10
votes
4answers
798 views

Process for transfereing from boil kettle to fermenter

At the moment the most frustrating part of my brewday is getting the cold wort into the fermenter. Here is my process. I have a 20 litre saucepan that i use as a kettle that does not have a tap. At ...
10
votes
7answers
2k views

Concerns/Considerations for making mead with raw honey?

I may be able to source enough raw honey to make a batch of mead from it. Are there any special concerns that I need to be aware of? If I don't boil it, should I use camden tablets to control any wild ...
10
votes
3answers
555 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 ...
10
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
3answers
912 views

What material should I make my brew paddle with?

I've been using the cheap plastic spoon that you'll typically find at your local homebrew store. It's pretty terrible when it comes to agitating my mash tun. Heat + Resistance = Bent plastic spoon. ...
10
votes
8answers
4k views

How do I cut my extract brewing cost?

I'm trying to reduce my cost-per-beer, without investing in an all-grain setup. I know I'm pretty limited with what I can tweak (can't get around needing sugar, yeast, and hops), but here in Montana ...
10
votes
3answers
890 views

Confused by malts!

great site. I am a total newbie at brewing (used a Mr. Beer kit a few times with success), and recently got a 2 tier homebrewing system for Christmas. I got a prepackaged "American Amber Ale" kit as ...
10
votes
4answers
1k views

Avoiding excessive soot on brew kettles

Are there any secret tricks to avoiding an exorbitant amount of soot on the brew kettle after the boil? We have been making all grain batches recently using a 20 gallon stock pot and a propane ...
10
votes
3answers
318 views

What to expect when making mead?

I've been brewing ales for almost two years (extract plus specialty grains), and I want to try my hands at making a mead. What should I expect to be different in the brewing process? Will there be a ...
10
votes
2answers
10k views

What is the conversion rate between dry malt extract (DME) and liquid malt extract (LME)?

Say I have a recipe that calls for 5 lbs of LME. How much DME would that be?
10
votes
2answers
406 views

Two tens to One twenty

I am thinking of brewing a 20 gallon batch in two parts on two different days back to back. Has anyone tried this before? I am dealing with a maximum volume of 15 gallons in my brew pot but, my ...
10
votes
3answers
5k views

What is Fermcap-S and what does it do?

Lately I've been doing some very large boils -- 7 gallons in a 7.5 gallon kettle. To prevent boilovers, I've been using Fermcap-s. It's great, and I've had no boilover problems, but I have no idea how ...
10
votes
4answers
278 views

Will a carboy's narrow opening hinder or prevent successful wild fermentation?

I'm considering trying to brew a simple lambic, which requires some open-air time for wild fermentation and souring of the wort prior to pitching yeast. I'm wondering if I could use a carboy as the ...
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 ...
10
votes
2answers
1k views

Is it safe to open the lid of a fermentation container to stir the yeast and sugar?

Last night I put a batch of wine going (very simple setup - a plastic bucket with a sealed lid and a cork in the top for a plastic airlock). This morning, I can tell the sugar has settled to the ...
10
votes
5answers
2k views

How do new yeast strains happen?

Rogue and Papazian have their own yeast strains (PacMan and Cry Havoc, respectively). Do you know how they got there? Lots of trial and error? Pitching multiple strains? Let's say I pitch a bunch of ...
10
votes
2answers
3k views

Corny keg that won't hold pressure.

I have a corny keg that won't hold pressure unless it's kept at constant pressure at around 10 - 15 psi which apparently is enough to compress the seal against the opening of the keg enough to stop ...
10
votes
2answers
3k views

All my all-grain batches produce a bitter/astringent, dark, almost burnt off flavor that ruins every batch, from light pilsner to dark belgians

I'm scratching my head trying to figure this one out. Here's the story: I started brewing extracts, and they all came out great. I wanted to get into all-grain so a last year I ordered myself the ...
10
votes
6answers
6k views

Why is a carboy used for secondary fermentation?

It seems like you could a second bucket for the secondary fermentation. Is there any drawback to not using a carboy for this purpose?
10
votes
3answers
2k views

Can I add some water before I bottle?

I'm in the final stages of my very first beer, which is a Belgian wit. Everything has gone great so far, and I will be bottling in just a few days. I have a pretty high alcohol content (around 8.2%, ...
10
votes
2answers
765 views

Storage of hops pellets

I was wondering if anyone had suggestions on how to store one's hops pellets after having opened the sealed package (... in case one is not using the whole lot at once of course). Also, if you have ...
10
votes
4answers
1k views

Should you rehydrate dry yeast?

I've read conflicting opinions on whether or not to re-hydrate dried yeast. I've had successful fermentation with dried yeast in the past but have not tried re-hydrating. Has anyone had better/worse ...
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 ...
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
2answers
3k views

Using a keg for secondary fermentation and natural carbonation?

I would like to transfer a beer that has been fermenting for about 3 weeks directly into a Cornelius keg for secondary fermentation AND carbonation. I would like to add priming sugar and naturally ...
10
votes
1answer
876 views

What does Irish Moss do?

I've heard that it helps clear the beer, but how does it do that, and how is it used? Further, are there any tradeoffs associated with using it?
10
votes
3answers
868 views

What effects will the type of water have on beer?

