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Have not brewed in years

Hi all,

I was an avid homebrewer back in the late 90’s. The last batch I did was in 2002!! I am looking to get back into it again, and I can’t wait!
My question is: what is the most important advancement in homebrewing over the past decade? What do I need to know about now?


I think you just involved yourself in one of the biggest advancements since the early 2000’s.
This forum was established right around 2000 and there is a wealth of information now at your fingertips after 10+ years of discussions. The search feature still lacks some functionality but if you keep searching and/ or just ask you will find a couple of factual replies and tons of varied opinion about your question that you can decide then what works for you.

Fresher LME as it is turned over super quick these days.
Better supply and freshness dependability for hops.
Better pricing depending on who you do business with as there are tons of online homebrew suppliers now and if your willing to shop around there are good prices to be found.

Again welcome to the board.

I was on hiatus for a bit and I’d have to say ingredients.
Malt- There are lots to catch up on specialty malts (try some chocolate wheat malt). Malteurop and Rahr are popular base malts now.
Hops-Proprietary hops have really changed the hop industry. Citra, Simcoe, Amarillo etc are all the rage now. My favorite proprietary hop is Palisade. (those should all have the trademark sign but I’m to lazy). In my freezer I have Comet, Calypso, Sorachi Ace, Millenium, Newport, Serebrianka to try.
Yeast- Wyeast has these giant smack packs now. And the Variety OMG! White labs has all the same strains as Wyeast. Check out those two companies limited edition strains. Dry yeasts are high quality and you can get trappist, lager and wheat too.

Hmm…a lot of new hop varieties, and yeast strains available. Oh and dry yeast is pretty good now.
It seems that hot side aeration and autolysis aren’t the problem we thought.
So a lot of brewers are skipping secondary after extended primary (I still secondary).

The importance of temp control has been brought up to date with a lot of devices to perform the task. NB sells some of these.

Speaking of science, everything from hop utilization to yeast pitch rates to recipe formation are available on line in the form of calculators. The link to these can be found in the learn section here. The intrawebs have sure changed in the last 11 years.

online calculators like mrmalty will tell you exactly how much yeast you need, given the volume and gravity. fantastic resource, definitely worth remembering


Oh and oxyclean. Even the generic. Fantastic brewers cleanser. 24 hr soak in the stuff will leave your stuff cleansed.

+2 I was just going to post the Mr. Malty resource and noticed you posted S.S good call.
The articles within the site are a good read along with the calculator that shows instantly how much starter is needed for liquid yeast, dry packets needed if you use dry yeasts and slurry needed if re pitching liquid yeast. Another good tool there is the yeast strain chart that was put together that helps you in decision making also for recipe formulation.

On the line of other yeast articles I have come across was the following link: ... ries/yeast

I had almost 2 decades gap between brewing. Started up again a couple years ago. To me, the biggest advancement was the internet. So much on-line sharing in the forums…you can find the answer to almost any question you have, and if not, you can ask. Also all of the on-line calculators available as previously posted. I’m kind of old school and like hard copies, so Palmers book is a good bet. It wasn’t around when I started.
Cheers, :cheers:

I wasn’t around in the brewing community ten years ago but like everything else in society I would assume, like others have already stated, that the internet and technology in general has made the biggest difference. Sharing ideas on here, using Mr. Malty for pitching, ordering supplies from higher quality suppliers, Beer Smith or other programs that turn anyone into a recipe writer and just the general pool of knowledge from being able to look up anything you want. The world is a smaller place than it was ten years ago.

Someone already mentioned malts but I would like to emphasise this fact. The quality, variety and freshness of malts has gone up exponentially. Even the extracts. A good LME from a place like NB is prolly better than anything you could mash 10+ years ago due to quality and freshness alone. The stuff you can mash now is as good as anything any professional brewery can lay their hands on.

i’m guessing the internet as well; although I am only maybe a few years into brewing, the quality of “nuance” advice available on the internet allows us to accelerate our learning curve if you spend the time to read and compare sources…“on the backs of giants”, if you will.

or the autosiphon.

I just started up again last year after almost 15 years off. To me the improvements I noticed were in yeasts and sanitizers.

For yeasts both the liquid and dry are much improved. I used to remember a smack pack of yeast taking a couple of days to kick off and now they seem much more active. The dry yeasts are great too, cheap insurance to have a couple of packets around in case the liquid ones don’t kick off like they should.

There are more sanitizer options now. I remember using BTF (still good stuff) but the backup sanitizer was common bleach. Now Star-San is the king. And like someone already mentioned, OxyClean is a secret weapon. I just cleaned 6 cases of crusty bottles with one 5-gallon bucket of OxyClean. Put a case of bottles in the bucket, leave them for a few hours, ALL the labels came off and a lot of the crud inside came out without too much work. That same bucket of oxyclean held up for all the bottles.

Surprised nobody put in a vote for the Better Bottles. Just got one, looks like it works great, the trick is to put them in a milk crate to keep them from sucking the airlock water back in when you pick them up to move them.

I was going to say star-san too.
If you never got to use it before, you’re in for a real treat.

BIAB brewing for all grain (Brew in a bag)

Thanks everyone! It’s been a great couple of days getting back into it!


surprised no one said Batch Sparging via the cheap and easy method. Maybe that’s been around a lot longer. I’ve only know about it for about 8 years now.

[quote=“ITsPossible”]This forum was established right around 2000 and there is a wealth of information now at your fingertips after 10+ years of discussions. The search feature still lacks some functionality[/quote]Yes, the phpbb search function is lacking. I made a google custom search form
, it works much better.

[quote=“Glug Master”] I made a google custom search form
, it works much better.[/quote]
Nice! I like it.

Oxi-Clean! WOW! My equipment is sparkling! Brewing Sunday, can’t wait.

What are you going to brew?

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