7
votes
5answers
930 views

Is a yeast starter required when brewing a lager?

Is using a yeast starter 100% essential when brewing a lager or can you use a few liquid vials?
15
votes
7answers
6k views

[WIKI] Bottle Sanitizing Techniques - Pros & Cons

What are the pros and cons of each bottle sanitizing method? Let's look at time, equipment, quality of sanitation, and other factors. Post one answer for each method. Edit the answers if you have ...
4
votes
2answers
528 views

Propane tank usage in winter time

Today is 14F here in the northern suburbs of MA. In the winter time it can be tough to brew outside if you are a propane cooker brewer such as myself. When the tank is going full bore it tends to ...
7
votes
3answers
519 views

Are there any reverse recipe caluclator / generators online?

I have a bunch of small amounts of leftover specialty grains ranging from 3 ounces to about 8 ounces of various types. I'd like to brew something with them. Are there any good sites out there that ...
8
votes
2answers
1k views

Munich and Vienna Malt

How do these two malts differ? I can find sources at times with slightly different colors and I know there must be flavor differences. I was wondering if anyone could shed light on how the two are ...
7
votes
2answers
882 views

What's the impact of hot-side aeration?

Hot-side aeration (HSA) is the introduction of oxygen to wort during "hot side" operations such as mashing, lautering, boiling and whirlpool. Prior evidence indicated that hot-side aeration harms the ...
7
votes
3answers
2k views

How much chocolate extract should I use?

The Young's Double Chocolate Stout clone recipe I'm about to rack to the secondary in two days calls for 0.33 ounces of chocolate extract. That's less than a tablespoon. The bottle of chocolate ...
8
votes
4answers
2k views

Will force-carbonated beer remain carbonated if poured into a bottle and capped?

If I pour kegged beer into bottles and immediately cap them to take with me for the evening, will it remain well-carbonated?
4
votes
4answers
10k views

Ale Fermentation Temp. Too Cold?

Recently, I've had a streak of hot fermentations. My primary vessel nears 80º, and sometimes more. With my latest batch, I've moved to a much cooler part of the house. I expect it to consistently ...
12
votes
10answers
2k views

Uses for spent grains

What are some uses for spent grains - either a few pounds from a partial mash or the 10+ from an all-grain batch - that don't include just throwing the grains away? If your answer is to include some ...
3
votes
2answers
772 views

Gooey Yellow-White film after fermentation slows when using lactose

I currently have a Young's Double Chocolate Stout clone (extract & specialty grains) in the primary. I got the recipe from one of the responses to this forum question. (You have to be logged in ...
9
votes
2answers
1k views

Steeping Specialty Grains

What is the proper procedure for steeping specialty grains while extract brewing? Temp, time, grain bags or not.
4
votes
2answers
479 views

Preventing a Stuck Sparge

What steps pre-mash can be taken to limit the likelihood of a stuck sparge?
5
votes
3answers
3k views

Remedy for a Stuck sparge

How do you fix a stuck sparge? Are there any tricks too getting a sparge running again when it slows to a trick or even stops completely? (This is not intended to be a "how to prevent" the stuck ...
18
votes
1answer
1k views

Partial vs. Full Voume Wort Boil

The starting postion for most new extract brewers is to use a partial boil set up. Defined as using a pot smaller than the intended batch size, all the ingredients are boiled in a smaller volume. ...
5
votes
3answers
714 views

Dry vs. Liquid Extract

Dry and liquid extract each have their advantages and draw-backs. What are the perceived ups and downs for using one or the other?
2
votes
2answers
434 views

Fermentation Issues???

Fermentation Help I have need some thoughts on what I should do with this batch of beer. I am brewing a clone kit which is called Belgium Wit. The directions were a little off based on the equipment ...
7
votes
4answers
3k views

preparing fruit for secondary

What is the best method for preparing different fruits for fruit additions into secondary fermentors? There are issues of sanitation and good fruit to wort contact, via chopping, slicing, mincing or ...
6
votes
4answers
1k views

Shipping beer cheaply

What are some of the best methods you've used for shipping beer (for trade, competition, gifts, whatever)? What are some packing materials / resources that are inexpensive but reliable? How many beers ...
20
votes
12answers
17k views

[WIKI] Fermentation Temperature Control Methods

What different methods do people use to maintain or control fermentation temps? This includes maintaining temps for both Ales and Lagers. For most climates, active control is necessary for doing ...
4
votes
4answers
783 views

Bottle Sizes Smaller than 12 Ounces?

Has anyone ever seen 8oz bottles anywhere? I was asked if I could bottle a batch of homebrew in smaller bottles so it could be given out as gifts to more people. I can't seem to find anything ...
4
votes
2answers
335 views

Cocoa Nibs for Chocolate Flavorings

What is the best way to use cocoa nibs? Do you crush them, crack them leave them whole? Steep and remove pre-boil, leave in boil, add at flameout? Add them only during secondary? How long?
3
votes
5answers
2k views

Using champagne yeast

I would like to make an IPA that is very bubbly and dry like a champagne. I'm assuming to get it really bubbly I would just bottle with champagne yeast, but to achieve the dryness would I also ferment ...
6
votes
4answers
3k views

Adding Bourbon flavor to a beer

So in my last beer, I added bourbon infused with vanilla bean. I started to wonder if this was "cheating" or frowned upon, as far as getting the bourbon flavor into the beer. Is there a better way to ...
2
votes
4answers
913 views

Salty flavor in beer?

