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The Evolution of a Homebrewer's Spouse

Posted by toklas on 12/03/2015 at 10:45:59 PM

Toklas: Hon, did I get a package in the mail? I am expecting a book.
Husband: Yes, there was a package for you, so I put it in the fridge.

And with that, the book I ordered was indeed in the refrigerator. This whole scenario led me down the path of just how much my husband has changed as the spouse of a brewer.

As a female brewer, I have always appreciated his help with lugging heavy stuff around, but this mail-in-the-fridge event made me realise just all of the crazy things I've asked him to do for the sake of brewing. So I've commented on the evolution of a homebrewer's spouse, with my husband as H and me as, well, T in the text below.

They understand the nuances of fermentation

stays far away from fermentation vessel, afraid it might explode.
A few years in (via text message):
H: Hon, your beer is making funny noises.
T: Is it like "blub blub blub"?
H: Yep
T: Awesome.
H: ...ok then.
H: Hon, your beer is really fermenting like crazy!

They get your puns now! (but they're still not funny)


T: Hey, let's call this beer "Walter Wheat"
H: I don't get it
T: It's a wheat beer...
H: Oh, I think I get it now.
T: Wow, there's a lot of trub in this one. We should call it Troubadour!
H: *facepalm*

They know to be suspicious of things in the fridge

H: Hon, those cookies in the freezer are pretty gross.
T: Uh, those are spent grain dog treats.
H, holding up a ziplock bag of leftovers: "Is this edible?"

They understand your strange requests

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Trubadour is gold.

posted by Matt on 12/04/2015 at 08:17:56 AM

My SO went from not liking any beers at all to this and more in just a few years with me. Now she does not question the strange jars of muck in the fridge, drinks all my IPA, piles all my "brewery" gear by the door so I can take it to the garage next trip and doesn't bug me about it every week. She even rinses bottles out 3 times....but only after asking if I want the dregs! She's a keeper.

posted by Trub Maker on 12/04/2015 at 12:31:24 PM

Very much the same story. My wife tastes every batch, even though she doesn't like the taste of beer in general. I also get texts with pictures of fermentors from her letting me know they kicked off and what temp they are sitting at. She's slowly becoming my assistant Brewer even if she doesn't realize it :)

posted by Buxman14 on 12/04/2015 at 03:33:37 PM

hi guys

posted by kenspo on 12/25/2015 at 09:46:07 PM

Hi Hop

posted by kenspo on 12/25/2015 at 09:46:52 PM

Mp3 Only

posted by king on 3/20/2017 at 10:35:21 AM

Download mp3 Latest Songs

posted by king on 3/20/2017 at 10:36:32 AM

Tags for this post: spouse, evolution, homebrewer's, humour

How to Get (and Keep) Great Head in Your Beer

Posted by homebrewdad on 12/02/2015 at 08:41:25 AM

Good head - the kind embodied by that fluffy layer of bubbles that rests on top of your beer, the kind that lasts as long as you still have beer in the glass, the kind that leaves sticky lacing (aka the residual bubbles that cling to the sides of your glass) behind - is a topic that you'll see brought up over and over again on any homebrewing forum. A good head on a beer is not only attractive, but functional, as the bubbles in the foam tend to trap the aromas of the beer, which can lead to increased perception of this aspect (which is a huge deal for hoppier beers). With all else being equal, most homebrewers would prefer a beer with a great head to one without.

Beer with a nice head

However, good head retention in particular can be elusive. After all, one can usually get at least a decent head to form with an aggressive pour, but all too often - judging by the aforementioned popularity of this topic - getting that head to stick around is another matter altogether.

Beer foam is comprised of the bubbles that are formed as CO2 leaves solution. These bubbles attach themselves to certain compounds on the beer, which form a skin around the bubble. Obviously, lower carbonation levels lead to fewer overall bubbles, which can clearly impact formation of foam in the first place. However, the answer isn't simply...
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Tags for this post: head, retention, beer, homebrew, foam, lacing, formation, bubbles

Homebrew Dad's 2015 Homebrewing Gift Guide

Posted by homebrewdad on 11/25/2015 at 09:52:58 AM

Last year, perhaps my most popular post (aside from the one describing the disaster of having my beer reviewed by a pro brewer) was my gift idea guide. With Black Friday just around the corner - and the Christmas shopping season in full swing - I figured that it was time to do an updated gift guide for 2015. As with last year, I'm not trying to be all things to all people; you won't see me hawking Blichmann kettles, for instance, due to the simple fact that I have never used one (nor do I know anyone who has). Instead, I'm limiting my suggestions to items that I have personal experience with.

Full disclosure: many of the links in this article include affiliate codes that benefit In no case will you pay anything aside from the normal prices, but will receive a commission. Obviously, I very much appreciate you using these links, but if you prefer to not do so, feel free to Google the products I mention.

