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Home » Tech and Tips
Brewing Articles and Technical Gadgets
Over the years of publishing the Brews & News, teaching classes, and writing professional articles for homebrewing publications, the Falcons have accrued a wealth of technical knowledge. We hope the calculators and articles below will prove useful to you in your homebrewing adventures.

Beer Guides
Thinking Big: Getting a Handle on Brewing Big Beers by Jonny Lieberman Jonny takes the surprising course of recommending how to brew those big big beers that he loves so much.

The Virtues of Small Beers by Bruce Brode Bruce responds to the hype of big beers and Jonny's article on brewing big with his take on how to make those tricky small session beers that often get washed over in the hype of the newest "extreme" beer fad.

Brewers Style Series
A periodic collection of Falcon brewers musings on their favorite styles of beer and how to make them. If you have an idea for a style article, please contact the Grand Hydrometer at grandhydrometer@maltosefalcons.com
American Lager: Brewing Dougweiser by Rick Burnside Rick lays out brewing the classic Falcon beer of Doug King, the Dougweiser. The hardest beer for a homebrewer to make?

Formualting and Brewing a Winning Chocolate Porter by Gregg Van Citters Gregg details his technique and thoughts behind his award winning chocolate beers.

Brewing Dortmunder Adambier by John Aitchison John outlines his winning Dortmunder Adambier philosophy.

Dort: The Evolution of a Recipe by Bruce Brode Bruce Brode writes up the brewing philosophy behind one of his favorite beers, Dortmunder Export. This recipe from Bruce and Brian Vessa has won multiple awards, including best of shows!

Brewing a Winning Eisbock by Craig Shapland Craig talks about how he brews his winning Eisbock beer.

Gruits by Steve Cook Journey back in time with Steve Cook and enjoy the trippy beers of medieval Europe (and beyond).

Milds, Pale and Dark by Drew Beechum How Drew makes the best damn Mild you've ever tasted. Why get looped when you get all the flavor in a light beery package.

Roggenbier by Jeremy Raub Jeremy and Steve Raub got sideswiped by question on the BJCP exam about this Rye version of a Hefeweizen, so they set off to find the secret of Hefe's Rye cousin, the Roggenbier.

Wee Heavy by Sal Sciortino, Sr Sal Sr prepares brewers for the the upcoming challenge of brewing for our taste-off.

Wit Bier by Cullen Davis Cullen tackles the subject of his favorite Belgian style beer.

Dilution Calculator by Drew Beechum Ever need to calculate how much adding a volume of 1.010 beer will change the gravity of a beer stuck at 1.030? This is the tool for you.

IBU Calculator / Hop Scheduler Analysis by Drew Beechum A calculator to go along with the balancing hops article written for thinking carefully about how you place hops in your boil.

Malt Bill by Percentage to Pound Calculator by Drew Beechum A fairly handy way to express a beer's malt bill is by percentage weight of each malt (ie 27% 2 Row) as this makes it fairly easy to move recipes between brewing systems. This calculator helps translates a malt bill given by percentage into a weighted malt bill for a batch of variable size and system efficency.

Style Guide Calculator by Steve Casselman This calculator was built by Steve to help folks find where their beer lives in the world of the BJCP guidelines. Enter in the details of your recipe and see how close you match the Style Guidelines.

Resistive Gate - Draft Beer Flow Control by Craig Shapland Inspired by Ventmatic's "Flo-gate", Craig Shapland built his "Resistive Gate" device to help combat the massive foaming that occurs in setups with short beer lines.

Extract Brews
Cat's Eye View of Brewing with Extract by Phoebe and Jay Ankeney This article appeared in the fall of 2000 Zymurgy was intended to by Jay Ankeney (long time Falcon and Strand Brewer), but Jay's cat Phoebe ending up writing the article. Not bad for a cat and very useful for the extract brewer.

Better Extract Beers by Drew Beechum A short course that we setup for brewers looking to improve their Extract brewing.

Growing Hops by Bruce Brode Bruce Brode, master Green Thumb and master brewer, walks you through the feasibility of growing your own hops here in Southern California and elsewhere.

Using and Balancing Your Hops by Drew Beechum Inspired by an obsessive need to calculate, recalculate and balance out the hop additions in a double ipa. This article demonstrates a technique for thinking about hop additions rigorously.

HWBC Ingredients (xls) by Drew Beechum This sheet is designed to help folks trying to design recipes with the ingredients available at John Daume's Home Beer Wine Cheesemaking Shop. This will keep you from having to fret when you get to the shop and realise John doesn't stock American Crystal 20L!

I'll Never Do That, Again! - Anatomy Of A Hangover by Peter Sheppard At some point, we all have to deal with inevitable morning after pains of the hangover. Peter Sheppard offers his advice to make your payment a little shorter.

