4
votes
1answer
418 views

How do I improve head retention?

Just opened a bottle conditioned "Belgian Black"-- delicious and well carbed. However, there is little no head on the pour and the lacing is pretty weak, too. How do I ensure good head retention?
14
votes
4answers
860 views

How do you cool wort?

More specifically, what methods exist to cool your wort after the boil, and what are there respective pros/cons?
6
votes
5answers
2k views

How are 10-gallon batches commonly fermented?

Currently I brew 5-gallon all-grain batches using my propane burner and 7.5-gallon brew pot. I've been considering buying a bigger pot and building a bigger MLT to do 10-gallon batches, but I'm not ...
10
votes
1answer
994 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
4answers
2k 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. ...
3
votes
3answers
933 views

How do you sparge small amounts of grain in a partial mash recipe?

For less than around 2 pounds of milled grain in a nylon bag, do you need an elaborate sparging process? Do you need much of the equipment for an all-grain setup, or can you basically just soak the ...
6
votes
4answers
2k views

IPA recipe left very sweet, little bitterness or aroma

Very new brewer here, and I recently tried a generic IPA recipe doled out by my LHBS, and it ended up very sweet with little bitterness or hop aroma. The recipe is here: ...
6
votes
2answers
337 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
1k views

Boiling with lid on or off?

In this answer it is mentioned that boiling with the lid on or off may make a difference in final gravity. Which do you recommend and why?
3
votes
3answers
5k views

Why is our Original Gravity low?

When brewing from an extract kit we always seem to be low in the Original Gravity department. It's usually not a lot -- something like 1.055 instead of 1.060. What might be causing this to happen? Is ...
5
votes
3answers
434 views

What's your favorite type of beer to brew… and why?

Many people have drastically different taste in beers. I can only imagine that carries over to the types of beer people love to brew. What's your favorite beer to brew yourself, and why?
12
votes
1answer
2k views

Do Oxygen Absorbing Caps Make Any Difference

So, I was looking to refill my supply of bottle caps and ran across "Oxygen Absorbing" bottle caps. The implication is that their absorbency will reduce oxidation in the bottled beer. If you're ...
7
votes
9answers
6k views

Is there an online equivalent of Beer Smith?

Simple question, does anyone know if there is a purely web based equivalent of Beer Smith / Brew Target, etc? Just looking for a decent product that I don't have to install on my desktop.
7
votes
2answers
657 views

How long for a pellicle to drop when brewing lambic?

I made a saison earlier this summer. After primary fermentation was complete I took 3 gallons of it and added Wyeast Roeselare Blend. Two months later I added cherries and pecan chips. It formed a ...
3
votes
1answer
184 views

How much sugar does it take to get “cidery” off flavors.

I've added a bunch of sugar to brews before, upwards of 30% of the grain weight and I'm yet to get any cidery flavors. You always hear sugar causes cider, but all I've ever noticed is a thinner body. ...
13
votes
4answers
2k views

How can I maximize dry hops aroma?

I recently made an IPA. I put an ounce of Cascade pellets in the secondary (for a 23-litre [6-U.S.-gallon] batch), but there is hardly any hops aroma in the finished product. By the end of the two ...
6
votes
2answers
362 views

How much does a full boil affect things?

I've seen a few threads here and there saying that one thing to do as soon as possible is start doing a full boil (5 gallons in the boil instead of ~3 in the boil with ~2 of water added later). For ...
11
votes
4answers
959 views

How would you ship your brew?

I've been thinking about shipping my beer to a fellow homebrewer on the opposite coast. I know the post office doesn't exactly condone this, but if you were to mail a bottle or two, how would you do ...
6
votes
2answers
2k views

How long can yeast be stored?

If I buy a tube of liquid yeast from my local homebrew store and throw it in the fridge, how long before it's no good? How 'bout dry yeast?
7
votes
2answers
1k views

How long does StarSan last?

I keep StarSan in a spray bottle for easier sanitizing during brew day. How long does the StarSan last in that bottle? Is it good forever?
6
votes
8answers
3k views

Which commercial bottles are good for repurposing?

I bottle condition my beer, and in the past, I've always just reused commercial beer bottles (I never understood paying for empty beer bottles when I could buy them full of tasty beer!) Are there are ...
7
votes
1answer
679 views

How can you use an oaken barrel for secondary fermentation?

I may be able to get my hands on a oaken barrel that I'd love to age a Scottish ale in. What can I do to sanitize it adequately and minimize oxygen exposure?
21
votes
13answers
32k views

What can I do with my spent grain after mashing?

After brewing a batch of beer, I always end up with ~14 lbs of spent grain that I usually just toss in a pile in the corner of the yard. Are there better things to do with it (i.e. cooking, baking, ...
9
votes
4answers
1k views

Permanent Bottle Labels

I'm considering making permanent labels for my bottles. I've had a friend create a label design with a blank banner in the center. My idea is to have the design printed on vinyl stickers and then ...
8
votes
3answers
398 views

Hops: Buy vs. Grow

Is it worth it to grow my own hops or should I just buy them somewhere?
6
votes
2answers
3k views

How do I convert between all-grain and extract recipes?

