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

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19
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7answers
36k 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 ...
11
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. ...
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 ...
44
votes
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?
17
votes
2answers
10k 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 ...
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 ...
17
votes
7answers
11k 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 ...
8
votes
5answers
2k views

Long cooling before pitching

Summer brewing means warmer tap water, which means that my immersion chiller can only cool the wort to about 75 degrees. I typically cool the wort to 68 degrees before pitching. I have a ...
13
votes
9answers
912 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.).
9
votes
5answers
1k views

What is the minimum amount of equipment to dabble in All-Grain?

What is the minimum amount of equipment I need to have to brew very simple all-grain recipes? Bonus points for cheap & easy-to-find equipment. I'd like to go all-grain eventually, but for the time ...
14
votes
5answers
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 ...
7
votes
4answers
8k views

Why is our beer not carbonating?

We've made a few batches of beer and our recent batches have not ended up as carbonated as previous. I think the beer has been stored in a cooler place but I'm wondering if that is the only reason. ...
7
votes
4answers
1k views

should hoppy beers be aged?

Do hoppy beers not need to be aged? About how long does it take a hoppy beer to get to its maturation point? Thanks, Chris
6
votes
1answer
1k views

When to harvest wild hops?

Hi there fellow brewmasters! I have recently moved to all-grain brewing after two years of brewing with hopped extracts. The results are pretty good, and the whole process is a lot of fun, but I am ...
5
votes
5answers
6k views

Can I use wine yeast to ferment beer?

Can I use wine yeast to ferment a beer? What sort of problems might I encounter that are unique to wine yeast trying to ferment malt sugars? What sort of flavor differences might I encounter?
14
votes
3answers
7k views

How long will bottled beer last?

How long will bottled beer last without refrigeration?
12
votes
5answers
12k 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, ...
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 ...
8
votes
8answers
2k views

Are some types of beers easier to brew than others?

I'm just getting started with home brewing. Are some types of beer easier to brew than others? Would you suggest starting with a certain type for my very first brew?
5
votes
6answers
1k views

Wort aeration on a budget

To aerate my wort I have been using a whisk, but i am worried about contamination. What are other more effective ways to aerate wort without spending too much money?
3
votes
1answer
277 views

recapping my bottles? Will it ruin the outcome of my beer?

I bottled my first batch of homebrew and didnt fill the bottles all the way. So the next day I opened the bottles and poured some more beer into them and recapped them.. I this going to mess up the ...
1
vote
1answer
470 views

Day 2 of Primary Fermentation of beer

Is this what my primary fermentation should look like after a day??? It looks like my yeast has been sitting on top of foam..
12
votes
9answers
446 views

Book for beginners

What book would you recommend for a beginner hoping to start with extract recipes or from an extract kit?
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 ...
13
votes
2answers
1k views

Sanitation & Dry Hopping

Is there any risk of wort infection by not sanitizing hops before dry hopping?
10
votes
3answers
934 views

What effects will the type of water have on beer?

For instance, will hard water really change the taste that much?
8
votes
2answers
2k views

When bottle conditioning, when should I re-yeast, and how much yeast should I add

I have a Chocolate Cherry Stout that is currently in secondary on fresh Cherries. It has been sitting on the cherries for 2 months now. As I prepare to bottle I want to be sure I have enough, healthy ...
8
votes
1answer
3k views

When brewing a chocolate stout, should the cacao nibs be added in the boil, the secondary, or both?

When using cacao nibs to brew a chocolate stout, should they be added in the boil (if so, when?), in the secondary fermenter, or both? Is there a better ingredient to add to produce the chocolate ...
14
votes
4answers
804 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?
9
votes
1answer
726 views

Making a Yeast Starter

It seems that there are varying opinions about the size your starter should be. What is the basic rule-of-thumb for 5 and 10 gallon batches? How much water should be used? How much malt/malt ...
7
votes
3answers
652 views

Pennies in the Boil

I've heard that adding cleaned pennies to the wort can help prevent boil-overs. I guess they could provide nucleation points- I dunno. Any truth to this, or is it just an old wives' tail?
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.
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 ...
9
votes
3answers
2k views

What is the best type of beer to brew for a beginner?

