Flying Hop Machine

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This is the brewing blog of Harold Giménez, a Homebrewer relentlessly sharing everything he learns.

Don't Trust Your RO Water!

When brewing light colored beers such as Saisons, Blonde Ales, Pale Ales or IPAs, I like starting off with Reverse Osmosis (RO) water and controlling the water profile for an appropriate mash pH and for flavor using a few additions such as Calcium Chloride and gypsum salts as well as food grade Phosphoric Acid.

RO Water is meant to serve as a great baseline for your additions, beceause it is stripped out of most minerals, providing the brewer with a blank canvas to build the water profile for the beer being brewed.

However, today, I was faced with a disturbing inconsistency that threw off my numbers and assumptions. Here’s the story.

written in science, water Keep reading →

Brew Day: Salty Dog Gose

I have been itching to bring in some critters into my brewery that weren’t saccharomyces for a little while. I’ve been making a bit of research and finally decided to jump right in. I think a Gose (or a Berliner Weisse for that matter) are a great way to start this journey, because it does not require long aging periods, and with hot side souring, it can reduce the chance of infecting brewery equipment with bacteria.

written in brewday, lactobacillus, milkthefunk, recipe, sour Keep reading →

Brew Day: Bourbon Barrel Imperial Stout

I started thinking about the holidays at year-end and wanted to brew something that is a bit heavier and delicious for the colder weather. I decided to go with an imperial stout. A beer like this needs to be let to sit for a few months to let it peak, which means it’s time to brew it now. I plan on transfering this beer to secondary or a keg in about three weeks and let it mature there until late November.

written in brewday, recipe, stout Keep reading →

Brew Day: Independence Saison

Today I brewed a variation on a recipe that I’ve worked on for some time. This beer is being brewed for a special professional event. I’ll be given the chance to talk about the brewing process, and given the audience is engineers and bio-medical scientists I might dive into water chemistry and focus on that.

written in belgian, brewday, recipe, saison Keep reading →

Brew Day: Drink With the Flies IPA V2

I recently brewed an IPA using only New Zealand and Australian hop varieties. I was shooting for a very light colored, clear, crisp, and fruity IPA to enjoy in the summer. Here’s a photo. I used a very simple grain bill consisting of 50/50 domestic 2-row and pilsener malts, and added a half pound of wheat to aid in head retention.

For hops, I used Waimea, Australian Summer and Nelson Saivan as follows:

written in brewday, ipa, recipe Keep reading →

What in the World Is That Off-flavor?

After a couple of years brewing I came across one of the biggest difficulties in my brewing to date. A bold, in your face, undeniable off-flavor had plagued my (home) brewhouse. The flavor was medicinal, plastic-like, pool-like and very completely overruling. I lost three 5 gallon batches of homebrew, and this is the story of my quest to find out what was the cause.

written in brewing, science, water Keep reading →