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Author Archives: Allison OConnor

Holiday Sale: December 8

15% off and we will have a Complete Brewing Kit available for $199.99  Read On »

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Beer City Pro-Am Schedule and Information

Area breweries have teamed up with local award-winning homebrewers to take part in the inaugural Beer City Pro-Am, collaborating on the creation and brewing of original recipes.  Read On »

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How to Grow Hops

Hops can be grown at almost anywhere or in any type of soil; however, they fair better in rich alluvial or sandy loam soil. They are very hardy plants but the hill they are planted in needs to be well cultivated to encourage proper drainage. They need plenty of water and food that will allow them to grow up to 1′ per day, although not typically the first year.  Read On »

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How to Make Soda & Hard Soda

Want to make soda for your kids? Want to make hard soda for yourself? This comprehensive article by Home Brew Expert Andy is here to help.  Read On »

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How to Lager

A lager is a beer that has been fermented and stored at cold temperatures. Lager styles range from highly drinkable and refreshing pilsners to filling and warming dopplebocks. This article will cover the processes involved in brewing a lager at home.  Read On »

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In a hurry? Email us your recipe

We know that many of you have busy schedules. Some of our regular customers have been emailing us their recipes and setting up times to pick up their ingredients. It works great for both parties. Just let us know the grains (and if you need them milled), hops, yeast, and whatever else you need (muslin bags, priming sugar, bottle caps, etc) and we can get it together for you.  Read On »

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Bad Beer Gone Sour…In a Good Way

This summer I had my eyes on brewing a huge Russian Imperial Stout that was to be aged in bourbon soaked oak chips. I was exploring a handful of new methods that I previously hadn’t dabbled in…  Read On »

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5 Tips to Improve Your Home Brew

How many times have you heard, “This beer is great. It doesn’t taste like a home brew!”? Many people can make a good home brew by following simple directions and simple recipes. If you want to take your brew to the next level (that beer that could pass for a commercial brew), take a peak at this article about five ways to improve your beer.  Read On »

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Pitch the Right Amount of Yeast or Pitch Your Beer

I truly believe that incorrect pitch rate is the fatal flaw of homebrewing. Even some brewpubs suffer from this mistake. Proper and complete sanitation is my motto, but even if you keep everything squeaky clean, infections are most definitely not the biggest cause of mediocre beer.  Read On »

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Making wine at home is sooooo easy!

It’s very easy to make delicious wine from the variety of kits that we offer. All of our wine kits produce 6 gallons of wine which is about 30 750ml bottles.  Read On »

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Guide to All Grain Brewing

There are many reasons brewers choose all grain over extract brewing. The main reason brewers switch to all grain is because it gives the brewer more control over the final product. Another reason to brew all grain is because it is generally about 40% cheaper to brew than malt extract beers.  Read On »

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Recipe Writing 101

…Research which yeast is the correct yeast for your application. Different yeast have difference characteristics which can greatly influence the flavor and body of your beer. If you do not know which yeast to use, you can ask us!  Read On »

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Blichmann Conicals vs. Ale Pail Throw Down

This month I wanted to do something a little different. Instead of exploring a brewing technique or a style of beer, I really wanted to do a side-by-side comparison pitting our Blichmann Conicals up against my trusty 8 year old Ale Pail.  Read On »

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Achieving Beer Clarity

Some brewers make a big deal about it, others don’t, but the clarity of my beer as of late has been a big deal. I think it is just a natural progression in brewing education. Relatively speaking, concern over clarity only became relevant when we stopped drinking out of wooden, stone, and porcelain mugs.  Read On »

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And the Winners are….

All of the scoresheets have been entered into the website. Log in to view your scores. Paper copies are also available at the shop. Also, please pick up your unused entry beers by Sunday at 5pm.

