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42
votes
11answers
74k 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 ...
58
votes
4answers
22k views

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?
17
votes
3answers
3k views

What are the advantages and disadvantages of transferring to a secondary vs. a long primary?

The conventional wisdom in homebrewing has been challenged in recent years. This wisdom held that a beer should be transferred from the primary fermentation vessel to a secondary one after 7-10 days. ...
7
votes
5answers
489 views

Small Space & Apartment Brewing: Cellaring

Given the limited space of an apartment, where do you store your homebrew before drinking? Do not consider budget to be a factor. This is the eighth question in a series of discussions about small-...
6
votes
1answer
262 views

Small Space & Apartment Brewing: Packaging

Given the limited space of an apartment, how do you bottle & keg? Do not consider budget to be a factor. This is the seventh question in a series of discussions about small-space brewing. ...
13
votes
7answers
4k views

Small Space & Apartment Brewing: Equipment Storage

Given the limited space of an apartment, what tips do you have for storing your equipment? Do not consider budget to be a factor. This is the first question in a series of discussions about small-...
9
votes
9answers
3k views

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-...
9
votes
5answers
567 views

Small Space & Apartment Brewing: The Chill

Given the limited space of an apartment, how can you achieve a good chill? Do not consider budget to be a factor. This is the fifth question in a series of discussions about small-space brewing. ...
8
votes
3answers
432 views

Small Space & Apartment Brewing: Mashing

Given the limited space of an apartment, how do you mash in cramped quarters? Do not consider budget to be a factor. This is the second question in a series of discussions about small-space brewing. ...
8
votes
4answers
558 views

Small Space & Apartment Brewing: Boiling

Given the limited space of an apartment, what tips do you have for the boil? Do not consider budget to be a factor. This is the fourth question in a series of discussions about small-space brewing. ...
4
votes
1answer
232 views

Small Space & Apartment Brewing: Steeping

Given the limited space of an apartment, what tips do you have for steeping specialty grain? Do not consider budget to be a factor. This is the third question in a series of discussions about small-...
62
votes
5answers
7k views

What equipment do I need to buy to start making beer?

What is the minimum equipment to start brewing some good beer at home?
18
votes
6answers
18k views

What is the secondary fermentation debate?

This question mentions a debate about secondary fermentation. Sort of like the existence of dark matter, everything I have read about homebrewing points to there being some disagreement about ...
39
votes
14answers
101k 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?
8
votes
5answers
2k views

Would placing the fermenter tank in a tub of water be a good way to handle hot environments?

Summers where I live typically have 80F nights and it can easily pick up to 95 degrees during the day. I have a plastic trash can (which I bought for this purpose) that I have filled up with water. ...
20
votes
4answers
11k views

How to Properly Oxygenate Wort

How much oxygen do I need to put into my wort? I've heard that homebrewers need to aerate with an oxygen stone and either aquarium pumps or oxygen. Is this true, or is shaking my carboy enough to ...
20
votes
6answers
30k views

[WIKI] Bottle Sanitizing Techniques - Pros & Cons

What are the pros and cons of each bottle sanitizing method? Let's look at time, equipment, quality of sanitation, and other factors. Post one answer for each method. Edit the answers if you have ...
31
votes
12answers
39k views

How to add fruit to beer

What is the best way to add fruit to a beer? I'm afraid boiling it will break down the fruit too much (a muslin bag could fix this I guess), but I'm not sure how to add it to the fermenter without ...
21
votes
1answer
666 views

Always making a starter vs. following package description

I have noticed that the smackpacks say on the package that the package is meant for a 5 gal. batch and that you should pour the pack directly into the wort. On the otherhand - nearly everyone tells ...
8
votes
1answer
9k views

What are the benefits of fermenting under pressure?

I hear that some brewers ferment under pressure. What is the rationale/benefits of doing this?
13
votes
2answers
69k views

How much potassium metabisulfite/Potassium Sorbate to stop fermentation?

I've had a lot of trouble finding a quick and easy answer to this question. Wine makers will add these chemical to wine after fermentation to prevent spoilage, and as an antioxidant. You can also ...
10
votes
10answers
50k views

How would I make Alcoholic Rootbeer?

I picked up some rootbeer extract at my local brewshop, and I've made a few batches in old soda bottles... but is it possible brew it with an alcohol content similar to that of beer?
25
votes
7answers
45k views

What is the difference between Clean, Sanitized and Sterilized?

What is the difference between Clean, Sanitized and Sterilized?
24
votes
2answers
20k views

What is cold crashing?

What is cold crashing? When is it done? How long does it take? Best temperature to make it happen?
18
votes
5answers
10k views

Using trub directly vs. yeast rinsing.

Sometimes referred to as "yeast washing," the process of yeast rinsing separates the yeast from the hops and break material in the trub. Most brewers who reuse yeast — and store it for long ...
9
votes
2answers
604 views

Why do extract recipes call for a late addition of the bulk of the extract?

