Saturday, May 16, 2015


Apologies for anyone following this blog, I have been on a long hiatus from brewing and the internet. Back on topic though, I will be doing some changes to the blog, widening the scope of  subject matter in posts. From random recipes I want to try, to my own brewing as before, other homebrew winners, competitions in our local area. I may even change the name of this blog at some point in the future, but I do not want to abandon it. So without further adieu some craft beers to inspire ideas for some homebrew.

15 bizarro beers that taste amazing

Also, like reading beer magazines? Free eZine source from Draft Magazine here.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Beer Blogging & Social Networking: The Many Paths ~Part One~

[Okay, while we are waiting for Friday, I wanted to write about social networking and the various ways to do it. I may be new to home brewing beer, but not to blogging, social networking, or web design. Many people hear (or read) the words "social networking" and they automatically think Facebook, Twitter, Google+ etc. these days. Remember web-rings & alliances? Well before mainstream social media platforms; interlinking, badges and cross-promotion worked like a charm, and still does. That is not to say social media does not help, on the flip side, it helps immensely too. (It seems like many people forgot about the old ways of doing things though...) So I am writing a series of posts: Beer Blogging & Social Networking: The Many Paths ]

  • Social Networking - The #Trifecta: Twitter, Facebook, & Google+

Now, for example, I could make a Facebook page for Ohio Brew Crew and a Twitter. Then use Twitter Feed to automatic post my blog posts to the Facebook. Then I can use the Facebook App RSS Graffiti to post from that Facebook page to the Twitter account. That works great if you want full automation outside of the blog. There are of course downsides to full automation:

 #Hashtags, they are great to use in certain social media outlets, but can make your blog look like it is screaming for attention, if found within the blog posts too much. They are good to get yourself discovered, tacky if found within your main body of text you are publishing. Especially if they must be used in the very beginning of your posts, in order to be picked up on the other outlets. They are used on Twitter, Facebook and Google+ . So if you auto-post and don't use #hashtags right at the beginning of your post, they wont show up on Facebook or Twitter, Google+ auto-hashtags your posts. If you have a BlogSpot, the Google+ page is auto-posted once verified. So that leaves the problem of specific hashtags on Google+ and no hashtags on Twitter or Facebook, unless you go in and edit the posts. Of course if your "automation tool" posts from Facebook before you can add hashtags to the page post, and it auto-posts to Twitter, now you have 0 hashtags in two social media outlets. Unless of course you put hashtags right in the beginning of the blog post.

So, you could just Tweet a link to your post, using your hashtags, use Twitter Feed to auto-post to your Facebook, and the hashtags will carry over, without cluttering the beginning of your actual blog post, and it is still almost fully automatic. If you are not using Blogger, it will be simply a matter of copy/paste the link on the Google+ page/account (adding a dash of personal hashtags) and post. Remember for both Facebook and Google+: Delete your pasted URL letters, it will still keep the link badge and it will look more professional (that is why the badges are there). I see so many people who don't, and they usually have a lower interaction with their selected audiences, simply because the post looked messy with the actual URL you have to paste, and the badge created for you in the post.

Note on #YouTube: Since YouTube is owned by Google and connected to Google+, use hashtags in your video tags.

< #Comedy #Relief
Another idea you may want to consider: Use a social media website to exclusively share your beer blogging photos. If you don't necessarily want pictures in your posts, or if you only want a couple per post, but you want to share more photos with your audience. I recommend Twitter if you plan on using it, if not, #Instagram works just as well. Just remember to let your blog readers know! Tell them it is exclusive to that social media outlet... the only way they get the "whole package", is to follow you on Twitter/Instagram. Mention it at the bottom of an occasional post, put a link on your blog called "pictures" or "Twitter: Pictures" etc. just like I have my social networking links on my right sidebar. Also remember to post links back to your blog in your tweets. Don't forget to use your hashtags! Sometimes less is more, though.
A Few Suggested Hashtags: #Beer, #Homebrew, #Blog, #BeerBlog, #CraftBeer, (types of brew like #Ale, #Lager, #Stout, etc.) #BeerGeek, #BrewYourOwn,
Try to think of a specific hashtag(s) for your social networking, so that you are easily recognized across dissemination, by the hashtag(s )you use. So I could use one or all of the following: #OhioBrewCrew #ohiobrewcrew #OBC if your one of my readers searching Facebook or Twitter, and you seen #OhioBrewCrew you would know, it's me. Just make sure to search any specific hashtags, because you never know what #OBC could be connected to before you pick it up and use it. Obviously #Beer is a safe bet. A uniform combination of three or more hashtags in a row, used over and over could be a good calling card as well.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Working On The Fermentation Closet

I took the pictures with my laptop, because the phone was dead, that's why it is kind of an odd angle. This is the closet in my kitchen, after some rearranging (almost done) I think it will all work. The back shelf will hold the three kegs, supplies, wherever they fit. The big boxes will be reduced to one big box and some smaller containers to hold the smaller tools. So far it seems like the temperature will be easy enough to regulate in there. Worst case scenario, we move the kegs to the bedroom closet or the basement.