Recently, I've noticed a slight salty taste in a few beers. It's generally toward the end of the glass, and it's generally when I'm dehydrated. It's happened with Long Trail Ale and Stone Arrogant ...
11
votes
6answers
6k views

Dry yeast vs wet yeast

I've always thought it to be common knowledge that wet yeast is better than dry yeast for home-brewing. This was confirmed by Sam Calagione at his Authors at Google talk where he suggested that using ...
3
votes
1answer
286 views

Black Patent and stout

The debate rages on so I thought I'd ask. Do you think black patent (black barley) belongs in Stout? Or is stout better made with just roasted barely and chocolate malts, while BP is best reserved ...
3
votes
3answers
920 views

Whirlpool hop additions

What is the real difference between a whirlpool hop addition and a flameout hop addition? The practice of whirlpooling is more of a pro-equipment setup type of technique, but I have seen and heard ...
7
votes
9answers
2k views

Gosebier- a unique style

Dose anyone have any experience brewing Gosebier? Its a german wheat style of beer that is flavored with some salt (and citrus I believe). I had one at the Golden City Brewery in Denver a couple ...
5
votes
1answer
377 views

First Wort Hopping (or FWH)

What is First Wort Hopping (FWH) and how best can it be replicated in extract brewing?
5
votes
1answer
129 views

How do I clean a sankey pump?

What is the best way to clean a sankey pump it after I use it so it doesn't get moldy inside?
4
votes
4answers
725 views

Beer Refrigeration Suggestions (Long Term)

I currently have 4 fridges at my house. One is for food. One is my kegerator. One is for beer to drink now. One is for beer to drink later. The beer for now is creeping into my food fridge, as the ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

Buying bulk hops online

I'm often tempted to buy my commonly used hop pellets online in bulk and storing them in my freezer. A lot of the cheap bulk hops are from the previous year. Assuming they are vacuum packed and ...
11
votes
3answers
691 views

Brewing with Aluminum Pots

There seems to be controversy whether or not aluminum pots are acceptable for home brewing. What are the pros and cons of brewing with aluminum?
6
votes
3answers
1k views

All-Grain to Extract and Steeping

I'm wondering how this can be converted to an extract recipe. Initially it was thought we could just do 14lbs (US 2 row) * .75 = 10.5lbs of extract, but then the question was asked if the rest of the ...
4
votes
3answers
1k views

Cara Pils Dextrine

Want to use Cara Pils-Dextrine in my next brew to add body and aid in head retention. I have not made the jump to all grain yet, and I am doing a partial mash. Will steeping/mini-mashing Cara Pils ...
6
votes
4answers
518 views

Old grain and hops stored in fridge for 1 year - ok to use?

I have a small amount of hops (1 oz) in a ziplock bag in the fridge, it's been there about a year. I also have about 1/2 lb of unmilled grain in the fridge in a ziplock. Will these ingredients be ok ...
6
votes
6answers
371 views

First batch tragedies?

Brewed my very first batch today. It is a stout and is sitting in my basement as I type. I would call the day a success--a whole lot more work than I thought. Hopefully only two things went wrong: ...
5
votes
3answers
389 views

Stirring the wort…

This is probably an incredibly stupid question, but I thought I would ask anyway. While the wort is cooling down is it recommended to stir it to help the cool down process?
9
votes
2answers
540 views

Smack Pack and Pitching Time

So I completed my first batch of homebrew this morning, but I forgot one potentially (okay, not potentially, definitely) important aspect of the whole process: the yeast. I didn't forget it, per se, ...
3
votes
13answers
2k views

Where do you brew?

This Saturday (1/2/09) will be my very first time brewing and I am considering my options as far as location. I have seen some folks boiling their wort outside on a gas grill and the smiling people ...
3
votes
4answers
2k views

Wort Chiller Cool Down Times?

What tools or tricks is everyone using to cool their wort down after the boil? How long does it take you to get down below 70 degrees? I am using an older copper wort chiller (hooks up to a garden ...
3
votes
4answers
347 views

Sanitising and adding homebrew additives

A few questions pertaining to brewing additives: How would you sanitize orange zest, whole nutmegs, and cinnamon sticks for use in a brew? When would you add the aforementioned items to the ...
9
votes
3answers
676 views

Bottling vs. Kegging

I have been home brewing for along time now, but have never kegged my beer. I hear a lot of people saying how much easier and better it is, but my main concern is the cost and equipment needed. What ...
5
votes
4answers
502 views

Replace o-Rings on Keg?

I have not had my kegging system for long but have had a good amount of use from it already. How often should all the o-Rings or small little black seals be replaced? They seem fine now but I would ...
8
votes
2answers
242 views

Competitions & Kegging

I keg my beer but I would like to enter some of it into competitions. I've bottled directly out of the tap, but carbonation suffers. What would you do in this situation?
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 ...
1
vote
2answers
149 views

Is it HOT enough for ya!

How do you determine the right temp? Should everything be brewed @ the same temp or can different temps offer different drinkable results? My first try at my own recipe was steeped @ 120 degrees ...
4
votes
2answers
2k views

What causes Original Gravity to be lower than it should be?

I am an extract brewer and every brew I have done the OG was lower than the intended OG, (my OG is always lower than the recipe's OG). For example I brewed the stout recipe below from beertools.com ...
5
votes
4answers
1k views

Dry hopping in the keg.

I have been bottling my beer for years now and am just getting in to kegging. I would love to start to dry hop directly in the keg but am worried about sediment in my beer. Is dry hopping in the keg ...

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