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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3
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2answers
2k 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
613 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
605 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
143 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
431 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
529 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
1k 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
225 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
225 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
5k 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
292 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
138 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 ...
5
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 ...
5
votes
3answers
894 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 ...
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
187 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?
20
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
2k 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?
3
votes
1answer
957 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
740 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 ...
11
votes
3answers
364 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 ...
7
votes
3answers
6k 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.
14
votes
1answer
7k 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
238 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.
4
votes
1answer
175 views

Cereal Mashing for Adjuncts

What is the step-by-step process for cereal mashing adjuncts? Please include temps and grain to volume ratios.
9
votes
1answer
350 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
1k 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 ...
7
votes
3answers
13k views

At what temperature should a lager be fermented?

When fermenting a lager, what temperature should it be held at for best results?
3
votes
1answer
426 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
3answers
2k 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?
3
votes
1answer
254 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
5k 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?
3
votes
2answers
901 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
1k views

Steeping Specialty Grains

What is the proper procedure for steeping specialty grains while extract brewing? Temp, time, grain bags or not.
5
votes
3answers
3k 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
989 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
619 views

Propane tank usage in winter time

Today is 14F here in the northern suburbs of MA. In the winter time it can be tough to brew outside if you are a propane cooker brewer such as myself. When the tank is going full bore it tends to ...