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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 October 2021

NEW YEAST

Imperial Organic Yeast A40 Bubbles Gluten Free

Imperial A40 Bubbles

With cider season upon us, the fine folks at Imperial have given us a Gluten Free and organic cider yeast to play with!  This strain is very similar to the champagne strain with the exception that it is less acidic and literally throws the apple or pear character in your face!  For a classic, dry style cider you can’t go wrong.  Don’t forget to add at least 2 pounds of honey per 5 gallon batch!  This will round out your apple character, give you a perception of residual sweetness without having to back-sweeten, and bump up your gravity for a clean and delicious 8% fall libation.

 

White Labs WLP006 Bedford British Vault Strain

White Labs WLP006 Bedford British Ale Yeast - Vault Strain

All of the attenuative power of Imperial House, White Labs WLP007 or Wyeast 1098, but with a more malt forward characteristic, reminiscent of the Fuller’s strain.  I like this for big Imperial Stouts where you want them nice and dry to boost up the ABV but still want that thick, killer malt profile so you can add a nice dimension of oak character.  That being said, I’ll use this on a low gravity bitter or ESB all day long!  At 80% attenuation, you can still make an authentic, malt forward product without needing 20 points of residual sugar to do it!

 

White Labs WLP091 Best Coast Hazy Ale Yeast Blend - Vault Strain

Biggie and Tupac.  Pizza.  IPA.  Best Coast Hazy is a specially designed blend to make your best possible Hazy, and it doesn’t matter which coast you identify with.  It’s only moderately attenuative, and pushes forward hop aromas, especially with citrus and tropical fruit forward hops.  Oddly enough, it is also a great option for darker beers like stout and porter given the individual strains origins.  It’s like using Wyeast 1318 for your favorite malt complex beer or barleywine.

 

White Labs WLP022 Essex Ale

White Labs WLP022 Essex Ale Yeast - Vault Strain

The absolute hands down best New England IPA strain ever created!  We’ve tried this strain against all of the greats with the same recipe, and there is nothing that makes Andromeda IPA taste better!  The only problem is, it’s only available every few years, and only for a limited time, so you’ll want to bank it for those competition hazys and house NE IPAs, because it’s really, really that good!  It also does magic in any English style beer, and is my favorite next to WLP002 for an ESB.

 

NEW MALT and INGREDIENTS

 

Gambrinus Dark Munich Malt per pound

Weyermann Barke Pilsner Malt

Barke is a very cool, high end German pilsner malt.  The barley itself is an heirloom variety that used to be the most used beer grain.  In an effort to preserve history, Weyermann brought it back!  There are only a few farms that grow this variety, and the availability is somewhat limited due to lower crop yields.  That being said, the flavor is insane!  You get a wonderful, full bodied malt character and even better extract efficiency because of the more uniform kernels.  If you’re a German style brewer, there are few malts that really compare to Barke series malts, and it’s worth making the switch and mixing with some WLP830, Imperial Global or Wyeast 2124 to get the most from the malt character.  Best Helles you’ve ever made, anyone?

 

Crisp Scottish Heavy Peated Pot Still Malt

Oh baby, this stuff is RICH!  If you are an Islay Scotch drinker, this is your bread and butter for any Scotch Whisky recreation.  The peat is HEAVY, and it’s no joke.  Any more than about 5% in a beer, and it has the potential of taking over.  That being said, it’s a brilliant tool for adding dimension and fun character to the right beer styles.  We put it in our Heavy Half Scotch Ale, even though it puts it outside of style guidelines, because it makes such a difference in not only how good the beer is, but how it adds so much character that you don’t necessarily get in a Wee Heavy.

 

Vintners Best Pear Fruit Wine Base 128 oz

The more that I use these Vintners Best wine bases, like the Hemp Wine Base and Apple Wine Base, the more I love them.  It’s an easy, cost effective and concentrated way to get a solid cider or wine that you know is going to come out awesome every time!  Personally, I always cheat and add some Oregon Fruit Puree in different flavors, and use apple cider instead of water for dilution.  The good part of that is that you get a solid, fruit forward wine product that comes in around 14%!  Why wouldn’t you put that on tap?!

 

NEW EQUIPMENT

Keg Post Conversion Kit (Pin Lock to Ball Lock) 19/32-18 Thread

We all know that converting those Pin Lock Kegs over to Ball Lock Kegs is an absolute pain!  You’re never quite sure if they are 9/16 thread or 19/32 thread, and you won't really know until you try!  The good news is, we now have a full kit for each size, making it that much easier.  We’ve found that it’s about a 50/50 chance of which thread type your keg will take, so just pull the old ones off, throw a caliper on there, and grab the size that fits!  This new kit comes complete with the Keg Post Body for Gas In and Beverage Out, Poppets, and replacement Dip Tube O-Rings.

