Sunday, February 28, 2010

homebrew beer recipes and recipe calculators

I have been looking to streamline my beer making process. Granted, it is easy to purchase a kit and then brew it, but i am going to compose and brew my own recipes this year. I have a series of two steps already in place but feel they need to be smoothed out further. By smoothed out I mean fine tuned by opinions of fellow home brewers as to where the best places are to get feedback, equipment, grains, etc. Any and all input is appreciated.

Step 1: recipe composition.
A chum of mine, Maggie shared a link to a homebrew recipe calculator site (click here). In it you can compose and save your beer recipes and share them with others (if you choose to).

After looking at the different options for ingredients I became both overwhelmed and excited as all get out at the options available for use in beer recipes (what is carafoam?). The convenience that this service provides makes recipe making a lot less intimidating, and thus more approachable. As a result I have made it a goal to make a new beer every month (i already owe a friend a porter to be named after him).

Step 2: Material sourcing
I keep in touch with the homebrew, beer, and wine appreciation club I was a part of while i lived in MN (should you be in MN, the group is called the Worthogs). They have suggested the following places for equipment, grains, hops, etc.

  • Northern Brewer = Great selection of material for both home brewers & wine makers at all levels of experience. Perhaps the most attractive quality for this company is their optional $7.99 flat rate shipping.
  • Brew & Grow = A business that specializes in horticulture (advice, equipment & material) and home brewing supplies. I do not believe they provide wine making supplies (my Chicago branch does not as of my last visit to them). The benefit to using them is that they are a company with a local branch that is a nice bike-ride away, and when visiting they can provide advice in real-time.

With that, I turn it over to you: Are there other sites or businesses that you frequent for brewing advice, equipment, grains, etc that you have found to be helpful and worth spending money/time at? Let me know.

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