Friday 29 October 2021

What is a BU:GU Ratio?

BU refers to bittering units - also known as IBU's (International Bittering Units)

GU refers to gravity units - which refers to how much sugar is in the unfermented wort. This is typically expressed as a figure like 1.050. For the purpose of this ratio, we take all the numbers to the right of the decimal place - so in this example we'd have 50. If the gravity reading was 1.105, then the GU would be 105.

As an example ratio, if a beer had 30 bittering units, and a gravity of 1.030, then the ratio would be 1

Another example would be a beer with 15 bittering units, and a gravity of 1.045. In this case the ratio would be 0.33

Most popular brewing software such as Brewfather will include the BU/GU ratio automatically in your recipe and give you a target bracket based on the style of beer you're making.

In the screenshot below, Brewfather has given us a bracket of 0.57 to 0.95 for the BU/GU ratio - and the recipe is currently at 0.59

This is calculated from 30 BU's and an OG of 1.051 (30/51 = 0.59)

What is BU:GU ratio used for?

The BU/GU ratio is used to balance the levels of bitterness and sweetness within a particular beer. Suggested figures aren't strict rules, but rather guidelines on how to make sure your overall beer flavour remains balanced and suitable to the style you are going for - which is why most beer styles will suggest a range to aim for.

Some example ranges are:
0.25 - 0.35 for wheat beers
0.4 - 0.8 for the majority of ales
1.0 and greater for IPA's

Wednesday 27 October 2021

White Bay - Hazy IPA #2 - Beer Review

Brewed By: White Bay (Rozelle, Sydney, Australia)
Beer: Hazy IPA #2
ABV: 6.3
Malts: Unknown
Hops: Unknown
IBU: Unknown

White Bay Hazy IPA #2 Can

Just to mix things up were making another hazy IPA. Lush tropical citrus, melon and berries abound in a very soft package courtesy of the protein rich malt base.


Hazy IPA #2 is a generically named, yet special and limited release beer from White Bay brewery in Sydney, Australia. Unfortunately there isn't a lot of information available on exactly what's contained within this beer - but it's certainly good!

The beer pours a beautiful, pale yellow colour - this has a "protein rich malt base" which we interpret to mean a mixture of pale/pilsner malt, along with other adjuncts such as wheat and/or oats. Wheat and oats are basically a must-have to get a beer hazy like this one is. Once poured the beer then settles with a nice cloud-like, fluffy white head. The hop aromas are inescapable as they basically start jumping out of the glass (and can).

A definite bitterness makes itself known with each sip of this one - which is then followed by the tropical fruit hop flavours. We picked up lots of pineapple and stone fruit notes on the nose and on the tongue - though White Bay also claim melon and berries flavours are present.

All in all this is a well balanced IPA and another good example of a hazy beer. Plenty of bitterness which is well matched with plenty of fruit flavour and aroma making for an easy drinking beer. There's also a strong alcohol presence with 6.3% ABV but is well masked by the strong flavours at hand.

White Bay Hazy IPA #2 in the Craftd Alpha glass



Monday 25 October 2021

Do you still need to do a 60 minute boil when brewing beer?

Most homebrew recipes, books and other literature reference a 60 minute boil time. For decades this has been the standard boil time - however, we're seeing an increasing number of recipes calling for shorter boil times - typically 30 minutes. This prompted us to dive deeper into this - what are the pro's and con's of shorter or longer boil times, and do we still need to do a 60 minute boil when brewing beer?

Why is wort boiled for 60 minutes when making beer? 

There's several reasons - including; 

  • Sterilisation of the wort
  • Isomerization of hops (ie. bittering)
  • Putting a stop to enzymatic activity that was started during the mash
  • Protein modifications - also known as hot break
  • Drive off the risk of the dreaded DMS - Dimethyl Sulphide - which leaves a taste/smell reminiscent of corn.

Most of these factors listed above would only need a matter of minutes, certainly not 60 to take effect during a boil, which begs the question about why we still boil wort for 60 minutes?

The biggest reason most people will say is to remove the risk of the previously mentioned DMS developing - especially when using paler malts such as pilsner. However, advancements in malting technology have significantly reduced the risk of DMS occurring, and there are loads of documented cases of shorter boils (eg. 30 minutes) using malts such as pilsner with no ill effects.

Brulosophy ran an experiment back in 2015 where they compared the beers made from a 30 minute and a 60 minute boil with the results indicating that most people could not reliably tell the difference between the two different beers (including some BJCP certified judges).

Loads of YouTube brewers such as David Heath, and Flora Brewing are also doing regular 30 minute boils with no noticeable difference.

Why use a shorter wort boil time?

Reducing your wort boil time will obviously reduce your brew day time, and the amount of energy used/required during the boil. And since you're starting with a smaller pre-boil volume (as there is less boil-off to compensate for), the amount of time required to get it boiling is also reduced.

You will need to make some adjustments to your recipe and water volumes based on a shorter boil time. For example, you will need to use slightly more hops for your bittering addition since the hops will have a shorter period of time to isomerize to provide the bitterness to your beer. All decent homebrewing software apps such as Brewfather are more than capable of handling this. It's also worth noting that if you reduce your boil time by 50% (ie. to 30 minutes), you don't need to add 50% more bittering hops to compensate - so make sure you use your brewing software to do these calculations to avoid overcompensating and ending up with an overly bitter beer.

There's certainly a counter argument of "why risk it" in terms of reducing boil time - and for many the safety net of decades of tried and tested knowledge of 60 minute boil times is perhaps worth sticking to.

We like the idea of a shorter boil time and will certainly be testing it in the near future on upcoming recipes.

Have you been using 30 minute boils, or do you tend to stick to 60 minute boils (or longer)? Leave a comment below and let us know.

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Sunday 24 October 2021

What is flaked barley, flaked wheat and flaked oats?

