Hi There... mmmmm...beeeeer!



Hi...I'm Ken Schwartz. I've had something resembling this page since 1996 or thereabouts. Lately my brewing pace has slowed but I still enjoy time in the brewery occasionally. I've trimmed this page down to the most popular items, mostly for archiving purposes.


Rebel Brewer Homebrew Supplies

Country Blues Internet Radio

 GadgetsCool Thingies for your Brewery

Son Of Fermentation Chiller On-Line-- A home-made "refrigerator" for controlling fermentation temperature, as featured in the May/June 2001 issue of Zymurgy.

SoftwareSoftware for Brewers

Beer Theme Cursors -- Relax, don't worry, and have a homebrew every time you use your PC!  These beer-themed cursors are easy to install and will liven up your PC.  The Text-Select cursor is a beer bottle, the Standard Select cursor is a beer mug, and the animated "Wait" cursor is a beer mug that empties while you wait for your PC to complete a task.  Download, unzip, read the README.TXT file for instructions.

BreWater 3.0-- My Windows utility for analyzing and synthesizing brewing water. Version 3.0 adds a pH calculation for water built from ion-free water as well as a Formulation Wizard, which will do all the water design work for you if you're too lazy to fiddle with the salt sliders yourself. Freeware; new all-in-one setup program with uninstall utility.  El Paso's water profiles can be downloaded here too.

OK, so a lot of people are emailing me asking about MAC versions, win64 versions, and the like. I don't plan to do any further development of BreWater. BreWater was developed when Windows 95 was The Bomb. As an alternative, for those of you who want to use a water chemistry calculator but can't run BreWater 3.0, try some of these online calculators:

Brewer's Friend

Powers Brewery

Pro Brewer

Brewer's Lair

Or, just do a Google search for "brewing water calculator" or whatever.


If you already have BreWater 2.0 or earlier, download bw30.zip , which contains just the brewater.exe and brewater.hlp files needed to convert to version 3.0 (just overwrite the old exe and hlp files with these). Also included are several new Belgian water profiles.


If  BreWater crashes with a "divide by zero" error, edit the twelfth line of prefs.dat to read " 10.000" instead of "0.000", save, and rerun BreWater.  Click here for details.


IF YOUR PC USES COMMAS FOR DECIMAL POINTS (example: "2 1/2" is written as 2,5), you might experience problems with the pH utility or other aspects of the program. At this time the only workaround is to set your system settings so that a decimal point is a PERIOD ( . ) (example: "2 1/2" is written as 2.5) and a COMMA ( , ) is the thousands separator (example, one thousand is written as 1,000).

Original ArticlesOriginal Articles on Brewing-Related Topics

Converting All-Grain Recipes to Extract/Partial-Mash-- Extract brewers are often and unfairly maligned in some homebrewing circles. Extract brewers can make some truly outstanding beers, but it usually takes more than a can of hopped John Bull. This article describes methods to make an extract or extract-plus-mini-mash version of practically any all-grain recipe. Even if you just want to improve your extract beers, the information in this article should be helpful.  Instructions on partial-mashing and equipment is included.  This is an Adobe Acrobat (PDF) file containing the handout from my presentation at the National Hombrewers Conference in Portland, OR in July 1998. (If you need the PDF reader go to Adobe's website for a free copy)

No-Sparging and Batch-Sparging-- A discussion of the no-sparge and batch-sparge brewing processes, and the derivation of a methodology to plan recipes.  As far as I know this is the first attempt to put equations to paper to predict the process.  These techniques can also help extract brewers move to all-grain without as much investment in equipment and space, in fact you can still brew in the kitchen with your present brewpot!  I've also designed an Excel spreadsheet so you can save ripping your hair out doing the math on a calculator.  To download it, right-click here and select "Save Link As..." or whatever your browser offers for saving a link.

That's about it for now. Thanks for stopping by,

Ken Schwartz