11
votes
11answers
2k views

What are my options for brewing software?

I'm looking for brewing software that helps with record-keeping, calculations, inventory, and/or recipes. Across any platform (Windows/Mac OS X/Linux), what brewing software is available, and what ...
11
votes
3answers
777 views

Is there a way to use my kegging system to carbonate beer for bottling without a beer gun?

The only solutions I've found are expensive, and involved a pricey piece of equipment called a beer gun. Is there a way to carbonate my beer before bottling so I can ensure a good carbonation?
11
votes
5answers
6k views

Can Infected beer cause death or major illness?

Basic question. Can you get sick and die from drinking infected brew? I know that it must taste terrible, was just wondering. Can't seem to find any references where people have died from infected ...
11
votes
10answers
2k views

Are there tools that can make the bottling process easier?

I found this to be the most difficult part during my first attempt at brewing. All I had was a tube and a racking cane. Is there anything else to simplify the process and prevent me from ending up ...
11
votes
3answers
1k views

What is the best way to sanitize vanilla pods?

I Am planning on adding a vanilla pod to secondary in my next brew. What is the best way to sanitize it before it goes in?
11
votes
5answers
4k views

How Do You Sanitize Your Carboys?

When sanitizing your carboys, do you fill them all the way up (6+ gallons) with sanitizer or do you put in less and swirl it around? This may depend on what type of sanitizer is being used. I'm using ...
11
votes
4answers
3k views

Cork in red wine starting to push itself out. Is it still safe to drink?

A friend gave us a bottle of homemade red wine a year ago. (They're Italian and they make wine every year). It's been sitting in our dining room, stored on its side. We started to notice that the ...
11
votes
5answers
2k views

How do I keep yeast from a strain that I've bought?

I'd like to stop buying yeast all the time, especially when I use the same strain repeatedly. This is especially a problem when it comes to seasonal strains. I'd like to brew with WLP351 Bavarian ...
11
votes
3answers
3k views

Do I need to sterilize my top-off water?

I just purchased my first kit and am about to brew it (tonight!). The instructions provided indicate that after cooling the wort and tranfering it to the sanitized carboy I need to top it off with ...
11
votes
5answers
691 views

How do I improve my palate?

I've read descriptions of wines (and lately more beers) where the tasting notes say things like "cherries, floral", etc. I've never tasted any of this when I drink/taste the corresponding beer/wine. ...
11
votes
5answers
8k views

Is it possible to over-ferment?

My first batch started fermenting 8 days ago. The beer is still fresh and very cloudy, but I'm wondering if its possible to over-ferment a beer? If I let it sit for another 2 weeks (or however ...
11
votes
6answers
5k views

Alternatives for priming sugar

If you happen to be out of priming sugar, but really want to bottle your beer, what are the alternatives? Let's assume a 5 gallon batch that's fully fermented - call it 1.010-1.014.
11
votes
12answers
7k views

How to brew all-grain indoors

I've been brewing with extracts and specialty grains for two years now, and I want to step up to all-grain brewing. From what I understand, it's important to get a full boil when brewing all-grain and ...
11
votes
5answers
14k views

How long can I leave beer in the secondary fermenter?

My first home brew beer is ready to be bottled but I've been busy and haven't gotten around to it yet. The beer was in a primary fermenter for 2 weeks, then I racked it into a secondary fermenter ...
11
votes
3answers
683 views

Brewing with Aluminum Pots

There seems to be controversy whether or not aluminum pots are acceptable for home brewing. What are the pros and cons of brewing with aluminum?
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 ...
11
votes
3answers
725 views

How long do I need to maintain my fermentation temperature?

Do I need to maintain my desired temperature until bottling or take it out of the "ferm chamber" after initial fermentation is done? What about with long term brews such as sours?
11
votes
5answers
1k views

Is it necessary to aerate wort when pitching onto an existing yeast cake?

To my knowledge, aeration provides oxygen so that the yeast can reproduce before fermentation. If you're pitching onto an existing yeast cake, there should theoretically be enough yeast already to ...
11
votes
1answer
3k 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.
11
votes
6answers
5k views

Dry yeast vs wet yeast

I've always thought it to be common knowledge that wet yeast is better than dry yeast for home-brewing. This was confirmed by Sam Calagione at his Authors at Google talk where he suggested that using ...
11
votes
4answers
662 views

How would you ship your brew?

I've been thinking about shipping my beer to a fellow homebrewer on the opposite coast. I know the post office doesn't exactly condone this, but if you were to mail a bottle or two, how would you do ...
11
votes
2answers
4k views

What Type and Power of Microscope For Observing Yeast Cells

I'm interested in buying a microscope that I can use to observe yeast cells. Ideally, I'd like to use this to count cells in region and do calculations to get estimated populations (though I don't ...
11
votes
2answers
13k views

What is wet hopping and how does it differ from dry?

Specifically what types of beer would you use wet hopping for and how does it affect the flavor/process differently than dry hopping a beer?
11
votes
2answers
391 views

What is attentuation?

