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From hopsdawg of Everett, Washington on 11/13/2012.
This was a gift but the people working at home brew heaven are awesome they are very helpful and willing to answer any questions or concerns you may have in your hobby of brewing
From Anonymous of Corcoran, California on 7/30/2012.
This was my first attempt at home brewing. Directions were easy to follow and the result was fantastic.
Everyone Loved it
From Gramata of Huntington Beach, California on 6/16/2012.
Brewed this kit as my first batch on the Deluxe kit I bought from Homebrew Heaven. To this date, I think this is still everyone's favorite brew - I get requests all the time. Having bought kits since . . .
From Frank Mezzacapo of Arlington, Washington on 11/29/2011.
A very nice & tasty Blonde Ale!
From Gregg Gremillion of Metairie, Louisiana on 8/15/2011.
Great beer! I added an apricot flavoring from a local brew shop and it worked perfectly. Floated the keg in just a few hours!
my first brew
From Jeff Greer of Quinton , Alabama on 6/7/2011.
I have to admit i was a little worried about my first brew but this one was very easy to follow and the results were great.if you like a good flavored beer with a great body this is it.I have already done . . .
From Eric_L of Port Charlotte, Florida on 3/26/2011.
This was my first recipe here, and is tied with Procrastinator as my favorite. If you have ANY apprehension about a first beer - fret no more and get this. I don't give 5 stars lightly. I had some finicky . . .
A little twist
From corey treece of modesto, California on 11/8/2010.
This is my second time with this kit and I wanted to spice things up a bit. At 5 min to the end of the boil I added 2 lb of clover honey and 2 fresh ghost chiles stemmed and seeded to one 5 gal batch. . . .
From Jim Beidle of Arlington, Washington on 9/27/2009.
Like every HH kit I've tried, the clear directions and complete ingredients led to a beautiful, drinkable product. This brew vividly lives up to its description and is a wonderful "hot day" beverage.
From Shawn D of Monroe, Washington on 5/18/2009.
I typically brew all grain, but this beer has become a summer regular. I can count in it to come out great every time. I occasionally add a little honey and throw some hops in the secondary to "spice it . . .
From Tom Brooker of Mount Venon, Washington on 3/23/2009.
Love This Stuff!
From Anonymous of Boise, Idaho on 3/15/2009.
Great kit, superb beer! Easy brewing thanks to the directions. Great color.Great head.Great body. This is going to be my "go to" beer for this summer. Huckleberry ale, pumpkin ale.... Buy . . .
A great tasting beer - light, but full flavored
From Gregg Boer of Kenmore, Washington on 2/10/2009.
This was my first batch of home brew. Very nervous about the results. I didn't need to worry, however, because turned out to be amazing light tasting, yet full bodied beer. It was so good that it was gone . . .
First Time - Great Results
From DougS of Normandy Park, Washington on 1/19/2009.
Brewed our first batch after Christmas and I was surprised how easy and fun it was. The anticipation was the most difficult part. Tried the first bottle 14 days after it was bottled and really enjoyed . . .
West Coast Blonde
From John Beurer of San Antonio, Texas on 8/9/2008.
A blonde that gives good head and has a great body...What more do you need?
From Jason of Jacksonville, Florida on 8/4/2008.
I've been making kit beers and my own recipes for a little while now. I myself and most of my guy friends love homebrew, but it seems the girls don't care for most of the stronger ales and lagers I brew. . . .
How about a belgian Blonde?
From mark sell of lompoc, California on 4/21/2008.
I addad the following to West Coast Blonde.5 oz.coriander .5 oz. sweet orange peel and 1 gm. paradise seed at 2 min. to end of boil.use #3522 Belgian Ardennes Yeast.WOW what a great beer!! Cheers************Editor's . . .
Very Tasty Ale!
From mark sell of lompoc, California on 3/3/2008.
This one may go down a little too easy!My wife is a big fan too.Cheers!
west coast blonde
From mike of Bonney Lk, Washington on 11/25/2007.
Best blonde I ever tasted. Going to taste her again and again. One bitchn blonde.
From Dave Banker of Flora, Illinois on 8/7/2007.
The West Coast Blonde was another great batch. As always, the longer it sits, the better it gets.
From John of Lompoc, California on 5/20/2007.
Beautiful color and goes down great. Definitely recommend the DME for carbonation, it adds a crisp taste to an already smooth beer. This will unfortunately disappear from my garage very quickly....
