Learning How to Brew

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Beer Diary,

The other night after I wrote my review of Knee Deeps Pineapple Wheat as well as wrote what I thought would be my next post on tips for adding fruit to beer it hit me that some people coming across this blog may have limited beer knowledge.  I want to be reader friendly from beer enthusiasts to those just getting into the community. My solution was a How to Learn to Brew Beer post before I leaped into the technical beer talk.  I will be sharing the books, websites and shops that helped/help me out. Also when I use beer lingo such as wort, mash, sparge etc. those words will be linked to a definition of what they mean.

Above is some of my beer library, the two most useful books in the photo for me are Designing Great Beers by Ray Daniels and The Brew-Masters Bible by Stephen Snyder. Out of those two Designing Great Beers is the most important to me. It is where I go to when trying out a new style or re-tooling a recipe, it gives not only beer style breakdowns but breakdowns of the beer recipes entered into competition. Thus allowing me to see what the finalist beers have in common and gives me a good idea where to start for base for my recipe I am writing. The Brew-Masters Bible comes in handy with tables it contains for proper carbonation levels, style guides and a table I use to calculate the amount of alcohol in my beers. The other two books are the Homebrewer’s Garden by Dennis and Joe Fisher and The Joy of Homebrewing. Homebrewer’s Garden is a fun book that is how to guide on growing hops, spices, building home malting equipment and a bunch of helpful things for brewing. The Joy of Homebrewing is a nice introduction to home brewing. But I highly recommend using Palmers How to Brew you can get the whole book free online. It was the first book I read on how to brew and it gives a solid foundation of knowledge.

Locally in Reno we have the Reno Home Brewer and in Carson City Just Brew It. A quick google search should let you know if you have any shops near you. If not or they don’t have exactly what you want at your local shop, fear not Northern Brewer is a great online shop with great customer service.

I highly recommend having a brew buddy mine is my older brother Jeff. The advantage of a brew buddy is you have someone to bounce ideas off of, share research load, share the brew day work (cleaning, measuring etc.), have two minds keeping track of a brew thus you are less likely to forget a hop addition or make a mistake and in my case my brew buddy got a job as a professional brewer so I get to learn all the stuff he is learning at work.   Plus half the fun of brewing is sitting around drinking beer and chatting it up.

Finally if you are serious about getting into brewing beer you will need a way to manage your recipes Powers Brewery is a useful site with a recipe calculator which allows you to save a code that you can copy paste into a word document, save, and when you want to pull up the recipe to brew on a later date you simply copy and paste the code into the load recipe box on their website boom your recipe appears.  Here is a screen shot of where the save and load buttons are on the bottom of the page and a base beer recipe code you can load and look at for a Harry Potter Butter Beer recipe I wrote.Copy and Paste the code below in the load recipe box for Power’s Brewery Recipe Calculator

Paul ^Butter Beer^^22^18^5.5^90^9^4^77^100^8.8^0.3^0.8^0.7^0.4^0.3^71^71^8.5^34^34^1^7^7^1^

22^22^0.5^0^0^0^0^0^0^0^0^0^0^0^0^50^45^5^0.5^15^1^2^0^0^0^0^1^0^0^0^0^1^

0^0^0^0^1^0^0^0^0^1^0^0^0^0^1^0^63^153^1.2^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^7.3^0^0

^0^0^0^0.2^

Thanks for reading and I hope this is helpful for anyone looking to get into or get further into brewing.  If you have any questions please post a comment and ask I will be more than happy to answer them for you.

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