What is attentuation? How does it effect beer flavor and quality? How is is calculated and why do I need to know it?
11
votes
5answers
5k views

Early vs Late secondary fermentation

When do you start your secondary fermentation? Some people wait until the bubbles of the wort stop completely, others leave the wort in the fist fermenter for 3-4 days and then move on to secondary ...
11
votes
4answers
1k views

How many degrees will my carboy heat up as a result of fermentation activity?

Recipe calls for fermentation at 70 degrees, basement is 65. I know that fermentation produces some heat, so I was wondering if just letting yeast do its thing will be enough. Otherwise, do I need ...
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
3answers
3k views

Will scaling a recipe from 5 gallons to 1 gallon introduce significant differences?

Will scaling a recipe down to 1 gallon (i.e.: dividing the amount of each ingredient by 5) produce a pretty close approximation of the results of a full 5 gallon batch? Are there any additional ...
11
votes
5answers
3k views

Can I skip the mash out replacing it by sparging?

I'm a new homebrewer and have a newbie question: can I skip the mash out time just replacing it by sparging since the water temperature is the same? What kind of things can happen doing this? Thanks! ...
11
votes
1answer
690 views

How does Irish moss work?

How does it clarify my beer?
11
votes
4answers
3k views

Alpha acids vs. beta acids in aging?

Can someone explain the difference in hop bitterness between alpha acids in my wort vs. beta acids bittering during aging? And is it predictable enough to plan for in recipe formulation?
11
votes
2answers
2k views

How should I add mint to my beer?

I'm making a mint chocolate stout. I've made it before; I added 1.5 ounces of fresh spearmint to the last 10 or 15 minutes of the boil. It turned out alright, but it's not as strong as I'd like. The ...
11
votes
5answers
4k views

What would cause yeast to fail to flocculate?

I am using WLP002 - English Ale Yeast - in my current batch, a Young's double chocolate clone. According to the manufacturer's product page, this yeast is highly flocculant. The beer remained in the ...
11
votes
1answer
2k views

Differences in Crystal Malt darkness

What are the effects of changing the darkness of Crystal Malt? I'm an extract brewer, and many of the recipes I've tried call for steeping some crystal malt, but I'm not always able to find the °L ...
11
votes
4answers
3k views

Mead made from Agave nectar?

The health food store near me has a sale on dark Agave nectar such that 1 kg costs less than their average 1 kg of honey (usually it costs slightly more than honey). I noticed on the nutritional info ...
11
votes
3answers
2k views

What are the advantages and disadvantages of transferring to a secondary vs. a long primary?

The conventional wisdom in homebrewing has been challenged in recent years. This wisdom held that a beer should be transferred from the primary fermentation vessel to a secondary one after 7-10 days. ...
11
votes
3answers
877 views

What is a “biscuit”?

When reading about malt and beer flavors, I often come across words like "biscuity" and "biscuitlike". Where I live (Western Canada) "biscuit" is a somewhat ambiguous term, and is not used much. ...
11
votes
2answers
851 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 ...
11
votes
3answers
3k views

What is the point of mashing out?

I know it stops the enzymes from breaking down any more sugar, but is there any other point to it? Will I notice any difference in the final product if I just got straight to sparging? Also, if my ...
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
1answer
330 views

[WIKI] Characteristics of a Good Cellaring Beer

Every once and a while I come across beers that say they can be kept up to 5 years and become more developed over that time period, while other beers that are of the same style don't indicate this at ...
10
votes
12answers
5k views

What do you get if you distill mead?

This is just out of curiosity... I mean if you distill beer, you get whiskey... if you distill wine, you get cognac/brandy... if you distill fermented molasses, you get rum... if you distill ...
10
votes
3answers
4k views

Why my homebrewed lager beer bottles explode?

I started home-brewing lager beer last year. I am using ready-kits and the first three times it went quite well. Now, with the latest, I had a very strange problem. A couple of weeks after I bottled ...
10
votes
2answers
3k views

How do I brew with nuts? Specifically hazelnuts.

I want to make a beer with some hazelnut flavor to it. Maybe add some cocoa nibs or powder to the wort and make a Nutella-ish beer. My question itself is specific to hazelnuts, but maybe you could ...
10
votes
7answers
3k views

Aluminium boil pots: Heresy or not?

Are aluminium pots acceptable as boil vessels? They're cheap, but I've heard they can produce off-flavors. Any experiences with them?
10
votes
10answers
2k views

How to get clearer and more clarified home-brewed beers?

I'm still pretty new to home-brewing, but I've got a couple of extract kits under my belt so far and I was wondering how I could get more clarified beers. I've used both Irish moss and Whirlfloc ...
10
votes
7answers
1k views

Do you keep your wine/beer making records online?

I've been looking for a suitable way of keeping my wine records online, whereby I can simply tap in recipe details as I brew, SG during the ferment etc, and it logs these all as individual with the ...
10
votes
7answers
1k views

Are bottle brushes necessary?

I've always bottled my beers (haven't invested in a kegging setup yet), and I've never once used a bottle brush. I simply soak my bottles in OxyClean to clean them, give them a shake, then rinse, ...
10
votes
7answers
6k views

How to clear beer

I am brewing my first homebrew an American cream ale. Was just reading into secondary fermentation. In the directions and books I've read it seems to suggest doing this. But as I search online and ...

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