Tag Info

Hot answers tagged

43

Brewing day Sanitizer - To sanitize all of your equipment. 6 gallon fermenter - For primary fermentation. Funnel or Tubing - To transfer from the brew kettle to the fermenter (pour or siphon) +3 gallon brew kettle - For boiling the mixture and making wort Thermometer - To monitor the temperature of the wort Hydrometer - To test the original gravity of your ...


20

I would point you to the Basic Starter Kit from Northern Brewer: http://www.northernbrewer.com/brewing/starter-kits/basic-starter-kit.html Some items are probably not STRICTLY needed, but for $80 you definitely get all the gear you would need to get started.


18

Is any of the advanced equipment really necessary? No, not strictly. But like any hobby, as we advance we acquire more gear. Regarding the chiller in particular, if you are performing partial boils of 3 gallons or less, then you can definitely get by without a chiller. I did just fine. But once I switched to all grain and the full-volume boils that ...


17

If I wash my hands regularly do I need to sanitize them as well? Do I even need to wash regularly, between touching everything? No. As long as you're not touching the insides of bottles, fermenters etc. you should be fine. Do I need to sanitize the rim of the mouths of bottles? Yes. Dipping the ends of the bottles into a container of your ...


14

First off, Simon, your answer was spot-on in answering Jarrod's questions with logical, proven answers. Props. However, Jarrod is asking for anecdotal advice, so here's mine: In practicality, you can actually often get away with a lot of carelessness. The problem, though, is this: while the risk is low, the stakes are fairly high. I absolutely hate ...


14

Why should you start lagering? Because you want to make a lager. It's a simple choice of preference, mate. Why brew a stout? Why brew an IPA? Brew whatever you feel like. But if the style of beer that you want to brew happens to be a Pilsner, Light Lager, Vienna Lager, Bock, Oktoberfest, Dunkel, Baltic Porter, Schwarzbier, or any variant of those ...


12

Assuming you're beginning from concentrated malt or a kit, and can figure out how to boil water on your own, The bare minimum: 5 gallon plastic (food grade container) with lid. Airlock for same. Bottles, and appropriate closures for them. Plastic hose for siphoning off of finished product. Disinfectant (chlorine or sulfite) Recommended: 5 Gallon ...


12

Following normal, reasonable sanitation practices (always sanitize containers and utensils immediately before use) usually keeps the risk of infection pretty low. The greatest risk of infection after containers and utensils is simply open air. Keep your containers covered while working, even if you're just turning away for a few minutes. Keep your empty ...


12

I just answered this question for a friend. Means I get to cut'n paste. I don't know what your budget is... you can easily spend a few hundred dollars for a good kitchen setup. The Minimum: A large pot. Stainless steel is best, but aluminum is cheap. At least 2 gallons. The bigger, the better. Best is 6 gallons so you can do a full-wort boil where you ...


12

First, time and patience. Moving to all-grain is a big step, but definitely an awesome one. Including cleanup, your brew day will extend to many hours. Probably close to 9-10 hours when you first start, though it will become faster as you learn your system. Equipment wise, I'm not sure what you have, so I'll just go through it all. Propane burner. It's ...


12

There are only a few reasons why this might happen. Suck-back due to temperature changes Evaporation Airlock is damaged Somebody is messing with it As it has been mentioned by others, s-locks are better at keeping liquid, but are nearly impossible to clean if you get a blow-out. Three-piece airlocks are easier to clean. I use mostly 3-piece, except for ...


11

The wet t-shirt and swamp cooler method is probably insufficient for temperatures in the mid 90's. Controlling fermentation temperature is one of the best things you can do to make good beer! Like Florida, the temperatures in East Texas get stupid-hot eight months out of the year. Last year I built myself a duck-in cooler powered by a small window air ...


11

Skip the Mr. Beer kind of kits and go to a local Home Brew Supply shop. They'll sell you a brew kit for $75-$140 depending on how nice you want it. My local place had a deal for a while where you got your first recipe either free or deeply discounted when you bought a full kit, so that was nice. The actual kit you need isn't all that important, believe it or ...


10

Whirlpool chilling utlilizes a pump and an immersion chiller. Many brewers that have an immersion chiller will find that an upgrade to a pump for other uses allows them to get better chilling from the immersion chiller. A whirlpool chiller uses a pump to pull wort from the base of the kettle, then returns the wort to the top of the kettle. The return is ...


10

I've heard of people using the elements from hot water heaters to make heating wands. A lot of people who make their own computer controlled breweries use these because they actually get more temperature control than propane gives them. They're pretty cheap to make too.


