Tasty Brew

Beer, Brewing

Tasty brew is a great resource for starting recipes. I like to use it to find the base of a style I might be aiming for from time to time. There are also several tips and tricks on the site you can use to find out how to be a better Brewer. Check it out here www.tastybrew.com.


508 Gastrobrewery

Bars, Beer, Beer Styles, Brewing, Business, History, NY Pro Am Brew PIT

I was lucky enough to go check out the 508 Gastrobrewery system the other day. (And more lucky because I’ll be brewing a batch of beer with it in a couple weeks!). It’s a pretty amazing set up. The brewery was kind of an afterthought for the restaurant and what you can find in there right now is little more than what you might expect to find in an overzealous homebrewer’s garage.

In the end it gets the job done and Chris Cuzme knows his setup well. Producing unique beers like THE BACON CHEESEBRÜGER. Where they actually smoke the malt over some delicious bacon burgers. Unfortunately they were out of the beer when I came in so I never had a chance to enjoy it but I’m sure it was delightful.

I did try everything else on the wall and some of my favorites were the M.V.B. and American Wheat Beer that doesn’t really drink like a wheat beer at all. It had a great body with a hint of having a wheat past but really reminded me more of an summer ale. I also really enjoyed the Rice Cream Ale a tribute to “The King of Beers”. So tasty it makes me wonder why Bud can’t get their S together and make a better brew themselves.

Also, Tuesday nights are $5 beer nights and Chris leads a live Jazz session on the sax. A great night to stop by and enjoy some music, great beer and delicious food.



Cayenne Pepper

Beer, Beer Styles, Brewing, Ingredients, Recipe

I recently created a beer that included cayenne pepper in the mix. I used about 1.5 ounces for my 5 gallon batch and I was pleasantly surprised with the outcome. It didn’t leave the traditional sting on my mouth most oils from other peppers do when I have them in beer.

It may be because I used the powdered version. I did supply some nice heat to the beer but was only present after you had a complete swig of the beer. It was a nice compliment to the sweet flavors coming across in the beer and definitely gave me more hope for future explorations with peppers in my recipes.

I added it at flame out which was plenty of time of it to build into the wort without overpowering everything. What surprised me most is how apparent it was when I tasted the wort, then almost completely gone right before the cold crash. By the final tasting though it was right about where I wanted it to be.

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Photo: Pink Sherbet Photography

Bottling Beer From A Keg

Beer, Brewing, Engineering, Equipment

If you’ve ever tried to move your beer over from a keg to a bottle or growler you’ve probably noticed that it’s tough to keep the carbonation up in the bottle. That’s because when you move it over from the keg at the standard PSI you basically shake out all the CO2 on it’s way into the bottle.

A good way to keep the bubbles in your suds is to use a beer gun. You can buy these if you want but they’re fairly easy and inexpensive to make. Some big things to keep in mind are, keep the PSI low when bottling, pre-chill your bottles to prevent foaming, and push out as much oxygen as possible during the process.

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Photo: Alison Benbow

Pre-heating Your Mash Tun

Beer, Brewing, Engineering, Equipment, Recipe

I have a converted 10 gallon igloo cooler for my mash tun and I have tried preheating vs higher strike water temperatures to maintain a consistent mash temperature several times.

With all the times I’ve tried this in my set up it seems that preheating the tun is the way to go. It may seem small if the temperature only varies in a few degrees but those few degrees have screwed up my efficiencies on several batches.

All I do to heat mine up is heat about a gallon of water to 200°F and toss it in the tun and let it sit for about 20 mins with the lid on. I don’t heat it to the boiling point as to reduce wear and tear on my cooler, the boiling temp is a bit too high for it and can potentially warp it.

This works well for me anyway since I’m waiting for the other 6 or so gallons of water to hit the right temperature I’m looking for.

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Mash Out

Beer, Brewing, Engineering, Equipment, Recipe

Mashing out is an important step of the process that has all kinds of science built into it. I’ve done plenty of brews where I didn’t mash out due to not enough time and have still made many a tasty brew. But why not continue to control your brewing methods? It means more repeatable tasty brews down the line.

Here’s the key things to know about mashing out.

  1. It protects your fermentable sugar profile by stopping any enzymatic actions.
  2. It makes the grain bed and wort more fluid. Meaning better clarity in your brew!

What is a mash out? Essentially it’s raising the temperature of your mash to 170°F to stop the enzymatic reactions.

How much water you use depends on batch size and grain amount so be sure to do your calculations for a mash out ahead of time!

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Photo: Kelly Teague