Questions tagged [fermentation]

The anaerobic process by which yeast convert sugars into alcohol and carbon dioxide.

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44 votes
11 answers
84k views

If/When to move to secondary fermentation

Digression from What's the point of secondary fermentation? What are the good rules of thumb for determining a. whether to use secondary fermentation at all and b. when to move from primary to ...
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59 votes
4 answers
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What's the point of secondary fermentation?

I've always bottled directly after the primary fermentation has finished. What's the point of the secondary fermentation? Can I use a bucket or is it something that really necessitates a glass carboy?
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9 votes
9 answers
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Small Space & Apartment Brewing: Fermentation

Given the limited space of an apartment, what do you do to maintain a steady fermentation? Do not consider budget to be a factor. This is the sixth question in a series of discussions about small-...
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41 votes
14 answers
113k views

Too long in Primary Fermentation?

What's the maximum amount of time for primary fermentation, assuming the beer is going straight to bottles next? Will it over ferment and then fail to carbonate, if left too long in a carboy?
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9 votes
1 answer
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What are the benefits of fermenting under pressure?

I hear that some brewers ferment under pressure. What is the rationale/benefits of doing this?
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23 votes
16 answers
25k views

Fermentation Temperature Control Methods

What different methods do people use to maintain or control fermentation temps? This includes maintaining temps for both Ales and Lagers. For most climates, active control is necessary for doing ...
25 votes
8 answers
2k views

Temperature Control for Fermentation

I am curious how everyone controls the temperature of their primary, especially those that live in the warmer climates. In Florida, where the temperatures can soar and remain in the 90's and above ...
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18 votes
4 answers
5k views

Should I ferment a new batch directly on the yeast cake generated by the previous batch?

I'm going to re-use the yeast cake from a low-gravity batch to ferment a high-gravity batch. Can I just put the wort directly on it? Does it then need to be agitated? Is it worth the risk of ...
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14 votes
4 answers
7k views

How many degrees will my carboy heat up as a result of fermentation activity?

Recipe calls for fermentation at 70°F (21°C), basement is 65°F (18°C). I know that fermentation produces some heat, so I was wondering if just letting yeast do its thing will be enough. Otherwise, ...
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12 votes
1 answer
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What is a proper blow-off tube setup?

36 hours ago I brewed a BIG red ale and pitched some kick-ass WLP001. The picture on the left is what I had late last night (24 hr in). Made me a little nervous. And this morning the krausen had ...
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2 votes
2 answers
4k views

First Time Airlock Won't Start

EDIT: I see from this post and from elsewhere on the Web that a bubbling airlock is apparently not an indicator for fermentation, as there could be a leaky lid. Regardless, doesn't a non-bubbling ...
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14 votes
2 answers
8k views

Can we estimate the temperature rise in the primary due to fermentation?

OK, this is sort of cheating but I really liked this question so I thought I'd ask the question again in a slightly different way and try and answer it. I was wondering if we can actually estimate ...
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19 votes
6 answers
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What's the difference between primary & secondary fermentation?

Over here PJ asked "How do you differentiate primary to secondary if you keep it in the same bucket?"
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6 votes
3 answers
748 views

Tips for brewing at high temperatures

I live in a tropical country and don't have an extra freezer, but I want to comeback to homebrewing. I'll dare to brew at high temperatures and would like to find ways to get a decent tasting beer. ...
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11 votes
1 answer
2k views

What's a good breakdown of all the sugars in regards to brewing?

I'm a little confused when it comes to sugars. It seems like there are a lot of different kinds and they come in many different forms. What affects to different sugars have on brewing? Do they ...
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6 votes
2 answers
3k views

How can I ferment in a corny keg under constant pressure?

I'm thinking about switching from fermenting (primary and secondary) in glass carboys to using Cornelius kegs. Specifically, I'd ferment a 5.5 gallon batch in a 10 gallon keg. My goal is to ferment ...
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12 votes
5 answers
22k views

Can I use wine yeast to ferment beer?

Can I use wine yeast to ferment a beer? What sort of problems might I encounter that are unique to wine yeast trying to ferment malt sugars? What sort of flavor differences might I encounter?
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9 votes
5 answers
59k views

How do I avoid airlock foam overflow? Does it affect the fermentation process?

