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Old 04-03-2014, 03:39 PM   #141
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Yeah, an aquarium heater would fit inside the fermentation vessel. I assume it would be hard to keep it sterilized? trouble is, a heater tray or belt apparently get too hot!!!

and yeah i was referring to transferring the brew from the primary fermentation vessel to a bottling bucket. Not a secondary fermentation vessel.

May need to invest in a bottling bucket as well.... its getting expensive, this little hobby of mine!!!

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Old 04-03-2014, 04:24 PM   #142
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Originally Posted by noodleface84 View Post
Hi peeps. I am quite new to brewing and I have some questions here..

I am about to start my 3rd batch, which will be the 'Admiral Reserve' by Woodforde's.

Firstly, is it better to use mineral water? as the water here in the south of England is very hard.

Secondly, i assume the 'hop enhancer' they supply is more for flavor rather than the initial bitterness and this should be added at the end of the boil?

Thirdly, during the primary fermentation, is it better to use a heater belt or tray? or would an aquarium thermostatic heater be better? My house is cold all of the time!

Fourthly, when transferring to bottles, it states to use 1/2 a teaspoon of sugar per bottle but can I put more in to gain a higher abv?

...and finally, what are the benefits of siphoning from the primary vessel into another vessel prior to bottling?

If you can answer any of these questions, it would be much appreciated as I am keen to get going on it soon.

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For 1, if the first batch was great, or even good, your water is probably fine. Tweaking water, as someone else said, is usually after you get a few batches down the road.

2. I've never heard of a hop enhancer, so I'm clueless.

3. you can use any, I've put the fermenter in a tray of water with the aquarium thermostat with no problems and others use the belt all the time. don't put it in the vessel, you won't be able to seal it or keep it sanitary easily.

4. You do NOT want to add extra sugar at bottling or you will create bottle bombs. Also table sugar adds some off flavors if I recall, that is why usually people use corn sugar for bottling or adding alcohol. The latter should be added in the fermentation so that you don't explode bottles.
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Old 04-03-2014, 08:34 PM   #143
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Originally Posted by noodleface84 View Post
Yeah, an aquarium heater would fit inside the fermentation vessel. I assume it would be hard to keep it sterilized? trouble is, a heater tray or belt apparently get too hot!!!

and yeah i was referring to transferring the brew from the primary fermentation vessel to a bottling bucket. Not a secondary fermentation vessel.

May need to invest in a bottling bucket as well.... its getting expensive, this little hobby of mine!!!
Ok. As pompeiisteaks said above, I'd stay away from putting the aquarium heater IN the beer. His idea with keeping the primary in heated water is a good one.

I didn't think a bottling bucket was necessary, but I've found it to be very useful! I would definitely consider it.

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Old 04-04-2014, 06:27 PM   #144
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I've been priming with table sugar for a couple of years now - I don't think it tastes any different than using corn sugar. But I like the idea of mixing up a priming solution in water and boiling it for 10 minutes - good for sanitation. Then gently pour it into the bottling bucket, and rack the beer on top of it with a swirling motion, and mix gently with a long spoon. This works well for distributing the priming sugar evenly.

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Old 04-04-2014, 06:41 PM   #145
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Firstly,don't use mineral water. Spring water,RO,or distilled would be better. Secondly,never heard of hop enhancers over here. Aquarium heaters are used in the swamp bath tub the fermenter would sit in. You can use this priming calculator to figure out how much sugar to use by weight; http://www.tastybrew.com/calculators/priming.html,so a small digital scale will come in handy.
You can also weigh hops,grains,extracts as well with it. Then boil 2C of water in a small sauce pan for a few minutes. Remove from heat & stir in the priming sugar till water goes clear again. The sugar is dry,so no nasties would grow on it. And since pasteurization happens in seconds @ 160F,no need to boil the snot out of it. Then cover & cool while you sanitize the bottling bucket,racking tubes,bottling wand & tube,etc. Start racking beer into bottling bucket. Then slowly pour the priming solution into the swirling surface of the beer.

