Monday, May 16, 2016

Getting Creative In Your Kitchen To Make Prepackaged Homebrew Kits Unique

Pre-packaged beer kits. At one point or another, most homebrewers dabble with using them. I daresay most of us got our start either using such kits or at one of those "brew your own" places.

Even after about six years or so of homebrewing, I still pick up kits every now and then. They're an easy way to get a good, reliable brew without having to build a recipe from scratch. Plus, they're a lot of fun to mess around with, as I've written about before when I talked about homebrew kitbashing. You start off with one beer, you get a little crazy with it after rooting around in the kitchen cabinets for a bit, and the next thing you know you have something you can't find on store shelves.

As I recently wrote on Homebrew Talk:

The great thing about experimenting with your homebrew kits is that getting started is easy. All you need is a homebrew kit of your choice and an idea. The best ideas begin with a specific beer and spring naturally from that beer, so begin there.
I find that entry-level recipe kits for classic styles are best, as they tend to be simple enough to offer a lot of room for creativity while still providing a good base beer. Those old standards may seem boring in today’s world of mango ginger double IPAs, but the point is that they provide an excellent canvas upon which to paint.

It's fun stuff! I've had a great time messing around with kits and turning them into something new and different. To see how, and to get some tips on how you can do the same, check out my newest article on Homebrew Talk, Experimenting With Ingredients In Your Kitchen To Make Prepackaged Kits Unique.


Friday, May 6, 2016

How to grow hops at home even with limited space!

Growing hops at home is fun, and it's FAR easier than you probably imagine. You don't need much real gardening experience to do it, because once hops settle in they are damn near impossible to kill. You'd have to be trying to get rid of them.

They do take up a ton of space, though. They'll grow 15 feet easy, and can climb to 30 feet under the right conditions. When they get bushy and full, that's a LOT of plant.

As I wrote on Homebrew Talk, though:

Unfortunately, not everyone is blessed with space enough to grow their own hops. These aggressively growing bines can climb to upwards of 30 feet tall, spreading out bushy limbs covered in the fragrant hop cones we know and love. Most growers built tall poles or trellises for their hops, which require materials and yard space. But here’s what you may not know: You don’t actually need a huge yard or sprawling acreage to grow your own hops. In fact, if you get creative, you can even grow hops indoors – and we’re going to give you some tips how.

So how do you do it?

It's easier than you think! The trick to maximizing what little space you have is to realize that almost anything can be a suitable growing area for your hops. Surf over to "Growing Hops With Limited Space" at Homebrew Talk to check out advice and pictures by yours truly that will help you get a decent hop harvest even if you have little space to work with.

'Cause come on, wouldn't it be cool to have your deck covered like this?

So go check it out! Cheers!

And for more stuff by yours truly, check out my main blog (which includes lots of non-beer stuff).