An Introduction to Growing Hops

Posted by Winslow on March 22nd 2017

Growing Hops - Cascade Hops

First things first, grab your Hop Rhizomes. We’ll be growing Cascade hops as they are a great universal hop for many beers.

Cascade Rhizome

Planting your Rhizome
Rhizomes can get out of control once planted. If you ever want to possibly remove/transfer rhizomes you’ll want to plant them in a big 5 gallon or bigger potting container. Get some good fertilizer & potting soil from your local nursery or Home Depot and plant your rhizome horizontally about 1-inch below the surface of the dirt and water until the soil is thoroughly soaked. Keep the dirt wet and water as needed. Best time to plant is March-April time in a location that will get 8-10 hours of full sun.

Planting Cascade Rhizome

First Year’s Growth
Your first year growth will be mostly building out the root system and frequent watering will be required to avoid drying out. After the hop bines are a foot long select the healthiest 2 or 3 bines and train them to wrap around your support system which can be a trellis or hop yarn / heavy duty twine. You’ll need at a minimum 10 feet of trellis or twine for first year growth. Following years will require 20+ feet of trellis or twine for supporting the hop bines.

Cascade Rhizome first sprout on year 1

Harvesting Your Fresh Hops
Harvesting usually will happen in August or September before the first frost. Ripe hops will have a dry paper feeling and should have a strong aroma when you crush the cone with your fingers. You should also see a yellow powder that comes from the lupulin glands. For ease of harvesting bring the hop bines to the ground and harvest the hop cones from the bines.

Drying and Storing Hops
Once harvested use a window screen to spread out the hops for drying in a dry place out of direct sunlight. Utilizing a box fan can help speed up the drying process. Once fully dried store in a vacuum sealed bag or remove as much air from the ziploc bag as possible and store in the freezer until brew time!

Brewing with Homegrown Hops
Homegrown hops are best for aroma and flavoring because the alpha acids are unknown for homegrown hops.

Happy brewing!

Warning: There have been rare cases where pets have had an alergic reaction to eating hops. Please keep your pets away from any hops.

Reddit Insult Ad Campaign Results

Posted by Winslow on January 31st 2017

According to this reddit post Redditors are 78% more likely to click on ads that insult them. We decided to put the theory to the test.

Our baseline ad that uses typical "Reddit Language" such as "I made this" performed with a CTR of 0.272% and a CPC of $0.13 with 154 clicks from 56,720 impressions.
Baseline Ad Stats

We then ran 3 insult ads with some creative help from /u/NondeterministSystem and /u/daymaker to create the following ads:
1) "You're not good enough to appreciate our gear!" - /u/NondeterministSystem (0.292% CTR)Not Good Enough Ad Stats
2) "Why break the bank for something that will probably just taste like granddad's toilet hooch anyway?" - /u/daymaker (0.333% CTR)Don't Break the Bank Ad stats
3) "Hey Dumbo! Stop overpaying on homebrew supplies and equipment!" - /u/thebrewoutlet (0.343% CTR)Dumbo Ad Stats

In total the insult ad campaign had a CTR of 0.323% and a CPC of $0.07 with a total of 35,923 impressions with 116 clicks.

The interesting part is when we start looking at Google Analytics of how the ad visitors interacted with our website. Campaign tags of rdwhahbcircle & rdwhahb are the baseline ads while insult is the insult campaign of the three ads previously mentioned. While the insult campaign had a higher CTR the bounce rate was higher and the conversion rate was lower than the baseline ads. My hypothesis for this is due to the culture of reddit those clicking an ad that utilizies "Reddit Language" are interested in seeing what other people built & created compared to an insult/sales ad would turn more people away if it isn't the product they are expecting or looking for.

Google Analytic Stats for ad campaigns

Personally, a 0.05% improvement in CTR pales in comparasion to the 13% higher conversion rate of the baseline ads.

25 Days of Christmas Giveaway

Posted by Winslow on December 21st 2016

Celebrating the 25 days of Christmas and's 3rd birthday this upcoming newyear we're giving away 75 promo codes for Pro.

