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
votes
7answers
781 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 ...
0
votes
0answers
27 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 ...
17
votes
6answers
12k 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 ...
1
vote
5answers
244 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?
25
votes
16answers
11k 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 ...
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?
13
votes
4answers
21k 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
130 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
51 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
38k 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?
9
votes
4answers
814 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
442 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
1k 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
7k 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 ...
6
votes
4answers
240 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 ...
3
votes
4answers
7k 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 ...
5
votes
5answers
6k 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?
4
votes
1answer
105 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 ...
12
votes
4answers
2k 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
125 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, ...
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
96 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
432 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
510 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
354 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
6k 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
495 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
614 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 ...
4
votes
4answers
281 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
3k 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
355 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
169 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
1k 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 ...
15
votes
6answers
9k views

What's the difference between primary & secondary fermentation?

Over here PJ asked "How do you differentiate primary to secondary if you keep it in the same bucket?"
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 ...
5
votes
4answers
2k 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
936 views

Is There A Way To Get Root Beer Taste/Smell Out Of Kegging Equipment?

I've since learned better, but when I first got my kegging setup, I put root beer on one of the lines. After that keg was empty, I decided to put soda water in instead. Unfortunately, the root beer ...
1
vote
1answer
246 views

Does kegging require a fridge

I was planning on building myself one of these for the summer: http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/portable-igloo-cooler-kegerator-172047-post1990392/ I currently bottle all my beer and don't own any ...
2
votes
1answer
195 views

Brewing with Tonka Beans

I am planning a recipe with Tonka Beans. At what point should I add them and approx. how many? I know that vanilla is usually added after primary. Should I do the same with these or can I add them ...
8
votes
6answers
8k views

How to strain wort before primary fermentation

I recently made a big beer (Dogfish Head 90 minute clone) with an OG around 1.11. I had never tried to strain wort before moving to a primary fermenter but thought it would be a good idea since this ...
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?
3
votes
5answers
1k views

How much weight to add to a dry-hop bag?

It sounds like the best place for the bag of hops should be somewhere in the middle on the carboy (or other container). This will mean that no hops are sitting only half in beer which should increase ...
14
votes
4answers
5k views

How to Properly Oxygenate Wort

How much oxygen do I need to put into my wort? I've heard that homebrewers need to aerate with an oxygen stone and either aquarium pumps or oxygen. Is this true, or is shaking my carboy enough to ...
21
votes
4answers
666 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
13answers
4k 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
7k views

corn beer steps and suggestions using a home stove

I am planning to make corn beer, what are the times you would suggest for mashing? Is there a way to make it on a home stove? Has anyone got experience with that? UPDATE A friend already does corn ...
7
votes
2answers
345 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.
13
votes
5answers
4k views

How do I culture yeast from a commercial beer? Is it legal?

If I like the flavor profile of a yeast in a commercial beer, how would I go about culturing it? I have some very basic lab equipment, but I can buy anything that's reasonably priced. Also, would it ...