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November 05, 2019

How to Use Your Counter Pressure Bottle Filler

As with most homebrewing activities, the first step is to make sure all your equipment and bottles are clean and sanitized. The counter pressure bottle filler may be sanitized easily by opening all of the valves and submerging it in a bucket of sanitizer solution. Let it sit in the solution for ..... Read More

As with most homebrewing activities, the first step is to make sure all your equipment and bottles are clean and san..... Read More

November 05, 2019

I've Got My Hop Rhizomes, Now What?

Background Info What are hop rhizomes? Hop rhizomes are small roots that are cut from the main root system of a mature female hop plant. And a hop plant is a perennial plant that produces little cones or flowers called hops, which are one of the main ingredients in brewing beer. In the springtime..... Read More

Background Info What are hop rhizomes? Hop rhizomes are small roots that are cut from the main root system of a matur..... Read More

November 05, 2019

Instructions on How to Grow Hops

Growing hop rhizomes is truly something special. Being able to add an ingredient that you’ve grown yourself is not something that every homebrewer can claim. Plus, you can’t get any fresher then going out in your back yard and picking your own hops. Let’s show you the process of planting and cari..... Read More

Growing hop rhizomes is truly something special. Being able to add an ingredient that you’ve grown yourself is not so..... Read More

November 04, 2019

What is dry hopping?

Dry hopping is the process of adding hops, usually in secondary, to a beer to add more of a hop aroma to your beer. Traditionally, dry hopping is done in beer styles like pale ales and I.P.A.’s, but people are utilizing this process in many other styles as well. Since you are not boiling the hops..... Read More

Dry hopping is the process of adding hops, usually in secondary, to a beer to add more of a hop aroma to your beer. T..... Read More

October 29, 2019

Pumpkinize Your Brews

Fall is here and so is pumpkin beer! Hundreds of homebrewers make their own Pumpkin Beers with fresh or canned pumpkin. Learn how..... Read More

Fall is here and so is pumpkin beer! Hundreds of homebrewers make their own Pumpkin Beers with fresh or canned pumpki..... Read More

October 25, 2019

What are the differences between sanitizers?

Now that your equipment is clean, you also want to make sure it is sanitized before use. Sanitizers are a stronger product that really goes after the bacteria that might be on your equipment. Practicing good sanitation is the next step to ensure infection-free wine and beer. Sanitizing means to r..... Read More

Now that your equipment is clean, you also want to make sure it is sanitized before use. Sanitizers are a stronger pr..... Read More

October 25, 2019

How do I clean my Cornelius keg?

Properly caring for and cleaning your homebrew kegs is vital to making sure your beer is at its best time after time... Read More

Properly caring for and cleaning your homebrew kegs is vital to making sure your beer is at its best time after time... Read More

October 25, 2019

Why is PBW different from other powdered cleaners?

PBW was designed to blend the best of four factors of Surfactants, Wetting Agents, Oxygen & Chelation to attack the oils, soils & minerals specific to brewing. While other cleansers have strengths in one area or another, PBW is renowned for having achieved the superior synergy of all four..... Read More

PBW was designed to blend the best of four factors of Surfactants, Wetting Agents, Oxygen & Chelation to attack t..... Read More

October 25, 2019

How to Insulate Your Tap Lines

If you plan to run draft (tap) lines from a keg in a refrigerator to a tap some distance from the refrigerator, for example to a bar, you are likely to run into issues with foamy beer. if foamy beer is an issue for you, the cause is likely due to beer warming up in your draft lines. As the temper..... Read More

If you plan to run draft (tap) lines from a keg in a refrigerator to a tap some distance from the refrigerator, for e..... Read More

October 25, 2019

Are Cleaning and Sanitizing different things?

They are! Cleaning:  Is the process of removing soils and oils and minerals from your equipment. You use alkali cleaners to remove soils and oils and acid cleaners to remove minerals. Generally, in home brew, you rarely need to use acids, but they are available. There are two methods of cleaning..... Read More

They are! Cleaning:  Is the process of removing soils and oils and minerals from your equipment. You use alkali clea..... Read More

October 25, 2019

Won't putting air into the Party Pig bottle with the beer affect its flavor?

No! Since your beer contains live yeast the yeast will consume any free oxygen. Also, once the pressure pouch has been activated you can bleed off almost all of the air... Read More

No! Since your beer contains live yeast the yeast will consume any free oxygen. Also, once the pressure pouch has bee..... Read More

October 25, 2019

How can the pH of the mash be adjusted?

If the pH of the mash is too low (too acidic) the addition of Calcium Carbonate will work well to raise it. In some cases, especially if you are making a very dark beer such as a Stout or Porter, you may have to settle for a mash pH as low as 5.0, but under no circumstance should you add more tha..... Read More

If the pH of the mash is too low (too acidic) the addition of Calcium Carbonate will work well to raise it. In some c..... Read More

October 25, 2019

What do I need to get started with my Party Pig®?

A support to hold the bottle in the upright position during filling An activation pump or some other method of pressurizing the bottle to activate the pressure pouch A Phillips head screwdriver. The Party Pig® Kit contains complete instructions and all of the components necessary for one Pig of b..... Read More

A support to hold the bottle in the upright position during filling An activation pump or some other method of pressu..... Read More

October 25, 2019

How do I use a Tap-A-Draft System?

Tap-A-Draft systems are a great solution for those that don’t want, or don’t have room for, a full sized kegging system setup. The smaller size allows them to be stored in just about any refrigerator. How it works The best miniature keg system on the market. The Tap-A-Draft allows you to serve an..... Read More

Tap-A-Draft systems are a great solution for those that don’t want, or don’t have room for, a full sized kegging syst..... Read More

October 25, 2019

Will my tap handle fit any faucet?

Yes. All faucets are of universal size, so any tap handle that you have should fit onto any of the faucets that we sell... Read More

Yes. All faucets are of universal size, so any tap handle that you have should fit onto any of the faucets that we sell... Read More

October 25, 2019

Why does the strike water of 170 °F not damage the grains' enzymes?

I’m getting ready to make my first all-grain batch, and I’m a little confused. I thought that the temperature of 170 °F stops the enzymes in the grains from converting the starches into sugars. My question is this: Q: If my mash temp is supposed to be 155 °F, but the strike water is supposed to b..... Read More

I’m getting ready to make my first all-grain batch, and I’m a little confused. I thought that the temperature of 170 ..... Read More

October 25, 2019

What kind of yeast should I use?

The first choice to make is whether you want to use dried or liquid yeast. (Please see FAQ entitled What's the difference between dried and liquid yeast?) If you choose to use a liquid strain, you will be able to get much closer to the specific style of beer you are brewing. We have placed detail..... Read More

The first choice to make is whether you want to use dried or liquid yeast. (Please see FAQ entitled What's the differ..... Read More

October 25, 2019

What are the differences between Ale vs. Lager beers?

Ales: All beers can be broken down into two major categories- ale or lager beer. There are some major differences between the two when it comes to how the beer is fermented, and the flavor is different between the two types as well. Ales are a type of beer that is fermented between 65 - 75 °F. Al..... Read More

Ales: All beers can be broken down into two major categories- ale or lager beer. There are some major differences bet..... Read More

October 25, 2019

What is the Party Pig?

The Party-Pig® is a self contained beer packaging /dispensing system. It replaces bottles and/or kegging systems for finishing and serving beer. The Party Pig® uses an amber PET plastic bottle that holds 2.25 gallons (which is equivalent to one case of 24, 12 oz. containers) of beer and an attach..... Read More

The Party-Pig® is a self contained beer packaging /dispensing system. It replaces bottles and/or kegging systems for ..... Read More

October 25, 2019

How do I fill a Mini Keg with beer from a Cornelius/ Sanke keg?

If you would like to fill the mini keg with a finished beer from a larger keg: First, chill the mini keg to the same or colder temperature than the beer temperature. This ensures that the beer will retain more of the CO2 as it gets lost to heat and evaporation. Next, raise the CO2 pressure of the..... Read More

If you would like to fill the mini keg with a finished beer from a larger keg: First, chill the mini keg to the same ..... Read More

October 25, 2019

Just how hard is all-grain brewing?

Brewing all-grain is much easier than most people think. It basically involves two additional steps: Mashing and Sparging. After these two steps are completed, the boiling process is exactly the same as when extract brewing. All-grain brewing has the added benefit of improving your brew's quality..... Read More

Brewing all-grain is much easier than most people think. It basically involves two additional steps: Mashing and Spar..... Read More

October 25, 2019

How many kegs of beer can be dispensed using a 5 lb. CO2 tank?

It depends on a few factors. If you are using the CO2 only to dispense the beer, not to carbonate it, you may get as many as thirty 5 gallon Cornelius kegs out of one 5 lb. CO2 cylinder. However, most homebrewers are also using CO2 to force carbonate their brew, so this brings it down to around t..... Read More

It depends on a few factors. If you are using the CO2 only to dispense the beer, not to carbonate it, you may get as ..... Read More

October 25, 2019

What is gyle, and how do I prime my beer with it?

Gyle is a portion of unfermented beer wort that is reserved for or added to finished beer for condition (carbonation). What you can do is save a measured amount of your fresh unfermented sterile wort and store it in a sterilized, sealed container in your refrigerator. The gyle should be taken fro..... Read More

Gyle is a portion of unfermented beer wort that is reserved for or added to finished beer for condition (carbonation)..... Read More

October 25, 2019

How long is the fermentation process?

The time a beer takes to ferment will definitely vary depending on many factors: whether you’re brewing an ale or a lager, what style you’re brewing, the gravity of the brew, and the yeast you’ll be using. The recipe you’re using may have specific instructions on the time you should leave the bee..... Read More

The time a beer takes to ferment will definitely vary depending on many factors: whether you’re brewing an ale or a l..... Read More

October 25, 2019

Why is sanitization so important in homebrewing?

Everyone talks about sanitization, is what I use really that important? If you don’t know anything else about brewing, the first thing you should know is this: sanitization is your #1 priority when making beer. The reason it is so important is because if all of your equipment is not properly sani..... Read More

Everyone talks about sanitization, is what I use really that important? If you don’t know anything else about brewing..... Read More

October 25, 2019

How do I turn my refrigerator into a kegerator?

Creating a kegmeister is actually much easier to do than people think. You will need to have a drill and a 1” drill bit, but other than that all you need is our Refrigerator Conversion Kit. Basically, you just drill your hole wherever you want your tap to be. This could be on the front of the fri..... Read More

Creating a kegmeister is actually much easier to do than people think. You will need to have a drill and a 1” drill b..... Read More

October 25, 2019

How do I use a refractometer?

Refractometers are a great tool to help determine the amount of sugars in your fruit. Typically, these units are used for measuring grapes, but can also be used for other fruits, and can be used similar to a hydrometer. What Does A Refractometer Do, and How Does It Work? A refractometer allows th..... Read More

Refractometers are a great tool to help determine the amount of sugars in your fruit. Typically, these units are used..... Read More

October 25, 2019

What are all the different products you offer for cleaning my carboys and bottles?

My carboys are filthy after I transfer the beer out of them. How do I get them clean? Carboys are a bit of a challenge to get clean. Especially if you’ve had a very active fermentation, or if your beer was in the carboy for a long time. Midwest offers many ways to help you get them clean. The car..... Read More

My carboys are filthy after I transfer the beer out of them. How do I get them clean? Carboys are a bit of a challeng..... Read More

October 25, 2019

How important is cleaning and sanitizing for my beer, really?

Home brewers can attribute the bulk of their failed batches to dirty equipment and botched sanitization. Clean equipment will last longer, function properly and keep off flavors from contaminating subsequent batches of beer. Maintaining a good brewing and fermenting environment means doing a good..... Read More

Home brewers can attribute the bulk of their failed batches to dirty equipment and botched sanitization. Clean equipm..... Read More

October 25, 2019

How should I store my beer?

How should I store my beer?There are a few factors to consider when determining where to store your beer between bottling or kegging and drinking it. Ideally you’d have an extra refrigerator dedicated to beer, but there are other options if you don’t. If you’re bottling your beer keep in mind tha..... Read More

How should I store my beer?There are a few factors to consider when determining where to store your beer between bott..... Read More

October 25, 2019

How does the Party Pig work?

The package works because it has a patented pressure pouch, inside the bottle with the beer, which inflates to a constant 15-20 pounds per square inch of pressure and keeps the beer fresh and carbonated for several months. The pressure pouch is not attached to anything and floats freely inside th..... Read More

The package works because it has a patented pressure pouch, inside the bottle with the beer, which inflates to a cons..... Read More

October 25, 2019

Why does my efficiency keep turning out low?

Why does my efficiency keep turning out low?There are several reasons why an all-grain batch may turn out with a low efficiency; listed below are a few of the most common. The water was not the correct temperature. When it comes to all grain brewing it is very important to make sure you are at th..... Read More

Why does my efficiency keep turning out low?There are several reasons why an all-grain batch may turn out with a low ..... Read More

October 25, 2019

Can I easily and cleanly remove labels for re-use of the bottles?

