6
votes
5answers
2k views

How Should I Place a Digital Thermometer into My Fermentation Chamber and Keep it Airtight?

I have a setup with a raspberry pi and two DS18B20 digital thermometers that measure the temperature of the ambient air and the water in a swamp cooler that I place my fermentation chamber in. I was ...
6
votes
6answers
8k views

Should dry hopping be done in secondary, when to transfer, and for how long?

After surveying questions related to dry hopping and secondary here on the Exchange, I don't yet have solid answers to the following questions. Should beer be transferred to secondary for the ...
6
votes
2answers
5k views

No carbonation in the bottles?

Had to recap my bottles to fill the level up so I didn't have any explode on me. Now they have been sitting for 2 1/2 weeks. Opened one up and there is no carbonation.. is there a way to recarbonate ...
6
votes
5answers
4k views

How do you tell if your fermentation is stuck?

How long do you wait before taking corrective action if your fermentation doesn't start? Are there any other good ways to tell if it's just taking a while to get going?
6
votes
2answers
2k views

Does Irish Moss expire?

I've only bought one bag of Irish Moss in at least 2 years. It's so cheap but is there really any need to replace it?
5
votes
2answers
4k views

Why would OG be significantly higher than predicted?

I know there are several questions on the forum about OG being lower than predicted. Please bear with me though. I'm at a loss. I just brewed a straightforward extract wheat beer recipe. The ...
5
votes
1answer
1k views

How to compensate for wort internal temperature when using a temp controller?

What's the best method to use a temperature controller during fermentation? If you're using a freezer (or warming apparatus) connected to the controller, how do you compensate for the fact that the ...
5
votes
1answer
2k views

Is it ever unsafe to drink an aged beer?

I am new to brewing, my first batch is in secondary now. This is more of a curiosity question. Is there a point when an aged beer becomes a health risk? If so what are the signs of spoilage?
5
votes
4answers
3k views

Should the grain or strike water be added to the mash tun first?

I've always added my grain to my MLT cooler first, then dumped the strike water on top (I don't have a sparge arm). I calculate my strike temps based on the grain temp and initial cooler temp, so I ...
4
votes
3answers
2k views

Brewed an Oatmeal Stout and the gravity did not drop as much as predicted, should I re-pitch or add yeast nutrients/energizer?

I just brewed an oatmeal stout see recipe details here and I have a question about missing Orignal and/or Final gravities. The OG was supposed to be 1.061 and the FG 1.016. I brewed and got an OG or ...
3
votes
1answer
218 views

When is it okay to bottle?

I've brewed literally dozens of Beer House brewkits, but I'm waiting on a Winterfest Ale kit that just won't seem to completely stop secondary fermentation...every other time I made these kits, ...
3
votes
2answers
267 views

Does skunk off flavour go away?

Skunky off-flavours are caused by ultraviolet light causing chemical reaction that transforms alpha-acids. Once this flavour is created, does it go away with time, and if so how much time? Or will it ...
3
votes
1answer
295 views

recapping my bottles? Will it ruin the outcome of my beer?

I bottled my first batch of homebrew and didnt fill the bottles all the way. So the next day I opened the bottles and poured some more beer into them and recapped them.. I this going to mess up the ...
3
votes
2answers
116 views

I waited 48 hours to pitch and detected fermention prior to pitching

I brewed on Monday but pitched over 48 hours later on Wednesday, because my temperature control was finicky and I wanted to wait until the wort hit the proper temperature before pitching. Normally I ...
2
votes
1answer
111 views

How to increase gravity / decrease amount of water in my wort, and extract the same amount of sugars?

I have this problem: I'm regularly achieving 90% efficiency with my mash and sparge, and I like this effect. But I usually end up with about 30 ~ 35 liters when I aim for 20 ~ 22 liters. Boil to ...
2
votes
1answer
338 views

What are finings? How do finings work?

What are fining agents? How do fining agents work?
2
votes
4answers
3k views

Do I Always need to add Sugar when bottling?

I'm doing my second brew after great success with the well documented Brooklyn Brewshop Everyday IPA. This time is the exact opposite, random recipe and random grains. I went to a brew shop and had ...
2
votes
3answers
1k views

Hydrometer reading interference

When brewing an IPA about a week ago, my starting gravity reading came out to be 1.12 - significantly higher than the listed target of 1.07 on the recipe. I had suspicions of error at the time which I ...
2
votes
1answer
527 views

Day 2 of Primary Fermentation of beer

Is this what my primary fermentation should look like after a day??? It looks like my yeast has been sitting on top of foam..
2
votes
2answers
734 views

So I want to make a summer shandy, can I just put fruit in the second fermentation stage instead of juice?

So I was told I can add lemonade or orange juice to my wheat beer to make a summer shandy, can I just put fruit in the second fermentation stage instead?
1
vote
3answers
8k views

So I don't know if my primary is done

I started primary 5 days ago. On the second day it had a healthy yeast cake on top. Day three it began to fall and yesterday, so day 4, it went all the way down. The temp is at 70 degrees and is an ...
1
vote
1answer
765 views

Fermentation hasn't started?

Made a kit on Saturday, 1/2 lb. Caramel 80 specialty grain, 9.15 lbs rye extract. Kit came with the Wyeast American Ale smack pack. When I got the yeast pack out of the fridge, the pack was already ...
1
vote
3answers
624 views

My beer has little to no hop flavour or bitterness. What is going wrong?

