Homebrewing Brewers Blog

West Coast Brewer Home Brewing Blog

The Kegerator Has Been Filled

The Kegerator has been filled to capacity once again thanks to lots of holiday home brewing. I am carbonating a hazy New England IPA and MoreBeer’s Hop Gatherer IPA. I plan on reviewing them in a week or two once they are fully carbonated and have some time to condition.

I dry hopped both of these batches, but what was unique about the Hop Gatherer IPA beer kit is that it came with something I had not previously used, Chinook distilled Hop oil. It comes in a tiny vial but smells incredibly potent! It is used as an alternative to dry hopping but I decided to use it in conjunction to help really develope the aroma in this West Coast IPA!

Distilled Hop Oil

Distilled Hop Oil

As you can see from the photo above, the vial is tiny and only holds about 10 drops or so of the distilled Hop oil. I dumped it right in to the keg immediately prior to putting the hatch on the keg to carbonate. The oil smelled strong to say the least. I put the empty vial on a shelf and my garage still smells like hops, which makes me happy; talk about aromatherapy!

Getting a little inspiration for my next Hazy IPA

Green Cheek Brewing Hazy IPA

Getting some liquid inspiration at Greek Cheek Brewery in Orange, California.  They are making some of the very best Hazy IPA’s in that area if you have the chance to check them out!

MoreBeer.com Promo Code for 10% Off All Grain and Extract Home Brewing Kits

MoreBeer.com Promo Code for 10% Off All Grain and Extract Home Brewing Kits

MoreBeer.com Promo Code for 10% Off All Grain and Extract Home Brewing Kits

More Beer Coupon Codes for January, 2018
MoreBeer.com Promo Code Date: 1-5-2018 to 1-7-2018
More Beer Promo Code: Enter Code BHY18 at Check OutCoupon Code Description: Enter the More Beer promo code BHY18 at check out and save yourself 10% off home beer brewing recipe kits. This is More Beer’s way of wishing you a Happy New Year and a Happy Brew Year! Orders over $59 will also qualify for free shipping, making this an incredible deal.  So now is a great time to stock up on some of their most popular home brewing recipe kits like Pliny the Elder, Blind Pig, Haze Craze and more! This deal is good for both extract beer brewing kits and all grain brewing recipe kits.

Click here for the More Beer Beer Kit Promotion:

HOME BREWING RECIPE KIT PROMO CODE

 

Dry Hopping My Hazy IPA

 

I added my first round of dry hops to my new Hazy – New England style IPA.  As opposed to adding the hops to the beer after the fermentation has completed which is typically for a West Coast style IPA, with a Hazy you add it early in the fermentation; in this case after 3 days.  I will do a second round of dry hopping at day 7 of the fermentation as well. At this point I added 2 ounces of Mosaic hops and 1 ounce of Citra hops.  The fermentation chamber is smelling incredible to say the least!

Home Brewing for the Holidays

Adding Hops to the Boil

I was fortunate enough to get a little time off of work before New Year’s and decided to try and make the best of it!  I was able to dedicated a good deal of time to some home brewing projects and all in all I was able to brew 4 batches.  I made a 5 gallon batch of hard cider that I am aging on Oregon tart cherries, I brewed an Irish Stout that I am again on Irish Whiskey oak cubes, coffee and Irish Cream flavoring which I am calling car bomb, MoreBeer’s Hop Gatherer IPA which uses distilled hop oil and a slightly modified version of More Beer New England Style IPA called Haze Craze, their Hazy IPA.  In the coming weeks I will post recipes and reviews on all of them. For now, here are some photos from my most recent home beer brewing sessions.

 

Home Brewing Mash of an Irish Stout

Home Brewing Mash of an Irish Stout on a Blichmann 20 Gallon Mash Tun

 

Recirculating the mash using my stainless steel RIMS temperature controller and More Beer Stainless Steel Ultimate Sparge Arm

Recirculating the mash using my stainless steel RIMS temperature controller and More Beer Stainless Steel Ultimate Sparge Arm

 

Transferring my stout to my stainless steel SS BrewTech 7 Gallon Conical Fermenter

Transferring my stout to my stainless steel SS BrewTech 7 Gallon Conical Fermenter

 

New WestCoastBrewer.com Website

New West Coast Brewer Website

New West Coast Brewer Website

Happy and Hoppy New Year!  With the arrival of 2018, WestCoastBrewer.com is going to get a new look and feel! It will be a bit of a work in progress, fixing all of the broken links as the website transitions to its new format, so please hang in there with us. Ultimately it should be a big improvement to the old website! We hope that 2018 brings you only the best and plenty of good homebrew!