MMMMMM BEER ...
From JAMES DILLINGHAM of COLLIERVILLE, Tennessee on 5/9/2007.
I USED LIQUID EXTRACT OR A LONG TIME, THIS WAS MY FIRST ALL GRAIN , DRY EXTRACT RECIPE... DELICIOUS ... I DID ADD 12 OZ. OF HONEY TO THE SECONDARY FERMANTATION ... AND THE DME LIGHT TO CARBONATE IN THE . . .
Fantastic Ale - Brew this one
From Jim H of Aurora, Illinois on 5/7/2007.
This was my first brew and it hit the bullseye! The clean, light flavor makes you want more. It's easy to brew and the end result is awesome. Carbonating in bottles took a little longer than expected . . .
A refreshing brew. Not watery crap beer!
From Julian Tejedor of Las Vegas, Nevada on 4/30/2007.
Nice subtle hops. Still has a little bit of strength behind it but nothing that will kick you in the butt immediately. Nice head on it too! A great beer for starting out.
A # 1
From Charles Peterson of Birdsnest, Virginia on 3/25/2007.
This West Coast Blonde Ale was my fist batch of beer that I had ever brewed, and it is some of the best beer that I have EVER tasted. Yes even better than any name brand beer. Thank you so much Homebrew . . .
From John Seymour of Collierville, Tennessee on 2/28/2007.
This is a truly great ale. Very light hop flavor and nice bold malt characteristics. Added the brown sugar which slightly raised the Alc%, and a slight sweetness, which reminded me of several UK brews. . . .
Absolutely Fantastic. Great Brew!
From Braz24 of Plainfield, Illinois on 2/20/2007.
What a great ale. I put this one into my corny keg and it was fantastic. Everyone who drank it loved it! Great taste, nice hoppy aroma and no aftertaste. A+
You gotta try it! She's sweet!
From Jeff Homan of Meridian, Mississippi on 11/24/2006.
Super brew, sipping on one right now!
Blondes do have more flavor!
From Ripness202 of Marysville, Washington on 11/23/2006.
Wow, for my first attempt at home brewing I am completely thrilled with the results; after consuming plenty of a local microbrewer's rendition of a blonde ale I settled on West Coast Blonde Ale and firmly . . .
Most Flavorfull I've Tasted!!!!!!
From Jack Haldeman of Dinuba, California on 9/25/2006.
This beer exceded my expectations, absolutely great!!!!
Fantastic all-a-round beer!!!
From Ryan Berg of Mill Creek, Washington on 7/21/2006.
If you're after compliments such as, "This is really good beer!", or "Wow! I really like this!" from both beer aficionados and newby's alike, try this kit. It has a slightly amber color, a light to medium . . .
A Great Summer Brew
From Fast Eddie Eissmann of Snohomish, Washington on 6/6/2006.
Made by two of us so far in the brew club, and boy what a winner. I could (and probably will) drink this all summer. Even my wife liked it! Light, great after taste and not too hoppy (but just a nice . . .
West Coast Blonde a celebrated success!
From Riddy of Santa Cruz, California on 6/1/2006.
As this was my first attempt at homebrewing, I was a bit concerned how it would all turn out. If my future brews turn out half as well as the West Coast Blonde did , I will be doing back flips like a . . .
12/15/2012 -- I'm looking to buy your Deluxe kit for my son for Christmas, and he'll need a brewpot. What's the advantage to having a spigot? I don't want to buy him junk, and none of us has ever brewed our own beer before. Aside from the brewpot and bottles, what else would he need to get started?
Response From Homebrew Heaven: Our Equipment Kits are really quite complete. As you say, a large brewpot is necessay, as well as bottles. A spigot in the brewpot is a "convenience" type of product. It just make the job easier than lifting up a hot, heavy brewpot. A 5 gallon batch of beer weighs more than 40 lbs. Just opening a drain valve (spigot) makes the job easier and safer than muscling it around.No other items (aside from our Kit) are really necessary. We design it that way. Don't forget the BEER ingredients though! We make that convenient as well. Simply figure out what kind of beer you like to drink, and choose an Ingredient Kit from that category (link provided below). They are all brewed in a similar way, so just pick a favorite style of brew and get with it!http://store.homebrewheaven.com/beer-ingredient-recipe-kits-c33.aspx
7/24/2012 -- how can I up the ABV to about 7% with out changing the taste?
