The anaerobic process by which yeast convert sugars into alcohol and carbon dioxide.

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39
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3answers
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What's the point of secondary fermentation?

I've always bottled directly after the primary fermentation has finished. What's the point of the secondary fermentation? Can I use a bucket or is it something that really necessitates a glass carboy? ...
22
votes
7answers
2k views

Temperature Control for Fermentation

I am curious how everyone controls the temperature of their primary, especially those that live in the warmer climates. In Florida, where the temperatures can soar and remain in the 90's and above ...
21
votes
12answers
39k views

Too long in Primary Fermentation?

What's the maximum amount of time for primary fermentation, assuming the beer is going straight to bottles next? Will it over ferment and then fail to carbonate, if left too long in a carboy?
21
votes
4answers
669 views

Open-Fermented or Native Yeast Beers

I've always been very careful about control and sanitation with beer. But with my wine I do some native yeast Pinots, and some friends of mine are into the same with beers- they like funky, ...
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 ...
20
votes
12answers
17k views

[WIKI] Fermentation Temperature Control Methods

What different methods do people use to maintain or control fermentation temps? This includes maintaining temps for both Ales and Lagers. For most climates, active control is necessary for doing ...
15
votes
6answers
9k views

What's the difference between primary & secondary fermentation?

Over here PJ asked "How do you differentiate primary to secondary if you keep it in the same bucket?"
12
votes
6answers
4k views

Glass Carboy vs. Better Bottle

I recently broke my 6.1 gallon glass carboy that I used for primary fermentation. I need to buy a new one, and I'm considering a "Better Bottle" carboy. Its claims include: **Unbreakable and ...
12
votes
2answers
2k views

Fruit beer: should I allow it to ferment out completely?

I have a wheat beer in secondary that has been on 5 lbs of strawberries for 6 days. The flavor is phenomenal right now, just perfect. The strawberries continue to ferment actively, and I want to ...
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
9answers
6k views

Sanitizing oak chips

Going to try using dry oak chips in my secondary fermenter. How do you recommend sanitizing the chips before adding them?
11
votes
5answers
9k views

Is it possible to over-ferment?

My first batch started fermenting 8 days ago. The beer is still fresh and very cloudy, but I'm wondering if its possible to over-ferment a beer? If I let it sit for another 2 weeks (or however ...
11
votes
6answers
5k views

Alternatives for priming sugar

If you happen to be out of priming sugar, but really want to bottle your beer, what are the alternatives? Let's assume a 5 gallon batch that's fully fermented - call it 1.010-1.014.
11
votes
1answer
4k views

Why is it bad to pitch too much yeast?

What are the effects of over-pitching? Where is the line for, say, a 1.050 beer? There is also a question for to under-pitching.
11
votes
2answers
404 views

What is attentuation?

What is attentuation? How does it effect beer flavor and quality? How is is calculated and why do I need to know it?
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
4answers
1k views

How many degrees will my carboy heat up as a result of fermentation activity?

Recipe calls for fermentation at 70 degrees, basement is 65. I know that fermentation produces some heat, so I was wondering if just letting yeast do its thing will be enough. Otherwise, do I need ...
10
votes
5answers
11k views

How does lemon juice ferment into hard lemonade?

I'm interested in making a hard lemonade after my cider is done, but I'm having a tough time figuring out how the recipes I've found actually work, and what's the best way to ferment lemon juice. ...
10
votes
4answers
1k views

Should you rehydrate dry yeast?

I've read conflicting opinions on whether or not to re-hydrate dried yeast. I've had successful fermentation with dried yeast in the past but have not tried re-hydrating. Has anyone had better/worse ...
10
votes
1answer
951 views

Home brew, acetylaldehydes and hangovers

Both me and my gf noticed that my home brews (even just 1 or 2 a night) cause a fairly noticeable headache in the morning compared to commercial brews. God forbid you get drunk on it, the next ...
9
votes
6answers
8k views

Should I worry about blow-off?

I brewed a batch of IPA yesterday and when I checked on it today it had started to blow-off. There is so much pressure in the primary that it has spilled up through the airlock and is constantly ...
9
votes
2answers
3k views

Can we estimate the temperature rise in the primary due to fermentation?

OK, this is sort of cheating but I really liked this question so I thought I'd ask the question again in a slightly different way and try and answer it. I was wondering if we can actually estimate ...
9
votes
2answers
541 views

Smack Pack and Pitching Time

So I completed my first batch of homebrew this morning, but I forgot one potentially (okay, not potentially, definitely) important aspect of the whole process: the yeast. I didn't forget it, per se, ...
9
votes
1answer
939 views

What's a good breakdown of all the sugars in regards to brewing?

I'm a little confused when it comes to sugars. It seems like there are a lot of different kinds and they come in many different forms. What affects to different sugars have on brewing? Do they ...
9
votes
1answer
925 views

Carboy Cap vs. Stopper

Is one better than the other? Why? Carboy Cap: http://www.northernbrewer.com/brewing/3-5-6-gall-carboy-cap-orange.html vs. Stopper: ...
9
votes
2answers
5k views

DIY Thermoelectric Cooler (TEC / Peltier) Fermentation Chamber

From a thermodynamics perspective, I realize that a TEC-based fermentation chamber is not the most efficient type of cooler due to very inefficient heat transfer, but, alas, I want to build one as I ...
8
votes
4answers
359 views

Ideas for rescuing an under-pitched and under-hopped batch

A few batches ago, I had a "learning experience". I now have some pretty good ideas of where I went wrong (mainly, not having any idea how to design a recipe), but I'm wondering what I can do with a ...
8
votes
6answers
2k views

Why do my airlocks lose liquid?

