8
votes
4answers
4k 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
1k views

airlock ran dry, should I be concerned?

I'm very new to this all, and just bought a noob-starter-kit. I'm using a can for my first brew (to learn the basics) So I just started the brew (Coopers Real Ale) a few days ago. I'm keeping the ...
1
vote
2answers
1k views

Am I bottling too quick?

Leaving aside the risk the fermentation is not completed and possible bottle bombing. I have made some amber or brown ales, about 1.040 1.050 OG. After a week I bottle it and start drinking after 7-...
2
votes
1answer
481 views

Missed my target gravity and volume by a mile

So, I know there were lots of things I could have done to repair the situation had I been prepared (lesson learned, I'll be having DME on hand from here on out), but I'm a little more interested in ...
3
votes
2answers
934 views

Best way to clean an airlock

I recently did two ale brews in two separate fermenters and in both cases my airlocks got sediment in them, which then dried in. I can't find a way to clean out these airlocks, as I can't get around ...
3
votes
1answer
305 views

No chill cubes storage

How long can I store the wort in the no chill cube? Does it need to be used as soon as its cooled down or relatively quickly?
3
votes
1answer
189 views

No chill cubes - which material?

What material do the cubes need to be made of? is there a worry about the plastic of the cubes leeching into the hot wort after X number of uses?
3
votes
2answers
877 views

No chill brewing

What are the benefits of no chill brewing? Are there downsides to the method? I am Specifically thinking of the no chill cubes.
3
votes
1answer
5k views

How can I fix low starting gravity?

I made my third all-grain batch last weekend. I have had issues getting decent efficiency so I added a couple extra pounds of ESB malted barley (11lbs, instead of 9, and about 3lbs of specialty grain)....
2
votes
1answer
466 views

Bottle drying after sanitisation?

When sanitising and using a bottle tree, should I wait for bottles to dry completely or can I use them just rinsed? The Youngs sanitiser I'm using says items should be used within 1 hour of being ...
1
vote
1answer
2k views

How long does bottle priming take? (Ginger Beer)

I've test bottled one 500ml bottle of Ginger Beer with one Coopers priming drop. How long does priming take? If I opened it in a day would it have some pressure/fizz/gas or does it need a week or so? ...
1
vote
2answers
211 views

Priming sugar/drop mixing worry, in a test bottling

I'm preparing to bottle a 30 pint batch of Ginger Beer. It started at 1.041 and has finished at a steady 1.008 after 2 weeks or so. I siphoned one bottle's worth earlier into a 500ml flip-top, and ...
1
vote
2answers
141 views

How foolish is it to try to make up for my tripel's shortish secondary by bottle conditioning it longer?

I'm attempting to brew a wide variety of beers (both 2.5 & 5 gallon batches depending on style) in a shortish time span in order to serve at a family reunion in the summer, and now it looks like I ...
1
vote
1answer
117 views

How likely to get off flavors from American Ale transferring to secondary?

I transferred my American Ale from primary to secondary after 10/11 days. I guess fermentation is pretty much complete. I might be going away for 3 weeks and so I didnt want the beer sitting in the ...
9
votes
4answers
11k views

How to make malt vinegar

How should I proceed to make a good malt vinegar. In particular I would like some recipe to know what grains (or extract) I need to use, to have a really good vinegar, not just something that is sour, ...
3
votes
2answers
373 views

Use pop-corn as an adjunct

I love pop-corn (who doesn't I guess), so I think it might be used in beer during mash. Has anyone used them? How did it work? How should I do it? Should I expect something interesting from it?
7
votes
3answers
216 views

Why shouldn't we just use scales?

New on homebrew.SE, great forum here. Just a quick question - why shouldn't we just use weight scales to determine the OG and FG? My Hydrometer has broken and I can't be stuffed really buying a new ...
6
votes
2answers
827 views

Pros and cons of a conical fermentor

What are the pros and cons of a conical fermentor compared to buckets or carboys?
3
votes
2answers
114 views

make a new sanitary connection in stainless conical

I'm dropping my 5 year old plastic buckets and moving fermentation over to a stainless conical. One thing I'll miss is being able to visually monitor the brew as it progresses. How can I mount a web ...
6
votes
1answer
425 views

What equipment is needed for a faucet? What's a shank?

