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Brewing Tips

This page is all about helpful tips for brewing.

Wort Boiling

Extract

If you make beer from extract try doing a partial boil. The extract is boiled during production and the only reason to boil again is to extract and isomerize the hops alpha acids (bittering compounds). If you only boil enough extract to bring your boil to the desired original gravity of your beer there's less potential for scorching, carmelization, and darkening of the wort. Bonus, you get better hop utilization (more bittering so you can use less hops). You'll end up with a better beer!

Clarifying Agents

 

Irish Moss

Rehydrate your irish moss for at least 15 minutes in warm water before using it. Add it to the boil when there's 15 - 20 minutes left.

Whirlfloc

From The Northernbrewer forum :

I did actually hunt down the specialist at the manufacturer of Whirlfloc. The company that makes Whirlfloc tablets is Quest International in Ireland and the contact was Liam Holog? Anyway I learned several interesting things from this very friendly, knowledgeable and interesting man (he even wanted to idle talk for quite some time):

1. Whirlfoc is refined kappa carrageenan with some talcs to help in tabulation.

2. pre-hydrating whirlfloc does nothing at all to increase effectiveness. In fact it's not even water soluble at lower temperatures so all you'd be doing is getting it wet.

3. most interesting: do NOT add whirlfloc any earlier than 10 minutes before end of boil. It acts immediately and at most only really needs 5 minutes in the boil. If you add it earlier you will denature the carrageenan (not quite sure what that means - anyone?).

4. The manufacturer recently has done some Google searching and was surprised that it has become so popular amongst homebrewers. Their target is large breweries and they only sell it through large distribution chains so wasn't aware it was going out to LHBS suppliers in the current volume.

5. if you are adding any more than one tablet for 5 gallon batch, don't bother. One tablet is 2.5 times the dosage they recommend. For record: one tablet is 2.5 grams. They recommend 5 grams per hectoliter (2 tablets to about 25 gallons).

Sanitizers

Iodophor

Great article from the Bay Area Mashers

StarSan

Discussion on The Brewing Network with Charlie Tally of Five Star. Charlie tells us all the do's and dont's of Star San, Saniclean, Iodophor and PBW. It's an all around great discussion that dispels many of the myths around sanitizers, and answers many of the questions homebrewers have regarding sanitizing chemicals.

He said....

The Brewing Network is a GREAT resource - thanks guys!


From a post by Tom Schmidlin on the Brewing Equipment group on Yahoo:

I didn't think Star San should be boiled , so I contacted Five Star to get the scoop on the proper use temperature.

"Tom,
A Star San solution can be made with warm to hot water. It can also be heated after it has been mixed up. However, the temperature should not go above 120 degrees F. (ideal temp is between 50 and 120 F). If you take the solution to boiling you will force the surfactant out of solution and destroy the sanitizing capabilities of the solution. Not to mention the foam that would be generated. Just run the solution at normal room temp.
Thanks
Jon Herskovits"

Cleaning