Choosing your hops for a SMaSH recipe, head space when filling bottles, duplicate brew days but different results, & what to do with swollen packs of liquid yeast – Ep. 242


Hope you’re doing well, homebrewer!

We welcome you back for another episode of our Homebrew Happy Hour podcast… the podcast where we answer all of your home brewing questions and discuss anything related to craft beer!


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On Today’s Show:

We start off the show with a question about selecting hops when developing a single hop and single mash (SMaSH) recipe. Thankfully, we have hop head Ladik Joe Ermis on the show with us this week and he was a huge help on this question. Shop fresh hops for your next batch here:
Then, we had a question about filling bottles (gross, amirite?) and whether or not you should leave plenty of head space or if you can fill the bottle all the way up to the top. For bottling supplies, click here:
Our third question was an interesting one because the listener initially brewed a batch of the award winning Brian’s Kolsch recipe kit – enjoyed it so much – then he bought a second recipe kit and brewed it the exact same way only to have slightly different results. His second batch was sweeter than his first and we try to help him figure out ‘why’. Brew the incredible Brian’s Kolsch recipe kit yourself:
Finally, our fourth and final question on this week’s episode came from a listener who is a member of our Trub Club ( and receives recipe kits every month. During these Summer months, his pack of Imperial Yeast arrived slightly swollen and he isn’t sure whether he should pitch it as is or if he should create a starter for his batch. Shop Imperial Yeast here:

We want to hear from you!

If you have a question that you’d like us to discuss on a future episode, please click on the “Submit a Question” link at the top of our website or you can now call in your questions via our questions hotline @ 325-305-6107 and leave your message after the beep. This is a friendly reminder that, if we choose your question for a future episode, we give you a $25 gift card to that episode’s sponsor!

Let us know what you think and enjoy the show!





On today’s episode, we had a blast taking your questions and also talking shop about our sweet new Brautag HERMS Premium Brewing System. The website for the Brautag is live ( and our retail partners all are offering a special introductory bonus which includes:

$500 off the MSRP, making it $4495.95
Free 15 gallon recipe kit of your choice
3 packs of Imperial Yeast with your recipe kit
Free 1-year membership to
Free premium refractometer with a hard case
Free premium pH meter and testing strips
Free 16oz bottle of San Step sanitizer
Free 1lb bag of Brew Clean powdered cleaner
Free metal tintacker bar sign for the Brautag
Free Brautag baseball cap


Thank you to our show’s sponsor, Imperial Yeast, for supporting us and the homebrewing community. Learn more about why we LOVE Imperial Yeast by checking out their entire line, available at


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