Tips & Techniques

CLEANING / SANITIZING

We have some favorite cleansers and sanitizers around the brewery and for our own homebrewing. PBW & Star San go hand in hand when we need to prep all of our homebrew supplies.

 

PBW (Powdered Brewery Wash) 
We use this to clean almost all of our equipment. We usually use about 2-3 tablespoons in a 5 gallon bucket of water. You can soak equipment overnight in PBW solution & rinse the next morning. Most of the time you won't even have to grab your scrub brush & anything caked on in hard to reach spots will be gone. This chemical will not damage rubber gaskets, soft metals, or your skin, but wearing gloves never hurt. You can keep a small bucket of PBW solution around to soak and clean small parts during your brew day, and it can be recirculated through pumps and chillers to remove debris. Cleaning kegs and bottles is also easier with PBW and will not cause any harm. We LOVE this stuff, it works on almost anything, even things like carpet, or plastics with stains. PBW rinses clean and then the item is ready to be sanitized. This is where Star San comes in. 

 

Star San Sanitizer
Star San is our preferred sanitizer in homebrewing and the brewery. Star San is an acid-based, foaming, no-rinse sanitizer that is very effective and super easy to use. You only need 1oz of Star San per 5 gallons of water, and only 1 to 2 minutes of contact time. Star San can be used as a soaking solution or applied with a spray bottle. We suggest using gloves with Star San, while it is safe to use on all surfaces, it is still an acid and can ruin soft rubber, metal, and plastic, so keep contact to a minimum. Star San will remain effective to use for up to three to four weeks in a sealed container, so we like to keep it in spray bottles or in a small 2 gallon bucket with a lid! A spray bottle filled with Star San is the best way to check for leaks on your kegging system and Co2 lines!

Food Grade Phoshporic Acid = Safe for people and environmentally
Self foaming, gets into all the nooks and crannies
No odor or flavor, won't affect your wine or beer!
No Rinsing at correct dilution

 

EXTRACTS + ADJUNCTS

CITRUS ZEST/JUICE

When using citrus in brewing, you can use the rind or the flesh. The rind of the citrus has more aromatic qualities, so zesting the rind and adding it to the beer will give that citrus aroma without too much bitterness/ astringency. Lime, lemon, grapefruit, and orange all make great additions to beer.


Citrus fruit flavors range from sweet to tart and add a delicious refreshing quality to your beer. Citrus fruits are notable for their fragrance but the juice contains a large quantity of citric acid that can really brighten up your beer.


You can add citrus juice and zest at the end of flameout, in secondary fermentation, or add directly to a keg. If you're worried about wild yeast or bacteria present on the fruit, we suggest adding citrus at flameout. The wort will be hot enough to kill any wild yeast or bacteria, but not volatilize off any aromatics or add too much bitterness.


If this is something you're going to be drinking from a keg and aren't worried about contamination, we recommend adding directly to the keg for the most intense flavor contribution. We like to use a course nylon bag to add zest to a beer, to extract as much of the flavor as we can.


How To:
Wash / Scrub all citrus
Zest citrus, but be sure to not get the white pith of the rind, it will add a unwanted bitterness.
Squeeze juice from citrus after zested
Some Beer Styles that go well with Citrus:
Sours
Wheat
Lagers
Saison
IPA

 

 

 

FLAKED MAIZE (CORN)

Flaked maize is produced from yellow corn and is used as an un-malted adjunct grain in home brewing. It has it's germ and oil removed, and is produced by being run through hot rollers to flatten. It can be used to lighten beer body, color, and flavor, and also provide depth of character in lighter beers.
 
Flaked corn can account for as much as 20-40% of the total grain bill and does contribute to alcohol production. Flaked corn does not completely ferment though, which is why it can add a slight corn flavor to beer. Add it directly to the mash with the other malts. It does not need to be milled though – this can cause an extra gummy, hard to manage mash.
 
