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  • National Homebrew Competition

    2010 - 01.27

    What is the NHC?

    The National Homebrew Competition (NHC) is the world’s largest international beer competition recognizing the most outstanding homebrewed beer, mead, and cider produced by amateur brewers worldwide.

    The First Round of the National Homebrew Competition (NHC) takes place at nine regional sites in the USA during the month of April.  The best of the beer, mead, and cider entries in the regional competitions advances to the Final Round of the competition at the AHA National Homebrewers Conference. NHC winners receive gold, silver or bronze medals in 28 style categories.

    The American Homebrewers Association is a division of the Brewers Association, established 1978 in Boulder, Colorado, USA.  In 1979, 34 entries competed in the first National Homebrew Competition held in Boulder, Colorado.

    The 2010 NHC

    Get your kettles cranked up and fill up those fermenters; the 2010 National Homebrew Competition is approaching fast!  The NHC Rules and Regulations (PDF file) are now available. Here are the important dates you need to know.

    2010 National Homebrew Competition  -  Important Dates
    Entry Deadline: Monday, March 22 – 5 p.m. Thursday, April 1, 2010
    Online Registration: Available mid-February 2010
    First Round Competitions: April 3 – April 25, 2010
    Final Round Entries Due: Monday, May 24 – 5 p.m. Monday, June 7, 2010
    Final Round Competition: Thursday, June 17, 2010
    Awards Ceremony: Saturday, June 19, 2010 in Minneapolis, MN

    Last year 1,310 homebrewers entered the National Homebrew Competition, and 455 brewers advanced to the Final Round competition to compete for 84 medals.

    Is 2010 your year to medal?

    Let’s make GOOD BEER!!!!

    2009 - 11.25
    Steps:
    Boiling

    Hopping

    Fermentation

    Bottling

    Enjoy!

    Necessary Equipment
    Brewing Kettle
    Long-Handled Spoon
    PrimaryFermenter (plastic)     
    Airlock and Stopper
    Siphon Tubing (4 feet)
    Caps and Capper
    Bottles
    Optional Equipment
    SecondaryFermenter (glass)
    Hydrometer & Test Jar
    Thermometer
    Racking Tube
    Bottle Filler
    Wort Chiller
    Ingredients Needed
    1 or 2 cans Malt Extract
    ¾ cup Corn Sugar
    1 pack Burton Water Salts
    1 pack Yeast Nutrient
    2 oz. Hops (if plain malt)
    1 cup Crystal Malt
    2 packs Ale Yeast

    Note: This beer recipe is written for two-stage fermentation. If using the single-stage method, as in your Basic Brewing Kit (theres a post about this); simply omit any reference to the secondary fermenter (glass water bottle) and perform all operations in the plastic primary fermenter with airlock.



    Boiling

    Heat 5 gallons of water in a large kettle or brewpot. Most people don’t have a kettle that large, but heat as much as you can (at least 2 gallons). Add 1 cup of Crystal Malt (#K-10) to the water. Tying the Crystal Malt in a cheesecloth bag will save having to strain it out later. Let the water heat, and remove the Crystal Malt at about 170 degrees. Stir in one pack of Burton Water Salts (#N-19) and one pack of Yeast Nutrient/Heading Salts (#N-20) and continue heating.

    When the water is boiling, add 1, 1½, or 2 cans of Malt Extract to the boil and stir it in. One can will make a light-bodied beer at about 2½% alcohol, 2 cans will make a full-bodied beer at about 5%, and 1½ cans will be in between. The old “Prohibition” method was to add up to 5 cups of corn sugar at this stage, replacing some of the malt. You can do that, but good quality beer is not made with sugar.


    Hopping


    After the Malt Extract is in the boil, keep stirring to keep it from burning on the bottom of the kettle. If you have used all unhopped Malt Extract, now is the time to add about 8 Bittering Units of hops for bitterness. Our hops are all marked with the Alpha Acid analysis (bitterness) level. Bittering Units are the Alpha times the ounces used in 5 gallons of beer. 8 Bittering Units would be one ounce of an 8.0 Alpha hop, or two ounces of a 4.0 Alpha hop, etc. Our hops are all in 2-ounce packages, so you can go by that. Easy, huh? If one of the cans of Malt Extract was a hopped extract, don’t add hops for bitterness. It’s already in there! Keep stirring occasionally, and let the beer (wort) boil hard for at least one hour. If you want to use a clarifier, stir in ½ tsp. of Irish Moss about 15 minutes before the end of the boil.


    After at least one hour’s hard boil, turn off the heat and add about ½ ounce of Finishing Hops. The varieties of Finishing Hops are listed in the Hops Webpage. Using Finishing Hops at the end of the boil adds a fresh aroma and flavor to the beer. It is good to use Finishing Hops even with hopped Malt Extracts.


