Frequently Asked Questions

This page will be dedicated to, as the title shows, FAQs. I get questions all the time from new and experienced brewers so I thought it would be best if I posted them here. I will add questions as they come up. They are in no particular order.

If it gets to be too large of a list, I will start to categorize them.

Do I have to use a Secondary Vessel when I brew beer?

No, you can do whatever you want with your beer. A few reasons why you may want to rack your beer into a secondary:

1. Help the beer to clear by racking the beer off of the trub/yeast cake.

2. Maybe you want to brew again and want to pour your cooled wort on the yeast cake from the previous batch. By doing this you have a batch aging in a secondary vessel and a new batch in the primary fermenting away. It just means more beer sooner.

A few reasons why you may not want to rack into a secondary:

1. You only have one bucket, you don't have a choice.

2. You are not concerned about clarity and/or you don't have time to rack into a secondary. Nothing wrong with letting a beer stay in your primary till kegging or bottling time. (I will have people debate me on this one but again its your beer do as you please.)

Do I need to create a starter when using liquid yeast?

I would recommend creating a starter for liquid yeast. You don't need to create a starter for dry yeast but you may want to rehydrate the yeast before pitching time. The next time you are in the store look at a pack of liquid yeast. It clearly states on the package that it has about 100 billion viable cells. It takes on average (around 1.065 gravity or lower) 200 billion viable cells to properly ferment 5 gallons. 

How do I determine the correct carbonation during kegging?

The average carbonation pressure is around 2.4 psi. Now how do you get there? It depends on the psi you have set on your regulator and the temperature at which you will let it sit. I will say, the higher the regulator is set the less time it will take and the faster you will be over carbonated. Here is a chart to give you a visual. Lets say you have the regulator set at 27 psi and it's at a temperature of 65 degrees. Unfortunately the chart doesnt show time. In my experience at those specs your beer will be carbonated within 24-36 hours. If you go a few days it will be over carbonated. If you can put your keg into your kegerator or fridge at 39 or 40 degrees you can set your regulator to around 11 or 12 psi. It should be good and ready to drink in 5 days or so. Also you are saving on co2. Brewers will debate about this forever. I say try at 11-12 psi at first and figure out your personal preference.