West Coast Brewer Home Brewing Blog

Tag: west coast brewer (Page 2 of 6)

New Digital Touch Screen Homebrewing System from More Beer!

Digital Homebrewing System and Brew Rig

Digital Homebrewing System and Brew Rig


Great news homebrewers, MoreBeer just released a follow up to their popular line of Homebrewing Brew Sculptures and HomeBrew Rigs! They are bringing homebrewing into the future and to a whole new level with a digital touch screen interface for they Low Rider homebrewing stand that lets you control almost every aspect of your brew session.


They are calling this new digital, stainless steel homebrewing system the Low Rider! The Low Rider is their new top of the line Single Tier Brew Sculpture. Since this brew system is low to the ground with all of the brew kettles at the same height, it allows you to access each kettle without the need for a step stool.  That is one of the reasons why these stainless steel homebrewing systems are popular pilot systems for  breweries like Russian River and Sierra Nevada.


So what makes this new homebrewing rig better than the other brew rigs out there? Quite simply, they are loaded with features and are super reliable!  Also, these home brew systems are built in the USA by MoreBeer and include free shipping.  Free shipping is a big deal when it comes to a homebrewing setup like this because it can cost several hundred dollars in freight charges to ship a setup like this! Following is a list of features included with this new MoreBeer.com homebrewing rig:


  • 304 Food Grade Stainless Steel Stand
  • 304 stainless steel brew kettles with welded fittings, notched lids included
  • High temp march pumps, heat resistant food grade silicone tubing and specially designed stainless steel quick disconnects all come standard
  • Includes a More Beer Ultimate Sparge Arm, which is one of the best sparge systems available in home brewing.  The mash tun has a perforated stainless mash screen that is reinforced for use with pump recirculation. Internally etched volume markers on the kettles makes for simple mash water additions.
  • Top of the line homebrew burners that are fast, efficient, reliable and have precision flame control.
  • The included boil kettle features an innovative whirlpool maker! This allows the home brewer to leave the hops and trub behind when transferring your wort to your fermentor!  The bottom of the boil kettle is tri-clad with a 4mm aluminum core sandwiched between two layers of 304 stainless which helps to eliminate scorching!
  • Free Shipping!


Digital Brew Rig

Digital Brew Rig


This new digital homebrewing system comes in two different versions.  The “low rider” format featured at the top of the article and this tippy dump version that is shown above. The two formats are priced similarly, so depending on which design works best for you, that can drive your choice.


What makes this new MoreBeer homebrewing system so incredible is the innovative new digital touch screen brewing control system.  This new digital brew rig control system is built around a 7 inch touch screen that lets you control everything from times and temperature to setting reminders for additions throughout the entire home brewing process. They have really brought home brewing into the future with this new digital brewing system.  The touch screen control panel allows the home brewer to  choose from 3 preset mash schedules and even design their own schedule with up to 5 steps.  Best of all, the digital control module maintains the hot liquor tank temperature for you by automatically turning the burner off and on and monitoring the temp with a digital probe.  If you are old school or afraid of Sky Net taking over, there is also a manual mode that allows you to over ride the system.


Click Here for all of the details and pricing on these new MoreBeer Digital Homebrewing Systems!


Morebeer also sells a variety of other homebrewing rigs, brew stands, brew rigs, homebrew rack, brew sculptures and homebrewing stands from other vendors such as Blichmann and Pico Brew.

Big Sale on Blichmann Homebrew Kettles and Fermenters!

Blichmann Engineering Stainless Steel Conical Fermenters and Stainless Steel Brew Kettles are currently on sale!  Click the conical fermenter image for additional details!

Blichmann Homebrewing Fermenters and Brew Kettle Sale

Blichmann Homebrewing Fermenters and Brew Kettle Sale


There is currently a sale going on at Greatfermentations.com that will let you save some serious cash on Blichmann Home Brewing products if you act now!  It is a limited time deal, so if you were thinking of upgrading your Blichmann gear, this may be the time to do it.  Blichmann Engineering makes some of the best homebrewing equipment around.  You can check out the sale items here:


Blichmann Homebrewing Sale



8 Gallon Heavy Duty Brewing Kettle Exclusive West Coast Brewer and More Beer Promo Code Offer


MoreBeer.com – More Beer is offering this special limited time coupon code to West Coast Brewer home brewers!

MoreBeer.com Promo Codes and Coupon Codes

MoreBeer.com Promo Codes and Coupon Codes


If you are looking to get into home brewing or are a current home brewer looking to make an upgrade, this is a fantastic kettle to consider.  This 8 gallon kettle is great for 5 gallon extract batches or for use in a 5 gallon All Grain home brewing system. The extra 3 gallons of capacity helps avoid boil overs and gives you a little extra room to work with. That is why for a limited time, MoreBeer.com is making this special exclusive offer to West Coast Brewer viewers.  If you act before 7-15-2015 you can take $25 off one of these heavy duty brew kettles!