    Fermentation


    Pour the hot beer (wort) into the primary fermenter, straining out the hops. It is not necessary to strain if you used hop pellets. Add cold water to bring the total volume up to 5 gallons. If you are using our #B-3a Fermenter (the one in the Kits) the 5-gallon mark is the bottom ring. Cover the fermenter and wait until the temperature is down to 75 degrees. If you have a Wort Chiller (#C-44), use it to bring the temperature down quickly. At 75 degrees or less, add 11 grams of dried Ale Yeast (or 1 pack of Liquid Brewers Yeast). Close the fermenter with the lid, stopper, and airlock. Remember to put water (or Vodka) in the Airlock. Vodka evaporates more quickly, but bacteria won’t live in it.


    If using a secondary fermenter, let the beer work until the foam subsides, then siphon it into the secondary, leaving the sediment undisturbed. If using the single-stage method, just leave the beer alone. When the airlock has not bubbled for several days and the beer is flat, still, and clearing, it is ready to bottle.


    Bottling


    Siphon the beer back into a clean and sanitized container or bottling bucket, leaving the yeast behind. Draw off about one pint of beer into a pan and warm it on the stove. Add exactly ¾ cup of Corn Sugar to the pan and stir until it is dissolved. Pour this back into the beer and stir gently to distribute the sugar. Siphon or tap into clean, sanitized bottles and cap. Keep the bottles at room temperature (avoid storing them in direct sunlight;it will ruin your fine beer!), and after a week put a bottle in the refrigerator and try it. It will be even better in a month if you can keep it that long.

    Home brew recipes

    2009 - 09.27

    Here are some proven prize-winning beer recipes. The procedure on all these recipes is standard, as provided in 5 Gallons of Good Beer. We think you will enjoy these great beers!

    YELLOW DOG PALE ALE

    6.6 lbs. (2 small packs) Yellow Dog Malt Extract
    1/3 lb. whole Crystal Malt, remove at 170 deg.
    1 pack Burton Water Salts
    ¾ oz. Chinook Hop Pel (12.2 alpha) in boil
    ¾ oz. Kent Goldings Pel (5.5) in last 5 min.
    ¾ oz Willamette Pel (5.3) when heat off
    ½ tsp. Irish Moss in last 15 mins. of boil
    2 packs Doric Yeast or 1 Wyeast Liquid Ale
    ¾ cup Corn Sugar for priming
    Starting Gravity 1.047      Final Gravity 1.012

    AMERICAN BROWN ALE

    5.5 lbs. (1 large pack)
    Yellow Dog Malt Extract
    ¼ lb. crushed Black Patent malt
    ¼ lb. crushed Chocolate malt
    1 ½ oz Northern Brewer pellets (8.0% alpha) at start of boil.
    ¾ oz Cascade Pel (5.0) in last 5 min.
    ½ tsp. Irish Moss in last 15 mins. of boil
    2 packs Nottingham Ale Yeast
    ¾ cup Corn Sugar for priming
    Starting Gravity 1.040      Final Gravity 1.011

    KRAUT DOG OKTOBERFEST

    6.6 lbs. (2 small packs) Yellow Dog
    1 oz Hersbrucker Pellets (5.3) in boil
    1 pack Wyeast #2124 Lager Yeast
    ¾ cup Corn Sugar for priming
    Pitch yeast at room temp., ferment at 42 deg.
    Starting Gravity 1.048       Final Gravity1.013

    AMERICAN BOCK

    5.5 lbs. (1 large pack) Yellow Dog Malt Extract
    ½ lb. crushed Lt. Crystal malt
    ¼ lb. crushed Black Patent malt
    ¼ lb. crushed Victory malt
    1 ½ oz Hallertauer pellets (4.5% alpha)at start of boil
    ½ oz Tettnanger pellets (4.2) in last 5 min
    ½ tsp. Irish Moss in last 15 mins. of boil
    1 pack Wyeast #2308 Lager Yeast
    ¾ cup Corn Sugar for priming
    Pitch yeast at room temp., ferment at 42 deg
    Starting Gravity 1.040       Final Gravity 1.011

    BLACK DOG PORTER

    6.6 lbs. (2 small packs) Yellow Dog
    ½ lb. Dark Crystal Malt, crushed
    ¼ lb. Black Patent Malt, crushed
    1/3 lb. Chocolate Malt, crushed
    8 oz Malto-Dextrin (in boil)
    ¾ oz Northern Brewer Pel (8.1) in boil
    ½ oz Tettnanger Pel (5.0) finishing
    ½ oz Hallertauer Pel (5.1) after heat off
    2 packs Doric Yeast or 1 Wyeast Liq. Ale
    ¾ cup Corn Sugar for priming
    Starting Gravity 1.060       Final Gravity 1.020

    Home brewing equipment

    2009 - 07.27

    LET’S BREW!!!!!!

    Its SO easy!! All you need to do is gather some devices that u can find anywhere and you are ready to go.

    The following picture shows a basic beer brewing equipment kit

    Your home beer brewing equipment should include the following items:

    1. 6.5-gallon Plastic Fermenter and Lid
    2. 6.5-gallon Bottling Bucket
    3. Airlock
    4. #2 drilled Rubber Stopper
    5. Racking Tube
    6. Bottle Filler
    7. Five feet of Flexible Tubing
    8. Hydrometer
    9. Floating Thermometer
    10. Two-handle Bottle Capper
    11. 144 Bottle Caps
    12. Sanitizer

    You should also add brewpots and bottles to the list. We all have that in our houses.

