Hot answers tagged

24

Here's a dump of all my "Beer & Homebrewing" subscriptions from Google Reader. If yours is on here and you don't want to be, go ahead and edit it out. If you're is on here and you want to point out that it's yours, go ahead and denote it as such. Most of these are about homebrewing, but a few are about beer in general. If you want to edit those out, ...


8

I would get hold of another sachet of yeast as a backup. If you have a local homebrew store, almost any type of yeast will work for this kit, but I'd recommend Safale US-05 if you can get that, since that will give you a cleaner profile. If they have liquid yeasts, then Wyeast 1056 or White Labs WLP001 will produce equivalent results. Once you've got hold of ...


8

Yes, you should wait. The escaping CO2 will carry off the hop aroma you're trying to get through dry hopping. It's best to remove the beer from the yeast completely before dry hopping. There is an interaction between yeast and hops that can cause the hops to produce a very floral, rose-like ester which can be disagreeable.


8

Absolutely not a problem. You will gain just a bit of extra bitterness by boiling longer, but so little that I doubt you could notice it.


8

Brewing Network should be your starting point. Download The Jamil Show, Brew Strong and Brewing With Style and listen to everything from the start. Yes, it is a LOT of podcasts, but you will learn so many things! There are other podcasts on the network, but I will recommend those to start with. Topics: EVERYTHING. They cover all topics, from very basic to ...


7

It sounds like you had a very active fermentation. It is not uncommon for the majority of fermentation to be complete in a few days. Commercial breweries strive for this. HOWEVER, this does not mean that the yeast are done with your beer! Even after fermentation is complete, the yeast will clean up after themselves, reducing things like diacetyl. (which ...


7

Here is a link to an overview of sugars in beer I have brewed with multiple sugars before but never maple and I'm not certain what golden syrup is. Honey is a very common ingredient. In my uses it leaves a mild honey flavor but ferments out almost completely. I've used brown sugar and it adds a sweetness but I personally feel the raw demerara sugar leaves a ...


7

Unless you were planning on heating the juice itself to a high enough temperature to kill anything in it, it's not really going to matter. Any bacteria or wild yeasts present on the inside of the carboy will also be in the juice itself already. If the juice is labeled as having been pasteurized, then it and its container are probably reasonably sanitary ...


6

champagne has lots of qualities that contribute to it's taste, so it could be many things, depending upon which part of the champagne taste you are detecting in your beer, but a few things jump to mind excessive fizziness caused by over carbonation yeast death - autolysis is usually present in small amounts in champagne, and this can occur in beer if it ...


6

Your process sounds fine - it's the way you're using the hydrometer that's the problem. To estimate alcohol content, you need to take a reading at the start of fermentation. You cannot read the alcohol content from the hydrometer alcohol scale at the end of fermentation. The hydrometer cannot measure the alcohol content directly, but it can estimate how ...


6

Yes, you can make a concentrated wort and the dilute that after the boil as with extract. The key differences are: lower mash efficiency: higher gravity mashes tend to have lower conversion efficiency. To keep boil volume to a minimum, you might even choose not to sparge, and just use the first runnings - expect conversion efficiency around 50%. More ...


6

Seal the beer off from oxygen as soon as possible. If you decide to use the airlock, use sanitized water only. If you have access to CO2, put a layer of the gas over your beer as soon as possible (then close it off). If you've achieved your desired final gravity and you don't need to let it sit in the fermenter any longer, you could also bottle it or keg it ...


6

I've brewed for years without starsan. Bleach, as mentioned in the above link, is good for fermenters and bottles. Extra contact time (a few hours if possible) doesn't hurt. Keep away from metals, especially copper. Rinse away with boiled water. High concentrations are still my favorite for dissolving a mold colony in a hurry. Boiling: good for small ...


6

Fermentation temperature is often overlooked and it's really the key to making good beer. If you don't control the temp, everything else you do doesn't really matter. I prefer most beers to ferment in the 63-65F range. Whatever you do, don't let the beer get over 70F. That's beer temp, not room temp. Due to the heat created during fermentation, the beer ...


