6
votes
2answers
1k views

Is it possible to make a lager without secondary fermentation?

I've already made some batches of all-grain ales, and now I want to try my first lager, the only problem is that I have 2 fermentation buckets but only 1 fits on my refrigerator. So my question is: is ...
4
votes
1answer
4k views

Barrel Aging- How Many Times Can I Use One?

Last month I bottled my 09 Chardonnay. I had a small (15 gallon) french oak barrel on the side that I aged some of my topping wine in, blended into the final blend. It was used for Brandy once, then ...
3
votes
2answers
557 views

Countering excessive maltodextrin

I used too much maltodextrin in a chocolate stout, and it feels almost like drinking syrup. Is there any good way to mitigate the thickness it imparts without watering down the flavor of the beer ...
6
votes
2answers
485 views

Brett: Primary or Secondary

What are the differences between fermenting a beer solely with Brettanomyces (or some blend of sour yeast) versus adding it to the secondary after primary fermentation with a non-sour yeast?
2
votes
3answers
3k views

Secondary Fermentation In Bottling Bucket

I have a Hefeweizen (Wild Flower Wheat pg 135) in the fermenter that is ready to be racked to the secondary. The recipe calls for 5 days in the secondary, however the only secondary fermenters I have ...
1
vote
2answers
545 views

Ported carboy vs. siphoning?

I'm considering purchasing a couple of these plastic ported carboys. From reading the description, it seems that I'd be able to rack directly into secondary and/or bottles without the need for ...
5
votes
2answers
232 views

Detecting differences in the type of whiskey used to soak oak

I'm about to add oak chips to my scotch ale. I was thinking about what sort of scotch to soak the chips in before hand. And then I thought, how much does it really matter? At what point can one tell ...
7
votes
5answers
4k views

How long do sanitized bottles keep?

If you sanitize a bunch of bottles and store them upside down on a tree or in a box (still upside down); how long can you store them like that before you feel the need to resanitize them? Is there a ...
5
votes
3answers
1k views

Cleaning out beer lines

How often do you need to clean out your beer lines when using a home draft system? What type of cleaner do you use? Can I leave sanitizer in the tubing when a line isn't in use?
2
votes
2answers
617 views

Checking for CO2 leaks

If you have an at home draft system, how do you check for leaks in the CO2 side of the set up? How often do you need to check for leaks?
1
vote
1answer
785 views

Using force carbing, how long does 5 lbs CO2 last you?

just joined because I'm currently force-carbing a keg downstairs, and i've already gone through about half of a 5 Lb tank. Is this normal? Thanks in advance.
4
votes
1answer
289 views

What flavors can I expect with a late/whirlpool addition of Columbus hops?

Columbus is such a high-alpha variety that I find I can only use very little of it for bittering. I have a pound of these things and I would eventually like to get through them. Has anyone used ...
2
votes
1answer
422 views

Initial fermentation temperature for saisons?

It's summer, and that means that my basement is too warm for English and American ales, but I did make a really fine French farmhouse ale (saison) at fermentation temperatures of about 75F. I've ...
4
votes
2answers
2k views

What are the effects of a watery mash?

What are the effects of having too much water in your mash? If it's too "soupy" or watery or whatnot.
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?
4
votes
2answers
1k views

How important is temperature when adding pectic enzyme?

I added pectic enzyme when the must of my rhubarb wine was too warm after I misread the directions in the book where I found the recipe. I didn't notice until after the next day when I had already ...
2
votes
2answers
125 views

Cleaning up the sweat & flux

What is a effective way to clean the inside of copper fittings after sweating them together? [Edit: eye candy] See here for eye-candy.
5
votes
5answers
10k views

Under-carbonated bottled beer

I just opened up a couple bottles of a brown ale I just brewed, and there is much less carbonation then I had hoped. The beer was in the primary for a week, secondary for 3 weeks, then primed and ...
5
votes
1answer
115 views

Preparing Yeast

I've been reading the How To Brew book, and it (amongst other sites) recommends rehydrating yeast before pitching it. http://www.howtobrew.com/section1/chapter6-5.html Some sites suggest adding a ...
5
votes
2answers
218 views

Drying freshly picked hops

My buddy works at a community garden, and they have a fence full of Cascade ready for the picking. He estimates a few pounds of hops are on the fence. What has to happen between him picking them off ...
4
votes
3answers
845 views

Misjudging Volumes in All-Grain

So I brewed my second all-grain batch today, and, like with my first all-grain batch, I misjudged the final volume and ended up with slightly under 4 gallons in my carboy. Does anyone have any good ...
4
votes
1answer
316 views

Fermenator Question(s)

After 20 years of fermenting in glass carboys, I recently dove in and bought a Blichmann Fermenator. I Scrubbed it according to the docs that came with it, and then gave it my usual BTF soak and air ...
5
votes
1answer
280 views

Priming and bottling for a first timer

It's been about ten days since I started fermenting my beer, and it didn't create bubbles in the air lock until day two or three. The air lock is still bubbling, should I begin priming and bottling? ...
3
votes
8answers
3k views

How do I print professional-looking labels?