Can I easily and cleanly remove labels that Midwest Supplies sells so I can re-use the bottles?Yes, all of our printable Labels soak off easily in hot water and PBW, allowing for the bottles to be reused. To remove the labels, simply fill your sink or a large bucket with warm water and PBW; then ..... Read More

Can I easily and cleanly remove labels that Midwest Supplies sells so I can re-use the bottles?Yes, all of our printa..... Read More

October 25, 2019

What is a wort chiller? Why do I need one? What are the differences between the different types?

A wort chiller is a device that allows the homebrewer to bring boiling wort down to yeast pitching temperature in a fraction of the time an ice bath takes. Why is a wort chiller so important? Why do I need one? It is very important to cool your wort to below 80 degrees as quickly as possible afte..... Read More

A wort chiller is a device that allows the homebrewer to bring boiling wort down to yeast pitching temperature in a f..... Read More

October 25, 2019

Can I use yeast that I buy at the supermarket?

Short Answer: No Long Answer: Bread, beer, and wine yeast are all the same species of yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Over the years special strains of yeast have been selected for use in each product and do not do well in other conditions. Bread yeast used in beverage fermentation can produce v..... Read More

Short Answer: No Long Answer: Bread, beer, and wine yeast are all the same species of yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae..... Read More

October 25, 2019

What’s the difference between Firestone and Cornelius Kegs?

They are both very similar in design and construction, but differ in some of the parts they use. These include the posts, poppet valves and pressure relief valves. All other connects, etc. are the same as a Corny keg... Read More

They are both very similar in design and construction, but differ in some of the parts they use. These include the po..... Read More

October 25, 2019

Is lagering worth the time and Effort?

Short Answer: Lagers are worth the time and effort!!! So you finally invested in the refrigerator thermostat control and are ready to try your hand at lagering eh? Perhaps a word on fermentation will help demystify the whole deal and put the "grrr" back in "lager, baby! Yeah!" Lager yeast differs..... Read More

Short Answer: Lagers are worth the time and effort!!! So you finally invested in the refrigerator thermostat control ..... Read More

October 25, 2019

What's the difference between threaded and barbed keg fittings?

The quick disconnects with 1/4"" barbed fittings are pretty straight forward. You connect them to your liquid or gas tubing by clamping them down with an ear (5183, 5184, 5179) or SS tubing clamp (5182) as a more permanent, single purpose use. The threaded fittings and barbed swivel nuts allow fo..... Read More

The quick disconnects with 1/4"" barbed fittings are pretty straight forward. You connect them to your liquid or gas ..... Read More

October 25, 2019

How long will my lager fermentation last?

Each fermentation will depend somewhat on the yeast strain used and other conditions, but lager fermentations can be done in as few as 10 days. However, it may take as much as 4 weeks for primary fermentation. Secondary fermentation can take as long as 2 -3 months on some styles of beer. Pitching..... Read More

Each fermentation will depend somewhat on the yeast strain used and other conditions, but lager fermentations can be ..... Read More

October 25, 2019

What are the differences between the various cleaners?

Each cleaner is a proprietary blend of various components including emulsifiers, surfactants and other agents designed to make your water wetter (better for the breaking down of oils and soils) and lift them off of and unable to resettle on equipment surfaces. Brewers tend to develop an affection..... Read More

Each cleaner is a proprietary blend of various components including emulsifiers, surfactants and other agents designe..... Read More

October 25, 2019

How long will a keg of homebrew stay fresh?

Quick answer: probably a lot longer than you’ll be able to keep yourself from drinking it all. Long answer: If dispensing with CO2, and maintained at the proper temperature (35-43 °F) and pressure (10-15 psi), homebrew will remain fresh for at least 6 months... Read More

Quick answer: probably a lot longer than you’ll be able to keep yourself from drinking it all. Long answer: If dispen..... Read More

October 25, 2019

What is the difference between Straight-A and One Step?

Straight-A is a more heavy duty product for removing tough soils and leaving equipment sparkling clean. You should always rinse after using Straight-A because it is an alkaline product and it might throw off the acid balance of your beer or wine.One Step requires no rinsing and is intended as the..... Read More

Straight-A is a more heavy duty product for removing tough soils and leaving equipment sparkling clean. You should al..... Read More

October 25, 2019

What is pH and why is it significant in brewing?

"The pH scale describes how acidic or basic (alkaline) a solution is. The scale ranges from 0-14: 7.0 is neutral; less than 7.0 is acidic, becoming more so as it heads toward 0.0; greater than 7.0 is alkaline, becoming more so as it heads toward 14.0.Its measurement is affected by temperature. Th..... Read More

"The pH scale describes how acidic or basic (alkaline) a solution is. The scale ranges from 0-14: 7.0 is neutral; les..... Read More

October 25, 2019

Which brewing book is the best?

Most people that get into homebrewing want to learn more about this fantastic hobby. There are several books out there, but which one(s) are right for you? Midwest has a book to offer any homebrewer at any skill level. We also carry more specific books, such as brewing lagers or belgians. Perhaps..... Read More

Most people that get into homebrewing want to learn more about this fantastic hobby. There are several books out ther..... Read More

October 25, 2019

What is batch sparging? Is it better than fly sparging?

p>This is a debate that has been going on among all-grain brewers for a while now. Which is the better method? How do you perform a batch sparge? What are the pros and cons? We will be answering all of these questions. As with any process in brewing, your choice is your own. We suggest trying ..... Read More

p>This is a debate that has been going on among all-grain brewers for a while now. Which is the better method? How..... Read More

October 25, 2019

How to carbonate a beer in 15 minutes

Please note: This is a quick and dirty method for force carbonation. Click here for complete instructions for the slow and steady method When using force carbonation, you can carbonate a beer in 15minutes, but there is a draw back. When you carbonate a beer this way, the CO2 never really infusesi..... Read More

Please note: This is a quick and dirty method for force carbonation. Click here for complete instructions for the slo..... Read More

October 25, 2019

Where can I get information about my tap or well water?

Contact your local town, city or county water board. In most cases they will furnish you with free information about the contents of your water. If you have well water you will need to have a private analysis done on your well. You can check the yellow pages or the internet for laboratories that ..... Read More

Contact your local town, city or county water board. In most cases they will furnish you with free information about ..... Read More

October 25, 2019

What is a "hop rhizome"?

A hop Rhizome is a section of the root system of the hop plant; these are used to asexually reproduce specific hop varieties. Using rhizomes to grow new hop plants ensures the new plants produce the same type of hops as the mother plant. Hop rhizomes are harvested in the early spring and stored i..... Read More

A hop Rhizome is a section of the root system of the hop plant; these are used to asexually reproduce specific hop va..... Read More

October 25, 2019

What is the ideal temperature and pressure for storing my keg?

The colder the temperature the lower the pressure you need to maintain carbonation. For example, a keg held at 35 degrees with 10psi of applied pressure will have the same carbonation rate as a keg held at 43 degrees with 15 psi of applied pressure. So to set your system, you need to figure out a..... Read More

The colder the temperature the lower the pressure you need to maintain carbonation. For example, a keg held at 35 deg..... Read More

October 25, 2019

Can the Party Pig® be used as a primary fermenter?

Yes, the Party Pig® bottle can be used to ferment a 2-1/2 gallon batch of beer. Simply use a #13 rubber stopper with a fermentation lock and place the bottle upright in a bottle filling support. Once fermentation is complete, the beer can be placed in a clean container while the bottle is cleaned..... Read More

Yes, the Party Pig® bottle can be used to ferment a 2-1/2 gallon batch of beer. Simply use a #13 rubber stopper with ..... Read More

October 25, 2019

Where should I plant a Rhizome?

You'll want to survey your growing area and check for a few basic things. First be aware of your vertical surroundings. Do not grow them up electrical poles. Allow more than 10' of vertical growth to ensure a well spaced vine. Hop vines can grow up to 25 ft. (at 1-2 feet per week) in a single sea..... Read More

You'll want to survey your growing area and check for a few basic things. First be aware of your vertical surrounding..... Read More

October 25, 2019

What is diacetyl?

Tasting Diacetyl Go to the grocery store and purchase a bottle of imitation butter flavor, usually in the spice section, and twocans of light beer (Coors Light works very well). You want to use beer packaged in cans to ensure that it has notbeen exposed to light, which causes beer to skunk. Chil..... Read More

Tasting Diacetyl Go to the grocery store and purchase a bottle of imitation butter flavor, usually in the spice sect..... Read More

October 25, 2019

What does a "full boil" mean, and is it better than a partial boil? Why?

A full boil means that you are boiling the full amount of wort—in most cases, 5.5-6 gallons, to allow for boil-off and fermentation waste. Many homebrewers do nothing but a partial boil and have great success. However, you can have a bit more control over many aspects by boiling the full 5 gallon..... Read More

A full boil means that you are boiling the full amount of wort—in most cases, 5.5-6 gallons, to allow for boil-off an..... Read More

October 25, 2019

How do I increase my attenuation?

The most important factor in increasing your attenuation is yeast. You want to make sure you pitch an adequate amount of healthy yeast for the beer you are making as well as selecting a highly attenuating yeast strain. This generally means using liquid yeast as most dry yeast strains available ar..... Read More

The most important factor in increasing your attenuation is yeast. You want to make sure you pitch an adequate amount..... Read More

October 25, 2019

Why does CO2 keep leaking around my keg lid?

There is a very simple way to fix this. Turn the lid around. Keg lids are more like an egg then an oval. One part is wider than the other, but it can be very difficult to tell. Make sure that you have your regulator turned up to at least to 10 PSI before doing anything. Kegs will not seal unless ..... Read More

There is a very simple way to fix this. Turn the lid around. Keg lids are more like an egg then an oval. One part is ..... Read More

October 25, 2019

I got my CO2 tank filled last night and the gauge read 700 lbs,now it reads 350 lbs, do I have a leak?

If you put your CO2 tank in the refrigerator, it is unlikely that you have a leak. CO2 is a gas, and acts like a gas when stored. That means if it is kept warm, the gas expands and will give you the 700 pound reading. If you placed the tank in your refrigerator, where it is cold, then the CO2 wil..... Read More

If you put your CO2 tank in the refrigerator, it is unlikely that you have a leak. CO2 is a gas, and acts like a gas ..... Read More

October 25, 2019

I’m noticing these white blotches with what looks like a spider web on the top of my beer, is something wrong?

We want to start by saying that white blotches do not always mean you have a problem. There are two main types of blotches that brewers have to worry about. As for the explanations, we have good news for some and bad news for others. If you just have some white things floating around on top of y..... Read More

We want to start by saying that white blotches do not always mean you have a problem. There are two main types of bl..... Read More

October 25, 2019

The yeast feel warm, are they dead?

Yeast are surprisingly tough and it takes quite spike in temperatures to really effectively kill them. You may experience a lag time longer than expected due to cellular damage, but likely everything will be fine as they are still able to propagate and spawn fresh and viable cells. Preparing a ye..... Read More

Yeast are surprisingly tough and it takes quite spike in temperatures to really effectively kill them. You may experi..... Read More

October 25, 2019

What do I need to dispense a Stout such as Guinness?

If it is that cool cascading effect you are looking for, you need to do a nitrogen draw. Nitrogenous beers need to be dispensed with a Stout-type faucet, a 25% CO2/75% Nitrogen gas blend and a dispense pressure of 30-40 Lbs. The unique Stout faucet has a built in stainless steel restriction plate..... Read More

If it is that cool cascading effect you are looking for, you need to do a nitrogen draw. Nitrogenous beers need to be..... Read More

October 25, 2019

What size tubing should I use for dispensage? How long should the tube be?

For most homebrewing kegging setups, we recommend 5 to 6 feet of 3/16"" hose. This diameter and length is roughly the amount you will want to use to maintain proper carbonation levels in your beer, and to pour a proper pint without too much or too little foam when you have your CO2 regulator set ..... Read More

For most homebrewing kegging setups, we recommend 5 to 6 feet of 3/16"" hose. This diameter and length is roughly the..... Read More

October 25, 2019

How do I use gelatin finings?

How do I use gelatin finings?Gelatin finings are a positively charged fining agent for wine and beer, and are the most powerful of the organic finings.Using more than the recommended amount will remove too much of the color and flavor compounds from wine and some of the body from the beer.Gelatin..... Read More

How do I use gelatin finings?Gelatin finings are a positively charged fining agent for wine and beer, and are the mos..... Read More

October 25, 2019

What is the purpose of using Campden tablets?

What is the purpose of using Campden tablets?Initially, Campden tablets are used to kill off any potentially harmful bacteria that may may be present in the base ingredients used in winemaking, and to discourage any wild yeast from gaining a foothold. Campden will not kill yeast, but it creates a..... Read More

What is the purpose of using Campden tablets?Initially, Campden tablets are used to kill off any potentially harmful ..... Read More

October 25, 2019

Commercial Quality Stainless Steel Brew Pots

Commercial Quality Stainless Steel Brew PotsThese are some of the best pots that we’ve ever seen for the money. The quality can be seen in almost every aspect of design. From the seamless construction to the wall thickness and the mass of these kettles is truly impressive. This kettle offers a tr..... Read More

Commercial Quality Stainless Steel Brew PotsThese are some of the best pots that we’ve ever seen for the money. The q..... Read More

October 25, 2019

How long do you have to run an air stone with an aquarium pump to achieve O2 saturation (8ppm) in 5 gallons of wort?

