Ways of using tools and tricks to accomplish a task. May refer to any portion of work during any stage in the brewing or fermenting process.

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8
votes
4answers
5k views

Can fermenting temperatures affect a beer's taste?

I'm putting together an "all glass" kit with two carboys and want to brew a DIPA but I'm a little concerned about temperature ranges where I'll be fermenting. I'm looking at somewhere between 15-18 ...
6
votes
4answers
216 views

Need a non-alcohol brew without the sacrifices. (besides the obvious)

I brewed a pomander inspired wit beer for the holidays. It is currently in primary. Since my wife just had gall badder surgery, she is avoiding alcohol for a little while and asked if I could brew her ...
3
votes
4answers
2k views

How do you brew high alcohol beers at home?

I've heard that brewing anything over around 14% ABV is pretty much impossible…and that achieving anything over 11% in a homebrew environment is not very realistic. Is this true? If so, how do they ...
5
votes
5answers
5k 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?
19
votes
11answers
30k 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?
4
votes
1answer
66 views

How does gradual hop infusion affect flavor and aroma?

I only make IPA's and have read about some IPA makers introducing hops gradually over the boil vs. adding the the "aroma" dose during the last 5 or 10 minutes of the boil. I understand that hops added ...
12
votes
4answers
2k views

How fast should I run water through my wort chiller?

My father-in-law got me a wort chiller for my birthday, one of those copper coil immersion jobs and I'm now putting it to the test. This is only my second batch of beer, so I'm pretty new at this. ...
1
vote
2answers
89 views

Leftover Juicing Pulp in Beer?

I'm a very new homebrewer and this may be a really wacky question, but I'm curious nonetheless. Every time I've made fresh juice using a juicer, I'm at a loss for what to do with the leftover pulp, ...
25
votes
15answers
8k views

Are there any tricks for removing labels from bottles?

Some labels can be a pain to remove. I've tried soaking bottles in water with a little bit of dish soap but it doesn't really do much to break down the adhesive. What methods do you have for easily ...
7
votes
3answers
2k views
32
votes
16answers
2k views

Improving Your Brewing Significantly

I made this wiki to allow folks to post what upgrades in process or equipement really take one's beer brewing to the next level. The bottle-necks to better and better brewing if you will. (This was ...
1
vote
1answer
51 views

How to store leftover fermenting wine for reuse later?

I've got a decent amount of leftover wine (ginger) after racking from my primary to a couple of demijohns. I want to use this for the topping up when I eventually rerack in a few months' time but I'm ...
17
votes
8answers
402 views

Brewing with a deadline

Occasionally I need to brew beer for an event, and I procrastinate. One time, I brewed a pretty hefty IPA, and went from boil to bottle (keg, actually) in about 10 days. It was pretty malty, ...
2
votes
1answer
389 views

Side effects of home brew

I have kegged my last two batches...an IPA and a Stout. First batch was sanitized with Star-San. I experienced very uncomfortable side effects: headaches, muscle aches, and a sense of fatigue. So for ...
0
votes
2answers
250 views

Adding Burton Water Salts to Partial Mash

I'm going to attempt an partial mash ESB. I will use distilled water and add burton salts. I know I need to add the salts to my mash water, but I've read if you are doing extract you just add it to ...
17
votes
5answers
9k 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 ...
11
votes
9answers
5k 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?
7
votes
3answers
466 views

Cask beer at home

Anyone have a good source for getting smaller versions of a firkin for home use? I am interested in casking some beer at home for parties and special occasions. Are there any good links out there for ...
5
votes
10answers
520 views

What are some effective, cheap, easy ways to clean and re-use bottles?

After a couple year hiatus from home brewing, I'm ready to get back into it and I have been diligently consuming some local microbrews and saving the bottles in preparation. When I brewed before, for ...
4
votes
4answers
188 views

Which strains of yeasts are the cleanest for warm/hot fermentation?

I am from Puerto Rico and the temperature here is like summer all year round(between 75 to 95*F) , and I really want to know the cleanest strains of yeasts for this kind of temperature. (clean ...
12
votes
3answers
3k views

What's the best method to catch a strain of wild yeast for homebrewing?

I'm interested in learning about brewing using wild yeast, but I wonder what is the best method to catch a strain that would produce good results in homebrewing. And of course how to ensure that it ...
2
votes
2answers
271 views

Advice for filling a carboy

I'm fairly new to brewing, I've done 3 kits so far. Last time I brewed in a 23 litre, glass carboy but I found getting the malt extract into it really difficult. The only way I managed to do it was to ...
1
vote
1answer
132 views

Mashing raw spelt/dinkel

I just got a hold of some organic raw spelt that I would like to use in a wit instead of flaked wheat. Do I need to gelatinize the spelt? How do I do that? Should the grain be milled at some point? ...
5
votes
1answer
683 views

When should I add orange peels to my homebrew?

