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The $30 Electric HLT

It is exactly as dangerous as it looks.

Heat sticks are becoming popular among home brewers, and for good reason. Having two heated vessels really streamlines a brew day, and makes double brew days significantly less painful. And the economics of electric heat are compelling (in fact, that’s the way I’ve decided to go [...]

Draft System Balancing, Revisited

Just a quick note. While I was doing some calculations for Two Mile, I decided to expand on a year-old post on draft system balancing, primarily just to include the relevant results for longer draft systems. Enjoy.

Or not. It doesn’t really affect me either way.

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Burning Beers 2: Electric Boogaloo

I haven’t posted in… let’s see… six months. Yikes. Here’s a quartet of beer recipes, though, so that’s basically the same as posting almost once per month.

10.2 Mk2: I’m still struggling to get the attenuation I need out of my Belgian-style “Blond” (I use quotation marks because BJCP-wise, it would be a Belgian Specialty [...]

Toys for Watts

Get it? It’s a thermodynamics pun! How many brewing blogs give you wordplay like that? None of the reputable ones, that’s for sure.

Anyway… Last year I started experimenting with partial boils, due to not being able to use a garden hose in the winter. And that technique has been working well for me, [...]

Double Grain-Brew

As I mentioned recently, I’ve been making a conscious effort to branch out and brew some less traditional beers lately. This pair of porters is a good example. The base recipe is the same for both, but one has a substantial portion (30%) of the grist replaced with Briess Cherrywood Smoked Malt, and the other [...]

Refractometer Calculator

This is something I’ve been meaning to do for a long time, but kept finding excuses to put off. It uses the simplified cubic polynomial derived in Refractometer FG Results. Please visit that post for more information. You can also download a spreadsheet to track OG, FG, and more for multiple batches.

Original RI (°Bx): [...]

Fall Classic Tasting Notes

Now that the holiday season is in full swing, I’m finally getting around to posting some tasting notes for the Fall Classic.

The visual appearance is really great. Deep amber with brilliant clarity, despite all the pumpkin in the mash, and an off-white head with excellent retention and lacing. The aroma is predominately of the [...]

A More Accurate Approach to Draft System Balancing

Balancing a draft system is one of those things that should be easy, but inevitably ends up requiring some trial and error. The basic principle seems sound: beverage tubing supplies some characteristic resistance per unit length (2-3 psi/ft for 3/16″ ID tubing), and all one needs to do is divide that into the desired serving [...]

Simple Sugars and Specific Gravity

A pound of sugar per five gallons of beer will add nine points to the original gravity and reduce the final gravity by two points.

We’ve all heard it. I’m ashamed to say that I’ve even parroted it myself in the past. But it’s only half true.

The OG contribution of simple sugars is certainly [...]

Ovens and Spices and Squash, Oh My!

Frequent visitors will probably have noticed that I tend to be a bit of a traditionalist when it comes to beer recipes. After all, brewers are discovering new things to do with malts, hops, water, and yeast all the time. That approach does get a bit dull after a while though – especially when one [...]