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
7answers
5k views

Should I shake bottles during conditioning?

I've got a batch of beer which was bottled last Saturday and a friend insisted I should shake them to assist in the conditioning. He couldn't offer any particular reason, so I was curious if/when it ...
7
votes
2answers
1k 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
4k 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
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
702 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
1answer
393 views

Is this a bottle bomb waiting to happen?

Planning a strong & sweet Belgian style ale, I expected OG to be as high as 1.096. Because of my extremely amateur setup, I used two pots instead of one big one for the boil (between them both I ...
6
votes
3answers
2k 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
676 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. ...
6
votes
2answers
2k views

How can I raise my mash pH with something other than chalk or baking soda?

I recently moved to Rhode Island and my mash efficiency has suffered. The main part of my process that has changed is the water. The pH as measured by colorpHast strips (and two other off brands) ...
6
votes
2answers
375 views

Is oxidation of yeast starters a concern?

We all know oxidation is bad, and cooling hot wort is particularly susceptible to this off-flavor-producing problem. the question is; does oxidation matter for starters? I use a stirplate to aerate ...
6
votes
2answers
2k views

What effect does cooling, then warming have on finished beer?

The common wisdom I have known is that cooling, warming, then cooling beer again would cause it to "skunk." I now know that skunky flavors are typically the result of exposure to light, not ...
6
votes
2answers
465 views

Clarification for a low-flocculating yeast

I'm brewing a batch using WY2565 Kolsch which mentions that is low-flocculating and that it "remain in suspension post fermentation. It requires filtration or additional settling time to produce ...
6
votes
4answers
144 views

Jugs for secondary?

I happened upon a bunch of 4L glass wine jugs today while dumpster-diving for beer bottles. The jugs I found have screw-top lids, and I thought they could be useful as secondary fermenters. If I ...
6
votes
2answers
820 views

Strong Sulfur from WLP 351 - how to clear it up quickly?

Does anyone have any tips for helping a beer clear out sulfur faster? - I made a straight Hefe (half wheat, half 2-Row) and use White Labs seasonal "Bavarian Hefe" yeast, WLP351. The beer was made ...
6
votes
2answers
460 views

What's the shelf life on crushed specialty grains?

What's the shelf life on crushed specialty grains?
6
votes
2answers
3k views

Lager bottle conditioning temperature

After adding priming sugar and bottling a lager, does the temperature need to be raised (if so, for how long) to ensure carbonation?
6
votes
3answers
4k views

Amount of Water to Boil for Wort

If I'm making a 5 gallon batch of beer, how much water should I use for my wort? Papazian's book says to use 1.5g and add it to 3.5g of room temperature water already in the carboy. I see how this ...
6
votes
10answers
1k views

Spigots: What's the consensus

I like to use an ale pail with a spigot for my secondary. It makes it super easy to test the gravity before actually bottling/kegging/etc. However, that sort of installation in plastic can open the ...
6
votes
3answers
768 views

Can I use my Country Living Grain Mill for homebrewing?

I already own a Country Living Grain Mill for making flour and want to start crushing my own grain for my homebrew. Will this style of mill work for homebrew or should I buy a mill specially for ...
6
votes
2answers
317 views

I want to make a Rauchbier. How do I go about smoking my grain?

I've never made a Rauchbier before. I have some pear wood that I've been curing for about 5 months now and would like to use. I've got an all-grain setup, but no smoker; I suppose I'll need to get ...
6
votes
5answers
2k views

Should I always use a starter?

I like using a starter because it seems like it cuts down on the fermentation time, but do I really need to do it for beers that are under 1.070 OG?
5
votes
3answers
304 views

How do I start experimenting?

Ok, I've become comfortable brewing all grains but I want to start experimenting. Where do I start? Should I start experimenting at the primary fermentation stage and brew a bunch of small different ...
5
votes
3answers
861 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
1k views

What is the best way to flavor beer with Oak?

Background: I've purchased some lovely dark roasted oak chips that I plan on soaking in bourbon and using to flavor an Irish Red. Friends of mine who have seasoned their beer on oak chips claim that ...
5
votes
4answers
472 views

Weighing Liquid Malt Extract

In Brewing Classic Styles by Jamil Zainasheff, many of the recipes call for LME. Often, the amount is 0.5 lbs or similar, particularly of things like Munich extract. I typically brew all-grain, but ...
5
votes
3answers
1k views

At what stage of the fermentation process is temperature control most important?

I've been using a fridge w/thermostat to control fermentation temperature for ~6 months now & have recently started dual-purposing the fridge for a keg as well. Since serving & fermentation ...
5
votes
1answer
1k views

Is it ever unsafe to drink an aged beer?

I am new to brewing, my first batch is in secondary now. This is more of a curiosity question. Is there a point when an aged beer becomes a health risk? If so what are the signs of spoilage?
5
votes
2answers
1k views

Starter Chill, Decant, Pitch - Why no problem with Temp Shock?

