2
votes
1answer
501 views

can pH strips go bad? / 5.2 stabilizer

So I just recently started paying attention to mash pH. Took a reading of a cali common I brewed about 10 days ago during the mash, and based on the strips reading (after adding the stabilizer), I ...
2
votes
2answers
696 views

a few questions about using carbonation stones

Just got a carbonation stone because I want to carbonate a keg quickly and have a few questions. Do you need any special tubing to attach the stone to the gas-in dip tube? The stone I have has a ...
5
votes
2answers
149 views

Recirculating mash through screen

Is it possible to continously recirculate a mash through a Bazooka-style screen, or is that just asking for a stuck mash due to the relatively small surface area?
3
votes
3answers
1k views

What is the purpose of stepping up a starter

Very simply, what is the difference in pitching 100 billion cells into a 1L starter and into a 2, 3, 4L starter of, say 1.040 OG? I understand the logic with a 5.5 gallon batch of beer: you want ...
4
votes
5answers
458 views

Can I steep grains ahead of time?

In an effort to spread brew day out across a few weeknights, I was wondering if there is any harm in steeping grains ahead of time? I don't plan on leaving the "tea" for more than a day or two, ...
3
votes
1answer
384 views

Using Pyrex Graham condenser as counterflow chiller?

So for the few months that my wife & I have been brewing, we've been using the sink/icebath method of cooling our wort. This is mostly because of our erratic brewing schedule. Every cost, no ...
2
votes
3answers
4k views

Do I need to adjust for temperature with a refractometer?

Sorry for the simplicity of the question, but I asked Google and she didn't know. Stackexchange is my next stop. I took a brix reading of my steam beer wort at 13 brix (~1.052 SG), but it was ...
2
votes
2answers
354 views

Is there any danger in fermenting outside?

Not having any cooling mechanism for my fermenter(s), this time of year I can get more favorable temperatures outside than inside. I'm specifically talking about ciders in glass containers, but I'm ...
3
votes
2answers
238 views

Water Volume on Palmer's Spreadsheet

Anyone have any experience with Palmer's Spreadsheet? The way it was described to me and the way I read and understand it now states that for the water volume in Step 4 you just put the amount of ...
5
votes
2answers
5k views

Guides or tutorials for propane automated RIMS / HERMS

I'm considering trying to piece together a propane HERMS system, inspired by the awesome-looking Blichmann Tower of Power. I know there are several well-known electric HERMS guides (e.g. The Electric ...
15
votes
1answer
476 views

Always making a starter vs. following package description

I have noticed that the smackpacks say on the package that the package is meant for a 5 gal. batch and that you should pour the pack directly into the wort. On the otherhand - nearly everyone tells ...
2
votes
2answers
5k views

Why did fermentation take so long to start?

I boiled and pitched a low-gravity (~1.033) Scottish Ale this past Sunday. The wort was cooled via immersion to under 75° F and then aerated via a whisk-on-drill contraption before pitching the ...
3
votes
2answers
288 views

Can lowering temperature too rapidly result in stuck fermentation?

I have fermented my last few batches with a swamp cooler - putting my bucket into an igloo cube cooler filled with water and ice. They've all been ales. I usually start in the high 60s/lows 70s ...
1
vote
1answer
127 views

Coffee Beans for Homebrewing [closed]

I'm planning to brew a Coffee Oatmeal Stout in a couple of weeks and was curious about what kind of coffee beans most people use in their homebrews. I was thinking about roasting some beans myself ...
1
vote
2answers
417 views

When is the most critical time to control fermentation temperature?

I know there is a similar question out there, but I am trying to ask for my own particular set u. If memory serves, I believe that is is in the first 48-72 hours of pitching yeast. This is when ...
7
votes
4answers
694 views

Is there any trick to draining the water out of an immersion chiller?

I have a 50' copper coil immersion chiller. To drain it before storing, I hang it upside-down next to the bath tub over night, but I've noticed that this doesn't get all the water out. This causes a ...
6
votes
2answers
724 views

Can Olive Oil REPLACE oxygenating wort

Apparently, New Belgium is doing this. Also, for a typical five gallon homebrew batch, it is said that if you DIPPED A PIN in olive oil, shook it off, it would still contain hundreds of times the ...
1
vote
1answer
427 views

Troubleshooting new keggerator equipment - sanke tap, gas manifold, etc

I've been using a converted chest freezer for nearly a year now for storing and dispensing from corny kegs and for lagering. Depending on whether I have kegs of homebrew, I may have a sanke keg of ...
1
vote
1answer
517 views

Are cheap poratable USB microscopes good enough to count yeast, and check vitality?

