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Advice for every level homebrewer: Use these homebrewing tips from Bell's employees & General Store Clerks

Homebrew Tips

Homebrew has always been the heart of what we do. It's our roots. Larry Bell began brewing in the early 80’s on a 15-gallon soup pot, and ran a homebrew supply store before opening the brewery. Today this is still an important part of who we are. 

The Bell's General Store, adjacent to the Eccentric Cafe, has become a place not only for beer to-go and merchandise, but a place for local breweries and homebrewers to shop homebrew supplies. Our store offers supplies that appeal to every homebrewer, no matter the level of expertise.

With the help of our knowledgeable General Store clerks, as well as some Bell's employees who are experienced homebrewers, we are excited to share with you some tips that will hopefully help you on your next homebrew adventure.

Check back weekly for a new tip!

1. Are you having trouble getting consistency between batches? Start taking notes to figure out what is changing and say goodbye to surprise hydrometer readings! We even offer a free printable sheet to help get you started. Next time you're in the General Store be sure to ask one of our store clerks for a Brew Day Stats Sheet.

2. Oxygen Is Not Your Friend (Part 1)- Commercial breweries do everything they can to eliminate oxygen contact following wort aeration, measuring pick-up in parts per billion. Always purge vessels and packages with CO2, and consider transferring under a small amount of CO2 pressure and bottling with counter-pressure filling equipment.

3. Oxygen Is Not Your Friend (Part 2) - A single drop of water can contain up to 100 ppb of dissolved oxygen, and 5 drops of water in a 12oz bottle is enough to significantly impact long-term freshness. Sanitized and well-drained bottles and kegs help keep oxygen pick-up at a minimum.

4. Trouble with off flavors? Your tap water may be to blame. Here’s an easy trick to remove chlorine & chloramine without filtration: Add a campden tablet to your brew water! The potassium metabisulfite will react to neutralize the chlorine in your water and prevent nasty vinyl off flavors.

5. Focus on brewing base beers of good quality and repeatability, that means taking notes on EVERYTHING from the start of a brew day through packaging. Developing a sound process builds a foundation that will support a lot of experimentation and help with recipe development.

6. Want to take your NEIPA game to the next level? Dry hop with Cryo hops to bring the fresh dank, tropical, and resinous notes to your hazy monster.

7. Trying to work out the best dry hop schedule? Try this: Add 1/3 of your hops during active fermentation (day 3-5) & add the other 2/3 after fermentation, or at the tail end of fermentation (day 7-10). This technique will help you utilize the full potential of your hops and get you closer to that unforgettable hoppy juicy bomb!

Share your homebrew experience with us on social media using the hashtag #BellsAtHomebrew for a chance to be featured!

 

Our General Store has everything you need to start homebrewing or develop your next recipe. Check us out in person (355 E Kalamazoo Ave, Kalamazoo, MI 49007) or online.

As always, if you have any questions about homebrewing or a specific brew, give us a call at (269) 382-5712 or drop us a note

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