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Be Your Own Brewmaster, One Drop at a Time

Be Your Own Brewmaster, One Drop at a Time

Craft beer continued to post double-digit growth even in the depths of the recession, as many consumers saw the $8 or $9 they spent on a six-pack an affordable luxury.

But what if you didn't have to spend extra to get what some consider a better-tasting brew?

According to a Colorado start-up, its liquid flavor enhancer, called OnTap, gives beer drinkers the taste of craft without the added cost.

Just drops of OnTap will lend a craft-beer taste to any domestic light lager, according to CEO Solie Swan. One bottle of OnTap, which retails at $3.99, can change the flavor profile of 18 standard 12-ounce beers.

"It's roughly a third cheaper" than the average craft six-pack, Swan said.

OnTap offers two flavors, Pale Ale and American Ale, but while the sales pitch says "craft beer," Swan said the craft beer aficianado isn't necessarily his target consumer. Rather, OnTap is looking for 21- to 34-year-olds who regularly drink domestic light lagers but may be ready to try something else.

"We hope to reach 1 percent of the market that's buying the 100 million barrels of domestic beer every year," Swan said. "If we can reach 1 percent, it will put us somewhere in the $35 million to $40 million range."

This type of item has been used with nonalcoholic beverages. MiO, which Kraft Foods launched in 2011, has been a huge success as a flavor additive for water, with media reports suggesting sales of more than $200 million. Kraft plans to follow-up with a similar product under its Crystal Light brand.

Just what is in OnTap?

"It's a mixture of natural and artificial flavors, and we worked very closely with a flavor house in New Jersey called Flavor Dynamics to come up with the ingredients," Swan said. "I worked with them for about a year to develop the flavors. We have the two out right now, and we're working on a couple of other flavors like honey beer and cider."

The drops are also free of calories, carbs, gluten and alcohol, according to OnTap.

The initial response has far exceeded the company's expectations, Swan said, though he acknowledged skepticism among those who haven't experienced OnTap.

"Will everybody like it? No — we never expected that. Will others like it? Absolutely," he said. "It gives people, especially those who typically only drink domestic lagers, a lot more options than they have right now."

— Tom Rotunno, CNBC

More From CNBC:

Making your own beer is fun and cost effective! Use this simple prohibition style recipe to make your own brew.

Even if you do not intend to make moonshine and have a still, you are committing a crime punishable by law. It is a 3rd degree felony and the owner can be charged up to 5 years of imprisonment or a fine of $5000.

If you want to distill moonshine for person or commercial use in Florida, you will be required to get a Craft Distillery License, which will run you $4000 and you will have to submit monthly reports to the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulations. You will also be required to obtain a federal TTB Distilled Spirits and TTB Basic Permit for distilling alcohol.

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3 Responses to "Is It Illegal To Make Moonshine In Florida ?"

y’all make it impossible to either learn how to make something that our grand fathers & great grand fathers did back in the day, it ain’t no wonder why the younger generations turned so quickly to drugs, $4,000.00, just to get a Craft Distillery License, then submit stupid ass monthly reports to the Dept.of Business & Professional Regulations…. Oh & then you will also be required to obtain a Federal TTB Distilled Spirits & TTB Basic Permit for distilling alcohol. Money, Money, Money, just to have a hobby to do in your spare time, The State of Florida & The Federal Government wants to make sure that it will cost you,JOE tax-payer an arm & a leg to learn how to make or distill,your own drink. In the Land of the Free & Home of the Brave, you have the right to give your life in service to your country, but you must pay out your ass to be able distill or make your own brew no matter your choice of Drink, beer, whiskey, or moonshine, no matter your poison it should be, free for you to learn to make & learn to make.

