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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 ...


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

The risk of infection is much lower after primary fermentation is complete, since there is alcohol present. The alcohol will prevent or retard the growth of bacteria and rogue yeasts. So, you should be safe to just add your adjuncts. With some fruits (strawberries especially), I have noticed that the beer seems to spoil after a month or so, presumably ...


8

Assuming you're talking about a stainless steel conical, off the top of my head... Pros: Technically easier to collect and harvest yeast Can be more hygenic (less chance of scratches that can harbour yeast/bacteria) Less fragile than glass carboy (but possibly more than buckets) If it's pressure rated, you can cap it towards end of fermentation for ...


7

The cone shape and valve on the bottom lets you remove the trub without transferring containers, so you can do your primary and secondary ferment in the same vessel, or bottle without worrying about the trub. The bottom valve also makes it easy to remove your beer for bottling and such, so there's no need for siphoning. I think this is mainly advantageous ...


7

You can absolutely open the bucket if you feel it's necessary to stir the must. There is very little chance of contamination if you are diligent in sanitizing everything that will touch the must. If any air borne particles do get in there won't be enough to get a foot hold and will be overtaken by the yeast. I have made over 20 meads that I have removed ...


6

Whenever possible I like to use Oregon Fruit Purees. These purees come in large cans that have been flash pasturized already. The fruit is also in a puree format so there is not additional prep and fruit to wort contact is superior to slicing and dicing the fruit. Also for seeded fruits like strawberries and blueberries, much of the seed material has been ...


6

Don't worry about sterilizing the hops. If you practice good sanitation you shouldn't get an infection. I've dry hopped several beers with pellet hops strait out of the pouch and have never had an infection as a result. A lot of new brewers worry about contaminating their beers. The truth is it is pretty hard to get a contamination, you almost have to try ...


6

Do not use milk bottles for bottling. They can't withstand the pressure from carbonation and will be likely to explode.


6

I converted my plastic fermenter into a mash tun/fermenter a few months ago and it works really well. Here are some pics showing how I did it: http://picasaweb.google.com/halite1977/MashTunFermenter?authkey=Gv1sRgCOW-2ufb-fT7rwE# In terms of heat loss, the heat loss from the water test earlier is a bit misleading because the water will lose temperature a ...


6

Out of my 12-13 brews I have almost always had condensation on the inside of the lid of the fermentation bucket. I have had a thermometer inside the liquid during fermentation, and one on the outside and it does differ quite a bit. Basically the fermentation causes heat => condensation. Totally normal!


5

You can, but the beer profile will be different. With more head space above the fermenting beer, the CO2 will not be pushed out as efficiently. This will create a higher pressure of CO2 pushing on the beer, which will decrease yeast growth, and increase ester formation. If you want consistency then I would not recommend brewing in the wrong size vessel. ...


5

The fermented beer is resilient to infections because it has several percent of alcohol inhibiting the bacterias from reproducing. Don't sweat it, you'll be fine. I never had any problems with dry hopping. I even put fresh fruit and peppers (unboiled) and it was still fine.


5

If you can find stoppers at your local HBS that fit them, you can use them for yeast starters or small test batches. Since it's clear glass though, you might be better off getting your deposit back from whole foods. Without a good cap and UV protection, they're not much use for bottling.


5

Found this over at http://winebarrels.com/carenew.html I'm pretty sure I have read similar things on homebrew forums in the past. STORING AN EMPTY BARREL The very best way to maintain a wine barrel is to ensure it is never empty of wine! However this is not always possible so something must be done to keep the barrel sweet. An untreated empty barrel will ...


5

I used to do the same thing but recently have found these bags http://www.northernbrewer.com/default/large-straining-bag-18-3-4-x-19.html I get the one that is big enough to fit in the bucket and stretch it over the top. I then simply pour the whole boil kettle into the bucket and lift the bag out. The mesh on these is finer than the hop sacks I have been ...


