3
votes
3answers
173 views

Should I test my water?

A buddy and I have brewed a few batches of beer and they tend to have similar flavors when we're done. Could this be attributed to the water? What are some tests you would recommend doing to ensure ...
7
votes
7answers
3k views

How should bulk grain be stored?

I love brewing all-grain but I feel that I could cut down on my costs significantly by purchasing some of my grain in bulk, storing it, and using it as needed. I know a lot of people do this but I'm ...
43
votes
3answers
9k views

What's the point of secondary fermentation?

I've always bottled directly after the primary fermentation has finished. What's the point of the secondary fermentation? Can I use a bucket or is it something that really necessitates a glass carboy? ...
8
votes
1answer
3k views

When brewing a chocolate stout, should the cacao nibs be added in the boil, the secondary, or both?

When using cacao nibs to brew a chocolate stout, should they be added in the boil (if so, when?), in the secondary fermenter, or both? Is there a better ingredient to add to produce the chocolate ...
7
votes
4answers
1k views

should hoppy beers be aged?

Do hoppy beers not need to be aged? About how long does it take a hoppy beer to get to its maturation point? Thanks, Chris
6
votes
2answers
221 views

How do I determine where the off-flavors of my brew are coming from?

Is there a website I can visit that will describe where different off-flavors come from? For instance, if the beer tastes malty, fruity, or bitter, where can I go to determine why?
5
votes
3answers
180 views

Which brewing podcasts do you listen to?

Which are the essential podcasts that should be on my ipod right now?
13
votes
7answers
12k views

Is it OK to starting fermentation while wort is still warm?

I'm just getting started, so in my first couple batches I realized I had a problem cooling the wort all the way down to 60°F/16°C recommended by my instructions. I boil all of my water, but I don't ...
31
votes
6answers
9k views

How likely is contamination in an average batch?

I sanitize everything; carboy, bottles, bottle caps, tubing, funnels, etc; because I was essentially told that my beer would turn to deadly poison without it. I accept sterilizing the lot once ...
10
votes
8answers
7k views

How do I cut my extract brewing cost?

I'm trying to reduce my cost-per-beer, without investing in an all-grain setup. I know I'm pretty limited with what I can tweak (can't get around needing sugar, yeast, and hops), but here in Montana ...
8
votes
5answers
15k views

Why do red wines tend to be stored in green bottles and white wines not?

It seems that all red wines are stored in green or occasionally other dark coloured bottles and white wines in clear or light coloured bottles. Why is this?
3
votes
1answer
203 views

Why should I use a Decoction mash instead of a Single Temperature Infusion mash?

Why should I use a Decoction mash instead of a Single Temperature Infusion mash?
3
votes
2answers
479 views

Good holiday beer recipes? [closed]

I'm getting ready to brew up a holiday batch to bring to parties and give as gifts, etc. Any suggestions on a good one? I'm thinking a cranberry beer might be surprising and delicious...
5
votes
3answers
1k views

How do I do a decoction mash?

I've brewed a number of all grain beers and have been reading a bit about decoction mashing. However the explanations I've read have been a bit complicated. How do I do a decoction mash?
1
vote
0answers
141 views

New Wyeast private stcok yeast strains? [closed]

Has anyone had any experiences with the new Wyeast Private Reserve yeast strains. I just bought a Cask Ale, and wondered if anyone had tried a beer with it yet?
8
votes
2answers
388 views

How do I prevent off-flavors in ciders

There's an abundance of apples this time of year (admittedly getting thinner now), and I would like to try a decent hard cider, but in the past I've had serious troubles with Cloudy results Odd ...
8
votes
2answers
277 views

Sterilisation processes when taking hydrometer readings

When taking hydrometer readings, is it acceptable to return liquid to the fermenting vessel after taking a reading in a vial? Must the vial/measuring cylinder and hydrometer have been sterilised to ...
11
votes
4answers
2k views

Should you rehydrate dry yeast?

