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
9k 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 ...
10
votes
6answers
1k 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 ...
10
votes
6answers
2k views

Small Space & Apartment Brewing: Equipment Storage

Given the limited space of an apartment, what tips do you have for storing your equipment? Do not consider budget to be a factor. This is the first question in a series of discussions about ...
10
votes
3answers
904 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
5answers
5k views

Is beer bad for dogs?

My dog, Lilly Von Shtupp, loves to drink beer. I only give her an ounce or so once in a blue moon, but I stopped recently because I heard that dogs are sensitive/allergic to hops. Can anyone either ...
10
votes
4answers
907 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
3k 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
347 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
3answers
612 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
3answers
1k 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
5k 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
2answers
12k 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
410 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
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
4answers
281 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
4k 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
8k 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
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
1answer
22k 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 ...
10
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, ...
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
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
812 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
2k 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
8k 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
917 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
968 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
130 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
148 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
729 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
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
337 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
936 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 ...
10
votes
0answers
122 views

Using spent grains to smoke meat

I've read a couple of questions here regarding uses for spent grain, but I'm curious if anyone has ever used it in a meat smoker.
9
votes
8answers
400 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
8k 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
18k 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
833 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
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
5answers
858 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
7answers
5k 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 ...

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