Give The Gift Of Home Beer Brewing!

Give The Gift Of Home Beer Brewing! #homebrew #homebrewing #gift #beer #brewing #kits

Give The Gift Of Home Beer Brewing! #homebrew #homebrewing #gift #beer #brewing #kits

 

With the Holidays upon us and people scrambling to find the perfect gift, tis the season to give the gift of home beer brewing! 

 

A beer brewing kit is one of those gifts that any beer fan is thrilled to receive! Not only does it provide the recipient with a batch of their very own home brewed beer to enjoy, it also educates them on the beer brewing process! With one of these home beer making kits, you actually produce beer similarly to how current craft breweries make beer; only on a smaller scale.  You doing everything from boil wort and add hops additions to pitch yeast and ferment your beer!

 

Over the last several years, home beer brewing has really surged in popularity and there are several options out there for home brewing kits.  There are a few things to consider when picking the perfect beer making kit.

 

1 Batch Size: Most beginner home beer making kits will come in either a 1 gallon or 5 gallon size.  The 1 gallon kits are typically less expensive, but if you can afford the 5 gallon kits, I highly recommend them.  I know 1 gallon of beer sounds like a lot, but it is only about 8 glasses of beer and will go very quickly if shared with friends!  A 5 gallon kit is only about twice the cost of the 1 gallon kits, so it is a much better value.

 

2 What Does The Kit Include: There are few things more frustraiting  than brewing your batch of beer and then at the very end realizing that you are missing a critical item and your beer is ruined! So make sure that you purchase a complete kit, so home beer brewing kits do not even include the beer ingredients or yeast!

 

3 Cost: It is easy to spend way to much for a home beer brewing kit, especially when brewing kettles and shipping charges come in to play. I have listed 3 kits that are a great price, include everything needed to start brewing a batch of beer and ship free when the order is $59 or higher!

 

Home Beer Brewing Kit #1

This is the home beer brewing kit that I would recommend if you are on a tight budget or only want to brew 1 gallon beer batches.  With this kit, you will need to supply the brew kettle, but just about any large kitchen pot will do the trick! Click Here to purchase this home made beer brewing kit.

 

Home Beer Brewing Kit

Home Beer Brewing Kit #homebrew #homebrewer #homebrewing

 

 

Home Beer Brewing Kit #2

This is the best deal out there for a 5 gallon home beer brewing kit, especially when you consider that it ships for free, comes with a 5 gallon stainless steel brewing kettle and a beer ingredient kit! Click Here to purchase this 5 gallon beer brewing kit.

 

5 Gallon Home Beer Brewing Kit

5 Gallon Home Beer Brewing Kit

 

 

Home Beer Brewing Kit #3

Lastly is a premium home beer brewing kit that comes with some advanced home brewing items including a copper wort chiller and upgraded 8.5 gallon stainless steel brewing kettle with a valve. This is a fantastic home brewing kit to get started with!  Click here to purchase this home brewing kit.

Premium Home Beer Brewing Kit

Premium Home Beer Brewing Kit

 

If you have any questions on home brewing or need any advice, please feel free to reach out to me, I am always happy yo help when I can.

MoreBeer.com Black Friday Sale Going On Now! Save Up To 50% On Home Brewing Gear!

The MoreBeer.com Black Friday Home Brewing Sale

Limited time and quantity More Beer Coupon
More Beer Coupon Codes for the Month of November, 2017
Coupon Code Date: 11-24-2017 Only
Promo Code Details: More Beer Black Friday Sale! Save Up To 50%!
Promo Code: MORE BEER BLACK FRIDAY SALE

Coupon Code Description:  This is hands down the best home brewing sale day of the year and More Beer has some incredible homebrew deals going on right now, plus you will get FREE SHIPPING on orders over $59!  One of the highlights today is their home brewing deal on a GRAIN FATHER home brewing system! Today Only, SAVE $200 + FREE SHIPPING! This is the  Bluetooth Connected All Grain Brewing System Version as well with all of the bells and whistles.