The learning curve is steep here in Florida but have been self employed for 25 years and already deal with the paper trail I’m required to create in my business on a monthly basis. We can make beer or wine in excess of 100 gallons a year but if we own or possess anything to make one drop of liquor you’re facing jail time. My grandparents several generations back made corn and sugar cane moonshine to pay bills and put food on the table. Apparently they produced a quality product unfortunately Growing up I never new about it until they all passed away by that time I was in my 40’s. I’m now 53 and every time I watch Moonshiners on tv it reminds me of my past. Thinking my future might include taking a stab at making my own liquor the legal way

Good to know, I suggested my roommate to home brew his wine / brew rather than but it and be late on the rent all the time.
When I was a kid in the 1970s, my Mom’ s boyfriend had a closer full of fruit and dandelion wine. His parents had an Orchard in the PNW.
Some good tasting wine.

Make Your Best American IPA

There are so many versions, varieties, and approaches here that it would be arrogant to claim this will be your best American IPA, but it’s at least a very, very good one that has held up well to the test of time.

I knew this day would come. Not the day I write about American IPA for this column – though, clearly, that day has arrived – but the day I was called on to brew a New England-style Hazy IPA. I feel like Victor Frankenstein creating his monster. It’s brewing up as we speak, possibly-faddish monstrosity though it might be, and perhaps in a few iterations I’ll share the recipe here. In the process of creating that recipe, though, I came back to my standard American IPA recipe as a base. American IPA isn’t a style I brew all that often – there are so many good commercial versions out there that I don’t typically feel the urge to make my own – but there’s no doubt that it’s ubiquitous among brewers of all kinds. There are so many versions, varieties, and approaches here that it would be arrogant to claim this will be your best American IPA, but it’s at least a very, very good one that has held up well to the test of time.


On one level, American IPA is extremely well-known as a style: I mean, after all, they’re everywhere. Who doesn’t know American IPA? On another level, though, it’s a surprisingly not well-known style, in that very few have taken the time to see what the style describes, and instead treat it as a catch-all moniker for a wide range of hoppy, pale ales. It is that, of course, but the commercial tendency towards “more” to meet consumer demand has led to a substantial amount of style “drift.” Our BJCP-derived American IPA is surprisingly modest in alcohol, ranging from 5.5-7.5 percent. It is rather immodest in IBUs, however, with a gravity-to-IBU ratio of roughly one-to-one. And, while it can range in color from gold to a deep amber, most examples will be on the paler end of the spectrum. It has some light malt character, but nothing overly bready or rich. Beyond that, this is a hops showcase: flavor and aroma both should have a substantial level of hops character, but that doesn’t require you to use a fantastical amount of hops in the recipe. If there’s one thing I know to be true, it’s that it’s possible to wreck an IPA with too many hops in too great a quantity – I’ve done it. Overkill might be harder to spot in most IPAs, but it’s still overkill we’ll use what we need here, and no more.


I tend to brew all of my “American” beers – IPA, Pale, Amber, and Brown – to the same 1.060 gravity. I don’t know why, but I started with that, and it just stuck. In a way, though, it’s freeing because it lets me focus on the relative flavor contributions of the ingredients themselves.

Start with nine pounds of American 2-row and one pound of Munich as a base: I don’t use the plain 2-row very often, but when I make this with Maris Otter it didn’t have the same brightness in the hops! So, plain, clean 2-row it is. For a bit of malt character, though, add half a pound each of Crystal 20 and British Crystal 45: they’ll add just a touch of sweet biscuit flavor to offset the bitterness that’s coming.

Hopping doesn’t need to be complicated to be good. Add 52 IBUs in a 60-minute addition (I like one ounce of the Nugget I typically have on hand), then one ounce of Simcoe at five minutes, one ounce of Amarillo at flame-out/whirlpool, and one ounce of Citra for dry hopping.

Finally, just as this is one beer where I don’t default to my beloved British pale malt, I also keep the German Ale yeast in the flask: instead, I pitch good old-fashioned Wyeast 1056, American Ale. It’s clean, simple, and lets the hops shine.


