Brew Dudes

Homebrewing blog and resource

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Water Chemistry Experiment To Find Malt Balance

As the true scientist he is, Mike put together a water chemistry experiment to find malt balance for his Brown ale. He brewed one for the community brew and wasn’t to his liking. He was not happy with his finishing gravity. He re-brewed and with a little water chemistry adjustment, he was able to brew something much better.

Check out this video of us tasting his second brew:

What We Learned

Mike’s adjustments to the recipe included changes to his malt, hops, and yeast but the big reveal was that he made changes to his process. He dialed in his mash temperature and paid close attention to his Chloride to Sulfate ratio in his water throughout. He got his final gravity down to 1.009!

He used our tap water and added brewing salts to have a 2 to 1 Chloride to Sulfate ratio with a little acid in the mash to adjust for proper pH.

It was a success – I am happy for Brew Dude Mike.

Cheers and Brew on!

Enigma Hops Profile

We brewed another SMaSH beer to get a handle on a hop variety that we don’t know too well. This beer used Enigma hops and we present this profile video so you can get our perspective on what this hop can do for you. Watch!

But Are They Enigmatic?

They are an Australian variety and the packet I bought was from the 2018 harvest. The alpha acid percentage listed on the package was 19%! I had Mike take a whiff of the pellets and they packed a punch.

That punch didn’t translate strongly into the aroma of the beer. It was very grassy to me. Mike found floral notes (Geraniums) the aroma and flavor, which was pleasant.

The commercial descriptors included raspberry, red currant, light tropical fruits, and pinot gris. We found that these were not really strong.

There was strong dank thing going on. We felt that these hops were be a nice early addition to a boil, maybe as a substitute to Warrior or Simcoe. Definitely blend them with stronger flavor hops.

Cheers and brew on!

Sabro Hops Profile

Hey – I really enjoy brewing SMaSH beers with new hop profiles. I like it because I get to learn first hand what these hops are all about. After they are ready to drink, we turn on the camera and talk about them. Hopefully, you get something out of our evaluation. This time around, we brewed with Sabro hops!

Sabro Hops Aromas and Flavors Takeaways

This hop to me screamed lime flavors. There was a little melon on the nose, but in the flavor, it’s all lime with some coconut. This hop would be great as a solo hop in a American Blonde Ale. With all the alcoholic beverages that have strong lime flavors, try making a light beer with those descriptors through late hop additions.


The Irish Red Ale Showdown

Both Mike and I brewed an Irish red ale. That’s what you do when you buy an extract kit for the first time in many years and it’s the spring time. We sat side by side and tasted our brews. See us compare notes in this Irish Red Ale Showdown!

Tell Us More About Your Extract Brew

Well, right off the bat, my “red” ale was darker. Mike’s had a copper color. I had a lot of roast barley in mine along with two different caramel malts.

We used the same yeast yet the aromas were different. The flavor in my ale was strong where Mike’s was a little lighter.

This style seems simple but it is difficult especially when it comes to getting the color right. Some tweaks for next time will help us get there.


Brew Dudes Homebrew Swap – Exchange #34

We got an interesting beer shipped to us for this homebrew swap (exchange number 34!). It was a kettle sour from Dennis in Rochester, NY. It’s a technique to get that flavor of traditional sour beer by adding acid to the brew kettle. Watch this video to get the details of how it was brewed and what we thought of the flavor.

Kettle Sour Tasting

So the story of this beer is that it was brewed after a snow storm. Being from the Northeast, we know that feeling. Over a foot of snow can slow down your process a little especially when you need to shovel out some space.

This beer had a great fruity flavor and its clarity was remarkable even with all the fruit that was added into it.

The aroma was strong and full of berry jam notes. The color was beautiful – Mike couldn’t stop gashing over it.

Check out the video for the recipe and the instructions to brew it at home. The sours we have made take a long time. Kettle sours can be turned around in weeks!

Brew on!

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