Grain Father Promo Code #homebrew #homebrewing #beer #brewing #System #GrainFather

Grain Father Promo Code #homebrew #homebrewing #beer #brewing #System #GrainFather

Save up to 50% During the More Beer Black Friday Sale on a variety of home brewing items including More Beer’s temperature controller Conical Fermenter!

 

Black Friday Homebrew Sale

Plus save a bundle on other home brewing items like stainless steel conical fermenters, home brewing starter kits, wort chillers, mash paddles and more!
Click here for to take advantage of this limited time coupon code from MoreBeer:

MOREBEER.COM BLACK FRIDAY SALE

 

Home Brewing Coupon Code Found At:  HomeBrewingCupon.com

 

Check out the 10 Best Home Brewing Gift Ideas at HomebrewingDeal.com

Top 10 Best Holiday Home Brewing Gift Ideas

Top 10 Best Holiday Home Brewing Gift Ideas

 

Tis the season for Homebrewing! It is not always easy to find that perfect Holiday gift for your boss, Father In Law, Dad, Boyfriend, Girlfriend or Beer Lover in your life. So with the Holiday Season quickly approaching, we thought this was the perfect time for our Top 10 Best Home Brewer Holiday Gift Ideas! This year we tried to select a variety of the very best home brewer holiday gifts that accommodate a wide range of home brewing budgets as well as home brewing gift ideas for every beer brewing experience level from advanced home brewers to someone who loves beer and is looking to try their hand at home beer brewing for the first time. So with out further ado, here is the HomeBrewingDeal.com Top 10 List for Best Home Brewing Gifts Ideas of 2017!

Click Here to View the List!

Making Hard Apple Cider At Home!

How to make hard cider at home #cider #brew #brewing #hard #howto

How to make hard cider at home #cider #brew #brewing #hard #howto

I have been an avid home brewer for over 8 years now and In that time I have probably brewed more than 70 batches of home made beer. I will always love beer and brewing it, but sometimes it is fun to trying something different. Not to mention, sometimes the different seasons of the year impact what my taste buds desire. With fall is upon us, I figured I would try brewing up a batch of hard apple cider and add a little diversity to my kegerator selection!

 

So I started to do a little research on home cider making, and just like home brewing, there are a few ways to go about making cider at home. Some methods are simple and others are a little more complicated and require more equipment. Since this is my first time trying my hand at home apple cider making, I figured I would keep it simple and use one of the home apple cider making kits that are available on the market. One of the great things about these home cider making kits is that they include almost everything you need to get started making your first batch of cider! One thing to be aware of is that most of the cider making kits that I checked out do require you to supply dextrose / corn sugar; so if that is the case with the kit you purchase, make sure you purchase some. You can also pick up optional items to personalize your home cider making recipe. For instance, I also decided to add some medium toast American oak cubes to my batch of home made hard apple cider to add a little additional complexity to my cider; it is not required to make a great hard cider but I think it will be a nice touch.

 

Here is a list of the items that I purchased for my batch of home made hard apple cider. You can click any of the links for more information or if you need to purchase any of the items:

1) Cider House 6 Gallon Home Cider Kit
(There are a variety of kits available, this was one I found at a good price)
2) Wyeast Liquid Cider & Mead Yeast
(The kit actually comes with yeast, but I figured I would step things up a notch with some specialized liquid yeast)
3) Toasted American Oak Cudes
(Not required but should enhance the complexity of the cider)
4) 3 LBS of Corn Sugar / Dextrose
(The recipe called for 2 LBS but I like to live on the edge)

STEP 1 – Read Your Cider Making Instructions

I know it is boring and you just want to get started, but…. it is always wise to read all of your instructions and home cider making recipe first.  Sometimes your kit may not include all of the ingredients you need or you may be missing an import piece of hardware that you will need to make your cider and this is your chance to determine that before it is too late!  You will probably also enjoy the process more if you understand what it is that you are doing before you begin.  Now that we have have that out of the way, we can get down to business and make some hard apple cider!

