Episode-676- Home Brewing – Tips, Tricks and Recipes

Today we go into some tips, tricks and recipes to complete our mini series on home brewing.  Yesterday we focused on the equipment, the basics of how to, the role of ingreedents and developing a basic understanding of brewing equipment and technology.

Today we get much deeper into various ingredients and adjuncts.  We discuss specialty malts, hone, fruit, beer styles and more.

Beer is at the same time remarkably simple and extremely complex, on one level it is simply a form or sugar (usually malted barley), water, hops and yeast.  On the other hand there are millions of ways that any individual batch of beer can be modified both intentionally and simply by circumstance.

Join me today as we discuss…

  • Specialty Grains
    • Black Patent Malt
    • Chocolate Malt
    • Crystal Malt
    • Roasted Barley
    • Cara-Pils Malt
    • Honey Malt
  • More on Hops
    • Flavor is always evident, even when it’s not
    • Bitterness and the HBU scale
    • Styles are generally hop specific to a degree
  • Yeast
    • Dry Yeasts
    • Liquid Yeasts
    • Cultivation of Yeast
    • Reuse of Slurry
    • Yeast strains have a huge impact on beer flavor
  • Adjuncts
    • Honey
    • Fruit
    • Chili Peppers
    • Smoked Malt
    • Pumpkin
    • Brown Sugar – Molasses
    • Maple Syrup – Maple Sap
  • Some Special Recipes
    • Bandit Honey Ale
    • Jack’s Brown Mild
    • Conversion Pollinator Triple
    • Copperhead Barley Wine
    • Raspberry Stout (liquid sex in a bottle)
    • Blackberry Porter

Resources for Today’s Show

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21 Responses to Episode-676- Home Brewing – Tips, Tricks and Recipes

  1. Excellent topic Jack! I need to try my hand at beer making now.

  2. Thanks for the show today Jack. I would love to see the recipes in text form.

  3. homesteader

    Now you need a show on roasting coffee beans! 🙂

  4. Ben Franklin quote is not quite right. See http://urbanlegends.about.com/b/2008/09/15/misquote-ben-franklin-on-beer.htm
    Ben wrote in a 1779 letter “Behold the rain which descends from heaven upon our vineyards, there it enters the roots of the vines, to be changed into wine, a constant proof that God loves us, and loves to see us happy.”

  5. It’s been a long time since I brewed beer and these episodes have renewed the desire to get back into it so thanks Jack!

    One resource that I used often to pick and tweak on recipes is: http://hbd.org/recipator/

    There are ~8300 beer recipes in there including clones of many of the popular micro/craft brews.

  6. You might want to think about an oxygen diffuser for high alcohol beers and wines. Helps the yeasties grow big and strong! (Great for Meads!)

  7. I’d love to try a beer made with creeping Charlie. It smells awesome for an invasive ground cover. I can have 20 lbs of it tomorrow for anyone who wants it. Actually, I’ll pay anyone $30 to come pull it up.. It has a long history as a medicinal and beer clarifier. I’ve never found anyone on the web who has actually made it. Here’s a good article on it. http://landscaping.about.com/cs/weedsdiseases/a/ground_ivy.htm

  8. @Roy E,

    Your quote is a Franklin quote and so is mine. The quote I gave was originally published in Poor Richards Almanac. As I am looking at a copy right now, I can tell you I got it right.

    In short much like his contemporaries (Washington and Jefferson) Franklin was a vintner, a brewer and a distiller. He loved all spirits.

  9. Hello everyone

    Does anybody know how to download a lot of podcasts not picking one by one? I mean in one file. Searched in torrent sites, didn’t find.

    ps I’m not sure if iTunes has that feature or not, I won’t listen these podcasts on Apple devices anyway

    Jack, thx for you work!

    Slava, Russia

  10. Modern Survival


    First you can use iTunes and get the most recent 50 episodes that way. You do not need an “apple device” to use iTunes on your computer. It is free and you just download it and play stuff with it on your PC.

    Next if you want all the shows there are two ways to do this.

    1. Slow – Go to each episode and download them one at a time on the blog

    2. Fast – Join the members brigade and get them all in a series of zip files


  11. Great Scot!

    Dang Jack! I listened to this during my Friday evening commute home. It’s hot, humid, I’m tired, and have never so looked forward to a beer in my life! Great show, Thank you.