Response From Homebrew Heaven: The quick response is that you can't. Taste will always change with higher alcohol levels...BUTRaising the alcohol by 1% is a decent compromise. Simply add an additional pound of corn sugar to the boil. It will lighten the color slightly and not change the flavor that much. Using DME (dry malt extract) with do much the same, but adds a little color and body., along with a more malty flavor. Belgian brewers use rock candi to boost the alcohol level. They make some tasty beers, but there is a distinctive taste to them.I have heard of people adding vodka prior to bottling, but haven't tried it. Hard to recommend doing that. The additional alcohol in any case adds a "hotter" taste.
5/2/2012 -- I am new to this brewing my own beer soda & wine. Your kits only have the brewing tools & not the mixing ingredients right?
Response From Homebrew Heaven: Welcome to our hobby/obsession!Yes, we sell the brewing equipment kits (tools) separately from the ingredients for making beer/wine/sodas. The Equipment Kits are a one time purchase, and you can choose the type of beer you like from our Ingredient Kits. We put together about 15 different recipe kits that get you started in the right way. It's a good way to start, and many people "graduate" from using our kits to finding/formulating their own recipes. We feature a huge variety of malts, grains, yeasts, hops etc so the possibilities are endless. Fun stuff!
1/31/2012 -- Why don't you list the ingriedents of your kits? I like to know what I'm getting.
Response From Homebrew Heaven: For several reasons, we limit the information we post on our website.1) Competitors have simply copied our time-proven recipes and call them their own2) Some micro breweries have wanted to scale-up our recipes and sell the beer. Again, they would simply change the name at sell it as their own3) With some of the recipes, we have written agreements with breweries (Like Diamond Knot brewery in Mukilteo, WA) to produce clone kits of their famous beer. They approve of our kits because the final product is top quality. It benefits them and it benefits us. For these reasons, we consider our kits to be proprietary to Homebrew Heaven. We DO divulge the types of hops, grains, DME and other additives but we DON'T indicate the amounts used in our kits. We're happy to do that if it will help.
9/6/2011 -- Are you going to offer the hop goblin kits this year? If so, when will they be available for purchase?
Response From Homebrew Heaven: Absolutely! This popular seasonal kit will be available on October 1st! (to brew in time for Halloween)-NOW AVAILABLE!
6/27/2011 -- Hello, I live in sunny Southern California and am going to be making a batch of the West Coast Blonde. All the places I have to ferment are in the mid-70's, in some cases as high as 77. I was wondering if 1) the yeast in the kit will work well at those temps, or 2) if I should get the Wyeast Belgian Saison Yeast (Liquid) since it seems to have a higher temp tolerance.
Response From Homebrew Heaven: You should be fine at that temperature with either one of the yeasts you mentioned. There are several "tricks" you can use to lower the temperature...like putting your fermenter into a picnic cooler of cool water, adding some ice periodically, and/or covering it with a wet t-shirt and putting a fan to blow on it. All of these will get you into the range for a good ale. Be creative!~ Those blue gel-packs also work nicely.
1/8/2011 -- Is your West Coast Blonde a full grain kit or from extract?
Response From Homebrew Heaven: It is primarily an extract kit with dry malt extract BUT it has specialty grains that you steep as well. A grain bag, yeast, instructions, hops etc are all provided.
5/17/2010 -- what is your phone number?
Response From Homebrew Heaven: We can be reached at (425) 355-8865Our toll free order is (800) 850-2739
2/18/2010 -- I have my stout in the primary, just about to transfer to the secondary. I added oats to the boil and am thinking about putting some coffee and a vanilla bean into the secondary. What would be the best way to do this and do you think it would be too much??
Response From Homebrew Heaven: The best way to add coffee is to brew some up, and use that in place of water in your fermenter. If your beer needs a little "topping up" you could still do that.Vanilla is easily added by throwing the whole bean into the seconday fermenter for about 1-2 weeks.All these additions sound good, but it's probably best to just go with one, or at most two, in order to judge the effect for following batches.
9/3/2009 -- Is it possible to hop a bock beer more to give it a more balanced taste? and if so which hops would give such a end result? P.S. not a computer savvy guy, e-mail address is my wife cut me some slack on the name.
