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Brew Tip: Oxygenate Your Wort

 

Oxygen in beer is undesirable except at one point (and only one point) in the brewing process. That lone point is when the post-boil wort has been chilled down to fermentation temperature, but before the yeast has been pitched into it.

Oxygen dissolves into wort as a function of temperature and specific gravity. As such, the colder and less concentrated the wort, the more oxygen will be able to enter into solution. All the bubbling and splashing that occurs during the boil drives most of the oxygen out of solution because the wort is too hot while boiling. Therefore, oxygen must be replenished after the wort is cool and able to retain the oxygen in solution again.

Oxygen is essential for yeast growth and reproduction. Yeast must grow and reproduce first, before actually fermenting the wort to make beer. Yeast needs oxygen to synthesize the material for expanding cell walls; namely sterols and fatty acids. Overlooking proper wort aeration can lead to problems such as long lag times before the start of fermentation, stuck or incomplete fermentation, or excessive ester (fruit flavor) production, any of which would produce less than desired results.

Check out byo.com for more great info! #brewyourown // Check out our website (www.brewperfect.com) for more info on our Hydrometer and how to get the best results for your brew!

A Complete Guide to the India Pale Ale

Happy IPA Day 2018!! We wanted to bring you some awesome information about the India Pale Ale. This information comes from a great article via bon appétit. You can visit their website here for more awesome articles and information about all things food and drink: https://www.bonappetit.com.

 

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“I hate IPAs. They’re bitter.”

“I love IPAs. They have so much alcohol in them.”

Those are the two most common things I hear people say about IPAs, and neither of them are really true. Not all IPAs are bitter, and not all IPAs have a ton of booze in them. You can’t throw a blanket statement over an extremely broad style of beer. It’s an unfair simplification. But whether you fall on the love or the hate (check yourself) side of this relationship, there’s one thing we can’t deny: IPAs are here to stay.

But what do you actually know about IPAs? IPAs come in a range of styles, and the modern approach to hoppy beer isn’t a declaration of bitterness, but a beer that explores the world of fruity flavors that can also come from hops. Here’s everything you need to know about the IPA, from vocabulary to style breakdowns to the breweries doing them right.

The IPA Vocabulary

These are terms that can applied to any style of beer, not just IPAs. For instance, you can have a session West Coast IPA and a session Belgian IPA.

Session: Less alcohol! Which may or may not be a good thing, depending on your lifestyle. Modern session IPAs usually fall below 5% ABV (although historically, the style is 4% and below). With lower alcohol comes a thinner body, so these are the types of beers you can drink on repeat.

Double/Imperial: Double and imperial IPAs are essentially the same thing: IPAs with a higher hop concentration. To balance all that hop flavor, the brewer uses more malt, which results in a higher ABV (usually over 7%). It’s an IPA on steroids, and in the stoic words of Dave Chappelle (as Samuel L. Jackson), “This shit’ll getcha drunk!”

vermont beer hotel
PHOTO BY JOSH DICKINSON

A single and a double canned IPA from The Alchemist and Foley Brothers, respectively.

Dry-Hopped: Dry-hopping is the process of steeping hops in fermenting beer, instead of adding them while the liquid is boiling. The process creates an extremely strong aroma, amplifying the fruity/piney/candy-sweet notes of the hops. It makes the beer smell better, without adding any bitterness.

Double Dry-Hopped: A lot of brewers say IPAs are “double dry-hopped.” And while this sounds self-explanatory, it’s actually meaningless. There’s no real definition for “double dry-hopped.” It could be a dry-hop with twice the amount of hops or the addition of a fresh batch of hops halfway through the process. Regardless, it’s more of a marketing ploy to sound like you’re getting an over-the-top hoppy-ness/dose of hops than a quantifiable word, so no one knows exactly what it means.

Triple Dry-Hopped: Seriously. No one knows what this is.

Single-Hopped: Brewers combine multiple hop varieties for the same reason you’d put multiple seasonings in a marinade—to bring different flavors to the table. A single-hopped IPA, however, is brewed exclusively with one hop variety. That means that in a Citra single hop IPA, Citra hops are used in the boil, on the finish, and in dry-hopping (if dry-hopped). This is great news if you’re a member of the Citra Hop Fan Club.

