11
votes
2answers
871 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 ...
16
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 ...
16
votes
5answers
3k 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 ...
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 ...
11
votes
1answer
3k 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
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?
9
votes
3answers
2k 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
4k 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
593 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
1k 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 ...
13
votes
2answers
1k views

Sanitation & Dry Hopping

Is there any risk of wort infection by not sanitizing hops before dry hopping?
12
votes
4answers
10k 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
1answer
4k 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.
10
votes
3answers
7k 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
936 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
1k 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?
8
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
3k 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
109 views

Could someone provide info. about brewing salts?

I have been reading a lot about home brewing. I'm planning actually to build an electronic 5 gallon brewery. Could anyone provide a short explanation when (mashing, boiling ?!), why and how much to ...
4
votes
3answers
779 views

Misjudging Volumes in All-Grain

So I brewed my second all-grain batch today, and, like with my first all-grain batch, I misjudged the final volume and ended up with slightly under 4 gallons in my carboy. Does anyone have any good ...
2
votes
1answer
1k views

What are the benefits of fermenting under pressure?

I hear that some brewers ferment under pressure. What is the rationale/benefits of doing this?
1
vote
1answer
640 views

BrewJacket - How does this Work and How can I replicate it?

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/433436998/brewjacket-immersion-lager-beer-without-a-refriger I've spent the last year determining how I can combat the hot temperatures to brew beer. I resort to ...
18
votes
6answers
7k views

Is there anyway to tell if a glass bottle of beer is carbonated without opening it?

It would be great if I didn't have to ruin a bottle of beer by opening it to test to see if it carbonated. Is there any way to tell?
14
votes
4answers
805 views

How do you cool wort?

More specifically, what methods exist to cool your wort after the boil, and what are there respective pros/cons?
13
votes
3answers
714 views

Why do you aerate wort at first and try to keep oxygen out later?

Why should you aerate the wort before pitching yeast but then try to avoid allowing oxygen into it later in the process? What is going on with the yeast that makes oxygen good at first but bad later?
11
votes
6answers
3k views

Using coffee in beer

Last weekend I brewed a super classic, nothing special stout. I plan to add coffee to it in the secondary, and didn't want any craziness from the stout itself so that I could really play with the ...
11
votes
4answers
2k views

What is the best way to store hops?

I recently got a really good deal on some bulk pellet hops (several pounds). What is the best way to store them? I've heard that they should be vacuum sealed and put in the freezer. Will they be OK ...
10
votes
2answers
694 views

Does keeping a beer cold significantly preserve fresh hop aroma?

I'm double dry hopping my Rye India Pale Ale, doing half with simply double the dry hops, and half one addition, remove, adding the other half to see if anyone within drinking distance can distinguish ...
10
votes
4answers
2k views

Can I use a dishwasher that has rinse agent to sanitize my bottles?

My dishwasher has a built in rinse agent dispenser that it claims must be filled for every use, besides I have no clue how to empty it once it is filled. Can I still run my bottles in the dishwasher ...
9
votes
2answers
4k views

Proper Way to Store Yeast

What is the proper way and temperature to store yeast?
9
votes
1answer
728 views

Making a Yeast Starter

It seems that there are varying opinions about the size your starter should be. What is the basic rule-of-thumb for 5 and 10 gallon batches? How much water should be used? How much malt/malt ...
9
votes
1answer
752 views

How long does 5lb of C02 last you?

I can never get a grip on how often I'll need to refill my C02. Sometimes it seems to last forever other times it seems very quick. In general, if you are just using C02 to pour, how many soda kegs ...
8
votes
3answers
788 views

cleaning copper

Copper is great for all sorts of things, manifolds for your cooler based mashing tun, as well as that wort chiller you can't live without. However, copper gets really dirty, really quickly, and I ...
8
votes
2answers
441 views

What indicates my burner is at the peak performance?

I use 18" banjo burners on propane. When I'm trying to ramp to boil I have the choice between a shorter all blue flame (which I believe is the most efficient), A wild all yellow flame that edges ...
8
votes
3answers
1k views

What are some ways to make low-carb beer?

I and a few friends have dabbled with the various "low carb" diets. But I've found that after a while, you don't want to break the diet, but just want a beer. What are some ways to make a beer ...
8
votes
2answers
239 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?
7
votes
5answers
6k views

Brew In A Bag one-gallon batch?

I'd like to try homebrewing, and I've read a great deal about the process, but I will have more time than money (I'm about to graduate from college). It seems like most people buy a lot of equipment ...
7
votes
8answers
7k views

What's a good small-batch fermentation vessel?

After getting started with a few kits, I'd like to start experimenting a little bit. I'd like to start off with 1-gallon batches on anything I'm not sure about, though. I have a growler that I'm ...
7
votes
2answers
3k views

Will it harm my wine to shake the container?

This is probably a really dumb question, but is it bad to shake or swirl the container my wine is in to encourage the release of CO2? I accidentally found out that jarring the container results in ...
7
votes
3answers
653 views

Pennies in the Boil

I've heard that adding cleaned pennies to the wort can help prevent boil-overs. I guess they could provide nucleation points- I dunno. Any truth to this, or is it just an old wives' tail?
7
votes
2answers
389 views

Extract late with a full boil?

If you can do a full wort boil with extracts is it still beneficial to be adding extract late to avoid color changes and the like? What would happen to hop utilization with extract late in a full ...
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 ...
7
votes
7answers
7k views

Adding Pectin Enzyme To Cider After Fermentation Is Complete?

I've got a cider made from fresh pressed cider that's been in the fermenter about a month. It was augmented with some Crystal 60L and a few other ingredients and is sitting on French oak cubes. While ...
6
votes
1answer
1k views

What is the purpose of boiling wort?

Theoretical question here. What happens when wort is boiled? Why do we do it? Why is the process not done at cooler temperatures? My limited understanding, with some assistance from this post and ...
6
votes
5answers
2k views

Target boil off percentage?

I have heard a lot of home brewers talk about the vigorousness of the boil being quite important. Given that describing the vigor in words like "rolling" is ambiguous I was wondering if it makes more ...
6
votes
1answer
1k views

Racking question

This might seem like a really dumb question but what exactly is meant by the term "racking" and how did it come about? When someone says, "I just racked my beer", what does that mean? Can it have ...
6
votes
9answers
5k views

Is there an online equivalent of Beer Smith?

Simple question, does anyone know if there is a purely web based equivalent of Beer Smith / Brew Target, etc? Just looking for a decent product that I don't have to install on my desktop.
6
votes
4answers
3k views

Adding Bourbon flavor to a beer

So in my last beer, I added bourbon infused with vanilla bean. I started to wonder if this was "cheating" or frowned upon, as far as getting the bourbon flavor into the beer. Is there a better way to ...
5
votes
4answers
1k views

What are the consequences of a “weak” boil?

I am new to homebrewing and am getting help from an experienced brewer. So far I think everything has gone OK. I am doing all-grain brewing on a stovetop. I have done 2 brews. I am doing the mash and ...
5
votes
1answer
251 views

Why doesn't FG reach 1.000?

My second beer brew has pretty much finished its primary fermentation. It started at 1.044 and is currently at 1.014... I don't expect it will go much further. Having brewed numerous wines I ...

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