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.

What's wrong with Beer Glassware in the US?

Chris Jensen · May 7

I’m sick of the pint glass. Although simple and durable, it lacks personality compared to its Central European counterparts. More importantly, it’s definitely not optimized to enhance the aroma and flavor of most of the beers served within. Ordinary bitter? OK. But IPA? The pint glass cannot do it justice.

In Belgium and much of Germany, each brand has it’s own distinct style of glass featuring a unique shape that is meant to highlight the characteristics of that brand’s beer. The ...

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Where to get CO2 in Denver: Fills + Exchanges

Chris Jensen · April 9

In the past I've had a difficult time tracking down a great place to have my kegorator's CO2 tank refilled in the greater Denver area. Places are inconsistent, prices are all over the map, and a lot of places (like grow shops) only offer 20 lb tanks.

I've compliled a short list of friendly shops that will fill or exchange your CO2 tank for a reasonable price.

  
 
Shop Area Address Price Fill/Exchange
Centennial Tap Berkeley 1930 W 41st Ave, Denver, CO ...
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How to Clean and Sanitize Your Plate Chiller

Chris Jensen · April 2

As we discussed last week, I’m on the plate chiller/heat exchanger train and couldn’t be happier. One of my primary concerns about making the leap to a plate chiller was the sanitization and clean-up process. I definitely did not want to add more work to an already crowded brew day.

To my pleasant surprise, I have found that with a little planning both sanitizing and clean-up are as easy, if not easier, than they were on my immersion chiller set up.

To ...

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Duda Diesel Plate Chiller Review

Chris Jensen · March 26

I've used an immersion chiller since I started brewing regularly 7 years ago. Prior to that I used an ice bath, so at the time thought it was quite an upgrade. The immersion chiller worked well enough for my purposes, especially when I used to do partial boils, so I thought that a CFC or plate chiller was just overkill. When I started doing 10 gallon batches, I added a pond pump and a whirlpool arm to my chiller so to improve my chilling ...

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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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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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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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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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