Brewing Supplies Online Frequently Asked Questions

 

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Question:
Is there a difference between cleaning and sanitising?
 
Answer:
Cleaning is performed to remove any debris left from the previous use of your homebrew hardware. A common dry powder cleaning agent is Brewer's Detergent (Sodium Meta-silicate). Sanitising is performed after equipment cleaning to control wild bacteria during fermentation. Some modern sanitising agents from Brew Supplies Online are hydrogen-peroxide based or phosphoric acid based. Unlike their sulphite based predecessors modern homebrew sanitisers are typically no rinse. This makes the home brewing process even easier. Some modern sanitisers such as Stellarsan are yeast friendly and will act as a yeast nutrient during fermentation.
 
Question:
Is there a difference between brewer's yeast from the supermarket and a sachet yeast from a home brew store?
 
Answer:
The first part to this answer is that it depends on what type of brewer's yeast is being considered. Sometimes it is an inactive yeast. Inactive brewer's yeast is often used in food products as a flavour enhancer. Other times it may be an active yeast which can be used  as a basic ale yeast with a low alcohol tolerance. Often much more active brewer's yeast has to be used than a home brew store sachet yeast. There are numerous inexpensive home brew craft yeasts available from Brewing Supplies Online which will produce unique flavour or characteristics for a particular beer type and higher alcohol levels. Mangrove Jack's Belgian Ale Yeast is capable of alcohol tolerances at least double that of supermarket brewer's yeast.
 
Question:
What is the shelf life of a kit beer yeast?
 
Answer:
Several beer yeast manufacturers indicate that the life of a yeast is two to three years from when packaged. This attempts to consider the possible range of temperatures a home brew yeast may endure. However if you store a yeast sachet around ten degrees Celcius and colder you can extend its shelf life by as much as another two years. While the malt in a home brew beer kit will darken with time and degrade slowly the included yeast becomes unusable much sooner. Some yeast are plain date coded while others are little different. The first two character are the yeast application, the next three are the day on which it was packaged,  and the last two the year. As an example a Thomas Cooper's Series yeast may display TC32420 ie: Thomas Cooper Series, day 324, year 2020.
 
Question:
Are Epsom Salts from the supermarket and yeast Nutrient sold by a home brew store the same thing?
 
Answer:
Epsom salts is sometimes used as an energiser or a nutrient because of its low cost. Epsom Salts is Magnesium Sulphate. It is made up of Magnesium, Sulphur, and Oxygen. Yeast responds well to magnesium. However the sulphur content can have negative effects. Excess sulphur and oxygen during fermentation can produce off aromas and bitter flavours. Home brew store yeast nutrient is often a blend of vitamins, minerals, magnesium, potassium, phosphates, zinc, nitrogen, and other organic matter. It will help the yeast to reproduce efficiently as alcohol levels rise in your wort.
  
Question:
Do I need a hydrometer to make a brew?
 
Answer:
A hydrometer is considered an essential piece of home brew hardware. Without it you can not determine what is happening with your brew. It will reveal if a brew has finished primary fermentation, if it has stalled, if it is ready to bottle, and it will help you calculate the alcohol strength of a brew. A hydrometer indicates the density ie Specific Gravity of your beer wort, wine must, or spirit wash. Sugar and water solution is denser than alcohol and water so the Specific Gravity decreases as alcohol is produced. A simple formula to calculate ABV is: (Start Specific Gravity – Finish Specific Gravity) x 131= %ABV approximately.
Example:   (1.048 SG – 1.008 FG)=.040 then .040 x 131= 5.31%ABV


 

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