I'm brewing some beer for a wedding present. Going to bottle half the batch and serve the other half at a party. I have a full-color PDF with a label design, and would like the nicest-looking labels ...
3
votes
1answer
513 views

Pin lock vs Ball lock

When it comes to corny keg disconnects, what are the pros and cons of pin lock vs ball lock posts? Seems like there are more spare parts available for the ball lock kind.
4
votes
5answers
721 views

Cloning commercial beer

Where do you turn for good sources of info when researching a commercial beer you want to brew yourself? Magazines, web or the brewers themselves.
6
votes
5answers
925 views

How do you characterize “Breakfast Beer”?

What makes a good breakfast beer? Thinking of brewing something for an upcoming eggs and kegs event. Any clones of Founders Kentucky Breakfast Stout out there?
4
votes
2answers
1k views

Recipes for Banana Mead

I was inspired to make a banana mead after reading Gravity's Rainbow. I have made mead before, and looked online for recipes, but all of them contain grape juice. Is the grape juice there for some ...
1
vote
3answers
3k views

When to remove trub/yeast cake from a conical fermenter

So if/when I eventually switch to using a conical fermenter, I assume I wouldn't want to dump the entire trub/yeast cake at the bottom during fermentation. Do you typically wait until your "primary ...
3
votes
1answer
417 views

What is a swamp cooler?

What type of equipment do you need to build one? How do you use it? What are the realistic expectations of using one?
13
votes
7answers
6k views

Are beer kits any good?

I started my first homebrew a few days ago. I used a John Bull India Pale Ale beer kit made by Young's (West Midlands, UK). The airlock is bubbling away merrily and I've taken the lid off the ...
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?
3
votes
2answers
2k views

Does aging the beer make a huge difference?

I made a Blonde Ale about 3 months ago, and it had a really bitter and strange taste to it. It was drinkable and ok, but not great. I thought the problem was that there was sanitizer flavor in my ...
3
votes
2answers
203 views

Pairing for Garlic butter shrimp and tortellini

I was wondering if anyone had some advice on a beer to drink with a super-savory shrimp and tortellini dish? Dish details: The shrimp are cooked in garlic butter, then the pan juices are rendered ...
8
votes
7answers
715 views

How do you sanitize the outside of your racking cane?

I'd love to hear the creative ways which folks have come up with to sanitize the outside of their racking cane. Sanitizing the inside is straightforward - siphon some sanitizing solution through the ...
5
votes
4answers
649 views

First Time Brewing…am I doing it right?

So I went to my local brewing store, and got a starter kit. It came with a 7 gallon fermenter, a siphon tube, a floating thermometer, bottle caper, bottle caps, bottle scrubber, and sanitizer. By the ...
1
vote
3answers
478 views

Shipping beer to fellow brewers

A few college friends of mine have started brewing beer recently and we were wondering what the best way to ship our beers across the country is? Our ideas so far are: Just bottle it, wrap it, and ...
3
votes
5answers
1k views

Boiling Equipment (Burner, Pot, Wort Chiller)

So I am looking into upgrading the gear I use to do a boil. Currently I have a 5 gallon stainless steal pot, I use an electric range to heat the water, and my kitchen sink to cool down the wort. It ...
5
votes
4answers
814 views

Calculating sugar in fresh fruit

Recently I made a belgian strong ale. In the secondary I added 7 pounds of fresh cherries that were pitted, frozen, thawed, and blended up. Is there a good way to at least estimate the additional ...
7
votes
2answers
2k views

Malt flavor profiles

Does anyone know a good comprehensive resource to compare different base and specialty grains and their resulting flavor profiles?
4
votes
3answers
116 views

Brewing Inspiration

Where does your brewing inspiration come from for your next batch? This past weekend I was at the American Craft Beer Fest in Boston to close out Boston Beer Week. I like attending fests looking for ...
4
votes
2answers
174 views

Rauchbier smoke source

What is the difference between using a nice smoked malt vs. maybe using some liquid smoke for making Rauchbier? Can you detect the difference in complexity? Is smoked fruit woods (apple, cherry) ...
1
vote
2answers
3k views

How do I take hop plants with me when I move?

So I planted my hops three years ago and they've done well. I'm planning to move next year (within the same hardiness zone) and I want to take my hops with me. I'm sure whomever buys my house won't ...
3
votes
4answers
1k views

Specialty Beer Store

I am considering opening a specialty beer store. My city doesn't have one, the grocery stores are getting better about carrying craft beers, but I wouldn't call the selection extensive. So I thought ...
3
votes
2answers
796 views

What gap should I set my mill's rollers to?

I just received a Barley Crusher mill - is the default roller setting sufficient for most grain types, or do I need to worry about adjusting it? Do you guys change roller spacing based on what grain ...
5
votes
2answers
223 views

Ever brew Kombucha?

I know, this one is out of left field, but the concept of fermented tea is pretty interesting, and the process (obligatory Wikipedia link) doesn't seem too foreign to homebrewers (of beer). I'm not ...
2
votes
2answers
757 views

Which fermentation temperature should I favor?

I am doing a dual brew this weekend. First up will be my Engine 97 Steam Beer (aka California Common - see recipe here: http://www.lootcorp.com/recipes/engine-97-steam-beer.html - credit for original ...
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?
11
votes
5answers
17k views

How long can I leave beer in the secondary fermenter?

My first home brew beer is ready to be bottled but I've been busy and haven't gotten around to it yet. The beer was in a primary fermenter for 2 weeks, then I racked it into a secondary fermenter ...
11
votes
9answers
10k 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 ...

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