Author Topic: Some General Homebrew Questions...  (Read 1430 times)

Offline gbrooks17am

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Some General Homebrew Questions...
« on: October 20, 2014, 12:41:17 AM »
I've been brewing for about 8 years, all-grain for about 4, and though my results are consistent and to my liking, I've always been curious on how others approach or conduct their brew day. if you have any experience or opinions on the following questions, please respond, any help would be much appreciated!

1. Hop bag during boil, or add hops straight to kettle?

2. Whirlfloc or Irish Moss? 15 min, 10 min, or 5 min?

3. Decant yeast starter or just pitch everything?

4. Whirlpool or just dump into primary fermenter?

5. Length of primary fermentation? Someone told me recently no less than 3 weeks.

6. Use of yeast nutrient?

7. White Labs or Wyeast?

8. Storing grain? In the refrigerator?

Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Some General Homebrew Questions...
« Reply #1 on: October 20, 2014, 12:49:03 AM »
I've been brewing for about 8 years, all-grain for about 4, and though my results are consistent and to my liking, I've always been curious on how others approach or conduct their brew day. if you have any experience or opinions on the following questions, please respond, any help would be much appreciated!

1. Hop bag during boil, or add hops straight to kettle?

2. Whirlfloc or Irish Moss? 15 min, 10 min, or 5 min?

3. Decant yeast starter or just pitch everything?

4. Whirlpool or just dump into primary fermenter?

5. Length of primary fermentation? Someone told me recently no less than 3 weeks.

6. Use of yeast nutrient?

7. White Labs or Wyeast?

8. Storing grain? In the refrigerator?

1. I've done both, using a SS hop spider now :  http://www.stainlessbrewing.com/Hop-Spider-with-seam-welds_p_158.html

2. Whirlfloc 10 mins

3. Decant

4. I create a manual whirlpool (no pump), then siphon off of most of the trub. A little is beneficial.

5. Depends on the beer and the yeast used.

6. Yes, always.

7. Mostly Wyeast, because that's the brand that my LHBS is contracted to carry. I get it consistently fresh that way. But White Labs is very high quality too.

8. Yes, in airtight containers in the garage, not the fridge.
Jon H.

Offline pete b

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Re: Some General Homebrew Questions...
« Reply #2 on: October 20, 2014, 12:54:24 AM »
1. Straight to kettle
2. Irish moss 10-15 minutes
3. Decant always
4. Whirlpool and wait a few minutes
5. As long as it takes. As little as 7-10 days to several weeks. Err on the side of longer.
6. Rarely, super high gravity
7. Either. Or dry yeast: danstar notty & windsor, lallemand belle saison, bry 98.
8. Bucket with lids in dry, dehumidified, cool cellar.
Don't let the bastards cheer you up.

Offline Stevie

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Re: Some General Homebrew Questions...
« Reply #3 on: October 20, 2014, 12:55:10 AM »
1 - bagged if greater than 2 ounces, commando if less

2 - whirlfloc at 10 minutes with my nutrients

3 - decant as much as possible these days

4 - attempt whirlpool with ok results. I find a slow drain is key

5 - 3 weeks is around the minimum, sometime longer depending on the beer and my schedule

6 - yep

7 - mostly wyeast. Not sure why I have the preference just happened

8 - don't store my grains. If I did, food grade air tight pails or smaller containers.


Offline pete b

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Re: Some General Homebrew Questions...
« Reply #4 on: October 20, 2014, 12:57:47 AM »
I've been brewing for about 8 years, all-grain for about 4, and though my results are consistent and to my liking, I've always been curious on how others approach or conduct their brew day. if you have any experience or opinions on the following questions, please respond, any help would be much appreciated!

