Pretty cool, especially the Varroa mite treatment.
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erockrph - many thanks for your suggestion on the book. It arrived on Friday and I've managed to get through a few pages.....already enjoying it and I'm sure it will help me understand the game better. Gerry Remy seems quite a character
My LHBS carries organic cacao nibs from brewers best and ive seen two batches becoming infected both that were aging on these which makes me think they need to be sanitized to kill anything funky on them before use. Whats the best way to do this?
Also I was talking to someone who wanted to put some homemade soft caramel into his beer. I advised the best way might be to separate some of the wort into a double boiler and melt the caramel into that before adding to the beer, or even adding back to the beer at flame out. Would you retain any of the caramel flavor? Certainly it would add gravity to the beer because of the sugar. Do you think there would be any negative contribution to the beer/equipment, maybe head retention to the beer? or sticking to your equipment?
Thanks for all the replies. I like what I see. I will be bottle conditioning, and am curious about the lager step. Do I need to secondary, or is this just like all the replies i have seen for ales: just leave it in primary?There is no need to have a separate vessel just for the lagering step. Lagering is simply cold-conditioning and can be done either in the primary or the bottle/keg.
So why do we go to a secondary in the first place?There are a lot of things in homebrewing that continue to be done because "that's how it's always been done". A lot of what we do was initially modeled after how pro brewers work, even if it's not needed at homebrew scales. I'm guessing the whole secondary thing is because pro brewers typically use a secondary bright tank to help clear their beer. It's not really needed at the homebrew level, and may actually cause more harm than good.