Fresh-Hopped: Fresh-hopped IPAs, also called wet-hopped or harvest ales, only come around once a year, at the peak of hop harvesting season in late August and September. To qualify as a fresh-hopped IPA, the hops have to leave the vine, travel to the brewery, and end up in the boil in under 24 hours. The closer to the brew date you drink it, the more intense the brilliant, fresh flavor of the hops will be.

perennial brewing brewery stl beer pouring
PHOTO BY MATT HAAS

Brews being poured at Perennial Artisanal Ales

IPA Styles

These are classification categories for IPAs. A “style” means that an ingredient in the brewing process or technique (or both) lends a certain flavor, mouthfeel, or appearance to the beer that is always true for the style.

British IPA

The IPA was invented in Britain. Here’s the abridged version: British sailors, while sailing to India, loaded up barrels of beer with hops, because hops were a preservative. The hops hung around in the beer for so long that they lost their fruity flavor and left a bitter tasting beer. So…British IPAs are malty, bitter, and one-noted. They aren’t the most popular style today, but it’s important to know one when you see it. These are best consumed on some kind of a cliff with sea mist spraying in your face.

3 Breweries Crushing the British IPA: Great Lakes Brewing Company, Yards Brewing Company, and Samuel Smith’s Brewery

West Coast IPA

The West Coast IPA was the beginning of the fruity hop explosion. This style gets credit for exploring the rowdy, fruity flavors in hops, while shedding some of the bitterness. That’s not to say that West Coast IPAs aren’t bitter; they are. But that bitterness is balanced with an exceptionally clean, crisp body, higher carbonation, and big tropical fruit notes (It is a “West Coast” IPA, after all). Early classics in the style were brewed by Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. and Stone Brewing Company.

3 Breweries Crushing the West Coast IPA: Fieldwork Brewing Company, Half Acre Beer, Pipeworks Brewing Co.

narrow gage brewery brewing beer glasses
PHOTO BY MATT HAAS

Hazy, New England style IPAs at Narrow Gauge Brewing

New England Style IPA

The New England IPA is what people are drinking right now. This IPA is unfiltered (which makes it hazy) and has extremely low bitterness from using blends of hops that lend intense, fruity flavor. New England style IPAs are often dry-hopped and tend to be fermented to have lower carbonation. These beers look like orange juice, smell like fruit salad (sprinkled with weed), and taste like fresh fruit cobbler. This is the IPA for the “I don’t like IPAs,” person in your life, which might be why they’re so popular right now.

3 Breweries Crushing the New England IPA: Hill Farmstead Brewery, Civil Society Brewing Company, and Trillium Brewing Co.

East Coast IPA

Although this isn’t necessarily an “official” style of beer (according to the beer lords over at Beer Advocate), there’s something to be said for the East Coast style IPA. It’s the stepping stone between the British and West Coast IPA, with an emphasis on piney hop flavor and a solid malt backbone. It’s not as bright as a West Coast IPA, but more complex in flavor than a British IPA. Dogfish 60 Minute and Victory Hop Devil are good examples.

Three Breweries Crushing the East Coast IPA: Carton Brewing Company, Dogfish Head Brewing Company, and Victory Brewing Company

Oat IPA

“Soft” is a word that’s becoming a lot more common when talking about IPAs, and that’s thanks to oats. While West Coast IPAs are crisp, clean, and sharp, IPAs brewed with either flaked oats or oat milk have a lazy, lethargic, cozy mouthfeel. They’re soft in the way that the blanket you keep on the couch for extended stays is soft. You can get lost in there, with the bonus of fruity hop flavors.

3 Breweries Crushing Oat IPAs: The Veil Brewing Company, Cerebral Brewing, and Monkish Brewing Co.

Lactose IPA aka “Milkshake” IPA

Milkshake IPAs (also called cream IPAs) do not contain milk, and you should not shake them. Lactose IPAs get the nickname “Milkshake” because of the sweetness the milk sugar adds to the beer. It’s common (but not mandatory) to see fruit or vanilla added to these IPAs to take the effect even further. With a low carbonation, these usually end up drinking like a fruity milkshake, super smooth like a milk stout but much lighter in flavor and color.

3 Breweries Crushing the Lactose IPA: Tired Hands Brewing Company, Omnipollo, and Other Half Brewing Company

Belgian IPA

The driving flavor in a Belgian IPA comes Belgian yeast, which provides sweet, bready, warm notes to the beer. These usually end up tasting like a British IPA mixed with a Belgian tripel. These get better and better the closer you get to a fireplace.