I've read conflicting opinions on whether or not to re-hydrate dried yeast. I've had successful fermentation with dried yeast in the past but have not tried re-hydrating. Has anyone had better/worse ...
4
votes
6answers
719 views

What type of beers stand up to temperature variation during fermentation?

I've just moved from a Condo into a house, where I am now paying for heat. In the area that my Domestic Sergeant Major has permitted me to brew in, the temperature varies from 16° to 21° C throughout ...
5
votes
2answers
229 views

I have some “expired” mead yeast, is it still good?

I have some liquid mead yeast that has expired a couple years ago, according to the date on it. It has always been kept in the refrigerator. Could it be revived and used or do I need to buy some new ...
12
votes
5answers
3k views

How do I keep yeast from a strain that I've bought?

I'd like to stop buying yeast all the time, especially when I use the same strain repeatedly. This is especially a problem when it comes to seasonal strains. I'd like to brew with WLP351 Bavarian ...
8
votes
8answers
3k views

Are some types of beers easier to brew than others?

I'm just getting started with home brewing. Are some types of beer easier to brew than others? Would you suggest starting with a certain type for my very first brew?
8
votes
5answers
4k views

How do I improve head retention?

I have noticed that many of my beers have terrible head retention. How can I improve this? I usually brew lighter hoppier ales.
9
votes
5answers
2k views

Best way to mill grains

I've brewed many extracts but want to get into whole grain brewing. What equipment do I need? Any recommendations for beginner / low-cost grain mills?
0
votes
0answers
134 views

Must-have supplies for making one's own beer? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What equipment do I need to buy to start homebrewing? What are the must-have supplies for brewing your own beer? In addition to ingredients, what types of containers, ...
13
votes
5answers
5k views

How do I culture yeast from a commercial beer? Is it legal?

If I like the flavor profile of a yeast in a commercial beer, how would I go about culturing it? I have some very basic lab equipment, but I can buy anything that's reasonably priced. Also, would it ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

Primary fermentation taking a long time

I brewed a California Common recipe that I've used successfully in the past on 10/15. I used Wyeast 2112 and made a starter that got going pretty well so I was feeling good about the brew. It's been ...
48
votes
5answers
4k views

What equipment do I need to buy to start making beer?

What is the minimum equipment to start brewing some good beer at home?
2
votes
1answer
266 views

Kegging at basement temperature

I am a novice at kegging. I don't have room for a kegerator or chest freezer so I simply keg at basement temperature. My basement is currently 69 F and I've had 5 gallons of tripel on pressure for 3 ...
6
votes
2answers
129 views

Old Brown “sour belgian”

I have an Belgian sour that has been in it's secondary for 18 months. With a terminal gravity of 1010 for over the last year, what is the best way to bottle condition this beer? New yeast? Blend?
1
vote
2answers
123 views

Sloe wine: going very slowly

Since I had enough sloes left over after doing this year's sloe gin, I have a demijohn of sloes fermenting - the first home brewing I've tried. About 2kg of sloes, boiled down with 2kg of sugar, and ...
2
votes
1answer
1k views

Wine overflowed through airlock

I've had two demijohns of blackberry wine fermeting for about 3 weeks. One of them was slightly over filled and frothed through the airlock, leaving winey yeasty liquid in the airlock. Rather than ...
1
vote
1answer
3k views

Raising alcohol content (slightly) using malt extract kits

I'm still relatively new to brewing, but have made about 10 batches using malt extract kits + 1 kg of Coopers Brew Enhancer (instead of sugar). So far all of the batches I've made have been around ...
2
votes
1answer
427 views

odd film on my cider

I went to rack my cider into a secondary, pulled off the lid of my primary and saw this whitish film. I racked it and the film stuck to the sides of the primary as the cider level dropped off. ...
2
votes
3answers
3k views

Can Star San kill yeast in the secondary carboy?

