A fermented beverage where the majority of the fermentable sugars are derived from malted grains via mashing.

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45
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4answers
3k views

What equipment do I need to buy to start making beer?

What is the minimum equipment to start brewing some good beer at home?
29
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6answers
7k views

How likely is contamination in an average batch?

I sanitize everything; carboy, bottles, bottle caps, tubing, funnels, etc; because I was essentially told that my beer would turn to deadly poison without it. I accept sterilizing the lot once ...
23
votes
8answers
2k views

What's the point of going all-grain?

My extract beers are good, I think better than most commercial beers that I buy. Extract takes less time, less equipment and seems to produce great quality beers. Why do people do full grain?
21
votes
12answers
24k views

What can I do with my spent grain after mashing?

After brewing a batch of beer, I always end up with ~14 lbs of spent grain that I usually just toss in a pile in the corner of the yard. Are there better things to do with it (i.e. cooking, baking, ...
20
votes
7answers
37k views

If/When to move to secondary fermentation

Digression from What's the point of secondary fermentation? What are the good rules of thumb for determining a. whether to use secondary fermentation at all and b. when to move from primary to ...
19
votes
3answers
12k views

What does gypsum do?

I'm brewing from an Austin Homebrew extract kit, and it came with some gypsum. I thought gypsum was only for modifying water chemistry, but there seems to be some other schools of thought around. ...
18
votes
1answer
1k views

Partial vs. Full Voume Wort Boil

The starting postion for most new extract brewers is to use a partial boil set up. Defined as using a pot smaller than the intended batch size, all the ingredients are boiled in a smaller volume. ...
17
votes
6answers
12k views

How to add fruit to beer

What is the best way to add fruit to a beer? I'm afraid boiling it will break down the fruit too much (a muslin bag could fix this I guess), but I'm not sure how to add it to the fermenter without ...
17
votes
2answers
11k views

What's the difference between 2-row and 6-row malt?

I know the difference has to do with how the grains grow on the stock, but I'm not completely sure what that difference is. It also seems like 2-row is more commonly used as a base malt, but I've seen ...
16
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9answers
8k views

How to add coffee/chicory to beer?

We have made a few coffee beers. Once we used a cheap coffee by brewing a strong pot and adding to the boil. It turned out very acidic. The next beer we brewer we went with a little higher OG 1.070 ...
16
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6answers
16k views

What happens when beer freezes?

After a bit of trouble with a thermostat on a 2nd hand fridge, I discovered that my latest batch of bottled, ready-to-drink brew had frozen. What happens to beer when it freezes? Will the taste be ...
16
votes
4answers
1k views

What happens in the bottle?

I often drink a bottle 2 or 3 days after bottling, and then often every day or 2 after that, and it's sometimes quite amazing to see those "rough edges" getting smoothed out. Can someone explain what ...
15
votes
6answers
8k views

What are some alternatives to hops?

I have a friend that is allergic to hops and can not drink our beer (or just about any others for that matter). What alternatives do I have if I want to make a beer for him? What could I substitute ...
14
votes
8answers
13k views

Am I required to refrigerate bottles after bottling?

My instructions that came with my kit said that I should let the bottles sit for 3 days, then age in the fridge for 10 days. If I don't refrigerate, will I get bottle bombs? Advice on forums and ...
14
votes
4answers
5k views

How to Properly Oxygenate Wort

How much oxygen do I need to put into my wort? I've heard that homebrewers need to aerate with an oxygen stone and either aquarium pumps or oxygen. Is this true, or is shaking my carboy enough to ...
14
votes
4answers
818 views

How do you cool wort?

More specifically, what methods exist to cool your wort after the boil, and what are there respective pros/cons?
14
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7answers
7k views

How do you cool a lager on a budget?

What techniques would you suggest for cooling a lager during the lagering phase? Further, how important is the stability of that temperature?
14
votes
3answers
7k views

How long will bottled beer last?

How long will bottled beer last without refrigeration?
14
votes
4answers
4k views

How can I avoid a lot of foam in the first pint from the keg?

Whenever I go to get a pint from the keg, the first pint is always foamy. I have to fill the glass up about 1/3 of the way and dump it out, just to the pour actual beer. I usually carbonate by ...
14
votes
2answers
261 views

What is “well attenuated maltiness”?

I am studying to become a BJCP judge. I was reading through Style 2a German Pilsner and saw something in the flavor profile that I didn't quite understand thoroughly. It says Moderate to ...
13
votes
7answers
8k views

Is it OK to starting fermentation while wort is still warm?

I'm just getting started, so in my first couple batches I realized I had a problem cooling the wort all the way down to 60°F/16°C recommended by my instructions. I boil all of my water, but I don't ...
13
votes
17answers
855 views

What is the best beer to make for a spouse who prefers sauvignon blanc?

I am trying to solve the "wife who loves wine instead of beer" problem. She would normally choose a Sauvignon blanc for herself but that's just no fun for the beer-drinking / making husband. My goal ...
13
votes
5answers
2k views

What class of beer is Newcastle, and what do I need to brew my own?

I like Newcastle, and now I would like to brew some. What class / style of beer is Newcastle? Where does it get its brown color? Are there any kits out there that would give pretty close results?
13
votes
9answers
957 views

What are some good online sources for recipes?

What are some good online sources for recipes? Please specify the type of recipes the site has (extract, all-grain, mead, cider, etc.).
13
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4answers
2k views

How can I maximize dry hops aroma?

