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9

Paraphrasing from Fundamentals of Beer and Hop Chemistry (text below), 2/3 of the hop bitterness in wort has a half-life in excess of 5 years, and the remaining 1/3 as a half-life of 1 year. From that, I've made a table showing the amount remaining over time. The total column shows the percentage of bitterness compared to the total at the start: months ...


8

You want a blue flame, and one that is not pushed away from the burner. Propane can burn when the ratio of propane to air is in the range 2.2-9.6%. Within this range lies the ideal ratio where fuel to air are properly balanced and the fuel burns with a blue flame and the flame temperature is at it's hottest - 3600F/1990C. The blue flame is characteristic of ...


7

I have half a blog post in my head about the six -ations of the boil. Here's a sample. Also listen to this episode of Brew Strong for a lot of good information. In general, shoot for an 8 — 12% evaporation rate. Evaporation The most obvious one. The more water you drive off, the more concentrated your wort will turn out. This has the effect of ...


7

I would maybe add your hottest pepper to the boil. That way you aren't adding alot of vegetal matter to the boil. Sort if like using a high alpha hop. Then, I'd make a relish or mash of your less intense peppers and add that in secondary. Sort of like dry hopping. I would also consider serving this beer out of some poblanos if you can find some big ...


7

As alcohol levels rise in a beer, eventually you can taste it. There is just no way around that part. However as a brewer you do have control over some of the less desirable tasting higher order (molecularly complex) alcohols. The best way to control the levels of these types of flavors is to pitch plenty of yeast, ferment on the cooler side (that also ...


7

I am a very big fan of pressurized fermentation. The benefits I see, in rough order of the value I place on them: 1) Pressurized ferments streamline my process tremendously. This is the big one. Once my wort is chilled, I transfer to a regular corny keg (just under 5 gallons). I keep the fermentation at 5 psi until it starts slowing down, and then I cap to ...


6

I've always just added chilies straight to the secondary. I've always used roasted anaheim peppers that i just toss into secondary, and never had any problems with infection or anything. They don't add a lot of heat though, if that's what your looking for. Then again, they're really mild. They contributed some incredible flavor though. I did about 5 ...


6

If the only purpose for the pump is draining the boil kettle, it might be wise to avoid the complexity (and one more thing to clean), because gravity will certainly work to transfer your wort to the fermentation vessel. You may find that there is an incomplete transfer of wort. The volume depends on how far the ball valve is from the bottom of the kettle ...


5

I go back and forth between a 10 gallon rectangular cooler with a bazooka screen and a 5 gallon cylindrical Igloo cooler with a false bottom. The igloo is the way to go if your kitchen is really tiny, in my opinion, as it has a much smaller footprint. I've also heard of people mashing in a pot and putting it in the oven to maintain temperature. Never tried ...


5

Taylor's partial boil answer is a good one, particularly if you are limited to the typical small-sized electric stove found in most apartments. Another issue with boiling wort in an apartment is excessive humidity, and more problematic, the smell drifting into your neighbor's loft. But if you want to do a full boil, there is an alternative: go outside! ...


5

Session beers, and slight over pitching is how I've made it happen. Keep your gravities to 1.040 or less and pitch two packs of yeast in general. English Ales definately are a good choice because the yeasts tend to flocc out really well, so you get clearly beer sooner. Where are American Ale yeasts tend to take a litte more time to clear out.


5

For the fastest beer, the style choice is the main thing. The beers mentioned before work very well, but if you want to be drinking in one week, how about a Belgian Wit, German Weizen, or American Hefeweizen. All these beers are meant to have yeast still in them, so clarity is not an issue, and the bready flavors and aromas true to the styles are most ...


5

I don't take readings throughout fermentation but some people do. There is an increased risk in collecting samples, but if your sanitation practices are good, the risk is low. I don't recommend dropping the hydrometer in. It will hard to find among the krausen, will be very difficult to read accurately, and the reading will be slightly off due to co2 that ...


5

A RIMS (Recirculating Infusion Mash System) passes the wort directly over a heating element to achieve temp changes. A HERMS (Heat Exchange Recirculating Mash System) passes the wort through a coll submerged in water to do the same thing. Although temp steps may be a bit slower, you don't have the risk of scorching that you do in a RIMS. Probably 90+% of ...


4

I've learned that you just can't rush big beers. Anything with an ABV over 5% or so and you'll have to wait a while. Keeps the beer small, like in the 4% range, and it should be drinkable in a few weeks. Similarly, if you have any kind of additions that might impart off flavors early that mellow with time, you can't rush those. You can rush a simple ...


