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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14
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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 ...
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 ...
3
votes
5answers
1k views

Warming up a demijohn / carboy

As a continuation to my previous question about a very slow fermentation of sloe wine, I think my demijohn is just too cold where it is. I haven't taken readings - I'm still fuzzy on how - but judging ...
3
votes
5answers
661 views

Is it possible to do full boils without a propane burner?

I currently brew all-grain using a 7.5 gallon pot on a propane burner outside at a house I currently rent. However, I'm planning to move within the year to an apartment in the city and likely won't ...
3
votes
2answers
758 views

What are some popular methods for measuring boil and HLT volume?

Particularly during lautering and during a boil, I have a hard time keeping track of water/wort volume. What method(s) and equipment do you all recommend for accurately calculating liquid volume ...
6
votes
4answers
2k views

What are some methods to increase extraction efficiency and consistency?

I've got some irregular sugar extraction efficiency problems. My efficiency is regularly low. I need your help. :) I get anywhere from 60% - 85%. I've fine tuned my mill to the best of my ability, so ...
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
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 ...
6
votes
5answers
2k views

How are 10-gallon batches commonly fermented?

Currently I brew 5-gallon all-grain batches using my propane burner and 7.5-gallon brew pot. I've been considering buying a bigger pot and building a bigger MLT to do 10-gallon batches, but I'm not ...
14
votes
4answers
3k 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 ...
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 ...
4
votes
3answers
502 views

What is the proper method of pitching a starter?

What's the proper method of pitching a starter? Do I just pour the whole thing in or do I need to "harvest" a certain portion of it? I just started using starters (.25-.5 Gallons water + 2-4 cups ...
8
votes
5answers
2k views

How can I fill bottles from a keg and maintain pressure

I've been kegging for awhile now, but I still haven't managed to successfully fill bottles from my kegs without losing all pressure. I don't have a counter pressure beer filler or a Blichmann Beer ...
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 ...
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 ...
5
votes
3answers
870 views

How do I do a decoction mash?

I've brewed a number of all grain beers and have been reading a bit about decoction mashing. However the explanations I've read have been a bit complicated. How do I do a decoction mash?
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 ...
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 ...
4
votes
1answer
465 views

Aging a naturally carbonated ale that was bottled from a keg

Okay, let's see if I can keep this question brief--I have a lot of followup questions that go with this so it may be difficult. Background: Last year I decided to start doing an annual Birthday Brew ...
4
votes
1answer
788 views

Is Mixing Yeast OK?

Say I wanted to make an ale which has some of the banana characteristics of a Belgian yeast, but also wanted some of the citrusy flavors of an American ale yeast. Could I achieve this by making a ...
6
votes
4answers
2k views

Brew day notes template [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What is the best brewing log sheet to use? One of the things I'm guilty of being terrible at is note taking. I know I should keep track of temperatures, times, tastes, ...
4
votes
1answer
522 views

Small batch size brewing trub issues

Five gallon batches generate a certain amount of trub in the fermenter. However, its a relatively small percent of the total batch. I am interested in trying some 2 gallon maybe even one gallon ...
3
votes
2answers
839 views

Preparing Cherries for Secondary

A related question was asked about fruit in general but it didn't answer a particular question I have. I have 6 pounds of fresh cherries ready for a holiday beer. I'm planning on cleaning/sanitizing ...
2
votes
1answer
121 views

Glucan rest necessary

I am brewing all-grain and have in the past always held a glucan rast when mashing. I am trying to speed up my brewing process and that rest of course slows me down quite a bit because of the heating ...
2
votes
4answers
3k views

Infusing a beer with grapefruit

I was recently at a beer festival and one of the breweries (Fulton) had a delicious pale ale that had been infused with grapefruit. I asked the brewer how they did it and he told me that the night ...
6
votes
3answers
4k views

Re-use the mini kegs that are used in 'Krups Beer Tender' for home brewing?

For me, these 5 liter kegs seem like the perfect device for storage as well as remaining fresh when making beer. I understand there is a way to remove the top piece of the mini keg with some type ...
6
votes
5answers
3k views

How long do sanitized bottles keep?