 

STEP 2 – Boiling Water & Sugar

After reading all of the directions that were included with my home cider making kit, I was pleased to learn how simple the process was. Step #1 was to boil 1 gallon of water with the dextrose that I purchased. The dextrose that I used was actually initially purchased for carbonating beer, but since I almost always keg now, I decided it to put it to good use for my batch of home made hard cider!

Corn Sugar - Dextrose for making cider at home

Corn Sugar – Dextrose for making cider at home

 

I used a large stainless steel kettle to heat 1 gallon of water.  Once the water was hot, I began to add the dextrose and slowly stir it.

 

How to make hard cider #cider

How to make hard cider #cider

 

Make sure that you use a large enough pot to boil the water and dextrose. If the boil becomes to rapid, you can have a boil over and those are no fun to clean up!  I let my water and sugar boil for approximately 10 minutes and then turned the burner off. At that point your should let your water and dextrose solution cool down.  You can either let it sit in an ice bath with a lid covering the kettle, use an immersion chiller or add some ice to the kettle; just be careful to keep everything sanitary.

 

Animated Cider Making Gif

Animated Cider Making Gif

STEP 3 – Clean, Sanitize & Prepare Your Fermentor

 

Just like home beer and wine making, cleanliness and sanitization are critical to making great cider! At this point you will want to make sure that you clean and then sanitize anything that will come in contact with your cider or water dextrose solution! Both the water and apple cider concentrate are loaded with sugars and any bacteria or wild yeast strains lurking about would just love to get hold of it! So make sure you sanitize your fermentor and any implements that will come in contact with your home made cider.  I recommend Star San, but you can use any odorless and tasteless food grade sanitizer.

 

The cider fermentor that I use is a 7 gallon stainless steel fermenter which I first cleaned with PBW and then sanitized with Star San. If you are looking for an incredible cider fermenter, I highly recommend this one and you can get it for a great price and with free shipping. You can also use plastic fermentation buckets, or glass carboys as cider fermentors. If using a glass carboy, just be very careful not to add boiling hot liquids as the fermentors can shatter making for an incredibly dangerous situation! There are also stainless steel 7 gallon brew bucket fermenters for just $229.

 

Stainless Steel Cider Fermenter #cider #fermenter #fermentor

Stainless Steel Cider Fermenter #cider #fermenter #fermentor

STEP 4 – Add Your Apple Cider Ingredients To The Fermentor

 

The next step is to add your different home cider ingredients to the sanitized fermenter.  I first added in my boiled water and dextrose solution.  Be careful as this still may be very hot!  Next I added in the package of apple cider concentrate that came with my kit.  Make sure that you sanitize the outside of the package and even the scissors that you use to open the kit, just to be safe! After pouring in the mixture, rinse the pouch with filtered and dechlorinated water (I use a carbon filter and seen in the photo, which highly reduces chlorine levels); and add the water to the fermentor.  I then tossed in my oak cubes and filled the fermentor to the 5.5 Gallon level. The home made cider directions recommend filling it to the 6 gallon mark, but as I mentioned earlier, I like to live on the edge! You will want to make sure that your fermentor can support at least 7 gallons if not more!  Keep in mind, the more sugar you add and the less water you add, the stronger your cider will be!  So use caution!

 

Animated Gif On Making Hard Cider At Home #hard #cider #home #brewer #making #how #to

Animated Gif On Making Hard Cider At Home #hard #cider #home #brewer #making #how #to

STEP 5 – Check Your Cider Temperature

 

Yeast is a delicate and will parish if the temperature of your cider is too high! The ideal fermentation temperature for cider is between 65F – 70F.  So, cool your cider down to no more than 70F before you add your yeast to the cider mixture. You also do not want your temperature too low or else the yeast will not activate, so try to get it above 65F.  I use a converted chest freezer with a digital temperature controller as a fermentation chamber so that I can keep a stable fermentation temperature.  If you do not have access to one, do your best to keep your cider fermentor in an area that has a stable temperature of approximately 67F.  Keep in mind that the fermentation process generates heat and your cider will be warmer than the ambient temperature of the room that the fermentor is residing in.