 

Italian Bottling Spigot for Bucket

These are awesome because instead of having to spin the entire bottling spigot and potentially unthreading it from the bucket, this has an internal piece that spins the spigot without spinning the spigot itself.  That means you can get it lower on the bucket or move the nozzle wherever you need to in order to make bottling day quick and easy.  It takes your standard 5/16” Transfer Tubing or 3/8” Transfer Tubing with no need for a hose clamp.  Don’t forget your Bottle Filler!

 

Cider Starter Kit 5 Gallon

Cider Equipment Kit - Premium 5 Gallon with Fermonster

Our most versatile and complete Cider Kit, ready to rock and roll for cider season!  This has everything that you need to take all of those fresh apples and pears and knock out some of the most incredible cider ever!  It comes with a standard bucket for primary fermentation and a Fermonster for bulk aging or malolactic fermentation.  For quick and simple ciders, you can actually work 10 gallons out of this kit by using both vessels as primary fermenters , especially if you’re going straight to bottles after primary fermentation.


Comes with everything that you need to succeed, whether you’re a seasoned cidermaker or it’s your very first time!  Grab some Cider yeast and a keg and you’re ready!

 

 Mash Tun Conversion Kit

Mash Tun Conversion Kit

This is our favorite way to convert either a Sanke Keg or an Igloo Cooler to a mash tun.  It’s ridiculously clean and even more efficient, giving you a hard piped and solid connection that you can’t mess up or pull off on accident with your mash paddle while doughing in.  The Weldless Bulkhead Fittings make pulling it apart and cleaning in between batches.  The Compression Fitting makes it easy to put the false bottom in and pull it out for quick clean up.

We love this particular false bottom because it is stepped so it won’t turn inside out on you on bigger grain bills, and it fits both a keg and cooler perfectly.  Worried about the install?  We wrote up a whole step by step on BrewCranium to make it easy, or you can follow along on BrewChatterTV as we literally show you step by step and outline everything that you need for success!

 

NEW HOPS

 

Motueka Hop Pellets

Cascade T-90 Hop Pellets

Known around here as the ‘Great Equalizer’, Cascade can work together with most hops and be injected into most beers and beer styles with success.  No, it’s not the citrus bomb that Galaxy is, nor is it the dank bomb that Columbus is.  It is, however, balanced with distinct pine and grapefruit, a pretty solid bittering hop, and versatile.  This is one of the oldest and most distinct hop profiles in American Craft Beer and helped paved the way for all of the hoppy beers that we know and love.

 

Magnum T-90 Hop Pellets

El Dorado T-90 Hop Pellets

Eldorado is one of the best ‘pusher’ hops that I’ve used, especially when you want to pull citrus or tropical characteristics out of IPAs.  By itself, it’s somewhat one dimensional with a sweet, candied characteristic.  Maybe not the most ideal hop for a SMASH, but it still comes out pretty good.  It’s real superpower is helping to push forward brighter hop terpenes, adding a solid punch to the rest of the finishing and dry hops in your favorite IPA.  Try it with a blend of Citra, Simcoe and Azacca and stand back!

 

Motueka Hop Pellets

Liberty T-90 Hop Pellets

Liberty is an old school hop that you see a lot of in Belgians and European style beers, but we’ve found that it adds a wonderful hint of spice as a late addition in lighter styles.  This hop is literally what makes our S & M Cream Ale stand out above the crowd, bringing everything together and adding an extra dimension to the overall beer.  We’ve tested the theory using it as a dry hop and late addition hop in our Classic Pilsner and Pintsworth Amber, and it really works!  It adds just a little extra dimension and brings the malt together without being overt or overbearing.

 

Motueka Hop Pellets

Simcoe T-90 Hop Pellets

Simcoe is such a versatile hop, and it seems rare that you don’t see it in the majority of IPAs these days.  It pairs well with just about every new wave hop with it’s two-tone profile of dank pine and passion fruit-citrus, and has tons of oils, so a little can go a long way.  What few people know is that it’s an absolutely stellar bittering hop.  It’s got ultra low co-humulone levels and a clean, danky-junipery flavor profile which makes it easy to pair with brighter single dimensional fruit forward hops like Galaxy and push that fruit way forward.  Really want to see how Simcoe is expressed, try it in a SMASH with some Golden Promise with a 60 minute and 15 minute bitter addition, then whirlpool and dry hop liberally!