Brewing typically uses "malted" grains. Malting is the process of soaking the grains in water to begin the germination process - then suddenly halting this process by drying the grain with hot air. The process helps to develop enzymes that break down the proteins within the grain into a useable sugars that can be consumed by yeast.

Some recipes call for different types of grains to be used such as flaked barley, flaked wheat or flaked oats. So what is "flaking"? 

Flaking is the process of treating the grains with steam to soften them, then sending them through rollers. The process makes the endosperm more accessible when added to the mash, and negates the need for the grains to be milled.

Flaked Barley

Use in up to 10% of the total grain bill. Used to add unfermentable saccharides to your wort which helps to increase the attenuation limit and adds proteins which aid in head retention, and improve body and mouth feel.

Can give a grainy bite to beers and can be used to help reduce the amount of wheat required in styles like New England IPAs (NEIPAs), wheat beers and saisons.

Flaked Wheat

Unmalted wheat with high levels of proteins that help give foam stability and improve mouth feel and lightness (colour) of the wort.

Typically used in 5-10% of the total grain bill. Gives a crisper mouth feel when compared to wheat malt.

Helps to contribute haze and popular in styles like NEIPAs, wheat beers and saisons.

Flaked Oats

Flaked oats contain high levels of lipids, beta glucans and gums, which help to impart a silky mouthfeel and creaminess to beer.

Becoming increasingly popular in styles such as NEIPAs, and other big, hoppy beers for the texture and fullness of palate that they help to impart.

The more flaked oats in your grain bill, the greater the effect.

In amounts exceeding 20% of the total grain bill, it can contribute to a slowing effect on wort run off - ie. sparging. Use rice hulls to help alleviate this when using in high amounts.

What is the difference?

Obviously the process of malting vs flaking is quite different, however, it appears that the difference it makes to the end result - ie. your beer is quite minimal - at least with oats.

Brulosophy ran an experiment where they compared the use of flaked oats and malted oats in otherwise identical recipes and people were generally unable to tell the difference.

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Saturday 23 October 2021

BrewZilla 35L Max Grain Bill Size

The general consensus based on feedback in forums and Facebook groups is that the limit on the amount of grain you can comfortably use in a 35L BrewZilla is around 7kg. The BrewZilla manual states that the malt pipe is designed to take up to 9kg of grain, however if you were to try and use this volume of grain you'd likely suffer from poor efficiency.

This is a rough guide and will depend on a few things like the type of grain being used and how much water you're using to mash with.

If you're looking to make a high gravity beer with your 35L BrewZilla and need to use more than 7kg of grain, you can look into doing a reiterated mash. Reiterated mashing involves taking the wort from your first mash, then using it as the strike/mash water for your second mashing - using a second batch of grain. This would be a technique to use for high gravity beers such as 'Imperial' style beers, Double/Triple IPA's etc.

If you're looking at increasing your volume or the amount of grain you can use in your BrewZilla, it's worth checking out the BrewZilla Boiler & Malt Pipe Extensions. These are add-on attachments for the BrewZilla, made by KegLand as a cost effective way to upgrade and increase capacity.

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Friday 22 October 2021

Craftd Beer Glasses - Review

Beer Glassware is a surprisingly important part of any beer drinking experience. The right glassware can certainly enhance the aroma, taste, and visual appear of whatever beer is contained within it.

Enter Craftd Glass - a new startup from Perth, Western Australia offering a selection of quality, hand made craft beer glasses.

We were in the market for some new glassware to add to our collection so opted for their Freddy and Alpha style glasses. You can only buy their glasses in pairs since the good people at Craftd believe drinks are best enjoyed in company - plus you'll have a spare in case you break one. 

Ordering online via their website was quick and easy - and delivery was prompt. The glasses arrived in their own well padded/protected boxes, including a hand written note which was a nice touch.

The "Freddy" is a can-shaped glass with a capacity of 500ml when filled to the brim. The top of the glass tapers inwards a little to assist with head retention and aroma concentration. It holds a lot more than it looks like it should - and after emptying a standard 375ml can into it, there's still plenty of head space left over. Perhaps too much - we personally would have liked it if the Freddy was a little bit smaller since most beers come in 375ml or 330ml options and it does feel a little big in the hands - especially when you compare it to holding onto a regular aluminium can. 

The Craftd Freddy glass

The "Alpha" is an IPA style glass - designed to highlight the complex hop aromas typically found in IPA style beers. This is achieved by the bulbous shape that tapers inwards at the top of the glass - and if you've ever experienced such a beer out of an IPA style glass, you'll know that there is actually some merit to these claims - they actually work! The Alpha also has a capacity of 500ml when filled to the brim which seems to suit the dimensions and style of this glass better than the Freddy.

The Craftd Alpha

The quality and feel of both glasses is exceptional. They are made from high quality lead free crystal which means the clarity and visual appeal of the beer within them is completely uninhibited, and they feel a little weighty in the hands too - in a good way. We've used other beer 'glasses' before that feel really light and almost like they're made with a high density plastic rather than glass, but that's certainly not the case here.

Craftd glasses are handmade - although it's not clear where. Presumably not in Australia, although the Craftd website does state the glasses are designed in Australia. Being handmade means they would be prone to imperfections such as bubbles during manufacturing - however there was no sign of any deformities or imperfections in any of the four glasses we have. We wouldn't mind if there was though (so long as it didn't affect the use or performance of the glass of course).  Such imperfections would be a subtle reminder that what you are holding is hand made, and therefore unique and absolutely one of a kind.

Foam packaging is thick and helps prevent breakages during shipping

Both styles of glasses bear the Craftd logo (the Alpha has the logo only, whereas the Freddy has the logo and the Craftd name on it as well). They claim to be dishwasher safe as well, but it's probably not a great idea to be washing dedicated beer glasses in the dish washer anyway since they are quite harsh, and can leave soapy residues which will affect glass performance (ie. head retention) and contribute to off soapy flavours in your next beer. No thanks! We found rinsing with hot water immediately after use was sufficient, but Craftd also suggest using baking powder and/or a weak vinegar solution for cleaning which would also work and alleviate the previously mentioned problems with dishwashers (or using other regular dishwashing soap/detergent).