3 Breweries Crushing Belgian Style IPAs: Central State Brewing Company, Brouwerij De Ranke, and New Belgium Brewing

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Pouring IPAs in a glass, instead of drinking them from a can, release all those lovely hop aromas.

Fruited IPA

Adding fruit to beer is a risky procedure, but IPAs handle it pretty well. Brewers intensify all that fruit flavor coming from the hops by adding puréed fruit to the beer while it’s brewing. With fruited IPAs, you want fruit purée added to the beer, not fruit juice. It creates better flavor and shows that the brewer isn’t taking shortcuts.

3 Breweries Crushing the Fruited IPA: Burial Beer Company, Mikkeller, Burlington Beer Company

Sour IPA

In a perfect world, a sour IPA would be equal parts tart, juicy, and fruity, but the sour IPA is still largely uncharted territory. Some brewers will call a dry-hopped sour beer a “Sour IPA,” but it isn’t the same. The body of a sour beer is generally lighter, so adding the bold flavor of hops directly to that beer doesn’t always work out. There’s really only one brewery making sour IPAs the right way. Hudson Valley Brewing Company blends sour ale with a separately brewed IPA to create one sour, fruity, cohesive beer.

A Brewery Crushing the Sour IPA: Hudson Valley Brewery

Brett IPA:

Brettanomyces. So hot right now, Brettanomyces. This yeast strain (also seen in winemaking), added in the primary fermentation of the beer, gives a funky, melon-y quality to beer. Brett is showing up in IPAs more and more frequently, adding an underlying aroma of musty fruit salad and boosting ripe fruit flavors. That’s a good thing. Promise. And you say it like this: Brett. Uh. Nom. Mih. Seas.

3 Breweries Crushing the Brett IPA: Homage Brewing, Allagash Brewing Company, and Anchorage Brewing Company

What’s Your Favorite Flavor of Beer?

Describing a beer flavor can be tricky, especially when it comes to homebrews and craft beer. At Brew Perfect, we’re here to help you create the perfect homebrewed beer, no matter if you’re just starting out in your new workspace, or you’ve been brewing in your basement for years.

When it comes to flavor, there are many words that can be used, and you likely know which flavors (and which words) that you prefer. In this post, we’ll look at some of the most popular!

Bright and Hoppy

When someone calls a beer “bright,” they’re not necessarily referring to the beer’s intelligence. A bright beer is a brew that’s been made to be clear during the filtration and maturation process. Once the beer is carbonated, it’s bottled from the bright tank and is ready to store or serve. The flavor of a bright beer can be citrusy or hoppy, and leaves your taste buds feeling clean after you drink it.

Dark and Toasty

There are many people out there who prefer darker beers, such as stouts and porters. Porters tend to have a dry, fruity flavor, while stouts are often less sweet and have more of a creamy or toasty flavor. Guinness® is probably the world’s most famous stout beer, and if you want to recreate that dark, creamy flavor for your next homebrew, then you’ll need the right unmalted roasted barley.

Brew Perfect loves seeing people across the country create new beers that contain their favorite flavors. If you’re starting a new batch soon, then think about what flavors you want the final product to have. Do you want bright, hoppy, and citrus flavors, or do you prefer dark, toasty, caramel-like flavors? The time of year can determine which flavor you prefer, but the fact of the matter is that a good beer is a good beer in any month.

Order your new homebrew products today!

Setting Up Your Homebrewing Space

If you’re interested in homebrewing, then it’s important to have a space that’s dedicated to mixing, fermenting, and bottling. At Brew Perfect, we’re here to provide you with outstanding micro brew equipment, such as a digital hydrometer, but the creation of your homebrew space is up to you. Above all, it should be a place that you enjoy spending time in, and where you can create amazing beer whenever you want!

Storage and Shelving

You’ve invested time and money into acquiring the equipment you need, such as buckets, carboys, sanitizers, and more, but where are you going to keep it all? You don’t want your brewing space to become cluttered, and that’s where storage and shelving come in handy.

Plastic storage bins can be your best friends, especially because you can rinse them off, should anything spill inside of them. You can also stack these bins, which means they take up less space in the room.

Your shelving should be durable, since you may be placing heavy items on them from time to time. You don’t want them to take up too much space, but putting several against the wall will provide the storage you need from floor to ceiling.

