Questions tagged [techniques]

Ways of using tools and tricks to accomplish a task. May refer to any portion of work during any stage in the brewing or fermenting process.

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votes
1answer
370 views

Adding Oak Flavor/character to beer

Short of buying an oak barrel, what forms of oak are available to the homebrewer for getting oak into yuor beer? Are they available with different levels of toast? Are some forms easier to sanitize ...
9
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2answers
3k views

Brewing with veggies

This may be more of a wiki than a specific question, but has anyone ever tried brewing with vegetables? If so, what is your experience? I'm considering mostly root vegetables. carrots, beets, ...
8
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5answers
761 views

Critical Steps to follow for any homebrew beer recipe or process

I've got my second batch of homebrew fermenting, and in just two batches I've learned a lot the hard way (messed up batch priming, possibly under-aerated the wort, etc) What steps are critical to any ...
8
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4answers
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 ...
8
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2answers
5k views

How to smoke your malts

How would I go about smoking barley (no points awarded for answering "in a pipe")? My LHBS has a couple of smoked varieties, but not the exact type of smoke I want. I'd like a method that doesn't ...
8
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3answers
12k views

How can I minimize methanol/fusel alcohols in wine?

I just started home brewing, have studied up on the issues associated with methanol/fusel alcohols, and I'm wondering if there are certain practices that can be used to minimize non-ethanol alcohols, ...
8
votes
3answers
8k views

Crushing malt without a mill

What's the best way to crush malt if you don't have a mill at home? How much malt would you venture to crush that way?
8
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2answers
499 views

Extract late with a full boil?

If you can do a full wort boil with extracts is it still beneficial to be adding extract late to avoid color changes and the like? What would happen to hop utilization with extract late in a full boil?...
8
votes
1answer
269 views

How To Successfully Untie a full bag of grain.

I buy full sacks of grain, and over the past 10 years it's always been hit and miss getting that string that ties the bag close to unwind. If you get it just right the string unwinds with a gentle ...
8
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2answers
555 views

Fly Sparging: Can I start boiling straight away

I fly sparge directly into my boil kettle and in general I have the heat on while I'm doing this. When this was on my stove it wasn't powerful enough to get the water boiling before finishing the ...
8
votes
3answers
2k views

How do you get the bag of hops into the carboy and then remove it?

I always have a difficult time getting the hops in the carboy and then removing it when dry-hopping. What's the trick?
8
votes
4answers
627 views

Need a non-alcohol brew without the sacrifices. (besides the obvious)

I brewed a pomander inspired wit beer for the holidays. It is currently in primary. Since my wife just had gall badder surgery, she is avoiding alcohol for a little while and asked if I could brew her ...
8
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2answers
615 views

Starter and smack-packs

Is making a starter a good idea when using a larger activator pack from Wyeast? Should you smack the packet and add it to the starter, or add it after it swells?
8
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3answers
2k views

Is There A Way To Get Root Beer Taste/Smell Out Of Kegging Equipment?

I've since learned better, but when I first got my kegging setup, I put root beer on one of the lines. After that keg was empty, I decided to put soda water in instead. Unfortunately, the root beer ...
7
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3answers
5k views

Should I purge my carboy with CO2 before racking to secondary?

I'm thinking this might help prevent oxidation.
7
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6answers
17k views

Shaking vs not shaking

I'm playing with a yeast starter right now and I've noticed when I shake the mix the yeast gets more active. I'm wondering how this applies to my actual fermentation. So I was thinking I'd let my ...
7
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4answers
3k views

What is Extract Twang?

This term pops up from time to time and it often cited as a reason to go to all grain. But maybe its because I don't really know what it tastes like. Do you believe in extract twang? How do you get ...
7
votes
3answers
15k views

At what temperature should a lager be fermented?

When fermenting a lager, what temperature should it be held at for best results?
7
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3answers
7k views

Coriander: Seed vs Ground?

I'm making a witbier this weekend that calls for 1 tsp of coriander added to the boil at 2 minutes. I'm wondering if I should purchase seeds and grind them myself, or just buy a jar of ground ...
7
votes
2answers
3k views

Kettle volume measurements

Eventually there comes a time where just boiling 6 gallons for 60 minutes and taking it on faith that you have 5 gallons left doesn't cut it anymore. What tools can I use to measure the volume in the ...
7
votes
3answers
6k views

Yeast Starter Steps

I want to make a yeast starter for a lager. I even went out and got a 3000 ml Erlenmyer Flask. According to mrmalty.com's calculator I need 506 Billion cells. With the two vials of White Labs yeast ...
7
votes
5answers
11k views

Remedy for a Stuck sparge

How do you fix a stuck sparge? Are there any tricks too getting a sparge running again when it slows to a trick or even stops completely? (This is not intended to be a "how to prevent" the stuck ...
7
votes
2answers
1k views

Clarification for a low-flocculating yeast

I'm brewing a batch using WY2565 Kolsch which mentions that is low-flocculating and that it "remain in suspension post fermentation. It requires filtration or additional settling time to produce ...
7
votes
2answers
723 views

What are the steps in recapping overcarbonated beer?