During my last small batch brew, American Wheat from Northern Brewer, I came home to find that the foam in the 1 gallon carboy had overflowed the three-piece air lock (which was a mess to clean out). ...
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8 votes
4 answers
2k views

Cherry vinegar (was supposed to be mead)

Last week I started a cherry mead and discovered yesterday that it had turned to vinegar (and not even nice-tasting cherry-flavoured vinegar - it smelled and tasted awful, though the colour was great)....
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6 votes
2 answers
3k views

Will Jalapeno or Habanero peppers adversely effect yeast

I have a recipe in front of me for a Saison of the spicy variety. It calls for the addition of one Jalapeno pepper, seeds included. First off, I do enjoy a fair amount of spice (far more than anyone ...
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9 votes
2 answers
2k views

Pressure during fermentation

I imagine other parameters are more important (like temperature or pitching rate). Still, I was wondering if pressure has some effect on the fermentation process (for example on flocculation, ...
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7 votes
5 answers
8k views

How do you tell if your fermentation is stuck?

How long do you wait before taking corrective action if your fermentation doesn't start? Are there any other good ways to tell if it's just taking a while to get going?
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4 votes
1 answer
606 views

Day 2 of Primary Fermentation of beer

Is this what my primary fermentation should look like after a day??? It looks like my yeast has been sitting on top of foam..
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3 votes
1 answer
1k views

Fermentation hasn't started?

Made a kit on Saturday, 1/2 lb. Caramel 80 specialty grain, 9.15 lbs rye extract. Kit came with the Wyeast American Ale smack pack. When I got the yeast pack out of the fridge, the pack was already ...
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3 votes
2 answers
1k views

So I want to make a summer shandy, can I just put fruit in the second fermentation stage instead of juice?

So I was told I can add lemonade or orange juice to my wheat beer to make a summer shandy, can I just put fruit in the second fermentation stage instead?
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19 votes
1 answer
13k views

Why is it bad to pitch too much yeast?

What are the effects of over-pitching? Where is the line for, say, a 1.050 beer? There is also a question for to under-pitching.
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17 votes
10 answers
19k views

Sanitizing oak chips

Going to try using dry oak chips in my secondary fermenter. How do you recommend sanitizing the chips before adding them?
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10 votes
9 answers
18k views

What's a good small-batch fermentation vessel?

After getting started with a few kits, I'd like to start experimenting a little bit. I'd like to start off with 1-gallon batches on anything I'm not sure about, though. I have a growler that I'm ...
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9 votes
2 answers
2k views

Dry hopping without secondary fermentation

I have so far only done bottom-fermented beers without transferring into a second vessel for secondary fermentation. If I wanted to do some dry hopping with this technique, when is the best time to ...
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7 votes
2 answers
945 views

How to know if kombucha is alcoholic?

So I am into making kombucha at home: I made a SCOBY, grew it, and I have successful kombuchas. My normal recipe makes a "ginger kombucha", pretty much kombucha with sugar and ginger. It disappears ...
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6 votes
1 answer
1k views

Will blending a highly attenuating yeast with a highly alcohol tolerant yeast cleanly lower the final gravity in a very high gravity ale?

I've brewed some ridiculous beers in the past, my highest original gravity resulting in over a final 18% ABV using WLP099 yeast. That particular beer turned out well for how inexperienced I was when ...
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4 votes
4 answers
37k views

Consistently high final gravity

I started brewing about a year ago, currently on my sixth batch, all using extract and some additional grains. My problem is that my beers consistently finish with a higher than expected final gravity....
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4 votes
1 answer
1k views

Corny keg fermentors

I had been thinking about using a couple corny kegs as fermentors. Maybe even trimming up some dip tubes to be able to CO2 push finished beer out of the kegs to clean serving kegs. Here are some of ...
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3 votes
3 answers
490 views

Cleaning/Prepping frozen strawberries for a strawberry blonde

A simple enough question for thoughtful answers. Some good recipes out there for Strawberry Blondes. All the normal tips are understood, i.e., 1#/gal, strawberries will likely kickstart fermentation ...
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3 votes
2 answers
706 views

Is primary fermentation finished?