Create an Organized Workflow

It’s important for your brewing space to be organized, and nothing is more important than making sure everything is set up in the proper order. You want your workflow to be smooth, so if your keg and bottle filler is between the mash tun and the storage tank, then things can quickly get confusing. Setting up your space in the order that your beer is mixed, fermented, stored, and bottled will help you stay organized, no matter how many times a year you brew.

Make the Space Your Own

While you may be setting up in the garage or the basement, that doesn’t mean that you can’t make the space your own. You want the room to be clean and free of clutter, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t hang your favorite beer signs on the wall or have a table and a set of chairs in the corner for those tasting sessions with your friends. Think about your favorite taprooms or pubs and what they have in terms of decor, and use that as inspiration for your space.

Homebrewing can be challenging, but it should also be fun, and having a dedicated space that reflects your tastes and your personality can make the process that much more enjoyable. At Brew Perfect, we’re here to make sure that you can make the most of your space with the best digital hydrometer and other micro brew equipment so that you know exactly where in the process your latest batch currently sits.

If you’re just starting to brew, or you’ve been doing it for years and you’re looking for ways to make the process easier, then order your new homebrewing products today. We know you’ll love how well they work, and how they help you create the perfect beer for any time of the year!

The Best Summer Beers

Summer is now only a week away, and with it will come more opportunities for sitting outside and enjoying a nice, cold beer. If you’re a homebrewer, you probably already have some summer beer recipes in mind, and you may already have some fermenting or ready to bottle. Whatever the case may be, Brew Perfect is here to help you create the perfect summer beer. With our digital hydrometer, temperature probe, and innovative app, you can keep track of exactly how far along your beer is, and when it’s ready to go into the keg or the bottle.

In this post, we’ll look at some summer beer varieties that you can try this year!

IPAs

We know, you may be getting tired of all the IPAs that you’ve seen at bars and liquor stores in your area, but the fact remains that they’re still one of the most popular summer beers out there. If you like them, then brewing one of your own should be a welcome challenge. If you want, shoot for session IPA that has a lower alcohol content and that balances the hoppiness and bitterness that is found in most traditional IPAs.

Blondes

A blonde ale may have been your introduction to craft beer all those years ago, and with their moderate flavors and low alcohol content, they’re very accessible for casual beer drinkers. There are plenty of blonde varieties out there, and you can make yours with more hops or more spices, and create a unique beer that you can still sip easily while you sit on the front porch this summer.

Saisons

We talked about saisons in a previous post, and if you started brewing one this spring, then it’s likely ready to go for summer. The spicy and fruity flavors of traditional saisons can be perfect for summer, and you’ll love pouring one into an ice-cold glass after you finish mowing the yard on a hot July afternoon.

Shandies

There are many pre-mixed shandy beers out there, but it’s fairly easy to make your own by mixing your homebrewed summer ale with lemon, lime, or another fruit-based beverage. You can use traditional lemonade, but the result could be a beer that’s too sweet for your tastes. You can also use ginger ale to give your beer more bite and to take the edge off of the sweetness.

These four beer styles are just a handful of the options you can try this summer. With the right approach, you can create the perfect summer beer, and you’ll be able to spend the next three months sharing it with friends and family. Whether you’re hosting a barbecue or relaxing after a hard day’s work, you’ll have a great beer on hand at all times. If you have our digital hydrometer and other homebrew equipment, you’ll know exactly how far along your beer is in the brewing process, and when it’s ready to be bottled and shared.

Look through our online catalog today, and please let us know if you have any questions!

Planning Your East Coast Brewery Tour, Part Three

In our last two blog posts, we’ve gone from Virginia to Massachusetts, finding the best breweries along the East Coast. We hope that as you’ve read our posts, you’ve found some inspiration for your next trip, or at the very least, inspiration for the next beer that you’re going to brew at home. At Brew Perfect, we want to provide you with the very best micro brew equipment, whether that’s a digital hydrometer or our innovative brewing app.

In this post, we’ll conclude our brewery tour along the eastern shoreline of the United States by visiting Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine!

Vermont

The Green Mountain State is home to many breweries, and there are some gems nestled among the lush hills and acres of mountain terrain.