Pricing for the glasses is a little on the expensive side with the Freddy retailing at $25.99 (for a pair), and the Alpha retailing at $29.99 (for a pair). Whilst a little expensive perhaps when compared to other options - remember that these are hand made from quality crystal glass, and are a solid investment in your beer drinking adventures. They'd no doubt last a lifetime if treated well.

We'd highly recommend any of Craftd's range of glasses and will likely be buying some more from them in the future.

You can check out Craftd's website at 

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Thursday 21 October 2021

Catchment Brewing Co - Night Fever Black IPA - Beer Review

Brewed By: Catchment Brewing Co (West End, Queensland, Australia)
Beer: Night Fever Black IPA
ABV: 6.66%
Malts: Golden Promise, Chocolate, Golden Naked Oats
Hops: Unknown
IBU: Unknown

Catchment Brewing Co - Night Fever Black IPA in the Craftd Alpha glass

"A rich juicy black IPA with a tropical fruit forward flavour using golden promise, chocolate malt & golden naked oats resulting in a smooth and tropical fruit forward beer with a rich and satisfying hop profile..."


This is another exclusive beer for Hops to Home from Catchment Brewing Co in Queensland, Australia. Black IPA's by nature are a bit of a paradox - since IPA's are meant to be all about hops - a black IPA has to handle (and balance) darker and stronger tasting malts with the hops which is a difficult balance to strike.

Thankfully Catchment Brewing Co have done an excellent job with their Night Fever Black IPA.

The can itself has a cool design on it - with a dark background and two bright green eyes staring right back at you. The alcohol content is 6.66% as well - coincidence? I think not.

The beer pours a deep, dark black colour out of the can. There's a decent amount of foam that settles into a nice dirty brown head - and the hop aromas are hard to miss as soon as the can has been cracked open.

The flavour itself is of course, very fruit forward - as it should be in any style of IPA. The initial taste that punches through first is the dark chocolate and roasty undertones - but it's closely followed and overwhelmed by the fruit follow through from the hops. It's a strange taste sensation - almost contradictory - but it works. The brain just isn't expecting these sorts of flavours coming through in a beer this dark.

There's a moderate bitterness present that combines well with the malt and hops for a well rounded and smooth taste. It's rich, as the Catchment Brewing Co say themselves, but isn't overpowering. 

Overall a really enjoyable beer and something a little different from all the other lighter IPA styles available.

Catchment Brewing Co - Night Fever Black IPA Can



Wednesday 20 October 2021

How to scale recipes in Brewfather for the BrewZilla

In a previous blog post we covered how to select and setup the BrewZilla profile within Brewfather as an equipment profile. But did you know that you can then use this equipment profile within Brewfather to automatically scale any recipe within Brewfather to match the BrewZilla profile?

This is a great feature - since one of the great things about Brewfather is it's impressive recipe library - what this means is you can take any recipe within the Brewfather recipe library and scale it to your BrewZilla profile to get accurate measurements of malt and hops that are required - regardless of what equipment or batch size the original recipe was using.

Here's how you do it

  1. Login to Brewfather

  2. Select Library from the left menu

  3. Search for and select the Recipe you'd like to use. In this example we'll use the most viewed recipe in the library - the Sierra Nevada Pale Ale

  4. After selecting the recipe to open it, click the Copy button located in the lower right corner

  5. This will copy the Recipe to your list of Recipes within Brewfather. Select Recipes from the left menu in Brewfather then select the Sierra Nevada Pale Ale recipe

  6. Click the button to change the Equipment Profile as pictured below. In this example you can see the Equipment profile is currently set to BB60 NoSparge 25liter

  7. Select the BrewZilla / RoboBrew 35L profile (or use the 65L profile if you have the larger 65L Brewzilla)

  8. Click the Save button (in the lower right corner). Brewfather should now prompt you to scale the recipe. Click Yes

  9. The values for ingredients such as  hops and fermentables will now automatically update accordingly. You can use the Undo button at the top of the screen to reverse the change and compare the before and after values. 

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Tuesday 19 October 2021

Deeds Brewing - Double Lamington Imperial Brown Ale - Beer Review

Brewed By: Deeds Brewing (Glen Iris, Melbourne)
Beer: Double Lamington - Imperial Brown Ale
ABV: 8.5%
Malts: Unknown
Hops: Unknown
IBU: Unknown
Other: Lactose, Raspberry, Coconut and Natural Flavourings

Deeds Brewing - Double Lamington Imperial Brown Ale in the Craftd Alpha glass

"Turning up the volume on a beer like Lamington Ale was only a matter of time. Double Lamington continues our quest to share dessert in a glass. Light chocolate notes and a healthy dose of coconut are joined by a massive hit of jam as we've added a huge amount of raspberry puree straight into the fermenter.
This Imperial Brown is comfort food, liquified for your enjoyment. Sweet, slightly boozy, and the perfect addition to an evening"


This beer is fun and we found ourselves enjoying more than we ever would have predicted. The description shown above - taken directly from the can label is probably one of the most accurate previews or descriptions for a beer we've seen - it's spot on. 

Unsurprisingly, straight out of the glass we've got a deep, dark brown beer with the colour also seeping into the thick foamy head. The aromas before even taking a sip are inescapable - and then when you do, it's like a punch straight to the taste buds.

"Cherry ripe" was the very first flavour that came to mind - which is strange since this beer uses raspberries and not cherries - although they do both share the dark chocolate and coconut flavours.

And what a combination of flavours this is - the raspberry puree, lactose, coconut and chocolate tones from the malt all blend together perfectly for what can only be described as a "dessert beer". Each sip just keeps you coming back for more.  The coconut notes themselves are subtle, but the full complement of fruit flavours just work so well with each other.