  12. Jack,
    Beer making has been a topic of interest near the bottom of my “Someday” List. Listening to the last two days episodes have my really stoked about trying my hand at this craft. It won’t be right away since I’m currently concentrating on canning/pickling all those veggies starting to come out of the garden, though I see myself cracking into a new skillset sooner rather than later.

    You mentioned Chimay, one of my favorite brews, and your description of your Conversion Pollinator Triple recipe had me absolutely envious. The fact that you would share such an obvious prize in your personal collection speaks volumes of your character. Thank you for yet another fantastically executed group of shows brother.

  13. Jack,
    What about a mead making show

  14. I’ve seen people use balloons with a pin hole in them on glass jugs as an airlock. Seemed to work fine.

  15. Modern Survival

    @Mark Cook, that is fine for the explosive phase but you have to keep an eye on it, if fermentation stops you can get air back into the carboy.

  16. I’m looking for some advice. I’ve never been a big beer drinker, but I love the idea of home brewing, especially branching out to wine and such. The guys I hang out with all drink Bud Light and the like, swill as Jack calls it. I’m ok with the more watered down, really light stuff like coors, keystone or corona. But honestly after about 2 beers my stomach starts to turn. I don’t know if that means that I’m not a beer person, or that I’m drinking swill and need to try some better quality beer. Most the time at home or gatherings i end up drinking liquor, which I handle just fine.

    Some of the recipes Jack has shared on these 2 shows and the one he did a long time ago sound amazing and delicious.

    But before I spend any money on homebrew equipment, I wondered if y’all had any suggestions of better quality beer, something close to a good quality homebrew that I could try, maybe a few different kinds to see if it’s for me or not. I live in DFW, so if anyone knows of something along that line that is commercially produced in this area or maybe some micro breweries that are good, I’d appreciate the help as I attempt to get an education on beer.

  17. First I wanted to say that even though I consider myself a “good” home brewer with lots of experience, I enjoyed these two shows I was on vacation when Jack covered the topics so I’m a little late on responding. Good info Jack, I do have a couple small issues with some info, but good enough to make good beer.

    The two major points I would like to stress are yeast care and fermentation temperature. I have mentioned this stuff on the forum, but here it is again.
    1. On yeast – please use a fresh dry yeast that has been cared for and stored in a fridge if you are going to use dry yeast. DO NOT USE the yeast that is taped to the top of the can of Coopers malt extract. Always rehydrate dry yeast you tube how. I like liquid yeasts, but if you are making a beer with a starting gravity (hydrometer) above 1.045-1.050 YOU NEED A YEAST STARTER!!

    The more yeast you have the cleaner and fewer off-flavors you will have.

    2. Fermentation temperature – This is even important for ales!! Do not ferment beer in summer in an 95 F garage! Ale fermentation is best from 65-68 F to prevent off flavors.

    The one thing I will contest that Jack said when cooling the beer prior to pitching your yeast. Get that temperature as close to 70 degrees F or less before pitching yeast.
    People will argue that if you are making a belgian beer that they ferment at higher temps…this is not entirely true. The temperature within the fermentation rises because of the yeast yes but the ambient room temperature shouldn’t be higher than 72 F. Yeast produce lots of esters and off flavors at higher temps so try to avoid that if possible.

    @Lucas – Go to BJs or Gordon Biresh they both brew their own beer, and pretty good stuff. BJs is more of the American styles and Gordon Biresh are German style beers. Give either a try and talk to one of the bartenders or better yet a brewer and tell him/her you want to enhance your beer palate, what do you suggest.
    Start slow when all you have had is the mass produced yellow fizzy water it takes time to change what you like and some things can take months or years to enjoy. (Don’t jump right to IPAs from Miller lite you will not like it)

  18. @Koed
    I appreciate the help. There is a BJ’s Brewhouse not far from me. I’ll start there and see where that takes me.

  19. Can anyone recommend a good starter kit? Is it better to buy a kit or just get the supplies and piece one together? Thanks for any suggestions…

  20. I just listened to your podcast. I have been a brewer for almost 2 years. Your information on homebrewing was excellent! Very good job.