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34

AFAIK, there are no benefits. They're all basically the same. Brewing sugar is corn sugar and while there may be chemical differences between it and other types of sugar, the end result in your beer will be indistinguishable. Sugars like piloncillo or demarara can add a bit of flavor, but the result of adding corn, cane, beet, or brown sugar are pretty ...


8

17 year old dried yeast? Which costs maybe $5 new? And is the most critical factor in the production of beer? (Brewers make wort, yeast make beer). Replace it.


7

I agree with Denny, except that I can taste brown sugar, especially when used for priming. It is very subtle and mostly an aroma, but tastes slightly different from cane/beet/corn sugar. Same is true of honey; it mostly ferments out but leaves a subtle residual flavor. I like to use brown sugar on bottle or keg conditioned stouts (oatmeal, milk) and I like ...


6

Sorry to revive an old thread but my experience of 15 years is this - controls of the same kit, same temperature, same time, same everything except sucrose in one and dextrose in the other. Result - no distinguishable difference when drinking one of each, same ABV, only difference was that sucrose took an extra day to finish primary. Bottom line - drink and ...


5

A very simple thing you might try, which doesn't require any further equipment at all, is "dry hopping". Depending on what you meant by your first beer not being "hoppy" enough, dry hopping might be the solution. Dry hopping will not add any bitterness, but it can add a great deal of wonderful hop aroma. If you currently rack from your primary fermenter ...


5

The boil is important for achieving certain beneficial changes in the chemistry of the wort that include the dropping out of haze creating proteins. So don’t forego the boil, even if it’s only a 6-liter partial boil. The main issue with boiling a small quantity of wort is that you'll get caramelization a lot sooner than if you were to boil the extract in a ...


5

There are kits with call themselves "lager" kits, but if you make them with the yeast provided and at the temperatures suggested, they will not produce a true lager beer. The beer they produce might taste quite similar to a light lager, but they will be ales. They would probably fit into one of these (2015) BJCP categories: 1C Cream Ale 18A Blonde Ale I'...


5

"Rafts" or anything floating at this stage sounds infected. If you had good fermentation it's unlikely it will be harmful to sample. Open one, see if you can recover the floaty. If its white / creamy color. I would sample taste the beer. If it's blue / black. Dump em.


4

No, the brew is not ruined. It's actually quite a small amount of sugar, and that will have been fermented out now, assuming it was sitting at room temperature (at least 15°C/59°F) Simply add the same quantity of sugar again and bottle. One thing that may have happened with the delay is the beer may have picked up a yeast bite if it's still sitting ...


4

If you're doing 2.5 gallon boils, and then adding another 2.5 gallons of (say) 55F tap water, then you're final temperature will be around 133F - the mid point of 212 and 55. For ales, pitching temperature is recommended at 75F, so you'll need to leave the wort for a few hours to naturally cool, or submerse in an ice bath to accelerate the cooling. If you'...


4

I noted that there are a few commenters above who appear to be confused about the question. Most brewers will know there is sugar at the brewing stage (eg during initial fermentation), and there is - sometimes, additional sugar added at the priming stage. The original question was about the sugar used at PRIMARY fermentation. The addition of sugar or ...


4

First of all, don't open the bucket if you can at all avoid it. I know this your first brew so you're excited, but in general you want to leave it alone. I don't touch my brews for 4 weeks unless dry-hopping (as in, I pitch yeast, close the bucket and don't look or think about it again for a month). Second--your beer is probably fine. The most vigorous ...


4

John Palmer's How to Brew or Charlie Papazian's New Complete Joy of Homebrewing are good beginner books. In terms of equipment, I suggest using the inventory from the lowest-tier kit sold by Midwest Supplies (currently $70) as a minimal shopping list, plus a 5-gallon kettle, plus a no-rinse sanitizer such as Star-San or Iodophor, and plus a percarbonate-...


4

Yes this is a normal behavior, but not one we like in brewing. We like to see good activity in less than 12 hours. Forget the recomended times in your instructions, they are lost in lag now. Let primary fermentaion complete, then rack secondary if called for. Causes of a long lag time are numerous. Insufficient o2, insufficient nutrients, under pitching, ...