For instance, will hard water really change the taste that much?
10
votes
4answers
127 views

What's A Good Book on the History of Brewing?

I've been brewing for a while now, and would really like a comprehensive book on the history of brewing. Something that covers the development of different styles of beer, and delves into the science ...
10
votes
2answers
144 views

Should the late addition portion of a recipe be altered based on immersion, counterflow, whirlpooling techiques?

When it comes to late addition hops (or other late aeromatics), it seems to me that there might be significant differences in aroma extraction / utilization as the brewer executes different chilling ...
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?
10
votes
3answers
327 views

Is aeration necessary if you overpitch?

We all know that aeration is necessary for yeast growth. Does it facilitate more than that? If you massively overpitch, on a previous yeast-cake for example, do you need the same amount of dissolved ...
10
votes
1answer
812 views

Home brew, acetylaldehydes and hangovers

Both me and my gf noticed that my home brews (even just 1 or 2 a night) cause a fairly noticeable headache in the morning compared to commercial brews. God forbid you get drunk on it, the next ...
9
votes
8answers
380 views

Which pieces of brewing equipment seem like a good idea to buy, but are of limited usefulness?

My brewing buddy asked me this the other night. I've accumulated a lot of stuff over just an 18 month brew career. Not all of it useful. I know it's subjective, but I'd be very interested to hear ...
9
votes
6answers
7k views

Should I worry about blow-off?

I brewed a batch of IPA yesterday and when I checked on it today it had started to blow-off. There is so much pressure in the primary that it has spilled up through the airlock and is constantly ...
9
votes
8answers
16k views

How would I make Alcoholic Rootbeer?

I picked up some rootbeer extract at my local brewshop, and I've made a few batches in old soda bottles... but is it possible brew it with an alcohol content similar to that of beer?
9
votes
3answers
684 views

Holding a glass carboy by its neck

Is it safe to carry a filled glass carboy by its neck, using one of these carboy handles? The weight of the glass + beer, combined with the brittleness of glass, makes me nervous (compared to a PET ...
9
votes
4answers
2k views

Using StarSan in Airlock

Just getting started on home brewing and I used boiled water in my airlock. I've seen that some places recommend using sanitizer as the airlock "fill". Is it ok to use straight up StarSan in there or ...
9
votes
6answers
3k views

Why is my IPA not hoppy enough?

I am about to start my second attempt at making an IPA. My first did not turn out anything like an IPA. It was much darker than I expected (I may have burnt it a little) and did not really have the ...
9
votes
6answers
4k views

Reusing twist-off bottles

I've heard it said that twist-off bottles should be avoided when reusing bottles for homebrewing. I've also heard a few people saying they've used plenty of them with no ill effects. Given that (at ...
9
votes
4answers
2k views

How can I make homemade ginger ale?

Looking to make something really tasty, and also non-alcoholic. Is this possible to achieve at home?
9
votes
8answers
8k views

What is the best brewing log sheet to use?

I'm looking for a log sheet to use to start tracking all the beer and wine I brew to (hopefully) improve the results over time. What's your favorite and what could be improved in it?
9
votes
5answers
762 views

Shorter Brew Day

For all grain brewers, what part of the brew session lends itself best to shortening the total brew session. Time is tight for me these days and shortening up the brew session a bit will certainly ...
9
votes
9answers
8k views

Using a Induction cooktop

I have been brewing in my kitchen using a giant stockpot. My brother (my brewing partner) was thinking about picking up propane top and moving it outside. I think that it would be better to use an ...
9
votes
7answers
4k views

What are the advantages and disadvantages of Buckets vs Carboys?

Currently I use glass carboys because the glass seems easier to keep sanitary and you can fill them with your spare change if you ever stop brewing. I'm wondering if having a bucket would be an ...
9
votes
5answers
2k views

No bubbles in the airlock - should I still bottle the brew?

I'm attempting my first brew using a kit with all the provided ingredients (it's a lager). My brew is still in the big tub and has been there for about 2 weeks now. Initial SG was 1.040 and it's now ...
9
votes
4answers
3k views

What causes a stout's creamy head?

Stouts, especially beers like Guiness (its cousin Kilkenny as well), have a head that's really creamy. Being a stout lover myself, I always envied this head, but I have no idea how one can achieve it. ...
9
votes
5answers
3k views

How to get the carbonation right in bottled beer

I am really struggling to get the carbonation of my beers right. They either seem to turn out too flat or too carbonated. I take care in calculating the correct amount of bottling sugar for the beer ...
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
3answers
2k views

High-gravity beer stored too cold to carbonate during bottle conditioning. How can I carbonate this beer?

I made a strong scotch ale. Bottled it up, 2 weeks later no carbonation. Is there a way to save this batch? OG 1.095, Used Safale US-05, 2 weeks in primary, 6 weeks in secondary, FG 1.030, I ...
9
votes
6answers
923 views

Does suspended yeast contribute to high SG?

I've got a SMaSH beer (Baird Maris Otter and EKG) finishing in primary. It's been fermenting for just over a week. Starting Gravity was 1.046. I mashed at 154F for 60 minutes. Fermented with WY1335 ...

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