5
votes
1answer
2k views

How to use Tart Cherries

Lately I've been trying fantastic beers brewed with tart cherries. Where is the best place to source this product? Do I buy as whole fruit, frozen fruit, puree? When and how should I add this product, ...
5
votes
2answers
722 views

How much bourbon is the right amount?

When adding something like bourbon (or other whiskeys) to the secondary, how much do you add? I realize this will differ based on recipes, tastes, and styles, but what is a good range? How much is so ...
4
votes
3answers
3k views

Alternative/homemade yeast nutrient?

I forgot to add nutrient to my must when I put it in my carboy the other day (first time brewing mead). I fear I won't be able to get to my homebrew store before it's too late, so I'm wondering if I ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

What Calcium ppm is required in the mash for alpha-amylase stability and mash efficiency?

I recently moved and my water here is quite soft with a very low pH. As such, I've taken to adding many of my brewing salts in the brew kettle and only using salts in the mash to balance the pH. ...
4
votes
2answers
257 views

How to correct Mead with too much citrus?

I put 5 oranges into my first 5 gallon mead and after 3 weeks it tastes overpoweringly like grapefruit. I don't like grapefruit. At 10 days, I racked 2 gallons into a carboy with 2 lb of mulberry ...
4
votes
1answer
536 views

Small batch size brewing trub issues

Five gallon batches generate a certain amount of trub in the fermenter. However, its a relatively small percent of the total batch. I am interested in trying some 2 gallon maybe even one gallon ...
4
votes
3answers
2k views

How do you filter at home?

I thought I'd ask this after reading Brewchez's effects of filtering question. I personally don't filter at home, for the most part. I generally make dark beer, and people who drink my beer ...
4
votes
1answer
13k views

How much potassium metabisulfite/Potassium Sorbate to stop fermentation?

I've had a lot of trouble finding a quick and easy answer to this question. Wine makers will add these chemical to wine after fermentation to prevent spoilage, and as an antioxidant. You can also ...
3
votes
2answers
110 views

Bottling Blended Sours

My understanding is that it is somewhat of an inexact science/art to blend sours and especially to bottle condition them. For the latter, you would need to have a pretty extensive understanding of ...
3
votes
3answers
492 views

Is there a difference between soaking oak in bourbon and just adding the bourbon straight into secondary?

As I was thinking about how I want to make my bourbon oak stout, I was thinking of how to soak the oak in bourbon. I wanted to get the bourbon into the wood, for the purpose of putting it into my ...
3
votes
6answers
5k views

Converting your fermentation bucket into a mash tun

Most people use coolers for mash tuns, but living in an apartment myself I can tell that having the least possible equipment is a priority. I know some people use their secondary fermenters as mash ...
2
votes
2answers
486 views

Why (if) should I do secondary fermentation? [duplicate]

I like to kees things simple, and I do not like to clean stuff, so adding secondary fermentation is something that bores me... Should I do it instead? What are the advantages and resons of doing it?
2
votes
4answers
468 views

Fermenter Headspace; Suitable (and cheap!) Containers for Split Batches

After Denny's article in the spring issue of Zymurgy, I'm anxious to experiment and split batches for experimentation with yeast pitching rates, strains, fermentation temps, and adjuncts. I had ...
2
votes
2answers
494 views

Is primary fermentation finished?

I'm making a doppelbock with an ale yeast, so I'm fermenting in the mid- to upper 60s. It's 11 days in and all the krausen is gone. The top is speckled with what appears to be bright white yeast ...
0
votes
2answers
96 views

Addition of extract at bottling time

If I use 4oz of watermelon extract at bottling time,do I have to cut back on the amount priming sugar to prevent bottle bombs.
16
votes
8answers
26k views

What are the benefits of using brewing sugar over types of sugar?

In many kits I've used, the instructions recommend using brewing sugar. Of course it's okay to use other sources of sugar, but I was wondering whether there are any benefits of using brewing sugar ...
14
votes
1answer
1k views

How long can a yeast starter survive in the fridge?

I've made a 2L yeast starter (Wyeast 2633 Octoberfest) and placed in the fridge this morning. My original goal was to brew tonight but I may not be able to. Will the yeast colony still be good for a ...
13
votes
1answer
810 views

Original Gravity: Calculate or measure

I've been told that for extract brewing it's best to simply calculate the original gravity instead of measuring it. Is this correct? What are the pros/cons either way? What about with ...
12
votes
4answers
2k views

Is a long boil with extract necessary?

I'm making a late hopped extract beer later tonight. (Jamil's Evil Twin as posted http://www.mrmalty.com/late_hopping.htm) He suggests at 90 minute boil with the first hop addition coming 20 minutes ...
12
votes
12answers
3k views

What is the best book for beginning home brewers?

What is the best book for beginning home brewers? ** Please post 1 book per post, then the resulting votes will show what most people consider to be the best book.
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
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?
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
3answers
1k views

Is a donation jar (for homebrew supplies) legal in the United States?

If a brewer were to keep a donation jar near his kegs (i.e. tip jar), would this be strictly legal in the United States? Sales of homebrew are prohibited, and this website states that requiring a ...
9
votes
1answer
3k views

Hop burst technique & bitterness calculation

A friend asked me the other day what the "hop burst" technique was and how to calculate the amount of hops required in a recipe. I made some vague statements about late addition of hops and left it at ...
9
votes
2answers
2k views

does starsan kill yeast

Is Starsan effective against yeast? After resuming homebrewing again after a 2 year break, I started having pellicle appearing on my starters (after fermentation had completed), which has now spread ...
9
votes
1answer
20k views

What is torrified wheat?

