Welcome!

My wife and I at the Hofbräuhaus München

My wife and me at the Hofbräuhaus München a few years ago before I grew my brewer’s beard

Welcome to Life Fermented, a blog about home brewing, brew science, and other fermented goodies.  I post every other Wednesday, sometimes with bonus posts on the off-week.  If you like what I am doing here, follow me, spread the word, and comment to get involved!  Questions are always welcome.

Next post: Erm… I don’t know.  Life’s suddenly very busy.  Hope to be back soon!

Happy fermenting!
– Dennis

Cider Recipe: “Record Number of Entries” Dry Hard Cider

This is my first cider.  I’ve been meaning to do one for quite some time, and it just kept getting pushed off.  But, I recently saw a cider from apple juice over at Brulosophy and was finally inspired grab some yeast and get ta cider’n.  I modified/ simplified from the original “recipe” to make it even easier on myself.

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Food Recipe: Jägerschnitzel

Bonus post!  I wrote a guest post for the Rantings of a an Amateur Chef blog about my original Jägerschnitzel recipe.  Jägerschnitzel is a traditional German dish consisting of schnitzel (breaded and fried flattened pork) and Jäger (hunter) sauce, a delicious brown gravy with bacon and onions.  Check it out here!

Jägerschnitzel

Jägerschnitzel!

Beer Recipe: “Wacky Wit” Wit with Brett

To be honest, I’m not really sure where I got the idea in my head to brew this beer.  I have been reading a lot about sour beers lately (American Sour Beers is a wonderful book), and I wanted something outside of a normal ale.  But, I wanted to enjoy it relatively quickly, unlike the Flanders Red I have sitting in a closet upstairs until this summer.  So, I just decided to co-pitch some brett and a saison yeast into something like a wit wort and see what happened.

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Unlocking Hop and Fruit Flavors from Glycosides

Instead of the standard blog post today, I bring you my article published on HomeBrewTalk.com: http://www.homebrewtalk.com/unlocking-hop-and-fruit-flavors-from-glycosides.html.

Visit to find out how to get more flavor out of your hops and fruits using Brettanomyces or enzymes! Read more of this post

Beer Recipe: “Merlin” Belgian Pale Ale

The last Belgian pale ale I made was decent, but ended up being too sweet when the hops dropped out.  And, the yeast character ended up being rather tart and muddled.  But, I thought it had potential, and whipped up this batch with lessons learned.  Its more of a “spiritual successor” than a direct descendant with all of the changes made. Read more of this post

Book Review: Brewing Engineering

This week I’ll be reviewing Brewing Engineering: Great Beer through Applied Science, 2nd Ed. by Steven Deeds. Read more of this post

Brew Tips: Compensating for Missed OG

Today’s topic is hardly a secret or new idea in the brewing world, but one a lot of new and even relatively experienced all-grain brewers overlook: correcting for missing your pre-boil gravity.  It took me reading about it three or four times before I started to implement some of these tips, so hopefully this post will finally get you into it. Read more of this post

Brewing Thermometers

This will be a little bit different of a post this week to discuss the thermometer, an important but often overlooked and misunderstood piece of brewing equipment.  So get that meat thermometer out of your mash tun and read on! Read more of this post

Beer Recipe: “Sochi Stout” Russian Imperial Stout

This is one of the big beers I brewed this past winter (I am resigned to brewing with the seasons until I get temperature control) during the Sochi Olympics.  It was disappointing watching the Americans go against the Maple Machine in hockeyand the subsequent implosion against the Finns—but I still thought it was an appropriate beer name.

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Beer Recipe: “River Thames” Southern English Brown

I’ve been trying to get some more low alcohol beers into the rotation lately.  For whatever reason, there is sort of a sweet spot of 6.5-8% ABV that I can easily and consistently produce good beer without having to worry about it being too watery or bland on the low end or extreme fermentation issues on the high end.  But, I wanted to be able to drink more beer (and thus brew more beer), which meant pushing ABV lower.

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Multi-Rest Mashing: How-To

In my last post, I discussed the theory behind multi-rest mashing.  Today I’ll be discussing the more practical how-to side of things. Read more of this post

Multi-Rest Mashing: An Introduction

Most all-grain brewers practice single-rest mashing, i.e. using a single (saccrification) temperature.  Not only is it the easiest and fastest method, its usually good enough or even preferred for most styles.  But multi-rest mashing is a great tool to keep in your brewer’s tool belt.  Its something I have just started using, and plan to do so more frequently.  In this introduction, I’ll explain what mutli-rest mashing is, and why you might (or might not) want to use multiple rests. Read more of this post

Beer Recipe: “Cantankerous Leprechaun” Dry Stout

This beer was originally supposed to be named “World’s Tallest Leprechaun” after the shirt my brother-in-law got me on his honeymoon to Ireland.  If you’re not yet chuckling, picture a 6’5/ 2 m tall man wearing a tiny green jacket.  I decided to rename it after having one of the more difficult brew days in a while. Read more of this post

Brew Tips: Stopping Wort Boil-Overs

Off-week bonus post!  This is a quick tip for keeping your kettle from foaming over during the boil. Read more of this post

Equipment Required to Brew Beer

If you are a brewer, you probably know everything here.  In truth, its a bit of a selfish post: I always have a difficult time remembering every little thing a new brewer needs to buy.  So, I am bypassing my questionable memory with this list when I introduce friends to home brewing.  Perhaps you too can use this list to help new brewers-to-be. Read more of this post

Beer Recipe: “Mo’Citra” Hoppy Saison

This beer is the spiritual successor of last season’s “Lawn Dart” Saison. I really enjoyed the high dose of wheat, and decided to up the ante with some rye.  I also wanted to have a bit more of a hop impression without much bitterness, so I used a favorite technique of minehop burstingwith my favorite hop pair, Mosiac and Citra.

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Water Treatment for Brewing 4: Lessons Learned

[Miniseries Part One, Two, Three, Three-point-Five, Three-point-Six, Four]

In previous parts of this miniseries, I have covered pretty much everything you need to get started on water treatment for brewing.  Here, I’ll cover a few miscellaneous things I have learned over the course of treating additional batches.  I’ll try to add on any additional lessons-learned as I go. Read more of this post

DIY Home Brewery Sign

Soon after I started brewing, it began to pop into my head from time to time that I should have a proper name for my home brewery (though admittedly it seems a little heavy handed to call a picnic cooler and a big pot a “brewery”).  In The Perfect Keg (my review here), Coutts mentions the beard of the barley, or awn, the little spiky hairs on the head of the barley plant.  Thus the name “Barley Beard Brewing” was born. Read more of this post

Book Review: The Perfect Keg

I am excited to bring you what I hope will become an occasional feature of this blog: a product review.  Specifically, a review of the book The Perfect Keg: Sowing, Scything, Malting, and Brewing My Way to the Best-Ever Pint of Beer, by Ian Coutts. Read more of this post

Beer Recipe: “Meiko” Belgian Pale Ale

About 10 batches ago, I brewed a beer modeled after Flying Dog’s “Raging Bitch” Belgian IPA, mostly following a recipe given on the Jamil Show podcast on The Brewing Network.  It turned out really well; friends claimed it was better than the commercial version, but I suspect they just wanted more free beer.  This summer I thought it would be nice to have an easier-drinking pale ale version.  Its named after our new cat, Meiko, who we got about the time this was bottled (and they are surprisingly similar in color).

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