View Full Version : Hints and Tips

15th July 2010, 10:47 AM
How To Add Grain to a Kit Beer
Adding that malty grain flavour to your beer without going to the effort of extract or all grain brewing is simple. All you need, apart from the cracked grain, is water, a cooking thermometer, a saucepan and grain bag or colander or you can also use an eight cup coffee plunger.

By using base grains; Pale, Pilsner, Wheat, Munich or Vienna you can add flavour without too much effect on the beers colour. By using some of the specialty malts: Crystal, Caramunich, Chocolate, Roast Barley etc, you can influence the beers colour as well as adding to the flavour of the finished product.
Heat up 2 litres of water to 70 degrees.
Add between 100 to 200 grams of cracked grain to the water, (if you have a grain bag put the grain in the bag first). Take the saucepan off the heat, put on the lid and steep for 20 minutes. If you are adding hops to the beer add the hops to the pot as well.
Strain the liquid into your fermenter as part of the hot water and make your brew as you normally do.

If you are using a coffee plunger just add the cracked grain to the plunger, top up with 70 degree water and put on the lid. Leave 20 minutes, push down the plunger and add to your fermenter.

If you are not sure which grain to use, just ask your local homebrew shop.

15th July 2010, 10:50 AM
How To Culture Liquid Yeast

Using a liquid yeast is a great way to improve the quality of the beers you brew. Our range of “White Labs” pitchable brewers yeasts are as easy to use as the dried yeasts most of us are familiar with. At around $16.50 per vial it can add considerably to the cost of a brew so here is a way of making it more cost effective.

This is what you will need:-
A 2 litre bottle (a soft drink bottle will do).
A rubber band.
100g dry malt extract.
6 stubbies.

How to do it:-
About 4 hours before you start take your vial of liquid yeast out of the fridge and let it warm up to room temperature.
Wash and sterilise all your equipment and bottles.
Dissolve malt in 2 cups of boiling water; add 2 cups of boiling water.
Add water and leave to cool down to room temperature.
Shake the yeast to mix then add it to your bottle. Put glad wrap over the bottle top, secure with rubber band and put a small hole in the top with a pin then leave to ferment.
Because you have a large amount of yeast and a small amount of malt it won’t take long to ferment out, (around 24 to 48 hours.)
When it has finished fermenting gently stir and bottle into your clean & sterilised stubbies and cap. Use one to start up the beer you are brewing now and refrigerate the rest till you need them.
These starters should now last between 6 and 12 months in your fridge.

How to use it
Take out of the fridge at least 4 hours before you plan to use the yeast then open and add to your brew. Ferment as per your normal method.

15th July 2010, 11:20 AM
How to Tell if my Beer is Ready To Bottle.

There are a couple of ways of guessing if your brew is finished fermenting but the best way to tell for sure is by using your hydrometer.
Most cans of concentrate have a hydrometer reading you can bottle at listed on the instructions on the can. This is fine if you are using dextrose and their yeast but using different sugar blends or different yeast will make this reading wrong.

People often bottle their beer when the airlock has stopped bubbling and sometimes this is correct but in some cases the airlock bubbles occasionally even though the yeast has finished its job, so the beer ends up in the fermenter longer than it needs to be.
By taking two hydrometer readings 24 hours apart you can establish if the yeast has done its job and make sure your beer is bottled at the right time.

When you think the beer is ready to bottle take a hydrometer reading and write it down where you won?t lose it.
Take a second reading 24 hours later. If the two readings are the same you are ready to bottle. If they are different wait a day or so and try again till you get the same reading twice.