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What do I do to get my bottles carbinated when brewing a lager?
Is distilled water ok to use when brewing beer?
Is it possible to brew a Coors clone and a kegging system for home?
I am looking for a recipe that resembles Shiner Bock. Do you have one?
How can I get something shipped to an APO address?
Can I use a capper on "Twist-Off" style bottles? Will it work?
Do you have Wyeast 3112 Brettanomyces bruxellensis in stock?
I put some campden in my wine and I see no signs of fermentation. What's wrong?
How do you do secondary fermentation?
Why does my fermenting wort smell like rotten eggs?
How many bottles do I need to bottle five gallons of beer?
How much, if any heat is generated by the yeast during fermentation?
Can I use honey instead of the usual 3/4 cup sugar when bottling?
What do these specific gravity readings mean?
Would using an aluminum brite tank be a problem (as opposed to glass or plastic)?
How can you boost the regular alcohol content in the beer?
Do you carry hard to find items, or know of a good substitute?
Do you carry potassium sorbate in the Richardson store?
Which ones of the Canned Malt Extracts have labels that are easy to remove?
Why do some of the yeast descriptions have the "Add To Cart" button disabled?


    
 

Q) I am brewing my first true lager. For the first 5 days I am in a primary and just went to a secondary. I understand that if I ferment at 40 degrees or so I may not have enough yeast to activate fermentation at bottling time. What do I do if this is the situation?

A) Naturally carbonated beer must be racked off its sediment into a sterile, closed container and mixed with a quantity of actively fermenting kraeusen beer or priming solution sufficient to produce the desired bottle pressure.

Most Homebrewers don't do this, so,

Prim your bottles normally like you do your Ales. At 40 degrees your Lager should still have enough active yeast to carbonate your beer, although it may take longer to carbonate. The bottled beer should be held at 50 degrees or above until carbonated (about 7-14 days).

The temperature of the carbonated bottled beer should then be gradually reduced no more then 5 degrees in a 24 hour period until you reach 33 degrees. Bottle conditioning should take place away from direct sunlight, and the bottles should not be subject to major temperature fluctuations.

The beer should be aged in the bottle for a minimum of 10-14 days, and preferably 30 days, before serving.

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Q) I don't drink the tap water here because it tastes like swamp water, so I'm wondering what you would recommend for brewing. I drink distilled water (I even boil pasta in it), but I don't know that it would be good for brewing. Do you know if this makes any difference? I've thought about using bottled spring water, like Ozarka, but I'm not sure. Any suggestions you have would be helpful.

A) We do not recommend brewing with distilled water unless you treat it before brewing. Distilled water does not contain minerals that are necessary for good beer taste.

Bottled water, like Ozarka, will work just fine.

If you would like to learn more about water treatment we can give you suggested readings or you can contact us for more details.

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Q) I was curious, I've never brewed my own before, but I would love to start brewing my own beer. Eventually, I would like to be able to brew a light and dark beer, similar to say, Coors light and Shiner Bach. On top of this, I would like to put these in some sort of refrigerated storage system, and run lines to a separate bar for a 2 tap bar system. If you could help me out on what you would recommend, and prices and all, I'd greatly appreciate it.

A) You can do all of the above!!

Prices for Beer Brewing Starter kits are on Homebrew Headquarters Web site, but some of the specialty items for running a two tap refrigerate, (I assume keg system) into you bar are not. We would require too many questions to be asked here. We would need to talk in person.

Recipes for Coors Lt. & Shiner Bock are also available when you're ready to brew.

Please call for more details.

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Q) I am looking for a recipe that resembles Shiner Bock. Do you have one?

A) No problem! We have a recipe for Shiner Bock in Beer Kits, Extract, Partial Mash, or All Grain. Call us @ 800-966-4144 or 972-234-4144 and we'll be glad to help.

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Q) I would like to place an order that must go to an APO mailbox but your order form will not allow this. Is there another way to place my order?

A) We ship UPS and they do not deliver to APO's. However, if you have a civilian address close, we can ship to there.

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Q) I was going to stop in and buy a capper for beer bottle, but can you tell me if they will work on twist off bottles(i.e. Budweiser bottles)? I think they will but I'd like to know before I buy a capper from you.

A) Cappers that you can buy from homebrew shops will not work on "Screw Top", "Twist-Top" style bottles. In fact the manufacture says they will not. It is my experience that trying to cap Twist-Top bottles with a home brew shop capper has at best a 1 out of 3 success rate. One bottle would crack or break the next would not fit tight to hold carbonation and the third would fit OK.

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Q) Do you have Wyeast 3112 Brettanomyces bruxellensis in stock?

A) I do not have Wyeast #3112 in stock. I normally only special order the bacteria strains do to low sales, but I order every week. If you would like any of the Wyeast products please contact us because we order every Monday by 1:00pm and receive our order that same Friday, fresh.

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Q) I am making some wine & its not working, literally. I started with a gallon of water, boiling, and added 12oz. of grape concentrate, a packet of dry starter yeast, 1 campden tablet, stirred well and poured in gallon jug with air lock. It's been 4 days and nothing has happened. Shouldn't it be fermenting by now?? Is there any to save it ?

A) Campden tablets are designed to kill yeast and bacteria. Most likely the Campden tablet killed your dry starter yeast. You should wait 24-48 hours before adding your yeast, this gives time for the sulfites in the Campden tablet to dissipate.

