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    Keg vs. Bottle

    I've never done a side-by-side of the same beer, but I think there is a difference. When you bottle, you're fostering a 2nd fermentation and you get all the residual esters, etc. that add flavors (good or bad). If you keg and force carb, there is no 2nd fermentation and thus no other flavors...
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    Dry Hopping

    I like to dry hop with whatever hops I used for the later additions...that way you get to experience the flavor and aroma of that particular hop.
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    How long did you extract brew before going to All Grain?

    I did extract for about a year. Nothing at all wrong with extracts, but AG is cheaper and IMHO, more fun. It requires some more equipment, and more time. I could do extract after work if I wanted...with AG, I need to block out a good chunk of a weekend day. But it makes the brew day more of an...
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    First brew day down!

    Sounds like you had a good 1st go at it. Sounds like you hit your OG fine. The more you brew, the more you'll get your routine down to a point where you'll have everything ready-in the right place-at the right time. I use the same tuperware container every time as my 'outside box'-basicly...
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    Techniques That Have The Biggest Impact

    I would echo everything regarding fermentation temps, and know that for ales, it's best to err on the side of cooler than warmer. It may take longer, but the taste will be cleaner. IMO, all-grain is a big improvement, and it's great because once you can do extract, going AG isn't really any...
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    Can i bottle at 1.020?

    As long as you've taken 2 readings a few days apart that have been the same-it's likley finished and you can bottle.
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    First 2 brews taste awful...

    I'd agree with most of what's been said and will add that my beers that have been brewed in the winter have been my better ones-that is when the basement is 60-70. If you have a basement, and can identify the corner that's foundation gets the least sunlight-that will be your best bet for the...
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    Is more than a week too long????

    Never any reason to rush. Everyone has their own preference, but try to do 3-6 weeks in the primary-then straight to bottles for at least 3 weeks before drinking (OK sometimes I sneak one after 2)...it really tastes the best after 4-5 weeks in the bottle. As mentioned, after fermentation...
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    Do I NEED to do a starter when I go all grain?

    While AG or extract makes no difference-after a few tasty brews with starters-I am fully in favor of them. I'm pretty sure that they have made the difference between OK beer with a few funky flavors-and very good beer with no off-flavors.
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    too early to bottle?

    +1 on Revvy's post above. One thing I've found to love about brewing is that sometimes the best course of action is to do nothing at all and let nature take it's course. The craft rewards procrastination (at the appropriate times). I'd say leave it in the primary for a few more weeks, and in...
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    Beer Storage

    I usually leave them in the basement ~60 degrees F...unless it calls for cold conditioning, then it's in the fridge. My understanding is that any place 50-70 degrees and relatively dark will work.
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    mmmmm tasty

    Noice-Looks like beer to me!
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    Tip for new brewers regarding secondary

    Maybe I'm a bit lazy, and I am also a procrastinator-the lazy part isn't so good, but I've found procrastination can help. The best beers I've had have been 4 weeks in the primary-then to bottles, and another 4 weeks at least in bottles. This is actually longer than the '1-2-3' method, but the...
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    Ailing Winter Ale [hangs head in shame]

    I never worry about the OG anymore (maybe I'm lazy). Having the heavy wort at the bottom makes it tough to get a solid OG reading in my experience. Since it's extract, chances are all the necessary sugars are in there somewhere.
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    pitching temps too warm - fusels??

    I think I may have the same problem. I pitched an Alt pretty warm, and I thought it tasted pretty good at bottling. Now-after 3 weeks in the bottle, it's got that cotton-candy-ish flavor that some have said could be esters. I'm wondering if it was just warm conditioning temps...too warm initial...
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    Temp control during fermentation

    On this note-does anyone who's used this method of immersing the fermentor into a keg bucket with frozen water bottles have any idea as to what 'x' amount of ice will yeild in terms of temparature of the fermentor? I've got a Dubbel up next and it calls for a day at 68 degrees, then down to...
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    Few More Questions from a Newb

    5 gallons isn't as much as you think...if you have friends who fancy beer it can go really quick. Plus, the longer it sits around, the better it gets (within reason)
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    Few More Questions from a Newb

    I'm a relative n00b too-but here's what I've learned in 9 months: I had a few really tough bouts with siphoning. The auto-siphon (~$11) was the best remedy for this. Just a pump or 2 and it flows really nice...keeps the sediment out too. It honestly made the process 10x simpler, and I have...
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    Moldy film after secondary racking :-(

    I had a layer of film develop in the secondary on a recent batch...kind of like your second pic. Ended up tasting fine.
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    What I have done so far...

    I second what's been said-also, the nice thing about a secondary is that it clears up your primary so that you can BREW MORE BEER...I've found that keeping the pipeline full is the best way to keep from rushing the process.
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