Browsing Category "Home Brewing"
28 Apr
Posted in: Home Brewing
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Why Use a Secondary Fermenter, What Does a Secondary Fermeneter Do?

Beer in Primary Fermenter After Two Weeks

After a week or two in the primary fermenter, your beer may have quite a bit of foam on top still and will probably be pretty cloudy looking.

A secondary fermenter is used to help clean the beer up. It will give it a much more clean taste, make it less cloudy, and help clear out a lot of the dead yeast and sediment.

So after your beer has had time for its initial fermentation, which may be a week or two, you will siphon your beer into a secondary fermenter.  The secondary fermeneter should be a glass container (carboy), and it should be the exact size of your batch of beer. So if you are brewing a 5 gallon batch of beer, chances are you used a 6 – 6.5 gallon fermenter bucket, which is perfect. But when you siphon the beer into a secondary fermentor, you should use a 5 gallon glass carboy.  This way there is little to no air space in there with the beer.

Too much air could oxidize the beer.  So when you are siphoning the beer into the secondary fermenter, make sure that you don’t splash the beer around, getting air bubbles in it.  Try to siphon the beer down the side of the secondary fermeneter, without splashing at all.

Secondary Fermenter (Glass Carboy)

Once you have your beer in the secondary fermeneter (Glass Carboy) you will be able to see the clarity of the beer in the carboy. You should start to see the yeast settle and he beer clear up in about a week.

Once your beer is ready to bottle, you will have much cleaner tasting and clearer looking beer than if you didn’t use a secondary fermenter!  A secondary fermenter is not a necessary step in home brewing, but if you are looking to get a better tasting beer with less yeast in it, and have a more true color, we would definitely recommend trying it.

Primary fermenter Photo Credit

23 Apr
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Home Brewing – Problem with Airlock, Beer Bubbling into Airlock, Fermeter Overflowing

So I started my second batch of beer this week. This time it wasn’t a kit with all the ingredients together in a box. I went to my local home brew shop to buy all the ingredients that were needed for a recipe that I got out of a home brewing book. I followed the direction perfectly and everything seemed to be going great.

About 2 days into the fermenting process I noticed that the beer in the fermenter had started bubbling up so high that it was coming up through the airlock. This was causing some problems because it started to clock the airlock and get lots of pressure build up in the fermenter. (The picture to the right shows what I am talking about)

So I took the airlock off, cleaned it out. Opened the fermenter up, and gently brushed some up the bubbles around to help the settle a bit, then put the lid back on with a clean airlock in place. This seemed to work fine for another day or two then the same problem happened again!

So I cleaned the airlock again, and settled the bubbles down in the fermenter. After that it never happened again. But for those couple days it was making a mess.

Does anyone know why this happens?  Was my beer level too high in the fermenter bucket?  Is it because of the type of yeast, or ingredients that I used in the recipe?

The recipe was for a Honey Ginger Ale. Called for about 2lbs of honey, that was the only thing out of the ordinary that I used. Could this cause the beer to foam up that much?

It was also my first time using one of those activator yeast packets. It seemed to be much more active in the beer than the dry yeast that you sprinkle in. Is it the yeast that can cause it to bubble this much?

If anyone has some answers to how I can avoid this for future batches I would really appreciate it.  Post a comment below if you have any ideas!

Buy Home Brewing Airlocks

5 Apr
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BrewCraft English Draught Mild Ale Taste and Review

Well, this weekend we finally got to taste-test the ale that we brewed, and it turned out amazing!

For a first time home brewer, I wasn’t expecting too much, in fact I was just hoping that it would be drinkable.

After about 2-1/2 weeks of fermenting, then a week sitting in the bottles carbonating, the beer was ready. To my amazement the beer was great! It had a perfect brown ale coloring, and a smooth/easy to drink taste.

The beer greatly resembled a Newcastle Brown Ale. The flavor and the coloring were almost dead on! Newcastle is one of my favorite beers, so after tasting the home brewed mild ale, I was ecstatic with how well it turned out. I did a taste-test comparison with a fresh Newcastle next to one of my home brews, and they were similar, and almost identical in so many ways.  The only thing that I liked a little more in the Newcastle was that it was a bit more carbonated.  This was only because my beer had only been carbonating in the bottles for about 7 days. So I plan on leaving them out for a few more before refrigerating the rest of them.

Going into the brew I wasn’t sure what to expect because I didn’t really know what a “Mild Ale” was.  Later I learned that a “Mile Ale” is basically just a “Mile Brown Ale.”  No wonder I liked it so much.

I would highly recommend this is brewing kit to anyone who like clean, smooth brown ales.  If they sold this beer in stores I would no doubt buy it, but actually getting to brew it yourself, and knowing that you made the beer makes it all the better.

If you haven’t tried the Brewcraft English Mild Ale Kit, I would highly recommend you do.   After making a batch that tasted this good, I am a little worried that my next batches won’t be able to stand up this one!

Photo Credit – / CC BY 2.0