Homebrew Tip: Inexpensive 15 Gallon Fermentation Vessel

So you are currently brewing 5 gallon batches and they keep turning out so damn good.  You start day dreaming about upgrading to a 15 gallon or larger system.  This is something that most homebrewers eventually go through.  The problem is, most of us lack the funds to upgrade to that larger system whenever we feel the initial urge.  Our extra cash is usually spent on craft beer mix packs that we refuse to give up.  There is no reason to max out your credit cards and drop 2-5k on some fancy stainless steel beer brewing system.  Upgrade layaway style!  Slowly buy the small things you need to upgrade to a larger system.  Doing this will also give you the opportunity to learn each component as you attain it.  Being creative is another great skill to unleash!

How about a CHEAP fermentation upgrade idea?

If you buy homebrew supplies from a local supply store,  you probably have a decent relationship with the employees.  These homebrew supply stores usually have Briess liquid extract barrels that eventually become empty.  Considering their priority is putting more extract out, these empty barrels get tossed in the garbage.  Ask them if you can have their next empty container.  They may have some sitting in the back waiting for you to ask.

The smaller Briess extract barrels look like this. Notice the handle!

The smaller extract barrels are what you are looking for.  They are food grade.  They have a liquid scale on them,  they have openings on the top, and they have a damn good handle! 15 gallons of beer is not easy to toss around. All you need to do is install a #13 rubber stopper with an elbow for your blow off and you are good to go.  These types of barrels are plastic so you will need to make sure you have optimal temperature control during the fermentation process.  If you can manage that,  your beer will ferment very good inside of one of these.

A handy scale on the side
Install a standard #13 rubber stopper and an elbow for your blow off hose.




5 Important Tips When Brewing With Kids Around


If you are like me,  you are a parent who enjoys the pleasure of brewing your own beer.  It is your time to feel like you can still serve a purpose outside of changing diapers,  wiping butts, and wiping noses.  Finding time to brew a batch of beer is damn near impossible.  Therefore,  you have to make time while maintaining your duty as a parent.  Since you generally work Monday-Friday and are busy doing meaningless shit on Saturday,  you tend to brew on Sundays.  That is also a day when your kids are bored and need your undivided attention.  It is best explained as trying to brew beer in the bed of a truck while driving down a country road. Read more “5 Important Tips When Brewing With Kids Around”


Beer Recipe – Two Hearted Chicken

Looking for something tasty and quick?  Looking for something healthy and flavorful that you can make while drinking a beer?  Folks,  you need to try BeerMumbo’s Two Hearted Chicken recipe.  The hops aroma and taste are a great sidekick to chicken.  It is so simple, you could probably cook it completely drunk.  It is so good,  you will be willing to make it even when you are drunk.

1lb of Chicken Breast
8oz of Bell’s Two Hearted Ale (other ipa varieties will work as well)
1tsp of Lemon Zest
1tsp of ground black pepper

Cooking Instructions:
In a 12 inch pan,  combine all ingredients and bring to a slow rolling boil.  Let the chicken cook through (about 15-20 minutes at a slow boil)  Turn off the heat and eat it!  If you have some fresh hop cones,  throw them in with 5 minutes left and you will experience an aromatic explosion and a guaranteed hopgasm.  Serve it on a bed of rice.  Serve it on a bed of lettuce.  Service it with noodles.  Eat it by itself.

Do not throw things like onions or peppers in because they will hide the hops taste.


Simple HomeBrew Mash Tun – Box Cooler Conversion

Stepping your brew game up from extract to grain is a smart choice.  Not only will you find it MUCH cheaper to brew a batch of beer, you will also find the beer tasting MUCH better too.  After all,  beer is a product from extracting grain.  Buying a commercial mashing system can prove expensive and is not within the budget of your average home brewer.  What is the solution?  Bust out that old 50 quart cooler and make it into an efficient mash tun!  Total investment $40 if you already have a cooler and $100 if you do not.  Savings?  How about $10-$20 per 5 gallon batch of beer.


Step 1:
Find a 45-55 quart box cooler that has a drain plug.

