Plate chillers: perks and pitfalls

These days I’m all about increasing the efficiency of my brew day. Anything that moves things along faster is worth a little extra effort, in my view. So when it comes time to chill my wort, I always opt for a plate chiller. In some ways, I prefer using an immersion chiller, but those take a lot longer to do the job. Being able to take my brew from boiling to fermenting in 3 to 5 minutes flat makes the small amount of extra cleaning and maintenance that comes with a plate chiller well worthwhile. Plate chillers have an amazing ability to draw the heat out of your wort. Here’s how they work: cold water runs through plates in one...

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The benefits of electrical brew-in-a-bag systems

Brew-in-a-bag systems have been catching on like crazy over the past five years. And it’s no wonder. BIAB is a great option for any home brewer – both new brewers and veterans alike. Whether you’re ready to take the step up from brewing from extracts or you’re looking to downsize and simplify your brewing system, there are a lot of advantages to going the BIAB route. I used to brew with a traditional three-vessel brewery – I invested a lot of time and money into my system, in fact. But after all that, I’ve realized that the BIAB method is preferable. You can get exactly the same flavour profile from a BIAB system as you can from the most expensive...

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Tips for the new home brewer

I like to think that brewing is in my blood. My father is a baker so experimenting with yeast has been his lifelong passion. I love it, too. Yeast is alchemy. You’re not always in control of it and that’s what makes it exciting.  Before I started brewing beer, I had these romantic ideas of what it would be like. I had visions of a brewer as this semi-mystical character, half magician and half mad scientist, creating delicious potions and brews in a dimly lit basement. Little did I know. I soon discovered that brewing is more about careful sanitation and temperature control than magic. But the constant challenges of home-brewing are what hooked me right away. I like having...

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