Holiday Beer Brewing and a Festive Brown Ale Recipe

With the holidays approaching, it’s a great opportunity to experiment with a festive beer. Spices, fruits and hop additions can all be combined to brew the perfect holiday ale or lager. It’s important to choose your base beer before moving forward. For a spiced beer, it is often moderately dark and is well hopped to provide warmth and some complex flavoring. In contrast, fruit based winter beers often use a light wheat base and low hop rates so the flavor of the fruit comes through to be properly accented. You really want to choose a beer that complements the other ingredients.


Have a goal in mind in terms of what flavoring you are trying to achieve. For example, if you want to brew a beer reflecting flavors of a sugar cookie, you might start with a robust body ale and then add sugar or even a small amount of lactic acid or maple sugar to provide warmth and sweetness. Adding a bit of nutmeg would also help in highlighting the flavor of a cookie.


It’s also important to keep things simple and moderate when using adjuncts. Some first-time homebrewers tend to go overboard on the spices and that makes for an overwhelming outcome of taste. You want to accent your beer with these festive flavors without bogging it down.


One of the holiday recipes we enjoy comes from the American Homebrewers Association and we’ve included it below. Happy Brewing this holiday season and stay tuned for more seasonal recipes!


Christmas Cinderella Double Brown Ale:

Not quite your classic English brown ale, this Christmas Cinderella double comes in at about 6.2% ABV. It has the smooth, sweet caramel malt character of an English-style brown that is perfectly balanced with the flavor and aromatic character of chocolate malt. Wheat, special roast, and Belgian aromatic malts combine to contribute a rich, toasty, biscuit-like aroma and flavor, while the small addition of black malt adds color and assertiveness to balance the higher profile of alcohol.


  • For 6 gallons (23 L)
  • 3 lb. (3 kg) cans EDME Maris Otter malt extract
  • 5 lb. (1.13 kg) Maris Otter pale malt
  • 1 lb. (0.45 kg) 75° L English crystal malt
  • 75 lb. (340 g) wheat malt
  • 5 lb. (225 g) special roast malt
  • 33 lb. (150 g) black patent malt
  • 33 lb. (150 g) Belgian aromatic malt
  • 5 oz. (14 g) English Kent Golding whole hops, 2.5 HBU (60 min.)
  • 1 oz. American Willamette hop pellets, 5 HBU (60 min.)
  • 6 oz. (17 g) American Cascade whole hops, 3 HBU (20 min.)
  • 25 tsp. (1.2 mL) powdered Irish moss (10 min.)
  • 1 oz. (28 g) American Cascade whole hops, 5 HBU (steep after boiling for 3 min.)
  • Wyeast 1275 Thames Valley ale yeast
  • 1 cup (237 mL) corn sugar/glucose (to prime)


  • Original Gravity:060–1.064
  • Final Gravity:013–1.017
  • ABV:2%
  • IBU:25
  • SRM:32
  • Boil Time:75 minutes


Use a single-step infusion mash for the 3 3/4 lb. (2.6 kg) of grain. Add 6 quarts (5.7 L) of 172° F (78° C) water to the crushed grain, stir, stabilize, and hold the temperature at 156° F (69° C) for 60 minutes.

After conversion, raise temperature to 167° F (75° C) and sparge with 2.5 gallons (9.5 L) of 170° F (77°C) water. You should have about 3.5 gallons (13.3 L) of sweet wort. Add malt extract, English Kent Golding and Willamette hops, then bring to a full and vigorous boil. Boil for 75 minutes. Ferment between 63 and 65° F (17 to 18° C) for 10 to 14 days. For best results, cellar at 50° F (10° C) for 2 to 5 weeks.




Three Basic Tips for Brewing Beer At Home

Brewing craft beer at home is an enjoyable pastime shared by over a million Americans. Homebrewing not only serves as a fun hobby to enjoy on the side, but it provides you with a tasty beverage to enjoy when the process is over. Even the White House joined in on the homebrewing movement in 2012!


Whether you have just started making a beer brew at home and are on the search for some more helpful tips to take your brew to the next level, or you are wanting to start brewing your first batch, we’re going to provide you with a few homebrewing tips today. Brewing delicious beer at home comes with practice and we want to help you as you start your homebrewing journey. Read along to learn a few important tips that will take your homebrewing skills to the next level.


Invest In Fresh Ingredients, Especially Malt

You want to make good beer, right? Then you’re going to want to invest in the best ingredients possible. Brewing beer requires only a few ingredients, so there’s no reason why you shouldn’t choose quality ones.



Malt, which is grain that is used to make beer, is an especially important ingredient to pay close attention to. Make it a point to find the freshest possible malt extract you can. You don’t want malt that has passed its prime. Avoid brown hop pellets and yeast.



These small, green buds is what provides your beer with those sweet and malty flavors. Selecting fresh hops is going to make a big difference in the taste and aromas of your beer, so make sure you purchase quality hops. Plus, you can store hops in your freezer for about six months for reuse.



