Techniques: Sparging

September 10th, 2013 No comments

Bob, you do use strange words sometimes mate.

I didn’t invent them. Sparging comes from the Latin word spargere meaning “to sprinkle” or “to scatter.” There, you see? Not. My. Fault.

Sparging is a brewing technique used by grain brewers where they spray heated water over the grains to extract the sugars, creating the wort.

I’m glad you asked. It’s an efficiency thing. When you sparge, you reduce the amount of grain you need to use because you can’t possibly get all the sugar out of the grain

In a normal sparging setup (from top to bottom) you have:

  • a reservoir for boiling water
  • something to help disperse the water at the top of the pile of grains (sparger)
       You can buy a sparger or make one.
        I’m rather fond of using a hand-held shower head.
  • a sparge bucket
       a bucket that has a spigot or hose coming out the bottom
       a seive of some sort to elevate the grains above the exit hose
  • a collecting bucket for the wort

When brewing, you need to be careful with the temperature of the water, as water that is too hot can extract unwanted tannins and bitterness from the grains, although that’s often more of a pH level issue than a heat issue.

Since you have a step between the water boiler and the sparging bucket, you can often control the temperature better. If you’re a grain-brewer, get on the band wagon and look at sparging your next brew.


Here’s the sparging process:

  1. Heat your water to no more than 175°
  2. Spray the water over the top of the grains
  3. Collect the first few quarts of wort and pour back over the top of the grains.
       This is because the first few minutes of water flow will contain bits of the ground grains with it.
       By pouring it back over the top, the grains will start to act as a filter and your wort will soon run clear.
  4. Once the wort is running clear, let it flow into your collecting bucket
  5. That was easy!!

Beer News: The Summer of Beer (Festivals)

September 16th, 2012 No comments

Fill up the tank with petrol, grab your calendar, and mark these dates down because there’s beer to be had all over Australia in 2012 & 2013!

Will you be at any of these festivals? Plan a meet & greet with other Quality Home Brew Supplies home brewers by posting get-together info here.

Are there any other festivals or events that I didn’t list? Register for the site, post a comment with the information, and share it with everyone.


September 22 Bottle-O Lambton Aussie Craft Beer Festival,
Lambton, NSW
October 6: 2nd Annual Brew Mountains Beer and Cider Festival,
Fairmont Resort, Leura NSW
October 13: Sprung in the Alley Craft Beer Festival,
Swan Valley WA
October 20-28: Sydney Craft Beer Week,
Various Locations, Sydney, NSW
October 27-28: 8th Annual Australian Beer Festival,
The Australian Hotel, Sydney NSW
November 3-4: Bitter & Twisted International Boutique Beer Festival,
Maitland Gaol, Maitland NSW
November 17: Morning Peninsula Craft Beer Festival: Beers By The Bay,
Mornington Racing Club Mornington VIC
November 24-25: Tasmanian International Beerfest,
Princes Wharf #1 Hobart TAS
November 25: 6th Annual Warners at the Bay Boutique Beer Festival,
Warners Bay NSW


January 18-19: Tamar Valley Beer Festival,
Launceston TAS
January 19: Ballarat Beer Festival,
City Oval, Ballarat VIC
February 2: Great Australian Beer Festival,
Geelong Racecourse, Geelong VIC

Techniques: Extract Brewing

September 9th, 2012 No comments

What is extract brewing?

The name says it all: brewing beer using extracts instead of grains. The extract comes from the same place, malt. It just comes as a can of liquid instead of grains.

Most home brewers are extract brewers. And most new brewers start with extracts because you need less equipment and expertise in order to produce a really tasty beer. You also get to skip over the mashing step and get right into boiling, saving you lots of time.

There are drawbacks to pure extract brewing, so don’t think it’s all rainbows and unicorns. You give up the ability to really play around with your flavors. But on the other hand, if you find a recipe you love, you’ll have an easier time duplicating it every time. It also costs more. You’re paying someone for the work they did to turn those malt grains into the extract. But again, on the other hand, you don’t need to buy bags of grains, or have a dry-room to store them.

Basic Extract Brewing Process

  • Boil water
  • Add extracts
  • Add hops
  • Add time (60-90 mins usually)
  • Cool
  • Add yeast
  • Wait 2 weeks
  • Drink

But that’s not all!

You know how I said you can’t really play with your flavors with extract brewing? I sorta lied.

You can add body, flavor, and color to your beer by steeping grains in the water as you’re bringing it up to temperature. You do this with a steeping bag, rather like an oversized tea bag. Grind your grains, add them to the bag, bring your water up to 150° – 170° and let the grains do their thing for half an hour. Remove the steeping bag, and then bring on the extracts.

If you’ve never brewed before, are still new to brewing, or have been brewing for years, give extract brewing a shot. Stop by the store and grab a beer kit, and don’t forget the sugar!

Presidential brews.

September 2nd, 2012 No comments

No matter what side of the political coin you’re on, you gotta appreciate a President who’s not afraid to be himself. President of the United States Barack Obama makes no secret that he enjoys his beer.

He’s cool enough to share his recipes for the first beers brewed at the White House in Washington, DC.

And is it even cooler that he’s got his own bee hives on the South Lawn? I think it is and I didn’t even vote for the guy!

You can read the recipes and watch videos using the above links. I’ve reposted the recipes here lest they disappear when there’s a regime change over in the States.

Even better, you can stop by the shop, say hi, and and buy all the ingredients. Then you can make these Presidential Brews in your own house, whatever color you painted it.

