Monday, October 24, 2016

Home Brew Tutorial | How to Remove Labels from Beer Bottles with 3 Tools

In this tutorial I will show you the way that I de-label my used craft beer bottles so that they are clean a ready to use for my home brewed beer. I will use only three tools
  1. Hot Water
  2. Razor Blade (Brand new) (Do not use an old blade)
  3. Wet Rag

Yes.  De-labeling bottles sucks!  But, unless you want to pay ridiculous amounts of money for case of empty bottles, then this is a necessity for home brewers.  

I've tried this many different ways, but the procedure that I detail below (and in the video) is the best, most efficient way that I've found.

  1. Fill your sink with hot tap water (While at the same time filling your bottles).
    • This allows the hot water to make contact with both sides of the label as well as weighs down the bottle so it doesn't float.
  2. Once all of the bottles are filled, fill the remainder of the sink with hot water until all of the bottles are covered sufficiently.
    • I can usually fit about 12-16 bottles in my sink.
  3. Allow the bottles to soak for at least 10 minutes
    • Longer with yield better results.
  4. Peel the labels off then re-submerge for another 10 minutes (or so). 
    • Use this time to put the rag in the water. You want the rag nice and hot.
  5. Carefully, use the razor blade to scrape the glue off.
  6. Use the wet rag to wipe off any residual glue.
  7. Place the bottle upside down to drain and dry.

Be aware that some craft beer companies use different glue types.  And because of this, the difficulty of  removing the label and glue can range from super easy to nearly impossible.

For Example:

  • Sierra Nevada and New Belgium are super easy.
  • Thomas Creek is probably one of the most difficult.  It's almost like they use super glue to put the labels on. But if you have some patience and a sharp razor blade then you will get them clean.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Home Brew Tutorial | Wort Chiller Combined with 1000gph Water Pump

I'm doing a test run of my Homebrew system's new wort chiller mechanism.
To summarize what's going on…
  1. I will fill a medium sized rubbermaid trash can with ice and water and submerge the water pump.
  2. The pump will circulate ice cold water through the copper wort chiller.
  3. To reduce the amount of water used, I will, then, return the water back in to the original container. (Recirculating it)
  4. I will add more ice as needed to keep the water cold so that it will be efficient enough to cool the wort.

Here are some links to the equipment that I used in this video

Water Pump:

Copper Coil: (This is not the exact chiller I have. I bought mine from my local home brew store)

I do not receive any compensation for any of the items listed above.  I am just giving the information so that my fellow home brewers can make an informed decision and have some tool options available to them.

Terrapin: Recreation Ale | Beer Review

First off, I'm not a fan of the session IPA style.  However, this was a glowing example of said style. I've had many other examples, and this is, by far, the best, most flavorful example.  It still tastes like a watered down IPA.  But it's still the best example.
If you like this beer or even want to try it, be prepared to buy an entire 12 pack of cans in the form of "Terrapin IPA Survival Kit." Because that's the only way to buy this.

  • Rating: 84

  • Rating: 88 (overall) / 87 (Style)

Beer Name: Foothills Brewing: Hoppyum
  • Style 'A'
  • Beer 'C'

STYLE: Session IPA
ABV: 4.7%

COST: Only available in 12pk Cans case titled, "Terrapin IPA Survival Kit"


HOPS: Bravo, Centennial, Zythos, Amarillo, Galaxy (Dry Hop)
MALT: 2-Row Pale, Crystal 24, Victory

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Green Flash: Imperial IPA | Beer Review

This faux-filtered beer is everything you'd expect a good double IPA to be.  Hoppy, resinous, powerful.  The malt was in the background, just as it should be.  You are not going to say, "Hey. The malt and hops are so balanced."  You are going to say, "Damn that's hoppy!!"
I was very surprised and very impressed with this beer.  This is the first time I've ever had a Green Flash beer.  And if all of their other beers end up sucking, at least I know I love this one.

Name: Green Flash: Imperial IPA

ABV: 9.0%
IBU: 101
Availability: Year Round, 22oz, & Draft

Bottle Code: 

  • Best by date - 23 Nov 16 (Nov 23rd, 2016)
  • There were some addition numbers but I don't know what they mean - 816163 (I quoted the wrong thing in the video because it was very difficult to read.  I had to get the right light on it to actually see it)

 - $6.99 for 22oz bomber

HOPS: Summit and Nugget

Monday, October 3, 2016

Foothills Brewing: Hoppyum IPA | Beer Review

I was quite impressed with this beer.  For only $6.49 (regular price) at Target, I thought I would be getting a ho-hum, no-nothing IPA.  But on the contrary.  This was quite a good beer.  I've gone back and bought it many times since.  Don't pass up this IPA. You will regret it if you do. Rating: 85 Rating: 91 (overall) / 85 (Style)

Foothills Hoppyum

ABV: 6.25%

 - $6.49 per 6pk

HOPS: Simcoe

Victory Brewing: Dirt Wolf Double IPA | Beer Review

This was a fairly decent double IPA.  I've had better.  I've had worse.  But overall, it wasn't bad.  But it wasn't awesome.
There was good hop character. But for a double IPA, I wasn't really impressed. I expect my double IPA's to kick me in the face with hop. 
This one just kind of flicked me with a pinky finger on the tip of my ear.
It was just "eh".

Victory: Storm King

STYLE: Double (Imperial) IPA
ABV: 8.7%

 - $2.49 for Single Bottle
 - $8.49 per 4pk

GRAIN: Imported two-row malts
HOPS: Whole flower Citra, Chinook, Simcoe and Mosaic hops

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Victory Brewing: Storm King Stout | Beer Review

Upon first impressions, during the pour and aroma, I was less than impressed and was not expecting much if anything from this beer.
But when I took that first sip, I was completely floored by what I experienced.
Only real downside is that it is WAY too over filtered.

Victory: Storm King

STYLE: American Imperial Stout
ABV: 9.1%

 - $2.29 for Single Bottle
 - $8.49 per 4pk

GRAIN: Three imported, 2-Row malts

HOPS: Whole-flower American hops