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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6
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4answers
3k views

What are some methods to increase extraction efficiency and consistency?

I've got some irregular sugar extraction efficiency problems. My efficiency is regularly low. I need your help. :) I get anywhere from 60% - 85%. I've fine tuned my mill to the best of my ability, so ...
6
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2answers
334 views

Estimating Alpha Acids of Home Grown Hops

For the homebrewer that grows and harvests his/her own hops; how best can one approximate the alpha acids in the hops they have? Is it worth it or should brewers stick to using home grown hops for ...
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2answers
2k views

Yeast starter temperatures

What temp guidlines apply to doing a yeast starter? Should the starter be at the intended fermentation temp? Should it be higher for good growth/activity? Should it be lower to keep it clean flavored?...
6
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1answer
184 views

How do I clean a sankey pump?

What is the best way to clean a sankey pump it after I use it so it doesn't get moldy inside?
5
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10answers
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What are some effective, cheap, easy ways to clean and re-use bottles?

After a couple year hiatus from home brewing, I'm ready to get back into it and I have been diligently consuming some local microbrews and saving the bottles in preparation. When I brewed before, for ...
5
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4answers
3k views

Can a twist-off bottle be capped?

Out of curiosity (and appreciation for Boulevard's bottle's form-factor), can a twist-off bottle be reliably capped?
5
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4answers
154 views

Names for when you use hops

I have heard a lot about the different stages of hopping in the mash, but I have only heard the term dry hopping. Are there different terms given to the different stages of hopping, or are they all ...
5
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5answers
2k views

Aroma hops: to bag or not?

I've been struggling a bit to get hop aroma into an IPA, and I think maybe my hop bags aren't letting enough wort get into the hops. I've been adding 50g of Simcoe to 20L of wort 5 minutes before ...
5
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1answer
1k views

How to increase thickness in beer?

I've found myself becoming quite fond of "thick" and "juicy" IPAs and DIPAs. Beers with a viscosity to them that feels somewhat syrupy and leaving a great mouthfeel when drunk. I want to brew my own ...
5
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1answer
3k views

When should I add orange peels to my homebrew?

I've been planning to experiment with orange peels for a while now, but I don't know when to add them, when should I throw them in? Last 15 minutes with the aroma hops? At flame-out? After primary? I ...
5
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5answers
4k views

How much weight to add to a dry-hop bag?

It sounds like the best place for the bag of hops should be somewhere in the middle on the carboy (or other container). This will mean that no hops are sitting only half in beer which should increase ...
5
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4answers
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How do you brew high alcohol beers at home?

I've heard that brewing anything over around 14% ABV is pretty much impossible…and that achieving anything over 11% in a homebrew environment is not very realistic. Is this true? If so, how do they ...
5
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5answers
815 views

Cloning commercial beer

Where do you turn for good sources of info when researching a commercial beer you want to brew yourself? Magazines, web or the brewers themselves.
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3answers
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Wyeast 1187 Ringwood Failure

I'll start by saying that I've never used liquid yeast before, so it could all be my fault... Anyway, I ordered some Wyeast 1187 Ringwood to use for a Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA clone that I did on ...
5
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2answers
2k views

Can I add finings after fermentation has begun?

My first all-grain batch was, er, a bit hectic. I forgot to add my Whirlfloc tablet in the last ten minutes of the boil. I know I can use isinglass for fining at room temperature, but my brew ...
5
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2answers
1k views

Is it acceptable to use a UV sanitizer light on a finished product?

With all the talk about how important it is to sanitize your equipment when brewing, is it acceptable to use a UV sanitizer light on a finished product just to make sure there is no harmful bacteria ...
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2answers
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Preparing Cherries for Secondary

A related question was asked about fruit in general but it didn't answer a particular question I have. I have 6 pounds of fresh cherries ready for a holiday beer. I'm planning on cleaning/sanitizing ...
5
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1answer
149 views

Preparing Yeast

I've been reading the How To Brew book, and it (amongst other sites) recommends rehydrating yeast before pitching it. http://www.howtobrew.com/section1/chapter6-5.html Some sites suggest adding a ...
5
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3answers
1k views

Plastic or Glass

Plastic or Glass fermentors? (Lets keep stainless steel out of this debate for now) Each has ups and downs. What are the main differences for the following aspects: Shapes and configurations Heat ...
5
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3answers
730 views

What is the proper method of pitching a starter?