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Q) I've just brewed my first batch, it is an Oktoberfest. Everything tastes fine I'm just curious as to how you do secondary fermentation. My beer cleared up well but only after the sediment laid down in the bottles. I understand that secondary fermentation allows the beer to racked a second time reducing the sediment but I'm wondering what else must take place during this process.

A) You do nothing, other than racking into a secondary fermenter for a secondary fermentation. It is true that racking helps clarification and minimize bottle sediment, but this is not the main reason for racking into a secondary fermenter. The main reason is to get your beer off the sediment (trub) which can produce off flavors. You will always have sediment in the bottle if you naturally carbonate, in fact, if you don't there is a problem.

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Q) We have just finished our second batch of a wheat beer. It is stored in a cool dark place and appears to be fermenting just fine, but there is a horrible smell coming from the bucket. Kind of like a rotting egg smell. The lid is on very tight and the fermentation lock is in place correctly, but we did not have this smell before. We were very careful to sanitize everything. Is something wrong or is this normal?

A) It sounds like everything is fine, but taste will tell for sure. Your wort should taste like warm flat beer, maybe slightly sweet and a little low in alcohol at this point, But it should not taste like "rotten eggs", if it does that is a sign of infection.

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Q) I have a 5 gallon batch of wine that will need to be bottled. How many bottles will I need? Do you have that many bottles in stock at one time or will you have to order them?

A) For a 5 gallon batch of wine you will need 24, 750 ml bottles or equivalent. I have several colors and styles to choose from. Normally we keep around 8 cases (12 bottles) of each in stock, but sometimes we do run out over a busy weekend. It would be saver for you to place an order with us and we will be sure to hold them for you.

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Q) How much, if any heat is generated by the yeast during fermentation?

A) In my experience, a 5 gallon batch of beer does produce about 2-3 degrees F of heat during the fermentation process.

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Q) I read once that to add honey flavor (honey porter, honey wheat, honey cream) it can be done by bottling with 1/2 cup of honey instead of the usual 3/4 cup sugar. Have you heard of this process and do you know if it works well?

A) Yes you can bottle with Honey or any other fermentable sugar, amounts will very. Bottling with honey will take a little longer to condition in the bottle, say 3-4 weeks on an average strength beer.

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Q) I have a batch that went from an OG of 1048 to 1022 in the first five days. After this I racked to secondary fermenter. Nine days later it only lowered one point to 1021. Final Gravity should be 1012 to 1014. This is the second time I have experienced this scenario. Although the beer tasted fine I would like to know what may have caused this.

A) There are lots of factors that can contribute to this. What yeast are you using? Are your oxygenating your wort? Are you making a yeast starter if you're using liquid Wyeast? What temperature are you fermenting at? All of these factors contribute to attenuation problems. Give us a call with this information and we can help you track down the problem.

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Q) Would using an aluminum brite tank be a problem (as opposed to glass or plastic)?

A) Aluminum always has a great potential for giving a "tinny", metallic off flavor. Aluminum has been used with great success, but be very careful cleaning not to srub away the oxidized layer metals natural produce that prevents the metallic flavor.

If you must use Aluminum, and it is new, I would recommend boiling water in it several times, and then soaking the pot with a natural acid (i.e. acid blend, citric acid) overnight.

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Q) How can you boost the regular alcohol content in the beer?

A) To increase alcohol in beer you need to feed your yeast more fermentable sugar (i.e. malt, honey, molasses, corn syrup, corn sugar). The more fermentable sugar you add to your wort, the more potential alcohol your yeast has to make. But, THERE IS A LIMIT! There also other important details when dealing with high gravity beers.

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Q) I am interested in making the German dopple-bock Celebrator - can you suggest a kit that is very close to that? Alternately, I have a recipe from the "Clone Brews" book, but it calls for some very hard to find ingredients such as Bierkeller and Ireks light malt syrups. Do you carry these, or know of a good substitute?

A) Homebrew Headquarters does carry Bierkeller malt extract. Bierkeller malt extract comes in 3.52 lb. cans of unhopped light, amber and dark. The Clone Brews book receipt work great. Time to brew this fantastic beer!!

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Q) Do you carry potassium sorbate in the Richardson store?

A) Yes we do carry Potassium Sorbate in our store in Richardson. We package Potassium Sorbate (A.K.A. stabilizer) under the name of Sorbastat K.

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Q) I am moving overseas in a couple of months and the country I am moving to frowns on alcoholic beverages. I would like to bring some canned malt extract for home beer brewing and need to know which of the canned malt extract products that you sell have removable labels. I have looked at some of the can images on your canned malt extract page and it is difficult for me to tell which cans have the removable labels. Could you provide me with a list of the canned malt extracts that have a removable or easily concealable label. As soon as you provide me this info, I plan to make an order and have it sent to my home and included in my overseas shipment.

A) Here is a list of brands of can malt extracts who's labels would be easy to remove.

John Bull
Mr. Beer
Iron Master
Muntons
Edme
Laaglander
Mountmellick
BrewFerm

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Q) Why do some of the yeast descriptions have the "Add To Cart" button disabled?

A) If one of the products displayed has the "Add To Cart" button disabled that means that the product is not in the product database. That doesn't mean we don't carry it; it means you can't order it over the web. Usually these products are the "Mega-size" slap packs. (We are working on adding these to the product database.) If you want one of these yeast please call us. We'll be happy to ship it to you.

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