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10 Gallon Brew System

5 Gallon All-Grain Brewing

Beer Log

Brewing Tips & FAQ

Brewzilla System & Mods

Build a Keg Washer

Concentrated Brewing

Exhaust Fan/Vent Hood

Extract w/ Grains Brewing

Fermentation Fridge/Freezer

Fermzilla Conical

Hard Cider Recipe

Hard Seltzer (MikeClaw)

Monster Mill

Parti-Gyle Brewing

Saving & Reusing Yeast

Sour & Funky Beers

Wine & Mead


Chest Freezer Kegerator

Fridge Kegerator

Sanyo Kegerator

Custom Tap Handles

Keezer Compressor Fix

Quick & Easy Drip Tray


Bread & Sourdough

Fermented Food

Gun Pictures


Smoking Meat

Welcome to MikeBeer!


UPDATE - Website Shutting Down 8/4/2024

It's been a great run, but I just don't find I'm updating this site as often as I used to, and the cost of hosting isn't worth the money at this point.  I'm glad this site has been so helpful to so many brewers over the years, especially the Chest Freezer Kegerator page.  I've received a ton of feedback on that site and others.  Happy brewing all!  Cheers!


*NEW* - Brewzilla Electric System & Exhaust Fan/Vent Hood

I've always liked the idea of brewing inside, but I've never wanted to really dedicate a room or large space to a brew stand.  With more and more portable electric brew systems coming out each year, and with winter fast approaching, I decided it was time to try one out.  I settled on the Brewzilla (formerly the RoboBrew) 35L 110v system.  I got everything I needed for around $450, which is a pretty good deal considering what's included.  Along with the new brew system, I decided to install a vent in the basement so I could brew down there year round if I wanted to.  This system doesn't put off a ton of moisture, but if I decide to use this in the middle of summer, I didn't want all that extra humidity floating around the house.  Check out more detailed info on both projects using the links below:


Brewzilla Electric System

Exhaust Fan/Vent Hood


*NEW* - Fermzilla Pressurized Conical Fermenter

UPDATE 2024:  I ended up selling my Fermzilla to a beer club friend, because I didn't really like the bottom yeast collection port.  I ended up buying an All-Rounder instead, which is basically the same fermenter without the yeast collection piece at the bottom.  That has worked well for me for the past year or so at this point.


I've always liked the idea of a conical fermenter, but the stainless options available to homebrewers were just too expensive for me.  So when I saw several good reviews of the Fermzilla Conical fermenter, I decided to give it a try.  I've only put a couple batches through it so far and haven't had a chance to put them on tap yet, so the jury is still out on how it performs to reduce esters in lagers & allow for the addition of hops via a CO2 flushed vessel on the bottom, but I look forward to testing it out more in the future.


Fermzilla Conical Fermenter & Stand


Bread & Sourdough Baking & Experiments



I've been baking bread a off and on for several years, but during the time of our lord COVID-19, I decided to try out the sourdough process.  After doing some research online, I realized that sourdough wasn't some mystical & magic process.  It's just a mixture of wild yeast and lactobacillus that is naturally found in flour.  I decided to purchase an established sourdough starter online at Breadtopia.com to act as kind of a control starter.  Shortly after I had that starter built up, I also created my own starter so I could compare the two later down the line.  I decided to start create a few pages so I can document and share my sourdough journey and experiments.  There is a lot of info online, so I have included some links to resources and products in the link below that I have found helpful over the last several months.

Bread & Sourdough Baking


Hard Seltzer (AKA MikeClaw) Recipe & Process


As much as I want to say I can drink super juicy IPAs & NEIPAs all day long, it's just not true. I used to have a hard cider or something lighter after a couple more robust beverages, but lately I've been trying more brands & flavors of hard seltzer instead.  What I really don't like is the $15 per 12-pack price tag, considering it's just sugar, yeast, and flavoring.  After doing a little research and trying a few different batches, I think I have the process down.  While my seltzers may not have a perfectly clean fermentation profile, I can knock out a 5-gallon batch for less than the cost of a 12-pack at the store.  I'll call that a win!  Check out the link below for more info on my process, along with a few recipes and ideas for future batches.

MikeClaw - Hard Seltzer Process & Recipes


Fruit Wine Experiements

With being at home a lot more with COVID-19, I got a little stir-crazy and started thinking about random things I could ferment.  It started with dandelions from the yard one day before I mowed. That was an extremely time-consuming process to pick and then squeeze the dandelion petals out of the stems.  As that batch was fermenting, I stumbled across an Orange/Citrus wine recipe, so I figured I'd give that a shot as well.  Check out more info with recipe and brewing process at the link below:

Wine Experiments


How to Build a Keg/Carboy Washer



UPDATED 6/10/2020 - I decided to make the top of my keg washer a little more sturdy so I wouldn't have to hold it while being cleaned and sanitized. This turned out to be pretty easy by modifying the base a little bit, adding a PVC reducer, and a couple pieces of scrap wood on top of the lid for stability and to provide clearance for the quick disconnects.

Cleaning kegs has always been a labor-intensive task for me.  Every time I clean I keg, I completely disassemble everything in order to clean and sanitize all parts (posts, poppets, dip tubes).  After a long day of cleaning 7 or 8 kegs, I decided I was ready for a more automated process.  Looking at commercial (homebrew) keg washers, they just didn't seem to be built very sturdy or have strong pumps, so I started looking into building my own.  After doing some research and a few trips to the hardware store, I was able to build my own more powerful keg washer for around the same price as the commercial model.  Check out the build process HERE for more info and pictures.


Beer Log - Recipe List

When I first started brewing, I would write down all my recipes in spiral notebooks. After starting to develop my own recipes, and especially after moving to all-grain, I decided to test out the various brewing software packages. I really liked the usability of BeerSmith, and I've stuck with that over the years. It also happens to have a nice HTML output that looks pretty good on the website. Check out the Beer Log link below or on the top navigation bar.  Check out my Beer Log HERE.


Concentrated Boil 10-Gallon Brewing

During the winter or when I'm feeling lazy, I can't/don't want to brew on my 10-Gallon Brewing System.  This got me thinking of a way that I could produce ten gallons of beer on my 5-gallon system without having to do a double brew day.  This method is really geared towards brewing lower gravity session-type ales or lagers and has worked out great the several times I've used it.  More info can be found HERE.


Quick & Easy Drip Tray

I received an email from someone who was building a chest freezer kegerator (keezer) asking about what I used for a drip tray.  I realized that I hadn't put together any information on what I came up with for a drip tray without having to drill into the freezer.  Check out the link HERE or on the left navigation bar for more info.


Helpful Brewing Tips

Being an active member of three different homebrew clubs, I have a chance to talk with a lot of different brewers at different stages of their brewing evolution.  I really enjoy talking with the guys that are just getting started, because I feel like I can save them time and effort by not necessarily doing the things that were considered necessary several years ago.  I was going to just post the information on the main page here, but there was a little too much to include, so I decided to make a separate page HERE.  I'll try to keep this updated as I hear different questions and other topics that people seem to ask about frequently.


Contact Information:  MikeYoungHB at gmail.com

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