Deeds Brewing - Double Lamington Imperial Brown Ale can

There is quite a noticeable alcohol presence - with 8.5% ABV this is unavoidable - but it's certainly nice. I'd liken it to a dessert wine - such as a muscat - except this is beer, so it's better. 

Mouthfeel is a little thicker which is appropriate for what this beer is trying to do - dessert in a glass, as Deeds Brewing say so themselves.

A really fun and enjoyable novelty beer - would highly recommend.



Monday 18 October 2021

All Inn Brewing Co - Sabre Session Ale Fresh Wort Kit (FWK) Review

Brewed By: All Inn Brewing Co
Malt/Adjunct: Ale, Munich, Wheat, Crystal
Hops: Azacca, El Dorado
Current IBU: 15
Yeast Suggestions: Morgan's Premiu, American Ale, US05, BRY-97, WLP001, Wyeast 1056
Dry Hop Suggestions: Morgan's Finishing Hops - Azacca 25g and El Dorado 25g
Mash Temp: 66C
Boil Length: 60 minutes
Current SG: 1.050
Fresh Water Top Up: 5L

All Inn Brewing Co - Sabre Session Ale FWK Box

"A little sleight of hand sneaks an enjoyable amount of passionfruit and pineapple flavours into a light and easy-going beer"


The All Inn Brewing Co Sabre Session Ale is a great example of what can be achieved in a mid-strength beer. For this fresh wort kit - we followed the directions and recommendations on the box - topping up with 5L of spring water for a total volume of 20L. We also used Safale US-05 yeast for the fermentation. The recommended dry hops with 25g each of El Dorado and Azacca hops were also added towards the end of primary fermentation for a little bit of extra fruity goodness.

Original Gravity (OG) on the box was 1.050. After adding 5L of water the gravity was reduced to 1.038 and was then fermented down to 1.010. This gives a total ABV of 3.68%.

After a couple of weeks to settle in the keg after fermentation - we feel the beer has reached it's prime. Pouring from the tap it comes out a light, bright, golden colour. There's a good level of head and retention as well - no doubt helped by the presence of wheat in the mix of malts used to make it. A noticeable bit of haze is present but expect this will further clear after another couple of weeks. We don't mind a bit of haze in our beers anyway.

As noted above, there's a surprisingly large variety of malts present here (4 in total) - but they combine well for a nice flavour with nothing really standing out or dominating.

All Inn Brewing Co - Sabre Session Ale in the Craftd Freddy glass

As you'd expect in a mid strength sessionable beer like this, the flavours are somewhat subtle but combine well for a thirst quenching and satisfying finish. The Azacca and El Dorado hops are well matched and in the recommended levels that were added, give a nice fruity finish on the tongue without being over powered or dominating.

It's nice being able to enjoy a couple of glasses on a hot afternoon without feeling the effects. The Sabre Session Ale presents an excellent compromise between flavour and alcohol strength which is what a session style beer like this should really be.



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Sunday 17 October 2021

NEIPA/Hazy IPA - Recipe Creation Guide

NEIPA/Hazy IPA Style Overview

An American IPA with intense fruit flavours and aromas, a soft body and smooth mouthfeel. Appearance is often opaque with substantial haze. Less perceived bitterness than traditional IPA's, but always massively hop forward. Emphasis on late hopping - especially dry hopping with hops provising tropical fruit qualities lending to the 'juicy' character for which the style is known.

Vital Statistics

These are taken directly from the BJCP style guidelines for New England IPA

ABV: 6% - 9%
IBU: 25 - 60
SRM: 3 - 7
OG: 1.060 - 1.085
FG: 1.010 - 1.015


Pale/Pilsner Malt - 60-70% (base malt - 50/50 mix of pale/pilsner is common)
Munich - Up to 20% (optional - can be used to add some sweetness and depth of flavour)
Wheat - 5-15%
Oats - 5-18% (some recommend up to 20% or even 25-30%). If using 20% oats, drop the wheat to 10% or so.
Crystal 1-5% (optional - mainly used for adjusting colour and aiding in head retention)

Make sure you include rice hulls in your grain bill to help with sparging - high levels of oats and wheat are known to create a thick, sticky mash that often gets stuck during sparging, or even mash recirculation.

Mash (Temperature & Time)

Mash @ 65C (for a drier/crisper finish)
Mash @ 67-68C (for a fuller bodied, softer, sweeter finish)
Mashout @ 75C for 10 minutes

Water Chemistry

Chloride to sulfate ratio of 2:1
Good starting point is:
150-200ppm chloride
75-100 ppm sulfate
<150ppm calcium

Hops (Boil, Bittering, Whirlpool & Dry Hopping)

Look for fruit forward and American new world style hops. Popular/common examples are;
  • Citra
  • Amarillo
  • Simcoe
  • Mosaic
  • Galaxy
  • El Dorado
  • Centennial
  • Cascade
  • Chinook
  • Columbus

Some popular  hop combinations are;
  • Citra + El Dorado + Mosaic
  • Galaxy + Amarillo + Simcoe
  • Falconers Flight + Moutueka + Citra
  • Idaho 7 + Galaxy + Vic Secret
  • Citra + Mosaic
  • Azacca + Simcoe + Lemon Drop
  • Vic Secret + Nelson Sauvin + Amarillo
  • Citra + Simcoe + Mosaic
  • Calypso + Azacca + Amarillo
  • El Dorado + Citra + Galaxy

Bittering hops are rarely added as a 60 minute addition. Earliest they should be added is 10-15 minutes left in the boil. Often no hops are added to the boil and bittering is achieved by a large amount of whirlpool hops. Use brewing software to calculate this (Brewfather, BeerSmith etc).

30 minute boils are common.

Whirlpool hops are added at ~80C and left for anywhere from 10-30 minutes before further chilling the wort. Aim for 3-4g/L for the whirlpool addition. You also have the option of multiple whirlpool additions to add complexity and extract different types of hop flavours.