How long do you have to run an air stone with an aquarium pump to achieve O2 saturation (8ppm) in 5 gallons of wort?5 minutes... Read More

How long do you have to run an air stone with an aquarium pump to achieve O2 saturation (8ppm) in 5 gallons of wort?5..... Read More

October 25, 2019

How do I use a regulator?

Make sure the regulator is securely attached to the gas cylinder with a CO2 gasket. Close the shut-off valve on output port of the regulator. Open the valve on the gas cylinder all the way. Turn the regulator adjustment, screw clockwise until the desired pressure is shown on the output pressure g..... Read More

Make sure the regulator is securely attached to the gas cylinder with a CO2 gasket. Close the shut-off valve on outpu..... Read More

October 25, 2019

How many times can I reuse the Party Pig®?

Everything is reusable except the pressure pouch. With care the components should last for many years. You will only need a new pressure pouch for each use of your Pig... Read More

Everything is reusable except the pressure pouch. With care the components should last for many years. You will only ..... Read More

October 25, 2019

How long will my beer stay fresh in a mini keg?

As long as the mini keg has not been tapped, and you keep it refrigerated, it should stay fresh for several months. However, once the keg has been carbonated (or filled with finished beer from a larger keg) it is ideal that you plan to consume it within 2 - 3 months. After the mini keg has been t..... Read More

As long as the mini keg has not been tapped, and you keep it refrigerated, it should stay fresh for several months. H..... Read More

October 25, 2019

How do I fill and dispense mini kegs?

Always start with a clean keg. Fill the keg with a mild soap solution and let soak for a few minutes. Rinse well with warm water and flush the valve well. Remove all water with a few pieces of paper towel and let the keg completely air dry. Sanitize the keg and two-piece bung immediately before u..... Read More

Always start with a clean keg. Fill the keg with a mild soap solution and let soak for a few minutes. Rinse well with..... Read More

October 25, 2019

How do I keg my beer? How do I achieve the desired level of carbonation?

Kegging beer is really quite simple. After fermentation and secondary(if required) instead of moving your beer into a bottling bucket you will siphon it into a clean and sanitized keg. Once in the keg you'll want to put it in your keezer or kegarator to chill done to 38F. You will hook it up to y..... Read More

Kegging beer is really quite simple. After fermentation and secondary(if required) instead of moving your beer into a..... Read More

October 25, 2019

How do I clarify my beer or wine?

There are many possible causes for poor clarity. Let’s go over some of the possible clarifying agents. If planning on bottling your beer, you must avoid fining agents that drop yeast. Do not worry though, the majority of clarity issues can be resolved with time, instead of additives, so the easie..... Read More

There are many possible causes for poor clarity. Let’s go over some of the possible clarifying agents. If planning on..... Read More

October 25, 2019

How do you use Campden tablets?

Initially, crush the Campden tablet with a glass mortar and pestle and stir the powder directly into the must. Before racking, crush the tablet and pour the powder into 1/3 cup of HOT water. Use a sanitized bamboo whip or a stainless steel fork to beat the powder into the water. It may take a fe..... Read More

Initially, crush the Campden tablet with a glass mortar and pestle and stir the powder directly into the must. Befor..... Read More

October 25, 2019

How do I use Bentonite?

First of all, you should never add bentonite to a wine that hasn’t been given six months and three rackings to clear. If the wine still has not cleared, a bentonite treatment may be in order. Bentonite must be hydrated before being used- Measure out the 1/2 teaspoon of bentonite. Pour 3/4 cup of ..... Read More

First of all, you should never add bentonite to a wine that hasn’t been given six months and three rackings to clear...... Read More

October 25, 2019

What is yeast nutrient and when do I need to use it?

Brewer's yeast requires an adequate supply of vital nutrients and trace minerals in order for it to carry out a healthy fermentation cycle. The nutrients and trace minerals the yeast needs are naturally present, in adequate quantities, in malted barley or manufactured by enzymes during the maltin..... Read More

Brewer's yeast requires an adequate supply of vital nutrients and trace minerals in order for it to carry out a healt..... Read More

October 25, 2019

What kinds of cleaning equipment does Midwest carry?

We have several products to help you when it comes time to clean up your bottles, carboys and airlocks. The most common cleaning equipment we arm our customers with are the carboy brush, the bottle brush, and the jet bottle washer. The carboy brush is specially designed to scrub the hard-to-reach..... Read More

We have several products to help you when it comes time to clean up your bottles, carboys and airlocks. The most comm..... Read More

October 25, 2019

What is the advantage of the tri-clamp fittings on the conical fermenters that would justify the additional expense?

Tri-clamp fittings are definitely the best kind of fittings you can have; if you go to any commercial brewery or dairy and take a look at what they're using for their connections, more than likely it will be tri-clamp, or "Sanitary" fittings. The reason for this is that you can easily see (and th..... Read More

Tri-clamp fittings are definitely the best kind of fittings you can have; if you go to any commercial brewery or dair..... Read More

October 25, 2019

How to use your keg as a fermenter.

Can I use a second keg as a secondary fermenter? Yes, you can use a keg as a secondary fermenter. Since the secondary fermentation is only for clearing purposes, it will not generate enough pressure to require an airlock. To do this: First, clean and sanitize the receiving keg and fill it with w..... Read More

Can I use a second keg as a secondary fermenter? Yes, you can use a keg as a secondary fermenter. Since the secondary..... Read More

October 25, 2019

What options are there for Primary Fermentors?

We have five options for plastic primary fermenters. Our 6.5-gallon capacity fermenter with lid works great for 5-5.5 gallon batches of wine or beer. The lid is pre-drilled and fitted with a grommet for a tight seal. The 7.9-gallon capacity fermenter works best for 6 gallon batches of wine or bee..... Read More

We have five options for plastic primary fermenters. Our 6.5-gallon capacity fermenter with lid works great for 5-5.5..... Read More

October 25, 2019

What are the differences between the different types of wort chillers?

There are two basic types of wort chillers, immersion and counter-flow. Immersion The immersion type chiller is submerged into the wort. You then attach the chiller to either a garden hose, or your kitchen faucet (requires the faucet adapter, sold separately). Once attached, you run cold water th..... Read More

There are two basic types of wort chillers, immersion and counter-flow. Immersion The immersion type chiller is subme..... Read More

October 25, 2019

How can I control my fermentation temperatures?

If you’re wondering what the ideal fermentation temperatures are for ales and lagers, please click here for that information. My house is a little cold in the winter, and I’m having a hard time fermenting ales. What can I do? Yes, those of us in winter climates sometimes have this difficulty from..... Read More

If you’re wondering what the ideal fermentation temperatures are for ales and lagers, please click here for that info..... Read More

October 25, 2019

I'd like to use one of those large volume fermenters to make larger batches. What else do I need to do this?

First of all, you will need a larger boiling kettle. If you are extract brewing, it is not necessary to boil the entire ten gallons. You can double the ingredients called for in a recipe, but you will still need to boil a larger amount of wort, at least 5 gallons; 7-7.5 gallons would produce a be..... Read More

First of all, you will need a larger boiling kettle. If you are extract brewing, it is not necessary to boil the enti..... Read More

October 25, 2019

What size stopper will I need for the 5 and 6 gallon Better Bottle?

Both sizes of better bottles, ported and unported, require the use of a #10 stopper. We suggest using the Better Bottle PET O-Ring closure paired with the DryTrap airlock... Read More

Both sizes of better bottles, ported and unported, require the use of a #10 stopper. We suggest using the Better Bott..... Read More

October 25, 2019

Are Better Bottles better than glass carboys?

Not necessarily better, just different. Here are the main differences. Glass carboys PROS: Impermeable to oxygen Glass Not plastic Have performed admirably as the industry standard for decades CONS Heavy Shatter when dropped (don't drop!) Better-Bottle fermentation carboys PROS: Unbreakable and..... Read More

Not necessarily better, just different. Here are the main differences. Glass carboys PROS: Impermeable to oxygen Gla..... Read More

October 25, 2019

What is the DryTrap Airlock? How does it work?

Better-Bottle DryTrap air locks, are precision check valves made of an incredibly tough, proprietary PET that does not stain or impart flavors and is easily cleaned and sanitized. A polished ceramic ball rests in a tapered seat to create a one-way seal. Fermentation gases can escape easily by pus..... Read More

Better-Bottle DryTrap air locks, are precision check valves made of an incredibly tough, proprietary PET that does no..... Read More

October 25, 2019

How does the beer filtration system work? What will it do for me?

Basically, you just run the beer from one keg to another, placing a filter in between the two. Detailed instructions come with the filtration kit. This is done BEFORE the beer has been carbonated. There are three different levels of filters, coarse, fine and sterile. The most efficient way to fil..... Read More

Basically, you just run the beer from one keg to another, placing a filter in between the two. Detailed instructions ..... Read More

October 25, 2019

Useful cleaning equipment

FastWasher Beer Bottle Washer & FastWasher Wine Bottle Washer I love cleaning bottles, said no one ever. Now you do not have to. The FastWasher finally automates the tedium of bottle washing, just turn it on and watch it flow. Krausen Killer Carboy Washing SystemKeeping in the vein of automat..... Read More

FastWasher Beer Bottle Washer & FastWasher Wine Bottle Washer I love cleaning bottles, said no one ever. Now you ..... Read More

October 25, 2019

Hop Profiles

This list of beer hops outlines alpha acids, beer styles, flavor descriptions, and possible substitutes for various hop types. Hop Profile List: ADMIRAL Alpha Acid: 11-15% Bittering Admiral hops were created at the Horticulture Research International (HRI) at Wye College. It was created by bree..... Read More

This list of beer hops outlines alpha acids, beer styles, flavor descriptions, and possible substitutes for various h..... Read More

October 25, 2019

Where do your ingredients come from?

We strive to find the freshest, most consistent ingredients available. We purchase ingredients as close to our location as possible, so that you end up with the freshest ingredients available. Our volume of business also makes the turnover of these ingredients incredibly quick. We want you to mak..... Read More

We strive to find the freshest, most consistent ingredients available. We purchase ingredients as close to our locati..... Read More

October 25, 2019

How do I add fruit flavor to my beer?

It used to be that fruit was only found in a few specific styles of beer, such as a belgian lambic. But thanks to the tinkering nature of craft brewers and homebrewers, it’s become increasingly popular over the years. Nobody ever heard of a blueberry stout or a raspberry wheat until the mid ‘90’s..... Read More

It used to be that fruit was only found in a few specific styles of beer, such as a belgian lambic. But thanks to the..... Read More

October 25, 2019

How should I store my yeast?

Yeast will normally be stored in a refrigerator until you are ready to use it. Dry yeast does not require being stored in a refrigerator as it is freeze dried, but if you want to be on the safe side, feel free to store it in the fridge. Liquid yeast always needs to be kept in a refrigerator. Whit..... Read More

Yeast will normally be stored in a refrigerator until you are ready to use it. Dry yeast does not require being store..... Read More

October 25, 2019

How do the counter pressure bottle fillers work?

How do the counter pressure bottle fillers work?As with most homebrewing activities, the first step is to make sure all your equipment and bottles are clean and sanitized. The counter pressure bottle filler may be sanitized easily by opening all of the valves and submerging it in a bucket of sani..... Read More

How do the counter pressure bottle fillers work?As with most homebrewing activities, the first step is to make sure a..... Read More

October 25, 2019

What do I need to get into all grain brewing from extract brewing?

What do I need to get into all grain brewing from extract brewing?It's an exciting time when a brewer decides to switch from extract to all-grain brewing. Brewers just make wort while yeast actually make the beer and all-grain brewing allows you to produce your own wort instead of just boiling u..... Read More

What do I need to get into all grain brewing from extract brewing?It's an exciting time when a brewer decides to swit..... Read More

October 25, 2019

What do I need to know about high-output burners?

What do I need to know about high-output burners?Do I need a high-output burner to brew all-grain?While a high-output burner is not required to brew all-grain, it is highly recommended. The reason is that when brewing all-grain, you are boiling a much higher volume than you would brewing extract...... Read More

What do I need to know about high-output burners?Do I need a high-output burner to brew all-grain?While a high-output..... Read More

October 25, 2019

When can I bottle my beer?

When can I bottle my beer?Typically, you can bottle an ale 3 weeks after brew day with two-stage fermentation. This schedule allows 7 days for primary fermentation, and 14 days for secondary fermentation.Wheat beers are often bottled right out of the primary, as it's common to not worry about the..... Read More

When can I bottle my beer?Typically, you can bottle an ale 3 weeks after brew day with two-stage fermentation. This s..... Read More

October 25, 2019

My fermenter has blown the bung and airlock off, what now?

My fermenter has blown the bung and airlock off, what now?First, try to get over the shock of how much of a mess this made. Second, don’t worry, things will be fine. This problem always occurs during the most raucous period of primary fermentation. The yeast is producing carbon dioxide gas at suc..... Read More

My fermenter has blown the bung and airlock off, what now?First, try to get over the shock of how much of a mess this..... Read More

October 25, 2019

What is the difference between yeast energizer and yeast nutrient?

It is important to remember that Yeast Energizer and Yeast Nutrient are not the same thing. Although Yeast Energizers are types of nutrient blends, they also contain components such as vitamin B, diammonium phosphate, tricalcium phosphate, magnesium sulphate, and yeast hulls. Yeast energizers ar..... Read More

It is important to remember that Yeast Energizer and Yeast Nutrient are not the same thing. Although Yeast Energizer..... Read More

October 25, 2019

What types of yeast do you carry?