What's the proper method of pitching a starter? Do I just pour the whole thing in or do I need to "harvest" a certain portion of it? I just started using starters (.25-.5 Gallons water + 2-4 cups ...
5
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2answers
440 views

Dispensing beers at two different pressures?

I'm working on getting a dual-tap kegerator. Is it worth it to pay the extra to dispense two beers at two different pressures? I can see dispensing a low-carbonation ESB and a high-carbonation ...
5
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1answer
2k views

Cleaner wort out of the Kettle

What are the benefits of completely seperating hot debris, hot break and cold break from the wort? Getting these things out of the wort and putting nothing but clean and clear wort in the fermentor ...
5
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1answer
508 views

Ramping temperatures during fermentation

What is the appropriate way to ramp temper when say brewing a Belgian beer? Would I expect to have off flavors from the higher temps? What's the best range for ramping? Do I actively manage the temp ...
5
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1answer
1k views

Maturation - what does it mean?

Homebrew recipes often give information along the lines of "6-8 weeks maturation". What exactly does maturation mean here in terms of conditions? Is it the same as a secondary? Can the beer "mature" ...
5
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1answer
1k views

Does filtering beer strip flavor, aroma and/or color?

In the quest for super clear beer (and increase shelf stability) some brewers like to filter their beer. What impact does it have on flavor, aroma and color? Which aspects of flavor (hops only, malt ...
5
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1answer
184 views

Cereal Mashing for Adjuncts

What is the step-by-step process for cereal mashing adjuncts? Please include temps and grain to volume ratios.
5
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1answer
231 views

Ideas about clearing a clogged collection ball on conical fermenter

I am preparing a heavily dry hopped beer. So far I have added my home grown yeast on brewing day with multiple hops. I have dry hopped twice again, and am at the final dry hop 5 days before bottling....
4
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4answers
3k views

High Gravity/Low Alcohol - How do I get there?

Everyone seems so interested in getting high alcohol into their beers. I like to drink and not get wasted, so how about good beer with low alcohol? Last summer's trip to England was an eye opener. ...
4
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7answers
2k views

Is it possible to do full boils without a propane burner?

I currently brew all-grain using a 7.5 gallon pot on a propane burner outside at a house I currently rent. However, I'm planning to move within the year to an apartment in the city and likely won't ...
4
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1answer
459 views

Adding water before bottling

Ok. Sorry if this has been asked. I really did try to research it. LOL I did my first batch of American Amber Ale, and made a few mistakes. I didn't take an initial gravity reading, and I think I ...
4
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3answers
912 views

Any special considerations (besides taste) when brewing with mineral water?

I understand that a good rule of thumb for brewing water is that if it tastes good it's good to use for brewing. Most of these nine springs that i've tried are way too mineraly to my taste but "7 ...
4
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1answer
244 views

Using candles to take out oxygen in fermentation chamber?

If I leave a few lit candles in my fermentation chamber (chest freezer,) would it eat up all the oxygen without any adverse effects? I've seen people do this on a smaller scale but it creates a vacuum....
4
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2answers
2k views

Will Potassium Metabisulfite prevent store-bought Grape Juice from fermenting?

There's a store-bought grape juice that I'm interested in lacto-fermenting (i.e. no yeast, only bacteria, anaerobic ferment, etc) but I recently discovered Potassium Metabisulfite is added to "enhance ...
4
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2answers
3k views

How does corn sugar affect the beer vs cane sugar?