Grab your your promo code here:

Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays!

RDWHAB but drive responsibly this holiday season!

Six Tap Redwood Keezer Build

Posted by Winslow on December 15th 2016

Custom Tap Handles for Keezer Build

Keezer Build Items:
* Igloo Chest Freezer 10 cuFt ($240)
* 20 Ft of Redwood @ HomeDepot ($20)
* Wood Stain ($8)
* Polyuerthane ($10)
* Clear Silicone ($5) (Seals the wood to the Freezer)
* Six 5 Gallon Pin Lock Kegs ($35 each)
* C02 Tank ($65)
* Nitrogen Tank ($100)
* Tap lines & Tap Faucets ($150)
* 2 Stout Facets ($50 each)
* 4-Way Secondary Regulator ($199)

Total: $1,057

Build Tools:
* Table Saw (Cutting Lid Bevels)
* Chop Saw (Cutting Collar & Corners)
* 7/8" Wood Drill Bit ($3) (Tap Shank Holes)

Things to consider before you start:
* The number of taps that you want to serve.
* Any nitro taps for beer or cold brewed coffee
* Gas tanks inside or outside (I opted for internal due to space and aesthitics)

Sanity Checks:
* Make sure the wood height is big enough to screw the freezer lid hinges into the wood.
* Make sure the wood's depth doesn't interfere with the freezer lid design/inner bevel. (You'll have to bevel the inner wood otherwise)
* Measure twice cut once!
* Design your keezer and then simplify that design because it will always take longer than you initially plan.
* Read the Keezer Build - Lessons Learned to avoid any mistakes I made!

From start to finish this keezer build took 4 months while working on it sporactically on weekends. It could be completed within a month if all parts are purchased at the same time and all necessary tools are available. I wanted to be able to serve beer on both C02 and Nitro as well as cold brewed coffee on Nitro. I went with a 7.1 cuFt Freezer to hold 6 kegs as well as both Nitro and C02 tanks inside the freezer. Go big or go home was my motto on this keezer build as I wanted it to handle my expansion in brewing throughout the upcoming years.

Six Tap Redwood Keezer Build

Keezer Build - Lessons Learned

Posted by Winslow on December 14th 2016

The SIX things I wish I knew before building my keezer.

1. Color coding your gas & beer lines makes keg hookup a breeze. Use these colored velcro straps.
Keezer Color Coding with Velcro Straps

2. Be sure Height of wood collar is tall enough for mounting CO2 Distributors & Manifolds.
Sizing of C02 Distributor/Regulator to Keezer Collar

3. Check bevel on inside of lid that would prevent lid from sitting flush with wood collar.
Double check lid bevel is flush with Keezer Collar.

4. Get a Drip Tray! Prevents a sticky mess on the floor.
Keezer Drip Tray

5. Use an Eva-Dry to keep moisture out of the keezer.

6. Spend the extra money on the Perlick Faucets compared to the standard faucets. This will help prevent your tap from getting stuck open from the traditional faucet especially if you only pour a beer every few days from your tap.

Cyber Monday Deals

Posted by Winslow on November 28th 2016

Check out all the deals across the interwebs here!

50 Brew.IO Pro Promo Codes

Note: To redeem visit the Google Play Store and click redeem on the left menu. If you use a promo code please make a comment with which one you used so I can mark it off the list. If you feel inclined to leave an honest (bad or good) review on the google play page that would be awesome!

Brew.IO Pro Android App Giveaway

Posted by Winslow on March 27th 2016

Two weeks ago we did a giveaway on /r/Homebrewing for free Promo Codes for Brew.IO and had a great turnout with great feedback. Now it's time for an Easter Egg Hunt version!

There are 25 promo codes scattered throughout TheBrewOutlet website & /r/Homebrewing.

Here are 5 to get started:


Note: To redeem visit the Google Play Store and click redeem on the left menu. If you use a promo code please make a comment with which one you used so I can mark it off the list. If you feel inclined to leave an honest (bad or good) review on the google play page that would be awesome!