Fiddlehead Brewing Company

Located in Shelburne, VT, near the shores of Lake Champlain, sits Fiddlehead Brewing Company. Their beer selection often rotates, but you can always find well-balanced beers that provide a unique taste experience. They offer a Belgian-inspired Witbier, a double IPA, and an unfiltered session ale that pairs well with pizza. If you find yourself in Shelburne, stop by and try a few pints!

New Hampshire

If you’re making your way up the East Coast, and you find yourself in New Hampshire, then you might have a hard time deciding which brewery you will visit. There are plenty to visit, and you could spend a week traveling around to all of them!

Oddball Brewing Co

This brewery located in Suncook, NH, is only open Friday through Sunday, so if you want to stop by, you’ll have to plan accordingly. Their Suncook Lager is a pre-Prohibition style lager that is made with corn instead of rice, which gives it a crisper flavor. The Nymph Belgian Blonde using New Zealand and Japanese hops, and the Albino Moose IPA is a bit of a different take on a traditional India Pale Ale. They also have some seasonal beers, so depending on when you’re there, you can try a few different types.

Maine

Once you’ve reached Maine, you’ve reached the end of the line when it comes to the East Coast, and the only thing you can do is turn around and head back, or continue on into Canada. While you’re in Maine, why not find a craft brewery and enjoy a tasty beer or two?

Orono Brewing

Situated in Orono, ME, Orono Brewing Company is open seven days a week, so no matter when you’re there, you can try one of their beers. The Thelma Cabernet Barrel-Aged Saison is made with Belgian DuPont Saison yeast, and the primary fermentation takes place in stainless vats. The secondary fermentation occurs in California cabernet oak barrels, and the flavor offers fruity, spicy, and jammy notes. You can also try the Tiger Style Fierce Pale Ale, the Bog Monster DIPA, and many other varieties.

We hope that you’ve enjoyed our trip of the East Coast and all of the breweries that we’ve noted over the past couple of months. If you’re ever near any of these spots, we hope that you’ll stop in and try some of their beer. Who knows? You may taste something that inspires you to go home and brew something you’d never thought of before.

At Brew Perfect, we love helping people achieve their homebrewing dreams, and if you’re looking for a digital hydrometer that can provide you with accurate readings during the brewing and fermentation processes, then order one online today. We’re here to answer any questions that you may have and offer any support that you may need.

We look forward to helping you!

Planning Your East Coast Brewery Tour, Part Two

At Brew Perfect, we’re proud to support homebrewers around the country, and we love hearing about what kinds of beer you’re brewing out there. Whether you’re starting your first batch, or you’ve been homebrewing for years, our micro brew equipment can help you create delicious beers that you’ll love drinking and sharing with your friends. Our hydrometer, temperature probe, and app can help you know exactly when your beer is ready to ferment and bottle.

In our last blog post, we looked at breweries in Virginia, North Carolina, and Maryland. In part two of our East Coast brewery tour, we’ll take a look at breweries in Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, and Massachusetts!

Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania is home to many, many breweries, so if you find yourself in the Keystone State, be sure to stop by at least one of them.

Abjuration Brewing

Abjuration is located in McKees Rock, PA, just outside of Pittsburgh. It was started by two friends who began their journey with homebrewing, and you can taste the results of their experience in beers such as the Chai Milkshake Ale or the Blackberry Belgian Ale. They’re only open Friday and Saturday, so be sure to plan your visit accordingly!

New York

You can find plenty of breweries in New York City and on Long Island, but there are many more to choose from as you travel upstate.

Lake Placid Pub & Brewery

Lake Placid is of course famous for hosting the 1980 Winter Olympic Games and the subsequent “Miracle on Ice,” but it’s also home to Lake Placid Pub & Brewery. In business since 1996, this brewery produces more than 1500 barrels per year, and you can try some of their flagship brews such as the Ubu Ale (an English-style Strong Ale) or the Ubu’s Golden Ale. Be sure to pick up a pair of pint glasses or a custom cooler!

New Jersey

New Jersey doesn’t take that long to drive through, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of places to stop for an amazing beer.

7 Mile Brewery

Located in Rio Grande, NJ, just off the Garden State Parkway, 7 Mile Brewery has the motto of “Great Beer for Great People.” Their flagship beers are available year-round, and you can taste them at the brewery on Thursday through Sunday. Their 7 Mile India Pale Ale is a session IPA that blends hops and citrus, and the American Beauty offers malty caramel flavors. They also have seasonal brews, so depending on what time of year you’re there, you may be able to try something out of the ordinary!

