DIY – Wax Dipped Bottles

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Most beer enthusiasts will agree, there is something distinctly sexy about a wax-dipped bomber bottle.  The waxed top gives the impression of quality and somehow has the ability to separate a bottle from others on the shelf.  Some people laud the “preservative quality” of waxing bottles and even suggest using wax to seal rare beers before cellaring.  I cannot confirm or deny these claims, but I can definitely confirm that the look is really cool!  Waxing your bottles is particularly useful if you want to give them as gifts… great for all occasions: bachelor parties, weddings, Christmas, President’s Day, Tuesday, etc… Continue reading

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Bottle From Your Kegerator

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I.HATE.BOTTLING!!

No gray area here… I think bottling via the traditional methods is one of the most irritating, time consuming, patience-testing processes in the entire brewing world.  Not only that, but if you just want to give your friend/brother/cousin/cat a small sample of your beer, you’re obligated to open a whole bottle.  Cross your fingers, pop the cap, and pray the bottle isn’t a gusher.  NO.THANKS!!

So, why would I advocate bottling at all?  Maybe you want to enter a competition which requires bottles, or you would like to take a home brew six-pack for your next tailgate.  You could also bottle some of your famous imperial stout to do a vertical tasting with future years’ versions.  Bottles can even make unique gifts.  Bottling does have its merits, but if all of your beer is in kegs, how can you get it into bottles without causing oxidation, losing the proper carbonation level, or using an expensive beer gun?  I’m glad you asked!  Follow along… Continue reading

Double Down on Propane

Propane TanksAs we all know, brewing requires a lot of heat.  Unless you’ve build or purchased an all-electric setup or have a dedicated natural gas line, you likely have to generate this heat using propane burners.  One of the most frustrating things that can happen on a brew day is to see these burners sputter and go out mid-boil!  On no, the propane tank is empty!!  Let me give you a simple tip to avoid this dilemma and save you time and money in the process. Continue reading

Build an Army of Yeast-ies

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IMG_5581The old saying holds true, “Brewers make wort, and yeast makes beer.”  Yeast gives our brews their alcohol content (hooray!), and many yeast strains add distinctive flavors.  It’s no secret that growing, harvesting, and saving yeast is one of the biggest cost savers in home brewing.  With White Labs vials going for $7-$11 and Wyeast Smack Packs going for $8-$14, yeast can easily become one of the biggest ingredient costs.  Higher gravity beers (1.060+ Original Gravity) will even require multiple vials/smack packs to achieve the correct pitch rate, taking your yeast cost to $14-$28 per 5 gallons!  Fortunately, you can virtually eliminate this cost by taking a few simple steps… Continue reading

$2.50 Custom Wooden Tap Handles + Give Back

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If you have a kegerator or keezer, you likely started out with boring black plastic handles.  These standard plastic handles are inexpensive and easy to find, which is why most brewers buy them initially.  What if I told you that for even less money, you could build a custom wooden tap handle AND contribute to a good cause??  Interested? Continue reading

Recirculating Beer Line Cleaner – Never Waste CO2 Again

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If you have a kegerator, you have likely gotten to the point where your beer lines MUST be cleaned.  Cleaning the lines is a necessary evil to ensure your beer is not contaminated by off flavors or bacteria as it sits in the lines.  Most people recommend cleaning your lines once ever 2-6 weeks to have proper sanitation.  Others simply try to clean the line when they switch out the keg.  Either way, you should be doing it… but can be quite an annoying process.

The usual cleaning method involves setting aside an extra keg, filling it with cleaner (Beer Line Cleaner or PBW), hooking it up to CO2, and running the solution through the line.  While this can be an effective method, it severely lacks efficiency.  It requires you to have an extra keg available, and to use enough CO2 to empty the keg.  Last time I checked, CO2 isn’t free!  Then if you want to clean additional lines, you have to repeat the whole process… NO THANKS!  “There’s gotta be a better way!!” Continue reading

Save 40 PERCENT on Hops

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A great way to save money while brewing is to reduce costs on the actual ingredients.  It’s no secret that buying supplies in bulk can result in HUGE cost savings.  However, some people don’t realize that they can save 40 percent this way.  Let me give you an example using my favorite hop, Mosaic. Continue reading