Ask The Brewmaster

  • How do I get that thick, rich froth that clings to your lips like in the movies?

    First off you need to brew a beer with that characteristic, like a stout or a wheat beer. Both of which produce beautiful frothy white heads. Secondly you can use a heading agent such as Muntons Kreamy X Used in place of priming sugar. KreamyX contains a blend of spray dried malt extract, dextrose and a heading agent which will improve head formation and retention.

  • What is a Pilsner and where does it come from?

    Pilsner is a style of beer that originated in the late 1800s. Prior to 1842 beers were dark and cloudy until a visionary Bavarian brewer named Josef Groll created the world's first golden beer. Pilsners are one of the youngest beer styles in the world. Originally brewed in Plzen, Bohemia (which is now in the Czech Republic), original Pilsners were light in color and body. They had a striking clarity never seen before, with a well hopped aroma and lacy white head. Today Pilsners are one the most widely produced styles of beer brewed worldwide. Brew yours now and enjoy all summer long!

  • What are Wheat Beers and how do they compare with other styles of beer?

    Wheat beers are primarily ales with short conditioning periods. They tend to be light and refreshing when the weather is hot, although they are gaining popularity as a beer to be enjoyed year-round. Wheat beer is brewed from a mix of 40-75 % raw or malted wheat plus malted or unmalted barley. It is usually unfiltered and hazy in appearance. American Wheat Beers differ from their German counterparts in that they tend to lack the tart, phenolic, estery flavors of clove or banana. American wheat beers are usually golden to light amber in color with subdued malt character and more assertive hoppiness that their European cousins.

  • What's the difference between ale and lager?

    Ales and Lagers are brewed the same way using the same techniques. The differences occur with the Yeast used and the time it takes to ferment out. Ales are brewed with top fermenting yeasts at warmer temperature in the 60 -70Deg. F range. Lagers are brewed with bottom fermenting yeasts at cooler temperature in the 50- 60 Deg. F. and take longer to ferment and develop due to the longer lagering process.

  • What is Oktoberfest style beer?

    Märzen, which has become known as Oktoberfest due to the annual festival with the same name, was originally described as dark brown and full-bodied. The beer was often kept in a cellar until late in the summer, and each year remaining bottles were served at the Oktoberfest. The style is characterized by a medium to full body, a malty flavor and a clean dry finish. In Germany, the term covers beers which vary in color from pale through amber to dark brown. The North American style normally exhibits a stronger, though not aggressive, hop aroma and bitterness balance.

  • What is hefeweizen?

    Hefeweizen quite literally translates to yeast-wheat. One peek at the ingredients of this kit and you'll see why. There are multiple varieties of wheat beer, but what makes hefeweizen unique is its unfiltered nature – leaving the yeast and proteins in suspension giving the final product a cloudy appearance and a truly unique flavor. Remarkably low in hop bitterness and full of refreshing fruity flavor, the hefeweizen makes for a great summer drink to share with friends. Start yours brewing today to be ready for the heat!

  • What makes a beer a stout?

    The term "stout" originally meant a strong beer and the style began in the mid-eighteenth century in England as a porter. As time wore on this style was brewed to be stronger and stronger, and these beers became known as "stout porters" meaning they were a stronger beer with a higher SG (Specific Gravity). Eventually they became known as just "stouts". The differences between porters and stouts are difficult to determine at best. Some of the greatest beer connoisseur's debate what the differences are. Unfortunately, there really is no clear answer. Some brewers have argued that stouts, specifically dry stouts, should use only 2 row malt and roasted barley and should have no hop aroma or flavor whatsoever. Porters on the other hand use some crystal malts and therefore have some definite caramel character and have a definite hop aroma and flavor. I say call it what you want, just enjoy them while drinking them!

  • I brewed Amber Ale and a Brown Ale, what should I brew next?

    If you enjoy the ale style, trying an IPA or double IPA is a great way to get a taste of history and palate for the hop flavor in your beer. The IPA came to be by altering recipes from Britain to include more hops and more alcohol to act as preservatives for the long journey to India via boat. The trip would take up to 6 months and popular porters of the day would go flat or spoil before arriving at their destination. The resulting hoppy beers became known as India Pale Ales, or IPAs.

  • What's a good summer beer to brew now?

    Any one of the homebrewing kits we offer can be brewed at any time. As for the most popular ingredient kits we sell to our customers as the weather heats up, people tend to want to drink lighter styled beers such as a Pilsner or a refreshing beer such as wheat beer. A big hit around here is the Muntons Mexican Cerveza kit. You will find it very similar to a Corona; it's light crisp and refreshing.