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6

Although I don't do all grain yet, as you do, I have taken quite a bit of time to start creating my own recipes. The best thing That I can recommend is this: First, create rough draft recipes using any homebrew calculator program to ensure your numbers work. Then, create a regular 5 or 10 gallon batch and separate it out into 1 gallon fermenters. You want ...


5

I've brewed a gruit using heather and other herbs instead of hops...not one of my favorites. You certainly can brew beer without hops, although when you put in the qualifier "drinkable" it becomes a subjective matter of opinion. For my palate, a beer without hops, whether gruit or just malt alone, is not pleasantly drinkable.


5

With any size fermentation, your fermentor is just something that keeps your beer off the floor. Likewise, there are countless practical options beyond what you've listed here. You're just trying to balance convenience, ease of cleaning, and availability. Any of those things will work fine, and there's nothing to really worry about as far as a reasonable ...


4

I would go with the 3.5 gallon buckets, and I don't think it's too much headspace, at least not for primary. I've been happily using 8 gallon buckets for years - so that's 4 gallons space for a half batch, so 3.5 gallons is not too much. You can also use the 3.5 gallon buckets for secondary (if you really need a secondary). Here, the headspace might be on ...


4

Basically what you've described is cold conditioning an ale, a fairly normal practice. It allows the beer to clarify and smooth, the same way it does with a lager. There is no need to let the beer warm before bottling. There's still plenty of yeast in it, and the yeast will become active once you add priming sugar and let the beer sit at room temp to ...


4

There's a new technique storming the homebrew scene called SMaSH - Single Malt and Single Hop beers. By brewing with a single malt (usually 2-row or pale ale malt) and a single hop, you can easily discern the different flavors and aromas of hop varieties. You could boil a malt extract or wort in 5 different vessels (small 1-2 gallon pots would do the ...


4

I do not know of any American Ale yeasts that provide citrusy flavors. Its all hop derived. American Ale yeast is very neutral in flavor. So yes you can mix them, but the only fermentation character you will really detect will be from the belgian strain. I have done some interesting blending of English Ale yeast and American Ale yeast in the past. The ...


3

Designing Great Beers has a table listing fermentability of a few brands of extract on p 15. I don't think it's permitted to reproduce it here, but if you search the book content in Amazon, search for "Malt extract test worts" - you'll get a link to table 3.1 which will take you right there. The range is from 45% to 65%. I've not seen any tools that ...


3

A warning, just because you didn't detect any hop characteristics doesn't mean its un-hopped. Have you ever had a Bavarian Hefeweizen? Or a Berlinerweisse, or Lambic? These are beers that have absolutely no hop character, but do have very low levels of hops. Don't assume a beer with no hop character has "zero" hops.


3

My take on this type of experiment is to leave yourself a good exit. Make a great Porter or Pale ale on its own. Then blend it with your favorite sarsaparilla soda to see if the flavor combo works for you. That way you still have a decent beer to drink if its not so great. You might be able to find sarsaparilla soda extract that you could add to ...


3

This is a great exercise. Months ago I brewed a single hop brown ale and now I can identify Northern Brewer hops. That beer was a single bittering addition at 90 minutes, but the idea is the same. I would keep the aroma addition where it is. Boiling and dry hopping work differently so you might miss out on something without the last kettle addition. The ...


2

I never understood the point of that experiment. 2 extra weeks is nothing. I know many brewers who routinely leave beer on yeast for 2-4 weeks with no ill effects. Nor is there any difference between the 2 and 4 week beers. If they really wanted to see if there was an issue they should have really turned up the time. Like 6 weeks extra. Or asked the ...


2

There's not a great way that I know of to do this is the short answer. Hop teas generally taste like crap, and without letting the beer ferment, you're not going to get a great picture of what the hops will "taste" like. I'll echo Graham's comment about the Latitude 48 IPA 12 pack from Sam Adams. I've read about it, but not been able to find it... yet. ...


2

Depending on your knowledge of the different tastes and qualities imparted by the various components of the brew and how scientific/casual you want to be about it, I would recommend starting with different types of yeast. They can produce vastly different flavors in the same brew, and it's one of the easiest things to tweak in a recipe. Try making a solid ...


2

Unfortunately, you will be unlikely to get any conversion out of the Carafa as it has been kilned to the point that all of the enzymes have been destroyed. Weyermann shows that this malt has No Enzymatic Power http://www.weyermann.de/usa/bmprodukte_neu.asp?idkat=204&umenue=yes&idmenue=269&sprache=10 If you were to add some base malt (or DME and ...


2

I brewed with heather in a gruit, and spent some time beforehand experimenting with teas in combinations of other herbs. There is a lack of solid information regarding gruits, much less heather. My reading material included GruitAle.com, Radical Brewing, Sacred Herbal and Healing Beers, forum searches on HBT and AHA, etc. For bittering, the recipes I ...


2

No. The purpose of Irish Moss is to remove particulate matter from your beer. I wouldn't bother trying to use a precise amount. Use half of what you would normally use and call it good. All Irish Moss does is gelatinize and the gelatin captures small particles to help clear the beer during the cooling phase. It doesn't and shouldn't taste or smell like ...


1

Around North Carolina you can go to the grocery store and pick-up "Primo" drinking water in 3 gallon plastic jugs that are, for all intents and purposes, the same as a Better Bottle. I imagine there's a drinking water supplier like that "everywhere". The five gallon ones are $11 at Wal-Mart, so the three gallon ones must be around $9. And the water in the ...


1

I have brewed a lot of half batches lately. Great for testing out recipes and perfecting them. What I do is brew a 2.5 gallon batch of wort. Put that into a 5 gallon carboy pitch my yeast and wait till the krausen subsides. Then rack that for secondary fermentation into a 3 gallon carboy. That way you will not have to worry about an overflow because the 5 ...


1

I read over the other responses very briefly so sorry if I repeat a few things. I am really excited because I am doing almost the same thing right now! I started by deciding what I wanted to discover; hops, grains, yeast, and so on (I started with hops). One thing I think is difficult but really important is to have a "control" type of recipe, for example ...


1

You can NOT both "compare hop flavors quickly" and "without brewing a few batches". These are mutually exclusive. You must consume single hop beers of different hops in order to compare the flavors. Think about it... it is impossible to compare flavors using other sense, such as vision or smell. In short, MontbardBrewing already correctly answered this ...


1

I made Heather ale about 30 to 40 years ago when I was living in Scotland. I found a recipe in a book called The Scots Kitchen by F. Marian McNeil. I only made this once, but it was delicious and extremely fizzy, so much so that one of the plastic water bottles I kept it is burst. The recipe only states to use Heather, barm, hops, syrup ginger and water. ...


1

Williams Brothers, from Scotland, brew a range of traditional ales, one of which, Fraoch, is a heather ale and has been around for over twenty years. If you are interested in the history of heather ale, then Martyn Cornell's book Amber, Gold & Black has a whole chapter on it.


1

I love brewing with heather. I first got the idea from a local brewery - Olde Burneside Brewery, in Hartford, CT. They make a Penney-weiz ale that is very good. I started out with 2 oz dried heather added near the beginning of the boil for a 5 gal batch of honey weizen. I thought I took good notes, but I haven't been able to replicate anything near the ...



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