What types of yeast do you carry? There are two types of yeast that home brewers use when fermenting their beer, dry and liquid. We’ll cover both types, the pluses and minuses of each, and how to prepare them for use. Let’s start with dry yeast. Dry yeast Dry yeast can be sprinkled right into th..... Read More

What types of yeast do you carry? There are two types of yeast that home brewers use when fermenting their beer, dry ..... Read More

October 25, 2019

Information on Yeast Upgrades: What's the difference between dry and liquid yeast?

The advantages of dried beer yeast are that it is simple to use, usually very active and foolproof. One can significantly improve the performance of dried yeasts (and consequently the flavor of your beer) by properly re-hydrating it. Do this, by adding the dried yeast to a sanitized glass jar fil..... Read More

The advantages of dried beer yeast are that it is simple to use, usually very active and foolproof. One can significa..... Read More

October 25, 2019

Tips for better yeast performance in your beer

Take advantage of our shipping options, we keep the insulated and cooling materials at cost to ensure you receive your yeast in the best possible condition. We offer insulated shipping bags in conjunction with the industry standard ice gel packs. These will help retain cool shipping temps and pro..... Read More

Take advantage of our shipping options, we keep the insulated and cooling materials at cost to ensure you receive you..... Read More

October 25, 2019

How much fruit extract flavoring should I use in my beer?

Strawberry/Kiwi: 0.7% (4-5 oz/5 gal) Blueberry: 0.3%\t(2 oz/5 gal) Apricot: 1.0% (6-7 oz/5 gal) Apple: 0.3% (2 oz/5 gal or to taste) Cherry: 0.5% (3-4 oz/5 gal) Blackberry: 0.7% (4-5 oz/5 gal) Raspberry: 1.0% (4-5 oz/5 gal) Peach: 0.8% (4-5 oz/5 gal) Cranberry: 0.5% (3-4oz/5 gal).. Read More

Strawberry/Kiwi: 0.7% (4-5 oz/5 gal) Blueberry: 0.3%\t(2 oz/5 gal) Apricot: 1.0% (6-7 oz/5 gal) Apple: 0.3% (2 oz/5 g..... Read More

October 25, 2019

What are the different types of hops?

Hop pellets are highly processed hops consisting of finely powdered hop cones compressed into pea-sized tablets used in both home and commercial brewing. Regular pellet beer hops are, by weight, 20% to 30% stronger than the same variety in loose form; one pound of hop cones yields about 10 to 12 ..... Read More

Hop pellets are highly processed hops consisting of finely powdered hop cones compressed into pea-sized tablets used ..... Read More

October 25, 2019

Why make a yeast starter?

Making a yeast starter creates an ideal environment for the fermentation to begin, as the quality of the beer's attenuation and viability become more consistent. Oxygenation is one extremely important component of a good fermentation. Pitching the appropriate number of yeast cells is the other vi..... Read More

Making a yeast starter creates an ideal environment for the fermentation to begin, as the quality of the beer's atten..... Read More

October 25, 2019

What are my liquid yeast size options?

White labs offers yeast in either a vial or their Pure Pitch packaging. Both 35 mililiters and contain 100 billion cells. The Wyeast Activator pouches contain 125 milliters. Their beer yeasts contain 100 billion cells and their wine yeasts contain 70 billion cells... Read More

White labs offers yeast in either a vial or their Pure Pitch packaging. Both 35 mililiters and contain 100 billion ce..... Read More

October 25, 2019

What are premium hopped malt kits? Are they any good?

Many homebrewers start with these type of kits, and the fact is that you can brew pretty good beers with them. Of course, your results will not be as good as if you were using one of Midwest’s recipe kits, or brewing all-grain, but you will get better beer than a lot of commercial beers you can b..... Read More

Many homebrewers start with these type of kits, and the fact is that you can brew pretty good beers with them. Of cou..... Read More

October 25, 2019

Why use Gourmet Hop Plugs?

Freshness – Pressing hops into plugs increases freshness in several important ways. The hops are frozen at 32 degreesF until they are plugged and then immediately vacuum sealed into light / oxygen barrier bags and refreeze them at 32°F until they are shipped out. A pressed plug decreases the over..... Read More

Freshness – Pressing hops into plugs increases freshness in several important ways. The hops are frozen at 32 degrees..... Read More

October 25, 2019

Bottle Condition

Carbonating beer with an additional fermentation in the bottle... Read More

Carbonating beer with an additional fermentation in the bottle... Read More

October 25, 2019

How do you bottle beer?

Bottling a beer can be a little time consuming, but it's easy enough to do. You want to make sure that all of your beer bottles are free of debris inside, and you have sanitized them just like you would any of your other equipment. Click here for more information on sanitizing your equipment. Her..... Read More

Bottling a beer can be a little time consuming, but it's easy enough to do. You want to make sure that all of your be..... Read More

October 25, 2019

How do you bottle beer from a keg system?

Kegging systems are great, but they are not the most portable. There are a few options for those of us with a keg system who do not want pull it apart just to bring the beer to a friend’s house. Two options are very inexpensive and easy, while one is more money and more time consuming. Your optio..... Read More

Kegging systems are great, but they are not the most portable. There are a few options for those of us with a keg sys..... Read More

October 25, 2019

What are the bottle capper differences?

The Black Beauty is a great capper, but the Red Baron offers the option to change out the bell housing for a European sized one and features a a spring-back recoil. As for the bench cappers, these can be the best solution for the homebrewer that does a lot of bottling. Either the Bench Capper or ..... Read More

The Black Beauty is a great capper, but the Red Baron offers the option to change out the bell housing for a European..... Read More

October 25, 2019

Do I need special software to print on the 4th and Vine labels?

No, you can use a word processor or graphics software. If you are using either of these, consider the following as a guideline: Set the margins to fit the label sheet. Create columns to give you 2 equal sections to your page. Add your text where you think you it should go. Print your document ou..... Read More

No, you can use a word processor or graphics software. If you are using either of these, consider the following as a ..... Read More

October 25, 2019

Which bottle filler should I use?

Midwest stocks four bottle fillers: The Fermtech Plastic filler, a plastic spring tip filler, the 1/2" bottle filler, and The Ferrari Automatic Bottle Filler. The Fermtech Plastic filler is the one included in our Homebrewing Equipment Kits, and is also the least expensive. This bottle filler wil..... Read More

Midwest stocks four bottle fillers: The Fermtech Plastic filler, a plastic spring tip filler, the 1/2" bottle filler,..... Read More

October 25, 2019

Products that can improve the overall quality of my beer?

Below are products intended to improve the overall quality of your beer or solve common problems such as poor head retention, thin body, or haze. Amylase Enzyme One of the diastatic enzymes (naturally occurring in malted barley) that converts starch to maltose (sugar) and allows better conversion..... Read More

Below are products intended to improve the overall quality of your beer or solve common problems such as poor head re..... Read More

October 25, 2019

Clarifying Agents

BENTONITE Bentonite, an absorptive clay that is highly recommended for white wines as it inhibits haze caused by naturally occurring proteins. It’s best to add Bentonite to the must just before the start of fermentation. To prepare a solution, the Bentonite must be added to a volume of warm water..... Read More

BENTONITE Bentonite, an absorptive clay that is highly recommended for white wines as it inhibits haze caused by natu..... Read More

October 25, 2019

Potassium & Sodium Metabisulfites- Which type of Campden Tablets (KMS, SMS) should I use and when?

The main difference between the sodium (SMS) and potassium (KMS) metabisulfites is the carrier element. Their effects are virtually the same, with sodium metabisulfite being slightly more potent when it comes to contributing SO2 gas. Most home winemakers will use sodium metabisulfite as an equipm..... Read More

The main difference between the sodium (SMS) and potassium (KMS) metabisulfites is the carrier element. Their effects..... Read More

October 25, 2019

How do I use isinglass?

"This fining is a gelatinous substance derived from the internal membranes of fish swim bladders. Isinglass is positively charged but its effectiveness in settling yeast will vary with the strain of yeast being employed. Follow the instructions that will come with it. Positively charged fining ag..... Read More

"This fining is a gelatinous substance derived from the internal membranes of fish swim bladders. Isinglass is positi..... Read More

October 25, 2019

How should I use pectic enzyme?

Pectic enzyme is commonly added to the pressing of grapes and fruits to increase the efficiency of pressing. If you are using it as a fining agent add 1/2 tsp. per gallon of juice to cut down on haze-causing pectin... Read More

Pectic enzyme is commonly added to the pressing of grapes and fruits to increase the efficiency of pressing. If you a..... Read More

October 25, 2019

What is the proper way to use my yeast?

There are two types of yeast that home brewers use when fermenting their beer. You have dry and liquid yeast available. We’ll cover both types, the pluses and minuses of each, and how to prepare them for use. Let’s start with dry yeast. Dry yeast Dry yeast can be sprinkled right into the cooled w..... Read More

There are two types of yeast that home brewers use when fermenting their beer. You have dry and liquid yeast availabl..... Read More

October 25, 2019

How can I use the March pump?

When using a pump in your brewery, you no longer have to rely on gravity to move your strike water, sparge water, and wort on brew day. So no more tiered brewery structures to weld! Using a pump in your system can allow you to design your brewery such that CIP (clean in place) becomes possible, s..... Read More

When using a pump in your brewery, you no longer have to rely on gravity to move your strike water, sparge water, and..... Read More

October 25, 2019

How do I carbonate using a Carbonating Stone?

Using a carbonation stone will cut down the time needed to carbonate the beer to about 1/2 hour. The beer needs to be cold, between 34 and 40 °F. Attach the stone so that it is at or near the bottom of the keg. Start with no pressure on the regulator and increase to 1-2 psi and let sit for about..... Read More

Using a carbonation stone will cut down the time needed to carbonate the beer to about 1/2 hour. The beer needs to b..... Read More

October 25, 2019

I hear hissing from my CO2 tank after my regulator gauge is at the correct pressure, do I have a problem?

This is actually pretty easy to troubleshoot, as there are only a few things you need to check. Start with the little o-rings that are on the keg posts. If it is dry or cracked, it will cause the problem you are describing. Very easy and cheap to replace. It's usually wise to keep a few extra o-..... Read More

This is actually pretty easy to troubleshoot, as there are only a few things you need to check. Start with the littl..... Read More

October 25, 2019

3 days and no activity in my beer?

There are several reasons for lag time in your beer: If you are ever concerned about it dust off your hydrometer and compare a reading to the estimated original gravity, if it is fermenting or has finished fermenting then the hydrometer will cue you in to where things are at. Remember that wort i..... Read More

There are several reasons for lag time in your beer: If you are ever concerned about it dust off your hydrometer and ..... Read More

October 25, 2019

Do I need leg extensions for my conical fermenter?

The leg extensions are available to make the conical fermenters easier to transfer your beer. They allow you to fit your keg or bottling bucket underneath the spigot. If you have counter space or a strong shelf to put the fermenter on, you may not need the leg extensions. Another alternative is u..... Read More

The leg extensions are available to make the conical fermenters easier to transfer your beer. They allow you to fit y..... Read More

October 25, 2019

Approximately how long do you have to shake a 5 gallon carboy to get oxygen saturation (8ppm)?

Shaking the carboy vigorously for about 45 seconds will do it... Read More

Shaking the carboy vigorously for about 45 seconds will do it... Read More

October 25, 2019

My rubber stopper fell into my carboy, now what? Is my beer ruined? How do I get it out?

RELAX. Everything's going to be just fine. This has happened once to just about everyone. And here's a good place to interject my favorite phantom statistic, 9.9 out of 10 times the beer turns out just fine. Fix another sanitized bung and airlock to the carboy and allow the primary fermentation ..... Read More

RELAX. Everything's going to be just fine. This has happened once to just about everyone. And here's a good place to..... Read More

October 25, 2019

The Wyeast Activator Pack is activated and swollen

My Wyeast Activator is activated. Is it okay to use?Place the yeast in the fridge to get them dormant again then proceed as normal. Ideally, do a yeast starter 1-3 days before target brew date. The sooner you can brew with it the better. If none of these is an option for you then contact us and w..... Read More

My Wyeast Activator is activated. Is it okay to use?Place the yeast in the fridge to get them dormant again then proc..... Read More

October 25, 2019

Does the Wyeast package need to be fully swollen before pitching?

Does the Wyeast package need to be fully swollen before pitching?No, The package can be pitched before activating, or at anytime during the activation process. The activation process "jump starts" the culture's metabolism. While the yeast consume the contents of the nutiret pouch they create CO2 ..... Read More

Does the Wyeast package need to be fully swollen before pitching?No, The package can be pitched before activating, or..... Read More

October 25, 2019

I've pitched my yeast and nothing is happening.

I've pitched my yeast and nothing is happening.More often than not you are experiencing a bout of delusional paranoia. No really, things usually end up turning out just fine for most worried brewers.You may also be experiencing an extended lag time due to under-pitching yeast or insufficient aera..... Read More

I've pitched my yeast and nothing is happening.More often than not you are experiencing a bout of delusional paranoia..... Read More

October 25, 2019

How do I get the labels off of my reused bottles? I don't want people thinking I'm serving them Beast Light!

