Brewing Frequently Asked Questions

Table of Contents

  • General FAQ files.
  • Association of Brewers Info
  • Brewpubs, Breweries, and Suppliers
  • Formulæ, etc.
  • How to brew.
  • Mashing systems
  • Other equipment
  • Styles
  • General FAQ files.

    Most of these files come from the HBD archives. Here are links to the frequently asked questions files from

    Association of Brewers Info

    The Association of Brewers (parent organization of the American Homebrewers Association) is making information available by e-mail. A message describing how to retrieve this information will be sent to you if you send email to containing the word HELP. They also have a home page.

    Brewpubs, Breweries, and Suppliers

    The Pub list lists brewpubs, microbreweries, beer stores, homebrew supply shops, and bars with good beer selections from all over the world.

    The Virtual Pub has a Brewpub Gallery. It's not as comprehensive, but it may be a bit easier to navigate.

    Eric's Beer and Homebrewing Page also lists pubs in Texas and North America.

    I've got a list of suppliers with addresses and phone numbers for most.

    Formulæ, etc.

    I've collected some useful formulae for computing attenuation, alcohol, & calorie content. You can plug in values and get solutions interactively, for some of them.

    Check out this graph of bottle glass light transmission.

    Dan McConnell typed in the ASBC hop bitterness analysis methods.

    Some notes from Kirk Fleming on computing lautering efficiency.

    How to brew.

    John Palmer has written a nice How to Brew Your First Beer document.

    The Frugal Brewers Guide to Brewing Aids has plans and notes on how to construct many of the things you need to brew beer in a very inexpensive manner. A nice addition to this is Will Self's cheap hop scale construction plans.

    David Draper put together a short document about culturing yeast and using slants.

    Check out Al Korzonas's Reasons for a Stuck Fermentation.

    Using Enzymes to aid fermentation.

    Mashing systems

    I've got a couple of "info pages" I wrote on constructing "slotted copper pipe manifold" sparging systems for "cooler mashing" in a rectangular picnic cooler and a round "Gott" drink cooler. The first one also contains some instructions for doing the mash. Actually, you should read the first one first, because it's much more detailed. The second one is more about the differences between the round and rectangular set-ups.

    Alternative methods include:

  • Dion Hollenbeck's How to make a mash/lauter tun out of a GOTT cooler, and
  • Jay Hersh's method.
  • In the summer of 1994, George Fix posted a couple of notes to the Homebrew Digest mailing list regarding when a protein rest should or should not be used. It might be required reading for all mashers!

    Marc deJonge has written a FAQ about decoction mashing.

    Other equipment

    Bruce Dudek ( has done a nice plan for a wooden beer case. Here's a Postscript version of the plan.

    Immersion chiller by Ken Sullivan -- An interesting design with 4 parallel coils from 50 feet of copper tubing. With illustrations.

    The Frugal Brewers Guide to Brewing Aids has plans and notes on how to construct many of the things you need to brew beer in a very inexpensive manner.

    If you're thinking about using oak casks, check out this compilation of advice by Troy Downing.


    Bob Devine put together a treatise on sugars used in brewing.

    Ever wonder about "Klages"? What about smoked malts? And what's the difference between all those "Crystal", "Caramel", and "Cara..." malts? Wonder no more, All About Grains 101 is here to answer your questions.


    The AHA has put the 1995 style guidelines and a chart of the numbers on-line at their web site. Kirk Fleming updated my 1994 style guide to incorporate the 1995 changes, and added the missing styles, to boot. If you have a browser that supports tables (e.g. Netscape 1.1), try this tablular version of the chart.

    Here are the 1994 AHA style guidelines and a table of the numbers. The original numbers file was abstracted from the BRFWARE program by Chris Campanelli, and slightly updated from the 1994 style guidelines.

    Tim Dawson has put a lot of work into his descriptions of over 100 beer styles.

    Back to the Beer Page.

    Spencer W. Thomas (

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