I've been planning to experiment with orange peels for a while now, but I don't know when to add them, when should I throw them in? Last 15 minutes with the aroma hops? At flame-out? After primary? I ...
15
votes
6answers
8k 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?"
7
votes
6answers
3k views

Shaking vs not shaking

I'm playing with a yeast starter right now and I've noticed when I shake the mix the yeast gets more active. I'm wondering how this applies to my actual fermentation. So I was thinking I'd let my ...
5
votes
4answers
1k views

What is Extract Twang?

This term pops up from time to time and it often cited as a reason to go to all grain. But maybe its because I don't really know what it tastes like. Do you believe in extract twang? How do you get ...
8
votes
3answers
770 views

Is There A Way To Get Root Beer Taste/Smell Out Of Kegging Equipment?

I've since learned better, but when I first got my kegging setup, I put root beer on one of the lines. After that keg was empty, I decided to put soda water in instead. Unfortunately, the root beer ...
1
vote
1answer
203 views

Does kegging require a fridge

I was planning on building myself one of these for the summer: http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/portable-igloo-cooler-kegerator-172047-post1990392/ I currently bottle all my beer and don't own any ...
2
votes
1answer
159 views

Brewing with Tonka Beans

I am planning a recipe with Tonka Beans. At what point should I add them and approx. how many? I know that vanilla is usually added after primary. Should I do the same with these or can I add them ...
8
votes
6answers
6k views

How to strain wort before primary fermentation

I recently made a big beer (Dogfish Head 90 minute clone) with an OG around 1.11. I had never tried to strain wort before moving to a primary fermenter but thought it would be a good idea since this ...
11
votes
8answers
3k views

Is it important to weigh down a hop bag for dry-hopping?

If so, what kind of weight should I use? Should it be enough to sink the bag to the bottom of the carboy?
3
votes
5answers
902 views

How much weight to add to a dry-hop bag?

It sounds like the best place for the bag of hops should be somewhere in the middle on the carboy (or other container). This will mean that no hops are sitting only half in beer which should increase ...
14
votes
4answers
4k 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 ...
21
votes
4answers
638 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, ...
5
votes
13answers
3k views

How do you prevent boil-overs?

This is a shill question for Mark Taylor. I stumbled on his great tip about keeping a spray bottle on hand to prevent boil-overs while looking for advice on yeast re-use. The spray bottle worked ...
6
votes
2answers
958 views

Kettle volume measurements

Eventually there comes a time where just boiling 6 gallons for 60 minutes and taking it on faith that you have 5 gallons left doesn't cut it anymore. What tools can I use to measure the volume in the ...
1
vote
1answer
5k views

corn beer steps and suggestions using a home stove

I am planning to make corn beer, what are the times you would suggest for mashing? Is there a way to make it on a home stove? Has anyone got experience with that? UPDATE A friend already does corn ...
7
votes
2answers
328 views

Should I worry about CFLs (Compact Fluorescent Lamps) skunking my beer?

Particularly when racking from primary to secondary and then again into the keg.
13
votes
5answers
4k views

How do I culture yeast from a commercial beer? Is it legal?

If I like the flavor profile of a yeast in a commercial beer, how would I go about culturing it? I have some very basic lab equipment, but I can buy anything that's reasonably priced. Also, would it ...
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 ...
5
votes
3answers
1k views

Wyeast 1187 Ringwood Failure

I'll start by saying that I've never used liquid yeast before, so it could all be my fault... Anyway, I ordered some Wyeast 1187 Ringwood to use for a Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA clone that I did on ...
4
votes
3answers
563 views

Plastic or Glass

Plastic or Glass fermentors? (Lets keep stainless steel out of this debate for now) Each has ups and downs. What are the main differences for the following aspects: Shapes and configurations Heat ...
4
votes
5answers
6k views

Adding Vanilla Extract?

I have a black stout fermenting right now. I added about 8oz of cacao powder in the boil and I'd like to add some vanilla extract, to taste. Can this be done before bottling? Should this have been ...
12
votes
1answer
4k views

What is a hopback?

How do you use it? What does it do? Do you pass finished wort through it hot or cold?
3
votes
2answers
501 views

Potential causes of unreliable pre-boil gravity measurement

I usually take a hydrometer reading immediately after sparge so that I can calculate total points of gravity (i.e. gravity reading * volume), and from there calculate what volume of wort I should ...
9
votes
2answers
136 views

Should the late addition portion of a recipe be altered based on immersion, counterflow, whirlpooling techiques?

When it comes to late addition hops (or other late aeromatics), it seems to me that there might be significant differences in aroma extraction / utilization as the brewer executes different chilling ...
11
votes
2answers
810 views

How do I make a Yeast Starter?

I know I should be using a Yeast Starter so that I can make sure I have enough, healthy yeast, but I've never managed to go around to it. How would I start a yeast starter? How long before brewday ...
16
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. ...
3
votes
1answer
211 views

What's the difference between casking and kegging?

So this is how my last beer went: After about three weeks I threw it straight into a keg. It didn't taste great, but I figured it was still young and just needed more time to condition. A few weeks ...