Massachusetts

If you find yourself in Massachusetts, then you’re likely there for the history and the landmarks. While you’re in the state, why not try a beer or two?

Buzzards Bay Brewing

Located in Westport near Buzzards Bay, this brewery boasts “American Farmed, Fresh Ale.” Every beer is brewed by hand, and you can try the Buzzards Bay IPA or the Moby D altbier year-round. They also created limited releases such as the Swamp Yankee, which is a dark hoppy ale, and the Lizzie’s Famous “81 Whacks” Red IPA (named for Massachusetts’ own Lizzie Borden). The taproom is open Tuesday through Saturday, and you can fill up a bomber or growler to go, and choose from a great selection of brewery swag.

If you’re planning to visit the East Coast any time soon, then be sure to add some of these breweries to your list of places to visit. Who knows? You may just find some inspiration for the next beer you’re going to brew, and with micro brew equipment from Brew Perfect, your beer should turn out amazing.

Be sure to come back next time for Part Three of our blog series!

Planning Your East Coast Brewery Tour, Part One

As a homebrewer, you’re always looking for new inspiration for your next batch of beer. You might have a favorite brewery that you frequent, and that can be a great way to get ideas for new flavors and varieties of beer. However, it’s always good to expand your horizons and visit other breweries, and speak with other brewmasters and patrons who love all types of beer. At Brew Perfect, our digital hydrometer and temperature probe, along with our innovative app, can help you monitor your beer throughout the entire fermentation process. In this post, we’ll look at some East Coast breweries that you should add to your list of places to visit for new ideas!

Virginia

Brew Perfect is located in Richmond, VA, so we figured we’d start with our home state and some of its famed breweries.

Starr Hill Brewery

This award-winning brewery is nestled in the small town of Crozet, VA. It was founded in the late 1990s, and it is well known for its Front Row Golden Ale, Northern Lights IPA, and JOMO Vienna-Style Lager. If you’re ever in the neighborhood, stop by and try a beer or two!

Lost Rhino Brewing Company

Lost Rhino Brewing Company is located in Ashburn, VA, just under an hour outside of D.C.. They have a great lineup to choose from, including the Rhino Chasers Pilsner and the Meridian Kolsch. Their seasonals include a Dark Czech Lager and a Session IPA. You can also find limited release beers, and be sure to ask about their Genius Loci Series.

North Carolina

Heading south from Virginia, we take a look at some of the best breweries in the Tar Heel State.

Appalachian Mountain Brewery

Nestled in the northern part of the state in Boone, NC, Appalachian Mountain Brewery has an outstanding selection of beers. The Boone Creek Blonde Ale is named for the creek along which the brewery is built, and the Spoaty-Oaty is perfect for anyone who loves American-style Pale Ales. The head brewer, Nathan Kelischek, is an alumni of Appalachian State University’s Fermentation Sciences program, and the brewery sponsors students who are interested in brewing through internships and collaborations with the university.

Fullsteam Brewery

Located in the heart of Durham, NC, Fullsteam Brewery buys ingredients from local farmers for their brews. The results of these local ingredients are beers such as the Paycheck Pilsner, the Humidity Pale Ale, and the Working Man’s Lunch Brown Ale. They pride themselves on their Southern-style beers, and if you’re ever nearby, why not stop in and try one or two?

Maryland

Now heading north of our home state, let’s look at some of the best breweries in Maryland.

Jailbreak Brewing Company

Situated in Laurel, MD, Jailbreak Brewing Company has a 16,000 square-foot brewing facility that is in full view of the tasting room. Founded in 2013 and getting fully up and running in 2014, Jailbreak has been making delicious beers like the Big Punisher Double IPA, the Feed the Monkey Hefeweizen, and the Poor Righteous American IPA for nearly four years.

1812 Brewery

The 1812 Brewery in Cumberland, MD lives up to its name, as it’s housed in a repurposed barn that was built in the year 1812. It’s also the first and only farm brewery in Allegany County, and with a lineup that includes the Maddy Golden Ale, the Pack Saddle Double IPA, and the Wheeler’s Irish Stout, there’s a choice for every taste.

At Brew Perfect, we love helping people brew their next batch of beer, no matter if it’s their first or their fiftieth. Our digital hydrometer lets you keep an eye on everything as it’s fermenting, and you can check your beer’s status wherever you are through our integrated app.