Extract brew. 23L boil. Summit - 60 min boil approx. 125g, Glacier - 30 min boil, approx. 75g, NZ Wakatu - 15 min boil, approx. 50g. All fresh hops, vacuum sealed. 3kg liquid malt extract added ...
1
vote
1answer
2k views

Balancing: Correct Serving Pressure Vs Beer Line Length

How long should my beer lines be in my kegerator or keezer for the perfect pint?
0
votes
1answer
3k views

Storing full kegs at room temperature

So I have a related question here, but my questions are the following: I only have one (and only have room for one) dedicated chest freezer/fridge for brewing. I have one beer (Marzen) kegged and ...
36
votes
18answers
4k 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 ...
35
votes
25answers
36k views

How do you label your bottles?

How do you mark, label, or otherwise identify the contents of your bottles? I'm currently using masking tape and a marker, but I'm curious what most other people use.
12
votes
9answers
632 views

Book for beginners

What book would you recommend for a beginner hoping to start with extract recipes or from an extract kit?
11
votes
3answers
767 views

Glutten for punishment? How can I make a Gluten-free beer?

A few friends of mine have Celiac Disease. They've all told me that the commercial gluten free beers they've tried have been terrible. Can I brew something at home that's tasty and something they can ...
11
votes
2answers
1k views

How do I make a Yeast Starter?

I know I should be using a Yeast Starter so that I can make sure I have enough, healthy yeast, but I've never managed to go around to it. How would I start a yeast starter? How long before brewday ...
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.
17
votes
5answers
8k views

Alternatives to a hydrometer?

I can't seem to keep a hydrometer for more than a few brewing sessions. They either break from dropping them, going from hot to cold, or I've had the wax holding all of the lead pellets to the bottom ...
17
votes
4answers
1k views

What happens in the bottle?

I often drink a bottle 2 or 3 days after bottling, and then often every day or 2 after that, and it's sometimes quite amazing to see those "rough edges" getting smoothed out. Can someone explain what ...
12
votes
9answers
10k 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?
12
votes
1answer
4k views

When is it necessary to pitch fresh yeast for bottle conditioning?

I've read that you can leave an ale to secondary for months and enough yeast will remain in suspension that you won't need to pitch additional yeast when bottling. But are there times when you do ...
11
votes
1answer
2k 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 ...
10
votes
4answers
4k 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, ...
9
votes
2answers
5k views

What is a whirlpool chiller?

What is a Whirlpool Chiller and how does it work? What are the advantages or disadvantages?
5
votes
1answer
737 views

Where can I get printed crown caps?

I'm investigating buying crown caps in bulk and having a logo and/or my name professionally printed on them. Does anyone know if this is possible on a small-ish scale and is it within the budget of a ...
5
votes
3answers
2k views

Why does my beer taste like bacon?

I recently brewed an oatmeal stout that has distinct bacon notes to it, both in the nose and in the flavor. What could be causing these flavors? This bacon-ness isn't disagreeable; it's actually ...
14
votes
2answers
2k views

Sanitation & Dry Hopping

Is there any risk of wort infection by not sanitizing hops before dry hopping?
13
votes
1answer
8k views

What is a hopback?

How do you use it? What does it do? Do you pass finished wort through it hot or cold?
12
votes
4answers
16k views

Can OxiClean be used as a sanitizer?

Many batches ago I abandoned the sanitizing solutions sold (at ridiculous markups) from standard homebrew stores in favor of OxiClean Free. My logic at the time (being out of sanitizer, and at a ...
11
votes
4answers
12k views

Didn't hit gravity--how to calculate how much malt extract to add to the fermenter?

Lets say you were aiming for 1.047 but only hit 1.032. In a 5 gallon batch, how much malt extract would you need to add to the fermenter to bring it up to the desired gravity?
10
votes
3answers
1k views

What effects will the type of water have on beer?

For instance, will hard water really change the taste that much?
9
votes
5answers
2k views

Best way to mill grains

I've brewed many extracts but want to get into whole grain brewing. What equipment do I need? Any recommendations for beginner / low-cost grain mills?
9
votes
2answers
298 views

Competitions & Kegging

I keg my beer but I would like to enter some of it into competitions. I've bottled directly out of the tap, but carbonation suffers. What would you do in this situation?
8
votes
1answer
4k views

When brewing a chocolate stout, should the cacao nibs be added in the boil, the secondary, or both?

When using cacao nibs to brew a chocolate stout, should they be added in the boil (if so, when?), in the secondary fermenter, or both? Is there a better ingredient to add to produce the chocolate ...
8
votes
2answers
2k views

What makes a beer malty and sweet?

I've read multiple times now that "malty", as a taste, does not mean "sweet"; it is therefor possible to have a dry, malty brew, or a sweet, non malty brew. Is "malty" the same as "body", or is "body" ...
8
votes
2answers
3k views

When bottle conditioning, when should I re-yeast, and how much yeast should I add

I have a Chocolate Cherry Stout that is currently in secondary on fresh Cherries. It has been sitting on the cherries for 2 months now. As I prepare to bottle I want to be sure I have enough, healthy ...

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