Brew Dudes

Homebrewing blog and resource

Kegging a Finished Cider

John makes Cider every year from locally sourced fresh pressed juice. And every year he learns a little more and tries new things. This he he brought some new hardware into the process; his keg set up.

John’s normal cider making process hasn’t changed much. Juice and yeast for the most part. Its what happens post fermentation that can drive the final product in one direction or another. This year he experiment with metabisulfite and sparkolloid.

As fermentation neared the end he sulfited the cider to halt/slow fermentation; hoping to capture some residual sweetness by not letting the cider drop below the 1.000 mark (truly a dry cider). He also introduced some sparkolloid and made use of cold crashing in the keg to clarify the cider.

The result was a nearly crystal clear cider with just a hint of residual sweetness. A ton of apple character remained as well which I suspect was due to that slight semi-dry finish. He then forced carbed as you would with beer in the keg. So no need for added sugar. For the video our samples were mid-range carbonated and very pleasant. I don’t always like the soda like carbonation some commercial examples have. Just another advantage of using a keg for carbonating beer and ciders, dialing it in perfectly is easy.


2016 Home Grown Hops Harvest Ale

The 2016 Hop Harvest has come and gone. Hopefully it was a good one for you and you have dried and stored your hops away for coming brews. This video we feature John’s 2016 Home Grown Hops Harvest Ale.

A simple ale (recipe below) this year it drinks super clean and refreshing. The color was slightly darker than gold, almost trying to be light amber. Hop aroma was mild but spicey giving way mainly to the malt and ferment character beneath it. The fermentation character is interesting to note because this beer was fermented with the White Labs Hansen Ale Blend. This was one of the yeasts recently made available through the White Labs Vault program. If you haven’t checked that out yet you should give it a go.

Even and rounded bitterness with a touch of malt sweetness is perceived on the palate. A good hop flavor from the hops as well. This beer is an amazing easy drinker. The hops really shine through despite our prolonged drought conditions here this year. Last years hops didn’t seem to have much character to them and it was a good growing year. Maybe the hops need to struggle a bit, or maybe John just managed to take good care of them because of the tough season we had.

Let us know how your hop growing efforts went and what you plan to brew with your hops.


Boil Size: 7 gallons
Batch Size: 5.5 gallons
Original Gravity: 1.048
Final Gravity: 1.010
ABV: 4.9%

10 pounds Pearl English Pale Malt
1 pound Carapils Malt
1 pound of Carastan Malt

1.5 ounces homegrown Magnum hops – whole cones – 60 minutes
2 ounces of homegrown Mt. Hood hops – whole cones – 30 minutes
7/8 ounce of Chinook hops – whole cones -10 minutes

1 Whirlfloc tablet – 15 minutes

White Labe WLP075 – Hansen Ale Yeast Blend

Mashed for 60 minutes at 150°F
Boiled for 60 minutes
Used distilled water and added 12 grams of gypsum to various stages of the process:
4 gm added to the mash water
5 gm added to the sparge water
3 gm added to the full boil

Fermented at 67°F for 2 weeks. Primed with 115 gm of corn sugar boiled in 2 cups of water for 15 mins.

American Cream Ale Without Corn

I love American Cream Ale. But for some reason each time I brew it I just keep messing with a good thing. This time I substituted flaked barley for the flaked corn!! Is it still a Cream Ale? Check it out.

I had heard a podcast of a commercial brewer (in England I think) that looked took a different approach to American Cream Ale and chose to substitute flaked barley in place of the corn. Knowing that traditionally perhaps flaked barley (of which they already had access to malted barley) would have been easier to source than flaked corn.

Anyway, I was looking for a recipe other than Galaxy Pale Ale to keep calibrating my process and system with post my high final gravity woes. I thought this sounded like a simple way to do something different and give it a go.

The beer looks just like my normal Cream Ale. There is a slight lack of grain sweetness on the nose that I think the corn sort of drove in other recipes. But the aroma is still pleasant. I use Liberty hops throughout the beer, but the alpha was a bit low (4%) and I should have used more. I think this beer could use a little late Cascade to make it smell more American too… but thats just me.

