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
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 ...
3
votes
1answer
172 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?
8
votes
2answers
968 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
563 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?
2
votes
2answers
3k 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 ...
9
votes
4answers
7k views

What malt should I use to get a red beer?

So, I want to make a red beer, what is the best malt to get this color?
10
votes
3answers
323 views

Is aeration necessary if you overpitch?

We all know that aeration is necessary for yeast growth. Does it facilitate more than that? If you massively overpitch, on a previous yeast-cake for example, do you need the same amount of dissolved ...
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 ...
5
votes
2answers
830 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
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 ...
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
1answer
620 views

Does filtering beer strip flavor, aroma and/or color?

In the quest for super clear beer (and increase shelf stability) some brewers like to filter their beer. What impact does it have on flavor, aroma and color? Which aspects of flavor (hops only, malt ...
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.
11
votes
1answer
3k 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.
3
votes
1answer
893 views

stepping up a yeast starter

I followed the instructions in Palmer's "How To Brew" (along with some modifications from a Jamil interview that I heard), for getting a yeast starter going. It is now sitting on my stir-plate, with a ...
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 ...
4
votes
3answers
711 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 ...
15
votes
4answers
1k views

Reusing yeast at home

Reusing yeast at home is something I'm incredibly interested in, but haven't found the time to learn enough about it just yet. What are the basic steps for harvesting, cultivating, or whatever other ...
9
votes
1answer
317 views

Adding Oak Flavor/character to beer

Short of buying an oak barrel, what forms of oak are available to the homebrewer for getting oak into yuor beer? Are they available with different levels of toast? Are some forms easier to sanitize ...
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 ...
3
votes
1answer
183 views

Grains for Mashing and Grains for Steeping

Does anyone have a list they care to post that lists the "must mash" and "steepable" grains? Might be nice content for the site overall.
6
votes
2answers
954 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
165 views

Cereal Mashing for Adjuncts

What is the step-by-step process for cereal mashing adjuncts? Please include temps and grain to volume ratios.
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?
9
votes
2answers
663 views

Fruit for fruit beers

What are the best fruits for brewing fruit beers? Some fruits appear to be classics like cherries raspberries. Some fruits you rarely hear about like kiwi and papya. Which fruits have flavor ...
8
votes
1answer
1k views

Whirlfloc versus irish moss - pros and cons?

What are the pros and cons of using irish moss versus whirlfloc tablets for clarifying beer?
9
votes
3answers
1k 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, ...
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 ...
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 ...
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
2answers
637 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, ...
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, ...
11
votes
1answer
1k views

How do you pitch additional yeast for bottling?

This is a follow on to my other question about when you would need to pitch additional yeast for bottle conditioning. Assuming you know that you need to pitch more yeast before bottling to ensure ...
3
votes
1answer
202 views

Single stage/ two stage for all grain?

I into my 3rd generation of homebrew ideology and need some input. At first, I was a dedicated workhorse of the early microbrew scene, constructing a a welded stainless 10 gallon outfit in my ...
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?
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
2answers
327 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.
8
votes
3answers
1k views

How do you get the bag of hops into the carboy and then remove it?

I always have a difficult time getting the hops in the carboy and then removing it when dry-hopping. What's the trick?
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?
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?
3
votes
2answers
775 views

Pellets, Plugs and Whole Hops

Hops come in three formats pellets, plugs and whole-leaf. Plugs are whole leaf hops that have been compressed into a little cake usually 0.5 ounces in size. What are the ups and downs of using ...
3
votes
1answer
248 views

force carbonating a scotch heavy ale

I am brewing a scotch ale currently and haven't been able to determine how many volumes of co2 that it should have? also, what pressure should I put the beer under to carbonate to that many volumes. ...
8
votes
4answers
930 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
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?
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
3answers
2k views

Are Sparge Arms Necessary

Do you really need a sprinkler of some sort to sparge? Does it really improve the lautering process? How fancy does a sparge arm need to be, does it really have to rotate or can it just sprinkle all ...
4
votes
3answers
559 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
817 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 ...
9
votes
5answers
719 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
710 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 ...