Beer Styles using Flaked Maize:
Cream Ales
American Lagers
Mexican Lagers
English Bitters
Pale Ale
Classic American Pilsners

DME

Dry Malt Extract (DME) is an extract made using a version of processing similar to All Grain Brewing. Mixing malted grains with water, this allows enzymes to break down starches in the malted seed. Once anything insoluble is removed the result is a sugary liquid, which then goes through an additional dehydration step to make a powder. 
DME is something every homebrewer should have on hand, regardless of all grain brewing or not. It is great for the creation of yeast starters, gives you the ability to correct specific gravity errors, and can help achieve the correct quantity of malt needed for a recipe (just incase you did your math wrong). Dry malt extract is available in Wheat, Golden Light, Pale, Pilsen, Amber, and Dark. Extracts that are darker in color have had crystal/caramel malts added in during the processing stage. 

Pilsen – Pilsners and Golden Ales
Light/Pale – Pales, IPA's, & Yeast Starters
Wheat – Wheat Beers
Amber – Ambers and Reds
Dark – Porter and Stout

 

WHIRLFLOC

Whirlfloc Tablets are a blend of Irish Moss & purified carrageenan that is used as a clarifying agent during the boil in homebrewing. 

Adding one tablets per 5 gallon batch within the last 15 minutes of boil time will promote clarity by helping coagulate and settle haze producing proteins in your beer. 

 

CORIANDER

Coriander adds a lemony, spicy flavor and aroma to beers. It is commonly found in Belgian ales, especially Witbiers, but also can be found in Saisons, Goses, and even richer Belgian beers. Coriander is generally used in small portions, but can add large flavors. It should be treated similar to a late hops addition, less time in the boil results in a more pungent aroma. 

For delicious results, use ½ to 1 oz. of coriander per 5 gallon batch, during the last 2-5 minuets of the boil. Don't forget to crack the seeds before adding! We do not recommend adding coriander as an addition in secondary fermentation because it will add an incredibly dominant coriander note that will overpower any other flavors.

If you're interested in experimenting more with coriander, we recommend toasting the seeds in a hot pan for several minutes, until aromatic. This will open up a lot more of the natural flavors in the seed. You can then gently crush and add to the boil.

  

SWEET ORANGE PEEL

Sweet Orange Peel is going to give you a more intense, sweet (obviously) candy like orange flavor. It's popular in holiday beers or Belgian wheat beers and pairs well with other spices like cloves, cinnamon, paradise seeds. 

Brewing:
Add 1.0 ounce (14–28 grams) of dried orange peel 5 to 15 minutes before the end of the boil, will give you a rich orange aroma.

“Dry Hopping” Second Fermentation Flavoring:
Dry hopping is really up to the brewer. The intensity of anything you dry hop is going to increase the longer you leave it in there. The amount of orange flavor you're going for will decide how long to leave the sweet orange peel in there. We recommend sampling the beer to achieve that desired taste! Use a nylon bag or stainless steel hopper to “dry hop” these additives. You can steep in hot water for 10 minutes and add to your 
secondary.

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SPENT GRAIN

SPENT GRAIN BANANA PECAN BREAD
 
We love trying to figure out new ways to use our spent grain around here. We took a banana bread recipe and changed it up a bit to account for the spent grain. This banana bread comes out moist and delicious - we love the addition of spent grain in the texture and because it was from a Rauchbier recipe, it added a slightly smokey flavor!
 
1 cup Spent Grain (we used wet spent grain for this recipe)
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup white sugar
3 tbsp brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons room temperature butter
3 extra-ripe bananas
2 eggs
1/4 cup crushed pecans
 
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Combine dry ingredients in a medium sized bowl with a fork.
Flour, Salt, White Sugar, Baking Powder
4. Stir in the butter and eggs until fully mixed.
5. Add the wet spent grain into the bowl and combine
6. Add the bananas, we mashed them with a fork on the side of the bowl. Then stir them into your batter along with the crushed pecans and brown sugar.
7. Prepare your baking pan or bread pan with non-stick spray.
8. Bake for about 1 hour (depending on oven) or until the top browns and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

 

 

 

PIZZA DOUGH

Spent grain is the leftover malt and adjuncts after the mash has extracted most of the sugars, proteins, and nutrients.