Mash and boil as usual, here, but be conscious of the fact that you’re adding three ounces into the kettle. That’s over my limit for free-adding hops (too much and I start getting hop matter into my plate chiller), so I bag the bittering addition. Take whatever steps you need to ensure that you can leave the hops behind when you’re done boiling! Post-boil, I give the wort a good stir and let the temperature drop to about 190F before adding my whirlpool hops, which I then leave for twenty minutes to steep.

Fermentation is at 65F for the first 2-3 days, followed by a free-rise to anywhere between 68-70F. After active fermentation stops, I add the dry hops, and wait five days. Experimenting with differences in flavor between cold-crashed dry hopping and final-fermentation-temperature dry hopping yielded no discernible differences, so I wouldn’t worry too much about it!

Rack out from underneath any floating hops, package, and carbonate to 2.5 volumes of CO2.


Like most IPAs, this one is at its “biggest” in terms of hops aroma and flavor when fresh, but don’t let that make you rush through it. Stored cold, it will retain its orange, peach, and pineapple hops character for quite a while, just at a slightly lower magnitude. I should also say that you can, of course, ignore my hopping choices here – I find that these play well together, and the flavors in each seem to complement the others in ways that make it easy to enjoy the fruity character without feeling like you’re drinking a mimosa!

Now, if you’ll excuse me, Dr. Frankenstein has to get back to his NEIPA creation before it frames someone for murder.

Be Your Own Brewmaster, One Drop at a Time - Recipes

We are excited to return and reconnect with past friends and look forward to making new ones. Everyone has been adapting to our new world and always changing times, so we at Gallaghers’ are proud to provide the comfortable space to bring friends and family together in a COVID-safe environment and figure this out. Brewing has always provided a great atmosphere to create and socialize. We would like to continue this tradition with your support.

We are very happy to announce that we are opening our to the doors again, this Wednesday, August 26th.

With public safety in mind, and in accordance with current local laws and regulations regarding the COVID-19 virus, here is what you need to know:


Tuesday CLOSED

Wednesday 3:00 P.M. – 9:00 P.M.

Thursday 3:00 P.M. – 9:00 P.M.

Friday 3:00 P.M. – 9:00 P.M.

Saturday 2:00 P.M. – 8:00 P.M.

Sunday 2:00 P.M. – 8:00 P.M.

Brewing Rules:

We are taking brewing beer by appointments only please. Currently we are at a 2-Kettle capacity until further notice. A maximum of 5 people allowed per scheduled beer brewing appointment. It is best to have at least 2 appointment dates in mind when scheduling so we don’t let you down if you can’t get your preferred first choice. To schedule an appointment call (425) 776-4209, and leave a message if after hours, we will return your call by the next business day.

Outdoor Beer Garden & Indoor Seating

That’s right! We have been approved for a Beer Garden on the shady side of Gallaghers’. Outdoor seating will be available on a first come, first serve basis. Walk-ins are always welcome for pints, but keep in mind we must monitor capacity to keep us all safe. Don’t forget your growlers for refills!

Cheers to all! Look forward to seeing everyone’s masked face!

At Gallaghers’ we strive to create an environment that is fun and easy going!

We are a family (and dog!) friendly tap room and brewery, working to make your DIY brewing experience a successful, positive, uplifting and rewarding pursuit of fabulously great beer, extraordinarily fine wine or cider, and even root beer! We supply everything you could possibly need, stop by and try any or all of our eight brews on tap!


180 W. Dayton St. #105 EDMONDS, WA | E-mail: Gallaghers’ | Call us today at (425) 776-4209 to reserve a kettle to make your own beer!

Drop in for a pint to meet brew crew Chris and Gregg!

Seen here with the King 5 Evening Magazine team:

Group wine & group beer brewing events & hosting services

We can even provide beverages for your party, wedding, celebration or other event. Don’t have the time or inclination to brew your own but you still want great, handcrafted, personalized beverages for your event? No problem! Give us a call and we’ll be happy to brew the beer, wine, or cider for you!