How do I get the labels off of my reused bottles? I don't want people thinking I'm serving them Beast Light!Label removal is made quite easy with B-Brite: Take the bottling bucket, fill it about three-quarters of the way with warm water and add 1 tablespoon of B-Brite. Pack as many bottles as you..... Read More

How do I get the labels off of my reused bottles? I don't want people thinking I'm serving them Beast Light!Label rem..... Read More

October 25, 2019

How do you achieve higher than 8 ppm O2 levels in your wort?

How do you achieve higher than 8 ppm O2 levels in your wort?Inject pure oxygen into your wort through a stone (1 min for 12 ppm). Or, by flowing pure oxygen into the carboy's head space and shaking for 20 seconds, twice... Read More

How do you achieve higher than 8 ppm O2 levels in your wort?Inject pure oxygen into your wort through a stone (1 min ..... Read More

October 25, 2019

Stuck sparge?

Stuck sparge?The first thing to do is make sure that it's really stuck. It is better to wait another hour or so for a slow mash than to start mucking around with the situation. Actually, you can wait quite a while without seriously affecting the quality of the beer. So, if you 've got the time an..... Read More

Stuck sparge?The first thing to do is make sure that it's really stuck. It is better to wait another hour or so for a..... Read More

October 25, 2019

How do I use oak chips?

How do I use oak chips?A good proportion of oak chips for home use is 3 grams of chips per liter. To use oak chips, sanitize them in a 1 gallon of water with 2 oz of metabisulfite dissovled in it. Let them soak for 20 mins then strain with a sanitizer strainer and add to your wine.Add oak chips t..... Read More

How do I use oak chips?A good proportion of oak chips for home use is 3 grams of chips per liter. To use oak chips, s..... Read More

October 25, 2019

When should I transfer my beer from the primary fermenter to the secondary fermenter?

When should I transfer my beer from the primary fermenter to the secondary fermenter?Fermentation is usually finished within 7-10 days in the primary, but it does not hurt to let it sit a few extra days. It is generally not a good idea to leave the beer on that large bed of trub for more than thr..... Read More

When should I transfer my beer from the primary fermenter to the secondary fermenter?Fermentation is usually finished..... Read More

October 25, 2019

How do I use the Last Straw Bottle Filler?

How do I use the Last Straw Bottle Filler?The Last Straw Bottle Filler is a fast and easy way to bottle a beer after it has been carbonated in a keg. The issue with just pouring a beer into a bottle from the tap is that you lose a lot of carbonation in the beer. The use of the Last Straw will hel..... Read More

How do I use the Last Straw Bottle Filler?The Last Straw Bottle Filler is a fast and easy way to bottle a beer after ..... Read More

October 25, 2019

When it comes to oaking my wine, what are my options?

When it comes to oaking my wine, what are my options?Oak is available in powdered, extract, chipped, cubed, and stick forms. Chips and cubes offer the greatest variety of toasts and species. Use lightly toasted American oak for a coconut flavor. Lightly toasted French oak gives a slight vanilla f..... Read More

When it comes to oaking my wine, what are my options?Oak is available in powdered, extract, chipped, cubed, and stick..... Read More

October 25, 2019

I’m not sure if I’m ready to spend the money on an oak barrel. What other methods are there for oaking?

I’m not sure if I’m ready to spend the money on an oak barrel. What other methods are there for oaking?Until recently, vintners had little choice when it came to oaking a wine. They simply placed the wine in an oak barrel and waited until the desired taste and aroma was achieved. About the only c..... Read More

I’m not sure if I’m ready to spend the money on an oak barrel. What other methods are there for oaking?Until recently..... Read More

October 25, 2019

What is Oxidation and how can I avoid it from happening to my beer? This stale, cardboard-like flavor, can it be fixed?

Oxidation results in a stale, cardboard-like taste in your beer. If you are experiencing this, there are a couple of possibilities: If you have been storing your beer for an extended period of time, the beer may have become oxidized. While the bottle cap does provide a nearly airtight seal, air m..... Read More

Oxidation results in a stale, cardboard-like taste in your beer. If you are experiencing this, there are a couple of ..... Read More

October 25, 2019

Where can I get a CO2 tank filled?

Midwest does exchange CO2 cylinders, but IN-STORE ONLY, as full cylinders cannot be shipped. Otherwise, just search for local Gas or Welding Supply companies, most will be able to exchange your tank for a full one.For proper dispensing of nitrogenated Stout beers, such as Guinness, you'll need to..... Read More

Midwest does exchange CO2 cylinders, but IN-STORE ONLY, as full cylinders cannot be shipped. Otherwise, just search f..... Read More

October 25, 2019

How long is the One Step solution good for?

One Step works by producing hydrogen peroxide in the solution, so the most important thing is to keep in mind that peroxides are degraded by organic soils, light, and heat, so if you keep your solution away from those things, it will stay better, longer. In a sealed, dark, and clean container, th..... Read More

One Step works by producing hydrogen peroxide in the solution, so the most important thing is to keep in mind that pe..... Read More

October 25, 2019

How do I ferment in a cornelius keg?

It works pretty much the same as any other vessel, but the main issue is how to release the CO2 produced during fermentation. First off, we recommend using PBW and a dip tube cleaning brush to insure the keg is immaculate. Then to ferment in the stainless steel Cornelius ball lock keg we recommen..... Read More

It works pretty much the same as any other vessel, but the main issue is how to release the CO2 produced during ferme..... Read More

October 25, 2019

How do I adjust my water?

It is much easier to add minerals than to remove them. The home brewer who intends to make a variety of adjustments and is using very soft, distilled or reverse osmosis (R/O) water is very fortunate. The adjustments are only a matter of adding one or more mineral salts to achieve the desired qual..... Read More

It is much easier to add minerals than to remove them. The home brewer who intends to make a variety of adjustments a..... Read More

October 25, 2019

How to clean your beer lines.

If you are using your tap beer lines regularly, we advised cleaning your beer lines every two weeks... Read More

If you are using your tap beer lines regularly, we advised cleaning your beer lines every two weeks... Read More

October 25, 2019

How do I fix a stuck fermentation?

By definition, a stuck fermentation is a fermentation that has stopped before all the available sugar in the beer has been converted to alcohol and CO2. If the bubbles in your airlock slow down before your beer has reached its final gravity, you may have a stuck fermentation. Were you to give up ..... Read More

By definition, a stuck fermentation is a fermentation that has stopped before all the available sugar in the beer has..... Read More

October 25, 2019

How can I avoid the "dough balls" that are common when I am mashing in?

As far as the crush goes, you are looking for the grains to be cracked open, but not ground into flour. This being said, there are a few ways to avoid the dreaded dough balls. Try starting with hot (170° F) water in your mash tun, and adding the grain a little bit at a time, dispersing it as you ..... Read More

As far as the crush goes, you are looking for the grains to be cracked open, but not ground into flour. This being sa..... Read More

October 25, 2019

What are some common troubleshooting issues regarding kegs and dispensing?

Almost all dispensing problems are the result of improper temperature, improper pressure, or cleaning/sanitation issues. Reviewing this checklist should solve most common issues. Is the keg being stored between 36-38 degrees F? Is the CO2 pressure between 7-10 lbs? Have the Faucet, beer line, and..... Read More

Almost all dispensing problems are the result of improper temperature, improper pressure, or cleaning/sanitation issu..... Read More

October 25, 2019

All my beers are coming out darker than I want. How can I make a light-colored beer?

A couple things to try. For one, you may want to consider stepping up your boil capacity to a full 5 gallon boil. The less concentrated the wort is during the boil, the lighter color wort you will produce. There is a solution for partial boil brewers, referred to as the Late Extract method. Withh..... Read More

A couple things to try. For one, you may want to consider stepping up your boil capacity to a full 5 gallon boil. The..... Read More

October 25, 2019

What is the difference between hop pellets, hop plugs, whole leaf, and extract?

Pellets Hop pellets are highly processed hops consisting of finely powdered hop cones compressed into pea-sized tablets, that are used in both home and commercial brewing. Regular hop pellets are, by weight, 20 to 30% stronger than the same variety in loose form; one pound of hop cones yields abo..... Read More

Pellets Hop pellets are highly processed hops consisting of finely powdered hop cones compressed into pea-sized table..... Read More

October 25, 2019

What is the difference between hop pellets, plugs, whole, and extract?

Pellets Hop pellets are highly processed hops consisting of finely powdered hop cones compressed into pea-sized tablets, that are used in both home and commercial brewing. Regular hop pellets are, by weight, 20 to 30% stronger than the same variety in loose form; one pound of hop cones yields abo..... Read More

Pellets Hop pellets are highly processed hops consisting of finely powdered hop cones compressed into pea-sized table..... Read More

October 25, 2019

What are Gourmet Hop Plugs?

Hop plugs are made from whole hop flowers that are compressed to a 1/2 oz. cylindrical "hoppy puck" to reduce surface area and prevent oxidation. For storage they are packed in either vacuum-sealed or nitrogen-purged O2 barrier bags. Hop plugs will impart rich aromas and flavors. Great for dry-ho..... Read More

Hop plugs are made from whole hop flowers that are compressed to a 1/2 oz. cylindrical "hoppy puck" to reduce surface..... Read More

October 25, 2019

How do I crush the grains properly?

Getting a proper crack is important for getting the best mash efficiency and extraction rate. If cracked grain is too finely ground it will turn into porridge. If the grains aren’t cracked enough it will result in a poor conversion rate. A properly cracked grain has a range of particle sizes that..... Read More

Getting a proper crack is important for getting the best mash efficiency and extraction rate. If cracked grain is too..... Read More

October 25, 2019

When do I add hops? When are hops added during the brewing process?

Beer hops are typically added to wort in 3 stages during the boil: bittering, flavor, and aroma. These stages have to do with what role they are playing in your beer, and are not associated with a specific type of hop. In other words, the same hop variety might be used for bittering, flavor, and ..... Read More

Beer hops are typically added to wort in 3 stages during the boil: bittering, flavor, and aroma. These stages have to..... Read More

October 25, 2019

Why is my beer over-carbonated?

Typically a beer over carbonates because it is stored in too warm of a location for too long. Yeast will continue to ferment if left to its own devices. Once a beer is carbonated (typically 2 -3 weeks) make sure to move the beer to a location below 55 °F for storage. At this temperature the yeast..... Read More

Typically a beer over carbonates because it is stored in too warm of a location for too long. Yeast will continue to ..... Read More

October 25, 2019

What can I use to clear my beer?

Many brewers use Irish Moss or Whirlfloc with every batch. Inexpensive and easy to use, just throw a teaspoonful of tablet into the boil for the last 15 minutes. Gelatin finings and isinglass are two other widely used additions for achieving clarity. If you would like to clear your beer with out ..... Read More

Many brewers use Irish Moss or Whirlfloc with every batch. Inexpensive and easy to use, just throw a teaspoonful of t..... Read More

October 25, 2019

How can I determine what my specific gravity will be using malt extract?

Dry malt extract (DME) produces about 1.044 Specific gravity, per pound per gallon of water and liquid malt extract (LME) produces about 1.036. These yield values are referred to as Points per Pound per Gallon. If someone tells you that a certain extract or malt's yield is 36 points, it means tha..... Read More

Dry malt extract (DME) produces about 1.044 Specific gravity, per pound per gallon of water and liquid malt extract (..... Read More

October 25, 2019

Is there a simple formula for determining alcohol content without consulting a table?

Yes there is. You can determine alcohol content by subtracting your final gravity from your starting gravity, and multiply the result by 131. (SG-FG)*131=ABV For example your starting gravity is 1.060 and your final gravity is 1.012,1.060-1.012=0.048 0.048 x 131= 6.3% ABV.. Read More

Yes there is. You can determine alcohol content by subtracting your final gravity from your starting gravity, and mul..... Read More

October 25, 2019

How do I make a yeast starter? What are the benefits?

While any beer will benefit from the use of a yeast starter, one should definitely be used if you're brewing a high gravity beer, such as a Barley Wine or an Imperial Stout. A yeast starter will result in a quicker start to fermentation, and a more complete fermentation. How to prepare a yeast st..... Read More

While any beer will benefit from the use of a yeast starter, one should definitely be used if you're brewing a high g..... Read More

October 25, 2019

What are Oxygen Absorbing Bottle Caps?

The oxygen-absorbing caps absorb the oxygen left in the head-space of the bottle, reducing the chance of oxidation. We suggest using these for brews that will be aged for an extended period of time... Read More

The oxygen-absorbing caps absorb the oxygen left in the head-space of the bottle, reducing the chance of oxidation. W..... Read More

October 25, 2019

If I filter my beer using your filtration system, does all of the yeast get filtered out, leaving none for bottle conditioning?

If you are using a filtration system, then you should just force-carbonate your beer. The best and quickest way to filter and carbonate is to keg your beer. How to Filter and Carbonate Your Home Brew Using the Draft Brewer Beer Filtration Systemplace the “Coarse” filter into the filter housing b..... Read More

If you are using a filtration system, then you should just force-carbonate your beer. The best and quickest way to fi..... Read More

October 25, 2019

What supplies or equipment are used to bottle a beer?