Response From Homebrew Heaven: Yes, it IS possible to add more hops to a bock. Add perhaps 1 oz of a good nobel hop to the boil, such as Hallertaur, Saaz or Tettnanger. Those are traditional "aroma" hops, but will also add some balancing bitterness. Yum!Hah! Are you sure you want your WIFE learning about your beer brewing? Mine woulld just roll her eyes, but...
8/1/2009 -- I just finished my first batch of wheat beer and have transfered it to the primary, it's been about 28 hours and i've only noticed about 1 bubble per minute in the airlock. Is the yeast doing it's job or should I add another packet? Also a solid layer of sludge has formed on the surface of the beer, is this normal? Cheers!
Response From Homebrew Heaven: Yes, it is working. No, it doesn't need any additional yeast, and yes, the layer on top is entirely normal.Hang in there and enjoy!
4/20/2009 -- Question about kegging your blonde ale. Should I start off at a higher psi like 25-lbs for a couple of days, and then dropping it to say 5-lbs to dispense? Or should I leave it on say 13-lbs at all times? --By the way, you have the most informative web site I've ever seen on this subject. And that's enough reason for me to make you my local brew shop. (even though your shop is 2400 miles from me)
Response From Homebrew Heaven: There are lots of ways to force carbonate your beer. It's a pretty simple thing to do, but people tend to complicate it. You can go as far as calculating the pressure and time, for a given diameter and length of hose vs temperature of the beer if you like. Personally, anything that takes away from the FUN of making/drinking beer is going too far. Calculating all that isn't fun for me.Simply put, the more CO2 pressure you have on the on the beer, the faster is will absorb that gas and carbonate (at a given temperature). 25 psi will carbonate your beer pretty quickly (a good thing in my book). Agitating your keg will cause more CO2 to go into solution (carbonate) too. I do some of that when I want my beer sooner (who doesn't?).In short, you are doing it much how I do it. Be SURE, however, to relieve that pressure from the tank before you start dispensing at the lower pressure. Otherwise you will get a lot of foam and perhaps a beer bath besides! Remember, if your beer needs more carbonation, it can be added. If it's too carbonated, you can keep relieving the keg pressure until it's right for you. It's all just a matter of achieving the "balanced" pressures for your tastes and equipment. Luckily we can do this experimentation while drinking beer!We also have another approach (that takes a little longer) in our pamphlet on kegging. Here is a link to that information:http://www.homebrewheaven.com/CornyKegSystem.pdfHope this helps, and thanks for making us your "local" homebrew shop!
11/11/2008 -- Is it possible to get this kit in an all grain version?
Response From Homebrew Heaven: We can convert this recipe to an all grain verson, but it doesn't come as a pre-assembled "kit", no instructions. If this is what you would like, just give us a call. 1-800-850-2739 to order.
9/7/2008 -- I am a big fan of your ingredient kits but have noticed that the selection has been very low lately. Why are some of your best ingredient kits no longer available?
Response From Homebrew Heaven: We are big fans too! We even like selling them...The real problem is product availability. There is currently a worldwide HOP shortage, believe it or not, and getting the proper varieties in the quantities that we need has been a real challenge. We're hoping the situation will resolve itself by the end of the year, but it may not. Big breweries, microbrews and home brew supply places are scrambling to buy whatever they can right now. We have been fortunate, actually. Many places cannot (and do not) sell hops at all now. Often they limit quantities to very small amounts.We have chosen to limit the supplies of our ingredient kits and still offer some hops to home brewers out there. When we CAN offer more, we certainly will!
8/27/2008 -- How much priming sugar comes with the kits? 2lbs? I have a bunch of packets sitting around from your kits and want to use it for other things but I don't have a accurate scale. P.S. I love your West Coast Blonde kit and plan to order more very soon.
Response From Homebrew Heaven: The priming sugar packets contain just a little over 5 oz each (about 1/3 pound). By volume, it is about 7/8 of a cup.We like a nice Blonde too!
8/11/2008 -- I missed the five gallon mark in the primary. So, I am going to add extra water to secondary. Should the water be boiled? Also, after the secondary is done will it give proper hydrometer readings?Is it ok to have 5 gallons of wort in a 6 gallon secondary?thanks for your time
Response From Homebrew Heaven: You can boil that water if you LIKE, but I never would. Our water is quite good...I would even add it to the primary, as long as there is room.Yes, after all fermentation is complete, you should be able to get good hydrometer readings.I see no problem with using a 6 gallon secondary for a 5 gallon batch. Particularly so if there is still a "little" fermentation still going on. That bit of CO2 will help to protect your beer.
