yeast! And why I love my local brewer

Chris Jensen · February 26

I love my local brewer. Or should I say, brewers... Lots of brewers. Denver has been overrun by new breweries, and I couldn't be happier.

Of course, most of them make tasty and interesting beers that I love to try. I appreciate the experimentation of some, but value the diligence of others who try to nail traditional yet challenging styles, such as the German Pils. I love the unique environment they create, each a unique extension of a living room or beer hall which ...

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Tubeless RIMS: How to Recirculate Your Mash with no Additional Equipment

Chris Jensen · February 19

As my homebrewery has expanded, one key component I've considered adding to my system is a RIMS tube or a HERMS. As with most things in my brewery, I like the elegance of the HERMS concept: specifically the fact that you leverage one process (heating your liquor) to benefit another (heating your mash). I'm also comfortable working with a heating element, having built a heatstick, and I like the efficiency of the RIMS. 

However, HERMS would be inneficient in my system and I ...

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Carboy Cleaner Review

Chris Jensen · February 11

Cleaning a glass carboy is rough. It's one of my least favorite chores in the brewing process because it's awkward, time consuming and slightly dangerous.

In the past, I used a combination of carboy brush and Soul-Train-style ass shaking to clean my carboys. Only after 15 minutes and 1500 calories burned did I feel confident that there wasn't any junk left clinging to the inside of the vessel.

That is, until I got the Carboy Cleaner a year ago. Ever since, I ...

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Drinking Coors Extra Gold from a Wine Glass

Jeremy Short · February 7

This post is part of the Session which is being hosted this month by Literature & Libation. The theme of this month’s session is to review a beer without reviewing a beer. Go it? I am not sure I do either but here is my attempt.

There are beers and then there are great beers and among those greats is Coors Extra Gold. Oh, you think this is satire? No, no, no. Hold it right there, says the belligerent blogger. Take off your fancy craft ...

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How to Make Crystal Clear Beer

Jeremy Short · February 4

One of most satisfying things is pouring a pint of your own crystal clear homebrew and knowing that your beer looks and tastes as good as anything you could have bought at the liquor store. Another advantage of crystal clear beer is that the uninitiated homebrew guests that visit your house won't be totally freaked out by a cloudy muddled beer that screams: yo, bro! Check out this beer I made in my closet! Otherwise, you might get a polite smile and a request ...

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Homebrewing in the Winter: Tips for Brewing when it's freezing outside

Chris Jensen · January 28

The arctic-freezing-polar-vortex-winter-chillabone is here! It seems like the temps keep getting colder and colder and much of the country can't catch a break, so I thought we should talk about the thing on many brewers' minds this time of year: How the hell am I supposed to mash in when I can't feel my fingers?

Well, rest assured that it can be done, and those freezing temps can actually help you out.

 

A Few Frosty Pointers:

First, make sure you are well organized ...

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The Craftbeer Infographic Infographic!

Jeremy Short · January 23

I will occasionally get requests to have guest posts on this blog and more often than not that guest post has a handy dandy infographic. I am using the term "info" loosely while the term "graphic" is indeed an accurate statement.  There are hundreds of beer related infographics floating around. And if you follow Jay Brook’s Brookston Beer Bulletin you would have run into his massive collection of beer related infographics. While many of them are quite good and even beautifully designed many of ...

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Wood Brew Stand Plans

Chris Jensen · January 17

I debated for years about what would make my ideal brew stand. There are a million variables including substrate, size, automation, etc. Ultimately, I decided to go with a fairly simple wood stand as I think they are sexy and, more importantly, I could build it myself (I find that those things I can do myself in the home brewery are more rewarding than those I outsource). I do not have strong woodworking skills, but patience and care will go a long ways.

I also ...

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