Lots of dry hopping - timing and scheduling of when this should happen is widely debated. Multiple dry hops are common. Some recommend first dry hop to happen at high krausen or during active fermentation to achieve biotransformation of the hops. There's a counter-argument to this though that there's enough of this that happens with the hops that have been added at whirlpool. A classic case of try yourself and do what works for you.

A recommended limit on dry hops though is 240 grams in total for 25L batch to avoid overpowering or hop burn. There is also a recommendation that dry hops shouldn't be in contact with the beer for more than 5 days. Though once again, Neil Fisher from WeldWerks Brewery in Colorado states that their sweet spot for dry hopping is a contact time of 8-9 days. 

Aim for 10-12g/L as a starting point - we've read people using as much as 37g/L. Dry hopping no doubt reaches a point where it becomes less effective/efficient, but the exact limit with what this is is still unknown.


Go for a medium attenuating English style yeast. Some popular/common options are below

  • London Ale III (Wyeast 1318)
  • Dry English Ale (White Labs WLP007)
  • Vermont/Conan
  • Imperial A38
  • Gigayeast GY054 Vermont IPA
  • Fermentis S-04
  • Lallemand BRY-97
  • Mangrove Jacks M36 Liberty
  • Verdant IPA

Fermentation Temperature

Begin fermentation at the lower end of the yeasts recommended temperature range. After at least 5 days of fermentation, begin raising the temperature 1C per day for 3 days (for a 3C total increase in temperature).

Pressure Fermentation

Pressure fermentation is not recommended for this style of beer - at least not at the beginning of active fermentation. The pressure will suppress the colourful yeast flavours that are desirable in this style. If you do want to use pressure - begin applying it (or closing your spunding valve) after at least day 5 of active fermentation.

Cold Crashing

This one is optional - the style expects a certain amount of haze, so cold crashing to drop more yeast out of suspension will lead to less yeast in the finished product - which will contribute to less haze. Haze will still be obtained from the wheat/oats in the grain bill as well as hop haze from the large amount of hops that are added.

Sample Recipe

Check out our favourite NEIPA all-grain recipe

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All-Grain Recipe List

Saturday 16 October 2021

What are the different types and styles of IPA

India Pale Ale (IPA) is an increasingly popular style of beer with a large number of sub-styles or varieties. Looking through them at your nearest craft brew store can be somewhat overwhelming because an IPA is no longer just an IPA - it could be any number of  different IPA incarnations. Here's a list compiled from many different sources giving a brief outline of as many different IPA varieties as we could find.

English IPA

IPA as a beer style was originally developed in England - so this style is considered the "original". British IPA's are generally golden in colour and use classic british hops such as fuggles or east kent goldings. These hops tend to give them grassy, earthy and spicy under tones with some light citrus some times. Expect around 6-7% ABV and a dry finish.

West Coast IPA

Springing up from the west coast of the USA in California - the West Coast IPA focuses on hop aroma and flavour with neutral style yeasts. Think the big american "C" hops - cascade, chinook, citra which leads to a citra-dominant taste and aroma with some hints of pine and other earthy undertones. A little less dry than their English derived inspiration because of the inclusion of specialty malts such as crystal. Expect a more bitter finish as well - these can be anywhere up to 80 IBU's.

East Coast IPA

Similar to the West Coast IPA style - with the difference of yeast properties. East Coast IPA's tend to use mutated and complicated British yeasts to produce a range of scents and flavours during fermentation - expect stone fruit, banana and tropical notes. Combine this with American hops with similar properties and you can see where this is going - although they tend to use fewer hops which leads to a less bitter finish. Expect a cloudy/hazy finish as well.

Double IPA

Take a regular IPA - and add more of everything to it. More malt. More hops. More flavour. More bitterness. More alcohol. 

Triple IPA

Take a double IPA, and add even more of everything to it! These IPA's can reach 12-13% ABV - so tread carefully. These tend to be limited release styles - probably because of the huge costs involved in making them.

Session IPA

All the hop and malt flavours of an American or British IPA - but without all the alcohol to go with it. A great tasting IPA with plenty of flavour but won't leave you stumbling out the door or slurring your words after having more than a couple.

Black IPA

Also referred to as a Canadian Dark ale - some argue this isn't really an IPA at all (since the "P" in "IPA" stands for "Pale", I guess?) The general idea is to make a beer that looks like a stout, but smells like a West Coast IPA, and tastes somewhere between the two. Think full-bodied and clean, with a hint of roastiness from the dark malts, followed by a big hop hit.

Belgian IPA

An English style IPA but using a Belgian yeast. Belgian yeasts will typically add spicy, earthy, or peppery notes combined with zesty, citrus flavours.

Imperial IPA

Similar to a double or triple IPA - an Imperial IPA is another amped up version of an American IPA. Loads of hop flavour, bitterness and ABV as well (expect 9-13%)

Brut IPA

Brut means "dry" and a Brut IPA is no exception to this. Using a specific style of yeast, these IPA's achieve a dry, crisp finish. Very light in colour and have a similar appearance in the class to a glass of chardonnay.

New England IPA (NEIPA)

Similar to an East Coast IPA - but with loads of hops. So much hops in fact that it's likened to juice. Very hazy in appearance with loads of fruit flavour.

Specialty IPA

This is a broad term used by the Beer Judging Certification Program (BJCP) to refer to any IPA that is not a standard American IPA. This means alot of the styles mentioned above are also considered "Specialty IPA's"


A modern IPA featuring American and New World hop varieties along with spicy and sharp notes provided by rye malt varieties. Usually medium-gold to a light reddish amber colour - similar to an American Amber Ale. Why aren't they called "Rye-PA's"? Definitely a missed opportunity there.