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Old 04-06-2014, 02:20 PM   #146
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Originally Posted by unionrdr View Post
Firstly,don't use mineral water. Spring water,RO,or distilled would be better. Secondly,never heard of hop enhancers over here. Aquarium heaters are used in the swamp bath tub the fermenter would sit in. You can use this priming calculator to figure out how much sugar to use by weight; http://www.tastybrew.com/calculators/priming.html,so a small digital scale will come in handy.
You can also weigh hops,grains,extracts as well with it. Then boil 2C of water in a small sauce pan for a few minutes. Remove from heat & stir in the priming sugar till water goes clear again. The sugar is dry,so no nasties would grow on it. And since pasteurization happens in seconds @ 160F,no need to boil the snot out of it. Then cover & cool while you sanitize the bottling bucket,racking tubes,bottling wand & tube,etc. Start racking beer into bottling bucket. Then slowly pour the priming solution into the swirling surface of the beer.
Take into account that if you use distilled or reverse osmosis water, you are going to need to add salts, minerals, etc. Spring water is a good one, especially if it really is spring water and not just from the tap. I would recommend getting you hands on your local water quality, it will give you most of the details you need. You could use that data and put it into an application such as Beer Smith.

As far as bottles go, if reusing bottles, make sure you rinse them out. Put them in the dish washer, don't worry, most amber bottles can withstand the heat. Most dishwashers don't hold temperature high enough to sanitize, so once they cool, put them in a no rinse sanitizer like StarSan. You can use Iodifur, which is iodine based, but you run into the potential of having off smells and flavors.

If you want to minimize your bottling time, I remember the days of being a homebrewer, go with 22 oz bottles. The other option is kegging. Cleaning kegs are a lot easier if you get a keg washer. You can find them at most homebrew stores. They come with hook ups to clean both your gas in and beer out Cornelius Keg Posts. I do a three step cleaning, I start out with PBW, though you'll want to rinse it with hot water. Second I do another rinse with Iodifur and the third step with StarSan. Can never be too careful.
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Old 04-06-2014, 04:23 PM   #147
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The sugar is dry,so no nasties would grow on it.
unionrdr: I feel that microbes can fall onto dry sugar and stay there until it is put into your beer, and then grow in the wet environment. I had to re-prime several bottles some time ago due to bad cap seals, and a few bottles went bad. I agree that it is rare - lots of brewers have primed with dry sugar successfully.
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Old 04-07-2014, 01:13 PM   #148
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Originally Posted by chicoporter View Post
Take into account that if you use distilled or reverse osmosis water, you are going to need to add salts, minerals, etc. Spring water is a good one, especially if it really is spring water and not just from the tap. I would recommend getting you hands on your local water quality, it will give you most of the details you need. You could use that data and put it into an application such as Beer Smith.

As far as bottles go, if reusing bottles, make sure you rinse them out. Put them in the dish washer, don't worry, most amber bottles can withstand the heat. Most dishwashers don't hold temperature high enough to sanitize, so once they cool, put them in a no rinse sanitizer like StarSan. You can use Iodifur, which is iodine based, but you run into the potential of having off smells and flavors.

If you want to minimize your bottling time, I remember the days of being a homebrewer, go with 22 oz bottles. The other option is kegging. Cleaning kegs are a lot easier if you get a keg washer. You can find them at most homebrew stores. They come with hook ups to clean both your gas in and beer out Cornelius Keg Posts. I do a three step cleaning, I start out with PBW, though you'll want to rinse it with hot water. Second I do another rinse with Iodifur and the third step with StarSan. Can never be too careful.
This also depends on whether you're using extracts or not. The extracts already have the minerals in them from the water they were produced with. So no need to add more. As for myself,I use White House Artisian Springs water that comes from 6 different springs in the bedrock here in NE OH. Works great from AE to PB/PM BIAB.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ncbrewer View Post
unionrdr: I feel that microbes can fall onto dry sugar and stay there until it is put into your beer, and then grow in the wet environment. I had to re-prime several bottles some time ago due to bad cap seals, and a few bottles went bad. I agree that it is rare - lots of brewers have primed with dry sugar successfully.
Microbes generally do not survive long in dry environments. They need moisture,food & warmth to propagate. In this case,it's most likely from loose,leaky caps. I had that happen when the bell on my red baron wore out,causing the same thing. As the bottles carbonated,the leaky ones would give off a malty smell that wound up tasting oxidized. Again from the leaky caps.
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Old 04-08-2014, 10:17 AM   #149
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the manufacturer of the malt extract i plan to use says it has already been boiled in the factory, and wont need to be boiled again. is that the case with all malt extracts?

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Old 04-08-2014, 11:49 AM   #150
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Basically,yes. DME doesn't darken in the boil as readily as LME does. So I generally use DME in the boil,LME at flame out. You especially don't want to boil pre-hopped extracts,as it messes up the hop additions already in it.

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