Mike B. sent us a link to a page that I've been hoping to find for a very long time. The full chart can be saved below and offers basic guidelines for using many popular specialty grains.

Thanks to brewsupplies.com for creating a great chart!
specialty_grains_chart.png
File Size: 156 kb
File Type: png
Download File

 
 
Here's a great video we found online that perfectly sums up our thoughts on brewing and drinking beer.  Cheers!
 
 
Picture
Because we're geeky and you'll just have to accept it, here is a set of 7 Game of Thrones pint glasses for your purchasing pleasure.

If you haven't watched the HBO series Game of Thrones, I highly recommend you find a way to do so.

Here's a description from HBO's website and the link to buy them.

Add the Game of Thrones Distressed House Sigil Pint Glasses to your collection for a shake-up in traditional bar ware. The sigil graphics are roughed up to give them an aged look. The illustrations, as always are outstanding, giving the Game of Thrones Distressed House Pint Glass Set an unexpected quality. The opposite sides of each glass bears the House pledge.

 
 
Picture
Question: How long does it take to cap 50 bottles?

Answer: That depends, do you have one of THESE???

TH over at homebrewtalk created a pneumatic bottle capper which we think must be made of pure awesomeness.

Here's what he had to say about it:

"The air cylinder is a 2" bore spring-return cylinder with a 5/8-18 threaded rod end, which is perfect because a standard capper bell screwed right on. On the base I stuck on an "alignment" plate that I made out of lexan to make it easy to align the bottles each time. By the way I only use one size of bottle so I built the capper accordingly. Obviously it wouldn't work for very many other sizes. In the video its running at 100 psi."


For more information, check out the original thread here.
 
 
Picture
Beer clings are great looking, reusable vinyl labels that solve the problem of labeling homebrew bottles. 

While printed labels can be nice to add some customization, you just can't beat the ease of quickly applying a vinyl label.

Picture
To use them, begin with a clean bottle that is dry and free of any residue.

Place the label on the center of the bottle and rub your thumb or finger from the middle to the outer edge.

We tried the labels on three different sized bottles, a 12oz, 22oz, and 1 liter.

I really like the look on our cobalt blue swingtop bottles!
Finally, place the bottles in the refrigerator to strengthen the label's hold to the bottle. To remove, a fingernail at the label edge will take it right off.

Final thoughts
These labels are good quality and stay put during normal handling. There were no signs of the label peeling and I also noticed an area of the label designed to write a beer name or style, but didn't have a dry erase marker to give it a try. I assume it would work great judging by the way the material feels.

At a current cost of $6 for a sheet of 12 labels (plus a dollar to ship), I don't see how you can do better than these.

Check them out here.
 
 
 
 
Picture
Zymergy magazine recently posted the 50 best beer in America as voted by its readers.

There are so many of our favorite beers on this list that it's really hard to be upset at the order. I think if we had to make a few changes, it would be to move Sierra Nevada Pale Ale out of the top 10 and add Union Jack. Celebration and Torpedo are both solid top choices, but personally, I would love to see some other styles represented.

What do you think of the list?

