General Question

gorillapaws's avatar

Are there any homebrewers?

Asked by gorillapaws (27507points) February 5th, 2019

I just got a kit for trying out extract brewing and had a brief overview class by the brewmaster at a local brewery that walked us through the basics.

I’d love to one day get the opportunity to play around with nitrogen beer, but I’ve got to walk before I can run. Other than being extremely strict with sanitation and maintaining a consistent temp during fermentation, are there any tips you may have learned that made a big difference and wish you’d known earlier?

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11 Answers

Caravanfan's avatar

Yes. I have been homebrewing for many years and do both extract and all grain brewing. I don’t keg, I bottle. You are correct. The most important things are to hit your temperatures and after boiling the wort you keep everything strictly sanitized.

It’s actually pretty hard to screw up beer if you follow the recipe and you’re not doing anything too complicated. Happy to answer any more specific questions you might have. But remember, relax, don’t worry, have a homebrew!

Tropical_Willie's avatar

I’ve been homebrewer since before Jimmy Carter, sanitation is important. Relax and enjoy.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

I have done my share too but it has been a little while. This book is a must have. That’s where @Caravanfan pulled his last line from. All of us have his books I’m sure. The three rules of brewing are sanitation, sanitation and sanitation. Those kits are a good start if it’s what I’m thinking, a fermenter, bottling bucket, air lock, bottling equipment etc… If you kept it clean, you’ll be amazed at how good just a basic recipe will be. Don’t be afraid to experiment either!

gorillapaws's avatar

I’m trying to find the best spot to do my fermenting and bought a wireless thermometer that records the air temp every 10 minutes. There’s a closet in my basement that I’m hopeful about. What I’ve read suggested that fermenting temp should stay between 60F – 70F (for ale). Assuming the temp remains in that range, how critical is it that the temp doesn’t fluctuate? In other words, would it be very harmful to the beer if it went through regular daily temperature cycles, oscillating between say 62 and 66?

Caravanfan's avatar

That kind of temperature fluctuation is fine. You just don’t want wild swings. Beer does not like being much over 65 degrees for ales. Real brewers keep a constant temperature obviously but I just solve the issue but not brewing in the summer

gorillapaws's avatar

It’s about 2 days away from my first American Pale Ale Extract brew being ready to drink. I tasted one last night and it’s under carbonated. I used the priming sugar that came in my kit, so I don’t think that is the issue, and I still have 2 more days until I hit the full 2-weeks of bottle conditioning. Will a 3rd week of bottle conditioning make much of a difference with the carbonation levels (I’m wondering if it’s getting too cold and slowing down the yeast)? I should also mention I’m using 1L ez cap bottles with the reusable gasket tops. I’m not sure if that’s a relevant detail or not.

The flavor was pretty good and definitely drinkable. Overall I’d probably give it a C+ to B-, which I’m pretty happy with as my first batch of homebrew. My favorite part was tasting the beer at various stages as it transitioned from sweet wort to flat beer, to under-carbonated beer.

Caravanfan's avatar

I’m not familiar with that type of bottle. I just use standard 22 ounce bottles as I am worried that the reusable ones will leak.

I don’t think another week will make a difference. It should be carbonated by now. But the fact that it is drinkable is a win. My first batch was horrible.

gorillapaws's avatar

I tried another last night and the carbonation was good. Either the seal was bad on the first bottle, or the extra week bottle conditioning made a difference.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

@gorillapaws How much sugar did you add for bottle conditioning ?

gorillapaws's avatar

@Tropical_Willie I just used the package that came in my recipe kit: which had 5oz of priming sugar.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Should have worked.

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