Hints for the remaining 20 promo codes:

  • (3 codes) Just like beer recipes, software and websites have recipe (source code) as well. Can you find the 3 promo codes that live within the code?
  • (3 codes) TheBrewOutlet tracks over 6,000 products from 8 different online merchants. The Brew.IO app is one of them.
  • (3 codes) I've personally learned a ton from the amazing members and regulars of /r/Homebrewing. Content is king followed by community engagement (cough comments cough) when building a thriving niche community.
  • (4 codes) Every ecommerce site needs a good search algorithm. 4 different phrases will produce 4 different promo codes. Hints: Video game developers and the Easter Bunny both have something in common. A common saying in the homebrewing community is what? Starting Gravity and Final Gravity are used to calculate what?
  • (2 codes) Homebrewing is all about being social. Sharing beers with friends and fellow brewers. Luckily for us there are some awesome social tools available for us internet folk.
  • (5 codes) Reddit Post announcing this give away

If easter egg hunts are not your thing you can always register an account via TheBrewOutlet to receive a promo code. (Please allow for 24 hours until promo codes are sent after registering. Valid email address required).


Happy Easter!




Cold Brew Coffee Served on Nitro Recipe

Posted by Winslow on January 12th 2016

Recipe (Batch Size: 2 Gallons)

  • 2 Gallons Cold filtered water
  • 1.5 lbs coarse ground coffee (Starbucks Pike Roast)
  • Cold Brew for 16+ hours in Mash tun

Siphon into Keg and pressurize at 35psi with Nitro and serve cold brew near 43°F. Wait 12 hours and pour!

Tasting Notes

Coffee aroma was out of this world. The aroma was dark and roasty. Some of the most aromatic cold brewed coffee I've had. The taste had a hint of dark chocolate as well as a bold roasty flavor. However, the roastyness was not overpowering and overall it tasted very light and smooth (possibly due to Nitro serving). I've had this both traditional cold brewed and now on Nitro. Nitro takes this traditional cold brew recipe a notch higher. You still get the traditionally less acidic extraction from cold brew coffee which allows the roasty flavors to punch through.

Great Coffee for Cold Brew:

Starbucks Pike Roast
Peets Coffee Major Dickasons Blend
Caribou Coffee's "Caribou Blend"

Two Notes:
1. Drink within 1 week otherwise it will go bad. (Resizing to a 1 gallon batch can help).
2. Do not use C02 to serve cold brewed coffee it will make it taste overly bitter as well as having a sharp bite to it almost like it has spoiled.

Cold Brewed Coffee Served on Nitro

Last Minute Gifts for Homebrewers

Posted by Winslow on December 24th 2015

1. AHA Membership (America Homebrew Association)
Includes free membership to Zymurgy magazine as well as hconference

2. Online or Local Homebrew Shop Giftcard
    AIH Giftcard
    Homebrew Supply Giftcard 25% OFF
    MoreBeer GiftCard (Popular!)
    Great Fermentations Giftcar

3. Amazon Giftcard
As a last ditch effort, everyone loves Amazon. There is a great assortment of homebrew supplies and equipment online at Amazon.


Umbrella IPA Tap Handle

Posted by Winslow on August 14th 2015

Build Items
* Brass Tap Handle Insert $2.50
* Broken Umbrella Handle Free!

Backstory A local brew festival handed out umbrellas for the event as rain decided to grace its presence here in drought stricken California. The umbrella ultimately broke and made itself a perfect candidate to be converted into a nice wooden tap handle.

Completed Umbrella Tap Handle
Umbrella IPA Tap Handle Homebrew

Build Info
* Drill out metal umbrella insert.
* Expand opening to atleast 1/2 inches for brass insert
* Screw brass insert into opening
* If needed glue brass insert to hold in place

Build Steps
Step 1: Drill Out Tap Handle 

Step 2: Inner Metal Removed

Step 3: Insert Brass Tap Handle Insert

Step 4: Mill flat brass insert

Umbrella IPA Tap Handle Homebrew