7/28/2008 -- Thinking of tweaking the Blonde Ale a bit by using either a lager yeast or a wheat yeast (that I have on hand). Was curious if this would ruin rather than change the product.
Response From Homebrew Heaven: We often think of our beers as children. Love them all the same! If one was dressed differently, would we love him/her less? Of course not! It's the same with beer...if it was ME, it try the wheat yeast. I like the flavors they deliver.
4/29/2008 -- I would like to make a blueberry beer for this summer and was thinking I would use to West Coast Blonde kit to do so. Do you recommend any other kit to use? I have been researching the best way to make a blueberry beer and have come across a couple different variations as to when to add the blueberries during the process. Do you have any advice on making blueberry beer? Thanks.
Response From Homebrew Heaven: Yes, our West Coast Blonde Kit would be an excellent base for a fruit beer. If you like wheat beers, our Wizard's Wheat is also a nice choice.As far as fruit flavors, there are really two options for making a fruit beer: artificial flavorings and natural fruit. Using artificial flavorings is actually a pretty good way to go. They are easy to use, and you can get the amount of fruit flavor you want because you add it (to taste) just prior to bottling. Here is a link to that product:http://store.homebrewheaven.com/Product133Using real fruit takes a little more care, and you are never sure if you have enough/too much fruit in the recipe until you taste the final product. If you do use natural fruit, you have to be sure that the sugars in the fruit are completely fermented before bottling, and it takes additional time for pulp etc to settle out. As far as HOW to add the fruit (and fruit juice), I like to first wash and freeze the fruit. When thawed, it is usually more "squishy" and breaks down better. Mashing it up a bit helps too. NEVER boil the fruit. After freezing, thawing and mashing the fruit, I like to put it into a nylon straining bag to contain as much pulp as possible. Add this bag, and any juice, directly to the primary fermenter. I believe the best time to add it is just after you see signs of active fermentation. Leave the bag in the primary fermenter for perhaps 2-3 days and then remove it for the rest of the brewing process.
4/27/2008 -- what are the pros and cons of the dry yeast included in your ingredient kits vs the optional wet yeast culture? i'm especially interested in whether one produces more alcohol over the other and viability of the yeasts after shipping, and i welcome any other info you care to share.
Response From Homebrew Heaven: Both dry yeasts and liquid yeast cultures are excellent products. Generally speaking, you would use a liquid yeast culture if you are trying to replicate a particular style (or brand) of beer. This is especially so with specialty beers, like hefeweizens, bocks, or lambics for instance. To give all the pro/cons for all styles would be a huge task. A good source of information on liquid yeast cultures is the Wyeast website. It gives a rundown of all their cultures and viability information. Here is a link to their product selection section. For more alcohol, you would select one with a high attenuation value. That means it is capable of consuming more malt sugars (the yeast has a higher alcohol tolerance).http://www.wyeastlab.com/hb_yeaststrain.cfmLiquid yeast cultures are fresh, and normal shipping is not a problem for them. If the shipping route crosses a very HOT area, it may make sense to add a frozen gel pack to your order to keep the liquid yeast cool for the trip. After it arrives you should put it into the refrigerator until the day before you brew.
3/28/2008 -- I recently primed your West Coast Blonde Ale with DME instead of the priming sugar that came with the kit. It has been two weeks and it’s as flat as the day I primed it. Is this a cause for concern? I still have the priming sugar packet that came with the kit, would it be wise to indivisibly add the sugar to each bottle or should I wait longer? If I were to add the sugar to each bottle how much should I add to avoid over carbonation? Lastly is there still enough viable yeast to carbonate my beer?Thank You,John Newman
Response From Homebrew Heaven: The first thing I would as is: storage at what temperature? Many people think they are doing the right thing by storing it cold. It is not. It needs room temperature storage to carbonate.Next, two weeks is probably not enough.Third, it takes more DME than it does corn sugar to provide the same carbonation level. You don't say how much you used.Lastly, it is NOT a problem of viable yeast. There is always pleanty to do the job.