I've bought a kegging system which came with a "Camping Style" faucet, essentially just some tubing with a ball lock disconnect on one end and a tiny plastic faucet on the other end. I'm looking for ...
5
votes
1answer
327 views

Should I extend boil times if temperature drops?

I use an electric burner when I home brew. It doesn't have a ton of excess power but it can get a nice rolling boil going. Occasionally, when I add malt extract to my kettle the temperature drops ...
5
votes
2answers
645 views

Necessary to clean bottle tree?

So I recently purchased a bottle tree (not sure how I went so long without one) for drying/storing my sanitized bottles. Is it is overkill to sanitize the bottle tree in sanitizing solution as well? ...
1
vote
1answer
92 views

Brewing timer in Brewing software

There is a lot of software to manage and recipes, do conversions etc. (for example BeerSmith, BeerTools, etc.). Is there any software that also integrates a timer (that alerts you mash steps, boiling ...
5
votes
1answer
7k views

Should I leave the CO2 Cylinder connected after force carbonation?

I connected my CO2 Cylinder to my Keg and have it currently force-carbonating. However, it will only be needed next week friday. Should I leave the CO2 Cylinder connected for 8 days at 20psi, or ...
8
votes
4answers
3k views

About going BIAB

I'm thinking about making the switch to BIAB, primarily as a result of a growing family and increased time constraints. I have a few questions before I make the jump. How long is a typical BIAB brew ...
2
votes
1answer
150 views

Sickly sweet ginger beer, Acesulfame K?

I've been brewing a kit Ginger Beer the last 10 days and it's about finished I think. Starting SG was 1.041 and it's settled at 1.008. 100g of grated boiled Ginger were added, and 1kg of Muntons Beer ...
14
votes
4answers
8k views

Methods for cleaning and drying tubing

Brewing 5 gallon batches at home. During the transfer from my primary fermenter to the secondary, and when filling bottles from my bottling bucket I constantly need to use plastic tubing to transfer ...
2
votes
2answers
1k views

Recovering from low mash efficiency - under-shot pre-boil gravity

For whatever reason, Beersmith decided to have me lauter my all-grain recipe with an exorbitant amount of water. I don't have the exact recipe in front of me at the moment (can provide details later ...
2
votes
3answers
813 views

Mash-produced unfermentable sugars do add sweetness and aroma?

I read in some sources that mash conditions can influence the production of dextrins, that are not fermentable, have no taste (is that correct?) and add body to the beer. But somewhere else I read ...
2
votes
2answers
850 views

Yeast pitching and wort cooling

I'm making an American Brown Ale and added liquid yeast to the wort that may have been too hot. The yeast was in the fridge and out to cool for 45 minutes. My guess is: Wort temp: 26-27C or about 80F ...
1
vote
2answers
433 views

sanitation during mash and sparge

I've been brewing extract batches for a couple of months, and have never lost a batch to poor sanitation. I lost my first all grain batch of beer, and I think that I am sanitizing my brew kettle and ...
2
votes
2answers
2k views

First batch with Muntons Pilsner kit, will it take longer than instructed?

I'm quite new to homebrewing (in fact, I only finished batch #2 last week) but looking to test out a few new types of drink. I'm planning on starting a batch of Pilsner in a few weeks, for this I ...
2
votes
2answers
100 views

Are there Cooling “Spirals” or similar devices?

Not sure if that's on-topic, but I'm converting an old barrel into a tap system. Essentially a Keezer, except that I don't like something that still looks like an appliance - a barrel is just more ...
2
votes
2answers
668 views

How important is the 'Best Before' date on Brewing Sugar?

I have a 1kg bag of Youngs Brewing and Winemaking Sugar. It was bought early last year, and the pack has a Best Before date of 08/08/12. I was hoping to use it for bottle priming next week. Does ...
6
votes
3answers
2k views

Can I change the color to my beer to an arbitrary color?