How To Brew Wee Heavy Beer | Homebrew Challenge

Wee Heavy is one of Scotland’s distinct beers and the style is known worldwide. Originally this style was brewed during the 18th- century in Scotland.

However, this wasn’t the first time Scotland encountered beer. It is thought that fragments such as cereal, pollen, meadowsweet were discovered some 4,000 to 6,000 years ago.

On the Isle of Rhum dated around 2000 B.C. show traces of cereal, grains, honey, and heather.

Transcript: This week, we’re going big. We’re not brewing any kind of easy drinking session beer. Instead we’re brewing something that is richly malty sweet and quite alcoholic. It’s wee heavy.

I’m Martin Keen taking the Homebrew challenge to brew 99 beers in 99 weeks.

And on that challenge so far I’ve already brewed three Scottish beers Scottish light, Scottish heavy, and Scottish export.

And they all share the characteristics of a strong malt profile, quite caramelly, but also relatively easy drinking and quite low in alcohol. Now wee heavy shares some of the basic characteristics of those Scottish beers and that it is a malt forward beer, but it’s got a much stronger malt profile. It’s a fair bit sweeter, and it’s of a much higher gravity.

When you’re brewing high gravity beers one thing to keep in mind is yeast health. You are giving the yeast a feast of sugar to chew through. And therefore oxygenating the wort provides for healthy fermentations and is more important than ever when it comes to these high gravity beers.

To that end, I have a couple of new gadgets to try out for oxygenation. I have something from a Blichmann engineering and from Anvil. We’ll get to what these things do in just a second.

But first of all, let’s hop over to talk about ingredients. And I’ve alluded to this being a big beer. How big? Well, the original gravity is 10 89. So yeah, pretty strong beer. This will get us about 8.9% ABV.

And when fermentation is done, we’re only expecting to finish up with a gravity of about 10 23. Uh, so that’s still quite high, which indicates that there will still be a bit of sugar in the beer.

So the base malt for this beer is going to be golden promise that will make up 85% of the grist. We’re also going to add in 5% of crystal 45. Now we also want to bring in some roasty character to this beer. So I’m going to add 3% of special roast and 3% of crystal 120. I’m also adding in 3% of biscuit malt, and then just a touch 1% or even less of roasted barley.

Mashing in at 68 Celsius or 154 Fahrenheit for probably about an hour.

Time for confession. Now, I’ve been using these ball lock liquid disconnect on my kegs to serve beer for years. And I didn’t really know how to clean them. My only effort really towards cleaning them as every now and again, I’d kind of rinse them out under the tap, or I would run some PBW solution through them.

It turns out though, as I learn on a Reddit thread the other day, that you are actually able to open these things up.

So I got a jar here of all of my disconnects that I’ve just taken out of my Keezer and look on the back of each one of these, there is a little hole and I hadn’t really figured out what that hole is for. It fits a screwdriver just perfectly. And in fact, from here, you can open it up.

No, you have to be quite careful because there are all sorts of little parts in here that we don’t want to lose. But basically there is this, this outer part here, which will have a rubber O-ring attached to it. And as you can see, uh, the O-ring has got a little bit of dirt on it, not too bad. Uh, also in here, if I tip this up, we’ve got a spring and then we’ve got this here, which is what connects in with the liquid post on the keg.

So I’ve got a Mason jar of PBW solution here, and I’m just going to drop all of these parts into that jar to soak. There we go. I’ll then rinse these out and reassemble this thing and hopefully have slightly cleaner liquid disconnects for future serving of beer.

Now, I did perform a mash out of this beer. I don’t always do that with my system, but I raise the temperature up to 75 Celsius or 168 Fahrenheit and left it there for about 10 minutes. Now I am getting ready to boil and thinking about adding in the hops.

And the hops for this bit, uh, East Kent Golding, nothing crazy here, going through an IBU of about 20. I’m going to add my bittering hops in at one hour. So if you’re brewing a five gallon batch, this would be one bag or one ounce of East Kent Golding, and then 10 minutes to go I’m throwing in another bag, which would give me about five IBU.