6

As jsled says you have no worries. You are doing the right things, not touching it or putting it down. If just for a few seconds to check on the brew you'll be fine, also you will gain experience regarding how your brew evolves over time. You should not worry as you are not setting it down for it to pick up bacterial contamination. Yes there is a tiny ...


6

I have had something similar, I was brewing a Bohemian Pilsner Ale and the yeast formed tennis ball sized clumps on the top of the beer! I freaked out! But I recited the Papazian mantra and kegged the beer. That beer ended up being one my best beers ever. Some yeasts (S04 in my case) sometimes flocculate, but in the process still have so much CO2 that they ...


5

Let me try to answer your questions. 1) Modern home brewers use airlocks to minimize the chance that airborne wild yeast or bacteria will populate the beer and produce undesirable characteristics. A brewer chooses a specific yeast strain for their beer because of the particular properties that that yeast strain has been cultured to impart on the beer. The ...


5

A lot of good info here, so I'll just throw in my $0.02 Your techniques when starting out will usually not be optimal. Part of this is because the instructions supplied by kits and shop owners are usually oversimplified to make the process less intimidating. That being said, you usually still wind up making beer, it may just not be the best beer :) The ...


5

You probably just haven't waited long enough yet. Make sure the lid is on tight and wait another 24 hours. Dry yeast and the first time experience tends to take a while for things to start perking. Just be patient. Hot water can be too hot, but as long as it is under 100F you should be OK. Some of the yeast probably didn't survive the shock, but you ...


5

Well the easy answers are this: Light exposure - One assumes that since it's in the basement that won't be a problem. Temperature - Not only ambient temperature, but whether or not the fermentation vessel will be on the concrete, which will leech heat. Type of beer you brew. Lagers and saisons aren't going to get made in the basement closet. :-) Out of ...


5

The basement is a good place to brew as long as the temp is constant and it is dry. However, if you have the means, I recommend finding an older refrigerator or chest freezer to use as a fermentation chamber. Connect an external thermostat and you can have a humidity controlled, temperature controlled, light-free, clean Fermentation chamber anywhere.


5

Boiling serves a few purposes in beer. Mainly it is done for the dual purpose of extracting bitterness from hops while also killing any wild yeast or bacteria that were on the brewing ingredients. In the case of hopped malt extract, the bitterness has already been extracted for you, and the extract itself is totally sterile as its already been boiled down ...


5

Different yeast strains can look a little different in the bottle as well. One characteristic of yeast is how well it "compacts" at the bottom of the fermentor or bottle. Some strains, like English Ale yeasts, are known for creating a very tight, compacted sediment, whereas others leave the yeast cake much more "fluffy". And yes, the yeast caked that you ...


5

When racking from a primary fermenter to a secondary vessel, you will leave behind a non-trivial amount of "stuff" so the volume in the secondary will be less than the volume in the primary. If you start with five gallons in the fermenter you won't have five gallons left to bottle, but it isn't any more concentrated than when you started. If your OG and FG ...


5

Yep. Just keep it away from sun light. I do this all winter without problems.


5

If you didn't pitch yeast from an actively fermenting starter, 24 hours is a perfectly reasonable lag time. But if you really are seeing a thick kräusen atop your beer, it sounds like there's just a leak around the airlock. What are you fermenting in? A bucket with a lid gives plenty of opportunity for leaks around the edges. I'd be more concerned if it were ...


5

It's not contradictory so much as it's all valid. :) To answer the titular question: yes, you can dry-hop in primary. Long-term aging is really the only reason to rack to secondary. Dry-hopping, fruit additions, &c. can all happen in primary just fine. Anything that happens w/in 6 months can happen in one vessel (primary) or two (primary and secondary). ...


5

In my opinion a "secondary" should be viewed as a tool. A potentially useful tool, but best used by someone who really has a grip of their brewing process and using it for a very specific purpose. I agree with Palmer, dont chase what the big brewers do, they have different issues then homebrewers. I would definitely suggest dry hopping in your primary vessel ...


5

Keep an eye on Craigslist for a used refrigerator. You can often get them free or nearly free if you pick it up. That's all you need: take the shelves out, and you can keep your keg in there with a picnic tap. I did this for about 15 years in my basement. If you want to get fancy, you could get a kit to put a faucet through the side so you don't have to open ...



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