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Apr
15
comment What's the ratio of square feet of planted barley — pounds of grains
An acre is actually 43,560 square feet. A lot of the houses in my neighborhood are on quarter-acre lots, it'd be hard to get a house on only 50 square feet!
Mar
15
comment HI!! raspberries and rye beer, yeah!
Powdered rye? You mean malted rye extract?
Mar
14
comment No fermentation after 3 weeks
Did you rehydrate the yeast before you pitched or just sprinkle it on top? Rehydrating isn't strictly necessary, but can help.
Mar
11
comment Brew in a bag partial boil
Note that you can double-crush your grains to improve your efficiency with BIAB. I do a fairly fine crush (my mill is set to 0.035") on my grains and I usually get between 75 and 80% efficiency. Since you don't have to worry about a stuck sparge you can grind pretty fine. Definitely try to do a full-volume mash, though.
Mar
11
comment What are good cooling times for immersion wort chiller?
+1 for agitation. The first time I used my chiller I just ran water through it and it took almost 30 minutes to get to pitching temp. The next time I "bounced" the coil up and down while chilling and I was in range in under ten minutes.
Mar
11
comment Hazy beer with new braumeister
Are you getting a good hot break with the braumeister? If you're not getting a good rolling boil, it's possible the proteins aren't floccing enough to drop out in the trub.
Feb
19
comment How to best grind grain at home?
I use a Barley Crusher, it's relatively inexpensive and pretty widely available from the usual suspects (AIH, BeerSmith, NB). Comes with a crank but it's trivial to remove and replace with an electric drill.
Feb
19
comment Brewing with fruit
You can also simply add it to the primary after fermentation quits. I don't even thaw mine, just dump them in a hop bag and lower them in. One less bucket to clean!
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.