If I have an all-grain recipe, and I want to convert it to an extract or partial-mash recipe, the easiest way is to replace the base malt with malt extract. Conversely, converting an extract recipe to ...
18
votes
2answers
13k views

What's the difference between 2-row and 6-row malt?

I know the difference has to do with how the grains grow on the stock, but I'm not completely sure what that difference is. It also seems like 2-row is more commonly used as a base malt, but I've seen ...
13
votes
9answers
1k views

What are some good online sources for recipes?

What are some good online sources for recipes? Please specify the type of recipes the site has (extract, all-grain, mead, cider, etc.).
4
votes
2answers
91 views

What is a good resource for flavor contributions of different ingredients?

For those of us who are still brewing from kits and recipes and want to branch out and try building our own flavors, what resources are there that describe the various flavors contributed by ...
3
votes
3answers
1k views

Per-bottle priming tablets?

The "Why is our beer not carbonating?" question mentions "sugar tablets". I am aware of a product called "prime tabs", but as far as I can tell that product is not longer being produced. I have used ...
7
votes
4answers
2k views

What equipment do I need to start making mead?

What equipment do I need to start making mead at home?
4
votes
3answers
696 views

What equipment do I need to starting making wine?

What equipment do I need to start making wine at home?
6
votes
3answers
1k views

How can I make sure my bottle cap is sealed tightly?

I have concerns over why our beers are not carbonating properly. One suggestion was to check and make sure the bottles are sealed properly. What might be a good way to do this?
6
votes
4answers
1k views

Does bottle color matter for a given beer style?

With clear, green, and brown bottles abound (e.g., Corona, Heineken, and Yeungling respectively), is there a hard and fast rule for what color of bottle to use for a given beer style? Also, are brown ...
7
votes
3answers
3k views

Hard cider with pasteurized regular cider

I made a great cider last year and would like to do the same this year. Problem is that I'm too lazy to get all the way out to an apple orchard that sells non pasteurized cider. Can I use organic ...
7
votes
4answers
8k views

Why is our beer not carbonating?

We've made a few batches of beer and our recent batches have not ended up as carbonated as previous. I think the beer has been stored in a cooler place but I'm wondering if that is the only reason. ...
6
votes
4answers
706 views

How should bulk DME be stored?

Related to this question, but I'd like to get a 50 lb. bag of pilsner DME from the LHBS to use over the course of 3-6 months. Can it be stored like grain, or are there additional considerations that ...
10
votes
5answers
1k views

What is the minimum amount of equipment to dabble in All-Grain?

What is the minimum amount of equipment I need to have to brew very simple all-grain recipes? Bonus points for cheap & easy-to-find equipment. I'd like to go all-grain eventually, but for the time ...
8
votes
7answers
10k views

Adding Pectin Enzyme To Cider After Fermentation Is Complete?

I've got a cider made from fresh pressed cider that's been in the fermenter about a month. It was augmented with some Crystal 60L and a few other ingredients and is sitting on French oak cubes. While ...
14
votes
4answers
5k views

How can I avoid a lot of foam in the first pint from the keg?

Whenever I go to get a pint from the keg, the first pint is always foamy. I have to fill the glass up about 1/3 of the way and dump it out, just to the pour actual beer. I usually carbonate by ...
10
votes
3answers
1k views

What effects will the type of water have on beer?

For instance, will hard water really change the taste that much?
4
votes
2answers
919 views

What kind of paper should I use for bottle labels?

Do I need to use heavier paper (ie, 30 lb) for labels? Would regular printer paper work just as well?
7
votes
3answers
906 views

Resources for Record Keeping?

I currently keep track of each brew in a little notebook and I have sort of a template I created myself for the brew date, date moved to secondary, bottle date, gravities, ingredients, etc. Are there ...
4
votes
4answers
1k views

Chilli Alcohol Recipe

Is it possible to ferment chilli-peppers and produce a liquor with a alcohol content and also a hotness?
11
votes
7answers
2k 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 ...
9
votes
3answers
8k views

Consequences of infection in a beer?

Everyone learns during their first brewing experience that you have to carefully sanitize anything that touches your wort after the boil to avoid infection. What happens when wort gets infected? How ...
4
votes
2answers
797 views

How can I prime for bottle conditioning without oxidizing the beer?

I'm probably being too paranoid here, but what's the best way to make sure the priming sugar (I tend to use corn sugar boiled in a few cups of water for 5 minutes and then cooled) is thoroughly mixed ...
6
votes
1answer
7k views

How to adjust alcohol content of a beer?

I have read stories about people brewing beer with an extremely high alcohol content, and am curious about how they do it. At a basic level, I know that alcohol is a byproduct of yeast breaking down ...
7
votes
3answers
393 views

Using yeast from a local brewery

My favorite local brew-pub has a standing offer to share their yeast with homebrewers; bring in a jar & they will fill it for you. Aside from the obvious "it's free," why is their yeast ...
3
votes
2answers
473 views

AHS 1% alcohol boost?

Austin Homebrew Supllies offers an option on all it's kits: 1% Alcohol Boost: Add 1% alcohol to your beer without compromising its flavor. Brewvint Alcohol Boost is 55% maltose/45% glucose, a ...

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