I've had a little trouble with carbonation after bottle conditioning lately. A few consecutive batches actually. I have started replacing items such as my bottling bucket, hoses and the like. I'm ...
3
votes
3answers
3k views

Adding chili peppers to beer - when?

I'm making a chili beer tonight. Is there any sort of extraction that needs to happen, or is just adding the chili (I'm gonna puree it) enough? I'm thinking of adding a habanero (or a half of one) ...
3
votes
1answer
472 views

Using math to hit exact spice level

This is a question that will combine your knowledge of food, chemistry, and beer. Spiciness is measured in Scoville Units. Basically: In Scoville's method, an alcohol extract of the capsaicin ...
5
votes
2answers
803 views

Using Burnt Caramel / Brewer's Caramel in Recipes

Has anyone worked with using either burnt caramel or brewer's caramel in their recipes? I have read a few places that Fuller's is known to use this to increase the SRM of some of their product line, ...
6
votes
1answer
168 views

On scaling a recipe's gravity…

If I have a recipe for a beer that I'd like to simply make bigger, what should be taken into account when scaling the recipe? Imagine I have an amber ale recipe that I like. It comes in with an OG ...
3
votes
3answers
1k views

Has anyone used molasses in a beer?

I am interested in throwing some in the secondary as advised in radical Brewing, but would love to here what has worked and failed from other brewers. I was thinking around two quarts. I want subtle ...
1
vote
2answers
165 views

A new beer with a hint of soy

I want to brew a beer, with an approx. alcohol content of 5% that incorporate's a hint of a soy flavor to it. Considering that what process would I need to use. Pilsner? Or another type?
3
votes
3answers
2k views

should i stir this (possibly stuck) batch or not?

First time brewing, made a lot of mistakes and now I'm concerned that my fermentation is stuck. Am I just being paranoid or impatient? Six days ago brewed this stout recipe: 6.6 lbs Briess ...
4
votes
1answer
1k views

Growlers v 12oz Bottles

As an about to brew newbie who foundly remembers his grandfathers home brew bubbling away back in th e late 50's & 60's when iy was actually (still) illegal) in 20g ceramic crock (w/nothing but ...
4
votes
5answers
5k views

What kinds of beers are there that don't use hops?

I'm thinking about the next brew, and want to kick it up a notch. I have heard of beers that don't use hops. I don't know where to start in my research, so I apologize for the broad question, but ...
3
votes
1answer
383 views

[wiki] Photo dictionary of things going wrong

Sometimes things don't go so well. Sometimes relaxing and having a homebrew doesn't quite do the trick. Sometimes it's not just going to fix itself. It would be helpful to have some images to compare ...
4
votes
1answer
520 views

Aging a naturally carbonated ale that was bottled from a keg

Okay, let's see if I can keep this question brief--I have a lot of followup questions that go with this so it may be difficult. Background: Last year I decided to start doing an annual Birthday Brew ...
3
votes
6answers
476 views

Doing my first all grain batch this weekend. What are the key issues for me to follow/watch/do?

Being brewing for years, but will be doing my first all grain batch this weekend. What is the one thing that is key for me to follow/watch/do to insure a good batch? Thanks.
6
votes
3answers
2k views

Too much Irish moss?

Following inspiration from this question, I've set myself up with equipment to brew one gallon batches. The idea is to brew small batches to get a solid recipe down, then scale up to a larger batch. ...
3
votes
1answer
840 views

Is my lager done fermenting? More yeast?

I put my lager in the primary fermenter roughly 30 days ago. The original gravity was around 1.060 and 5 days ago when I took a reading it was at about 1.013. Today it's at 1.012 - so it doesn't ...
5
votes
2answers
774 views

How to add spices after the boil

I'm planning to make a few spiced ales from my batch that's bubbling along right now, and I'm wondering what the benefits and drawbacks are to adding whole spices to the secondary as opposed to making ...

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