Milkshake IPA

A spinoff on the previously mentioned New England IPA (NEIPA), a Milkshake IPA is ultra hazy and brewed with lactose sugar, oats and a wide variety of adjuncts - think marshmallows or crackers. Thick, pillowly, pleasant mouth feel with a strong hop accompaniment.

Single Hop IPA

As the name suggests, this is an IPA made with a single hop variety. Used to showcase the complexity of certain hops by extracing their bittering and flavour/aroma properties in a single beer.


"SMaSH" is an acronym for "Single Malt and Single Hop" - so a Smash IPA is one created using a single malt variety and a single hop variety. Like a Single Hop IPA, a Smash IPA is used to showcase a specific malt variety and a specific hop variety. Don't let this fool you into thinking they're dull or boring though - it's amazing what brewers are doing these days with smash beers!

Fruit IPA

Not necessarily an official style but a Fruit IPA is an IPA with additional fruit adjuncts added - such as oranges, tangerines, strawberries etc. Used to accompany and backup traditional fruit flavours derived from popular new-world style hops.

Sour IPA

A relatively new style of IPA, a Sour IPA have come from hybrid and experimental styles made by craft breweries to push the boundaries and test new flavours and concepts. Typically hazy with the usual fruit-forward hop styles, they use lactobacillus for souring. Expect tart, juicy and hoppy flavours.

Wild IPA

A rare style that uses wild yeast for fermentation. Hop forward as you'd expect from an IPA, but with funky farmhouse style, spicy flavours that are derived from wild yeast varieties. Not especially popular currently but could take off in the near future as more breweries begin experimenting with new styles.

Friday 15 October 2021

What is a Fresh Wort Kit (FWK)?

Fresh Wort Kit's (FWK's) are a relatively new concept in the world of homebrewing and are an excellent way for home brewers of any skill level to quickly and easily make great tasting beer at home.

First of all, what is "wort"? Pronounced as "wert", it is essentially unfermented beer. A mixture of water and the sugars and other proteins that have been extracted from malted grains through a process called "mashing". This mixture is then boiled for 60 minutes (in most cases) and hops are added at different times throughout the boil for bittering and flavour/aroma. The wort is then cooled and packaged into a plastic bladder/bag which becomes a fresh wort kit. You then ferment this wort at home by pouring it into your fermenter and adding yeast which converts the sugar to alcohol and magically creates beer!

A fresh wort kit will typically be around 15L in capacity - and can sometimes be diluted with a further 5L or so of fresh water to make a total capacity of around 20L - capacities can vary from kit to kit but these are the general capacities most kits work to. To put this into perspective, a case of 24 x 375ml cans comes to 9L.

FWK's are similar in principle to the tins of malt extract that most people have seen and associate with homebrewing - also known as "kit and kilo" brewing. The difference with the malt extract tins though, is that the wort in these tins has had the majority of water removed from them, leaving behind a thick, sticky syrup. The process of removing this water (dehydrating) also takes some of the nutrients and other flavours with it, leading to a compromise in quality and taste of the end product when it's rehydrated by adding water back into it. A beer made with a tin of extract will never taste as good as one made with fresh grains, or with a fresh wort kit.

Fresh wort kits are generally made by large, professional breweries - and this is what the benefit of a these kits are - you can make brewery quality beer at home, at a fraction of the cost. Also, since wort itself contains no alcohol, it is exempt from the large taxes that are applied to ready-made beer making it much more cost effective. 

They are also a great alternative for more experienced brewers who are time poor (or feeling lazy). They're an easy way to compare how your own brews made from scratch stack up against a professionally made one. They can also provide a way to ensure your cold side practices and fermentation methods/procedures are working well.

You only need a few pieces of equipment to get started with a FWK;

  • A fermenter (plastic bucket fermenters are cheap and easy to source)
  • A fresh wort kit (obviously)
  • Yeast
  • Bottles or a keg to package your beer into once it's been fermented
  • Additional water to dilute the FWK (depending on the FWK)
  • Hops (depending on the FWK)

Don't be intimidated by some of these things - any FWK that you buy will recommend what yeast to use, if any additional water should be added (and how much), as well as any additional hops that are required for dry hopping.

"What is dry hopping?" I hear you ask. That is simply the process of adding more hops to the wort during or after fermentation - this adds additional flavours and aromas to the beer depending on what type of hops (and how much) are added.

So how do you actually make a fresh wort kit? The process is incredibly simple and takes no time at all.

  1. Pour the FWK into your cleaned and sanitised fermenter
  2. Pour any additional water into the fermenter as recommended by the FWK
  3. Add the yeast to the fermenter - this would typically be dry yeast that is simply sprinkled into the fermenter
  4. Wait for the magic of fermentation to begin and end - it will usually take 7-10 days to fully ferment
  5. Add dry hops during or after fermentation as recommended by the FWK
  6. Once fermentation is complete, package your beer in bottles or a keg

Depending on what type of beer you're making you will likely need to have the water and wort within a certain temperature range for optimal results. Ales are the easiest as the yeasts used to make ales typically have a recommended temperature range of 17 - 22C which is room temperature in most climates.

A popular brand of FWK in Australia is "All Inn Brewing Co" who make a large variety of kits and also release limited edition seasonal kits. We've made a couple of their kits ourselves with excellent results.
Have you ever made a fresh wort kit? Or are you keen to give one a try? Let us know in the comments below!

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Thursday 14 October 2021

KegLand - RAPT Pill Hydrometer/Thermometer - Preview

Along with the next iteration of their BrewZilla - another KegLand product that's no doubt generating a lot of interest is their Rapt Pill. The Rapt Pill is a wireless hydrometer/thermometer aimed squarely at the homebrewing market and has surely been created as an alternative to the Tilt Hydrometer (or iSpindle).

The product is currently on the KegLand website as out of stock with an expected availability date of 15 November, 2021.