I'm making a doppelbock with an ale yeast, so I'm fermenting in the mid- to upper 60s. It's 11 days in and all the krausen is gone. The top is speckled with what appears to be bright white yeast ...
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2 votes
1 answer
133 views

Kettle souring with lactobacillus - hot plate?

Researching a Berliner weisse and have decided that I will be doing a kettle sour. Lactobacillus likes to be around 45°C from what I have read so far. Currently my thinking is to transfer the kettle ...
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14 votes
5 answers
50k views

Is it possible to over-ferment?

My first batch started fermenting 8 days ago. The beer is still fresh and very cloudy, but I'm wondering if its possible to over-ferment a beer? If I let it sit for another 2 weeks (or however ...
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13 votes
3 answers
10k views

Is a 5 gallon bucket too big for 3 gallon recipe?

I have a few Mr Beer extract kits left over from when I started this hobby. Can I ferment a 3 gallon recipe in a 5 gallon bucket? Will there be too much head space?
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11 votes
2 answers
674 views

Smack Pack and Pitching Time

So I completed my first batch of homebrew this morning, but I forgot one potentially (okay, not potentially, definitely) important aspect of the whole process: the yeast. I didn't forget it, per se, ...
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10 votes
2 answers
4k views

How do I decide if the beer is ready? Is my fermentation complete?

This is my first time brewing and I've followed the instructions from a kit. It says to leave the beer in the key for two weeks and its ready when it stops being cloudy. Its now been a little over ...
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10 votes
3 answers
461 views

Priming Sugar Affect on Fermentation

I screwed up took a batch that had only been fermenting for 3 days and started to bottle it before I realized it was the wrong one. [link] During this screw up I ended up added the priming sugar then ...
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9 votes
5 answers
3k views

Over attenuated all grain beers

I'm having a problem with all my beers regardless of style getting over attenuated. I've been raising my mash temps up to 4° above each beers style (up to 158° or so) to compensate with no luck. I've ...
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8 votes
4 answers
2k views

Starsan in double bubble airlock keeps getting sucked into fermenter - why and how to prevent?

I did a brew on Saturday and cooled, got in the fermenting bucket and added yeast, added starsan to the chamber in the double bubble airlock and got it under the stairs. Ever since then, the starsan ...
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8 votes
4 answers
25k views

Ale Fermentation Temp. Too Cold?

Recently, I've had a streak of hot fermentations. My primary vessel nears 80º, and sometimes more. With my latest batch, I've moved to a much cooler part of the house. I expect it to consistently ...
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8 votes
10 answers
3k views

Spigots: What's the consensus

I like to use an ale pail with a spigot for my secondary. It makes it super easy to test the gravity before actually bottling/kegging/etc. However, that sort of installation in plastic can open the ...
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7 votes
1 answer
694 views

Is this a bottle bomb waiting to happen?

Planning a strong & sweet Belgian style ale, I expected OG to be as high as 1.096. Because of my extremely amateur setup, I used two pots instead of one big one for the boil (between them both I ...
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  • 247
7 votes
4 answers
3k views

Brewed beer turnaround time

As homebrewers why do we take longer to ferment our beer than what seems like the time-line at the commercial/pro level. Everytime I take a brewery tour or a listen to a podcast that interviews a pro ...
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7 votes
8 answers
8k views

Triple Fermented?? But Why?

Some beers claim to be triple fermented, meaning that after primary fermentation, more fermentables are added at the start of secondary, and then the brew is bottle-conditioned, resulting in three ...
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  • 6,429
7 votes
2 answers
207 views

Homebrewing Soda, Safety Concerns

I wanted to try making my own soda this summer, and finally got around to it 10 days ago. Here's the thing. I didn't have/use any specialized equipment. I boiled water with sugar ~15 minutes, and ...
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7 votes
4 answers
3k views

Safely adding enzymes (e.g. Beano) to lower final gravity

I've heard a lot of mixed stories about people adding additional enzymes (Beano, GasX, etc) to their beers to drop the final gravity down very (sometimes undesirably) low. I've also hear mixed ideas ...
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