Phantom Brewer Tips
The Phantom Brewer comes to the Falcons in almost every month's newsletter, providing all the simple tips that folks use, but never write down. Check out all the Phantom's writings: The Complete Tips, Techniques and Gadgets of a Phantom Brewer
2006 October - Hoppier Extract Beer Extract Beers Not Hoppy Enough? Hereís some tips for getting more IBUís into your IPAís
2006 March - Keg Hopping Adding Hops to the keg can add great aroma, but cloud up your brew. Here's how to get around
2006 February - Tip Potpourri The Phantom presents a whole slew of small tips to add to your brewing arsenel.
2006 January - Batch Sparging The Phantom walks you through how to perform a batch sparge.
2005 December - Cold Pitching Yeast A new yeast technique captures the Phantom's attention
2005 November - Stealing The Wort For Your Starter Need starter wort and you're brewing? Follow the Phantom's lead and steal from yourself.
2005 October - CO2 Powered Bottling Why lift your beer to bottles when you care use your favorite kegging system to save you time?
2005 September - Portable CO2 and Beer Service TPB addresses some of your portable deaft service questions. How to lighten your CO2 load and keep those kegs cold.
2005 July - A Tip to Prevent Boilovers Need a good and easy way to prevent the mess of a boilover? Take this tip from Sal Sciortino and presented by the Phantom Brewer.
2005 June - Clean that Kettle Kettle looking a little brown and gross? This time the Phantom teaches you what's the dirt and how to get rid of it.
2005 May - Organizing Your Brew Keeping track of your brew requires a little simple planning. The Phantom gives you the tools.
2005 March - Draining Carboys Fast Need to speed up how fast your carboys drain? This Phantom Brewer's tip is up your alley.
2005 February - Stove-Top Stuffing Using Your Underpowered Stove to Brew your Beer.
2005 January - A Dry Counterflow Chiller The best way to store your Counterflow Chiller (CFC) to avoid growing mold on board.
2005 January - How to Turn a Refrigerator into a Kegerator Making your own kegerator at home and enjoy your draft beer.
2004 December - Foil Diffuser For Sparging The cheapest, easiest sparge diffuser you'll ever find
2004 November - Yeast Recovery System The quick and easy way to save yeast for repitching from batch to batch.
2004 October - Forced Ferment Test The best way to find how far your batch of beer will actually ferment, ahead of time.
2004 August - Getting Those Kegs Ready Cleaning kegs doesn't have to be a choir. Here's an easy and sure way to have a clean keg for your brew.
2004 July - Dissolving Candi Sugar in the Boil Cleanly An easy trick for dissolving sugar into your beer.
2004 June - Using a Cornelius Keg as an HLT To eliminate a kettle from your system and give you a portable hot water source, use those spare kegs as an HLT.
2004 May - Cold Soaking Dark Grains To Adjust Your Beer Color Boost the color in your beer.

CO2 Priming Rate Guide by MB Raines MB prepared this document with all the tables you need to get your beer dialed into the appropriate carbonation level. After all, who wants a beer that's flat or gassy as all.

Building A Better Mashout Through Decoction by Jonny Lieberman Jonny lays out his technique of mashing out and argues why you should too.

Methode Champenoise for Beer by Drew Beechum and Kent Fletcher In the culmination of a project that started in January of 2004, Kent Fletcher and Drew Beechum discover how to make Champagne beer using the classic French techinque of Methode Champenoise. A lot of labor and research went into the final steps of making this beer in the spirit of DeuS de Bosteels and Mahleur Brut. (Featured in Zymurgy - May/June 2006)

Racking Your Beer With CO2 by Drew Beechum I hate picking up carboys for transfer and ruining all that precious settling time that I gave them. If you keg your beers, all you need is a few more parts and you can transfer your beer just like the pros and without moving a carboy!

Decanting A Starter by Drew Beechum Made a big starter, but don't want to let all that spent oxidized wort into your nice new beer? A clear illustrated example of how much 24 hours can buy you.

A Guide to Yeast Culturing by MB Raines MB Raines, our widely published yeast expert graciously lent us her expertise in this guide to everything you need to make yourself a yeast rancher and a grower of happy yeasts.

Making a Starter from A Bottle Conditioned Beer by Tom Hamilton (and Drew Beechum) From the files of "Bad" Tom, the easiest and best way to get that unique yeast from the bottom of your favorite bottle conditioned beer. (aka, how to get to the yeast without being a yeast rancher)

The Yeast Starter Made Easy by Drew Beechum We all know starters are crucial to the quality of our brews, but sometimes it's just a lot of work when we come home to whip up a batch of wort. Here we walk you thorugh using a few simple tools (a pressure cooker) to prepare perfectly sterile starters months ahead of time.

Want to make your own beer at home? Get started on the right foot. Check out the Falcon's sponsoring shop, The Home Beer, Wine, Cheesemaking Shop. John Daume, proprietor, has been serving the home brewing and winemaking needs of Angelenos since 1972, over 30 years! (Falcon Members receive a 10% discount on supplies)
Looking for older Falcons' information?, The Westval Maltose Falcons Webpage (Locally cached) (The Original Falcon's Roost, prior to 1999)
Looking for a home wine making club in the Los Angeles area? Check out our sister club, The Cellarmasters, over 30 and still stomping grapes.