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Jan
14
comment how do you add yeast during bottling stage and ensure it won't burst?
Alternately, you can try stirring gently with a sanitized spoon to get your yeast back into suspension. I had good luck with this on a stuck fermentation once, although I suspect your issue may be with the yeast's alcohol tolerance.
Jan
14
comment Improving Your Brewing Significantly
FWIW, if you go the BIAB route, you can do all-grain brews with a minimum investment (assuming you've got a pot big enough to do full-volume boils).
Jan
14
comment Improving Your Brewing Significantly
I'd also add "speed up your brew day". Before I had a wort chiller I used to spend around 45 minutes stirring with my kettle in an ice bath. With my chiller, I can be done in less than half that.
Jan
14
comment Improving Your Brewing Significantly
I would add "make a starter". Unless you're fermenting a one-gallon batch, you're going to be seriously under-pitching with all liquid yeasts you can buy commercially. Even a 1L starter that's only been spinning for 24h will be better than simply dumping a tube or smack-pack into your fermenter. Dry yeast is better, but (in my area, at least) you can't get the variety you can with the liquid yeasts.
Jan
13
comment Water cooler as wort chiller
Hmmm, I heard hot-side aeration was only a concern when transferring from the mash tun to the boil kettle. After some follow-up reading, it does appear to be a legit concern after the boil. I retract my earlier statement.
Jan
13
comment Brewing aboard a boat
I would seriously reconsider using glass carboys in an unstable environment. People get seriously injured just using them in their basements and garages, I can't imagine how much more risky it would be in a room that randomly moves. I'm not one of the carboy-hating crowd (I've got two I use frequently, never had a problem), but the though of trying to maneuver one of those on a 12m sailboat makes me twitch. Feel free to disregard if you're on a cruise ship or something like that.
Jan
13
comment Water cooler as wort chiller
Oxidation's only a problem after fermentation. If he's using this as a wort chiller, aerating the wort would actually be beneficial. That said, I agree it's probably not an effective way to chill your wort.
Jan
13
comment Making a portion of a batch higher ABV
Make sure your yeast are amenable to high alcohol levels. Some will get stressed and you'll wind up with off flavors in your beer. For your first brew I'd recommend just following the directions and getting your process down, otherwise if it doesn't turn out right you won't know if it's your process or the additions.
Jan
13
comment does adding water to wort to top off for fermentation raise the original gravity?
Whether you stir or shake to homogenize your wort, do it vigorously. This will aerate the wort, adding oxygen for the yeast. Don't do it after fermentation has started, though, as it can cause the beer to oxidize.
Oct
15
comment Bernzomatic oxygen bottles to oxygenate beer
Is that a food-safe oxygen source? I didn't see any mention of it on the web site.
Feb
9
comment How can I get beer out of a keg without CO2?
Bicycle pumps are typically lubricated with oil, you definitely don't want to hook one up to your keg!
Nov
13
comment Confectioners sugar for priming?
Just wanted to note that some fermentables (e.g., honey, brown sugar, maple syrup, molasses) will alter the taste of light-flavored beers like your wheat beer. They're often used for exactly this reason, but if you're not looking for a delicate honey note in the background of your beer, stick with the table sugar.
Oct
10
comment Cleaning stainless steel
You can get abrasive wheels and brushes for electric drills that should work well on the inside.
Jan
17
comment Bottling Rhythm and efficiency
My daughter helps me. She fills the bottles and I cap and store them. She also helps sanitize (I have a vinator and drying rack that I expanded so it holds a full batch worth of bottles). It goes pretty quickly. Do you have any interested friends or family members you could recruit to set up an assembly line?
Oct
1
comment First time without a kit
If you use a grain bag, don't do what I did and tie it off close to the grain. I had a packed mass of grain and the water didn't circulate through it well, and I missed my OG by almost ten points because of the resulting poor efficiency.
Oct
1
comment Too long in Primary Fermentation?
I've heard that autolysis is usually only a problem in commercial breweries, because the weight of hundreds of gallons of beer focused on a small yeast cake in a conical fermenter will actually kill the yeast.
Oct
1
comment Adding cherries to an imperial stout
I'd also recommend pasteurizing any fruit before you add it to your beer. Heat it to 170, cover, remove from the heat and let it sit for five minutes. The go ahead and put it in your secondary and rack on top of it.
Oct
1
comment What is the correct way to sanatise plastic pet bottles?
Most no-rinse sanitizers only work when they're wet, so you want to bottle before the sanitizer dries.
Jun
5
comment Oxidization during transfer
On my second batch I transferred to secondary and left the end of the siphon hose dangling a good 6-8" above the bottom of the carboy, and didn't realize it until I'd transferred about a gallon. I got a fair amount of bubbles, but the brew turned out just fine. So there's hope!
Jun
3
comment Why an erlynmeyer flask?
@DougEdey: I'll bet you have -- Pyrex measuring cups. They may not be laboratory-grade, but they're certainly thermal-shock resistant.