10

Neither of those... The next purchase to making better beer is a thermostat controller and a fridge. The controller you can get at your LHBS or at an online shop. Then cruise craigslist for the fridge. You can get a fine chill in the sink with ice, like you already are doing (right!). A secondary isn't necessary really anyway. And several people make great ...


9

I say use any size it fits in. In the secondary, there is unlikely to be any significant foaming unless you add a fermentable flavor such as a fruit juice. A five gallon carboy will serve fine. Concerns about oxygenation in larger carboys, in my opinion, are largely unfounded. Small amounts of fermentation are still occurring in the secondary as well as ...


9

The consensus answer is that the only thing safe to put food with non-neutral PH into is #1 Polyethylene terephthalate or #2 High-density polyethylene. The big blue jugs you get with water in them are made from #7 polycarbonate. Polycarbonate has some potential health issues as it can leach, even in water at room temperature, a substance known as Bisphenol ...


9

3 common ways include: 1. calibrated dipstick or spoon (easiest) Before your next brew session, take a 1 gallon pitcher or some other known volume vessel. One gallon at a time, pour the water into your kettle, let it settle, then put the dipstick or spoon in. Mark the top of the wet line with a sharpie or craft knife. Repeat for each gallon. Measuring ...


9

The solution I use is to mark my spoon with permanent marker. I have marks for each half gallon. Works really well without messing with the kettle itself. This obviously is kettle specific, so if you are using multiple kettles you can have markings of different color to differentiate the different markings per kettle.


9

Top tier - Sparge Water Middle tier - Mash Tun Bottom Tier - Boil Kettle The main benefit to having the vessels stacked in this manner is that you can transfer water/wort without the use of a siphon or an electric pump, everything can be gravity fed from top to bottom. Three tiers also allow you to easily fly sparge much easier than other setups ...


8

If you're trying to stay away from laminated wood I wouldn't use a marine paddle, which is most likely going to be laminated. Also, they might've used a stain or dye on the paddle that can soak deep down into the wood, so you don't really know how much you need to sand off to be safe. I'd stay clear of cedar, unless you want a cedar flavor in your beer. ...


8

The best way to go would be with an extract kit. I find the best way to go is with a clone extract kit from AustinHomebrew.com. Why? Because if you do a clone of a beer you already know then you can evaluate how close you got. Make sense? Once you've done that once or twice then stop cloning and start adventuring. You read all these stories about how ...


8

The current thinking among homebrew "experts" such as John Palmer and Jamil Zainasheff, as well as Wyeast and White Labs, is not to use secondary at all unless you're doing a true secondary fermentation by adding fruit or something like that. Just leave the beer in primary for 3-4 weeks, then package. That's the ultimate solution about what to use for a ...


8

A sanitary piece of aluminum foil crimped over the top or even a plastic baggy with a rubber band on the outside (either use a new roll/box or pour some of your favorite high proof liquor on it just to be sure) should do the trick. Bacteria and wild yeast in the air typically move with air currents (cough/sneeze/fan/air vent...), but without any air ...


8

I've made sourdough starter with organic whole-grain flour, as well as one with rye flour. Here's how I made it: Mix the flour with water. Cover and let it develop for 12 hours in dark, draft-free place. Remove half of it, replenish with fresh flour and water, then back to step 1. Once the starter double's itself every 12 hours you start replenishing with ...


8

http://bayareabrewing.com/category/homebrew/10/ Theory A hopback is a sealed chamber into which you put whole leaf hops. Hot wort exits the kettle, passing through the hopback before chilling. Like whirlpool additions, the hops contribute volatile aroma compounds that would normally evaporate in the boil. The leaf hops also filter hot break, helping to ...


8

It just means that air is escaping elsewhere, like around the bucket lid in one, two, or a few places, or from around the grommet around the airlock. If you've had many vigorous fermentations using your buckets (and I'm assuming buckets here--this isn't likely to happen with a carboy unless your stopper is too small), then there is a good chance there are ...


8

There are no concerns over going to a smaller batch size. 3 gallon carboys and buckets are easily found. Check out USplastics.com they have all sorts of funky food grade buckets and things. The other great thing about doing say 2.5 gallon batch is that you can start passing up on starters. Just pitch an entire tube of White labs and you are definitely ...


7

That's a great question. The problem with plastic is that it can easily scratch and harbor bacteria. I'm fairly certain even rubbing your hand along the inside of a plastic bucket causes small scratching. I think your guideline is fairly good: check your equipment regularly, and replace something as soon as it begins to impart an off flavor. I've had my ...



Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible