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.

learn more… | top users | synonyms

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 ...
7
votes
5answers
477 views

Critical Steps to follow for any homebrew beer recipe or process

I've got my second batch of homebrew fermenting, and in just two batches I've learned a lot the hard way (messed up batch priming, possibly under-aerated the wort, etc) What steps are critical to any ...
7
votes
3answers
2k 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
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.
7
votes
3answers
1k views

Why was original gravity high by .010?

Recently brewed a dry stout extract kit. Boiled 5 gallons on propane. Steeped 2 lbs of roasted malt, crystal malt and flaked barley at 155-160 F. Extract was 6.6lbs of Coopers Light LME. As usual, ...
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
2k views

Gelatin for clearer beer

Does gelatin work for clarifying beer? If so: How much do you use? When do you add it? How do you prepare it? (Do you boil it in water? How much water to dissolve the gelatin?)
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 ...
6
votes
3answers
8k views

At what temperature should a lager be fermented?

When fermenting a lager, what temperature should it be held at for best results?
6
votes
2answers
2k views

How to smoke your malts

How would I go about smoking barley (no points awarded for answering "in a pipe")? My LHBS has a couple of smoked varieties, but not the exact type of smoke I want. I'd like a method that doesn't ...
6
votes
2answers
959 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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
6
votes
1answer
225 views

Priming still possible after bottling

I must have been really lucky with my yeasts so far but usually my beers turned out nicely carbonated without any priming. The last batch though is really flat. Is it still possible to prime in the ...
6
votes
2answers
363 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
3answers
2k views

Yeast Starter Steps

I want to make a yeast starter for a lager. I even went out and got a 3000 ml Erlenmyer Flask. According to mrmalty.com's calculator I need 506 Billion cells. With the two vials of White Labs yeast ...
6
votes
2answers
747 views

Should secondary fermentation be the same temperature that primary was?

Or is it okay for the secondary fermentation to be colder than primary?
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 ...
6
votes
2answers
3k views

Crushing malt without a mill

What's the best way to crush malt if you don't have a mill at home? How much malt would you venture to crush that way?
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, ...
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
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 ...
6
votes
2answers
718 views

Yeast starter temperatures

What temp guidlines apply to doing a yeast starter? Should the starter be at the intended fermentation temp? Should it be higher for good growth/activity? Should it be lower to keep it clean ...
5
votes
10answers
522 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 ...
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 ...
5
votes
4answers
1k views

Can a twist-off bottle be capped?

Out of curiosity (and appreciation for Boulevard's bottle's form-factor), can a twist-off bottle be reliably capped?
5
votes
1answer
684 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 ...
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 ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

When to add fresh ginger?

I am considering brewing an Amber ale with a bit of ginger in it, but I don't know whether I should treat it more like a spice and steep/boil it, or more like fruit, and rack onto the ginger for a ...
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?
5
votes
2answers
1k views

Diacetyl Rest for Wyeast 2206 Bavarian Lager

The Wyeast website seems to strongly suggest a diacetyl as fermentation completes with their Bavarian Lager strain, 2206. I prefer to chill my wort to below fermentation temps prior to pitching the ...
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?
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

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 ...
5
votes
3answers
2k views

Remedy for a Stuck sparge

How do you fix a stuck sparge? Are there any tricks too getting a sparge running again when it slows to a trick or even stops completely? (This is not intended to be a "how to prevent" the stuck ...
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 ...
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 ...
5
votes
2answers
645 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, ...
5
votes
2answers
371 views

bottle filling without a rapid bottler

I'm about to bottle my first coopers home brew and i dont have a rapid bottler. Can I pour it straight from the tap or will I have problems?
5
votes
2answers
288 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)?
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 ...
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 ...
5
votes
1answer
818 views

Cleaner wort out of the Kettle

What are the benefits of completely seperating hot debris, hot break and cold break from the wort? Getting these things out of the wort and putting nothing but clean and clear wort in the fermentor ...
5
votes
1answer
256 views

Ramping temperatures during fermentation

What is the appropriate way to ramp temper when say brewing a Belgian beer? Would I expect to have off flavors from the higher temps? What's the best range for ramping? Do I actively manage the temp ...
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?
5
votes
2answers
834 views

What is cold steeping?

What is cold steeping specialty grains all about? How do I do it? What does 'cold' really mean? How long does it take? Advantages and disadvantages?
5
votes
1answer
123 views

How do I clean a sankey pump?

What is the best way to clean a sankey pump it after I use it so it doesn't get moldy inside?
5
votes
1answer
224 views

Estimating Alpha Acids of Home Grown Hops

For the homebrewer that grows and harvests his/her own hops; how best can one approximate the alpha acids in the hops they have? Is it worth it or should brewers stick to using home grown hops for ...