20
votes
7answers
37k views

If/When to move to secondary fermentation

Digression from What's the point of secondary fermentation? What are the good rules of thumb for determining a. whether to use secondary fermentation at all and b. when to move from primary to ...
39
votes
3answers
7k 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? ...
5
votes
5answers
347 views

Small Space & Apartment Brewing: Cellaring

Given the limited space of an apartment, where do you store your homebrew before drinking? Do not consider budget to be a factor. This is the eighth question in a series of discussions about ...
5
votes
1answer
167 views

Small Space & Apartment Brewing: Packaging

Given the limited space of an apartment, how do you bottle & keg? Do not consider budget to be a factor. This is the seventh question in a series of discussions about small-space brewing. ...
10
votes
6answers
2k views

Small Space & Apartment Brewing: Equipment Storage

Given the limited space of an apartment, what tips do you have for storing your equipment? Do not consider budget to be a factor. This is the first question in a series of discussions about ...
8
votes
9answers
1k views

Small Space & Apartment Brewing: Fermentation

Given the limited space of an apartment, what do you do to maintain a steady fermentation? Do not consider budget to be a factor. This is the sixth question in a series of discussions about ...
8
votes
5answers
296 views

Small Space & Apartment Brewing: The Chill

Given the limited space of an apartment, how can you achieve a good chill? Do not consider budget to be a factor. This is the fifth question in a series of discussions about small-space brewing. ...
8
votes
4answers
404 views

Small Space & Apartment Brewing: Boiling

Given the limited space of an apartment, what tips do you have for the boil? Do not consider budget to be a factor. This is the fourth question in a series of discussions about small-space brewing. ...
7
votes
3answers
336 views

Small Space & Apartment Brewing: Mashing

Given the limited space of an apartment, how do you mash in cramped quarters? Do not consider budget to be a factor. This is the second question in a series of discussions about small-space brewing. ...
4
votes
1answer
185 views

Small Space & Apartment Brewing: Steeping

Given the limited space of an apartment, what tips do you have for steeping specialty grain? Do not consider budget to be a factor. This is the third question in a series of discussions about ...
11
votes
3answers
2k views

What are the advantages and disadvantages of transferring to a secondary vs. a long primary?

The conventional wisdom in homebrewing has been challenged in recent years. This wisdom held that a beer should be transferred from the primary fermentation vessel to a secondary one after 7-10 days. ...
14
votes
4answers
5k views

How to Properly Oxygenate Wort

How much oxygen do I need to put into my wort? I've heard that homebrewers need to aerate with an oxygen stone and either aquarium pumps or oxygen. Is this true, or is shaking my carboy enough to ...
14
votes
6answers
11k views

What is the secondary fermentation debate?

This question mentions a debate about secondary fermentation. Sort of like the existence of dark matter, everything I have read about homebrewing points to there being some disagreement about ...
14
votes
1answer
384 views

Always making a starter vs. following package description

I have noticed that the smackpacks say on the package that the package is meant for a 5 gal. batch and that you should pour the pack directly into the wort. On the otherhand - nearly everyone tells ...
14
votes
4answers
3k views

How to store beer

When you buy beer that you plan to keep for a while (a while being more than a month or so), what's the best way to store it? Specifically, what are the rules for storing it cold or warm, on it's ...
6
votes
2answers
3k views

Beer not carbonating

The IPA I made has been sitting in bottles for 2 weeks around 73-75F and is not carbonating. One thing I did prior to bottling was I cold crashed the secondary for about 1 day to get some floating ...
5
votes
5answers
748 views

Would placing the fermenter tank in a tub of water be a good way to handle hot environments?

Summers where I live typically have 80F nights and it can easily pick up to 95 degrees during the day. I have a plastic trash can (which I bought for this purpose) that I have filled up with water. ...
45
votes
4answers
3k 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?
28
votes
26answers
15k views

What software do most brewers use?

Just curious what most brewers are using these days as far as software goes. We are going to have to make a decision in the near future about this. BeerSmith? ProMash? BeerTools? Any others I ...
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 ...
21
votes
12answers
38k views

Too long in Primary Fermentation?

What's the maximum amount of time for primary fermentation, assuming the beer is going straight to bottles next? Will it over ferment and then fail to carbonate, if left too long in a carboy?
17
votes
8answers
432 views

Brewing with a deadline

Occasionally I need to brew beer for an event, and I procrastinate. One time, I brewed a pretty hefty IPA, and went from boil to bottle (keg, actually) in about 10 days. It was pretty malty, ...
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
4answers
1k views

Networked/Connected Thermometer for Measuring Water in Swamp Cooler

I was hoping to put together an information system that could measure the temperature of the water in a bucket where I place my fermenting-bucket and notify my smart phone when I need to replace the ...
17
votes
2answers
11k 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 ...
16
votes
4answers
11k views

What is the difference between Clean, Sanitized and Sterilized?