This has happened with a few batches now. My three-piece airlocks are drained of the sani inside them repeatedly. Even after a few days, when fermentation doesn't seem as rapid (and therefore the ...
8
votes
3answers
1k views

Something in the fermentation chamber made my nose hurt

So last night I checked on my porter, 48 hours on fermentation with Wyeast 1968, bubbling away happily. My ferm chamber is a small chest freezer. Got a blowoff tube running from the top of the bucket ...
8
votes
3answers
308 views

Priming Sugar Affect on Fermentation

I screwed up took a batch that had only been fermenting for 3 days and started to bottle it before I realized it was the wrong one. [link] During this screw up I ended up added the priming sugar then ...
8
votes
9answers
1k views

Small Space & Apartment Brewing: Fermentation

Given the limited space of an apartment, what do you do to maintain a steady fermentation? Do not consider budget to be a factor. This is the sixth question in a series of discussions about ...
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 ...
8
votes
3answers
3k views

Is a 5 gallon bucket too big for 3 gallon recipe?

I have a few Mr Beer extract kits left over from when I started this hobby. Can I ferment a 3 gallon recipe in a 5 gallon bucket? Will there be too much head space?
8
votes
1answer
721 views

How does electrical conductivity of a fermenting liquid change over time?

Has anyone ever measured how the conductivity of fermenting liquids changes over time? I have a hypothesis that it does change over time, and that as the fermentation rates and stages change, so ...
8
votes
1answer
6k views

What is a proper blow-off tube setup?

36 hours ago I brewed a BIG red ale and pitched some kick-ass WLP001. The picture on the left is what I had late last night (24 hr in). Made me a little nervous. And this morning the krausen had ...
7
votes
8answers
1k views

Secondary size?

When moving a 5 gallon batch into secondary does it make a difference if it is into a 5 gallon carboy or a 6.5?
7
votes
3answers
2k views

Should I purge my carboy with CO2 before racking to secondary?

I'm thinking this might help prevent oxidation.
7
votes
4answers
3k views

What factors can lead to a higher attenuation?

I recently brewed a Malt Extract beer with WLP060. The "Attenuation" range on the White Labs site says it should be in the range of 72-80%. I had an OG of 1.0575, and an FG of 1.0096. By my ...
7
votes
4answers
576 views

Are the terms “dry”, “low FG” and “drinkable” synonymous?

Hopefully this doesn't fall under "opinion" but I believe this will help alleviate some questions on mashing/fermentation techniques. I guess you could break this question into parts. Also the term ...
7
votes
5answers
1k views

Over attenuated all grain beers

I'm having a problem with all my beers regardless of style getting over attenuated. I've been raising my mash temps up to 4° above each beers style (up to 158° or so) to compensate with no luck. I've ...
7
votes
2answers
588 views

How to ferment on the last batches yeast cake?

My last batch was a strong ale/winter 1.090 wlp002 english ale yeast brewed on 11/20 (two weeks ago). it has been in the fridge crash cooling for about 72 hours. this will be my first attempt at ...
7
votes
8answers
7k views

What's a good small-batch fermentation vessel?

After getting started with a few kits, I'd like to start experimenting a little bit. I'd like to start off with 1-gallon batches on anything I'm not sure about, though. I have a growler that I'm ...
7
votes
1answer
292 views

Does using a fining agent effect the flocculation of yeast?

I'm doing a series of smash beers all using the same yeast same temp same grain. I'm noticing a big variation in flocculation on the current batch (forgot the Irish moss oops) WLP001 by the way. Im ...
7
votes
7answers
6k views

Fermentation stopped but beer seems too sweet - why?

My last beer went through a normal 10-day fermentation process and afterwards there was no activity. I assumed that most of the sugars had been consumed. But after I bottled my beer and let it ...
7
votes
3answers
3k views

Why is it bad to pitch too little yeast?

What are the effects of underpitching your beer? We have an answer for over pitching, I think we need the complete set.
7
votes
3answers
1k views

Using commercial (breakfast) cereals in a mash

This question looks similar to Using flakes in a mash, but is not actually the same. I was thinking, if someone runs out of maize flakes, and definitely wants to use some for his mash, what happens if ...
7
votes
2answers
2k views

Do commercial breweries stir in their fermenters to expose more yeast to the wort?

I noticed that ale yeasts, so called top-fermenting yeast, floats to the top. Does this mean that the yeast only works on the wort near the top of the fermenter? Assuming that no oxygen or bacteria ...
7
votes
2answers
579 views

Pressure during fermentation

I imagine other parameters are more important (like temperature or pitching rate). Still, I was wondering if pressure has some effect on the fermentation process (for example on flocculation, ...
7
votes
2answers
1k views

Dry hopping without secondary fermentation

I have so far only done bottom-fermented beers without transferring into a second vessel for secondary fermentation. If I wanted to do some dry hopping with this technique, when is the best time to ...
7
votes
2answers
840 views

Brewing with veggies

This may be more of a wiki than a specific question, but has anyone ever tried brewing with vegetables? If so, what is your experience? I'm considering mostly root vegetables. carrots, beets, ...