To bottle your beer you will bottles, caps, a bottle filler, and a capper. Bottles Be sure you are using pry-off type of beer bottle if you are going to be capping standard 12 or 22 oz bottles. Caps All of our crown caps will fit any standard pry-off, not twist-off,variety bottle. The caps will n..... Read More

To bottle your beer you will bottles, caps, a bottle filler, and a capper. Bottles Be sure you are using pry-off type..... Read More

October 25, 2019

How many bottles do I need to bottle a 5 gallon batch?

The exact yeild of your 5 gallon bacth can vary based upon any loss from transfers and the amount of trub that accummulated. With that in mind here are some general counts for different bottle sizes for a 5 gallon batch. 48-54 12 ounce bottles 32-35 16 ounce bottles 24-26 22 ounce bottles 16-18 3..... Read More

The exact yeild of your 5 gallon bacth can vary based upon any loss from transfers and the amount of trub that accumm..... Read More

October 25, 2019

How do I use oak cubes?

These high quality oak cubes allow you to achieve the same quality of oak flavor that you taste in good wines. These are the same cubes used by many wineries in Napa Valley. Oak Staves (the wooden strips that oak barrels are constructed of) are air-dried for two to three years, then traditionally..... Read More

These high quality oak cubes allow you to achieve the same quality of oak flavor that you taste in good wines. These ..... Read More

October 25, 2019

How can I prevent a stuck fermentation?

There are a few simple things you can do to ensure that you never have a stuck fermentation: First, just make sure your fermentation area is between 65 and 75 °F. Make sure that your equipment is properly cleaned and sanitized. Always use fresh yeast, and make sure you are using the yeast called ..... Read More

There are a few simple things you can do to ensure that you never have a stuck fermentation: First, just make sure yo..... Read More

October 25, 2019

What is Polyclar and how is it used?

Polyclar is a stabilizing additive for wine or beer which removes polyphenolic compounds and oxidized melanoidins. This means that when used in beer it will remove haze-causing husk tannins and oxidized compounds that contribute to off flavors. When used in a finished wine it can help to remove h..... Read More

Polyclar is a stabilizing additive for wine or beer which removes polyphenolic compounds and oxidized melanoidins. Th..... Read More

October 25, 2019

How much space do I need between my hop plants?

How much space do I need between my hop plants?You'll want to survey your growing area and check for a few basic things. First be aware of your vertical surroundings. Do not grow them up electrical poles. Hops cannot be grown indoors. What a lot of customers don't realize is how big a hop plant c..... Read More

How much space do I need between my hop plants?You'll want to survey your growing area and check for a few basic thin..... Read More

October 25, 2019

Are there any safety concerns to growing hops?

Are there any safety concerns to growing hops?Keep your pets away from the growing hops - dogs especially. Hops are poisonous to dogs if ingested and veterinary assistance should be sought should this occur... Read More

Are there any safety concerns to growing hops?Keep your pets away from the growing hops - dogs especially. Hops are p..... Read More

October 25, 2019

What are some issues that may arise when growing hops?

What are some issues that may arise when growing hops?Be sure the vines are adequately spaced, congestion will lead to infestation and mildew problems. Wind is another potential hazard, try to reduce excessive wind shear. Over-watering is also an issue, be sure there is proper drainage and be sur..... Read More

What are some issues that may arise when growing hops?Be sure the vines are adequately spaced, congestion will lead t..... Read More

October 25, 2019

Sparge tips:

Some Tips on How to Sparge: Sparge temperature should be around 165 °F - 172 °F. If the temperature gets much higher tannin extraction can become an issue. During sparging you should stop collecting wort if pH rises above 6.0. Once the pH passes thsi point tannin extraction will begin to occur.Ma..... Read More

Some Tips on How to Sparge: Sparge temperature should be around 165 °F - 172 °F. If the temperature gets much higher ..... Read More

October 25, 2019

What ratio would I use to accomplish good results when oaking my wine in a 5 gallon glass carboy?

For new barrel extraction rates, the recommended ratio is 2 - 2.5 oz. of Oak Cubes for use in a 5 gallon carboy. We always recommend that you start with the lighter ratio (2 oz.) for first time use, as you can always add more oak after 8 weeks. We recommend a minimum contact time of 8 weeks to al..... Read More

For new barrel extraction rates, the recommended ratio is 2 - 2.5 oz. of Oak Cubes for use in a 5 gallon carboy. We a..... Read More

October 25, 2019

How do I fix a stuck fermentation?

By definition, a stuck fermentation is a fermentation that has stopped before all the available sugar in the wine has been converted to alcohol and CO2. If the bubbles in your airlock slow down before your wine has reached terminal gravity (usually 1.000 or lower), you may have a stuck fermentati..... Read More

By definition, a stuck fermentation is a fermentation that has stopped before all the available sugar in the wine has..... Read More

October 25, 2019

Hop Growing Conditions in a Nut-Shell

To have the best results growing your own hops, they need at least half-a-day of full sunlight. At least ten feet vertically, but this is not practical. Prevents vines from twisting together and helps with the harvest of hops. Also prevents problems with air flow and the possibility of disease an..... Read More

To have the best results growing your own hops, they need at least half-a-day of full sunlight. At least ten feet ver..... Read More

October 25, 2019

What can I do to get the most production out of my hop plants?

There are a few things that you want to pay attention to so that you get the most production possible out of your plants. When the plant starts to grow 5-6 vines, take the best 3 and cut the rest back. The reason you are doing this is to prevent over crowding of the vines. 3 main vines will prod..... Read More

There are a few things that you want to pay attention to so that you get the most production possible out of your pla..... Read More

October 25, 2019

I’ve got my hop rhizomes, now what?

Growing hop rhizomes is truly something special. Being able to add an ingredient that you grew yourself is not something that every homebrewer can claim. Plus, you can't get any fresher then going out in your back yard and picking your own hops. Let's show you the process of planting and caring f..... Read More

Growing hop rhizomes is truly something special. Being able to add an ingredient that you grew yourself is not someth..... Read More

October 25, 2019

What type of conditions do Rhizomes like?

A well placed rhizome plant can provide you with more hops then you can ever imagine. If you place it in the wrong area you will end up with very little production plant may even die. Let's tell you about what the ideal conditions are for planting your hops. First of all, hops like sun. They lik..... Read More

A well placed rhizome plant can provide you with more hops then you can ever imagine. If you place it in the wrong ar..... Read More

October 25, 2019

Can I grow rhizomes indoors?

No, hops should not be grown inside. Their roots need too much room to spread out, and a container is just not large enough to support the growth. These are not small plants when they grow. A lot of people are not familiar with what hops look like in a field, but most people know what grape vines..... Read More

No, hops should not be grown inside. Their roots need too much room to spread out, and a container is just not large ..... Read More

October 25, 2019

What do I need to do to the hops plant to prepare it for winter?

Hop plants are pretty hardy plants, but some preparation for winter can only help them perform that much better next season. Cut the entire plant down to 4"-6" above the ground. Don’t worry it will grow back next season. Break up the soil around the plant a little bit to help keep the soil from ..... Read More

Hop plants are pretty hardy plants, but some preparation for winter can only help them perform that much better next ..... Read More

October 25, 2019

How do I use my own hops?

You've grown your hops all summer long, you've dehydrated them, and now you are ready to use them. Congratulations, this is the moment you have been waiting for! Make sure the hops you have grown will work for the beer you plan on making. Don't use Centennial hops when you are trying to make a w..... Read More

You've grown your hops all summer long, you've dehydrated them, and now you are ready to use them. Congratulations, t..... Read More

October 25, 2019

When should I harvest the hops and then what do I do with them?

Hops are usually ready to pick by late August or early September depending on where you live. Select a random cone and cut it vertically. A ripe cone will have yellow dust (lupulin) in the center and it should be pungently hoppy. Another way to tell is to snap a hop cone in half. If it breaks lik..... Read More

Hops are usually ready to pick by late August or early September depending on where you live. Select a random cone an..... Read More

October 25, 2019

What type of soil is ideal for hop rhizomes?

Rhizomes are not terribly picky. A sandy soil is a bit more ideal for proper drainage, but a mix of sand and clay soil will work just fine. Be sure there is adequate drainage as standing water will rot the roots. The pH of the soil should be between 5.5 and 8.0. Our organic gardening store sells ..... Read More

Rhizomes are not terribly picky. A sandy soil is a bit more ideal for proper drainage, but a mix of sand and clay soi..... Read More

October 25, 2019

How do I prevent hop infestation?

Keep the vines well fed and watered and evenly spaced. Be sure to keep the area free of weeds. Avoid watering the plants late in the day, fungal and mildew growth needs moisture and darkness. Early watering allows the vines to dry off for the night. Powdery mildew will appear beneath the leaves -..... Read More

Keep the vines well fed and watered and evenly spaced. Be sure to keep the area free of weeds. Avoid watering the pla..... Read More

October 25, 2019

Do I need to water my hop rhizomes?

It's a good idea to water frequently but lightly the first year. Be sure there is good drainage (no standing water). Rhizomes prefer a slightly arid condition, so do not over water them. If the ground is dry, then water the plants until the soil does not absorb the water. Hops do not like a lot o..... Read More

It's a good idea to water frequently but lightly the first year. Be sure there is good drainage (no standing water). ..... Read More

October 25, 2019

When should I plant the rhizome?

Ideal planting is February - April. Since we get the rhizomes late in their planting cycle, you should plan to get them in to ground pretty quickly. They should be refrigerated in a water misted ziplock bag until they are ready to go into the ground. You may plant the rhizomes in pots and move th..... Read More

Ideal planting is February - April. Since we get the rhizomes late in their planting cycle, you should plan to get th..... Read More

October 25, 2019

All-Grain Glossary

Single infusion mashing: One temperature is used to create the malt sugar. Water is heated to 12-18 degrees above the target temperature and then added while stirring to the grain and held at that temperature until starch conversion is complete.   Multi-Step Mashing: Mash method that incorporates..... Read More

Single infusion mashing: One temperature is used to create the malt sugar. Water is heated to 12-18 degrees above the..... Read More

October 25, 2019

Fly Sparging vs. Batch Sparging

First, let's give you a little background on what the two types of sparging are. How to Fly Sparge Fly sparging is the process of using a sparge arm, or any device that allows the water to sprinkle over the grains in the mash tun. A sparge arm is used as it helps prevent channeling of the water ..... Read More

First, let's give you a little background on what the two types of sparging are. How to Fly Sparge Fly sparging is t..... Read More

October 25, 2019

How do you make a lager?

Some brewers refer to the entire process of brewing a lager as "lagering", which can be confusing. The term lagering actually refers to the extended secondary aging the beer undergoes at cold temperatures (hovering above freezing), sometimes referred to as cold conditioning. While this step is ne..... Read More

Some brewers refer to the entire process of brewing a lager as "lagering", which can be confusing. The term lagering ..... Read More

October 25, 2019

My beers taste the same even though they are different styles?

So, you've got a few beers under your belt, but you are noticing a similar flavor between all of them. This is a good thing if you've been making the same beer every time. But, if you have made 6 different beers and there is a constant/similar/consistent flavor between/in all of them, then take a..... Read More

So, you've got a few beers under your belt, but you are noticing a similar flavor between all of them. This is a good..... Read More

October 25, 2019

How to make a Heather Ale?

Heather Ale is a style of beer that was made many years ago using heather tips in place of hops, which had not begun being used in beers yet. Heather was a way to provide more flavor to a beer that was otherwise boring. Well, beers made centuries ago weren't exactly boring, but they weren't exact..... Read More

Heather Ale is a style of beer that was made many years ago using heather tips in place of hops, which had not begun ..... Read More

October 25, 2019

What is the best way to store my bulk grain, and how long will it last?

You want a positive sealing food grade container that will keep bugs, air, and moisture out. You can use an old fermenting bucket for this; just make sure that it still has a good seal. Properly stored, grains will last for up to a year... Read More

You want a positive sealing food grade container that will keep bugs, air, and moisture out. You can use an old ferme..... Read More

October 25, 2019

Can I just throw oats into the mash tun (all-grain) or my steeping bag (extract) with the rest of my grains?

Yes, so long as they are "quick" oats as opposed to old-fashioned. The difference is that quick oats are pregelatinized to make the starches available for conversion. Old fashioned oats are not pregelatinized and require a cereal mash first to gelatinize them. Midwest suggests using Simpson's Gol..... Read More

Yes, so long as they are "quick" oats as opposed to old-fashioned. The difference is that quick oats are pregelatiniz..... Read More

October 25, 2019

How does beer gravity affect hop utilization?

Wort gravity affects hop utilization in the following way. In a high gravity wort, the concentration of sugars acts to block isomerization. High gravity beers always suffer from this phenomenon, and must be brewed using hop rates higher than would be needed for a normal strength beer of similar b..... Read More

Wort gravity affects hop utilization in the following way. In a high gravity wort, the concentration of sugars acts t..... Read More

October 25, 2019

How many pounds of grain can I mash using your Deluxe All Grain Equipment Kits?

There are many different opinions on water to grain ratio, but we’ve found that a good rule of thumb is between .9 to 1.1 quarts of water for each pound of grain. With that in mind, here are the different ranges for each of our Deluxe All-Grain Equipment Kits: 7 Gallon Cooler Kit : 21.75 to 25.5..... Read More

There are many different opinions on water to grain ratio, but we’ve found that a good rule of thumb is between .9 to..... Read More

October 25, 2019

What is hard and soft water?