3/12/2008 -- On the directions to your kits it is stated that the beer will get better with aging. I've brew a few of your kits and I would like to know the proper way to age the beers. I've brewed the west coast blonde Ale, Diamond Knot IPA, Steadfast scottish Ale, and the Kangaroo Tail Ale.Thank You,John Newman
Response From Homebrew Heaven: With ALL beers, it is important to age them away from strong sunlight or florescent light. For ales (like those you brewed), room temperature storage is just fine. For lagers, it is BEST to let them sit at room temperature for at least 2-3 weeks, and then store them in a cool area, like a basement. 42-55 deg F is ideal for that. If you can't find a place like that, no worries. Your lagers will be just fine at room temperature storage also.
2/19/2008 -- i purchased the brown ale, followed the directions but it's ben over 10 days and im still not getting any bubbles through the air lock. Beer temp is aprox 68 to70 degrees,what do you think?
Response From Homebrew Heaven: I think you should take a hydrometer reading. A hydrometer reading of your specific gravity will tell you what the condition of your beer is (done, still fermenting, not done etc), so you can THEN decide what the next step is. Time does not do this. Specific gravity reading do. Bubbling is an indicator, but a hydrometer reading tells the real story. For me to tell you what to do at this point would be shooting in the dark.
1/26/2008 -- I live about an hour (if traffic is good) from the address on your website. Do you have an actual store or is everything here based solely online?
Response From Homebrew Heaven: Yes, we have an actual brick-and-mortar store in Everett, WA. People actually walk in and buy stuff!Our address is:Homebrew Heaven9109 Evergreen WayEverett, WA 98204Here is a video of our shop: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N1a5fKvv8XIHeck, you can actually call us on the phone, too! It's 425-355-8865. A person will actually answer as long as it's business hours!
10/13/2007 -- my beers that i have made have not had alot of carbonation, i'm using your kits and making sure that i use the priming sugar. is there anything that i can do to make sure that the beer is fully carbonated.
Response From Homebrew Heaven: Be sure to leave your bottles at room temperature (or a little higher) for at least 10 days before you try one. Make that about 14-17 days if it is a lager. It needs this time AND temperature to develop full carbonation.
8/18/2007 -- I like Blue Moon Ale, the bottle describes itself as a "White, Belgian, Wheat Ale". Questions: Is White Ale the same as Pale Ale? What is the difference between a Wheat Ale and a Barley Ale. Also what kind of nuances are noticed to diffrentiate the British Ales from the Belgian?
Response From Homebrew Heaven: Without writing a book on the subject, a Wit beer, or wheat beer, typcially contains 20-60% wheat, and the balance barley. Wheat beer is "tangy" and often cloudy from the wheat protein. Pale ales are typically 100% barley, and clear. Wheat beers go well with lemon, or in the case of Blue Moon Ale, even orange. Blue Moon is made with orange peel as well as coriander added.Your second question is a huge one...the differences are many. Brits like an ale that is low in carbonation, and often with diacytl (butterscotch-like) flavors. A generalization, of course. With belgian beers, most anything goes. High alcohol, strange yeast flavors, fruits, even old hops (as opposed to FRESH hops!)characterize belgian beers. Belgian beers break all the rules!
6/25/2007 -- I am eager to bounce into the world of Home Brewing. What type of beer should I attempt to brew first, if I am a rookie at this? Should I attempt bottling first, then move onto kegging? Thanks, and Happy Brewing!
Response From Homebrew Heaven: Welcome to our world!The best of type of beer to make is the kind you like to DRINK! All beers are made in a similar manner, so there is really no such thing as a "starter" beer. We encourage people to select a favorite beer style kit from our lineup in the Beer Ingredients (Recipe) section. Here is a link to that category:http://store.homebrewheaven.com/Category33These kits make great beer, and most importantly, they get you brewing the RIGHT way. Each has complete instructions that walk you right thru the process.Yes, I would recommend bottling your beer at first. Kegging is a great way to go, but it's not for everyone. Even seasoned "keggers" make use of the bottling equipment in our kits every now and then.Enjoy!
2/25/2007 -- I just made my first batch of beer yesterday "West Coast Blond" It's in the primary fermentor and its only been in there for about 15 hours and I am getting a bubble every 2 to 3 seconds is this normal to have bubbles so close to each other at first?
Response From Homebrew Heaven: Yes, that is entirely normal.
1/25/2007 -- My first brew! First fermentation took 3 days. Been in carboy now for 4 days - no more activity - so I took a hydrometer reading - now at 1.010 original was at 1.042. Could it be ready for kegging? Seems crazy fast. This is the American Pilsner by the way. Great site!