    Gather all these items AND START YOUR BREWER CARREER!!!!!!!! WOOHOO!!!!

    Brewing equipment.

    2009 - 06.22

    Hey!! Let’s find out about the brewing equipment.

    • 1000 or 500 ltr BTT-tanks for tapping/ dispensing of beer in beer-pubs and restaurants instead of KEG-barrels
    • Beer is stored & tapped from polypropylene bag (inliner) by means of air-pressure. Bag-in-Tank system = Beer storing & tapping PP-bag is installed inside the tank and connected to the tank’s input/output. PP-bag to be exchanged by a new one within 2-3 weeks time (or sooner) on tappig-out all its beer contents (bag price is absolutely minimum)
    • Made in stainless-steel or with decorative copper-clad.
    • Made insulated with cooling-jacket (welded-jacket or copper-spiral) or without insulation to be placed in chilled tank-rooms.
    • The cheapest way of how to get beer from big breweries into a beer-glass in beer-pubs or restaurants but also
    • The most cost-effective beer tapping system for microbreweries and pubbreweries.
    • 3000 pcs of BTT-tanks produced so far

    Advantages compared with KEG-barreling:

    • Tapping of non-pasteurized beer, BTT-tanks make tapping/ dispensing of pure natural beer cost-effective
    • Beer is stored in the PP-bag (chilled down to 8-10 °C) and never gets in touch with air which benefits in excellent sparkling beer taste & durability. This, naturally, leads to growing crowds of your satisfied customers-natural beer lovers.
    • Shelf-life of non-pasteurized beer tapped from BTT-tanks is up to 3 weeks
    • There’s no need of additional CO2 for tapping, beer never gets over-carbonated
    • Reduction of beer loss (down to 2%)
    • Easy installation: BTT-tanks are mounted horizontally on the frame or also vertically (see the photos)
    • Cheaper beer distribution/ dispensing: receiving of beer by truck-tankers / beer-supply from 1 tank-room to several tap-rooms
    • Comfortable cost- & time-saving operation: no tiring and repeated manipulation with KEGs
    • Low maintenance requirements
    • BTT beer tapping system also saves microbrewer’s costs by making beer-pasteurizing not-necessary
    • BTT-tanks can also be used for soft-drinks tapping

    Brewery tour!!

    2009 - 05.17

    How often do we drink a beer?? (or several). It is funny how often we ca enjoy something without having ANY idea about how it’s made!

    Well, brewtalk.org shows you exactly the process of industrial brewing.

    Let us take a tour to the most famous breweries in the world!!

    Rogue Ales brewery tour


    Chimay brewery tour

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    Lighthouse brewery tour

    Samuel Adams brewery tour

    Brewery history

    2009 - 04.13

    God bless the Germans, or the Czechs….?????

    The oldest brewery in the world is believed to be the German state-owned Weihenstephan brewery in the city of Freising, Bavaria. It can trace its history back to 1040 A.D. (although the Zatec brewery in the Czech Republic claims it can prove that it paid a beer tax in 1004 A.D.).

    File:16thCenturyBrewer.jpg

    Early breweries typically used large copper vats in the brewhouse, and fermentation and packaging took place in lined wooden containers. Such breweries were common until the Industrial Revolution, when better materials became available, and scientific advances led to a better understanding of the brewing process. Today, almost all brewery equipment is made of stainless steel.

    Brewery…

    2009 - 03.09

    A brewery is a dedicated building for the making of beer, though beer can be made at home, and has been for much of beer’s history. A company which makes beer is called either a brewery or a brewing company.

    The diversity of size in breweries is matched by the diversity of processes, degrees of automation, and kinds of beer produced in breweries. Typically a brewery is divided into distinct sections, with each section reserved for one part of the brewing process.

    Work in the brewery is typically divided into 7 steps: Mashing, Lautering, Boiling, Fermenting, Conditioning, Filtering, and Filling.

    Homebrewing overview…

    2009 - 02.09

    Alcohol has been brewed domestically (homebrew) throughout its 7000-year history beginning in Mesopotamia, Egypt and China. Knowledge of brewing beer and wine was passed on from the Egyptians to the Greeks and finally to the Romans. People homebrew for a variety of reasons. Homebrewing can be cheaper than buying commercially equivalent beverages; it can allow people to adjust recipes to their own tastes (creating beverages that are unavailable on the open market, or low-ethanol beverages which may contain less calories and so be less-fattening); or people may enjoy entering homebrew competitions.

    Sometimes referred to as “craft brewing”, homebrewing has developed various homebrewing clubs and competitions. The Beer Judge Certification Program or BJCP is an American organization which sanctions beer, mead, and cider homebrew competitions, certifies judges, and offers categories for judging; these judging categories are called “Beer Style Guidelines” and are written by the BJCP Style Committee. Similar British organisations are The National Guild of Wine and Beer Judges, who have judging categories for both beer, and wine; and the National Association of Wine and Beermakers (Amateur) – (NAWB), who have held an annual show every year since 1959.