Because of the different beer recipes you can get spent grain from, this makes for a different pizza almost every time you make it. The one thing we love about spent grain pizza is how malty it is in flavor. This recipe makes a textured spent grain pizza dough. We wanted to be able to really know this was spent grain pizza dough, so there is no breaking down of the spent grain, just add it in with the flour! 

Spent Grain Pizza Dough:
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups spent grain
1 envelope active dry yeast
3/4 cup warm water
3/4 tsp salt
3 tbs olive oil

Start out by pouring warm water into small bowl or measuring cup & stir in yeast packet, this way it has time to get nice and bubbly while we get other things together. While this is happening we can mix flour, spent grain, sugar, and salt in a stand mixer, or with a fork. The yeast should only take about 5 minutes, so it can now be added to the dry ingredients along with the olive oil.

Mix to combine and then knead dough until smooth (mixture will be sticky - you can always add more flour while kneading if necessary). Once smooth (it will not be entirely smooth because of spent grain), coat a bowl with olive oil  let it rise in a warm spot.

In about an hour you should have a dough that has doubled in size, and you can transfer to sheet pan and start pressing down dough, stretching to sides of pan. We like a really crunchy pizza crust so we put the dough in the oven first, before adding toppings. This just needs about 3 minutes or so. You can then add whatever toppings you'd like & pop back into oven for 10 minutes or so, until everything is bubbly and delicious looking!

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HOP RHIZOMES

RHIZOMES

Hop Rhizomes are small roots that are cut from the main root system of a mature female hop plant.

How To Plant:

As a rule of thumb, hops are not very difficult to plant or maintain. The two biggest factors to keep in mind are sunlights and drainage. The hop plant will want full sun exposure in order to thrive and grow to it's full potential. It can grow anywhere from 15-30 vertical feet – which means 6-8 hours of sun a day is prime. An area that is naturally sloped or has been manually sloped is ideal, because rhizomes like soil that remains moist but drains well.

Plant the rhizome vertically with the buds pointing upwards. If you cannot see any buds, plant your rhizome horizontally. You will need about 1 – 2 inches of soil above your rhizome, whichever way you plant it. Similar rhizomes can be planted 3ft apart, while different species should be planted between 5-7ft apart.

Once the hop plant reaches about 1ft in height, you will need to begin training the bines. We recommend using coir yarn, as it is sturdy and will not dry out and rot, causing your entire hop plant to crash to the ground & snap. Once you choose your healthy bines to train, you may cut away any other bines that come up.


PICKLED HOP SHOOTS

Did you know you can pickle hop shoots & they are delicious?!

Grab a pair of scissors and snip the smaller hop shoots that come up away from your coir yarn & get ready to pickle! 

Here's a quick pickle recipe we like to use:

½ cup vinegar
1 Tbsp. sugar
2 tsp. kosher salt
2 cups water

Heat ingredients in a saucepan until sugar and salt are dissolved - while that's heating up rinse your hop shoots and pack into a jar along with any other herbs, garlic cloves, or spices you'd like!

Once sugar and salt is dissolved, pour into jar with hop shoots. Let sit at room temp or in the fridge for 2 days before tasting! They're delicious alongside a charcuterie board, on top of pizza, or even with scrambled eggs!

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KEGERATORS

ANATOMY OF A STANDARD FAUCET

1.FAUCET KNOB: Handle that connects to and controls the lever.
2. LEVER COLLAR: Metal that holds the faucet lever assembly in place.
3. LEVER BONNET: Creates friction necessary to open and close beer faucet.
4. FRICTION WASHER: Creates friction to prevent lever from sliding loosely during use.
5. BALL WASHER: Seals faucet to prevent spray
6. LEVER: Metal piece that controls the opening and closing of the internal valve.
7. FAUCET BODY: Directs the flow of beer through the spout to your glass.
8. COUPLING WASHER: Seats the faucet to the shank for a leak-free connection.
9. SHAFT: Connects to lever and is pushed forward or back to control the flow of liquid.
10. SEATING WASHER: Seals the valve to stop the flow of beer.
11. SHAFT NUT: Metal fastener that secures the shaft seat to the shaft.
12. FAUCET SHAFT ASSEMBLY: The term used for the shaft, seat, and nut when one unit.