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  1. W

    How to ensure hops are "fresh"

    Buying online is definitely the best option for getting fresh everything. Yeast isn't always a good idea to buy online when it's the middle of the summer, but everything else won't pose an issue. Here's my personal favorite online site, but there are tons of other ones too (of varying levels of...
  2. W

    Do Willamette hops stink like a chemical?

    That's nonsense. Willamette is primarily an aroma hop, meaning it's valued most for its pleasant aroma. Yes, you can use it for bittering too (which is what I assume what he means by "as a preservative"). It is a very versatile hop, but it is used a lot in IPAs. In fact, some companies make...
  3. W

    NE Style IPA, too tough for a beginner?

    By "malts," I assume you mean malt extract. That would be #2. Let it get to a boil, turn off the heat, then mix in the extract, mixing to make sure it doesn't burn the bottom of the pot. As for #3, the 60 minute timer starts as soon as you add your bittering hops and not a second before that...
  4. W

    NE Style IPA, too tough for a beginner?

    Right. I just designed a recipe recently that uses 6 different hop additions, which I'm planning on doing in about a week from now. Even after years of brewing, it's still something that I need to be really careful about, and it's one of the reasons I never drink while I'm brewing. The chances...
  5. W

    NE Style IPA, too tough for a beginner?

    Sanitation is only one of many potential problems. My first beer wasn't very good, but it had nothing to do with sanitation. In fact, just about everything in the boil itself went fine. My sanitation procedures were perfect too. But the two biggest problems I had with that beer were not getting...
  6. W

    NE Style IPA, too tough for a beginner?

    First, the only one of those you need to replace is the 2-row and the wheat. And technically you don't NEED to replace the wheat, but you probably will want to. The Dextrine malt and the Crystal malt are specialty grains, so you would steep those. Dextrine is a type of malted barley (Carapils...
  7. W


    Book: John Palmer - How to Brew There's a printed version and an online version: http://www.howtobrew.com/
  8. W

    Beginner Sour Question

    Yes. But you have to understand what styles work with sours. It sounds like you've been reading up on that, though, so you probably have a good grasp on that. The most important point is that they can't be too hoppy or bitter since hoppiness deteriorates over time and will be horrible by the...
  9. W

    Ambient temp vs fermenter temp

    I believe US-05 will technically ferment as low as 55, but its ideal range is 64-70F. I usually ferment with US-05 around 66-68.
  10. W

    Infection, can it be saved?

    Looks normal to me. Like others have said, if you're kegging, just keg it. Refrigerator temperatures slow infections down A LOT, so it should taste fine until you finish it off while it's in your kegerator.
  11. W

    Hops and grains?

    These two places: www.morebeer.com www.northernbrewer.com I find buying online has always gotten me the freshest grain, hops, yeast, and so on.
  12. W

    First mead is it bad

    In my opinion, mead is the drink that benefits the most from aging out of all drinks out there. Even more so than wine. Its flavor after fermentation first finishes is always horrible. Most meadmakers will tell you to age it for about a year before even bottling it and then age it another year...
  13. W

    Forgot to sterilize scissors to open yeast packet

    I've never sanitized scissors a single time before and the only time I've ever had an infection, I knew exactly where the infection came from (hint: not the scissors).
  14. W

    Stirring boiling wort....

    This. Or more specifically, anything like LME, DME, corn sugar, maltodextrin, lactose, and so on. I don't stir when I add hops, but that's just me. I know other people stir when they add hops. Theoretically if you have an all-grain batch where you only add a bittering hop at 60 minutes and...
  15. W

    4 gallons in a 5 gallon bucket...

    A 0.005 difference isn't that big of a deal. If you were shooting for 1.050 and got 1.075, that'd be one thing, but if you were shooting for 1.055 and got 1.060, that's nothing. Just leave it. Personally, I overshoot my gravity 90% of the time. I routinely am trying to get 1.055 and get 1.062 or...
  16. W

    3 weeks vs 2 (big beers/abv vs Smalls beers)?

    When I can, I always do 2 weeks. With the exception of sour beers and "wild" beers (assuming we're only talking about beers here and not meads, ciders, wines, etc.), 100% of my beers have finished fermentation within the first week and I use the second week for clean-up. Even super high-gravity...
  17. W

    Is it possible

    Of course it's possible. It depends on the specific circumstances. For example, if you are planning on having a starting gravity of 1.055 and you end up with 4 gallons at 1.055 and then add 1 gallon of water, your starting gravity will be considerably lower and "overdiluted" in reference to your...
  18. W

    No cherry taste

    Yeah, I know what you mean. The first time I tried a cherry wheat, I used cherry puree. I thought I used a ton of it, but in the end, there was only a faint cherry flavor. For my next cherry beer, I tried cherry candi syrup. This one had even less cherry flavor in the end than the first. In...
  19. W

    Is my beer dead? Can it be saved?

    Looks like a pellicle to me. It's probably a bacterial infection, but it could also be some kind of wild yeast. Although it's possible that you could end up with a good beer with that, the majority of accidental sours don't turn out that great. On one hand, if the recipe is one that is...
  20. W

    Convince me to start using pellets.

    "Easy to contain"? I've used both, but I vastly prefer pellets, partially because they're so "easy to contain." You just put them in a mesh bag and voila! Super contained! Unless you mean something else... I've seen a lot of articles about why pellets are better than whole cone hops/leaf hops...