If you sanitize a bunch of bottles and store them upside down on a tree or in a box (still upside down); how long can you store them like that before you feel the need to resanitize them? Is there a ...
5
votes
3answers
1k views

Cleaning out beer lines

How often do you need to clean out your beer lines when using a home draft system? What type of cleaner do you use? Can I leave sanitizer in the tubing when a line isn't in use?
2
votes
2answers
551 views

Checking for CO2 leaks

If you have an at home draft system, how do you check for leaks in the CO2 side of the set up? How often do you need to check for leaks?
5
votes
1answer
112 views

Preparing Yeast

I've been reading the How To Brew book, and it (amongst other sites) recommends rehydrating yeast before pitching it. http://www.howtobrew.com/section1/chapter6-5.html Some sites suggest adding a ...
4
votes
5answers
646 views

Cloning commercial beer

Where do you turn for good sources of info when researching a commercial beer you want to brew yourself? Magazines, web or the brewers themselves.
3
votes
1answer
402 views

What is a swamp cooler?

What type of equipment do you need to build one? How do you use it? What are the realistic expectations of using one?
3
votes
2answers
482 views

Open Fermentation Process

Can open fermentation be done simply by putting the fermenting beer in a bucket carboy and covering it with foil? The purpose of the foil would be to just keep airborne contaminants from falling into ...
14
votes
3answers
903 views

My keg is empty. Now what?

So I kicked my first Corny keg and need to get the keg and the system cleaned and ready for another batch, which might not be ready for some time. What's my process here?
1
vote
1answer
447 views

Brewing a braggot.

How much honey do you need to put into a beer recipe before you can really call it a braggot? I am sure the taste is largely subjective. I want to brew a beer with 1/3 Honey, 1/3 2-row, 1/3 wheat. I ...
4
votes
1answer
580 views

Maturation - what does it mean?

Homebrew recipes often give information along the lines of "6-8 weeks maturation". What exactly does maturation mean here in terms of conditions? Is it the same as a secondary? Can the beer "mature" ...
8
votes
3answers
2k views

Is there a more durable alternative to a plastic auto-siphon?

Right now I am using the standard fermtech plastic auto siphon, but it already broke and it's a pretty flimsy and poorly designed way to siphon beer (the plastic piece in the tip broke and it can't ...
5
votes
2answers
188 views

Dispensing beers at two different pressures?

I'm working on getting a dual-tap kegerator. Is it worth it to pay the extra to dispense two beers at two different pressures? I can see dispensing a low-carbonation ESB and a high-carbonation ...
6
votes
2answers
211 views

Homebrewing: Decoction Mashing

Many beers, especially German, are produced with a method called decoction mash. In that, the rising of mash temperature is achieved each time by talking a portion of the MASH, boiling it, and adding ...
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 ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

Detriment of gelatin fining on flavor or aroma

Does using gelatin effect aromatics or flavor appreciably? I was reading this post about using gelatin. I have one keg that I use as a cold conditioning vessel (sort of like secondary), and I was ...
4
votes
1answer
278 views

Use of a mash screen

I have recently had some problems with my false bottom and want to experiment with a mash screen. This might be a bit of a stupid question but I have never used one before: Can you do the mashing with ...
8
votes
2answers
346 views

Starter and smack-packs

Is making a starter a good idea when using a larger activator pack from Wyeast? Should you smack the packet and add it to the starter, or add it after it swells?
6
votes
2answers
375 views

Extract late with a full boil?

If you can do a full wort boil with extracts is it still beneficial to be adding extract late to avoid color changes and the like? What would happen to hop utilization with extract late in a full ...
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
2answers
1k views

Can I add finings after fermentation has begun?

My first all-grain batch was, er, a bit hectic. I forgot to add my Whirlfloc tablet in the last ten minutes of the boil. I know I can use isinglass for fining at room temperature, but my brew ...
4
votes
1answer
133 views

Would you trust this starter?

I had one WLP001 vial of yeast that was only 14 days past its "best buy" date. I made a starter on a stir plate 2 full days before brewing. I got good growth as estimated by an increase in creamy ...
5
votes
6answers
1k views

Alternative/Non-traditional Brewing Practices

Brew in a bag. No chill. Olive Oil aeration substitute. Overnight mashing. Batch Sparging. The list continues. These types of techniques are great and frequent areas of discussion in the home ...
1
vote
1answer
4k views

What is a grant?

How is it used? What does it do?
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?