I have read that a 400x magnification is right for counting yeast on a hemocytometer, and also using dye to check vitality. I'm looking at using a cheap portable $50 USB microscope. They are rated ...
3
votes
2answers
113 views

Ways to better utilize hops with a coffeepress?

I am thinking about trying to utilize the hops I use better by combining late addition and early addition via a coffeepress. The basic idea is to make a hops-tea in the coffeepress, let it sit for ...
3
votes
2answers
2k views

Bringing mash pH down without changing mineral profile too far

I checked the pH in my mash at the end of my mash yesterday and it was 6.6 (using a calibrated electronic meter). I'm trying to work out how to get that down into a more normal range without adding ...
4
votes
2answers
261 views

Good Brewing Chemistry Books [closed]

I feel like I should learn more about the chemistry involved in brewing. Can anybody recommend some good books for learning about brewing chemistry and how it relates to brew outcomes? I'd prefer ...
3
votes
1answer
2k views

Peristaltic Pump Recomendations

I'm thinking of purchasing a Peristaltic Pump for home brewing. The fact that they are self priming, that you can adjust the speed easily, and reverse the flow makes them seem really appealing to me. ...
1
vote
1answer
711 views

What causes fermentation to slow down under normal conditions?

I've got a honey wheat ale in the fermentor, 8 days on it. Wyeast 1010, 1.5L starter. OG 1.054. Temp controlled chest freezer at 65F. Fermentation appeared to start well, the blowoff hose was ...
1
vote
1answer
84 views

Mead: Is it harmful to use a malt-based starter?

What are the effects of using a malt-based starter for a batch of mead? I have seen recipes for making starters using honey, but here's the thing: Honey is expensive. Malt extract is cheap(er). I ...
6
votes
3answers
711 views

What difference does the crush make for steeped grains?

I'm wondering if I need to be mindful of how well my grains are crushed if I'm just using them for steeping. Do I need to get my LHBS to crush my grains or use the rolling pin / bag method? Or can I ...
5
votes
3answers
2k views

Ice the wort for fast cooling

I have seen mostly two suggestions to cool wort. Ice bath and the coil method. My friend and I were thinking about just using ice. Ie pull the ice from the fridge that uses the same water source as ...
5
votes
3answers
5k views

How to make the best beer with arduino?

I would like to use the arduino to monitor and create the best beer. I've look up some info and the best way to look for quality is to measure the beer density. I could not find any digital Hydrometer ...
1
vote
1answer
530 views

How quickly can you pull beer through a jockey box with a 70' coil?

I'm looking at building a jockey box with a 70', 5/16" (21.3m, 8mm) stainless steel coil (installed in a drum-style cooler.) Seems to be a good compromise between size, weight and cost. How quickly ...
4
votes
2answers
206 views

Yeast Washing - danger in long seperation times?

I attempted my first yeast washing last night after bottling. I added 1 quart of boiled-then-cooled water to my carboy, swished the yeast cake into suspension, then filled 2 quart jars, each about ...
0
votes
3answers
1k views

harmful mold growing in fermentation freezer?

I have a freezer that I use for temp control. However, it's been unplugged all summer and its growing mold. Is this going to be harmful to my respiratory system for me to open and clean it? What ...
5
votes
2answers
538 views

Yeast, CO2 Toxicity with mead and beer

Degassing CO2 during early fermentation is important for wine and mead. But why not for beer? I'm getting back into mead making and see plenty of references to degassing the must during early ...
2
votes
2answers
632 views

Top Cropping Cell Counts

TLDR: I have no idea how much top-cropped yeast to pitch into a ~1.055 OG Octoberfest (5.5 gallons) I am planning on making an Octoberfest (late I know) on August 18th. Instead of making a boring ...
3
votes
1answer
630 views

Doppelbock fermentation and lagering question!

