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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6
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2answers
3k 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
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
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 ...
12
votes
3answers
3k 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
360 views

Controlling exothermic heat from primary fermentation with A/C cooling duct

In terms of brewing with Ale yeasts, I understand that fermenter temps can increase up to 10 degrees, or more, than the ambient room temperature. As a "cheap" method for keeping the temperature of the ...
8
votes
4answers
1k views

Steeping grain time

We are steeping 5# of grain. Is the time the grains should steep based on the weight? We were just going to do 30 mins. Is this the correct amount of time or should it be more or less? This is for an ...
6
votes
2answers
537 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 ...
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?)
4
votes
1answer
160 views

Long cooling before pitching — aerate now or later?

This is a follow-up to this question: Long cooling before pitching -- read that for background. I aerate to add oxygen to my wort by pouring back and forth between buckets. If I wait before ...
5
votes
1answer
319 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

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?
7
votes
3answers
2k 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, ...
5
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
9
votes
5answers
976 views

Shorter Brew Day

For all grain brewers, what part of the brew session lends itself best to shortening the total brew session. Time is tight for me these days and shortening up the brew session a bit will certainly ...
12
votes
3answers
4k views

What is the point of mashing out?

I know it stops the enzymes from breaking down any more sugar, but is there any other point to it? Will I notice any difference in the final product if I just got straight to sparging? Also, if my ...
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
469 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?
7
votes
2answers
409 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
238 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
984 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?
1
vote
1answer
6k views
1
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1answer
554 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 ...
7
votes
5answers
5k 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
441 views

When to dry hop a barley wine

I was planning on aging my barley wine in a carboy. Is it appropriate to dry hop upon transfer to the secondary for aging. Or would it be better to dry hop after I consider the aging process to be ...
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
5answers
731 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.
6
votes
1answer
236 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
4k views

Ale bottle conditioning temperature

For bottom-fermented beers the conditioning/storage temperature is crucial and supposed to be really low (32F / 0C). Is this the same for top-fermented beers or is conditioning / storage at higher ...
3
votes
2answers
412 views

How much time should a warm-fermenting yeast strain sit at the high primary temperature?

I made a batch of braggot (~46% honey) a couple of weeks ago, and used the Duvel strain (a pack of Wyeast 1388 and a vial of WLP570). Pitched at 65 and ramped it up to 82 over the course of 7 days. ...
3
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
7
votes
5answers
550 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
562 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
1k 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
132 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
420 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
501 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
805 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" ...
5
votes
2answers
203 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
221 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
4k 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
284 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
135 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
2answers
2k 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
3answers
2k views

How do you filter at home?

I thought I'd ask this after reading Brewchez's effects of filtering question. I personally don't filter at home, for the most part. I generally make dark beer, and people who drink my beer ...
4
votes
3answers
824 views

Measuring Gravity

What is the usual procedure for measuring gravity? Is it typical to just take an original and final gravity measurement or should measurements be taken throughout? I've heard people talk about ...
10
votes
3answers
2k views

Using Multiple Strains of Yeast in the Same Batch?

I've been thinking about this recently, so I figured I'd ask it here. Is there any reason you couldn't use two strains of yeast in the same batch of beer? For a particularly high gravity amber ale, ...
8
votes
2answers
1k views

Effects of different boil intensities

What are the effects of having a super rapid crazy boil vs. a very slow, slightly rolling boil, and the different stages in between? If you're boiling 6 gallons on an electric stove or trying to do ...
3
votes
1answer
181 views

Basic information on priming

I'd appreciate a little input on "Priming": How do you do it? Which sugars do you use? Do you use it for all your beers and if not for which ones?
18
votes
7answers
1k views

About going all-grain

I have made 7 or 8 extract brews over the past year and am interested in moving up to all-grain. What equipment is needed, and what steps are added to the process.
4
votes
2answers
911 views

Using flakes in a mash

Do you just mix them with the grains or cook them first to get them gelatinized? What are the pros and cons of each method? What portion of the fermentables can be in flake form?