1st batch under my belt

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Well-Known Member
Feb 18, 2009
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Dallas/Ft Worth, TX
Well, I ve got my first batch under my belt, I just bottled on 3/1 and will let it sit until 4/1, and i will try my first taste.

I have some questions that I didn't ask during my first batch, but came up while I was trying to figure out what I would like to do for a second batch.

1. What exactly is Apfelwein? Is it considered a "Hard Cider" or wine or a champagne, is it carbonated and what kind of flavor can I expect?

2. What the hell does "Gypsum" do? What is it for? I gather it has something to do with water, I use filtered bottle water, do I need to use Gypsum? I've seen it used in some recipes for a Guinness Draught Clone. Is Gypsum a need for Guinness?

3. The yeast cake left over after the primary fermintation, I've read it can be reused. Is this true and does it have to be used in the same type of brew the cake came out of? How long will it last, if not used right away?

4. Unless I get a fridge of some sort am I only destined to brew ales? I like ales but I would like to try some other stuff.

And last.....

5. How do I get the smell of my last batch out of my primary? I've washed with a bleach mixture and it wont come out. And will it effect flavor or taste in the next batch I make?


Just an old guy
HBT Supporter
May 2, 2008
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Watertown, CT
First off, good luck with the first batch.

1. Apfelwein is basically fermented apple juice. Do a search for the recipe. I haven't done it, but it's easy. Only thing is, it takes a long time to be ready. It's more like champagne, from what I understand.

2. Gypsum stabilizes your water. If you're using bottled water, you're not likely to need it. Progress in your brewing first and then work on the understanding of the water.

3. You can reuse the yeast cake. Best to reuse for a darker brew than the original, or the same. Don't go lighter. If you're not using it right away, check out Bernie Brewer's thread https://www.homebrewtalk.com/f13/yeast-washing-illustrated-41768/. It is easy, too.

4. Judging by your location, you will need some sort of temperature controlling for lagers. And last.....

5. Don't worry about the smell. It won't affect anything.


Well-Known Member
Sep 29, 2008
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Orlando, FL
1. I call it apple-wine, its just apple juice, sugar and yeast. Tons of topics about it. Easy to make, easier to drink.

2. read shecky's

3. read shecky's

4. you'll need to buy something. There should be posts here somewhere about making a "swamp cooler" which basically is a rubbermaid bin and frozen bottles of water, so it's not that expensive (never tried myself)

5. Best way to get rid of the smell is fill it with... another beer! But as long as you clean/sanitize it, it won't affect your current batch.