5
votes
1answer
290 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
527 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
737 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
953 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
4answers
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
422 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
7k 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
214 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
777 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
683 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
499 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
910 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
126 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
178 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
827 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
234 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
765 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
4answers
9k 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
18k 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
11k 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
4k views

What's the difference between a corny keg and a pony keg?

I'm looking at getting a kegerator since bottling kinda sucks. I'm on Amazon and they have a fridge that can take:"1/2 barrels / Full Size Kegs (15.5gal), 1/4 barrels / Ponies (7.75gal)". I've only ...
3
votes
2answers
338 views

Recirculating wort chiller

I am building an recirc arm for my chilling set up. Should my recirc have a gentle bend in it to 90degrees or would it be OK to just use a 90degree elbow of a piece of straight pipe under the wort ...
4
votes
3answers
1k views

Can extract brewing achieve professional results?

I was recently on vacation and I toured a brewpub in the Chicago area. I was surprised to find out that they are extract brewers. Is this common practice for small brewpubs? Would this place a ...
8
votes
2answers
945 views

Keeping a bottle of no-rinse sanitiser

Some sanitisers, like star-san, chemipro oxi and betadine are no-rinse in certain dilutions. Star-san can additionaly be kept diluted in a bottle for months and used whenever one wishes. Can the same ...
3
votes
4answers
5k views

Low Cost Conical Fermenter

I was looking around for some low-cost alternatives to conical fermenters, and I came across inductor tanks. Has anyone used or heard of someone using these tanks? Is there any danger/downside to ...
3
votes
2answers
505 views

Open Fermentation Process

Can open fermentation be done simply by putting the fermenting beer in a bucket carboy and covering it with foil? The purpose of the foil would be to just keep airborne contaminants from falling into ...
6
votes
1answer
4k views

What's the ideal size for a mash tun?

This question has been bothering me for a while and I looked it up using google. The only related search result was this thread http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f11/how-big-your-mash-tun-needs-123585/ ...
7
votes
2answers
965 views

Best beer styles for warm fermentation environment?

What beer styles tend to work well with a warm (at least 70F, possibly up to 90) fermentation environment? In other words, what styles will be best to mask or work with the off-flavors produced?
6
votes
5answers
545 views

Club Meeting Ideas

I'm a relatively new brewer (couple of years) and I'm on the executive of our local brew club. I was wondering if anyone had some great ideas for club meeting topics. If you have already done a ...
6
votes
3answers
281 views

What is a session beer?

What is the accepted OG and ABV of a session beer? What other qualities does a session beer possess?
2
votes
4answers
231 views

What's a good session beer to serve cold?

I made an ordinary bitter a while back and it really brought to light why it's served at cellar temperature. At 55F, it was a bit malty, with nice hops. At 45F, it was like seltzer. Very drinkable, ...
14
votes
3answers
1k views

My keg is empty. Now what?

So I kicked my first Corny keg and need to get the keg and the system cleaned and ready for another batch, which might not be ready for some time. What's my process here?
2
votes
1answer
343 views

Is normal PVC tubing okay for a racking tube?

I'm having a few issues finding food-grade plastic tubing to use a racking tube. Is normal clear PVC tubing that you'd get at a hardware store okay for this? (Once it's been sterilized etc of course) ...
2
votes
1answer
460 views

What are the symptoms of poor aeration?

I made a beer over a month ago. Rather than taking 3-5 days to ferment, it took over 20. After fermentation finished, I took a gravity reading and it fell from 1.040(ish) to 1.010(ish)... Primed, ...
3
votes
1answer
277 views

Hop schedule for Single hop ale brewing

I am planning on brewing up a handful of quasi-pale ales using only a single hop varietal per batch. The goal is to get a feel for the bittering, flavor and aroma of some varieties I want to ...
1
vote
1answer
569 views

Brewing a braggot.

How much honey do you need to put into a beer recipe before you can really call it a braggot? I am sure the taste is largely subjective. I want to brew a beer with 1/3 Honey, 1/3 2-row, 1/3 wheat. I ...
3
votes
2answers
2k views

Boiling water and plastic equipment

I've been boiling my water prior to brewing (extract), and pouring this whilst still hot into my plastic barrel figuring the boiling water will make sure anything that survived the sanitisation is ...
4
votes
1answer
829 views

Maturation - what does it mean?

Homebrew recipes often give information along the lines of "6-8 weeks maturation". What exactly does maturation mean here in terms of conditions? Is it the same as a secondary? Can the beer "mature" ...
1
vote
2answers
739 views

pH for oatmeal stout and how to get it

I am planning an oatmeal stout and read that the mash pH is really important for stouts in general. Which pH should I go for in my oatmeal stout and how can I get to it?
6
votes
1answer
426 views

Bottling kegged beer

My dilemma is this. I received a rare beer in a 1/2 barrel keg. I've been nursing on this beer from my kegerator now for 5 weeks (even had a party) and I've still got 5 gallons left. It sits at 9% so ...
3
votes
1answer
843 views

Sanitizing Second Hand Equipment (plastic fermenters etc)

Would you ever use second hand brewing equipment? What's the best way of making sure it's absolutely clean? Ordinarily, for something like this, I'd just buy new (so you know where it's been), or ...
5
votes
6answers
1k views

Tips for my first English IPA

I'm planning to make my first English IPA on this Sunday and I wanna know from more experienced homebrewers if my recipe is ok: For a 20L batch Ingredients: Amount Item ...

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