If you’ve been thinking about taking a trip up and down the East Coast in the near future, visiting as many breweries and trying as many beers as you can, then hopefully this list will help you get started. Be sure to check back soon for Part Two, where we’ll look at breweries in Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, and Massachusetts!

Which Beer Will You Brew First This Spring?

Spring is finally here, and with it, the time has come once again for sitting outside and enjoying a cold beer with your friends. You might be hanging out at your favorite microbrewery, or you may invite friends over to sit on your deck and enjoy your latest home brew. Whatever the case may be, you likely have your favorite springtime beers, and as a homebrewer, you probably have your favorites that you love to brew once the warmer weather returns each year. At Brew Perfect, our WiFi Digital Hydrometer gives you access to live readings for your new brew’s temperature, alcohol by volume, and much more!

Choosing Your Springtime Brew

You spent the time and money to get your homebrew setup exactly how you want it, and once you’re ready to brew this spring, you want to create a tasty beer that will last throughout the season. Here are a few of the more popular springtime beer styles, and hopefully you’ll find one that suits your tastes.

1. Maibock – This beer is particularly popular in Germany, and even though it’s name means “May bock,” you can still brew it in March or April. A maibock is a higher-gravity lager, but it tends to be a bit more paler and bitter than traditional bocks. A mix of Pils and Vienna malts will give you a great golden color, and the inclusion of Sterling hops and Bavarian-style yeast will create a delicious beer you’ll love drinking all season.

2. Tripel – The Belgians know how to make a tasty beer, and the Tripel, with its bright, fruity effervescence, is a perfect fit for spring. A Belgian ale yeast is a must for this Trappist-style beer, and you can find different kits with different styles of hops and grains. Keep in mind that these Tripels can end with a higher alcohol content, so yours could make a great sipping beer on a spring afternoon.

3. Saison – Another Belgian-style ale that is known for its fruit-forwardness and sometimes spicy finish, a saison can be a great choice for spring. You can brew your own with different varieties of hops, and some homebrewers add spices like coriander or orange zest to change up their brew. The carbonation and acidity of your saison can make it amazingly refreshing, which makes it a great choice for that first really warm day in April.

There are a number of beers that are great for springtime, and if you’re a homebrewer, you may want to try them all! You know what your tastes are, but if you’re brewing to share with friends and family, you might ask them what their favorite spring beers are. As the weather warms up and you spend more time outside, you’ll love pouring a brew from your home-tapped keg.

If you want to know exactly how your spring brew is coming along, then order your Brew Perfect digital hydrometer today. You can also pick up a temperature probe, and be sure to download our app so that you can keep an eye on your beer the entire time it’s fermenting.

We look forward to helping you brew the perfect beer!

“I’m a Girl and I Love Beer:” A Look at Females in the Homebrewing Industry

The beer industry has been historically dominated by men.  However, the Brewers Association, a non-profit organization of American brewers,  revealed a growing popularity of beer among women.  According to their 2014 report, women consume almost 32 percent of craft beer by volume.

Another research project demonstrated that women are not only increasingly drinking beer, but are also brewing it. A 2014 study conducted by Auburn University found that women account for 29% of brewery workers in the United States and are beginning to play a much larger role in the craft brewing industry.

In 2014,a study by Stanford University found that out of 1,700 active breweries surveyed, only 4% had a female head brewer or brewmaster.

 

Some have said that the brewing industry as a whole isn’t as inclusive as it should be. In Milwaukee, there are only two female homebrewers in the greater metro area amid a span of 31 breweries.

Women drinking beer isn’t a new concept and isn’t an idea that seems very far-fetched. The question arises when you look a bit more closely into beer and gender. Are women drinkers marketed to differently than male drinkers? Should breweries be doing more to reach out to a broader demographic?

There are definitely more and more women branching out in the homebrewing world and are loving every minute of it. They are following their passions. And people who own their own breweries do a lot of heavy lifting. It’s not a job for the light-heared, no matter who you are. It’s a demanding job which requires a lot of time, effort, and elbow grease. More women are breaking barriers and proving that they hold a spot in this homebrewing world.

We hope that whoever you are and whatever type of beer you love, that you follow that passion. Fortunately, our Brew Perfect hydrometer enjoys all who use it!