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How to Make a Yeast Starter

Making a starter culture to increase the quantity of yeast pitched into a particular beer is a great way to assure consistent results. If you are brewing a high gravity beer (greater than 1.065 original gravity) or a lager that will be fermented cold then you need to increase your pitch rate by pitching more packages of yeast or making a starter culture.  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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Gluten Free Beers: A Review & How to Brew a Good One!

Gluten-free beer: some would say there is no such thing, while others would say there’s just not a good example. Regardless of where you stand, any curious beer-drinker is in search of something new.  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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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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How to Make Hard Cider

Hard Cider is pretty darn easy to make, and this recipe and process is quite simple.
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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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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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The Great Candi Syrup Experiment

If you have made Belgian beers before there is a really good chance you have heard or seen candi sugar and candi syrup along the way. These two are forms of the same fermentable sugar and are widely used by commercial and home brewers alike.  Read On »

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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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No Boil Berliner Weiss

Hi everyone, it’s Nick! For the last year, Andrew (the newest addition to the shop) and I have been discussing older styles of beers. After doing several sour beers, I finally decided to try my hand at a few techniques that I have researched, and I want to share my results with you.  Read On »

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The Great Belgian Pumpkin Beer

For the past month we have been helping people put together recipes for their pumpkin beers. Here is one that I know you will enjoy. Come on in, and we can get the ingredients together for you!  Read On »

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Livin La Vida Loca Cream Ale

Ben O’Connor makes a light, summer beer for Ricky Martin. No, not the Latin heart throb. Ricky Martin is Allison O’Connor’s dad, who lives in the mountains of western North Carolina.  Read On »

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O’Connor’s Home Brew Supply in Revue

We are really happy how our shop has been embraced since opening our doors.  Our emphasis on local products and customer service has been show cased in the June issue of Revue.  Download it before it hits the shelf (page 24). O’Connor’s Home Brew Supply in Revue

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Mitten Brew Article

Our Brewing with extract seminar was a big success  Read On »

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