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R.J.'s Home Brew Corner

Welcome to R.J.’s Home Brew Corner!  This is where I get to tell you about all of our new products, and why we like them so much!  We'll talk ideas, what we plan to use them for, and even dip into some of our favorite products, even if they're not new!  I’ll wax eloquent on everything fermentation, from fermented food to wine, mead, cider, beer and seltzer.  I’ll update this page the first Monday of every month so you can stay up to date on the latest and greatest products and what we're doing with them. 

If you want to see all of these new products, head over to our R.J.'s Home Brew Corner collection and see all of them together!

Have a product you'd like to see on here, or give some feedback on?  Write your question in our Ask a Question under the products that you want to learn more about!  We personally read and reply to each and every question.  Want to add your two cents on one of your favorite products?  Write a review and let us know what you think!! 

New Products for August 2021



SafAle BE-156 Belgian Saison

I’m super excited for this strain to be available in dry form because it’s my favoriteSaison strain!  It’s said to be the same as Wyeast 3724, which is thought to be the strain that Saison Dupont uses, and happens to be my very favorite saison strain available.  It tends to lean towards more fruit and floral characteristics and less clove-y phenolics, and does a bang up job as a co-pitch with brettanomyces to make a deliciously authentic farmhouse style saison.  Try it with our Extract or All Grain Saison Blanc recipe for a wonderfully fruit forward American style saison!


SafLager S-189 Dry Lager Yeast

This is a FANTASTIC addition to the dry yeast strain arsenal!  Usually, this Samichlaus yeast strain is only available seasonally as a Vault strain from Whtie Labs, WLP 885 Zurich Lager.  Having the ability to hit high gravity lagers any time I want makes me very happy, and I’m excited to develop more than just our Kaiser’s Reserve with it! 

Another great result that is being found is that this strain works well as a hybrid strain, which opens up everything from California Common to Oktoberfest for those of us without temp control!


Lallemand LalBrew Wildbrew Philly Sour
Another strain that I’m super excited to play with, and very happy to see in the hands of home brewers.  For many of us, making a sour seems like extra work and runs the risk of ‘infecting’ the brewery.  While that’s not necessarily true, you definitely have to have your cleaning game on point, dedicate fermenters to sours if they’re not stainless, and be more cautious.  With Philly Sour, you’re not infecting anything, but getting the best of both worlds!  Discovered in a tree at a graveyard by brewing students at the University of Sciences in Philadelphia, this strain of wild yeast is capable of producing both lactic acid and alcohol, streamlining your entire sour game!  Try it in an Insane Wizard Berliner or our Lightning Hammer Hibiscus Gose for a fast, easy and delicious sour beer!


LalBrew Verdant IPA

Verdant IPA is fast becoming one of the favored strains for Hazy IPA and New England IPA styles.  While it’s not the best choice for a West COast IPA, it does a fabulous job of both keeping a soft malt backbone and pushing forward your hop profile.  It’s also super versatile and the perfect choice for ESB and even a hoppy red ale like our West Coast Amber




WildFire Wheat Ale - Extract or All Grain

If you’re on the West Coast, you know that every year from June to September it seems like everything is on fire, and sometimes you just need a light, easy drinking summer style wheat beer to help combat the smoke and calm your nerves.  I’m super excited about this beer kit because it blends a few of my favorite things together into something that works really well!  We added just a hint of Briess Cherrywood Smoked Malt, which is super light and sweet on the smoke side of things, to add that touch of summer smokiness to round out the character.  And the hop profile!  Rakau is quickly becoming one of my favorite hops for both lighter beers and IPAs because the bitter is clean and smooth, almost like Magnum, but the whirlpool additions in this kit give it just a hint of a figgy, tropical punch to round out the malt profile.

Golden Naked Oats Simpsons Malting Company

Golden Naked Oats

As you can see by looking through our recipes, especially our Golden Gem Pale Ale (the extract AND All Grain versions), you can tell how obsessed I am with this malt.  I’ve used it in just about every style of beer, and it never fails to deliver a truly unique profile without being overbearing.  It’s more just an extra hint of light, sweet crystal and nuttiness, even if you totally over-do it.  This is one of the few malts that I like to use more than 10% of in hoppy styles, and I’m never shy about going up to 20%.


Apricot Orchards - 1 Gallon Hard Seltzer Kit

This is one of our most popular hard seltzer kits, and is available in the 5 gallon version as well.  I love the versatility of our 1 Gallon Hard Seltzer Kits, and it’s great if you like to have different flavors and experiments since it’s only 10 bottles!  The Apricot Flavoring that comes with the kit is high quality and doesn’t taste fake or sugary like some of the extracts out there, which makes for a nice, easy drinking hard seltzer. 