1. For the Brand New Brewer

If you are considering helping a loved one get into homebrewing, don't be tempted by those Mr. Beer kits at the mall. Sure, they are cheap to pick up, and easy to use, but they are pretty restrictive and lack a lot of the features that will likely be sought after the first brew or two. Instead, get
[ read more... ]

Tags for this post: gift, guide, brewing, brewer, homebrewing, homebrewer, Christmas, present

The Cost to Build a Homebrewery - End Game Brewing

Posted by zVulture on 11/24/2015 at 12:37:38 PM


In my previous posts I covered costs to starting a brewery then costs for Mash Tuns, Yeast Starter Equipment, and Kegging. In both I went for the least expensive recommended setup to give others an idea of how much it costs for this hobby. This time I am doing personal research for my own homebrewing setup in time for Black Friday. With my research I intend to move to a two pot and single mash tun setup that will allow me to do the most varieties of brewing processes. No Sparge, Batch Sparge, Fly Sparge, Cold Fly Sparge, Brew in a Bag, Decoction, and whatever else I can imagine.

Notes: The links here are un-affiliated and are there for pricing and ease of use. This is me planning for a build so costs and equipment might need adjustments. Due to the custom nature of this build, I don't see prices of items going on sale on black friday but doing this just in case there is. I am also quite open for suggestions if there are improvements!

It's Pot Time

I had an earlier post dedicated to just pots with my research. I initially decided on going with some custom hardware from Colorado Brew Systems as I can get a 20 gallon Boil pot with Tri-clamp fittings, whirlpool port and whirlpool elbow for $330 (without Valves or Thermometer). Note, they are currently moving facilities so ordering is on hold for pots....
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Tags for this post: equipment, pot, mash tun, sparge, DIY

Reviewing the Brewers' Ledger - Organize Your Brew Logs

Posted by homebrewdad on 11/20/2015 at 11:06:20 AM

A couple of weeks ago, my buddy Marshall (widely known as the great Brulosopher) put me in contact with a gentleman by the name of Tony Pawela. Tony was looking for someone to review his creation, the Brewers' Ledger, but Marshall just had too many irons in the fire to do so himself.

I'll admit that I thought about it for a bit before I volunteered to do the review. The fact of the matter is that I'm a huge fan of Beersmith, and I take pretty meticulous records in it already. Also, my handwriting is pretty poor - okay, my handwriting is downright atrocious - making written notes not exactly my thing. So, to be perfectly honest, I had my doubts as to how useful I would find such a product. That said, Beersmith is pretty clunky in terms of keeping your notes organized, so I figured that the Brewers' Ledger might be worth a look.

Full disclosure: as mentioned above, the Brewers' Ledger was provided to me at no cost, for the specific purpose of having me review it. Links in this page point to Amazon, where the book is self published; these links do include the BrewUnited affiliate code.

With that said, the following review is 100% true and accurate, and is in my own words. Tony Pawela did not suggest any portion of, edit, or even read my review prior to my public post.

The day that my copy...
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Tags for this post: brewers, ledger, brew, log, notes, book

The Cost to Build a Homebrewery - Upping the Game

Posted by zVulture on 11/12/2015 at 10:10:17 PM


In my last post I covered the costs for getting into the hobby so that new brewers had a better idea of what to expect. To further that and for current brewers alike, this post will be covering optional systems to expand your homebrewing control and/or convenience. The first will be a look into the Mash Tun which is one, but not the only, way of doing all grain brewing. The second being Yeast Starter equipment which will assist in both healthy fermentations and propagation. And the last being getting into Kegging which has made my life easier since the start. Each of these could have a post on their own detailing the processes, benefits and drawbacks but the purpose of this post is Cost. How much will it be to get into each of these? (TL;DR at bottom)

Note:All links are un-affiliated and are provided for proof of prices. The sources for prices used are examples for price points As with my last post, each section will be updated with feedback/tips from the homebrewing community.

Keeping it Hot in a Cooler

Mash Tun is a very simple device with a few items to help make things convenient. At it's core, it's just a container that is large enough to hold the total mash at a desired temperature using Insulation. There are other methods using direct or indirect heating to maintain temperature but those will not be covered here. There are three primary types of Mash

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Tags for this post: Costs, hardware, equipment, kegerator, keezer, kegging, mash tun, stir plate, yeast starter

Announcing the Grand Prize Winner of the 2015 BrewUnited Challenge!

Posted by homebrewdad on 11/11/2015 at 12:29:33 PM

Yesterday, we (finally) managed to get the Best of Show judging done with the 2015 BrewUnited Challenge. Of course, this was about nine days after when we had scheduled for it to be done; I am sorry for the delay. By and large, I feel like things ran really smoothly in this competition, but the judge no shows at the Malty Division got us behind schedule. When you combine that with the aggressive calendar for BOS judging (silly me thought that we could easily judge BOS a week after the initial Division judging), I ended up having to scramble for BOS judges. Live and learn; next year, we'll plan a little more cushion into the schedule.