Now, I don’t oxygenate every one of my beers, typically only high gravity beers. I think the rule of thumb is sort of a gravity of an original gravity of 10 70, 10 80. That’s when you might want to start, consider doing it.

When I do my beer, I’ve been using oxygen from tanks like this, which you can just pick up at the hardware store. So pretty convenient to get hold of them. And then you take an oxygenation wand and connect it directly to this thing. And away you go.

There’s a few things I don’t really like about these tanks. First of all, because the one connects directly to the tank. There’s no regulator. There’s no way to sort of really set the flow of oxygen that’s passing through this thing.

Also, these things contain surprisingly little oxygen. I find that after only a few batches, then I’ve, I’ve drained one of these. And then thirdly, I haven’t really figured out a way to recycle this thing. I don’t know what to do with it. I don’t want to throw it away.

Yeah, so I am now using a full 20 cubic feet oxygen tank with a CGA 540 connection. Now, what we want to do is we want to get about eight to 10 parts per million of oxygen into our wort and the way that we’re going to measure that is by using this regulator from Blichmann.

A road trip across the cornbelt of America finds a reader enjoying an unexpected surprise of a beer in Iowa. The Replicator tracks down the story behind the beer, the brewery, and a recipe.

Ask Mr. Wizard
Ask Mr. Wizard

When substituting bittering hops, how important are the hop characteristics? It would seem that the boiling of the hops destroys most everything except the desired bitterness. Also, the hop substitution guide lists Northern Brewer as a substitute for Perle but not the reverse. Can you clarify this for me?

Welcome to the Brew Your Own Community
Welcome to the Brew Your Own Community

Hi! I'm Brad, Publisher of Brew Your Own. Our mission is to deliver well-researched homebrewing information in a clear way to help people pursue their passion for making great beer at home. We try to be informative without being intimidating. This is, after all, a hobby not a job. So, we give you scientifically-sound information in an entertaining format that never loses sight of the how-to mission we have. We want to give you the skills to craft great beer at home. That's why we not only publish proven recipes, but we also write about common brewing problems (Ask Mr. Wizard) and provide you with information, tips, DIY projects, and techniques so you can make your own world-class beer. For over two decades Brew Your Own magazine has earned the respect of homebrewers worldwide with our mix of how-to content in the hobby's largest paid circulation publication. Digital members now have access to thousands of these tested and reviewed recipes, techniques, and projects and complete access to recent and current issues of Brew Your Own magazine as well as our Special Issue library. The majority of this updated homebrewing content is being released digitally here for the first time to our digital members. I don't think you'll find homebrewing content of this quality and authority anywhere else online. We'd love to have you join us as a member!

Cheers, Brad Ring

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What Readers Say About Brew Your Own

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25 Cold-Brew Coffee Recipes For Your #CaffeinateMe Mornings

The extra kick of sweetness in this iced coffee will give you the jumpstart you need to face the Monday blues.

Get the recipe Cook Nourish Bliss.

Homemade coffee, marshmallows, graham crackers and whipped cream&mdashthey'll have you reminiscing about all things summer.

Get the recipe A Night Owl Blog.

It's amazing what a little coconut can do. We're warning you now, it's seriously addictive.

Get the recipe at A Beautiful Mess.

DIY your own lavender syrup and stick it in the fridge so you have an aromatic treat any day of the week.

Get the recipe at A Beautiful Mess.

Okay so maybe it isn't the best idea to sip on this pre-office, but for your brunch party? The java cocktail is sure to be a huge hit.

Get the recipe Hungry Girl Por Vida.

If you have 15 minutes to spare on a Sunday night, whip up a couple batches of this chocolate-y, protein-packed beverage and have breakfast ready for the entire week.

Get the recipe at Half Baked

Okay, okay, nobody's making claims that this recipe is healthy. But if you like your joe sweet, it's your new go-to.

Get the recipe Kitchen Treaty.

