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Homebrew Talk - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Forum

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    New to brewing kombucha - Is this mold?

    I'm new to brewing kombucha. I conservatively threw my first batch out for mold on the SCOBY. I'm hoping this is ok on batch #2. I really can't get a good picture of this thing, but it's small and kind of looks fuzzy, which seems to be what everyone says is the indicator of mold. What do you think?:
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    Came home to empty CO2 tank after holding pressure for 9 days...

    New to kegging. Searched forum and couldn't find anything similar: I've kegged my first two batches and have been struggling big time with my kegging setup. For the third time now (once on keg #1, twice on keg #2), I've come home to an empty CO2 tank and no pressure in my keg after multiple...
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    Fixing my Vanilla Stout

    So I brewed a Vanilla Stout about 9 days ago and my OG came out a little low at 1.038, with a current SG of 1.008, a little thin. I know what happened, but that isn't really my question. I want to know if anyone can think of a reason not to do the following to try to bump up my FG: I want...
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    So I just bottled my 3rd batch of cider. It spent 1 month in primary and another 4 in secondary. I backsweetened with the original cider and plan on pasteurizing when my plastic bottle indicates my bottles are ready. My cider was very, very clear at bottling, so my question is, will I have...
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    How to run a competition?

    Does anyone have any tips for running a very, very, informal competition? I'm setting up an APRILTOBERFEST event for my local club to celebrate being half-way to the next OKTOBERFEST. We are all relatively new brewers and are a very loose club. The event will consist of about 8 brewers...
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    Simple Ball Valve Question

    Should I boil any of the parts of my ball valve upstream of the ball or just the downstream portions?
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    Boiling Stirbars?

    I recently purchased a stirplate for starters. I'm wondering if I can boil my stirbar. I'd like to have the flask on the stirplate with the stirbar going while I mix inn my DME, to facilitate mixing. If I do this, I won't be able to (easily) get the stirbar out for the boil. Do y'all...
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    Graphics Software

    Do most of y'all use Photoshop for your labels? Does anyone know of any free software available on the web that is good for creating/editing images, i.e. making beer labels? Thanks a lot - Tom
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    Belgian Yeast in Cider?

    I did a quick search and couldn't find much on this topic. Has anyone made cider with Belgian yeast? I live in Italy and Midwest tends to send me a packet of dry yeast just in case the liquid yeast they send me doesn't make it - gotta love those guys. My Belgian liquid yeast survived the trip...
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    Bad first experience with pasteurizing

    So I just finished my first cider and I was really excited about the sticky on pasteurizing my cider to get a slightly-sweet, carbonated final product. I followed the procedure and took plenty of safety precautions, but had a pretty harrowing experience. I had one bottle explode (not just...
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    Just finished my first Cider!

    Well, almost...I plan on pasteurizing this weekend, then I'll be done. I was totally shocked that it actually tastes good. I've read a lot about cider (mostly on this forum) and I didn't expect it to taste good yet (if ever). This cider spent about 4.5 months in primary and secondary, but...
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    Yeasty Off-Flavors

    My last two batches have come out with a flavor that I can only describe as "yeasty". I was previously describing it as "horse blanket" but I'm not sure I know what that actually tastes like. I've settled on "yeasty". I believe it is due to high fermentation temperatures. Both batches used...
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    Questions on my first cider

    I "brewed" my first cider a while ago - it has been fermenting for 34 days now, I plan on racking it today or tomorrow to secondary. I recently took a gravity and a taste and it is sitting at 0.997 and tastes pretty harsh. I was prepared for it to not taste fantastic, but I was not prepared...
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    Found Beer!

    So, I am a born-again brewer. I did 2 batches in college (2004) but just didn't have the time and stopped. Then I joined the Navy and discovered what it is like to really not have any free time so I didn't pick back up until a few months ago. I am absolutely hooked. Anyway, I was cleaning out...
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    Breaking all the rules of Repitching Yeast

    I am a relatively new brewer, so I don't have all the brewing equipment that I would like to have yet AND I live in Italy, so I have to wait a long time to receive yeast in the mail and I risk it dying along the way. That said, I have been trying to repitch yeast as much as possible (also just...
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    "Dry Spicing" question

    So I have my first batch of cider fermenting right now. It has been fermenting for about 17 days and is slowing down. I plan on going another two weeks or so but I have a question about my secondary. I have some Martinelli Mulling Spice bags that I want to add to the secondary. I actually...
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    Did I ruin my yeast?

    Hi everyone, noob here. I'm two batches in and planning on moving from extract to partial mashing. Here is my situation: Working on my third batch, which will be my first cider. I live in Italy, so I am always anxious to see if my yeast survived the trip from White Labs to Naples. I...