What is the best type of beer to brew for a beginner?
8
votes
2answers
2k views

How do I decide if the beer is ready? Is my fermentation complete?

This is my first time brewing and I've followed the instructions from a kit. It says to leave the beer in the key for two weeks and its ready when it stops being cloudy. Its now been a little over ...
7
votes
4answers
2k views

Performing a hop boil seperate from the wort boil.

I'm curious to try some single-hop style beers and would like to do several varieties in one brew day. My ideal situation would be to make a five gallon batch of an unhopped pale ale as the base and ...
7
votes
1answer
3k views

When using whole hops, do you need a larger amount than you would hop pellets to achieve the same bitterness?

I have read that whole hops impart less bitterness than pellet hops by weight. I have used pellet hops for all of my brews thus far. I have a recipe that I am happy with, and I want to switch to ...
7
votes
3answers
11k views

How much does heat affect beer?

What effects could heat have on beer and how long does it take? Is it ok to ship beer without an icepack during the summer? Can it survive the heat of a parked car for a few hours? Someone out ...
7
votes
2answers
3k views

What effect do different types of yeast have when creating a recipe?

What happens when you use different types of yeast? Does it change the flavor? I'm not talking about mixing different types of yeast in the same recipe.
6
votes
2answers
2k views

What effect does cooling, then warming have on finished beer?

The common wisdom I have known is that cooling, warming, then cooling beer again would cause it to "skunk." I now know that skunky flavors are typically the result of exposure to light, not ...
6
votes
2answers
434 views

Clarification for a low-flocculating yeast

I'm brewing a batch using WY2565 Kolsch which mentions that is low-flocculating and that it "remain in suspension post fermentation. It requires filtration or additional settling time to produce ...
6
votes
2answers
313 views

I want to make a Rauchbier. How do I go about smoking my grain?

I've never made a Rauchbier before. I have some pear wood that I've been curing for about 5 months now and would like to use. I've got an all-grain setup, but no smoker; I suppose I'll need to get ...
5
votes
3answers
331 views

Any People with Celiacs Tried Clarity Ferm?

There's been a lot of discussion around Clarity Ferm, and it's ability to break down gluten in beer. The manufacturers just say it makes "gluten reduced beer", but Omission and others uses it to make ...
5
votes
4answers
451 views

Weighing Liquid Malt Extract

In Brewing Classic Styles by Jamil Zainasheff, many of the recipes call for LME. Often, the amount is 0.5 lbs or similar, particularly of things like Munich extract. I typically brew all-grain, but ...
5
votes
4answers
1k views

What is this white stuff on the surface of my beer?

I've just gone to rack & bottle a witbier that has been in primary for about 5 weeks and noticed this white gunk floating on top of the beer. It doesn't look too healthy, what is it? Is it safe? ...
5
votes
2answers
3k views

What happens if a beer gets oxidized?

Everywhere I read it is very cautious about oxidizing your beer. What is the worst case if your beer gets oxidized? It tastes funny?
5
votes
2answers
307 views

What are the steps in recapping overcarbonated beer?

What are the steps involved in recapping a bottle of beer for any reason (e.g. if too much priming sugar is added, if a cap appears to be defective or failing, etc)?
4
votes
1answer
664 views

Malt extract fermentability

Does anyone know of resources that specify the fermentability of malt extracts like muntons and coopers? Has anyone done a forced fermentation on these extracts who has results they are willing to ...
4
votes
1answer
492 views

I think I ruined my first brew

After years of finding excuses to not home brew, I finally gave in and bought a starter kit from Brewers Best and ingredients for my first batch; Muntons Connoisseurs Export Pilsner. Anyway, it's ...
4
votes
1answer
259 views

How to garde a Biere De Garde?

Biere De Garde recipes seem to generally recommend a period of 4 to 6 weeks of cold storage, essentially lagering. My brewing experience consists solely of fermenting ales, so this is somewhat ...