The 50 Best Beers in America

1. Russian River Pliny the Elder
2. Bell’s Two Hearted Ale *
3. Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA *
4. Sierra Nevada Pale Ale *
5. Stone Arrogant Bastard Ale *
6. Bell’s Hopslam *
7. Sierra Nevada Celebration *
8. Stone Ruination IPA *
9. Sierra Nevada Torpedo *
10. North Coast Old Rasputin
11. Firestone Walker Union Jack *
12. Sierra Nevada Ruthless Rye *
13. Bear Republic Racer 5
14. Oskar Blues Dale’s Pale Ale
15. Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA *
16. Firestone Walker Double Jack *
T17. Ballast Point Sculpin IPA
T17. Sierra Nevada Bigfoot *
19. Stone IPA *
20. New Belgium Fat Tire *
21. Deschutes Black Butte Porter
22. Avery Maharaja
23. Founders Breakfast Stout
24. Left Hand Milk Stout
T25. Dogfish Head 120 Minute IPA *
T25. New Belgium Ranger *
T25. Stone Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale
28. Deschutes The Abyss
29. Goose Island Bourbon County Stout
30. Surly Furious
T31. Lagunitas Little Sumpin Sumpin *
T31. Rogue Dead Guy *
T31. Samuel Adams Boston Lager *
34. Troegs Nugget Nectar *
T35. Lagunitas IPA *
T35. New Belgium La Folie
T37. Dogfish Head Palo Santo Marron
T37. Founders KBS
T37. Russian River Blind Pig IPA
40. Green Flash West Coast IPA *
41. Deschutes Mirror Pond Pale Ale
42. Victory Prima Pils *
43. Great Divide Yeti
T44. Alaskan Smoked Porter
T44. Anchor Steam
T44. Lagunitas Hop Stoopid *
T44. Samuel Adams Noble Pils *
T48. Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald Porter
T48. Oskar Blues Ten Fidy
T48. Russian River Pliny the Younger

* Beers we've tried

 
 
Picture
I have to give a shout out to Scoundrel's wife and family for throwing a great b-day party for him a while back. They rented out a room at a nice resturaunt and the food, music, and beer were all amazing.

A really nice touch came from his brother who wielded the photoshop skills and came up with 5 or 6 homebrew related posters that were hung around the room.  All of them featured the "REAL" most interesting man in the world (who prefers Dos Equis) with Scoundrel's face photoshopped in. The gray hair and beard are classic and he even added some of Scoundrel's homebrew labels right on the bottles!

All of the pictures had great sayings on them but this one by far was my favorite!

 
 
Picture
Why name homebrew? 

Well, for me, it's because I want to refer to the recipes I create and it's nice to have friends call them by name.

Just like the pro brewers, we can come up with clever, pun-filled, crazy names that make us laugh and give our beer an identity.

A good place to start when naming a beer is to consider it's characteristics. From grain to hop, there are many flavor descriptors we use that can bring names to mind. What ingredients contributed to flavor, color, and smell? Adjuncts like honey, maple syrup, molasses, candy & brown sugar etc. can all help conjure that perfect name.

Often a beer's style can play a role in what name is selected as well.  A crisp summer pale ale could have a name that makes us crave the perfect lawnmower brew, perhaps something that sounds earthy or hints at freshly cut grass. A heavy porter brewed for fall might be better suited with a name that signals the vanilla or caramel notes inside.

Before we list a few of ours, I though it would be fun to post some of my favorite commercial beer names.

Hoptimus Prime IPA
Smooth Hoperator IPA
Badonk-A-Dunkel
Gargamel Ale
Old Engine Oil Black Ale
Clown Poison
Farmer's Tan Pale Ale
Sweet Water Happy Ending

Now for some of our names..

Scoundrel has a number that are clever, here are a few of his:

Fraudulent Bastard
Magically Delicious Irish Stout
Phat & Tired Amber
Forgotten Gnarlywine
Flying With Falcons IPA
Motley Brew
Hoppy Hour
iHop

Mine are all movie-related since we kind of have a cinema drafthouse thing going on.
Raiders of the Lost Ale
Planet of the Ales
Drunkfellas
Kung Fu Porter
No Porter for Old Men
Jurassic Park Amber Ale
Jackie Brown Ale
Silence of the Lambics
Dirty Rotten Stouts
The Neverending Session
Chicken Lager
Eternal Buzz of the Drunken Mind
Lord of the Hops
Alienation
Men in Black IPA
Here are a few straight movie titles that I may use as well:

The Hangover
Strange Brew
The Pursuit of Happiness
The Terminator
Red Dawn
Kickass
National Treasure
 
 
Picture
Instructables user tjesse shows us how to make a tiki torch out of a beer bottle.

Just grab a few of your favorite bottles and some cotton string (one from a new mop works perfectly), then punch a hole in the cap with a hammer and screwdriver.

Fill with lamp oil or citronella and grab your bottle capper from the homebrew kit and there you have it, one sweet little beer themed torch!