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33

Temp Control for fermentation Hitting the happy-yeast zone prevents high-temperature off-flavors like phenolics and low-temperature under attenuation. There is a separate community wiki post on this subject.


20

Patience For me, this mostly applies to fermentation. Allow it to complete then wait a few more days. After packaging chill undisturbed for at least two weeks so suspended particles fall to the bottom. Like a good soup or pasta sauce, give the flavors a chance to mingle and mellow.


14

Yeast Managment Yeast produce different flavors during the phases in their lifecycle. Pitching the right quantity of healthy yeast is in the top two most important things you can do to control fermentation Ester production occurs most strongly during the growth phase, when you first pitch. Yeast uses oxygen to bud (grow). Insufficient aeration leads to ...


13

Using a Wort Chiller This has a few advantages: Better cold break Less chance for unwanted organisms to get a foothold Minimizes the time wort is in the DMS-precursor-producing temperature range Better retention of Hop aromatics and flavor


11

Reading How to Brew By John Palmer. It's available to read online for free, or you can buy a hard copy. How to Brew is an amazing book for beginners to read and experts to reference. No brewer should go without reading it.


10

Full Wort Boils Boiling your full volume of wort — as opposed to boiling a concentrated portion of your wort and then adding water to the fermenter to reach your full volume — will significantly increase your hop utilization rates. Your hops simply cannot perform to their full potential in the high sugar concentration of a partial boil. Your ...


9

Reading Designing Great Beers By Ray Daniels. It's packed full of principles and practicalities. Buy it on Amazon


9

Write down everything you do. Don't kid yourself into thinking "I don't have to write this down, I'll remember", because you won't remember. The better you are about this, the easier it will be to do things repeatably. What temperature did you mash at? (not what temperature did the recipe say to mash at). What was the {pre,post} boil gravity, What was ...


7

Repitition, Repitition, Repitition The biggest leap in quality and consistency for myself was setting up an area where the brewing process becomes routine. This has many benifits, the biggest of which is an increase on success rate for a clean, uninfected home brew. Think of it as almost a production line. I'm lucky enough to have a room i can dedicate ...


6

Blend them all together as they go into the kegs. 1/3 of each carboy for 3 kegs.


5

THe best log sheet is which ever one you WILL use regularly. I have brewed some great beer in the past and I never took andy good notes on certain batches unfortunately. I think however, the best log sheet is one you make yourself; customized to the way you brew and what you think is important. I have been brewing for 10 years and I don't think I have ...


5

I created a Google calendar for my brew log. It makes searching easy (this is important when you start brewing a lot) and the best part is you can access it anywhere there is internet. There have been a few times when I pulled up an old log on an iPhone while talking to someone in a bar.


3

I use BeerSmith for the recipe and the number calcs, but I have a template to write down key #s as I brew. Both the BeerSmith sheet and my template sheet with notes goes in a binder with sheet protectors. I track factors around my mash: Strike volume, strike temp, resultant temp, did I add more water, the temp of extra water, temp post mash. I batch ...


3

Sourcing the freshest ingredients (especially extracts)


3

I have found the two most significant effects on consistency both come from temperature. Mash temperature. Fermentation temperature. The other factors certainly contribute but are simple to address through process, recipe etc. The temperature variables however seem much harder for the home brewer to address. Strike temperature and water volume in the ...


2

Good Vorlauf Once you've gone all-grain improving your recirculation will leave proteins in the mash. This increases beer clarity.


2

I also use a converted keg for my mash-tun and swear by Reflectix foil coated bubble insulation. This stuff comes in rolls from the big box hardware stores, isn't too expensive and the 24" roll is exactly the right width to be wrapped around the keg multiple times. I cut slits in it to account for the thermometers and valves and also have a couple of disks ...


2

Discuss compensating for factors such as: Inconsistent crush Invest in a better mill or inspect the one you have more closely. A good mill should maintain a the same gap in it always. Perhaps using a gap feeler to measure the gap each time would help here. Varying efficiencies This comes from two places, first you need a consistent crush. Next, you'll ...


2

I started off using ProMash until switching to a Mac. Then I kept handwritten records. Now I use the brewer's logbook. Hopville is okay for recipes, but not adapted for brewing sessions.


2

I use TiddlyWiki to create tables of my recipes, format my brewing notes, and just keep track of everything. It's a portable wiki that's pretty easy to use. Using a free online hosted wiki might be a better idea though. There are several free online wiki sites to choose from. The only reason I didn't choose to use those is because I figured that I will do a ...


2

I am writing a web app along with a colleague that is dedicated to just this topic. It is meant to be a cross between Hopeville, BeerSmith and a Log sheet. http://brewershub.com/ We have recipe sharing/creation, a recipe builder, batches with a notebook. And we are completely open to ideas. Its also totally free. We really want to turn this into a ...


2

I've just written up my first brew log & asked myself the same question. I agree with brewchez - it depends what you want. I started with brewchez's log, but as I'm going to be using simple extract-based recipes while I figure this out, it was too complex. I started with Palmer's example in 1.2.3 Record Keeping and as I started filling it out, found I ...


2

You didn't say whether you intend to make them serially or consecutively (edit: oops, I meant concurrently). If you can't make one 15-gallon batch, or blend all three batches together after they're done (very gently, and without unduly exposing them to air) before kegging, temperature control is probably where you want to concentrate. I suggest you keep them ...


1

I use BeerSmith software. I put together the recipe, print out the brew sheet. I'll make notes on the sheet as I'm brewing if I need to and then add them back to the recipe after I brew. It's the lazy way to organize a recipe and get detailed step by step instructions and I can print off as many copies as I want which comes in handy for people asking for ...


1

I carry my ipod touch with me all the time, and am quite pleased with the newer updates to Brew Pal, an app that keeps recipes and now has decent customization. Since I don't have a smart phone, this is the easiest way to always have my recipes on hand. C-4 is right though, you really should use Google calendar, especially if you have brewing ...


1

Know your water report & filter/treat your water to style There's a good reason Ireland is known for their stouts and the Czech Republic is known for their Pils. They brew beers best suited for their water based on the minerals in them. At the very least, owe it to your beer to filter it through a charcoal filter, or add campden tablets to clear up ...


1

You can get a whole bunch of armaflex and wrap it around the mash tun. http://www.homedepot.com/h_d1/N-5yc1vZ1xgy/R-100539553/h_d2/ProductDisplay?langId=-1&storeId=10051&catalogId=10053 I think the stuff looks cool to and plan I using it for my hot liquor tank.



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