Here are some of the key features being touted for the unit;
  • Real time gravity and temperature testing
  • Less susceptible to error caused by hops, krausen or CO2 bubbles attaching to the unit due to the larger housing design
  • Readings can be logged via the RAPT mobile app, or the RAPT IOT hub on a windows/mac device
  • Long battery life - 2-5 months between charges when utilising wifi. If only using bluetooth then battery may last up to 2 years
  • USB-C charging port
  • Optional upgradeable external antenna
  • Made from BPA free plastic
  • Pill is joined/screwed together in the middle as opposed to having a cap on one end
  • No exposed thread and double o-ring seal making easy to clean/sanitise
  • Different housing colour options (red, blue, green, yellow)
  • Can be used in any fermentation vessel (plastic, steel, carboys etc) - including pressurisable fermenters like the FermZilla
The price point of the Pill is currently $49.95 on the KegLand website and presents a significantly cheaper option when compared to the Tilt Hydrometer (retailing for around AU$200). There is also the iSpindle which is another cheaper alternative to the Tilt Hydrometer but is open source, requires assembly and more work/effort to get up and running.

We expect the Rapt Pill to be fully plug and play - except for a simple calibration that needs to be done prior to use which makes it incredibly appealing - especially at the currently advertised price point.

All the known features/points listed above indicate a very promising product with great functionality. The external antenna is also a great idea since many homebrewers use converted fridges for fermentation chambers (including us) which act like a faraday cage by not letting wireless signals pass in or out very easily. This causes problems with wifi connectivity for devices inside the fridge - especially if your wifi router is located a long way from the fridge.

The RAPT Pill will form part of the RAPT ecosystem that KegLand are currently working on - the overall idea is having all of these RAPT products integrate with one another. An example scenario could be that once your RAPT pill hits the expected final gravity for the fermenting beer - it could communicate with the RAPT fermentation chamber and begin cold crashing the fermenter - all automatically. Pretty cool and exciting stuff.

Other RAPT compatible products include the recently released fermentation chamber and temperature control box. We expect the next BrewZilla to form part of the RAPT ecosystem and there's whispers of a gas controller and a keg volume level checker.

One question that remains unclear is whether the Pill will be 'locked' to the RAPT ecosystem so can only be used/connected with the RAPT IOT hub/app. KegLand have confirmed in a forum post that they are working on an API for their RAPT range that will allow integration with 3rd party applications such as Brewfather.

In any case we're very much looking forward to the release of the RAPT Pill and will post a detailed review shortly after release.

Wednesday 13 October 2021

Akasha Brewing - Grand Tour IPA - Beer Review

Brewed By: Akasha Brewing (Five Dock, Sydney)
Beer: Grand Tour IPA
ABV: 7.2%
Malts: Unknown
Hops: Unknown
IBU: Unknown

Akasha Grand Tour IPA in the Craftd Freddy glass

The Magellan of beers, this West Coast-style IPA circumnavigates the world of hops in a global tour-de-force of stonefruit, citrus and grape punch, balanced by a delicate bitterness and backed with a dry, moreish finish for a united nation of harmonious flavour. Excelsior!


Grand Tour is a limited edition IPA by Akasha Brewing that was created for IPA Day. Surprisingly, we weren't aware such a day existed so will definitely be marking this in the calendar for next year (it's the first Thursday in August). 

The name itself is curious and is in no way related to the Amazon Prime television series featuring former Top Gear presenters. Instead, it's a nod to the plethora of hops that have been used in this beer from all over the world - including Australia, New Zealand, the United States and Europe. And what a combination of hops it is - this beer is seriously impressive.

After cracking open the can - the instant waft of new world hop aromas is unescapable and deliciously inviting. Pouring into our Crafd Freddy glass - there was plenty of fizz and froth happening which lead to a nice, creamy white foamy head on top of the golden beer beneath.

There was a noticeable haze present in the glass - which to us is a good thing in a beer like this - and likely caused by a large amount of hops being used - aka 'hop haze'.

As you'd expect in a heavily hopped IPA such as this - there is a real fruitiness in the flavour profile. We picked up notes of citrus, melon, orange and mandarin. This was well balanced and matched with a bitterness that whilst making it's presence felt - doesn't linger and stick around in the mouth for too long as you get with a lot of other IPA's. There's a subtle dryness that follows each ship which keeps you coming back for more - and more - and more. All this flavour also does an excellent job in masking the fact it has over 7% alcohol content by volume.

It's almost a perfect example of pairing hop bitterness with hop flavour and aroma and is seriously impressive. A true showcase of what can be achieved with new world hop combinations.

There's a decent level of fizz/carbonation and also leaves a nice fluffy mouthfeel making it really enjoyable to drink in every way.

One of the best IPA's we've ever had - if you see it anywhere, do yourself a favour and buy it.

Akasha Grand Tour IPA Can



Have you tried the Akasha Brewing Grand Tour IPA? Did you enjoy it as much as we did? Let us know in the comments below.

Tuesday 12 October 2021

What is an IPA Beer and what does it mean?

IPA stands for India Pale Ale - and is an increasingly popular style of craft beer that has become very much mainstream over the past few years - along with the explosion in popularity of craft beer in general.

But what does IPA actually mean? The term India Pale Ale dates back to the late 18th century - when breweries in London, England were exporting beer to India for their colonists abroad. In order to help the beers survive the long sea voyage (as long as 8 months!), a large amount of hops were added to what were simply 'pale ale' style beers at the time. The hops were added as they were known to provide a preservative like quality when added to the beer due to their natural antibacterial properties. 

The result of adding large amounts of hops to beers is an increase in either bitterness, or floral, fruity, piney, or spicy flavours and aromas - depending on what sort of hops were added and when they were  added to the beer.

Consumers in India loved these highly hopped ales - and soon enough the people back in England were lapping them up as well - which lead to the birth of the style - India Pale Ale. This new style was a refreshing change from the brown ales and porter style beers that were the norm at this time.