The flavor is easy and clean. There is a definite change in the mouthfeel with the barley substitution. Its fuller. Not full like a bigger beer per se, but fuller than a corn adjunct beer. Dare I say even Creamier than Cream Ale??? More experimentation is needed but its s good beer. I need to brew a traditional Cream Ale now so we can do a side by side before this one gets too old.

The basic recipe:
9lbs Rhar 2-row
1lb Briess Flaked Barley

1oz Liberty 60min
1oz Liberty 20min
10z Liberty 5min

US05 Fermentis dry yeast (Rehydrated)


Brew Dudes Homebrew Swap Exchange 12

This weeks Homebrew swap is a great one. Matt has sent us a blueberry sour wheat. He performed a kettle souring using probiotics. A very popular approach growing within the home brewing community. Made popular by many foils over at Milk the Funk on Facebook.
Check out the color on this one!!!

Here is the recipe and the process from Matt:

OG: 1.045 FG: 1.014 ABV: 4% IBU: 1
Blueberry Wheat Sour
5lbs Pale 2-row
4lbs Wheat Malt
5oz Acid malt
12 oz Acid malt (cap the mash and bring PH down)
1/3 oz Lambic Blend Hops @ 60min
1 pack US-05
1 lb per Gallon fresh but frozen first Blueberries
1L starter of Lactobacillus Rhamnosus, Casei, & Acidophilus cultured from probiotics

Mashed @ 154F (BIAB)
Boiled for 10min
Soured in Carboy (sour worting) @ 100F for 30hours, turned down fermentation chamber to 70F and pitched yeast @ 48hours.
Aged for 2weeks in primary then racked onto Blueberries for a week then bottled.


Everyone should try this out. Get ahold of some probiotics that have active lactobacillus and start give this a try on small batches of wort. You can just go for minimally boiled extract worts to make it simple.

This beer poured a very cool light ruby hue with pink highlights. The aroma was definitly sour along with the taste. But the totally acidity wasn’t terribly strong or off putting. The fermentation character was super clean as well. This blend of probiotics obviously put out nothing more than clean acid character, which is great! The blueberry fruit came through nicely softening the beer a bit too I suspect. An easy drinking and easy to brew sour brew.

Thanks to Matt for the chance to try this one. An exceptional example of quick kettle souring gone right!


Lowering Oxygen in your Brewing

I’ve been reading about a new set of methodologies evolving in the brewing scene to greatly reduce the amount of oxygen ‘damage’ to your beer. This week we talk a little about the extremes some folks are employing as well as discussing some more practical ways for lowering oxygen in your brewing.

Boiling your mash water, CO2 infusing your mash tun and close transferring to the kettle are just a few of the steps being taken by some brewers to lower the amount of O2 in their beer. Claiming that the beers get better or have better shelf stability. I don’t know much about those things and it will certainly be interesting to see how this technique continues to evolve. Only in home brewing I suppose.

For me I am mildly concerned about O2 pick up in my process. The main area, I think at least, to be concerned with the O2 issue is post ferment. I’ve been thinking about trying some closed transfer set ups that I might try. I have in the past used CO2 to push the beer out of my carboy and up a fixed racking cane out of the carboy cap. The only real issue to watch here is to not over pressurize a glass carboy as they aren’t intended to hold pressure. However, the carboy cap is likely to pop off before that happens… thankfully.

Another way to go to closed transfer is to ferment in a corny keg. Using a trimmed dip tube you should be able to transfer well settled beer without too much of the yeast cake to another keg. If you use a black to black jumper set up you don’t even need to open the keg of fermented beer. I have read about filling a receiver keg full of sanitizer and then pushing it out with CO2 to completely purge it of O2. Using the gas out connector in a pitch of water you create a breathable one way airlock so that as the keg fills the gas can escape. Using corny kegs in this manner greatly reduced many other parts of the transfer process like racking cans etc etc because the are built into the kegs themselves. The only sacrifice is a smaller batch of beer.

Have you experimented with closed transfer of finished beer? Ever fermented in a corny keg?
Let us know about it!!!


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