1. Hop bag during boil, or add hops straight to kettle?

2. Whirlfloc or Irish Moss? 15 min, 10 min, or 5 min?

3. Decant yeast starter or just pitch everything?

4. Whirlpool or just dump into primary fermenter?

5. Length of primary fermentation? Someone told me recently no less than 3 weeks.

6. Use of yeast nutrient?

7. White Labs or Wyeast?

8. Storing grain? In the refrigerator?

1. I've done both, using a SS hop spider now :  http://www.stainlessbrewing.com/Hop-Spider-with-seam-welds_p_158.html

2. Whirlfloc 10 mins

3. Decant

4. I create a manual whirlpool (no pump), then siphon off of most of the trub. A little is beneficial.

5. Depends on the beer and the yeast used.

6. Yes, always.

7. Mostly Wyeast, because that's the brand that my LHBS is contracted to carry. I get it consistently fresh that way. But White Labs is very high quality too.

8. Yes, in airtight containers in the garage, not the fridge.
Hoosier, do you notice a difference with yeast nutrient or is it a sort of failsafe?
Don't let the bastards cheer you up.

Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Some General Homebrew Questions...
« Reply #5 on: October 20, 2014, 01:01:56 AM »
I think anything that can boost the health and performance of the yeast is worth doing, especially at a cheap price. Stressed yeast can give off undesireable flavors and aromas. But I've pitched big healthy starters for a long time, so the results aren't dramatic. I've forgotten before on occasion and made good beer. But I like the insurance.
Jon H.

Offline pete b

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Re: Some General Homebrew Questions...
« Reply #6 on: October 20, 2014, 01:02:28 AM »
Steve, I typed the last one before you posted. I care why you use yeast nutrient too! :D
Don't let the bastards cheer you up.

Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Some General Homebrew Questions...
« Reply #7 on: October 20, 2014, 01:05:25 AM »
I've been brewing for about 8 years, all-grain for about 4, and though my results are consistent and to my liking, I've always been curious on how others approach or conduct their brew day. if you have any experience or opinions on the following questions, please respond, any help would be much appreciated!

1. Hop bag during boil, or add hops straight to kettle? I RECICULATE. BAG IF WHOLE CONE, COMMANDO IF PELLETS.

2. Whirlfloc or Irish Moss? 15 min, 10 min, or 5 min? WIRLFLOC AT 15

3. Decant yeast starter or just pitch everything? 90% OF THE TIME DECANT. PITCH THE WHOLE SHE BANG ON IIPA AT HIGH KRAUSEN

4. Whirlpool or just dump into primary fermenter? WHIRLPOOL WITH PUMP AND JAMIL STYLE IMERSION CHILLER. KILL PUMP ABOUT 20 MINUTES BEFORE RACKING THEN RACK OFF BREAK WITH ANAUTO SYPHON.

5. Length of primary fermentation? Someone told me recently no less than 3 weeks. I LEAVE IT TILL ITS DONE WITH PRIMARY FERMENTATION. USUALLY 3-4 WEEKS. DEPENDS ON OG AND PRIMARY YEAST. SECONDARY ONLY IF ADDING FRUIT OR A 2ND YEAST OR BUGS.

6. Use of yeast nutrient? WYEAST NUTRIENT ROUTINELY AT 15 MIN IN BOIL

7. White Labs or Wyeast? WYEAST CUZ IM IN THEIR NEIHHBORHOOD

8. Storing grain? In the refrigerator? BULK STORAGE NOT REFRIDERATED

Offline Stevie

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Re: Some General Homebrew Questions...
« Reply #8 on: October 20, 2014, 01:08:47 AM »

Steve, I typed the last one before you posted. I care why you use yeast nutrient too! :D

Because it's cheap. Less than a dime per batch.

Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Some General Homebrew Questions...
« Reply #9 on: October 20, 2014, 01:15:07 AM »

Steve, I typed the last one before you posted. I care why you use yeast nutrient too! :D

Because it's cheap. Less than a dime per batch.

Cheap! Thats reason enough for me.

Offline brewday

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Re: Some General Homebrew Questions...
« Reply #10 on: October 20, 2014, 01:21:31 AM »
1. Stainless spider when no late hops are used, otherwise hopback.

2. Whirlfloc 10 min

3. Decant yeast starter

4. No more whirlpooling for me - see #1.

5. 10-14 days usually

6. 1/4 tsp in starter, 1/2 tsp tossed in boil along with whirlfloc.

