Back to Shopping at NorthernBrewer.com

Newbie Questions

Hi everyone, I just brewed my first ever batch (American Wheat Beer) - which I have to say, was just as simple as Northern Brewer claims (comparison to making mac n cheese without help!). OG was spot on, fermentation began a few hours after it was put in the bucket… so far, so good.

My questions are:

– Has anyone used the silver, absorbing caps? I think the extra $1.50 is worth the piece of mind, just interested to see if it makes a dramatic difference or not.

– Does Star San have a shelf life? From what I’ve read in the reviews, it’s the best out there for sanitization. I planned to buy the big 32oz container… but I will likely only brew a batch once every 8-10 weeks (for now), dont want to have half the product expire!

– Regarding secondary fermentation, is there any harm in performing a secondary on something that doesn’t necessarily need it? I know all it will do is make it clearer and maybe refine the taste a bit? Eventually I may try to add flavoring (lemon zest, raspberries etc) so secondary is the way to do that.

Thanks in advance for any insight or advice.

JC

  1. I have never used the o2 absorbing caps. I have never had problems with the generic ones. When I bottle, I fill my bottles with beer, put the cap on without crimping, and set aside until I have filled them all. This allows some of the o2 to escape while not letting any in. Once they are all filled I go back to the first bottle I filled and crimp the cap shut.

  2. From what I have read, it lasts a long time. Some people make 5 gallon batches at a time and keep it in a bucket and use it over and over again. As long as the ph is below 3 your good.

  3. No, it won’t hurt a thing using a secondary. I would suggest using only a primary if you can. But if you need the primary vessel for a new batch, want to add fruit or some other ingredient to the beer, or just want to bulk age it, then use the secondary. Extra carboys are nice to have on hand.

In regard to the starsan - If you are talking about how long it will last unmixed (still in the bottle) - basically forever. I listened to a podcast a couple weeks ago and they interviewed the maker of starsan and I seem to recall him stating that they have tested starsan that was over 10 years old (maybe even 20 years?) and it was the same as when it was first made.

I use the O2 caps on all my beer . . . I can’t state, unequivocally, that they are better . . .but, I guess I am like you and figure an extra $1.50 is worth any potential benefit their may be.

I would never secondary unless it is necessary. My golden rule in brewing is to touch my beer as little as possible and to introduce as few steps, or utensils to it as I can. Every step, utensil and transfer offers the potential to infect. Why do it if you don’t need to? Even clarifying - Beer will clarify in the bottle and if you pour carefully - the sediment will stay in the bottle.

I’m glad you mentioned this… I was wondering if it was possible, rather than making a new batch of solution every time you needed it. Thanks for the heads up on your bottling technique also, I will try that.

[quote=“Braufessor”]I use the O2 caps on all my beer . . . I can’t state, unequivocally, that they are better . . .but, I guess I am like you and figure an extra $1.50 is worth any potential benefit their may be.

I would never secondary unless it is necessary. My golden rule in brewing is to touch my beer as little as possible and to introduce as few steps, or utensils to it as I can. Every step, utensil and transfer offers the potential to infect. Why do it if you don’t need to? Even clarifying - Beer will clarify in the bottle and if you pour carefully - the sediment will stay in the bottle.[/quote]

Yeah, for a fraction over $0.01 per cap, why not?! With my rookie batch, I was literally sanitizing everything repeatedly once I took the stock pot off the stove-top… so I definitely “get” trying to avoid the risk of infection, I’ll skip secondary unless necessary.

Thanks for the advice, I appreciate it.

Scroll down to March 29th podcast.

http://www.basicbrewing.com/index.php?p ... radio-2007

The length it will last once mixed varies and one thing that will affect it is the hardness/pH of your water. I believe one indication that it is losing its sanitizing power is that it begins to get cloudy. I am planning on buying a pack of these to accurately gauge the power of solution I have mixed and stored.

http://www.amazon.com/ColorpHast-9586-0 ... B003TV3GS0
Back to Shopping at NorthernBrewer.com