STEP 6 – Add Your Yeast To The Cider

 

Next add your yeast to the fermentor! The fermentation process for you cider will take about a week to complete, but may take more or less time depending on a variety of factors including temperature, quantity of yeast, health of yeast, quantity of available sugar and type of yeast.

 

Brewing Hard Cider #cider #brewing

 

You should begin to see fermentation activity within 24-48 hours of pitching your yeast.  If bubbles are not forming in your air lock, your yeast may not have been healthy enough for fermentation and you will need to add new healthy yeast as soon as possible.  It is always wise to keep some dry cider yeast on hand, just in case this occurs.  Dry cider yeast is far more durable than liquid cider yeast.

 

Fermenting My Hard Cider #cider #fermenting #fermenter #fermentation

Fermenting My Hard Cider #cider #fermenting #fermenter #fermentation

 

After the fermentation is complete almost all of the sugars will have been converted over to alcohol and the cider will be very dry.  So at that point I will add a sweetener to the cider that the yeast in unable to convert.  This will help to intensity the apple flavors in the cider.  At that point I will also keg and carbonate my cider and it will be ready to server approximately 7 days after that.  Once completed I will post the results!

 

You can purchase everything that you need to make cider at home at MoreBeer.com.  Here are links to some of the items I use! MoreBeer is great because you get free shipping on any order over $59, they have some of the lowest prices available on home cider making ingredients and cider making equipment and incredible customer service!

 

Cider Making Ingredient Kits
7 Gallon Stainless Steel Cider Fermentor
Cider Yeast
Cider Oak Cubes

 

Building a keg bar stool for the home brewery.

Home Brewer Seating

Beer Brewery Keg Stool

 

For my most recent home brewing project I converted an old decommissioned 5 gallon keg that my buddy hooked me up with in to some seating for brew day! For me, half of the enjoyment of home beer brewing is being creative, either in designing beer recipes or making things such as homebrew tap handles, home brewing equipment or accessories like this brewery bar stool, beer brewing throne!

 

The design process for this brewery bar stool, keg stool was pretty hap hazard. Basically I went online, search for an inexpensive bar stool that had the aesthetics that I was looking for for the base materials and cut it up to be used for parts. As expected, the homebrew bar stool did not fit together perfectly so there was a good deal of cutting, grinding, welding and finishing involved to get the keg stool to fit together as desired. All in the project took about 3 hours but I am happy with the results. Having the ability to adjust the height on the seat comes in pretty handy depending on what project I am working on.  The additional legs around the base of the keg adds some stability to the stool in case one of my friends or I has had a few too many!

 

Home Brewing Keg Chair

Home Brewing Keg Chair

 

 

 

The tools that I used to make my brewery stool were a old crappy mig welder, grinder, hack saw / cut saw, wire brush, hammer and a little sand paper for finishing. If you would like to make your own brewing throne, brewery stool, keg stool or keg seat and have any questions, please feel free to ask or leave a comment.  I am always happy to help a fellow home brewer out!

Kegerator Deal -Ships for Just $6.99

New Keg King Kegerator Ships for Just $6.99

New Keg King Kegerator Ships for Just $6.99

Williams Brewing Promo Codes
Promo Codes for August 2017
Coupon Code Date:
 8-11-2017 to 8-22-2017
Promotion Details:
 New Keg King Kegerator Ships for Just $6.99
Promo Code Description: The Keg King Mark 4 is the first Kegerator designed specifically for homebrewers! The Keg King Series 4 Kegerators are the only kegerators designed specifically for home brewing applications and that is what makes them them so great! They feature Intertap solid stainless forward seal faucets and even a tower cooling fan. They also have a front panel on and off switch, an interior glass holder to keep your glasses clean and cold! The kegerator comes built in with a wide range thermostat  adjustable from 26° to 82° F.  With all of these features you would think it would cost a small fortune, but they are surprisingly affordable, especially when considering that they come with Intertap forward seal faucets standard that are mounted on a brushed 304 stainless tower.  Best of all, these Kegerators Ships for only $6.99 and can hold up to 3 kegs!

NEW COMPACT HOMEBREW KEGERATOR DEAL

 

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