It's a bit gimmicky, but I wonder if it's possible to make a purple beer? Food Coloring only works for "hard" food, but I've never looked into coloring beverages and I don't want to affect the taste ...
4
votes
1answer
359 views

Hydrometer correction equation

Can you identify the constants in your hydrometer correction equation? I know that 2.6X10-6 is the coefficient of thermal expansion for the hydrometer glass; what are the others (not related to ...
2
votes
1answer
582 views

How do I know if my Kombucha Scoby is growing something funky?

The dominant color of my scoby is, for lack of a better color vocabulary, light plum. But there are some whiteish bits which concern me a bit. I would say it smells fairly fresh (and sour) and ...
3
votes
3answers
149 views

What is the 'cake'?

I've been looking into ways to restart unfinished fermentation and some sources talk about using a Cake, or yeast cake from previous brews. They also talk about pitching on the cake. I've searched to ...
1
vote
3answers
438 views

Temperature control equipment and Fresh Wort Kits

My first brewing attempt (from a can) has just finished bottle fermenting and it turned out pretty bad (mostly just tasted very weak). I'm not concerned though, I know what mistakes I made along the ...
3
votes
3answers
2k views

How long can I leave my Ginger Beer (kit) in the primary?

Another fact finding question: How long can I - theoretically - leave my Ginger Beer brew in the primary (a 5 gallon glass carboy) before bottling? The instructions suggest 8 days, hovever it's ...
1
vote
3answers
1k views

Fuggles hops for bittering

I am using Fuggles for bitter and for flavour/aroma. While I am content with flavour/aroma I find that bitterness is a bit harsh. Is it just my opinion, or Fuggle is not very suitable for bitterness? ...
3
votes
1answer
2k views

Side-effects of 'lower than recommended' fermentation temperatures?

I have a Ginger Beer kit on the go. It's sitting in the kitchen and ambient temps are ranging from 15 to 20ºC (59-68ºF). The beer was started 3.5 days ago and I was away for the weekend, I can see ...
3
votes
1answer
119 views

Forgot bottle capper - priming interrupted

I was all ready to bottle up my IPA last night (and yes, since this is StackExchange, I named the brew "IPAddress"). Everything got sanitized, bottles were de-labeled, the whole nine yards. I boil the ...
3
votes
2answers
1k views

Peracetic acid as a sanitizer?

My friend got Paracetic Acid from his LHM store (they only had that and alcohol 70 there). Is it a non-rinse sanitizer? How good is it? Wikipedia says it corrodes metals, so no go for the crown caps?...
1
vote
1answer
193 views

first time using pet bottles and have 8 flat

Is there a special way of sealing PET bottles? This is the first time I have used these bottles so I just screwed the cap on by hand until I thought it was tight. I have had 8 flat bottles so far and ...
1
vote
1answer
655 views

Low gravity reading after one week

My first home brew batch has been in the primary fermentation for one week and the gravity reading has dropped from 1055 to 1008. Is it going down too quickly? 4 kg pale ale malt 0,5 kg crystal malt ...
3
votes
2answers
1k views

Ensuring an accurate gravity reading

So I've brewed between 6-10 batches of beer at home using partial boil methods but have never managed to get accurate gravity readings. The issue I have is that my readings somehow always seem to be ...
1
vote
1answer
2k views

Is this lactobacillus?

My last batch had a thin whitish 'membrane' on top of it and some white spots, visible on the picture bellow. I think I saw something similar on a blog a while ago, attributed to a lactobacilus ...
1
vote
2answers
419 views

My brew is taking far longer than the leaflet suggests

I'm brewing two Coopers kits at the moment - a Pilsner and an India Pale Ale. Both have a generic leaflet which suggests I should leave 6 days at 21 degrees for fermentation (which seems quite short) ...
3
votes
1answer
87 views

How can beer styles be classified?

Reading (or tasting) it is easy to find dozens of different styles, going a litte more in details than lager/ale distinction, what is a simple categorization of beer styles?

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