Label your home-brew quick and easy
In the past I’ve spent way too many hours in Photoshop coming up with artwork for my craft beer labels. When an all grain brew day is 8 hours, it seemed fair to spend that much time on the label. But with the Mr Beer kit, it’s so simple. The very first brew day is only 90 minutes, (and that is including initial assembly, cleaning and sanitization). So I decided that I’d better not spend more time on the label design than the actual home-brew.
I found a link in the Mr. Beer Fans forum to an online label generator and decided to give it a try. Continue reading
Zachzilla Pale Ale
It is named after my 3-year-old son who helped brew and bottle this one. My son, Zach, earned the nickname “Zachzilla” from his older sister because he likes to knock down blocks way more than build with them. Recently Zach has become more interested in building, so we decided to pass on the “zilla” name. Since this is an easy beer to knock down, at a mere 3.5% ABV, it now has the Zackzilla name. Continue reading
Removing beer labels
As a home brewer I have been recycling bottles long before being “green” was the “in” thing. Saving my bottles is second nature for me now. Often times, I’ve got so many bottles saved up in the garage and nothing ready to bottle, so I have to purge the empty bottles in the recycling bin at curbside. I know it’s unfortunate, but there’s only so much room for empties, and I don’t brew as often as I should. On the occasions that I have something in the fermenter that needs bottling, the first thing I need to do is remove the labels. And here’s the best way I’ve found to do that.
Beer Soaked Books
1. How to Brew: Everything You Need To Know To Brew Beer Right The First Time
This was the very first home-brew book I bought, and I still reference it to this day. Highly recommended whether you are just starting out with home brewing or are looking for ways to improve your current brew recipes.
2. The Craft of Stone Brewing Co.: Liquid Lore, Epic Recipes, and Unabashed Arrogance
I received this one as a Christmas gift last year and thought it was just a cookbook, recently I picked it up and started reading. This is much more than a cookbook. They go through the history of Stone Brewing, provide homebrew recipes for some of your favorite Stone beers. And of course the cookbook part has actual recipes from the Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens. As a long time fan of Stone Brewing, I was happy as a clam just to have this prominently displayed on the book shelf. And I was even happier once I read through the content. Do yourself a favor, get this one, give it as a gift, or add it to your wish list.
3.Brewing Up a Business: Adventures in Beer from the Founder of Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
This is a great read on the history and humble beginnings of the “off-centered ales” at Dogfish. The current edition includes interesting tales of how they grew the business utilizing social media and differentiating their product in a crowded marketplace. So if you’re a craft beer fan, a small business owner, or just a home brewer who wants to read about Sam Calagione’s journey, this is for you.
So those are my top beer books. What books would you recommend?
I mentioned earlier that I ordered a Mr. Beer homebrew kit. Well, it showed up last week and today was brew day.
It was simple as can be:
- 10 minutes to sanitize
- Dissolve the “booster” in 4 cups water (booster is basically corn syrup solids)
- Bring to boil, remove from heat
- Add extract, stir to create wort.
- Pour wort into fermenter
- Add cold water to make 8.5 qts
- Pitch yeast, stir, store in cool dark place
Now we wait. I followed the Pale Ale recipe exactly as described in the packaging. I want to see how it turns out before tweaking the Mr. Beer recipes. All in all it was a very simple process with little to no mess. First impression… this is pretty awesome. I’ll report back on bottle day. Until then I’ll be emptying bottles. Cheers!
Beer Soaked Erik