FAQ: Process, Brew Kits & Catalyst

Our kits make 1 gallon of beer which, once bottled is about 10 regular 12 oz. bottles.
     
As long as you stick to the provided Guide to Craft Brewing, your first batch will turn out great! Ask any homebrewer how they felt right before they tasted their first batch of homebrew and most will reply that although their expectations were low it turned out way better than expected, even rivaling some of their favorite beers. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised with how well your beer will turn out and you may find you will never want to go back to store bought!
We source all of our ingredients from the same supplier that the craft brewing industry uses for their own beer. This ensures we always have the freshest ingredients on hand that meet the strictest requirements of the American brewing industry.
1-gallon glass carboy, funnel, food grade tubing with thumb clamp, thermometer, rubber stopper, 3-piece airlock, curved racking cane (for bottling your beer), our guide to craft brewing, the recipe kit of your choice (malt extract, brewers grains, hops, yeast, sanitizer and a brew bag)
Our kits come with almost everything you need to brew your own beer. The only things we do not provide is a pot to brew the beer in yet any normal pot with a capacity over a gallon will work just fine. After your beer ferments for two weeks you will need to find some flip top style bottles or a couple six packs of regular "pry off" (non twist-off) bottles along with our capping kit.
NO! Never dump your beer without checking with us first. That problem that may seem like a big deal might just turn out to be a small mistake that won't have an effect on the final product so use the contact us link before doing something as drastic as dumping beer down the drain!

If your beer is under-carbonated continue aging it in the bottles at room temperature for about 5 more days. This most likely means there is still sugar in the bottles that the yeast still needs to consume to create the carbonation. Giving it extra time will help create more CO2.

Some amount of sediment is normal for any naturally conditioned beer. It will all sink to the bottom of the bottles after the beer is carbonated. When you’re ready to drink your beer you can avoid getting this in your glass by pouring slowly and leaving the last ½ ounce in the bottle. There is no good way to remove ALL of the sediment unless you use a professional style filter, but getting sediment in your glass won’t hurt anything except the appearance.

It is normal to lose some amount of volume during the boil. If after filling up your carboy you notice the liquid doesn’t reach the 1-gallon mark simply add cool water to do so. Your beer will be just fine! 

If you aren’t seeing signs of fermentation right away, don’t worry! The “lag phase” of fermentation can take up to 72 hours. You can also try moving your carboy to a warmer spot in your house, as yeast are not very active at colder temperatures. 

We recommend a carboy brush to remove any residue that forms inside your carboy. B-Brite cleanser gets organic material off of your equipment and can be used as a sanitizer when you soak equipment in it for 30 minutes.  

 

Catalyst FAQ:

Make sure your valve is installed right-side-up. The handle should crank DOWNWARD to OPEN the gasket and should be horizontal when the valve is closed. The writing on the valve will also help determine the correct way to install.

 

To ensure the best lid seal, first put the lid on without clasping the latches, ensuring everything lines up. Then, press down to seat the seal. Close each latch in an “X” pattern - close one, then the one across from it, rather than going around in a circle clasping them shut.
Leave your Trub Trap valve open during fermentation to allow sediment to collect and compact in the attached mason jar.

 

Wait at least 10 days of fermentation before removing your trub. It may be tempting to dump the jar as soon as it appears to be full, but patience is key to saving precious beer. Sediment falls VERY slowly and compacts on itself over time. A seemingly full mason jar can be deceiving. We’ve seen a full 16 oz jar of trub (after 5 days of fermentation) condense down to a half-full jar (after 10 days of fermentation).

 

Collect pre-fermentation trub BEFORE pitching your yeast if you did not separate your hops. To cut down on the number of mason jar removals/trub dumps (and to save precious beer) we recommend waiting a few hours before pitching yeast to allow pre-fermentation trub to settle and collect in the jar. This typically makes up a large portion of the sediment collected during the process and removing it before adding yeast can help curb the number of jar dumps. Larger volume mason jars can also help, but time is the biggest factor. We’d recommend waiting 10 days before removing your first jar of sediment during fermentation."
With a standard airlock installed in the lid the total height = 30”
Watch our quick video for help reinstalling the lid gasket to avoid over-stretching the seal. The gasket is more likely to separate when lifting the lid straight up and off of the tank with both hands. The best way to avoid this is to unlock the hinges and then lift from one side.
You may see a very thin layer of sediment adhering to the sides of the conical. In earlier stages of fermentation, a light tap or a slight rock back & forth can dislodge some of the sediment. But not to worry if this doesn’t remove all of it. When you move on to bottling that light layer won’t get pulled into the bottling attachment and into the bottles, it will remain stuck to the side.
Whenever you open the valve we recommend doing so slowly. While this will create some bubbles going through your beer, it will not have an oxidizing effect on your beer. Especially if you are just entering the secondary phase as the yeast is still doing its job and finishing the fermentation. We’ve spoken to many pro brewers about this and they agree that this introduction of some oxygen to the beer is much less then doing a traditional transfer to a secondary container or even a bottling bucket.
Try to find a place in your house that is within the fermentation temperature range (65 - 75 degrees Fahrenheit). If your beer is fermenting at too low a temperature you can try insulating the tank with a towel or blanket. You can also use a Brew Belt to help raise the temp 10 degrees above room temp. You can also use a Cool Brewing insulated fermentation bag to reduce the temperature. You can fill this with frozen 2L bottles of water to achieve a lower fermentation temperature.
Overactive foaming and bubbling can occur when fermenting, we recommend trying to cool down your fermentation temperature and making a “blow off setup” where the tubing is inserted into the stopper and the other end of the tubing is inserted into a half full glass of water. This will allow foam and CO2 to escape and any foam will be captured in the glass. Another solution for overactive fermentation is Fermcap-S, an anti-foam solution that helps settle foam and eliminate messy blow-off.

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