Online Homebrew Toolkit
Since I started home brewing, I have researched online to learn the craft. Initially, I stuck to the Mr. Beer Community and Fan/Forum Site since that is what I used to start. However, I quickly found those sites were not enough to satisfy my overall curiosity and need for facts.
Best Home Brewing Websites
Here are some (nowhere near all) of the sites I use to get ideas on techniques, recipes or just general information:
- Homebrew Talk: Very large forum site. Has numerous categories ranging from different levels of experience for the users, to what each user’s equipment setup is, to recipe sharing. There is so much information here I find myself using this as my starting point for almost any new search I plan on doing.
- Brew Your Own: The online version of the magazine. The Story Index is fantastic for all around information on almost anything you want to research. The Resource Guide has charts to give you a great idea for starting points on your grain bill or hopping schedule so you know what part of your recipe will be adding to the overall flavor and aroma.
- Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP): I like to call this the “brewer’s bible.” This is where I go to make sure my style is going to be correct before I get started on a recipe. These guidelines are often used to judge contests, like one I plan to enter.
- Hopville: A “cloud” type of recipe creator and tool. You can search other brewers’ recipes and get ideas for your own that you can create on the site. It has a very comprehensive list of fermentables, adjuncts, hops, yeasts, and other additives you can use for your recipe. It shows you the calculated original gravity, hop bitterness, and color so you have an idea if your beer style will meet the BJCP guidelines. I have used the site for each all grain recipe I have brewed and scheduled to brew. I then print the page to take to my local homebrew shop.
- Homebrew Finds: If there is one great resource out there for discounts on equipment or other brewing needs, this site is it. I found my brew kettle, my grain and hop scale, and my wort chiller at great discounts.
- Brew 365: I like the brew day quick calculators on this site. I use the mash and sparge calculators to get my water volumes and temperatures correct on brew days. There are some other useful things on this site as well like a hops substitution chart and a pretty good recipe database.
Best Home Brewing Blogs
The next three are my favorite blogs to read for brewing (other than BDR, of course):
- Mash/Sparge/Boil (what is it about three names in good blogs?): My favorite section of this blog is the Homebrew Charts, Graphs, Tables, and Visuals area. The blog also offers a lot of interesting details about the hobby.
- Small Batch Brewing: This one is a great one specifically for me because the blogger does small batches (less than 5 gallons) which is what I have been focusing on. He also shares his entire recipes, his brew day procedures for each, and tasting afterward so you can get an idea of what he creates and use that in your own brews.
- The Screwey Brewer: This is truly a brewer who knows my style and growth in the culture. He started out on Mr. Beer and still uses some of the equipment (including the Little Brown Keg) in his very complex and seemingly fantastic brewing. He also shares his recipes and procedures in great detail. He has a really descriptive write up on how to make your own mash tun out of stuff you can find on the shelf at your local hardware store.
I need to look at these last three some more before deciding if I am a fan but I thought you may like to check them out and share your thoughts:
This is not even close to a full list of all the online brew resources out there but it is my “toolkit” I tend to
waste spend a lot of time on.