Brand new to home-brewing. Currently making 1 gal small batches. I see a lot of recipes that call for either corn sugar or cane sugar, with honey as another alternative. How does corn sugar affect the ...
4
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2answers
4k views

Is Mixing Yeast OK?

Say I wanted to make an ale which has some of the banana characteristics of a Belgian yeast, but also wanted some of the citrusy flavors of an American ale yeast. Could I achieve this by making a ...
4
votes
1answer
241 views

Long cooling before pitching — aerate now or later?

This is a follow-up to this question: Long cooling before pitching -- read that for background. I aerate to add oxygen to my wort by pouring back and forth between buckets. If I wait before pitching,...
4
votes
2answers
691 views

Propane tank usage in wintertime

Today is 14°F (-10°C) here in the northern suburbs of MA. In wintertime it can be tough to brew outside if you are a propane cooker brewer such as myself. When the tank is going full bore it tends to ...
4
votes
1answer
514 views

Why are some of my batches too sweet in the bottle, and can I rescue them?

I've had pretty good success brewing kits generally, but towards the end of last year I went on a mission brewing a few batches in fairly rapid succession. Unfortunately for me, most of the resultant ...
4
votes
1answer
56 views

Using raw wheat in witbeers

Hi I am a brewer in the Indian Ocean Island of Madagascar working on a few recipes to hopefully start a microbrewery here. Our aim is to use as much locally grown fermentables as possible. We would ...
4
votes
2answers
77 views

Laboratory Scale beer Production for Microbiology and sensory evaluation

What is the easiest and best way make opaque beer in the lab? The beer has to be made in such a way that it will be able to be tasted. Besides using hops what other alternatives could I use for me ...
4
votes
1answer
334 views

recapping my bottles? Will it ruin the outcome of my beer?

I bottled my first batch of homebrew and didnt fill the bottles all the way. So the next day I opened the bottles and poured some more beer into them and recapped them.. I this going to mess up the ...
4
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1answer
650 views

Aging a naturally carbonated ale that was bottled from a keg

Okay, let's see if I can keep this question brief--I have a lot of followup questions that go with this so it may be difficult. Background: Last year I decided to start doing an annual Birthday Brew ...
4
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1answer
745 views

Small batch size brewing trub issues

Five gallon batches generate a certain amount of trub in the fermenter. However, its a relatively small percent of the total batch. I am interested in trying some 2 gallon maybe even one gallon ...
4
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1answer
327 views

Use of a mash screen

I have recently had some problems with my false bottom and want to experiment with a mash screen. This might be a bit of a stupid question but I have never used one before: Can you do the mashing with ...
4
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3answers
4k views

dead space in a mash tun

My mash tun has a good false bottom, in a stainless steel 15 gallon kettle. The false bottom sits almost two inches above the bottom the kettle. The maker of the equipment, MoreBeer, says to measure ...
4
votes
1answer
345 views

How does gradual hop infusion affect flavor and aroma?

I only make IPA's and have read about some IPA makers introducing hops gradually over the boil vs. adding the the "aroma" dose during the last 5 or 10 minutes of the boil. I understand that hops added ...
4
votes
1answer
164 views

Would you trust this starter?

I had one WLP001 vial of yeast that was only 14 days past its "best buy" date. I made a starter on a stir plate 2 full days before brewing. I got good growth as estimated by an increase in creamy ...
3
votes
7answers
3k views

Warming up a demijohn / carboy

As a continuation to my previous question about a very slow fermentation of sloe wine, I think my demijohn is just too cold where it is. I haven't taken readings - I'm still fuzzy on how - but judging ...
3
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2answers
104 views

Should the wort be boiled?

We bought a hard root beer kit--we are new to this--a friend says not to boil, the kit has boiling instructions. Is it necessary to boil to make beer?
3
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2answers
933 views

Potential causes of unreliable pre-boil gravity measurement

I usually take a hydrometer reading immediately after sparge so that I can calculate total points of gravity (i.e. gravity reading * volume), and from there calculate what volume of wort I should ...