Chris Jensen

Chris brewed beer for the first time 15 years ago (all the way back in the last millenium!). He got serious about brewing in 2007 and it's been all downhill from there. Now he can't fit his car in his garage because it's monopolized by brewing equipment. He's a lifelong craft beer fan and got a BJCP certification in 2013 alongside Jeremy. Fortunately, he also has a wife willing to travel halfway around the world to taste beer (she took the above photo with Jean Van Roy, owner of Cantillon). You can email him at chris(a)pintwell.com.

Review of the Barley Crusher Malt Mill

Chris Jensen · September 10

For years I held out on picking up a malt mill. My LHBS has a mill, I insisted, so even if I stock up on bulk grain at home I can mill at the HBS when picking up my other ingredients (I typically buy my specialty malts from the HBS since I don't stock up on those at home).

However, I recently had a couple of brew sessions in which my efficiency inexplicably fell like a rock, and after careful evaluation I realized that ...

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How to Shave Time Off Your Brew Day

Chris Jensen · August 28

One of the challenges with brewing is the time commitment. For many, it's an all day adventure for which we must plan ahead and allocate time away from family, chores and other hobbies. My Pintwell partner, Jeremy, actually finds that the only way he can brew these days is to take a day off of work!

It is one of of the compelling reasons to go BIAB or back to extract brewing. Back when I did the latter I used to knock out a ...

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Tap Room Tour: Monk's Cafe, Philadelphia

Chris Jensen · August 6

I had the good fortune of visiting the famed Monk's Cafe in Philadelphia last week. I'd been there a couple times before, but that was prior to my visit to Belgium and my profound love of Belgian beers. And while I remember respecting the place, I absolutely did not appreciate the place for what it is.

Monk's is one of the best beer bars in the US. To start, the beer list is unmatched. I've known for years that Philly is ...

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The Complete Joy of...Tinkering?

Chris Jensen · July 30

I love this hobby. And I'm not the only one.

If I had a hop pellet for every time I've heard or read someone call it an "obsession" I could brew the most bitter beer known to man!

What is is that makes people so passionate about the hobby? Is it a fascination with the idea of producing something that can get you inebriated? Is it the love of sharing the a great home-made product with friends? Is it the science?

Realistically, it ...

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Insulate Your Mash Tun with Reflectix

Chris Jensen · July 25

Hitting and maintaining your mash temps is one of the most critical steps to producing a good beer. Unfortunately, metal mash tuns (including keggles) are not particularly good at maintaining temperatures with out an external heat source. So, many brewers choose to insulate their mash tuns to help maintain a consistent temperature throughout your mash schedule.

For the first few years of my current mash tun's life, I used a long sheet of foam rubber with bungee cords. It was cheap, easy, and maintained ...

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Tap Room Tour: Odell Brewing, Ft. Collins

Chris Jensen · July 9

I'd been to Odell's about 7 years ago, well before the recent remodel. Back then it was overshadowed by its striking neighor, New Belgium. It was modest, but not in a start-up brewery kind of way. More in a production brewery that didn't pay attention to the details way.

As we mentioned in our post on the world's best Double IPAs, we are quite fond of Odell's. They make outstanding beer, some of the best in the state (if not ...

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The Best Homebrew Control Panel Labels

Chris Jensen · July 2

I've seen a lot of back and forth on the forums out there about the best place to get engraved labels or tags for brewing applications, especially control panels. On his Electric Brewery site, Kal recommends a Canadian firm called Signs Banners Tags. Seems like they do good work, but I emailed them for a quote and never heard back, and shipping from Canada is not going to be as cheap or quick as shipping from the US to my location.

I'd also ...

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How to Use a Step Bit to Drill Stainless Steel

Chris Jensen · June 25

Drilling stainless steel with a hand drill is a hefty job, especially so with the robust stainless found in a keg. After drilling my first couple holes I dreaded having to drill more, until I figured out some tricks which made it 10 times easier. 

The two most important parts of drilling stainless are speed and pressure:

Speed:

You should, almost always, drill at a very low speed. Patience is extremely important to this process. Run your drill at low speed and high torque. If ...

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Review: The Best Timer for Homebrewing

Chris Jensen · June 18

I never thought much about my timers. When I brewed on the stove I relied on its timer which worked well, and when I moved it outside I primarily relied on my cell phone.

I find the cell phone timer to be awkward, however, as I have to remember to pull it out and start it, and if I’m interrupted with a call or text in the middle I have to navigate back to my timer to figure out where we are in the ...

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Sour Beer Shortcut: Brewing Sours the Easy Way

Chris Jensen · June 4

I love sour beer. It's one of my favorite styles and I can find a sour beer for any occasion. Clearly I'm not alone: according to a GuestMetrics report, sour beer is the second fastest growing segment of beer. But, I'd argue that my love of sour beer goes beyond that of most. Most people I know who say they love sours say it was an acquired taste: that the first time they tried a sour beer they didn't like it ...

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3 Tips for All Grain Brewing: What I Wish I Knew

Chris Jensen · May 14

It took me a long time to make the leap to all grain brewing, much longer than for most people. It was 13 years between my first brew and my first all grain brew, and 5 years from when I got serious until I went all grain. Frankly, I thought it sounded like a pain in the ass, and I was already producing award winning beer that, more importantly, I enjoyed drinking. I was reluctant to drop the expense associated with all that added equipment ...

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