What are the steps involved in recapping a bottle of beer for any reason (e.g. if too much priming sugar is added, if a cap appears to be defective or failing, etc)?
7
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3answers
3k views

Detriment of gelatin fining on flavor or aroma

Does using gelatin effect aromatics or flavor appreciably? I was reading this post about using gelatin. I have one keg that I use as a cold conditioning vessel (sort of like secondary), and I was ...
7
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6answers
2k views

Alternative/Non-traditional Brewing Practices

Brew in a bag. No chill. Olive Oil aeration substitute. Overnight mashing. Batch Sparging. The list continues. These types of techniques are great and frequent areas of discussion in the home ...
7
votes
2answers
379 views

Should I worry about CFLs (Compact Fluorescent Lamps) skunking my beer?

Particularly when racking from primary to secondary and then again into the keg.
7
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3answers
3k views

Why was original gravity high by .010?

Recently brewed a dry stout extract kit. Boiled 5 gallons on propane. Steeped 2 lbs of roasted malt, crystal malt and flaked barley at 155-160 F. Extract was 6.6lbs of Coopers Light LME. As usual, ...
7
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2answers
3k views

What is cold steeping?

What is cold steeping specialty grains all about? How do I do it? What does 'cold' really mean? How long does it take? Advantages and disadvantages?
7
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3answers
563 views

Cask beer at home

Anyone have a good source for getting smaller versions of a firkin for home use? I am interested in casking some beer at home for parties and special occasions. Are there any good links out there for ...
6
votes
5answers
36k views

Adding Vanilla Extract?

I have a black stout fermenting right now. I added about 8oz of cacao powder in the boil and I'd like to add some vanilla extract, to taste. Can this be done before bottling? Should this have been ...
6
votes
2answers
479 views

Cold Crashing techniques

I have very nearly mastered the clarification process but still wish to control the timing of flocculation more consistently. At what point/stage is cold crashing most efficient?
6
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4answers
13k views

What is a grant?

How is it used? What does it do?
6
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13answers
7k views

How do you prevent boil-overs?

This is a shill question for Mark Taylor. I stumbled on his great tip about keeping a spray bottle on hand to prevent boil-overs while looking for advice on yeast re-use. The spray bottle worked ...
6
votes
3answers
3k views

How do you filter at home?

I thought I'd ask this after reading Brewchez's effects of filtering question. I personally don't filter at home, for the most part. I generally make dark beer, and people who drink my beer ...
6
votes
3answers
222 views

What are the essential data one should collect when brewing beer?

guys, I just started homebrewing and I want to know what are the essential data one should collect when brewing beer other than hop schedules and gravities. What additional statistics do you suggest I ...
6
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3answers
1k views

Measuring Gravity

What is the usual procedure for measuring gravity? Is it typical to just take an original and final gravity measurement or should measurements be taken throughout? I've heard people talk about ...
6
votes
5answers
3k views

Which strains of yeasts are the cleanest for warm/hot fermentation?

I am from Puerto Rico and the temperature here is like summer all year round(between 75 to 95*F) , and I really want to know the cleanest strains of yeasts for this kind of temperature. (clean yeast=...
6
votes
2answers
247 views

Homebrewing: Decoction Mashing

Many beers, especially German, are produced with a method called decoction mash. In that, the rising of mash temperature is achieved each time by talking a portion of the MASH, boiling it, and adding ...
6
votes
2answers
5k views

Diacetyl Rest for Wyeast 2206 Bavarian Lager

The Wyeast website seems to strongly suggest a diacetyl as fermentation completes with their Bavarian Lager strain, 2206. I prefer to chill my wort to below fermentation temps prior to pitching the ...
6
votes
5answers
4k views

How are 10-gallon batches commonly fermented?

Currently I brew 5-gallon all-grain batches using my propane burner and 7.5-gallon brew pot. I've been considering buying a bigger pot and building a bigger MLT to do 10-gallon batches, but I'm not ...
6
votes
3answers
2k views

How do I do a decoction mash?

I've brewed a number of all grain beers and have been reading a bit about decoction mashing. However the explanations I've read have been a bit complicated. How do I do a decoction mash?
6
votes
2answers
2k views

When to add fresh ginger?

I am considering brewing an Amber ale with a bit of ginger in it, but I don't know whether I should treat it more like a spice and steep/boil it, or more like fruit, and rack onto the ginger for a ...
6
votes
1answer
260 views

Priming still possible after bottling

I must have been really lucky with my yeasts so far but usually my beers turned out nicely carbonated without any priming. The last batch though is really flat. Is it still possible to prime in the ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

Should secondary fermentation be the same temperature that primary was?

Or is it okay for the secondary fermentation to be colder than primary?
6
votes
4answers
2k views

Cleaning out beer lines

How often do you need to clean out your beer lines when using a home draft system? What type of cleaner do you use? Can I leave sanitizer in the tubing when a line isn't in use?
6
votes
2answers
932 views

Bottle filling without a rapid bottler

I'm about to bottle my first Coopers home brew and I don't have a rapid bottler. Can I pour it straight from the tap or will I have problems?
6
votes
4answers
3k views

Brew day notes template [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What is the best brewing log sheet to use? One of the things I'm guilty of being terrible at is note taking. I know I should keep track of temperatures, times, tastes, and a ...
6
votes
2answers
4k views

Using flakes in a mash

Do you just mix them with the grains or cook them first to get them gelatinized? What are the pros and cons of each method? What portion of the fermentables can be in flake form?
6
votes
3answers
3k views

Are Sparge Arms Necessary

Do you really need a sprinkler of some sort to sparge? Does it really improve the lautering process? How fancy does a sparge arm need to be, does it really have to rotate or can it just sprinkle all ...