This brewing pot is load with some great features including  two 1/2″ threaded couplers welded to it, a tri-clad bottom, super thick and rigid stainless steel construction and heavy duty handles for safe lifting. The bottom outlet on this home brewing kettle is made with male threads on the outside (for connecting a ball valve) and female threads on the inside for connecting whatever you wish.


To take advantage of this More Beer promo code, click the following link and enter the coupon code *WCBHEAVY25* to save $25 on this homebrew kettle.


Click Here for the MoreBeer.com Exclusive Promotion!




Seven Easy Ways to Improve Your IPA!

7 Easy Ways to Improve Your IPA

7 Easy Ways to Improve Your IPA


Recently I came across a great article (5 Tips for Better IPAs) from the American Homebrewers Association where they interviewed Vinnie Cilurzo (Owner and Brewer at Russian River Brewing) and he gave 5 recommendations on how fellow brewers can improve their IPA’s.  I thought that I would take some of Vinnie’s fantastic advice and expand on it a bit with a few of my own suggestions!


Here are 7 easy ways on how you can improve your Home Brewed IPA!


 1) Every Beer Starts with Water!


Never under estimate the importance of beers primary ingredient, water.  The water that you are using to make your beer is critical, especially when it comes to all grain brewing.  Water plays an important part in everything from the taste and the mouth feel of a beer to the sugar conversion and acidity in a finished beer.


If you are using city water that has been treated with chlorine, always make sure that you are removing the chlorine with a carbon filter or alternative method.  It is also a good idea to check your city’s water report to see if you are lacking or have an over abundance of minerals in your water that may be impacting your beer.  Vinnie suggests treating your water with gypsum in both your mash and your boil to heighten the hop flavor of your beer.  You can also use low level sodium additions to have a similar effect.  Before making these additions you should first examine your existing levels to make sure that it will not detract from the quality of your finished beer.


2) Dry Hop Until You Just Can’t Dry Hop Anymore!


Unlike adding hops early in the boil, dry hopping adds little to no bitterness to the finished beer but what it does add is a strong and fresh hop aroma!  When dry hopping beer, I always recommend adding the hops after the airlock has stopped bubbling in fermentation.  That ways the escaping CO2 will not carry the hop aroma out of the fermentor along with it.  Vinnie suggests adding multiple dry hop additions at different times which may deliver additional hop aroma to your finished IPA!


3) Do Not Rush Your Fermentation!


We all want to try out our latest beer as quickly as possible, but there is allot to be said for patience in home brewing!  If you have the ability to temperature control your fermentation, set the temp between 65F to 67F.  Yeast loves a low stable temperature and produces far less off flavors than at higher temps.  It will take longer to ferment at a lower temperature but your beer will come out cleaner tasting so that your robust hop profile can really shine in the finished beer!  Also, cold crash your beer once your fermentation has completed.  Try to crash at around 36F for 2 weeks if possible.  This will help force any residual yeast out of suspension and leave you with a cleaner tasting and clearer beer!


 4) Don’t Skimp On the Yeast!


Now a days home brewers have a huge variety of options when it comes to yeast.  If you want your beer to be as good as possible, then you are going to have to use the best and most suitable yeast for the style of beer that you are brewing.  A great West Coast IPA yeast strain is the White Labs WLP001 Ale Yeast, available here.


Make sure that you create a yeast starter, insuring viability and that you pitch a sufficient quantity of yeast for the strength of beer that you are brewing.


5) Do Not Overload Your Beer With Crystal or Malty Grains!


Vinnie suggests that you add crystal malts sparingly to your grain bill. He remarks that the sweet flavors and aromatics derived from those grains can compete with the flavors and aromas of your hops.  An IPA is a showcase for the hops and the other ingredients should complement them not detract from them.


6) Consider Adding Hop Resin Extract to Your Boil!


Pure hop resign extracts can be a great way of boosting the bitterness of your wort with out having to add an extreme amount of hop additions to your boil.  Just like with actual hops, in order for the bitterness to be captured by the wort, the hop resign still needs to be boiled in the wort for a sufficient amount of time.


7)  Opt For a Dryer Beer!


A dryer  beer can really help the hops in your IPA stand out!  Vinnie suggests supplementing approximately 5% of your grain bills sugars with dextrose. Dextrose is a very simple sugar that yeast can easily ferment.  Another option would be dropping your mash temp down by a degree or two in order to create less complex sugars during the mashing process.


If you are looking to try your hand at one of Russian River’s IPAs, you can find a couple of excellent kits available here:


Russian River Blind Pig IPA Kit


Russian River Pliny the Elder Home Brewing Recipe Kit


Good luck and happy brewing!


How to Store Hops

How to Store Hops


There are right and wrong ways to store your hops to keep them as fresh as possible for future brewing and dry hopping. In this blog entry, we are going to cover some best practices for preserving the quality and potency of your hops when storing them for an extended period.