But that's neither here nor there, and I'm sure that nobody really cares about the whys of how things got off.

Yesterday, we had three BJCP judges meet and judge the Best of Show beers (let me give a quick shout out to Alabrew, who was awesome enough to let us judge there). They were super professional and thoughtful during the process, weighing each beer and making their own notes before any discussion was made. Then, they deliberated - and the discussion got a little lively.

Please let me be very clear - all three of the finalist beers were excellent. The judges really enjoyed them all, and had great things to say about them all. But in a round like this, every tiny possible flaw gets examined and tossed around, the...
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Tags for this post: grand, prize, winner, BrewUnited, challenge, competition, brewing, beer

The Cost to Build a Homebrewery - Getting in the Game

Posted by zVulture on 11/05/2015 at 04:23:17 PM


A friend got interested in homebrewing after all the good beer I was bringing into work each week. He asked me how expensive it is to get into the hobby and unfortunately the answer isn't simple. Each person has a price range and just what they 'expect' is needed to get started. Some brewers start small and build out equipment over time. But what I did recommend was to wait for Black Friday coming up as there will be deals to start even an all grain brewery on the cheap. So, for him and all the other brewers getting into the hobby here is the first post among a few relating to the costs of building out a brewery at home.

Note: Links are unaffiliated. I utilized Amazon, Northern Brewer and Adventures in Brewing as examples for prices. There are great other places to get supplies including local homebrew shops (which avoid shipping delays/costs). Links are mostly provided for ease of use and proof of price for items.

The Starting Line

So in any research it was essential to find out just what was essential to start. The first stage of course being the ability to make beer. This though is going to be dependent on your home's temperature. What at the most minimum you would like to get is:

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Tags for this post: cost, black friday, brewery, equipment

Reviewing the BeerBug - Wifi Enabled Digital Hydrometer/Thermometer

Posted by homebrewdad on 11/05/2015 at 09:56:52 AM

Back in mid July, I was contacted by a new potential sponsor for the 2015 BrewUnited Challenge - the BeerBug. Now, you should understand that I certainly had no intention of turning down any homebrewing related sponsor - let alone one that was willing to pledge $330 worth of gift certificates (plus some tee shirts) - so I was more than happy to have them involved. After exchanging some emails with Cassie, their marketing director, we also agreed on having me review a BeerBug.

Full disclosure: as mentioned above, the BeerBug was provided to me at no cost, for the specific purpose of having me review it. In addition, parasitX (makers of the BeerBug) are sponsoring the 2015 BrewUnited Challenge by donating the aforementioned gift certificates and tee shirts as prizes. Finally, do note that links to the BeerBug site do include an affiliate code for BrewUnited.

With that said, the following review is 100% true and accurate, and is in my own words. parasitX did not suggest any portion of, edit, or even read my review prior to my public post.

If you're not aware of the product, then you should know that the BeerBug is a nifty little gadget that allows homebrewers to monitor the gravity and temperature of their fermenting beers in real time - either via website or mobile app (available on both iOS and Android) - due to the fact that it is wifi enabled. Those that know me know that while...
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Tags for this post: beer, bug, beerbug, digital, wifi, hydrometer, gravity, temperature

Winter Seasonal Beer - Gingerbread Milk Stout

Posted by zVulture on 11/02/2015 at 07:51:33 AM


I have been working on a base milk stout recipe that I wanted to use with seasonal flavors. The sweeter base makes for a bed to help out any spice or flavor additions as some can be harsh on their own or seem lacking without the sweetness that gets fermented out. With the holidays coming up and competitions to match it came time to put it to the test. I wanted to avoid pumpkin due to it's popularity and prevalence that wouldn't shine in a competition lineup. Apple Pie is handled better in ciders, Anise Cookies (a family tradition) is a bit too rare for people to understand...but what about Gingerbread?

Sugar, Spice and everything Nice - Chocolate dipped Anise Seed Cookies & More!

The Recipe

Note: This recipe is over complicated right now and I am working to simplify it. Still, it tastes amazing so it has been worth the trouble.

Type: All Grain
Style: 2015 - 30C. Winter Seasonal Beer
OG: 1.064
FG: 1.027
Alcohol: ~4.9%
IBU: 32
Batch Vol: 5.50 gal
Bottling Vol: 5.00 gal
Brewhouse Efficiency: 72%

Amount Name Type Addition %Bill/IBU
5 lb US 2-Row Grain Mash 37%
3 lbs Munich Malt Grain Mash 22%
1 lb Caramel 120L Grain Mash 7.4%
1 lb Flaked Oats Grain Mash 7.4%
1 lb Flaked Rye Grain Mash 7.4%
0.5 lb (8oz) Chocolate Malt Grain Mash
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Tags for this post: Gingerbread, Spice, Spice Beer, Winter, Holiday, Milk Stout

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