Open Thread: What's brewin' in your mind? Question I can answer?

From time to time I'll open the blog up for questions.
~Are you thinking about homebrewing, hop growing, etc.?
~Do you need to know how to get started?
Now is the time to ask.


Unknown said...

I just stumbled upon your blog. Pretty cool.

I am working on the perfect English strong bitters recipe. I want to split my next in half & use two yeast strains for comparison. I have 5 gal carboys for fermentation, but don't know how to store the beer after that. Whats your opinion on using a secondary, bottle vs keg, etc... Also suggested yeast.

Thanks - Mark Wood, Newnan GA

Adam said...

As usual it depends :-) This is what I do.

I usually don't use a secondary. Probably depends on the style. I would secondary a barleywine or other beers that need a long fermentation. Usually I primary until the airlock slows down to 1 bubble a min or when I have time after that. Then it's off to the kegs, because, I have a bunch of 5 gal soda kegs. If I'm going to serve it at home, I usually just leave it in that keg. If I'm going to transport to a party I'll make sure I rack it into another keg leaving the yeast behind. This provides me with clear beer no matter how I handle the keg.

I use the white labs english ale yeast if I want to turn a beer in that style around quickly. It flocculates well and allows me to turn around beer in 10 days if necessary. Of course your mileage may vary according to recipe, process, etc. I'm sure there are other yeasts out there that will work too.

Bottle vs Keg

Well I keg because it is easier and I have a converted fridge as my kegerator. I just fill a growler when I want to share it.

Bottles can be better because they are easier to share and easier to age. More work too, but, probably worth it.

Thanks for posting. Good luck and share your experiences with us when you decide. If you have other questions, ask them here or email at beerbits2@gmail.com

Adam said...


I should also mention that if you are going to bottle you have less room for error when transferring the beer to bottles. Make sure your fermentation is "complete". If you don't, you may end up with too many fermentables in the bottle. This is dangerous due to over carbonation and the potential of bottles exploding.

When kegging this is less of an issue as the kegs are less likely to have problems containing the pressure.

Unknown said...

Thanks Adam. Wow 10 days. I never imagined that. I have been going a secondary fermenter a lot. I think I will try to cut out that step & go straight to a keg. Maybe I just need a couple more of them. I am pretty happy with my recipe right now for ESB but trying different yeasts to compare. Thanks again.


Adam said...

Yep 10 days. Your mileage may vary. I think most people would suggest that you age it and let the yeast clean things up, but, I've done it repeatably and had others enjoy the beer.

Keep in touch and let us know how things progress. Thanks for stopping by.