The basic difference between hard and soft water is that hard water reacts with soap to form solid soap scum and soft water does not form soap scum. The formation of soap scum on your skin is the reason that soap seems easier to rinse from your body. A general scale would look something like: 0-..... Read More

The basic difference between hard and soft water is that hard water reacts with soap to form solid soap scum and soft..... Read More

October 25, 2019

What is temporary hardness and what affect does it have on the brewing process?

Temporary hardness is determined by the measure of bicarbonates. The hardness that bicarbonate ions impart is temporary because it is easily precipitated and is removed when water is boiled or treated with certain acids. A bicarbonate measure greater than 100 ppm is undesirable because of its con..... Read More

Temporary hardness is determined by the measure of bicarbonates. The hardness that bicarbonate ions impart is tempora..... Read More

October 25, 2019

What is sparging?

Sparge temperature should be around 165 °F - 172 °F. Much higher and tannin extraction becomes an issue. Stop collecting wort if pH rises above 6.0. Too much tannin extraction occurs above this. Keep an inch layer of water above your mash bed to avoid a compacted mash and a possible stuck sparge..... Read More

Sparge temperature should be around 165 °F - 172 °F. Much higher and tannin extraction becomes an issue. Stop collec..... Read More

October 25, 2019

How do the various clarifying agents work? What is the best way to achieve clarity in my beer?

Yes, we know that many of you just getting into this refreshingly rewarding hobby would like their beer to look better. Fermentation is a messy process, and sometimes leaves undesirable sediment behind. The big commercial breweries often use mechanical filtration to "brighten" their beer, but the..... Read More

Yes, we know that many of you just getting into this refreshingly rewarding hobby would like their beer to look bette..... Read More

October 25, 2019

What is a protein rest? When do I need to use it?

A protein rest is done before a saccharification rest (resting your mash in the 148-158 °F range for ~60-90 minutes) by bringing your mash to 122-131 °F for ~20 minutes. Most malts do not require the use of a protein rest, as they have been well modified (a high degree of of breakdown during malt..... Read More

A protein rest is done before a saccharification rest (resting your mash in the 148-158 °F range for ~60-90 minutes) ..... Read More

October 25, 2019

What is a mash/lauter tun? How does it work?

A mash tun, also combined with a lauter tun, is a vessel in which you infuse your grains; usually a large cooler (or kettle) equipped with a false bottom and a valve with a spigot that allows you to draw off the sweet wort. In order to extract the sugar from the grains, you mix them into the mash..... Read More

A mash tun, also combined with a lauter tun, is a vessel in which you infuse your grains; usually a large cooler (or ..... Read More

October 25, 2019

Why do I need a false bottom? What purpose does it serve?

A false bottom is kind of a screen that aids in separating the sweet wort from the mash / grains. A false bottom is usually a round piece of metal with lots of little holes drilled in it. It sits at the bottom of your mash tun, and is either curved or has legs that allow it to sit an inch or so a..... Read More

A false bottom is kind of a screen that aids in separating the sweet wort from the mash / grains. A false bottom is u..... Read More

October 25, 2019

What is a cereal mash? Do I need to do this anytime I am using adjunct grains?

A cereal mash is used to gelatinize starches in unmalted grains in order for the conversion enzymes to gain access to them. Every grain has a different gelatinization temp, and often that's higher than the mash temp, so you need to gelatinize separately. Basically, you boil the grains (rice, corn..... Read More

A cereal mash is used to gelatinize starches in unmalted grains in order for the conversion enzymes to gain access to..... Read More

October 25, 2019

How do I start a siphon?

There are a few ways to start a siphon. At the very least, you will need a racking cane (preferably curved) and at least three feet of siphon tubing. There are a couple methods for using a racking cane to siphon: You can place your racking tube into the fermenter and attach your siphon tubing to..... Read More

There are a few ways to start a siphon. At the very least, you will need a racking cane (preferably curved) and at le..... Read More

October 25, 2019

I am interested in making beer, but how do I do it?

Homebrewing is an engaging and rewarding hobby, but it is not always clear to first time brewers how to start. Therfore, we created the PDF below with the beginner brewer in mind. Here, we run you through the basic brewing process, and give you a few hints as well. We also recommend watching our ..... Read More

Homebrewing is an engaging and rewarding hobby, but it is not always clear to first time brewers how to start. Therfo..... Read More

October 25, 2019

What is Home Brewing? How can I get started?

Homebrewing is used to describing making beer at home using brewing equipment and brewing ingredients (Grain, Hops, Yeast & Water) What most people don't realize is that making beer at home is significantly easier than they think. If you're thinking about making your own craft beer, consider ..... Read More

Homebrewing is used to describing making beer at home using brewing equipment and brewing ingredients (Grain, Hops, Y..... Read More

October 25, 2019

I just received my smack-pack (propagator/activator), and it appears to be puffed up already. Is this an indicator that it has already been activated?

If your Wyeast activator pack is partially or fully inflated, this is not necessarily an indicator of bad yeast or mishandling during shipping. Some Wyeast activator packs, epseically 1056 American Ale, have a tendency to inflate during shipping. The inflation is due to residual co2 left over fro..... Read More

If your Wyeast activator pack is partially or fully inflated, this is not necessarily an indicator of bad yeast or mi..... Read More

October 25, 2019

Basic Brew Equipment List

A common question we get asked at Midwest is "What equipment do I need to get started?" Below is a list of equipment that you'll need to get started. This is not the end-all/be-all of brewing, but a good place to start. Remember, most of these items can be bought in the equipment kits we offer. ..... Read More

A common question we get asked at Midwest is "What equipment do I need to get started?" Below is a list of equipment ..... Read More

October 25, 2019

How to clean a beer glass

Recently, more and more folks have become aware that the best way to serve a beer is to have the glass "beer glass clean." "Beer glass clean" means that the glass is free from any sediment, oil, fragrance, or other material that accumulate during cleaning using conventional methods. Beer glasses ..... Read More

Recently, more and more folks have become aware that the best way to serve a beer is to have the glass "beer glass cl..... Read More

October 25, 2019

I'm out of priming sugar, what else can I use?

While many brewers elect to use priming sugar (corn sugar), there are several alternatives that can be used to carbonate your beer. Just about anything that has sugar in it could be used, but here are a few examples of the types and amounts of sugar you’ll need to carbonate a 5 gallon batch: Whi..... Read More

While many brewers elect to use priming sugar (corn sugar), there are several alternatives that can be used to carbon..... Read More

October 25, 2019

How long will specialty grains keep?

How long will specialty grains keep?When cracked grains are exposed to air, oxidation will occur. This will diminish the original aromatic and flavor character of the grains over time. Cracked grains are best used within two weeks of cracking. Although they will degrade with time, cracked grain..... Read More

How long will specialty grains keep?When cracked grains are exposed to air, oxidation will occur. This will diminish ..... Read More

October 25, 2019

How do I prime my beer using other sugars?

While many brewers elect to use priming sugar (corn sugar), there are several alternatives that can be used to carbonate your beer. Just about anything that has sugar in it could be used, but here are a few examples of the types and amounts of sugar you'll need to carbonate a 5 gallon batch: Whi..... Read More

While many brewers elect to use priming sugar (corn sugar), there are several alternatives that can be used to carbon..... Read More

October 25, 2019

Quick directions for brewing 5 gallons of beer with malt extract, specialty grains, hops, yeast, and priming sugar.

How to Make BeerWhen you receive your Beer Making Kit: If you upgraded your recipe kit with a liquid yeast like a Wyeast Activator, refrigerate the yeast ASAP until you are ready to brew. Before Brew Day: If you're using Wyeast, activate the Smack Pack the night before your brew day. To do this..... Read More

How to Make BeerWhen you receive your Beer Making Kit: If you upgraded your recipe kit with a liquid yeast like a Wye..... Read More

October 25, 2019

What is flocculation?

What is flocculation?Flocculation is the process where colloids, in our case yeast, come togethe to form a floc or flake and the drop out of suspension. The degree to which a yeast strain does this will determine how quickly your beer will naturally clear. Strains are separated into three main de..... Read More

What is flocculation?Flocculation is the process where colloids, in our case yeast, come togethe to form a floc or fl..... Read More

October 25, 2019

Why does all grain brewing take longer than extract?

All grain brewing is the same process that commercial breweries use when making their beer. They start with the raw ingredients, and end up with beer in the end. In comparison to extract brewing, all grain brewing takes longer because you are making the beer from scratch—a bit like making a cake ..... Read More

All grain brewing is the same process that commercial breweries use when making their beer. They start with the raw i..... Read More

October 25, 2019

How much fruit do I want to add to my beer?

So, you want to add fruit to homebrew. Well the amount of fruit you'll need depends on the beer recipe and the type of fruit you are adding, but generally 3-7 pounds will do for a 5 gallon batch of beer. Don't be afraid to experiment with the amounts depending on how much fruit flavor you want in..... Read More

So, you want to add fruit to homebrew. Well the amount of fruit you'll need depends on the beer recipe and the type o..... Read More

October 25, 2019

What are Clone Kits?

What are Clone Kits? Clone kits are replicas of commercial beers. Midwest Supplies offers several different types of clone kits that are designed to taste just like their commercial brothers. Additionally, our forums and the internet at large are great resources for recipes of all types, includin..... Read More

What are Clone Kits? Clone kits are replicas of commercial beers. Midwest Supplies offers several different types of ..... Read More

October 25, 2019

My beer turns out too hoppy, or not hoppy enough, what can I do to change this?

My beer turns out too hoppy, or not hoppy enough, what can I do to change this? Hops play a big role in how your beer turns out. For those new to brewing, hops are what add the bitterness to the beer. When a brewer is new to the hobby, hops can be one of the most difficult items to master because..... Read More

My beer turns out too hoppy, or not hoppy enough, what can I do to change this? Hops play a big role in how your beer..... Read More

October 25, 2019

How do you pour the perfect glass of beer?

Start with a glass clean of any residue, including soap film. Place the glass at a 45 degree angle, one inch below the faucet. Do not let the glass touch the faucet. Open the faucet all the way in one swift motion. After the glass has reached ½ full, gradually bring the glass to an upright posit..... Read More

Start with a glass clean of any residue, including soap film. Place the glass at a 45 degree angle, one inch below t..... Read More

October 25, 2019

What is the ideal storing temperature for my ales and lagers?

Your main concerns here are heat and sunlight, both of which are bad for your beer. Heat can cause oxidation, which results in a stale, cardboard-like taste. If your house does not have air conditioning, we suggest storing your beer on the floor of your basement during the summer months, or in th..... Read More

Your main concerns here are heat and sunlight, both of which are bad for your beer. Heat can cause oxidation, which r..... Read More

October 25, 2019

When should I add the flavoring extract?

In general, the best time to add flavoring extract is just prior to bottling or kegging. We recommend caution when adding the fruit extracts as they can be VERY potent. Start by adding half of the recommended dosage, and then taste a sample. Remember you can always add more, but you cannot take a..... Read More

In general, the best time to add flavoring extract is just prior to bottling or kegging. We recommend caution when ad..... Read More

October 25, 2019

How long can fermented beer remain in carboy without bottling or kegging?

The maximum length of time that a beer should be left in secondary will vary by style and with personal preference of the brewer. However, we generally do not recommend leaving your beer in the secondary for more than a few months if you are bottling it. If bottling after more than 4 weeks of sec..... Read More

The maximum length of time that a beer should be left in secondary will vary by style and with personal preference of..... Read More

October 25, 2019

How do I convert a recipe for an all-grain brew to extract?

Many all-grain recipes are simply too complex to replicate in an extract brew. This doesn’t mean that it cannot be done, it just means that your extract version may not taste the same as the all-grain version. You can usually get pretty close, conversion-wise, anyhow. The ratio between liquid mal..... Read More

Many all-grain recipes are simply too complex to replicate in an extract brew. This doesn’t mean that it cannot be do..... Read More

October 25, 2019

How long will it take for my ale to ferment?

There are several variables that will impact rate of fermentation: Quantity and health of yeast pitched: A healthy yeast population will ferment more quickly than a weak yeast population Temperature: Warmer temperatures within the yeast’s optimum fermentation range will expedite fermentation Th..... Read More

There are several variables that will impact rate of fermentation: Quantity and health of yeast pitched: A healthy ..... Read More

October 25, 2019

What is two-stage fermentation and what are its advantages?

What is two-stage fermentation and what are its advantages? Two-stage fermentation is fermenting by using two fermentors instead of one. Most homebrewers will start out using only one fermentor. This fermentor is called the primary fermentor because it is the first vessel wort is transferred into..... Read More

What is two-stage fermentation and what are its advantages? Two-stage fermentation is fermenting by using two ferment..... Read More

October 25, 2019

How do I make a Lite beer?

This is a relatively common question, often spurred by the desire to replicate the taste of commercially available "lite" beers. However, these beers differ notably from craft beers and homebrew in that they rely heavily on rice instead of barley to produce fermentable sugars. By using rice, thes..... Read More

This is a relatively common question, often spurred by the desire to replicate the taste of commercially available "l..... Read More

October 25, 2019

What is the Late Extract Addition brewing method?