Moving forward to today, IPA is considered it's own style category by the official Beer Judging Certification Program (BJCP). General characteristics of the style are specified as hoppy and bitter with a dryish finish and hop forward flavours. Alcohol content is generally quite high - anywhere from 5.5% to 7.5% ABV to help match and balance the high levels of other flavours.

It's one of the most popular craft beer styles at the moment. Checking out the craft beer selection at any bottle shop will undoubtedly present loads of different IPA varieties to try. On top of that, there are also IPA sub-varieties such as American IPA, New England IPA, English IPA, Double or Triple IPA, Black or White IPA, East Coast or West Coast IPA - the list goes on and on. We'll cover IPA sub-styles in a future blog post.

What was the last IPA you tried? Let us know in the comments section below

Monday 11 October 2021

Prancing Pony Brewery - Miss Kitty Schwarzbier - Beer Review

Brewed By: Prancing Pony Brewery (South Australia)
Beer: Miss Kitty Schwarzbier
ABV: 4.8%
Malts: Unknown
Hops: Unknown
IBU: 26

Prancing Pony Miss Kitty Schwarzbier in the Craftd Freddy glass

Miss Kitty, the Saloon boss has been spooking around the brewer’s head for a long time. Miss Kitty is dark and alluring with a refreshing personality. A Black Lager styled on a traditional German ‘Schwarzbier’, with roasted flavours, a low bitterness making it perfect for a winters evening.


What the heck is a Schwarzbier anyway? We'd never heard of one before so had no idea what was going to come out of this brightly coloured can after opening it. As it turns out, Schwarzbier - also known as "black beer" is a dark lager originating in Germany.

The aforementioned can has a cool cartoon style design on it - we had to give it a good once over to even find the name of the brewery that made the beer - the artwork really takes place front and centre on this one.

After carefully perusing the can details, we identified that Prancing Pony created it - a brewery that first started back in 2012 and are based in Totness, South Australia.

But back to the beer. The first thing that hits after the dark hue is the smokey flavours - accentuated by the carbonation and fizziness. It's smokey but a really clean flavour, as you'd expect from a lager.

The dark malts lead to a slightly thicker mouthfeel than what you'd normally get or expect from a 'regular' lager but it's still easy drinking with subtle classic lager yeast flavours lingering quietly in the background.

As you can see in the photo above, there wasn't much in the way of head, or the retention of it for some reason.

Along with the smokey flavours, there are hints of chocolate and coffee but all blend well together to leave a pleasant lasting taste in the mouth after each sip. 

Prancing Pony Miss Kitty Schwarzbier Can



Have you ever tried a Schwarzbier or other type of dark lager? Let us know in the comments below.

Sunday 10 October 2021

Quick & Easy Guide to Pressure Fermenting

In a previous blog post I covered some of the benefits of pressure fermenting. In this post I'll cover the process for actually performing a pressure fermentation and some frequently asked questions (FAQs)

What do I need to perform a pressure fermentation?

  • A fermenter capable of holding pressure - some popular options are Kegland's FermZilla and Keg-King's Apollo or Fermenter King/Junior
  • A spunding valve (to control/regulate the pressure within the fermenter)

How do I do it?

Fill your fermenter with your wort and pitch your yeast as you normally would. Put the lid on and seal the fermenter

Do I need to apply CO2 gas pressure prior to fermentation starting?

This is a common question amongst new starters to pressure fermentation. My answer to this is "no", you don't need to apply CO2 gas to the fermenter prior to fermentation starting. You can if you want to, but it isn't necessary.

Yes, there is oxygen present in the fermenter at this point, however, once fermentation starts, the yeast will begin producing CO2 that will expel all the oxygen out of the fermenter via the spunding valve.

I've never applied gas to pressurise the fermenter prior to any of my pressure fermentations and have never had any ill effects.

What PSI should I ferment at under pressure?

Another common question - and there's a few things to consider for your answer. A good starting point is 10-12 psi of pressure. Some people use more than this, which will lead to a more carbonated beer at the end of fermentation, but will potentially stress the yeast more. Pressure does help to reduce unwanted off flavours and esters which may or may not be desirable depending on what sort of beer you're making.

Another consideration is if you need to open your fermenter after fermentation has begin for dry hopping. If there's a large amount of pressure in the fermenter, releasing the pressure will often lead to the krausen expanding - rapidly - which is exacerbated if there's a large amount of pressure to release. The method I use is to start off fermenting at a low pressure (5psi or less) so there is less gas pressure to release to open the fermenter for dry hopping. Once this has been done the pressure can be increased to 10-12 psi.

Do I need to use a spunding valve? Isn't that what the PRV (pressure release valve) is for?

A spunding valve in addition to a PRV is always a good idea. It's all about safety and points of failure. If you solely rely on a PRV to maintain the pressure in the fermenter then you have a single point of failure. If there is a problem with the PRV (such as from a blockage from an aggressively high krausen) - the PRV may not function and pressure could easily exceed what the fermenter is rated for. If you have a spunding valve AND a PRV, then you have two points of failure. The spunding valve will cover the main duties of maintaining the pressure, and if a problem occurs with it for some reason, you've then got the safety net of the PRV. Always use a spunding valve.

What yeasts are good or suitable for pressure fermenting?

Yeasts that typically produce neutral flavours and characteristics are good candidates for pressure fermenting. Some examples are SafAle US-05 and Lalbrew BRY-97 and most lager yeasts due to the clean tasting nature of them.

Does pressure fermentation take longer?

No. If anything, pressure fermentations should be completed faster. This is because you are able to ferment at higher temperatures when fermenting under pressure.

What temperature should I pressure ferment at?

Another common question that has no real right or wrong answer. Personally I stick to the recommended temperature range for the sort of yeast that I'm using. You can go higher as pressure fermentations suppress the off-flavours that are generally expected when fermenting at the higher end, or even above the recommended yeast temperature range. But just because you can, doesn't mean that you should. If you have the ability to control the fermentation temperature then you should.

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