4

I would just rehydrate the packet of yeast in 500mLs of water using a measuring cup. Then just pour 100mLs in each fermentor. The only thing that sounds 'crazy' about your experiment is the water type test. Extract contains the minerals from the original water source used when mashing at the manufacturer. So adding minerals or whatever you plan to do ...


4

Beer kits generally end up somewhere near or just below the 5% ABV mark. It is easy to add sugar/glucose to the wort to make it a higher ABV. Generally using added sugars one can get to somewhere around 10% ABV or so. Beer is rarely made less than 3% ABV even for a "session beer kit".


4

I would just wait until you get back. Just because you aren't racking to secondary doesn't mean the extra couple weeks in the fermenter won't do any good. It might be quasi-marginal, but erring on the side of more time in the fermenter will just ensure that your yeast have cleaned up after themselves by the time you bottle. Dry-hop the day you get back, ...


3

Since you're going to be boiling the kit (either DME or LME - you still have to boil it) - I'd say just add those hops with 5 minutes left to boil then carry on as usual. Generally anything added within 15 minutes of flameout will contribute to aroma as the oils responsible won't be wholly lost - as they would be if you were to boil the same hops for 60 ...


3

One way of adding bitterness without needing to acquire additional equipment would be to use 2 cans of hopped extract, instead of 1 can of hopped extract and some DME. That way all of your fermentables are bittered. It might be a bit hard to predict what you'll end up with -- that depends on how much DME you would have added, and how bitter the canned ...


3

If you want to add hop bitterness, you can get hold of some dry malt extract (DME) from your local homebrew store. Boil it up with some water, say a gallon, and add 1-2oz of your desired bittering hop and boil for 45 minutes. Add this to the fermenter along with your other pre-boiled wort and top-up water. That will give you the extra hop bitterness you are ...


3

If the wort you use is pre boiled (which it sounds like it is), about your only option is to dry hop it. That will give you aroma and a bit of hop flavor, but won't increase the bitterness. Wait until fermentation is finished, then add about an oz. of hops to the fermenter. If you want to keep it British style, use something like Goldings. If you want to ...


3

No hands on experience on this kind of brew, but a few thoughts: You have a few options, add the ginger to the boil, to the primary fermenter or to the secondary fermenter (or if you don't have/use another fermenter, to the primary after the active fermentation is done). Each will most likely give different results, I would guess adding it to the boil may ...


3

Changing the yeast should give you a noticeable improvement as well. Try some different strains, an English strain, American Strain, maybe a Belgian strain. You might find a yeast strain that you really like. Either way it will probably be a huge improvement over the yeast that's included with your kit.


3

All of these retailers are in competition with each other, which keeps margins and prices pretty low. The only way you might be able to squeeze out a better deal is finding an online retailer that is physically closer to you (to reduce shipping costs). And/or wait for clearance sales. Breaking out of pre-packaged kits will let you bulk order ingredients to ...


3

Just for an alternative perspective on brew shops in your locality. Establishing a relationship with a good proprietor / staff will allow you to trade ideas / recipes / advice often at a similar price to online retailers; in fact, the kits I purchase tend to be cheaper if shipping is taken into account. Also good brew shops will often point you in the ...


3

That seems low, but it's largely dependent on what's in the kit. It is probably an extract kit. If it's not completely extract and includes some specialty grains you may be in trouble. Depending on weight these will require some steeping and require about 1.25 quarts of water per pound of grains, and don't forget to leave room for the grains in the pot as ...


3

Yes, you can make half a batch. You can keep liquid malt extract well sealed in the fridge for a few weeks, then it will start degrading. It will loose its freshness, but shouldn't spoil. If you plan using it within 2-3 months, you should be fine. This Post regarding LME storage, suggest that keeping it frozen is also a good option. This BYO article ...


3

Several causes and solutions, in this case I would say a combination of premature flocculation, lack of oxygen pre pitch, under pitched and possibly post fermintation o2 exposure. Solution so you don't get a 4th batch like this. 1)Areate wort before pitching yeast, consider direct o2 gas. 2) Use a yeast starter to solve the underpitch and premature ...


3

In general, when it comes to modifying extract kits, you have a few options to make it better: 1. Add less water to increase flavor and alcohol content (ex: 20L instead of 23L) 2. Steep some specialty grain to add flavor (depends on the type of beer) 3. Add some hops (dry hopping or boiled) to add more flavor/bitterness 4. Add Dextrose (sugar) to ...


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