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

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  1. K

    Wyeast munich

    If you're going for lagers, yeast starters can really help you. You'll need to anticipate your brew day a bit more but you'll be positive the yeast are good and that upped cell count can help the fermentation be clean. Wyeast has directions:
  2. K

    Wyeast munich

    Ok, so few things here: Not hitting the smack pack: not a big deal. Adding the smack pack nutrient was probably a good decision. The overall age of the yeast is probably your biggest factor here, hopefully it's fresh and young. Adding yeast to the mash: I think you're using the wrong term...
  3. K

    brew bucket doesn't empty

    While cruising the brew bucket FAQ I ran into something saying you're supposed to have the internal racking arm aimed down when filling and maybe during a lot of fermentation. Their FAQ says 'our instructions clearly indicate the proper orientation' but I never saw this in their documentation...
  4. K

    Bottle OK?

    Sometimes really old glass gets wear lines right about there from bottles being beside each other and rubbing. Having said that I agree with the others, if you're sure it's on the outside you should be good. Hard for us to tell in a photo but looks like outside. Sometimes watching as you turn...
  5. K

    How to reduce sludge

    Are you dumping the whole pot from the boil into the fermenter? If so, you can try whirlpooling the hopped wort (gently stir it in circles for a few minutes) then letting the beer settle for about 10-15 minutes. Use a siphon on the side of the pot to draw the hopped wort into the fermenter...
  6. K

    Added Orange Peel Before Pitching Yeast

    I haven't brewed this one but it sounds like you added the sweet orange peel into the fermenter and are currently fermenting with it in there. I wouldn't worry too much about infection risk, you pitched way more yeast cells than any bad stuff on the peel. I don't know if they do anything to...
  7. K

    Red Plum Ale

    You can also tweak the color in the secondary by adding some steeped dark grains liquid. I think Gordon Strong talks about doing this in his book on technique. Basically steep some dark grains (carafa III, black patent or such) in a quart of water or so. Boil to sanitize. You can add that...
  8. K

    Oak Chunks

    Hey Dave, Cutting up your chunks into smaller pieces will increase the surface area of the wood. This will speed up the transfer of the wood flavors into the beer. This can be a good thing or a bad thing. Main thing is to use a wine thief or similar to pull samples and make sure you're...
  9. K

    Fermenter locations

    Agree that I think that'd be fine. I've found large Tshirts can make good carboy covers. Tie the arms around each other around the neck so you just have the airlock sticking out. Make sure you use a thick shirt or double up if it's going to get more direct light.
  10. K

    Amateur Question on Stuck Fermentation

    If you have some iodophor you can run a quick iodine/starch conversion test to confirm if it's a mash problem or not.
  11. K

    Homebrewed vs bought Hefeweizen comparison question

    If you want to take a step towards all-grain without fully committing equipment you could consider doing a mini-mash, where you're trying to get a bigger chunk of your sugars from grain and less from the extracts. These are normally done as a brew-in-a-bag (BiaB) setup so the only extra...
  12. K

    Dead Ringer left in primary for six weeks....

    I agree, probably good to bottle or keg. Easiest way to find out is to try some.
  13. K

    Why is the top of my cider black?

    The juice was from an orchard in Pennsylvannia, unpasturized. When I got it it was about 4 days old but had been refridgerated the whole time. I used Star San to sanitize the carboy (better bottle) and it was the first time using the carboy. I did rinse out the new carboy pretty thoroughly...
  14. K

    Why is the top of my cider black?

    There's a gallon of head space; it's a six-gallon carboy with only 5 gallons in it. I was planning on adding fruit to it later so I purposely left that extra room for the fruit to fill later. I guess that was a bad idea. Do you think I can rack the cider on the bottom out from under it and it...
  15. K

    Why is the top of my cider black?

    Hey guys, This cider has been in the secondary at my friends house for about a month while he's been out of town. When he came back he showed me a picture of it and something is definitely wrong. The top 3 or 4 inches of the cider is black, here's a link to the pic. It was made with...
  16. K

    Peach Cider

    Oh, also, does anyone have experience storing the puree after it's been opened? When I open the can I'm going to assume it's sanitary but how to keep it if I have extra?
  17. K

    Peach Cider

    Hey guys, I'm making a cider and wanted to mix it up a bit so decided that I'll add peach puree. I ordered some Oregon Peach Puree and got it today. Originally I was planning on adding the whole can but after receiving it I've noticed how liquidy it is and now I'm worried it will...
  18. K

    Rhizomes or Growing Tips Near DC?

    Thanks for the tips guys. I'm going to dig up the yard and order the rhizomes tomorrow, probably put down a few of the Cascards and another 2 kinds or so. Don't think I've been so excited about yard work since I was a kid and got to play in the fall leaves! Or when I get to cut something with...
  19. K

    Rhizomes or Growing Tips Near DC?

    Hey, I just moved to the DC area, found out the house I'm in has a big, sunny yard and the owner is keen on brewing/growing some hops. I was wondering if there was anyone in the DC area that might have some rhizomes willing to spare or if anyone has some tips as to what kinds work well in...
  20. K

    Homebrew in Bejing, China: test batch details and questions

    Few quick comments: Does your grain come crushed or how are you going to crush it? The starches you want are inside a husk, I don't think you'll get much for efficiency if you don't crack it open some how. I've heard of people using pasta rollers, but I doubt you have those unless they use...