Without water, you can’t make beer. This ingredient isn’t as important as the others. However, if you are wanting to fine-tune the taste of your brew, you might consider using bottled water instead of tap water. Tap water contains chlorine, which can affect the taste of the beer in the long-run. Ensure a clean taste to your beer by using purified bottled water.



Yeast is the magic ingredient in the wort that turns into the beer you’ve been dreaming of. There are different kinds of yeast available, depending on which beer you are homebrewing, like ales or lagers. Be mindful of this as your collect your beer brewing ingredients. With fresh ingredients, your beer is going to taste that much better.


Chill The Wort

Pouring hot wort into cold water in a fermenter is often the brewing practice of choice to chill the wort down. However, there is a better method for chilling wort that will not compromise the flavor of the final product. Instead of mixing the hot wort with the cold water, place the hot wort in a pile of ice to cool it down. Once the temperature decreases to 70 degrees Fahrenheit, you can transfer it to the cool water in the fermenter. This way of chilling the wort decreases the chance of oxidation, which will produce a tastier beer in the long-run.


Stay Clean And Sanitized

While this may seem like a no-brainer, sanitizing your homebrew systems and beer equipment, especially during the wort cooling process, is an important tip for creating a clean tasting, delicious beer. The last thing you want is to contaminate your brews, so be sure to soak the equipment in a no-rinse sanitizer.


Hopefully these three simple tips will assist you in your homebrewing endeavors. Focusing on fresh ingredients and sanitizing your equipment, as well as properly chilling the wort, will ensure that your final product is a delectable beer that you and your friends and family will enjoy. Check out our homebrewing systems at Brew Perfect today.

The Homebrew Mashup: Kegging versus Bottling


We found a great article from Craft Beer and Brewing Magazine regarding some specifics details on Kegging. You can read the article here

Below we will look at bottling versus kegging and the advantages and disadvantages you may come across as you choose one route or the other.



Perhaps you are thinking about changing things up and switching from bottling to kegging. The great thing is that both result in BEER. We’ll look at some different elements to both bottling and kegging and see how they fare.

Some key components to the kegging process are as follows:

Kegs: homebrewers tend to use five-gallon Cornelius stainless steel kegs, which come with either a ball-lock or pin-lock fitting.

Connectors: Kegs have two connectors. One is for pushing CO2 and the other is for dispensing beer.

CO2 Tank: Homebrewers tend to use five-pound tanks because they are easier to transport, but if that isn’t an issue and you are planning on dispensing a lot of beer, you can attain a 20-gallon tank for only a few dollars more.

Regulator: A regulator is needed to provide safe levels of CO2, as a full CO2 tank holds a pressure of 800 PSI, which is way more than necessary for carbonating and serving beer.

Faucet/Tap: A tap is needed to control the flow of the beer when serving it.

Tubing: Food—grade tubing is needed to connect the CO2 and tap to the quick-disconnects.

O-Rings: These are rubber circles used to seal areas like the hatch of a keg. If you have purchased used kegs, it’s a good idea to replace the O-rings.

Refrigerator: You will need a refrigerator to store your keg.

It’s rare that you move a keg once it’s in the refrigerator so not only does this mean that you don’t have to keep moving it around, but because it stays sedentary, it lowers the chances of disturbing the yeast sediment after it has settled.

A bit of a downfall on the kegging side of things is that if you want to enter a homebrewing competition, the way to go is bottling.  It is possible, however, to bottle from a keg using a counter-pressure filler.

Some people opt for kegging because bottling can be time consuming so that really comes down to a personal choice and how much time you have and want to spend. We’ve seen the process take from 60 minutes (super speed) to five or six hours.

Kegging takes the lead when it comes to carbonation as it lets you precisely adjust carbonation to a level that’s just not possible with bottles. Also, if you do happen to over-carbonate a batch, kegs can handle many times the pressure of bottles.

Portability can obviously be pretty easy with bottles if you are looking to take your masterpieces with you. However, if you have a counter-pressure filler for the keg, it evens itself out.

And lastly, some people just enjoy popping a top off of a bottle rather than flipping a tap switch but all-in-all, both are great ways to get some great homebrewed beer!






The NEW Brew Perfect Digital Hydrometer is Here! Pre-Order Now!

Better brewing is just a click away with the NEW Brew Perfect WiFi Digital Hydrometer! Pre-order yours now and get four pint glasses for free, too!

Plus, you’ll be entered to win your Brew Perfect device for free if you’re one of the first 100 purchasers!
The presale has started and shipping will begin in early December!


The All New Brew Perfect Apps are Ready!

The all new Brew Perfect apps are READY! iOS and Android are both supported and available in the Apps and Play store. All you need to do is download the new app and log in with your current account information. You can find the app under “brewperfect.” Download today! Links are included below:

Go to App Store –https://itunes.apple.com/br/app/brewperfect/id1294106740…

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Beta Testing

To get started, please setup your new accounts with BrewPerfect by registering your email and password, going to your email to confirm, and signing in. Then go to add your device(s) on your profile page.

We will be selecting users to beta test with us before our move to production next week!