Supplies Have Arrived

I got the supplies earlier yesterday afternoon with no problems. I was busy with other stuff, so I couldn't make the video until about 1:30 a.m. Everything was there and much sooner than I expected. I hope I get the free gifts I registered for, though I am still only a little over a week into the five week window for delivery. We could use that third thermometer for the kegs. If we don't get it by Friday, we will still brew all three at once. I figure since they will all be in the same spot fermenting and two out of three have thermometers, we can manage being one short for now.

I have enabled Live video stream on the channel, so that in the future we can try it out. I definitely will need to "touch base" with Joe & Steve as far as what we are going to cover on YouTube and vlogging. Since the main operations will take place at my residence, I will vlog as much as I can, without hampering the actual process. Anything not covered in the videos, including much more information, pictures, etc. will be posted here.

We hope you enjoy following us on this little adventure, please feel free to ask any questions in the comments section. Don't forget to tell a friend!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014


I want us to be able to brew three batches at once. One batch is equal to two gallons, for a total of six gallons at a time in the kegs. I had an oversight while ordering supplies. I only ordered two sets of bottles. If I want to have beer bottled and carbonating, while we ferment another six gallons (to keep the pace going), I will need three more sets of bottles for a total of six sets; 12 bottles per set  x 6 = 72 Bottles. So far my first three sets are all plastic, I will switch to glass for the last three, though I may substitute the set of three, for six, one gallon growlers. I will also need at least enough plastic bottle caps to reuse the original plastic set in the far future (when the first thirty-two beers are gone). I would have obvious storage problems if I was doing this alone, luckily, I think I can talk the guys into holding some at their places, so that we all have storage problems ;)

Hopefully I can get to the UPS guy today, and not have to pick up the packages at the post office tomorrow. I plan on uploading  a video to YouTube, of all of the collected supplies when they get here. This way everybody can see what the stuff as we get it. Of course the bottles mentioned above will not be included, but a whole bunch of stuff will be in it, including the original kit I have pictured in the previous post.. It will just be me in the first video, I live in the Akron area, and they live in the Cleveland area, work, distance, etc.

I will need to get more spring water, I honestly didn't think it would ship so fast.

Monday, March 10, 2014

The Beginning

I received my Mr. Beer Kit on 03-01-2014 (My twenty-third birthday), after years of drooling at one in stores. So I want to thank Samantha (fiancĂ©e) for starting me off. I ordered two more kegs, two more sets of bottles, all of the "instruments", six refills (12 Gallons of beer). Those should be here tomorrow. So the plan is, Joe, Steve & I will be starting off with three, two gallon batches of three different kinds of beer, starting this Friday or Saturday. More details on that, this weekend. There was talk of possibly brewing beer for someone's wedding, but that is still way up in the air. That would be awesome!

I have been scouring the net for forums, blogs, clubs, "how to" videos and more. It is really cool to see other home brewers gathering on forums, Facebook and any other online outlet you can think of.  There is no lack of information, and what usually would be considered "secrets of the trade" or "secret recipes" are shared, discussed, reviewed and sometimes even revised, publically. It is absolutely encouraged to share your tips and ingredients list, for the most part. There are still "secret ingredients" here and there. I would assume, that in such an openly shared hobby and profession, those secret ingredients are guarded well. The thing is, a secret ingredient could be as simple as the water that was used, to a mix of whatever can be tossed into the fermenting container. I look at like a chemistry set for grown-ups.

On another note: New Bills on Capitol Hill for Ohio are making beer trade and distribution headway...


Trade Practice & Other

Senate Bill 173 authorizes specified persons to provide serving samples of and conduct consumer product instruction about the products of a manufacturer, supplier, or broker of beer, wine, or mixed beverages. The instruction or sampling must take place on the premises of a retail permit holder who is authorized to sell beer, wine, or mixed beverages for off-premises consumption. (February Update)
House Bill 391 seeks to allow beer manufacturers to manufacture beer containing not more than 21% of alcohol by volume beginning on the effective date of this act, and, beginning one year after the effective date of this act, to allow the sale and distribution of beer containing not more than 21% of alcohol by volume in this state by increasing the legally permitted alcohol content of beer from 12% to 21%.  The bill also generally prohibits the inclusion of caffeine or other stimulants in beer containing more than 12% of alcohol by volume, but exempting beer that has incidental amounts of caffeine from coffee, chocolate, or tea. (January Update)

Source: Brewers Association: State Government Affairs Activities