7. Wyeast most often, LHBS doesn't sell White Labs.

8. Purchase grain at LHBS day before brewday.  Mill there too.
Jon Weaver

Offline gbrooks17am

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Re: Some General Homebrew Questions...
« Reply #11 on: October 20, 2014, 01:29:57 AM »
That's great information! Thanks everyone, this was a first post for me, and well worth it!

Offline erockrph

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Re: Some General Homebrew Questions...
« Reply #12 on: October 20, 2014, 12:39:42 PM »
1. Hop bag during boil, or add hops straight to kettle? In kettle, nekkid

2. Whirlfloc or Irish Moss? 15 min, 10 min, or 5 min? Whirlfloc (1/4 tab for 3-galon batch). It goes in at 10 minutes, unless I have a late hop addition at 5 or 15 minutes. I don't make a separate addition just for finings and nutrient.

3. Decant yeast starter or just pitch everything? I only make starters for lagers, so I decant since the starter is quite large relative to the batch size.

4. Whirlpool or just dump into primary fermenter? Dump through a screen or a paint strainer bag over a strainer

5. Length of primary fermentation? Normal gravity ales for 2 weeks. Saison gets 3 weeks. High gravity ales get 4-6 weeks. Lagers are 3 weeks primary, about 3 days or so for a D-rest, crash & keg. Then they lager for as long as I can keep from drinking them :)

6. Use of yeast nutrient? Yes, but I can't say for sure that I've noticed a difference when I started using it

7. White Labs or Wyeast? Fermentis. But honestly, it's really dependant on what strain I want. Among liquid yeast, I prefer Wyeast. It's a nice security blanket when you smack the pack and see it swell up. But I have no problems with White Labs either. That's what my LHBS carries. I don't shop there often, but I wouldn't think twice about using WL.

8. Storing grain? In the refrigerator? In the original and/or ziploc bags in my basement. I'd never put it in the fridge - it's way too humid in there.
Eric B.

Finally got around to starting a homebrewing blog: The Hop Whisperer

Offline majorvices

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Re: Some General Homebrew Questions...
« Reply #13 on: October 20, 2014, 12:55:19 PM »
As far as hops go, I prefer to add them straight to the kettle but if you use whole hops you might end up with some problems with clogging. When I used whole hops in past I had a screen on my ball valve on my kettle and as long as I didn't have too many hops in the boil it worked great. Sometimes on highly hopped beers it would clog though. Once on a IIPA with exclusively whole hops it clogged so bad I had to scoop the batch out with a quart measuring cup and filter through a colander. Luckily I was using an IC and not a CFC so it was cool when scooping out.

Offline theDarkSide

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Re: Some General Homebrew Questions...
« Reply #14 on: October 20, 2014, 01:03:08 PM »
I've been brewing for about 8 years, all-grain for about 4, and though my results are consistent and to my liking, I've always been curious on how others approach or conduct their brew day. if you have any experience or opinions on the following questions, please respond, any help would be much appreciated!

1. Hop bag during boil, or add hops straight to kettle? Depends.  Recipes with just a couple ounces go right in.  Ones with considerably more, I use my hop spider
2. Whirlfloc or Irish Moss? 15 min, 10 min, or 5 min? Whirlfoc, 1/2 tablet per 5 gallon recipe at 10 minute

3. Decant yeast starter or just pitch everything? Less than a liter starter, all in.  More than that, decant
4. Whirlpool or just dump into primary fermenter? Whirlpool...helps with chilling to move the stuff around.

5. Length of primary fermentation? Someone told me recently no less than 3 weeks. Primary is when it's done.  I never go less than 2 weeks or more than 4 weeks without transferring
6. Use of yeast nutrient? In starters, but usually not in the batch

7. White Labs or Wyeast? Either...no a lot of place carry White Labs here in New Hampshire. Also use a lot of dry yeasts...they are so much better than they used to be.

8. Storing grain? In the refrigerator? Unmilled grain in vittle vaults or Rubbermaid cereal containers.
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