I recently made an IPA. I put an ounce of Cascade pellets in the secondary (for a 23-litre [6-U.S.-gallon] batch), but there is hardly any hops aroma in the finished product. By the end of the two ...
13
votes
2answers
1k views

Sanitation & Dry Hopping

Is there any risk of wort infection by not sanitizing hops before dry hopping?
13
votes
4answers
21k views

How to grow yeast?

I have read that it is possible to grow your own yeast, but I have not been able to find exact instructions. I would like to grow my own yeast so that I don't have to spend money on those small ...
12
votes
5answers
13k views

Why do all my beers taste better after having aged for a couple months?

My impression is that ales are typically best drunk within a couple weeks of brew day. It's my experience that letting them age in the bottles for 2-3 months yields the best beer, both improving body, ...
12
votes
9answers
455 views

Book for beginners

What book would you recommend for a beginner hoping to start with extract recipes or from an extract kit?
12
votes
12answers
3k views

What is the best book for beginning home brewers?

What is the best book for beginning home brewers? ** Please post 1 book per post, then the resulting votes will show what most people consider to be the best book.
12
votes
5answers
1k views

What is a good definition of beer?

My wife asked me what the definition of beer was, and my best response was my understanding of Reinheitsgebot definition (which may or may not be correct). Beer contains: Malted Barley Hops Water ...
12
votes
3answers
2k views

What are the advantages and disadvantages of transferring to a secondary vs. a long primary?

The conventional wisdom in homebrewing has been challenged in recent years. This wisdom held that a beer should be transferred from the primary fermentation vessel to a secondary one after 7-10 days. ...
12
votes
3answers
2k views

Should I ferment a new batch directly on the yeast cake generated by the previous batch?

I'm going to re-use the yeast cake from a low-gravity batch to ferment a high-gravity batch. Can I just put the wort directly on it? Does it then need to be agitated? Is it worth the risk of ...
11
votes
3answers
3k views

Do I need to sterilize my top-off water?

I just purchased my first kit and am about to brew it (tonight!). The instructions provided indicate that after cooling the wort and tranfering it to the sanitized carboy I need to top it off with ...
11
votes
5answers
1k views

Is it necessary to aerate wort when pitching onto an existing yeast cake?

To my knowledge, aeration provides oxygen so that the yeast can reproduce before fermentation. If you're pitching onto an existing yeast cake, there should theoretically be enough yeast already to ...
11
votes
5answers
6k views

Early vs Late secondary fermentation

When do you start your secondary fermentation? Some people wait until the bubbles of the wort stop completely, others leave the wort in the fist fermenter for 3-4 days and then move on to secondary ...
11
votes
3answers
3k views

Will scaling a recipe from 5 gallons to 1 gallon introduce significant differences?

Will scaling a recipe down to 1 gallon (i.e.: dividing the amount of each ingredient by 5) produce a pretty close approximation of the results of a full 5 gallon batch? Are there any additional ...
11
votes
3answers
929 views

What is a “biscuit”?

When reading about malt and beer flavors, I often come across words like "biscuity" and "biscuitlike". Where I live (Western Canada) "biscuit" is a somewhat ambiguous term, and is not used much. ...
10
votes
6answers
3k views

Why is my IPA not hoppy enough?

I am about to start my second attempt at making an IPA. My first did not turn out anything like an IPA. It was much darker than I expected (I may have burnt it a little) and did not really have the ...
10
votes
7answers
3k views

Aluminium boil pots: Heresy or not?

Are aluminium pots acceptable as boil vessels? They're cheap, but I've heard they can produce off-flavors. Any experiences with them?
10
votes
10answers
2k views

How to get clearer and more clarified home-brewed beers?

I'm still pretty new to home-brewing, but I've got a couple of extract kits under my belt so far and I was wondering how I could get more clarified beers. I've used both Irish moss and Whirlfloc ...
10
votes
7answers
9k views

How to clear beer

I am brewing my first homebrew an American cream ale. Was just reading into secondary fermentation. In the directions and books I've read it seems to suggest doing this. But as I search online and ...
10
votes
5answers
5k views

Is beer bad for dogs?

My dog, Lilly Von Shtupp, loves to drink beer. I only give her an ounce or so once in a blue moon, but I stopped recently because I heard that dogs are sensitive/allergic to hops. Can anyone either ...
10
votes
4answers
906 views

Process for transfereing from boil kettle to fermenter

At the moment the most frustrating part of my brewday is getting the cold wort into the fermenter. Here is my process. I have a 20 litre saucepan that i use as a kettle that does not have a tap. At ...
10
votes
8answers
5k views

How do I cut my extract brewing cost?

I'm trying to reduce my cost-per-beer, without investing in an all-grain setup. I know I'm pretty limited with what I can tweak (can't get around needing sugar, yeast, and hops), but here in Montana ...
10
votes
3answers
5k views

What is Fermcap-S and what does it do?

Lately I've been doing some very large boils -- 7 gallons in a 7.5 gallon kettle. To prevent boilovers, I've been using Fermcap-s. It's great, and I've had no boilover problems, but I have no idea how ...
10
votes
6answers
8k views

Why is a carboy used for secondary fermentation?

It seems like you could a second bucket for the secondary fermentation. Is there any drawback to not using a carboy for this purpose?
10
votes
1answer
917 views

What does Irish Moss do?

I've heard that it helps clear the beer, but how does it do that, and how is it used? Further, are there any tradeoffs associated with using it?
10
votes
3answers
967 views

What effects will the type of water have on beer?

For instance, will hard water really change the taste that much?
9
votes
3answers
839 views

How much hop bitterness dissipates with time?

I am planning to age a big Russian Imperial Stout for about a year. I understand that during this time, the bitterness imparted by the hops will dissipate. If I want to maintain a balance, I'll ...