WineXpert Classic Italian Pinot Grigio - 1 Gallon Wine Kit

Summer or winter, it’s always time for a Pinot Grigio, and doing Small Batch is always a great way to go!  I like how fast these kits are, and how easy it is to stock up on different varieties so you have a wine for your every mood or event.  Also, they come with absolutely every ingredient you need except water, so it’s pretty much plug and play to make 5 bottles of some premium wine!



Stainless Steel Brew Pot 5 Gallon

The perfect solution to split volume boils, small batch bouchet, small batch hard seltzer, and any other small batch recipe where you need a smaller pot that is easy and convenient to heat on your stove.  This smooth sided pot is easy to store, high quality, and the price point is insanely great!  .


Robobrew Brewzilla Whirlpool Arm for 35 l and 65 L BrewZilla

Whirlpool Arm for 35 L and 65 L Robobrew / BrewZilla

Probably the most useful and easy to use mod the the fine folks at BrewZilla have come up with yet!  This works for both sizes, and makes the whirlpool a breeze.  I like to use it for both hop whirlpool additions and to help speed up the cooling part of the process.  The best part is that you just click it in and turn on the pump!  No extra work, no wrenches, just literally plug and play!


Cider Starter Kit - Premium 1 Gallon

Our Cider Starter Kit is one of the most complete equipment kits out there, and gives you everything that you need to make your next cider.  Whether you’re starting with store bought juice or starting from scratch with fresh apples and making your own juice, this equipment kit has all of the things that you need to make a successful cider.  Just add juice and yeast!  If you want to make it easy, try starting out with one of our Cider Flavor Kits, which include step by step instructions. 

This equipment kit is so versatile that you can use the same equipment to make Small Batch Mead, Small Batch Seltzer, and even try your hand at Small Batch Wine Making!  Check out all of our Small Batch Brewing Resources for instructional videos, instructions and helpful articles no matter what you want to make!


 5 Gallon Beer Making Equipment Kit

5 Gallon Beer Making Equipment Kit - Premium - With Fermonster!

This is our EVERYTHING equipment kit, and sets you up for success with all of your brews.  If you’re just getting into brewing, I like this kit because it’s literally all of the fermentation equipment that you will need, including everything for transferring, fermenting, and bottling.  It’s a great way to make sure that you really have everything that you need to get started.  With this, just choose your favorite recipe kit, grab a Brew Pot if you don’t have one, and get to brewing!  We also have step by step instructions with each recipe, fantastic articles on Brewing with Extract,  and an easy to follow Brewing with Extract Guide download to help you during brew day!




Motueka Hop Pellets

Nelson Sauvin T-90 Hop Pellets

This was my ‘gateway hop’ into New Zealand hops, and is still one of my favorites.  It gives you this balanced fruitiness with a kind of spice in the backbone and a truly unique white wine characteristic that plays REALLY well with both bright and tropical hops in hoppy beers.  We also tend to use it for lighter styles like blondes and it has no problem standing up on it’s own!  One thing we learned is that as a dry hop in a cider, this hop MURDERS it!  The wine-like characteristics push the apples out and compliment the whole thing, taking something great and making it incredible!


CO2 Hop Extract

CO2 Hop Extract 10 mL

You’ve probably seen us use this extract in many of our Beer Recipe Kits, and we do that because it’s such a clean bitter and makes it so easy.  The rule of thumb, although you can do the math if you want, is that 1 mL in a 5 gallon batch gives you about 10 IBUs.  This makes the bitter balance addition in your beer the easy part so you can focus on other hop additions and not worry about having tons of trub in your beer.  We throw these in easy to use, 10 mL syringes to make adding it easier.  Just make sure that you put the extract on your mash paddle and mix it in, though, so it doesn’t fall to the bottom and scorch!


Motueka Hop Pellets

East Kent Golding T-90 Hop Pellets

I LOVE EKG,and for many years (still, if I’m being honest) I consider it the best for lighter ale styles and just about every English style beer that I make, as evidenced by both our Lawn Mower ESB and our Belgian Blonde Ale.  For me, you can’t beat the clean, soft bitter profile and light, floral characteristics of this hop.  Yeah, it may not be the perfect IPA hop, unless you’re going really old school, but for tons of other styles, it’s usually my go to.


Sabro Cryo Hops

Idaho Gem T-90 Hop Pellets

Idaho keeps coming out with killer hop varieties, and Gem is no different.  It’s way brighter than Idaho 7, without the forward spicy-pine balance aspect.  It’s absolutely stellar as a bittering hop because the co-humulones are super low, but when mixed with some more pine forward varieties in a simple IPA, like Cascade and Simcoe, the bright cherry-stonefruit characteristics really pop!