White House Honey Porter


  • 2 (3.3 lb) cans light unhopped malt extract
  • 3/4 lb Munich Malt (cracked)
  • 1 lb crystal 20 malt (cracked)
  • 6 oz black malt (cracked)
  • 3 oz chocolate malt (cracked)
  • 1 lb White House Honey
  • 10 HBUs bittering hops
  • 1/2 oz Hallertaur Aroma hops
  • 1 pkg Nottingham dry yeast
  • 3/4 cup corn sugar for bottling


  1. In a 6 qt pot, add grains to 2.25 qts of 168˚ water. Mix well to bring temp down to 155˚. Steep on stovetop at 155˚ for 45 minutes. Meanwhile, bring 2 gallons of water to 165˚ in a 12 qt pot. Place strainer over, then pour and spoon all the grains and liquid in. Rinse with 2 gallons of 165˚ water. Let liquid drain through. Discard the grains and bring the liquid to a boil. Set aside.
  2. Add the 2 cans of malt extract and honey into the pot. Stir well.
  3. Boil for an hour. Add half of the bittering hops at the 15 minute mark, the other half at 30 minute mark, then the aroma hops at the 60 minute mark.
  4. Set aside and let stand for 15 minutes.
  5. Place 2 gallons of chilled water into the primary fermenter and add the hot wort into it. Top with more water to total 5 gallons if necessary. Place into an ice bath to cool down to 70-80˚.
  6. Activate dry yeast in 1 cup of sterilized water at 75-90˚ for fifteen minutes. Pitch yeast into the fermenter. Fill airlock halfway with water. Ferment at room temp (64-68˚) for 3-4 days.
  7. Siphon over to a secondary glass fermenter for another 4-7 days.
  8. To bottle, make a priming syrup on the stove with 1 cup sterile water and 3/4 cup priming sugar, bring to a boil for five minutes. Pour the mixture into an empty bottling bucket. Siphon the beer from the fermenter over it. Distribute priming sugar evenly. Siphon into bottles and cap. Let sit for 1-2 weeks at 75˚.

White House Honey Ale


  • 2 (3.3 lb) cans light malt extract
  • 1 lb light dried malt extract
  • 12 oz crushed amber crystal malt
  • 8 oz Bisquit Malt
  • 1 lb White House Honey
  • 1 1/2 oz Kent Goldings Hop Pellets
  • 1 1/2 oz Fuggles Hop pellets
  • 2 tsp gypsum
  • 1 pkg Windsor dry ale yeast
  • 3/4 cup corn sugar for priming


  1. In an 12 qt pot, steep the grains in a hop bag in 1 1/2 gallons of sterile water at 155 degrees for half an hour. Remove the grains.
  2. Add the 2 cans of the malt extract and the dried extract and bring to a boil.
  3. For the first flavoring, add the 1 1/2 oz Kent Goldings and 2 tsp of gypsum. Boil for 45 minutes.
  4. For the second flavoring, add the 1/2 oz Fuggles hop pellets at the last minute of the boil.
  5. Add the honey and boil for 5 more minutes.
  6. Add 2 gallons chilled sterile water into the primary fermenter and add the hot wort into it. Top with more water to total 5 gallons. There is no need to strain.
  7. Pitch yeast when wort temperature is between 70-80˚. Fill airlock halfway with water.
  8. Ferment at 68-72˚ for about seven days.
  9. Rack to a secondary fermenter after five days and ferment for 14 more days.
  10. To bottle, dissolve the corn sugar into 2 pints of boiling water for 15 minutes. Pour the mixture into an empty bottling bucket. Siphon the beer from the fermenter over it. Distribute priming sugar evenly. Siphon into bottles and cap. Let sit for 2 to 3 weeks at 75˚.

Beer: There are apps for that! [Untappd]

August 19th, 2012 No comments

Untappd App for iPhone/Android

Untappd is a Social Media app for beer drinkers. When you first start the app, you must create an account. Don’t panic! It’s free, and besides this is a SOCIAL APP.

Once you have an account, you can start to add your friends by letting the app scan your Twitter, Facebook, or Foursquare friend lists, or you can just send them an email invite. Being a huge nerd, I follow Wil Wheaton on Twitter, and lookee there, he’s got an Untappd account. Hi Wil!

Untapped lets you check-in to beers rather than locations. You can add your location if you want to. In fact, adding your location will let your friends find out where you are.

Once you’re ready to have your first beer, (and who isn’t?) click the [Drink Up] button and type in the name of the beer, or just the brand. You’ll get a list of matching beer names to choose from. Clicking on any of these beers will take you to an info page for that beer where you can check-in with that beer, add it to your wishlist, or find one locally. You can even choose to find similar beers.

As with other check-in style apps, you can add comments or a photo, rate the beer, and add your location. If you link your Twitter or Facebook accounts, you can share your check-in on those networks by clicking on those icons. You can link those networks while in the app, but it might be juuuust a bit buggy.

Untappd lets you find new beers as well as track your drinking history and by clicking the [Pub] button, you can see what your friends are drinking, what other people nearby are drinking, or you can go Global and see what other beers people world-wide are checking-in to.

Categories: Information, Weekly Info Tags: ,

Beer Kits: Morgan’s Canadian IPA

August 12th, 2012 No comments

Morgan's Canadian IPA

India Pale Ales have an intense hoppy flavor which matured well during the 4-month voyage from England to India, increasing the popularity of this style of beer. IPAs have a golden to copper color with a medium maltiness and body and a moderate to very strong aroma.

The unique flavor of Canadian style India Pale Ales comes from the variety of hops used in their creation.

The hoppy nature of India Pale Ales matches them well with spicy foods like those found in Indian, Mexican, and Thai dishes. It’s great with any meat prepared with spices. Cheese also pairs well with IPAs. Not only creamy cheeses like Gorgonzola, but sharp cheese like aged cheddar.

Order a Morgan’s Canadian IPA kit online or stop by the store. And don’t forget to ask us about our in-store specials while you’re here!