5

Hop bags are the answer. I use hop bags. You can use multiple hop bags for your multiple hop additions. I tie them to the handle of the brew kettle so they don't come open during the boil. You may want to up the hop quantities a touch (10%?) because you get slightly lower utilization in hop bags. When it's time for racking, chill the wort and then pull the ...


5

You should be just fine. Some breweries still practice open air fermentation and the practice of 100% airlocking your beer is relatively new. The water in the airlock will prevent bugs and oxygen from getting into your beer, without the water it would still be difficult for an environmental contaminant to get through the airlock. So unless a bug managed to ...


4

You may be better off using corny kegs as a secondary fermenter. (If you transfer.) I use them as brite tanks, clarifying my beer a week before serving. There is no risk of krausen explosion You can naturally carbonate You can transfer to the serving keg under pressure No worry of clogging your dip tube Don't need to trim the dip tube. Most stories I hear ...


4

Removing hot break is beneficial to your finished beer. Many of the compounds taste bad and can stay in suspension through fermentation to packaging. Totally removing hot & cold break, such as with a pre-fermenter filter, can damage head retention. You need some of those proteins. Brewing Techniques has a good article on the subject. There are a few ...


4

I have used a brew belt off and on for several years. There is no real way to control it. I suppose if you had a thermowell and a temp controller you could dial it in. However, it only really heats to so much over ambient temp. It doesn't have a built in theermostat to stop at say 70F. I used to get a good 70F ferment with it when the ambient temp was ...


4

Not only is there alcohol that will stave off some of the nasties like other responses have mentioned. But hops themselves have antibiotic properties which help your yeast get an edge over the bugs. As far as fruit type adjuncts, if you want to play it safe, you don't actually have to boil them. Just put them in a pot and raise them to 160F for ten ...


4

Tip it slightly so you can get your hands under it. Get an arm underneath it as you pick it up. That will keep the bottom from flexing downward creating that "suck" in the airlock. If you are not comfortable with that, then you can indeed sanitize some foil and use that. Or I'd recommend just popping off the airlock and refilling it with a small amount ...


4

it might help to know what you are brewing. I can't see an airlock on the bucket so depending on what you are brewing you may have to add an airlock so the CO2 can escape the barrel. This would stop it blowing up!!! Again without knowing what you are brewing it is hard to give any advice. If you want to know more about airlocks take a look at this video. ...


4

It sounds like you do a good job cleaning by dismantling the tap, and that's really the key - storing the fermentor clean so that it can be effectively sanitized when next needed. Make sure it is drained and completely air dry before adding any seal or you'll get stale water in there. That can mean another round of cleaning to get rid of the odor.


4

You should probably just rack to a second sanitary bucket, especially if you plan to add additional sugar to the cider for carbonation. Ideally, you use a separate bucket with a spigot to which you can then attach a "bottling wand". This allows you to fill the bottle from the bottom upwards, which significantly reduces the amount of oxygen that is absorbed ...


3

I have a conical that a welder friend made me and I love it. The only problem is that it's not temperature controlled and it's too big. I can't fit it in my fermentation chamber and I have to brew 12 gallons to come close to filling it. If you have the money, get one. Someday I hope to have a fleet of them.


3

I have no idea if this would work, but if you were using a carboy couldn't you just stretch a balloon over the top and put a few small holes in it with a pin? I would think the hole would seal up, but open if there is enough pressure from the CO2 and allow the gas to escape without letting oxygen in. Obviously I have never tried this, but your question got ...


3

Too much oil from real nuts, IMO. I'd say to get some hazelbut extract and use that. You'll have to titrate it in a little at a time to get to where you want to be. Pour yourself 12oz and drop it in, mixing and stirring as you go. When the balance seems right do the math for how many 12oz there is in your whole batch , then add that many drops more to the ...


3

In short: you'll probably be fine. To explain, the primary danger is oxygen leaching through the plastic and oxidizing your beer. This is a real risk however you can minimize it. I believe it will take months at the rate of diffusion. Your beer will come out tasting like stale crackers or wet cardboard. The reason chemicals in the plastic may leech into ...



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