Iv'e got a Doppelbock 1.090 brewed 7/19. Pitched the Whit Labs "X" at 60 deg. Placed the carboy in the fridge (first time trying a lager fermentation). Two days later the beer was at 44-46(thats the ...
3
votes
2answers
236 views

Got first 2 kegs and need advice

I just bought two 15.5 gallon kegs yesterday from a local brewery that is closing its doors. They asked for $15 each so there was no way I could pass them up. They are in great condition. I would ...
4
votes
4answers
568 views

What solution of hard alcohol is sufficient to sanitize and infuse something for addition to a fermenting beer?

Context: I'm brewing into small, split batches lately to test the effects of various additives. I've got some true cinnamon bark and cacao nibs which I am planning on crushing up, letting steep in ...
0
votes
1answer
80 views

Yeast in Black Dog Ale

Just ordered a 5 gallon Black Dog Ale kit from Midwest brewing supplies and I have some Saflager W-34/70 in my fridge. Would this be a good yeast to use or would I be better off with the Wyeast ...
0
votes
2answers
2k views

How to connect my immersion chiller to the faucet

I'm trying to figure out how to connect some hose pipe to my kitchen faucet to pump water through an immersion chiller. The faucet has a male-threaded tip which screws out, so I believe there should ...
1
vote
1answer
1k views

When should I add apricot puree to a Belgian beer?

I'm brewing a Belgian dubbel tomorrow and have a 3-lb can of pureed apricot. I don't know if I should add it into my primary after a few days of initial fermentation, or if I should wait a couple of ...
1
vote
1answer
130 views

Freezer-pack-based cooling

I haven't done any brewing this summer because when I brewed some mead last summer, my apartment was very warm during the days, and I think this higher brewing temperature was related to some ...
5
votes
4answers
734 views

Advice for converting to outdoor propane brewing

Right now I'm a stove top partial mash brewer. I have a 4 gallon pot that I use as my HLT, a 5 gallon igloo cooler as my mash tun and a 7.5 gallon Polarware kettle. We are moving out of our apartment ...
4
votes
2answers
843 views

Saison stuck at 1.030

I would like to get some ideas on my next course of action for a "stuck brew". I am brewing a Saison (first one). My fermentation room is up around 82F so a Saison seemed like the perfect fit. The ...
3
votes
1answer
660 views

Using a low alcohol tolerance yeast in potentially high alcohol must

i have posted this question on other forums but haven't really gotten a good answer. If I am attempting to create a sweet mead and want to avoid backsweetening (lots of additional tweaking) or ...
2
votes
1answer
1k views

Carbonated in carboy from primary fermentation?

I recently brewed a batch and let it set in the carboy for 2 weeks. When it was transfered to the bottling bucket we noticed that it was a little carbonated already, which seemed odd. We ignored it ...
3
votes
1answer
53 views

How do I incorporate canned plums into sake

I have a recipe for making sake, that came with my koji-kin, but I can't find any mention of adding flavoring. I want to be able to add canned plums to my sake. recipe ingredients 4 liters water ...
2
votes
2answers
2k views

Is a dual-body CO2 regulator worth the additional cost?

I have a five cubic foot chest freezer converted into a kegerator. Since I set this up, I've had a standard regulator and one corny or sixth barrel sanke keg in there at a time. I'm planning to slowly ...
3
votes
2answers
297 views

Can wort layering significantly affect OG reading?

A few days ago I brewed a 5-gallon recipe with the following fermentables: 8 oz Crystal 20 8 oz Crystal 40 One 3.3 lb can Briess Munich LME 2.5 lb Light LME Beer Calculus predicts an OG of 1.046. ...
5
votes
4answers
692 views

Wheat Ale “stuck” at 1.025?

I am trying to brew a stronger wheat ale, and after 9 days in primary, I seem to be stuck at 1.025. My OG was 1.070 and I pitched a smack pack of Wyeast Bavarian Wheat at about 70F. I had a very ...
5
votes
3answers
2k views

Why is the pressure slowly decreasing when force carbonating a corny keg?

I just set up a new kegerator with a corny and 5 lb CO2 tank. I turned the tank on and at first I had a leak I could hear/feel, but I tightened everything and sprayed with starsan and don't see any ...
3
votes
1answer
911 views

How much yeast nutrient does starter wort need?

I am going to make a batch of wort to be stored in 1 quart jars to make starters from. I'd like to add the yeast nutrient (diammonium phosphate and yeast hulls) at this time so I don't have to mix it ...

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