It may require a bit more effort to make, but every sweet, rich sip is so worth it. The donut is pretty darn delicious, too.

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Before going to bed, fill your ice tray with cold-brew coffee so you never have to settle for watery joe again.

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Pack coffee, ice cream, vanilla, Bailey's Irish Cream, and Kahlua. Dessert, anyone?

It's everything you love about fall in one delectable sip. Sweeten it with extra almond milk and a hint of salt for an even more flavor-packed drink.

Get the recipe Coffee and Quinoa.

Bubble tea fanatics, this one's for you. Simple syrup, coffee, boba, and coconut sugar&mdashwhat's not to love?

Skip the drive-thru lines and make your own version of the Starbuck's classic. In case you're wondering, yes, it's just as good.

Get the recipe Minimalist Baker.

Just when you thought your iced mocha couldn't get any better. Hint: add a pinch of salt and your world will forever change.

Coffee, ice cream, whipped cream, and vanilla wafers. In other words, the epitome of happiness.

Get the recipe Java Cupcake.

You've had iced joe with almond milk before, but with a splash of honey? Game-changer.

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This smooth blend of coffee, chicory, and syrup makes for the ultimate morning cup of coffee. Try it and we're sure you'll agree.

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It sounds, well, interesting, but trust us: tonic and espresso together is pure magic. Pro tip: Add cherries for a tiny hint of sweetness.

Get the recipe Well Nesting.

Your two favorites&mdashjava and booze&mdashare blended here to create the perfect happy hour drink.

Get recipe Supergolden Bakes.

Afternoon slumps, be gone. This strong, delicious mix of coffee concentrate and condensed milk will surely keep you on your toes for the rest of the work day.

Get recipe Seeded At The Table.

Mocha lovers, meet your new best friend nutella. One sip of this chocolatey concoction and you'll be looking forward to getting up early for preschool drop-off every morning.

To create a new device, you have to enter three information: assign a name (e.g. Manni Malz), select the brewmaster size (e.g. 10-litre Braumeister) and enter the IP address of your Braumeister to establish a connection. The communication with the Braumeister is designed for use within your own wireless internet network.

Optimize your profile with additional personal information, select your home country and set up which measurement system you would like to work with.

ZAITH Weizen

Those who have sampled the wonders of German brewing often come away with a love for the malty, spicy flavor of an authentic Bavarian wheat beer, known as a weizen. This basic recipe allows you to produce that flavor right in your own homebrewery! Being an extract-only recipe, this weizen is the perfect beer to brew for those testing the waters of homebrewing.

Yield: 5 gallons (18.9 L)

Those who have sampled the wonders of German brewing often come away with a love for the malty, spicy flavor of an authentic Bavarian wheat beer, known as a weizen. This basic recipe allows you to produce that flavor right in your own homebrewery! Being an extract-only recipe, this weizen is the perfect beer to brew for those testing the waters of homebrewing.


  • 2 cans [6.6 lb (3 kg)] Wheat liquid malt extract
  • 1 oz Perle or liberty hop pellets
  • 1 tube/pack White Labs WLP300 or Wyeast 3068*
  • *Note: if you prefer the softer flavor of American-style wheat beers, use WLP 320 or Wyeast 1010 instead


Original Gravity: 1.050-1.051

Boil Time: 30 minutes


Put 1 gallon (3.79 L) of water in the pot and bring to a boil. Turn off burner and add the malt extract. Stir until dissolved and then turn the burner back on. Add the hops. Boil for 30 minutes. Stir as needed to avoid boil-over. Fill the fermenter one-half full with cold water. Allow the hot wort to stand for at least five minutes before adding to the fermenter. (If using a glass fermenter, allow the wort to drop below 100°F (38°C) before adding to the fermenter. Add the hot wort to the cold water in the fermenter, topping up to 5 gallons (18.9L) if necessary. Let cool to 75°F (24°C) or lower, then add the yeast. Pitch yeast and ferment around 65-75°F for 2 weeks.