My recipe calls for a pound of DME at the beginning of the boil and 6 pounds at 15 minutes to go. What's the point of that?
4
votes
4answers
7k views

Need advice on flavoring/sweetening my homebrew cider

I've just finished my primary fermentation and have produced a cider that is coming in at 5.2%. I am about to bottle my cider and add some priming sugar to give it a bit of a fizz. I would like to try ...
19
votes
4answers
6k views

How to store beer

When you buy beer that you plan to keep for a while (a while being more than a month or so), what's the best way to store it? Specifically, what are the rules for storing it cold or warm, on it's ...
10
votes
5answers
5k views

Long cooling before pitching

Summer brewing means warmer tap water, which means that my immersion chiller can only cool the wort to about 75 degrees. I typically cool the wort to 68 degrees before pitching. I have a ...
9
votes
9answers
17k views

Using Plastic Water Jugs as Fermenters

I asked this on Twitter a while back, but I thought I might get some other thoughts on it. I have one of those 5g Poland Spring water jugs. If I get a bung that fits it, is there any reason I couldn't ...
8
votes
2answers
33k views

How to calculate alcohol without OG reading?

I tested 'brewing' a cider for the first time a few weeks ago. Since this process was so extremely different from what I am used to with brewing beers I completely forgot to take an OG reading. To be ...
7
votes
2answers
4k views

Beer not carbonating

The IPA I made has been sitting in bottles for 2 weeks around 73-75F and is not carbonating. One thing I did prior to bottling was I cold crashed the secondary for about 1 day to get some floating ...
4
votes
1answer
445 views

What sugar to use when transferring to bottle or barrel

Doing a homebrew for the first time, bought a kit to do it with; figured it be a good student method of saving money :). Anyway, its currently in the fermenting bin, and when it comes to transferring ...
44
votes
33answers
47k views

What software do most brewers use?

Just curious what most brewers are using these days as far as software goes. We are going to have to make a decision in the near future about this. BeerSmith? ProMash? BeerTools? Any others I haven'...
33
votes
8answers
385k views

What are the various ways to remove chlorine/chloramine from tap water?

OK, I actually know how to remove chlorine, but I'd like to have the pros and cons of each method spelled out. I will post an answer and mark it as a community wiki. Please edit it with your input.
31
votes
3answers
54k views

How do you sparge?

One of the biggest hurdles I came across when switching to all-grain was learning how to sparge. I honestly still don't think I do it 100% correctly. There are very detailed descriptions online, but ...
23
votes
16answers
24k 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 ...
19
votes
8answers
574 views

Brewing with a deadline

Occasionally I need to brew beer for an event, and I procrastinate. One time, I brewed a pretty hefty IPA, and went from boil to bottle (keg, actually) in about 10 days. It was pretty malty, ...
24
votes
7answers
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 ...
23
votes
2answers
2k views

Partial vs. Full Volume Wort Boil

The starting position for most new extract brewers is to use a partial boil set up. Defined as using a pot smaller than the intended batch size, all the ingredients are boiled in a smaller volume. ...
7
votes
6answers
2k views

Networked/Connected Thermometer for Measuring Water in Swamp Cooler

I was hoping to put together an information system that could measure the temperature of the water in a bucket where I place my fermenting-bucket and notify my smart phone when I need to replace the ...
22
votes
2answers
22k views

What's the difference between 2-row and 6-row malt?

I know the difference has to do with how the grains grow on the stock, but I'm not completely sure what that difference is. It also seems like 2-row is more commonly used as a base malt, but I've seen ...
17
votes
4answers
4k 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 ...
14
votes
4answers
6k 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, ...
13
votes
8answers
16k views

What is the best brewing log sheet to use?

I'm looking for a log sheet to use to start tracking all the beer and wine I brew to (hopefully) improve the results over time. What's your favorite and what could be improved in it?
8
votes
6answers
3k views

Wort aeration on a budget

To aerate my wort I have been using a whisk, but i am worried about contamination. What are other more effective ways to aerate wort without spending too much money?
12
votes
1answer
9k views

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 ...
11
votes
12answers
16k views

How to brew all-grain indoors

I've been brewing with extracts and specialty grains for two years now, and I want to step up to all-grain brewing. From what I understand, it's important to get a full boil when brewing all-grain and ...
10
votes
2answers
2k views

Cleaning difficult krausen ring off Better Bottle

My latest brew has left a ring from the krausen just past the neck of my Better Bottle. I am on my third soak with a little bleach and warm water. Usually this does the trick, but I'm almost thinking ...
10
votes
4answers
7k views

How many times can yeast be reused?

A good yeast sample can be retrieved, stored & reused regularly across brews. Is there a limit to the number of generations a sample can last? I've heard that after so many generations a strain ...

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