Q: Can light affect the taste of my beer?

UV light and fluorescent light can affect the taste of beer. The effect is commonly called “skunked” and “light struck”. To combat this it is recommended to store your beer in a box or in the basement.

Q: What kind of beer can I make?

Providing the right ingredients, nearly any beer that can be bought at a grocery store can be produced at home. Light beers however are some of the most difficult to emulate due to the fact that they contain such little flavor.

What’s the difference between cleaning and sanitizing?

Cleaning your equipment removes any stains or soils left behind from fermenting your beer. Sanitizing kills microorganisms that could compete with your yeast ultimately altering the flavor of your beer.

Why Sanitize?

The importance of sanitizing can’t be stressed enough. Without sanitizing every piece of equipment that comes into contact with your beer, you leave your beer open to growing microorganisms that will compete with your yeast. When microorganisms are present the flavor of your beer could be affected.

 

Here at Heritage Home Brew we highly recommend using Star San for all your sanitizing needs.

Q: Are hops dangerous to dogs?

According to Animal Poison Control, spent hops can cause malignant hyperthermia, a sudden and usually irreversible increase in body temperature in dogs. It is recommend that hops be disposed of properly and out of reach of animals. If your dog has consumed hops it is recommended you seek immediate veterinary care.

Q: How long of a process is it to brew beer?

It takes around four weeks before your beer is ready to be consumed. The following is a general break down of the process.

Brewing

  • Cleaning and sanitizing 10-15 minutes

  • Brewing and starting fermentation 60-90 minutes

Fermentation

  • The waiting part… anywhere from 1-3 weeks

Bottling Day

  • About an hour give or take

Conditioning

  • We wait once again… usually about 2 weeks

  • After 2 weeks chill and enjoy!

Q: How do I determine the alcohol content of my beer?

A hydrometer is used to figure the alcohol content of your beer. To calculate alcohol content the brewer will need to take a hydrometer reading on brewing day to obtain the original gravity (OG). After fermentation is complete the brewer will take Final Gravity (FG) reading with the hydrometer. The alcohol content is calculated by using the following formula (OG-FG) X 131.25 = %. There are also many websites that will allow you to enter your OG and FG and do the calculation for you.

Q: What equipment do I need to get started?

A heat Source – A stove or propane burner (a.k.a. turkey fryer).

Pot – A 2 to 5 gallon pot for boiling water.

Long-handled Spoon – Plastic, wood or metal as long as there is no rust.

Fermenter – Typically around a 6.5 gallon food-grade bucket with airtight lid with a small hole for an airlock.

Airlock – Small device inserted in the hole in the lid of your fermenter. Filled halfway with water, it allows carbon dioxide to escape while keeping oxygen out.

Thermometer – To check temperature of beer.

Racking Cane w/tubing – This is used to transfer the beer from one bucket or carboy to another.

Bottling Bucket – A bucket with a hole in the bottle where a spigot can be placed for use when bottling.

Spigot – screwed into the hole in the bottom of your bottling bucket.

Bottle Filler – Spring-loaded, hard plastic tubing used for transfering beer into bottles.

Bottle Capper – Device used to place caps on beer bottles

Sanitizer – A solution for sanitizing all of your home brew equipment.

Bottles – Can be bought or reused. It is not recommended to use screw top bottles. You’ll need about two 24-bottle cases per 5-gallons of beer.

Bottle Cleaning Brush – Used to clean your bottles.

Hydrometer – Used for measuring specific gravity. By measuring before and after fermentation will allow you to monitor the progress of your beer and calculate alcohol content.

 

Heritage Home Brew offers a selection of starter kits that contain these pieces of equipment and more. Stop in today to see what we have to offer!