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Home Brew Competition Winners-2016

Congrats to Nick Rodammer, Best in Show, 2nd Place, Lager Style, and Strong Ale Style winner. And congratulations to the rest of the 4th Annual O’Connor’s Home Brew Supply Competition Winners.  Read On »

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Put Diaceytl to Rest

Diacetyl can be a serious problem for many brewers. Diacetyl has the flavor of butter or butterscotch. It is a naturally occurring product of yeast fermentation, and healthy yeast will clean up this flavor while fermenting.  Read On »

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Cider House Select Kits

Everything you need to craft your best cider is here. We start with fresh ingredients packaged to maintain flavor as well as easy-to-follow recipes measured to perfection.  Read On »

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And the winners are….2015

As a thank you, the staff at OHBS would like to invite those who entered beers to a little BBQ at the shop on Sunday, August 16 from 1-4. The winners will be announced at 2:30.  Read On »

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Rob’s Tips to Speeding Up Your Brew Day

My most recent brew was record breaking. Just over 3 hours. Yes, 3 hours for an all grain brew AND I managed to get all the groceries my family needed while I mashed for the week ::mic drop:: How? Well I’ll lay it out for you….  Read On »

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What it Feels Like to Win Our Homebrew Competition

I knew I had a good beer but had never had any qualified, constructive criticism concerning my brews. My wife would tell me how good my beer was, but I never knew if she was saying that to keep the peace in the Qualls household.  Read On »

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The guys review Stone’s “Enjoy By”

Western Michigan has found itself the center of the Midwest beer universe and that means a lot of eyes are on our region to create and produce some of the best beers in the world. How can we say that we make amazing IPA’s without judging ourselves against the undisputed champions of the IPA-Stone Brewing?  Read On »

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O’Connor’s is a Local Treasure

O’Connor’s is proud to be a part of Local First. Did you know that 73% more money stays in West Michigan when consumers shop at local and independent businesses.  Read On »

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Advanced Parti-gyle Brewing

First, a little background on the subject at hand. Parti-gyle brewing is an age old method of using your first runnings for a beer (that is higher in gravity) and using your second or third runnings for a beer that is lighter in gravity. For the best example of this process, we need to look at the Belgians.  Read On »

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More w/ Less Part II-Grain

The first runnings could be used to produce a high alcohol beer; the second runnings, a moderate alcohol beer; and third (and so on) runnings for a low alcohol beer. Often times the first and second runnings were combined to produce more moderately high alcohol beer, which is the same practice that 99% of all-grain homebrewers implement.  Read On »

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More with Less-Yeast

More with Less Part. 1: Yeast If you have been homebrewing long enough, you have probably realized by now that you could save a lot of time and energy not homebrewing. Essentially, homebrewing is work; if you’re doing it right, it’s very rewarding work. I have a hard time thinking of something I would rather […]

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Grand Rapids craft beer boom fuels expansion for O’Connor’s Home Brew Supply

Here is the link to the Mlive article that discussed our move and expansion. We are super happy for the positive press and very thankful for all of the great people who made it possible.  Read On »

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A Week in Laramie: The Front Street Tavern

At this point the bar starts to fill with people of all varieties. It’s nearing the end of happy hour, so I order another pint just to round out my time here, as well as by a t-shirt. The bartenders cop me a beer, and I feel right at home. My head is buzzing with romantic ideals (and alcohol too), and the whole world turns rosy. This is a place I could stay for a long time.  Read On »

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A Week in Laramie: Part 2

A true measure of a brewer’s abilities is whether he or she can brew a tasty, low-alcohol and low-IBU beer that remains elegant, delicious, and drinkable. This kölsch hits the spot. Straw-yellow, a crisp hoppy bitterness, with a bready malt profile, but it finishes clean and dry.  Read On »

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A Week in Laramie: Part 1

During the first week of May, Andrew De Haan took a trip to Laramie, Wyoming to visit a friend of his. What follows is a log of beer and adventure from drinking in Denver and Laramie.  Read On »

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