These days it’s common for brewers to use the internet to find information and recipes.
There’s a lot out there. Here are a few of the websites I refer to most often.
You may already know about these sites – if so sorry. I compiled the list to help the many beginner brewers who read this blog.
Some of them are resources that helped me get started, while others are newer discoveries.
I’ve divided the list into three broad categories: general information, blogs, and brewing calculators.
So without further ado here they are:
General Home Brewing Websites
These are resources with good starting material. Begin with these when looking for general brewing information.
I might as well start in the same place as most others with John Palmer’s classic guide to brewing.
Although there’s more information than you need at the beginning, it’s a great reference that you keep going back to.
When planning recipes it’s useful to check up on different ingredients.
This guide has summaries of most of the ingredients you’re likely to use.
There are many brewing forums around. Stack Exchange is my favourite.
The answers are always in-depth and a voting system means that the most useful information finds its way to the top.
A great place to go when troubleshooting your beers and brewing process.
Although I’m not keen on brewing strictly according to predetermined styles, the BJCP guide has lots of information if that’s what you’re trying to do.
Browsing by beer style, you can find information on typical malt, hops and yeast, as well as numerical details such as target original gravity and bitterness.
Beer Hunter contains articles by the late Michael Jackson, one of the main instigators of the 70s beer revival.
The many interesting subjects can be searched by beer style, and it’s a good place to read about beer’s history and culture.
Home Brewing Blogs
These sites are regularly updated with new brewing information.
Brad Smith’s monster site has many reference articles covering beer styles and ingredients and various aspects of brewing.
However, I’ve listed it here for the podcast. Always featuring interesting guests with ideas for improving your brew, it’s informative listening for when you want to unwind with a beer.
Try this: Designing Beer With Randy Mosher
Billy Broas’ blog doesn’t cover just home brew. In fact it’s mainly about craft beer.
That said, there are some interesting and useful home brewing articles, especially if you dig through the archives to the early days.
The Perfect Pint regularly publishes home brew recipes that are always backed up with detailed background information on ingredients and techniques.
Reading these articles gives me insight into ingredient choices in recipes, and makes me think more about my own brews.
Try this: A Near Perfect Pint
Brew Science is a popular blog that, as you’d expect, covers home brewing in scientific detail.
Although that might sound off putting, it’s clearly written, easy to read and full of useful information.
Ryan Brews is another blog with detailed recipes. He tends to brew slightly unusual beers with less common grains and ingredients.
He also provides us with detailed guides about how to do things.
Try this: Candy Syrup The Right Way
This Is Why I’m Drunk only narrowly qualifies as a home brew site because it mainly features beer write ups.
The reason I’ve included it is because it’s a great place to find out about different beers being made commercially (mainly in the United States), and to look for ideas for your own brews.
I’m not usually a fan of beer reviews, but Bryan manages to keep his interesting and informative.
Try this: Passionate Fermentation
Brew Dudes is an established blog with lots of information in the archives.
I especially enjoy their profiles of brewing ingredients.
Try this: Brew Dudes Hop Profiles
It’d be great to have the brewing knowledge of the Mad Fermentationist.
But until then we can read his site, find out more about brewing and get inspiration for our next batch.
Try this: Toasted Oat Coffee Stout Recipe
It’s hard to keep up with the pace on Ron Pattinson’s blog that mainly covers brewing history.
My favourite part is Let’s Brew Wednesday which gives you the chance to brew commercial beers from the past.
Try this: Fullers 1955 Mild Recipe
Finally, here’s a run through of online brewing calculators. Even if you’re following a recipe by heart, it’s useful to check how your beer’s going.
Calculators can also be handy if you’re making hop or malt substitutions, for example, and want to see that the beer’s still going to have the same strength or hoppiness as the original recipe.
Hopville’s online calculator lets you plan beer recipes without too much guess work. You feed in malt, hops and other ingredients and it gives you expected strength, bitterness and more.
There’s also an option to check the beer against a target style and make adjustments to suit.
Finally, you can save and share your recipes on the site, or view ones put there by others. It’s a resource to consult when planning a brew.
Sometimes you need to check you’re pitching enough yeast, perhaps because you’re brewing an extra strong barley wine.
This calculator helps, and also tells you if you need to make a yeast starter or not.
Finally, I use this priming sugar calculator to determine how much sugar to add when bottling my beer.
It lets you set a few variables such as temperature and volume of beer, and suggests appropriate amounts of gas according to beer style.
What Have I Missed?
What are the online brewing resources you use most?
I’d love to discover some new ones.