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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28
votes
18answers
15k 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 ...
7
votes
6answers
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 ...
10
votes
6answers
14k 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?
7
votes
1answer
98 views

How To Successfully Untie a full bag of grain.

I buy full sacks of grain, and over the past 10 years it's always been hit and miss getting that string that ties the bag close to unwind. If you get it just right the string unwinds with a gentle ...
0
votes
1answer
48 views

Natural hard cider from Apples to Alcohol no additives. Is this possible?

I juiced some apples, took off all the sediments from the top, placed those in my brew bottle, and poured the fresh made apple juice in. (I made it as sloppy as I am explaining it.) I then poked a ...
4
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
10
votes
4answers
3k 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, ...
2
votes
1answer
102 views

What are the effects of storing unboiled All-Grain Wort at sub-lager temperatures?

Obviously it is better to immediately boil the wort when it is freshest, giving any wild yeist or bacteria as little time as possible to grow and contaminate the product. It is also a well ...
0
votes
2answers
56 views

Opinions on my hop schedule for double IPA?

Being only a third time brewer, and feeling ambitious and experimental i decided to step away from kit directions and experiment. anyone have experience with the following combo? any opinions on how ...
3
votes
1answer
106 views

Steam sanitation of a stainless steel fermenter and bottles

Premise As a chemical engineering student, I tried my best to avoid any chemical at all (When they say trust me, you should never do so). As such, I resorted to steam to sanitize my fermenter and ...
21
votes
10answers
16k 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 ...
3
votes
5answers
452 views

Aroma hops: to bag or not?

I've been struggling a bit to get hop aroma into an IPA, and I think maybe my hop bags aren't letting enough wort get into the hops. I've been adding 50g of Simcoe to 20L of wort 5 minutes before ...
6
votes
6answers
8k 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
561 views

Coriander: Seed vs Ground?

I'm making a witbier this weekend that calls for 1 tsp of coriander added to the boil at 2 minutes. I'm wondering if I should purchase seeds and grind them myself, or just buy a jar of ground ...
7
votes
3answers
2k 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
72 views

Airlock not pressurized, any explanation other than a leak?

I'm in the primary fermentation of mead, using one of these "big mouth bubbler" 5 gallon fermenters and an S airlock. Initially, when the fermentation was really vigorous, the airlock behaved as ...
1
vote
1answer
107 views

How did I manage to make apple sherry?

I have loads of apples in the garden and every year I make experimental 1-gallon batches of cider and apple wine (cider plus extra sugar). This year I tried to make a cider that wasn't ultra-dry, by ...
8
votes
2answers
412 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?
5
votes
4answers
14k views

How do you brew high alcohol beers at home?

I've heard that brewing anything over around 14% ABV is pretty much impossible…and that achieving anything over 11% in a homebrew environment is not very realistic. Is this true? If so, how do they ...
0
votes
3answers
165 views

Can you use tincture method to infuse fruit?

Does anyone know anything about Tincture? I know adding fruit to beer can be unsanitary. Would it work to Tincture fruit and add to my brew secondary?
11
votes
8answers
5k 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?
3
votes
7answers
1k 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 ...
1
vote
5answers
667 views

Are there ways to make your own beer on the cheap?

I have more experience with infusions and other ferments. I'm ready to delve into beer making without buying an expensive kit. What's the best way to do this?
10
votes
2answers
2k views

Whirlfloc versus irish moss - pros and cons?

What are the pros and cons of using irish moss versus whirlfloc tablets for clarifying beer?
15
votes
4answers
24k views

How to grow yeast?

I have read that it is possible to grow your own yeast, but I have not been able to find exact instructions. I would like to grow my own yeast so that I don't have to spend money on those small ...
0
votes
3answers
245 views

Softening Hard Water

I have city water at my house which our Regional Water Authority states has a Hardness of 112.10 mg/l. I would like to get this down by 62 points, but not sure what the best way to do this without ...
1
vote
1answer
63 views

How to adjust my wine?

I'm looking for some general advice/recommended reading, etc. I've made a few wine kits and they've all come out OK. I feel I have the general process down and I'm ready to start with perhaps ...
21
votes
12answers
51k views

Too long in Primary Fermentation?

What's the maximum amount of time for primary fermentation, assuming the beer is going straight to bottles next? Will it over ferment and then fail to carbonate, if left too long in a carboy?
10
votes
4answers
980 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 ...
4
votes
4answers
1k views

High Gravity/Low Alcohol - How do I get there?

Everyone seems so interested in getting high alcohol into their beers. I like to drink and not get wasted, so how about good beer with low alcohol? Last summer's trip to England was an eye opener. ...
3
votes
6answers
2k 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 ...
8
votes
4answers
10k views

Can fermenting temperatures affect a beer's taste?

I'm putting together an "all glass" kit with two carboys and want to brew a DIPA but I'm a little concerned about temperature ranges where I'll be fermenting. I'm looking at somewhere between 15-18 ...
7
votes
4answers
274 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
170 views

How does gradual hop infusion affect flavor and aroma?

I only make IPA's and have read about some IPA makers introducing hops gradually over the boil vs. adding the the "aroma" dose during the last 5 or 10 minutes of the boil. I understand that hops added ...
13
votes
4answers
3k views

How fast should I run water through my wort chiller?

My father-in-law got me a wort chiller for my birthday, one of those copper coil immersion jobs and I'm now putting it to the test. This is only my second batch of beer, so I'm pretty new at this. ...
1
vote
2answers
175 views

Leftover Juicing Pulp in Beer?

I'm a very new homebrewer and this may be a really wacky question, but I'm curious nonetheless. Every time I've made fresh juice using a juicer, I'm at a loss for what to do with the leftover pulp, ...
7
votes
3answers
3k views
32
votes
16answers
3k 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
126 views

How to store leftover fermenting wine for reuse later?

I've got a decent amount of leftover wine (ginger) after racking from my primary to a couple of demijohns. I want to use this for the topping up when I eventually rerack in a few months' time but I'm ...
17
votes
8answers
466 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, ...
2
votes
1answer
699 views

Side effects of home brew

I have kegged my last two batches...an IPA and a Stout. First batch was sanitized with Star-San. I experienced very uncomfortable side effects: headaches, muscle aches, and a sense of fatigue. So for ...
0
votes
2answers
545 views

Adding Burton Water Salts to Partial Mash

I'm going to attempt an partial mash ESB. I will use distilled water and add burton salts. I know I need to add the salts to my mash water, but I've read if you are doing extract you just add it to ...
11
votes
9answers
8k views

Sanitizing oak chips

Going to try using dry oak chips in my secondary fermenter. How do you recommend sanitizing the chips before adding them?
7
votes
3answers
524 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
10answers
833 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
4answers
471 views

Which strains of yeasts are the cleanest for warm/hot fermentation?

I am from Puerto Rico and the temperature here is like summer all year round(between 75 to 95*F) , and I really want to know the cleanest strains of yeasts for this kind of temperature. (clean ...
13
votes
3answers
4k 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
476 views

Advice for filling a carboy

I'm fairly new to brewing, I've done 3 kits so far. Last time I brewed in a 23 litre, glass carboy but I found getting the malt extract into it really difficult. The only way I managed to do it was to ...
1
vote
1answer
243 views

Mashing raw spelt/dinkel

I just got a hold of some organic raw spelt that I would like to use in a wit instead of flaked wheat. Do I need to gelatinize the spelt? How do I do that? Should the grain be milled at some point? ...
5
votes
1answer
2k 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 ...