Brewer's Best® Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some of the most common questions that are asked about Brewers Best®. If you don't find the answer you are looking for don't hesitate to use our contact form to ask, or find us on Facebook.
What is the shelf life of Brewer's Best® ingredient kits?
Brewer's Best® kits are made with the freshest ingredients purchased directly from maltsters, hop producers, and yeast manufacturers. With proper storage the kit will perform for up to 1 year. For short-term storage (up to 3 months), keep the entire kit in a dark, cool and dry environment. If storing longer, remove the yeast and all hops and refrigerate them until your brew day. The rest of the ingredients still need to be kept in a dark, cool, dry place.
What if my starting gravity is lower than it should be?
Make sure to thoroughly stir your wort after adding water to achieve the proper volume and gravity. A strong, vigorous stir not only mixes the wort to an even gravity, it will also introduce a small amount of oxygen, which is healthy for the yeast at the beginning of fermentation.
I am not seeing any bubbling in my airlock. What should I do?
A bubbling airlock does indicate that CO2 is being released from the fermenter, but it's also common to have an active fermentation without the visual presence of a bubbling airlock. The only way to accurately measure the fermentation rate is with a hydrometer. Always record a starting gravity prior to pitching your yeast. If you are not sure if your beer is fermenting, simply take a reading with a properly sanitized and calibrated hydrometer. If the gravity is decreasing, then fermentation is taking place.
It has been 3 weeks and my bottled beer is still not carbonated. What do I do?
Factors such as temperature, the beer's gravity and the health of the residual yeast from primary fermentation all play a role in bottle-conditioning. All beers are not the same and will not carbonate at the exact same rate. A warm, consistent environment is necessary to ensure healthy bottle carbonation. The bottles should be stored in the dark and between 70°-74°. Always understand the conditions of the exact environment in which the bottles are being stored. For instance, the thermostat on the wall may read 71° but if the bottles are on the floor of a concrete basement it might actually be 67°. Bottle conditioning near furnaces, clothes dryers and HVAC registers creates an inconsistent environment as well. If you are experiencing a sluggish carbonation stage, give the bottles a slow turn upside down and then right side up again to disperse the yeast back into the beer.
The directions tell me to add only part of the malt that was supplied in the kit. When do I add the rest?
You have a kit that requires a late malt addition. Late malt additions are often useful in achieving a specific color profile and are added toward the end of the boil similar to flavor and aroma hops. The "Brew Day Schedule" box in the lower right hand corner of the instructions will indicate when to add the late malt addition.
If I do not have the equipment for secondary fermentation, how long before I can bottle my beer?
If using primary fermentation only, it is necessary to take daily gravity readings starting on Day 4 of fermentation. When the beer has reached Terminal Gravity (gravity is within target range AND has remained unchanged for two days), wait two more days and proceed to bottling your beer. Do not bottle if gravity is higher than indicated on your directions.
The instructions state to do a 2.5 gallon boil. Do I need to change anything if I boil more than 2.5 gallons?
We suggest doing a 2.5 gallon boil at minimum. If you have the equipment to boil more than 2.5 gallons feel free to do so. There is no need to change the amount of any of the ingredients.
My beer is in the bottle and I notice there is sediment at the bottom of the bottle. What is this sediment and is my beer ruined?
Remember, bottle conditioning is a mini-fermentation. This sediment is a natural product of bottle-conditioned beer. Similar to the yeast that falls to the bottom of your primary fermenter, you will also end up with yeast on the bottom of each freshly carbonated bottle. When serving your tasty homebrew, slowly pour it into a glass. With a little practice you will be able to pour out all of your beer with very little sediment in it.
I got my kit and all the hop packages say “aroma.” Did I get the right ones?
Brewer’s Best® uses only premium grade hops packaged by Hopunion. These new, nitrogen-purged hop sachets show the aroma characteristic of each hop variety. This should not be confused with adding hops to the wort for bittering, flavoring, aroma or dry hop additions (the packages are not labeled “bittering”, “flavoring”, “aroma” or “dry hop”.) Please see the Brew Day Schedule section of the recipe/instructions included with your kit as it will state the variety of hop, proper addition time, and quantity to be added to the boil.
With hops it’s all about the time you add the hops to the boil. If you’re using a hop type for bittering it always goes in at the beginning of the boil, as the longer you boil a hop the more IBUs or bittering quality is extracted. If you use a hop for flavoring you generally add it between 30 minutes and 10 minutes remaining in the boil, as less time in the boil will retain more flavoring characteristics. Lastly, when you use a hop for aroma it is usually added between the last five minutes and flame out, so that you only extract the aroma of the hop.