What is the date at the bottom of each can of malt?
This is a “Best Before” date and IS NOT an expiration date. So don't worry, the malts are still good for years past this date. It simply means after this date the malt may begin to darken past its original SRM (color based on standard reference method).
How long does it take to make beer or hard cider?
Our standard refills can be made in approx. 14 days, but for the best possible results we recommend: 2 weeks in the fermenter, 2 weeks in the bottle and 2 weeks in the refrigerator.
Some of our more complex recipes can take up to 4 months.
What is a lid gasket?
A lid gasket is the rubber seal which is placed under the lid to make the fermenter airtight when using an airlock or blowoff. The lid gasket is reusable, but it is recommended that you replace it after every 5-8 batches, or if the gasket becomes frayed, torn, dented or stained.
Where does the washer on my tap assembly go?
The washer on the tap assemble goes on the outside of the fermenter. And remember not to overtighten the nut.
Where is my yeast?
The yeast packet is packaged under the black lid of each hopped malt extract.
What type of yeast comes with your malts?
We use safbrew S33 from Fermentis. It is a great all purpose ale yeast that flocculates well at the end of fermentation. It can handle quite a range in fermentation temperatures and works well for home brewers who don't need to fuss too much around it.
What is the stuff at the bottom of my fermenter?
In the process of brewing beer, trub (from the German for lees) is the layer of sediment that appears at the bottom of the fermenter after yeast has completed the bulk of the fermentation. It is composed mainly of heavy fats, proteins and inactive yeast.
Can the trub ever reach the tap on your conical fermenter?
Not likely. We've designed space for 2 cups of trub before coming close to the tap area. Our standard or even the big 6.5% abv seasonal recipes (coming 2013), don't even come close. Never say never though, but it's highly unlikely given the volume of beer you will be making.
How tall is the fermenter?
The fermenter including lid sits 9.25 inches wide and just under 16 inches tall. With its base it sits just over 10 inches wide and 16" tall. And depending on the type of airlock you use, it can add another 3 - 5 inches to its height.
How do I know when fermentation is over?
Your beer should finish its primary fermentation about 4 days after adding the yeast, the next 3 days are to allow the beer to clear. Stronger and hoppier recipes may take longer. The most accurate way to check is with a hydrometer. It measures the specific gravity of a beer. When the specific gravity remains the same over a 24-hour period, your beer has finished fermenting.
How many gallons does your conical fermenter hold?
Our conical fermenter holds just over 3-gallons of liquid, adequate head spacing for a 2 1/2 gallon batch.
How do I use my airlock?
Make sure you sanitize the airlock and rubber stopper (inside and out) before using, and place a sanitized lid gasket under your lid. After you have made your beer and added the yeast, tighten down the lid and add your airlock. After the airlock is firmly in place, add water to the fill line(s). Sanitized water or alcohol (like vodka) is preferred. (FYI: if need be, refilling it with regular tap water should be fine).
Remove the airlock before opening your tap (for bottling or testing your beer) or the liquid from the airlock will wind-up in your beer.
Why is my airlock not bubbling?
First, check and see if you have a lid gasket placed under the lid. Second, ensure that your airlock or blowoff is in place. Just because the airlock didn't bubble doesn't mean fermentation isn't taking place. CO2 molecules are very small and even the slightest gap in any seal can create an escape route other than the airlock. More importantly, CO2 is heavier than air and will create a protective blanket over your beer. This will prevent contamination from outside air that may enter through unwanted gaps. Continue following the instructions and after 5-7 days draw a small amount from the tap; if it tastes like flat beer, it’s ready to bottle. If it tastes sweet, give it a few more days.
What is a venting plug?
This unique system allows CO2 to escape while keeping harmful contaminants from entering and spoiling your beer. The venting plug saves you the trouble of using an airlock and space on your counter.
Why use a conical fermenter?
As beer finishes its fermentation process, inactive yeast and other fermentation by-products fall out of suspension and create a layer of sediment (called trub) at the bottom of fermenters. This trub has the tendency to cause off flavors and add a cloudy haze in your finished beer. A conical fermenter allows the trub to be “funneled” down to the tapered bottom of the fermenter. This creates a smaller contact area between the beer and the trub, resulting in less interaction between the two. Then the tap, which has been strategically placed above the trub, allows for the fermented beer to be gravity fed out of the fermenter without disturbing the trub.