What is torrified wheat and in what styles is it used? Are there any restriction or special procedures you need to follow to when using torrified wheat? Can you substitute torrified wheat with ...
9
votes
3answers
2k views

why do you degas wine but not beer?

After reading this post, I was wondering why have I heard of people degassing wine, but never beer? Does one also need to degas mead?
9
votes
3answers
1k views

Over-carbonating in the bottle

I've had a few batches get a little too carbonated in the bottle. Currently, I have a delicious stout that fills two glasses on pour, and needs some time to settle down. That is, of course, if you ...
9
votes
4answers
1k views

Permanent Bottle Labels

I'm considering making permanent labels for my bottles. I've had a friend create a label design with a blank banner in the center. My idea is to have the design printed on vinyl stickers and then ...
9
votes
3answers
2k views

What is the best type of beer to brew for a beginner?

What is the best type of beer to brew for a beginner?
8
votes
3answers
299 views

Priming Sugar Affect on Fermentation

I screwed up took a batch that had only been fermenting for 3 days and started to bottle it before I realized it was the wrong one. [link] During this screw up I ended up added the priming sugar then ...
8
votes
2answers
2k views

How do I decide if the beer is ready? Is my fermentation complete?

This is my first time brewing and I've followed the instructions from a kit. It says to leave the beer in the key for two weeks and its ready when it stops being cloudy. Its now been a little over ...
8
votes
5answers
3k views

Boiling bottle caps

I've always soaked my bottle caps in sanitizer before using, but a friend of mine suggested boiling (throw in the same pot with priming sugar) instead because the cooties can theoretically hide from ...
8
votes
2answers
354 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?
8
votes
3answers
2k views

Is a 5 gallon bucket too big for 3 gallon recipe?

I have a few Mr Beer extract kits left over from when I started this hobby. Can I ferment a 3 gallon recipe in a 5 gallon bucket? Will there be too much head space?
7
votes
2answers
219 views

Experimenting, Priming Sugars

I've got a 3 gallon batch of bourbon dubbel fermenting, recipe calls for priming with maple syrup, I'm thinking of siphoning off .5 gal to prime with honey and .5 gal to prime with black treacle. ...
7
votes
5answers
1k views

Over attenuated all grain beers

I'm having a problem with all my beers regardless of style getting over attenuated. I've been raising my mash temps up to 4° above each beers style (up to 158° or so) to compensate with no luck. I've ...
7
votes
1answer
757 views

Possibly infected mead: is it worth keeping?

I tried making cherry mead again (the first time I tried this it got infected). I tried again yesterday, and it looks like I've got another infection of some sort. This time I thought that everything ...
7
votes
4answers
2k views

Performing a hop boil seperate from the wort boil.

I'm curious to try some single-hop style beers and would like to do several varieties in one brew day. My ideal situation would be to make a five gallon batch of an unhopped pale ale as the base and ...
7
votes
1answer
2k views

When using whole hops, do you need a larger amount than you would hop pellets to achieve the same bitterness?

I have read that whole hops impart less bitterness than pellet hops by weight. I have used pellet hops for all of my brews thus far. I have a recipe that I am happy with, and I want to switch to ...
7
votes
3answers
10k views

How much does heat affect beer?

What effects could heat have on beer and how long does it take? Is it ok to ship beer without an icepack during the summer? Can it survive the heat of a parked car for a few hours? Someone out ...
7
votes
4answers
3k views

Dry Hop Filtering and bottling

This is my first attempt at dry hopping. I added hop pellets directly into the secondary fermenter. They have been in for 1 week and many have settled to the bottom, however there is quite a bit ...
7
votes
2answers
970 views

Refractometer - what exactly can it measure?

I am using a refractometer to determine gravities. I am aware of course that values measured need to be corrected depending on OG of the fermenting batch. What I don't know is, what kind of sugars am ...
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 ...
7
votes
5answers
8k views

Are plastic fizzy-drink bottles an acceptable substitute for glass bottles?

I'm thinking of cola, lemonade, etc bottles, usually 2 litres, commonly available in the UK. Are these going to be an acceptable substitute for glass bottles? Would save a few pennies on the cost of ...
7
votes
2answers
3k views

What effect do different types of yeast have when creating a recipe?

What happens when you use different types of yeast? Does it change the flavor? I'm not talking about mixing different types of yeast in the same recipe.
6
votes
3answers
546 views

What is the scientific explanation behind open fermentation leading to increased esters and yeast flavor & aroma?

As a recent experiment, I wanted to try something that was unconventional for most homebrewers, and is widely considered to be clown-crap crazy. I wanted to ferment a beer topless, without a lid. I ...
6
votes
3answers
1k views

Airlock: vodka, water, or

I've just started making my first brew, and am using vodka in the airlock, but am hoping for some more detailed info about what is best practice, or if there is not really any difference between using ...
6
votes
1answer
574 views

Does wort gravity affect hop utilization?

My understanding is that wort gravity does not affect hop utilization. Instead, a larger boil volume will increase hop utilization, while a higher amount of break material will lower hop utilization. ...

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