Step 2:
Buy a 1/2 inch ball valve and a 1/2 male/male extension piece from your local Home Depot or Lowes.  Measure the thickness of the cooler wall before buying this piece.  You want it just long enough to create a snug fit from both sides when its all said and done.  A little thread on each side is ideal.  Stainless steel would be ideal but brass works just fine.

Step 3:
Remove the drain plug and its components.  It should be a simple threaded piece.  Save the rings because you will need them.

Step 4:
Install the new ball valve and former fittings.  Your cooler should look like the one below.

Now that you have the exit piece in place you need to put together the inside of your mash tun OR as I call it…the balls of the mash tun.

Read more “Simple HomeBrew Mash Tun – Box Cooler Conversion”


Beer Clone Recipe: Pliny the Elder

Ever wanted to make a clone of one of the best IPAs to ever grace planet earth?  Pliny is the holy grail of Imperial IPAs and this recipe is apparently fairly close to the real deal.  The recipe listed below is rumored to have come from Russian River (Vinnie).  Is that true?  Maybe or Maybe not.  Good luck finding the hop bill on this one.  Sasquatch may be easier to catch.


5 gallon batch
Pre Boil:  5.5-6 gallons

Mash the grains at 150-152 degrees
Boil for 90 minutes
Add hops at the correct hop schedule

OG = 1.074
FG = 1.014
IBU = 100+
SRM = 8
ABV = 8-8.5%


12.2 lbs – 2-row malt
.28 lbs – Crystal malt (45L)
.86 lbs – CaraPils malt
1.0 lb – Dextrose (corn sugar)

19.5 AAU Chinook whole hops (mash hops)
(1.5 oz of 13% alpha acid)
42.9 AAU Warrior hops (90 minutes)
(2.75 oz of 15.6% alpha acid)
6.1 AAU Chinook hops (90 minutes)
(0.5 oz of 12.2% alpha acid)
12 AAU Simcoe hops (45 minutes)
(1.0 oz of 12% alpha acid)
14.3 AAU Columbus hops (30 minutes)
(1.0 oz of 14.3% alpha acid)
20.5 AAU Centennial hops (0 min)
(2.25 oz of 9.1% alpha acid)
12 AAU Simcoe hops (0 min)
(1.0 oz of 12% alpha acid)
3.25 oz Columbus hop (dry hop)
1.75 oz Centennial hop (dry hop)
1.75 oz Simcoe hop (dry hop)
1 tsp Irish moss
Wyeast 1056 (California Ale) yeast
.75 cup of corn sugar (for priming)

Ferment at 68 degrees.  Dry hop two weeks and not any longer.


HomeBrew Tip: Upgrade your boil pot with a kettle…

If you are looking for a nice upgrade to the boiling pot without spending beer money, install a weldless kettle valve and strainer. It will save you time when transferring that wort and give you cleaner beer in the fermentation by straining out the unwanted items.

Investment: $35.00
Time Saved: Enough for at least three beers

Make sure you have a step drill bit and you have a high speed drill.  Otherwise you will ruin that boiling pot and probably hate yourself for a long time.  If you do screw up drilling the hole,  remain calm!  Use a small bit to chip away at the stainless steel being careful not to make the hole larger than the kettle valve.  It will leak your precious beer and your local beer supply store will make a new boiling pot sale to you.  I would recommend a Session beer when doing this.


Beer Cooking – Beer Can Chicken

Beer Cooking - Beer Can Chicken

So you have some extra cans of shitty beer that your buddies left at your house and you know that you will never drink it. Well, I have some good news for you. Go to the grocery and buy a couple of chickens. Open those cans of nasty light beer and shove them right up the ass of your newly purchased chickens. Turn on your grill and cook them for a good 1.5-2 hours. The beer evaporates and not only gives the chicken a nice beer flavor…it also moistens the chicken to nom nom nom status.

Simple things to consider:

Make sure you have enough fuel for the fire
Cooking time is about 20 minutes per pound

When your chicken is at 180 degrees…eat it!