4

You can take measurements throughout fermentation to find out how fermentation is going. I would recommend a wine thief. http://www.midwestsupplies.com/fermtech-wine-thief.html Just sanitize it before you stick it in your fermenter. I generally just check gravity readings when I'm racking from primary to secondary and from secondary to keg so that I ...


4

In short, no. Any LME you end up with will be super-dark. Dry malt extract requires flash drying with high pressure nozzles and is not a home operation. Briess has some explanation of the process. The technical nature of creating DME and LME is more than can be done in the home. It's even harder to do than malting your own grains, which is difficult ...


4

Let it ride for as long as you want. Keep in mind that the beer is aging and depending on its style and storage temp it may peak in flavor while you are off doing other things. As long as you protect it from light and keep it as cool as possible (<70F-75F-ish) it should be fine. The best thing for storing beer in a carboy would also be to ensure there ...


4

How do you feel about sour beers? I was just reading on The Mad Fermentationist that sour beers often mask their alcohol content with their other pungent aromas and flavors. And since they attenuate more than a normal brew, you get more alcohol for the same starting gravity, so take that into account as well. A 1.080 sour that gets down to 1.005 should be ...


4

Pectin causes a really strong haze. Of course if you have a lot of pectin you can get some gummy residues or globs, but these settle out. Pectin haze tends to be tough to get rid of even with cold temps and aging. All in all, if you are making a cloudy-style wheat beer that you want to add fruit to, worrying about the pectin haze is a but overkill.


4

The advantage (aside from price) of getting three 6 or 6.5 gallon better bottles or glass carboys would be that you can move them around without injuring yourself. I'm using two 6-gallon better bottles for the 10 gallon batch I made recently, and they're working nicely. That also lets you experiment with different kinds of yeast in the same wort, etc.


4

At a quick glance, a blonde can look like a pils. To distinguish, a blonde has these characteristics: is usually a light color, but not always as light as a pils, often a deeper golden color. is made with top-cropping yeast (ale yeast) it's sweeter/fruitier than a pils, with taste balanced on side of the malt (cf. pils which can be quite highly hopped in ...


3

I've used the bathtub method, a home made immersion chiller (IC) and a counterflow chiller (CFC). My beer improved by a great leap when I switched to the CFC. I have not timed it, however I estimate it takes me around 20 minutes to chill 10 gallons of wort. During the summer in this part of Texas the ground water is about 82ยบ making it pretty much ...


3

I live in a very small house. I use a closet in the guest room for fermenting. I put my fermenter into a large plastic bucket full of water. The added mass of the water buffers thermal swings to keep the tempos more constant. I put an aquarium heater in the bucket of water when I need to warm it up. I put ice packs in the water to cool it down. Very ...


3

A plate chiller or an ice bath are the best options. The plate chiller is FAST, and super small. Easy to store it on a bookshelf or something. You do need to have a hose hookup on the sink to make this work. Ice melts. Pretty good for saving space. It just takes a lot longer. An immersion chiller takes up a bit more room, and can get messy. Definitely ...


3

Getting a kettle that can fit over two burners on your stove is a good idea if you want to do full boils. For example, the 10 gal megapot is 17" in diameter. Additionally you can buy or build a heat stick to supplement your stove burners. I have been using an inexpensive bucket heater and a lot other homebrewers use this also, though it has not been tested ...


3

When I apartment brewed, I simply cleared out a corner closet for the fermenter. When it was warm out I would wrap a towel around the fermenter put a few reusable icepacks around it and wrap it again. This helped keep the closet cool. I looked for a closet that was furtherst away from any heat source. If you have forced air heating and cooling you can ...


3

Keep it proportional. I haven't discovered a perfect ratio for pounds of steeping grains to steeping water volume, but I have learned to be wary of using more than a few pounds in just a couple gallon steep. Previously, I used a grain bag with 2-5 lbs of specialty grains, depending on the recipe, in a 8 qt steep. Recently, though, I've started adding the ...


3

I live in a loft. There is zero storage. The only real storage I have is underneath my stairs because I cut a hole in the wall. The space is the size of a large closet. I save boxes from beer to store my empty bottles in, and stack them all under the narrow end of the area where the stairs get closest to the floor. I also bought 2 book shelves from ikea just ...


3

I operate my home-brewery in a 700 sq ft apartment with a kitchen that's nearly 15' long but only 2.5' (4-6' without appliances) - apparently, there were only skinny people when the place was built in the 1890's. Needless to say, my space is painfully small. Consequently, none of my equipment is stored in my kitchen. It is all organized into a large ...



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