So an often repeated mantra for starters is to (1) make a starter, (2) let it ferment out completely, (3) chill the starter in the fridge for a day or two, then (4) pour/decant off the oxidized "beer" ...
5
votes
4answers
773 views

Can I top off my batch at bottling time with water?

I noticed my batch in the secondary looks short of 5 gallons, can I top it off with water when I bottle?
5
votes
4answers
2k views

What is this white stuff on the surface of my beer?

I've just gone to rack & bottle a witbier that has been in primary for about 5 weeks and noticed this white gunk floating on top of the beer. It doesn't look too healthy, what is it? Is it safe? ...
5
votes
6answers
1k views

What is the purpose of dry hopping in intervals (multiple additions)?

What would be the purpose in adding dry hops, then removing them prior to adding a second, even third addition, rather than simply putting all the dry hops in at the same time? If the answer has to ...
5
votes
1answer
2k views

What is the white film on my beer in my bottles?

I brewed a double batch of IPA with a buddy about 8 weeks ago. We split this into two 5 gallon pails and 2 weeks later into two carboys. His was fine, but mine developed a bit of white stuff on ...
5
votes
1answer
888 views

What is skunking?

Doing a bit of reading about the effect light can have during fermentation & came across the term 'skunking'. What is skunking? What happens to the beer and how do you know if you've skunked a ...
5
votes
1answer
265 views

What causes wort darkening in the kettle?

What reaction is happening in the wort to cause darkening? Maltose for example doesn't caramelize until 365F. Maillard reactions are another source of non-enzymatic browning, but they require low ...
5
votes
2answers
3k views

What happens if a beer gets oxidized?

Everywhere I read it is very cautious about oxidizing your beer. What is the worst case if your beer gets oxidized? It tastes funny?
5
votes
2answers
313 views

What are the steps in recapping overcarbonated beer?

What are the steps involved in recapping a bottle of beer for any reason (e.g. if too much priming sugar is added, if a cap appears to be defective or failing, etc)?
5
votes
4answers
369 views

How can I achieve smokey flavours?

I'm only just getting started with homebrewing however I have a longer term goal of going all-grain and brewing a porter with a distinctly smokey flavour to it. Something similar to the flavours ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

When to add fresh ginger?

I am considering brewing an Amber ale with a bit of ginger in it, but I don't know whether I should treat it more like a spice and steep/boil it, or more like fruit, and rack onto the ginger for a ...
5
votes
5answers
8k views

What kind of infection is this and is the beer ruined?

Picture of Infection This is my first all-grain batch and unfortunately it has developed some kind of growth. It didn't smell like death, actually smelled pretty good, and the samples I have been ...
5
votes
3answers
2k views

Why would I want a conical fermenter?

I've seen conical fermenters in catalogs and on the web, but I've never heard why they are better than fermenting in a glass carboy. Why would I want to use a conical instead of a carboy?
5
votes
3answers
2k views

Immersion chiller or counter-flow chiller?

Based on your actual experience with each, what are the pros and cons of the two most common types of wort chillers - immersion and counter-flow? Which do you prefer?
5
votes
2answers
455 views

Keeping a barrel

Our club acquired a 65 gallon American oak wine barrel that we want to age beer in. With the holidays upon us it will be a few more weeks before we can organize a club brew and the barrel is standing ...
4
votes
3answers
1k views

What is Chill Haze and How Do I get rid of Chill Haze?

What is Chill Haze?How Do I get rid of Chill Haze?
4
votes
3answers
131 views

Does the species of Juniper matter to Sahti?

I want to make some Sahti however the recipes always say to use juniper branches. I cruised to the local garden center and noticed there are about a zillion and one different species/varieties of ...
4
votes
3answers
926 views

Going Below Optimum Yeast Temperatures (For Ale in Particular)

So I understand that going above the optimum yeast temperature specified is a bad thing and will cause major off flavors. But what happens when you go underneath it? For example, I am currently ...
4
votes
3answers
509 views

vanilla beans in a porter

Just brewed up a porter and going to be transfering into secondary tonight, I also want to put vanilla beans into the secondary. The question I have is how to make sure that the beans are sanitized ...
4
votes
1answer
603 views

How much does gravity typically drop after high krausen

I have two fermenters going with about a cup of slurry of S-04. Pitched Sunday morning at 61 degrees ambient, they were showing activity within 5 hours, vigorous activity within 12 hours. Went to ...
4
votes
1answer
729 views

Malt extract fermentability

Does anyone know of resources that specify the fermentability of malt extracts like muntons and coopers? Has anyone done a forced fermentation on these extracts who has results they are willing to ...
4
votes
1answer
288 views

Accidental steam beer, temp control and diacetyl

I brewed a 16-gallon batch of my Lawnmower Lager, popped it into my Brewhemoth and inoculated it with 3 packets of Saflager S-23. My chilling solution isn't working as well as I'd hoped, and it's ...

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