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Do it yourself OR get a kit

One thing that a lot of my friends have asked me since I started brewing is how I come up with my recipes and if I use those recipe kits that they sometimes see in the stores. I’ll admit that my first ever brew was from a recipe kit – Brewer’s Best English Special Bitter. I had just ordered an equipment kit from the folks at Northern Brewer, and I really didn’t have the first clue as how to brew, much less how to

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chiberia bean
Cold Weather Brewing

It’s winter. Yes, I know what you’re going to say – it’s not TECHNICALLY winter until Dec. 21. As that’s my birthday, I’m acutely aware of the fact that it is in fact the first official day of winter. However, here in Chiberia, where we are expecting another Polar Vortex this year, the reality of the situation is, it’s winter. We’re getting highs routinely in 20’s and 30’s, with lows on some days hitting the

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Next on tap

I recently finished up a trial at work, which consumed all of my time that I would have liked to be brewing in September and October. However, with that done, and the next week starting in two and a half weeks, I hope to get a couple of brews in over the next two weekends, before the weather turns and Chicago turns back into Chiberia. And with this Saturday being National Learn

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our latest reviews

Cool off! – The value of a wort chiller

I began brewing in August of 2011.  At the time, I thought it would simply be throwing some stuff in a pot, moving that to a bucket, adding yeast, and then bottling a couple of weeks later.  How little I knew…Brewing is part art, part science, and both pieces have to be executed correctly in order to turn out the best product possible.

Homebrewing 101 – Equipment – Northern Brewer Basic Starter Kit Review

Northern Brewer Basic Brew Kit.  5 little words right there that have helped propel my love of beer into a new level.  I read a lot of reviews online of the different starter kits out there and everyone kept coming back to this as the one to get for a starter.  (As an interesting aside, it also really seems

One of those other Ft. Collins breweries – Review of Odell Brewery

In August, my girlfriend and I took a vacation to Colorado.  For her, this was largely about hiking and visiting friends.  To ME, the trip was a chance to visit one of the great craft brewing capitals of the world.  While there, I sampled 76 new beers which I had never tried before my trip.  There were others that I had


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