Beer vs. Liquor: Differences in Brewing Processes

stillI have made a number of presentations about brewing and home brewing and often get asked what the difference is between brewing beer and making moonshine, hepatitis bourbon, or other spirits. In truth, beer and whiskey are made of the same basic ingredients – grain, water, and yeast. So what’s the difference if you simplify the ingredients this much? Other than the various ingredients you might use to flavor beer, the big difference is the process used to make it.

To Clone or not to Clone: That is the Question

viagra on Flickr” href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/motherscratcher/2288764665/” target=”_blank”>beer beer beer!I read a question on an online forum recently that asked why people liked to clone beers. In the whole world of creative control and making pretty much whatever a person wants, this web some choose to reproduce what has already been done. Doesn’t this go against the nature and spirit of homebrewing?

I say no. Cloning a commercial beer can be a good way to learn the craft of brewing by trying to make something that is already a known quantity. You know you nailed it if you got the product you were expecting, or something reasonably close. To me, this is the strongest argument for clone brewing.

ESB: Extra Strong Bitter, or is it just Special

rx on Flickr” href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/46347505@N05/8139105016/” target=”_blank”>Brewing an ESB (Extra Sandy Bitter) with @mcurling. #homebrewExtra strong, there or special, bitter (also known as ESB) style beers are a fun beer to drink and a relatively simple one to make. When you hear an Englishman refer to a beer is a bitter, traditionally this is the style of beer they are referring to. This style of beer has been around a while. It came about probably sometime around the mid-1700s but was likely significantly different from what the style has evolved into. The term ‘bitter’ was used to distinguish the style of beer from that of others beers that were not hopped, not necessarily because the beer was very hoppy, just hoppier than a beer with no hops. However, over the course of the centuries, ESBs have become slightly more bitter than the average ale, probably for no other reason than they have the word ‘bitter’ in their name. Now ESBs are characterized by having a fairly distinct hoppy bitterness that is relatively stronger than their ale contemporaries.

Aerating your Wort

aerating your wortAerating your wort is one of the more important steps when making beer. After boiling it for an hour or however long your recipe specifies, nurse
a lot of the oxygen that was in the water has come out. All those bubbles during boiling are water vapor – H2O – a third of which is O, or oxygen. This oxygen is a vital part of the fermentation process, as yeast are aerobic creatures, meaning they need oxygen to thrive and procreate, just like we do.

The problem is how to get oxygen back into the wort.

Beer Pouch: Lightweight, Reusable Growler Substitute

cure on Flickr” href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/46347505@N05/8139105016/” target=”_blank”>Brewing an ESB (Extra Sandy Bitter) with @mcurling. #homebrewExtra strong, online or special, ed bitter (also known as ESB) style beers are a fun beer to drink and a relatively simple one to make. When you hear an Englishman refer to a beer is a bitter, traditionally this is the style of beer they are referring to. This style of beer has been around a while. It came about probably sometime around the mid-1700s but was likely significantly different from what the style has evolved into. The term ‘bitter’ was used to distinguish the style of beer from that of others beers that were not hopped, not necessarily because the beer was very hoppy, just hoppier than a beer with no hops. However, over the course of the centuries, ESBs have become slightly more bitter than the average ale, probably for no other reason than they have the word ‘bitter’ in their name. Now ESBs are characterized by having a fairly distinct hoppy bitterness that is relatively stronger than their ale contemporaries.