What is the difference between Clean, Sanitized and Sterilized?
14
votes
4answers
2k views

Using trub directly vs. yeast rinsing.

Sometimes referred to as "yeast washing," the process of yeast rinsing separates the yeast from the hops and break material in the trub. Most brewers who reuse yeast — and store it for long ...
12
votes
3answers
2k views

Should I ferment a new batch directly on the yeast cake generated by the previous batch?

I'm going to re-use the yeast cake from a low-gravity batch to ferment a high-gravity batch. Can I just put the wort directly on it? Does it then need to be agitated? Is it worth the risk of ...
9
votes
8answers
9k views

What is the best brewing log sheet to use?

I'm looking for a log sheet to use to start tracking all the beer and wine I brew to (hopefully) improve the results over time. What's your favorite and what could be improved in it?
17
votes
6answers
12k views

How to add fruit to beer

What is the best way to add fruit to a beer? I'm afraid boiling it will break down the fruit too much (a muslin bag could fix this I guess), but I'm not sure how to add it to the fermenter without ...
15
votes
2answers
14k views

What is cold crashing?

What is cold crashing? When is it done? How long does it take? Best temperature to make it happen?
9
votes
2answers
1k views

Cleaning difficult krausen ring off Better Bottle

My latest brew has left a ring from the krausen just past the neck of my Better Bottle. I am on my third soak with a little bleach and warm water. Usually this does the trick, but I'm almost thinking ...
8
votes
5answers
2k views

Long cooling before pitching

Summer brewing means warmer tap water, which means that my immersion chiller can only cool the wort to about 75 degrees. I typically cool the wort to 68 degrees before pitching. I have a ...
7
votes
1answer
1k views

Skunking beer process

How fast does beer skunk, in the bottle or out? I have heard people claim their IPA gets skunky in the glass as they drink it on the sunny patio. I have also left a sixer of beer on a shelf on my ...
5
votes
1answer
4k views

First batch. Tons of bubbling first day and half, little to none now

I can update this later with my specific notes/ingredients, but for now, just the basics...5 gallon brew of an irish stout. The morning after I put it in the fermenting bucket, I woke up to a mess. ...
4
votes
2answers
3k views

How to calculate alcohol without OG reading?

I tested 'brewing' a cider for the first time a few weeks ago. Since this process was so extremely different from what I am used to with brewing beers I completely forgot to take an OG reading. To be ...
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 ...
2
votes
2answers
477 views

How much light is too much light?

I generally like to let my fermented beer sit in the primary fermenter for a couple of hours in the kitchen (where I bottle) to give any sediment a chance to settle to the bottom of the carboy. I ...
31
votes
24answers
13k views

What are the easiest and hardest commercial beer bottles to re-use for homebrew? [closed]

One of the great perks of homebrewing is the ability to reuse, rather than just recycle the bottles that come into your house. You just soak off the labels and re-use! All bottles are not created ...
13
votes
9answers
940 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.).
15
votes
4answers
2k views

Reusing yeast at home

Reusing yeast at home is something I'm incredibly interested in, but haven't found the time to learn enough about it just yet. What are the basic steps for harvesting, cultivating, or whatever other ...
18
votes
7answers
1k views

About going all-grain

I have made 7 or 8 extract brews over the past year and am interested in moving up to all-grain. What equipment is needed, and what steps are added to the process.
9
votes
2answers
3k views

Can we estimate the temperature rise in the primary due to fermentation?

OK, this is sort of cheating but I really liked this question so I thought I'd ask the question again in a slightly different way and try and answer it. I was wondering if we can actually estimate ...
9
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 ...
19
votes
4answers
16k views

How do you sparge?

One of the biggest hurdles I came across when switching to all-grain was learning how to sparge. I honestly still don't think I do it 100% correctly. There are very detailed descriptions online, but ...
14
votes
6answers
8k views

What are some alternatives to hops?

I have a friend that is allergic to hops and can not drink our beer (or just about any others for that matter). What alternatives do I have if I want to make a beer for him? What could I substitute ...
11
votes
5answers
2k 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 ...
22
votes
7answers
2k views

Temperature Control for Fermentation

I am curious how everyone controls the temperature of their primary, especially those that live in the warmer climates. In Florida, where the temperatures can soar and remain in the 90's and above ...
5
votes
7answers
11k views

Why is my starting gravity low?

In the fall of 2011 I made the leap from extract/partial kits to all-grain kits. I'm enjoying AG, but my SG is continuously below the expected. I have brewed 5 AG kits and 4 have had a low SG. My ...
15
votes
6answers
9k views

What's the difference between primary & secondary fermentation?

Over here PJ asked "How do you differentiate primary to secondary if you keep it in the same bucket?"

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