The Late Extract Addition process is very simple: the bulk of the fermentable sugars (generally malt extract) are added near the end of the boil, rather than at the beginning. Add 15-25% of your malt and/or fermentable sugars at the beginning of the boil. This will create a wort that has malt sug..... Read More

The Late Extract Addition process is very simple: the bulk of the fermentable sugars (generally malt extract) are add..... Read More

October 25, 2019

What are the ideal fermentation temperatures for ales and lagers?

Ale yeasts generally enjoy fermentation temperatures between 65-75 °F. Some ale strains produce better results toward the cooler end of this spectrum and a few prefer to ferment even cooler than 65 degrees. Conversely, some ale yeast strains produce better results when fermented toward the warmer..... Read More

Ale yeasts generally enjoy fermentation temperatures between 65-75 °F. Some ale strains produce better results toward..... Read More

October 25, 2019

What are "specialty" grains and how do they differ from other types of grain?

Specialty grains are added to impart specific and desirable character to a beer. Color, malt sweetness, and aroma are but a few of these characteristics, which can be controlled and "dialed in" to suit the individual taste for a specific style of beer. Specialty grains differ from grains used as ..... Read More

Specialty grains are added to impart specific and desirable character to a beer. Color, malt sweetness, and aroma are..... Read More

October 25, 2019

Why do you have so many kits?

We carry the variety and selection of kits that we do so that our customers are able to brew and drink the beer that they love the most! Each beer drinker has their own favorite flavors, so we carry 100+ beer kits covering light, amber, and dark ales and lagers. Each 5-gallon kit comes with all o..... Read More

We carry the variety and selection of kits that we do so that our customers are able to brew and drink the beer that ..... Read More

October 25, 2019

How do I determine the alcohol content of my beer?

Take a hydrometer reading right before you pitch the yeast into your wort (see "How do I take a hydrometer reading?" in FAQs). Make a note of this reading, which will vary by style but should be larger than 1.040. After the fermentation is complete, take another hydrometer reading right before yo..... Read More

Take a hydrometer reading right before you pitch the yeast into your wort (see "How do I take a hydrometer reading?" ..... Read More

October 25, 2019

What are the brewing specs on honey?

Honey is composed of 25-35% water by weight and is nearly 100% fermentable. You may add honey as a substitute for malt to lighten body and color. SG - 1.030-35 per lb./gal. Degrees Balling - 7.6-8.8 Percent Yield - 65-75.. Read More

Honey is composed of 25-35% water by weight and is nearly 100% fermentable. You may add honey as a substitute for mal..... Read More

October 25, 2019

Where do your recipes come from?

Where do your recipes come from? Midwest Supplies has developed our recipes based on years of our employees' input. Even today, we have employees making their own beers that they bring in for us to try. If we feel the beer is good, and different from our other kits, then we make them available to..... Read More

Where do your recipes come from? Midwest Supplies has developed our recipes based on years of our employees' input. E..... Read More

October 25, 2019

How do your beer equipment kits vary?

Each Midwest equipment kit provides all of the components needed to brew a 5-gallon batch of beer. If you plan on bottling your beer, you'll also want to acquire two cases of pry-top bottles (48 12oz bottles). Read each description to determine which equipment kit is right for you. Brew Share En..... Read More

Each Midwest equipment kit provides all of the components needed to brew a 5-gallon batch of beer. If you plan on bot..... Read More

October 25, 2019

Glass Carboy Secondary Fermenters

Our 1, 3, 5, 6, and 6.5 gallon glass carboys are great, sanitary vessels for secondary fermentation and maturation of your wine, beer, meads, or other fermented beverages. They resist scratches and do not retain any flavors or odors. They are also more easily kept clean and sanitized than plastic..... Read More

Our 1, 3, 5, 6, and 6.5 gallon glass carboys are great, sanitary vessels for secondary fermentation and maturation of..... Read More

October 25, 2019

What’s the difference between the three piece airlock and the S-Type airlock?

There are no significant differences between the two types of airlocks in terms of functionality. Both will serve the purpose just fine. The three piece is much easier to clean, especially with the airlock brush, which was designed specifically to clean the three piece airlock. However, many home..... Read More

There are no significant differences between the two types of airlocks in terms of functionality. Both will serve the..... Read More

October 25, 2019

Is homebrew expensive to make?

Is homebrew expensive to make? After the initial investment for the necessary equipment and bottles, brewing at home is relatively inexpensive. In fact, if you prefer imported or micro-brewed beer you’ll be surprised to learn that you will save a lump of dough. An average 6-pack of micro-brew can..... Read More

Is homebrew expensive to make? After the initial investment for the necessary equipment and bottles, brewing at home ..... Read More

October 25, 2019

What's in your recipe kits?

What's in your recipe kits? Midwest Homebrewing Supplies offers a large selection of recipe kits. Our kits cover a diverse range of ale, lager, wheat and specialty hybrid styles. The following types of recipe kits from Midwest include: Millard’s Malts malt extract (unless otherwise noted), specia..... Read More

What's in your recipe kits? Midwest Homebrewing Supplies offers a large selection of recipe kits. Our kits cover a di..... Read More

October 25, 2019

What are the differences between the varieties of extract?

The primary difference between the varieties of malt extract is color. Differences in color can be achieved through various means, including altering the kilning time and temperature, the mashing method, and the variety of barley used. However, manufacturers rarely disclose the exact ingredients ..... Read More

The primary difference between the varieties of malt extract is color. Differences in color can be achieved through v..... Read More

October 25, 2019

What is malt extract?

Malt extract is sugar extracted from malted grain. It comes in two forms: liquid or dry malt extract (LME and DME, respectively). LME is a thick, sugary syrup, and DME is a dry powder. Manufacturers use sophisticated equipment to condense malt extract by carefully evaporating much of the water. T..... Read More

Malt extract is sugar extracted from malted grain. It comes in two forms: liquid or dry malt extract (LME and DME, re..... Read More

October 25, 2019

Is One Step a cleaner or sanitizer?

One Step is a cleaner that has some sanitizing properties. While not a certified sanitizer, it is sufficient for use as a no-rinse cleanser in most brewing and winemaking applications... Read More

One Step is a cleaner that has some sanitizing properties. While not a certified sanitizer, it is sufficient for use ..... Read More

October 25, 2019

Is there an advantage to priming with Dried Malt Extract (DME) instead of corn sugar?

In our opinion, there is no advantage to priming with DME. While both DME and priming sugar do not add flavor, priming with DME takes much longer. Since we cannot know the exact degree of fermentability of DME, we can’t precisely control the carbonation level of beer. On the other hand, priming s..... Read More

In our opinion, there is no advantage to priming with DME. While both DME and priming sugar do not add flavor, primin..... Read More

October 25, 2019

No activity in the airlock

Make sure the lid is tightly secured to the bucket. If you are using a plastic bucket as a primary fermenter, most of the time the beer is fermenting, but the lid isn't on tight so the CO2 created by fermentation is escaping through the leak rather than the airlock. The next thing to check would..... Read More

Make sure the lid is tightly secured to the bucket. If you are using a plastic bucket as a primary fermenter, most o..... Read More

October 25, 2019

It has been 2 weeks and I have no carbonation in my beer?

We recommend agitating each bottle and/or moving to a warmer temperature (70+ °F). If you added the sugar it will carbonate. Some styles will take longer to carbonate than others, and temperature can play a big role in carbonating a beer as well. It is not unusual for a beer to take 2-3 weeks to ..... Read More

We recommend agitating each bottle and/or moving to a warmer temperature (70+ °F). If you added the sugar it will car..... Read More

October 25, 2019

What are hops and what is their function?

Hops (Humulus lupulus) are a perennial climbing vine, a member of the family of Cannabinaceae and, hence, a close relative of Cannabis sativa. Only the female ripened flower is used for flavoring beer. There are presently over a hundred varieties of hops cultivated around the world. Some of the b..... Read More

Hops (Humulus lupulus) are a perennial climbing vine, a member of the family of Cannabinaceae and, hence, a close rel..... Read More

October 25, 2019

What does hop utilization mean?

Put simply, "hop utilization" refers to how well the hops have imparted their taste and aroma into the beer. For those that are looking for a more technical definition, hop utilization is the percentage of alpha acids that have been isomerized remain in the finished beer. Usually only about half ..... Read More

Put simply, "hop utilization" refers to how well the hops have imparted their taste and aroma into the beer. For thos..... Read More

October 25, 2019

How are specialty grains utilized?

For the extract brewer, the grains will be used in proportions generally not exceeding a pound or two for a 5 gallon batch. The grains are first cracked in a mill (we'll do this free for you at Midwest, and all extract kits come with premilled grain), or can be done at home with a rolling pin or ..... Read More

For the extract brewer, the grains will be used in proportions generally not exceeding a pound or two for a 5 gallon ..... Read More

October 25, 2019

How do I prime 5 gallons of beer with corn sugar or dried malt extract?

Dextrose (corn sugar) For bottling-priming 5 gallons of fully fermented beer using dextrose (corn sugar), add three quarters (¾) of a cup to achieve an appropriate carbonation level. You may wish to add slightly less or more depending on the style of beer or your own individual preference. For ke..... Read More

Dextrose (corn sugar) For bottling-priming 5 gallons of fully fermented beer using dextrose (corn sugar), add three q..... Read More

October 25, 2019

How do I sanitize my bottle caps?

For any of the standard, non-o2 absorbing caps, you can either boil them in water for 15 minutes or soak them in the sanitizing solution of your chossing for the needed contact time. Use Iodophor or Star San to sanitize oxygen-absorbing caps, since they, unlike One Step or oxygen cleaners/sanitiz..... Read More

For any of the standard, non-o2 absorbing caps, you can either boil them in water for 15 minutes or soak them in the ..... Read More

October 25, 2019

What kind of kettle should I use for brewing?

Your best bet is to go with a stainless steel kettle. While these are more expensive than the other options, a stainless steel kettle will last any brewer a lifetime. We suggest purchasing one of at least a 7 gallon capacity, that way if you decide to move up to all-grain brewing, it will be larg..... Read More

Your best bet is to go with a stainless steel kettle. While these are more expensive than the other options, a stainl..... Read More

October 25, 2019

What Kind of Home Brewing Kettle Should I Buy?

Midwest Supplies no longer carries PolarWare Kettles, but please see our selection of Megapot 1.2™ and Tall Boy® kettles here >> If it's worth your dollar is up to you, but if you ask us, with these heavy duty kettles, one should never need to think about buying a brew kettle again. Below ..... Read More

Midwest Supplies no longer carries PolarWare Kettles, but please see our selection of Megapot 1.2™ and Tall Boy® kett..... Read More

October 25, 2019

How do I take a hydrometer reading?

Hydrometers are a tool that every homebrewer and winemaker should become familiar with because they can tell you so much about what is going on. A hydrometer is a glass tube with a weight on one end. Its purpose is to measure the difference in gravity (density) between pure water and water with s..... Read More

Hydrometers are a tool that every homebrewer and winemaker should become familiar with because they can tell you so m..... Read More

October 25, 2019

How often do I need to replace the rubber gaskets on my Grolsch-style swing-cap bottles?

The rubber gasket seals will last for many uses before wearing out. They should be replaced if: There are visible cracks There is mold growth at any time The gasket has become thin The gasket has failed to seal on previous use If you receive Swing top bottles from someone else and are unsure of ..... Read More

The rubber gasket seals will last for many uses before wearing out. They should be replaced if: There are visible cr..... Read More

October 25, 2019

What is dry hopping?

Dry hopping is the process of adding hops, usually in secondary, to a beer to add more of a hop aroma to your beer. Traditionally the technique is used for beer styles like pale ales and IPA’s, but people are doing this process in many other styles as well. You aren’t increasing the bitterness of..... Read More

Dry hopping is the process of adding hops, usually in secondary, to a beer to add more of a hop aroma to your beer. T..... Read More

October 25, 2019

How do I create my own recipe?

Creating recipes of your own is not too difficult. Many brewers start with one of our Brewing Recipes or use a recipe from any of the many brewing books that we stock. From here, making the jump to formulating recipes of your own is not far. Really, it's just grains and/or malt extract, hops and ..... Read More

Creating recipes of your own is not too difficult. Many brewers start with one of our Brewing Recipes or use a recipe..... Read More

October 25, 2019

Why do some kits call for corn or table sugar?

Corn sugar (dextrose) and table sugar (sucrose) are cheap fermentable sugars that produce alcohol without the residual sweetness of malt extract. Their use in quantities of 20-30% will produce a beer with a considerably lighter body than one brewed strictly with malt sugars. Any canned kits, and ..... Read More

Corn sugar (dextrose) and table sugar (sucrose) are cheap fermentable sugars that produce alcohol without the residua..... Read More

October 25, 2019

Can candi sugar be used in beers other than Belgian Ales?

Candi sugar is usually only called for, and appropriate in, Belgian ales. However you can add it to any recipe. As a form of invert sugar, candi sugar can be used in may styles of beer even some British beers, it will still add alcohol, color and flavor to your brew. If the sugar character takes ..... Read More

Candi sugar is usually only called for, and appropriate in, Belgian ales. However you can add it to any recipe. As a ..... Read More