First off, it is important to be aware that hops are constantly degrading, and at best, all we can hope to do is slow the process down. As time passes, the resins, acids, and oils in the hops break down and the potential for aroma and bittering is drastically diminished. The two greatest causes of hop degradation are temperature and exposure to oxygen.



Hop Storage

The colder you can store your hops, the better, as it will slow the rate of oxidization. Ideally, you want to store your hops in a freezer with a temperature of less than 30F. If possible, strive for a temperature closer to 20F, and do your best to make sure that the hops are vacuum sealed and free of any moisture when frozen. Oxygen is the true nemesis of hop freshness. Do your best to keep your hops properly sealed in a bag that is resistant to oxygen permeability and flushed with nitrogen. If you do not have access to a vacuum sealer, use a Ziploc bag, and remove as much oxygen out of the bag as possible.


If you have stored your hops for longer then 12-24 months, you will probably want to consider replacing them with some fresher hops. It is difficult to know how fresh the hops were when the supplier received and packaged them, so at that point they may already be 3 years old, and their bittering potential will be very difficult to predict. If the hops are brownish in color, and the aroma is faint or unusual, they should be discarded.


Northern Brewer has a great selection of well-packaged hops and I purchase most of mine from them.  You can view their selection of hops here.


Hops in a nitrogen purged and shielded bag that was recently purchased:

How to store home brewing hops.

How to store hops to preserve their freshness.



Gluten Free Blackberry Home Brew Recipe

Gluten Free Home Brewed Blackberry Beer Recipe


I just finished up my most recent batch of beer! It was a 3 gallon extract batch of gluten free blackberry ale. It has a nice balanced flavor with a tart finish. If you are looking to brew an extract batch of homemade gluten free beer, I highly recommend it.


Click here to view the recipe


Gluten Free Home Brewed Beer

Gluten Free Home Brewed Blackberry Beer

Orval Belgian Trappist Ale Review

We have reviewed our top pick for the best Belgian Pale Ale, and it is the Orval Trappist Ale. If you are a fan of Belgian ales, and are fortunate enough to find this wonderful beer at your local beer store, I highly recommend that you pick it up.


Click Here to view the full Orval Belgian Trappist Ale Review


Orval Trappist Ale - Rated Best Belgian Beer

Orval Trappist Ale – Rated Best Belgian Beer

How to Clean a Keg for Home Brewing

The following is a quick video on how to clean a 5 gallon Corny keg.



To clean a keg you will need the following items:

1) PBW (Powdered Brewery Wash) or similar food grade cleaning agent

2) A scrubbing sponge or brush

3) A socket wrench or crescent wrench to move the body connects

4) Warm or hot water

5) A sanitizing agent such as Star San if you wish to sanitize the keg at the same time


Food grade cleaning and sanitization chemicals can be purchased here:

Home Brewing Cleaning and Sanitization Chemicals


How to Rehydrate Yeast

Rehydrating dried yeast is a quick and easy way of improving your beer if you are not already making a yeast starter. In fact, most dried yeast manufactures recommend that you re-hydrate yeast before pitching it. The primary benefit of re-hydrating your yeast as opposed to just sprinkling it on to your cooled wort is that, in their dried state, yeast cells are dormant; re-hydration awakens the yeast cells and prepares them so that they can begin fermenting the wort more quickly.

Additionally, re-hydration has an optimal temperature range to produce the highest number of viable healthy yeast cells. This temperature range is approximately 95F – 100F. If the temperature is much lower then that, which wort typically is in order to diminish the potential of hot side aeration and oxidization, yeast viability is greatly diminished. That means that if you do not re-hydrate, you are pitching far fewer active yeast cells and opening the possibility of a slower fermentation, a stalled fermentation, and potentially, an under fermented finished beer. In my mind, such an easy process should not be bypassed when you consider all of the effort that goes into making a quality home brewed beer.


Here are the quick and easy steps involved in rehydrating yeast:


1) Bring one cup of chlorine free tap water to a boil.


2) Cool the sanitized water and container to 95F – 100F. Make sure that it is not hotter than that or you may risk killing the yeast.


3) Gently sprinkle the yeast on top of the water, doing your best to avoid the sides of the container. Place tin foil over the top of the container to prevent anything from entering and contaminating the yeast; you will want to keep the yeast solution as sanitary as possible. Do not stir or swirl the yeast at this point; instead let the yeast become saturated by the water for 20 minutes. Wrap the container in a towel to keep the container warm and shield it from sunlight.


4) After 20 minutes, thoroughly stir and swirl the solution until the yeast has properly mixed with the water. Let the mixture stand for another 15 minutes or so, mixing it occasionally.


That is it; at this point you are ready to add your rehydrated yeast into your cooled wort. That easy process is how to re-hydrate yeast! Good luck and happy brewing.


How to Rehydrate Yeast

How to Rehydrate Yeast

How to Rehydrate Yeast

« Older posts Newer posts »