Response From Homebrew Heaven: Why worry? Hydrometers don't lie. It may seem crazy fast to you, but it happens all the time. Fermentation time doesn't mean diddly. Hydrometer readings do. Lots of commercial breweries are on a 7 day brew-to-keg schedule.It's ready to keg!
1/15/2007 -- I just brewed your St. Pete's Pilsner, needless to say, I'm getting impatient waiting to try it. But my question is as follows: I would like to know the weights of the malts, grains, hops, irish moss, and yeast used to make batch. Could you inform on that? I am trying to keep a record and I failed to do that myself. Thanks.
Response From Homebrew Heaven: Sorry. That is something that we do not do. Our kits are proprietary recipes of Homebrew Heaven. We are justifiably proud of them, having won many awards and honors. Even commercial breweries have asked us for our recipes, and we've given the same answer.
1/8/2007 -- I just brewed my first batch (St. Peter's Pilsner) and I think my impatience got the best of me. I placed the primary fermentor in my basement with a room temp at 55 degrees (approx. 6 days). I misread the directions as to when to switch the beer into the secondary fermentor. There was one bubble every 40 seconds, I didn't wait for the one bubble/minute or less. Is it ruined or is there something that I can do about it?
Response From Homebrew Heaven: Absolutely NO reason for concern here.We give time guidelines like "one bubble per minute" reluctantly, and the only reason we do it is because people insist on using a clock as a measure of how "done" their beer or wine is. They hate using a hydrometer. Clocks are more familiar, I guess. It is completely an artificial yardstick. Yeast cells don't wear watches, and if they did, they certainly wouldn't care about our "bubbles per minute".In other words, your beer will be just fine! No need to do anything at this point except wait for fermentation to finish. When THAT occurs, well, it's up to the yeast cells...they do the work, we just take the credit!
1/6/2007 -- My batch of Vanilla Wiezen has been in the secondary fermenter for about a week now and I have not seen any bubbling. Is it possible that all the fermentation took place in the primary? What kind of reading am I looking for in the Wiezen prior to bottling? My first reading was 1.042. Thanks for the help.
Response From Homebrew Heaven: Yes, it is entirely possible. This is the time to take an "ending gravity" reading, using your hydrometer and test jar. This reading should be (approx. 1.008 -1.014), according to your instructions for this kit.
1/3/2007 -- I see you get questions refering to this quite a bit. After 3 days we haven't seen any bubbling, and I made sure my seal was good again after reading, and it seems to be. I still ask because we had to alter the procedure a little to accommodate our indoor equipment. I could only use 2 gallons of water initially, but other than that followed everything else exactly. We also used the Wyeast Scottish Ale Yeast. After transfering into the primary fermentor we added enough cold water to bring it up to 5 gallons then took a reading, which came out to 1.037(I noticed you said this would come out low if you added water). So after reading, I sterilized the hydrometer again, took another sample, and now the reading is 1.040. Does it seem things are going ok? How do I wait for it to drop, and at that point, what do I do?
Response From Homebrew Heaven: Yes, we do get these kind of questions. People are anxious about their new hobby, and usually just want some assurance that they haven't screwed it up. That is SELDOM the case.I will assume that the yeast was added after all the water was in there, AND that you ruptured the inner pouch on the yeast pack, and allowed it to swell up. If all that was done, you should have no problem. I also assume there is water in the airlock.There may be a delay of a day or three, due to adding cold water to it. The yeast likes room temperature, not cold. Keep your primary fermenter up off of cold floors, and you should see activity soon.After the reading drops to about 1.022 or so, siphon off the good stuff into your carboy and allow it to finish. Follow the directions from there...
12/30/2006 -- I have started brewing a batch of Shamrock Irish stout, it has been 72 hours and I have seen minimal productivity in the primary fermenter (1 major bubble from the air lock). The temp in the area of fermantation is approx. 68 degrees, my starting SG was 1.046, i am worried that nothing is occurring. should I transfer to carboy or take a reading first and then transfer? also, what's the best procedure for taking a reading from the primary without contamination?
Response From Homebrew Heaven: Worrying never improved a beer.My guesses at this point (in order):1) The fermentation already occured, you just missed it2) The lid on your primary fermenter is not sealed 100%A hydrometer reading will tell you what is up.There is no harm in opening up your bucket, and siphoning off a sample into your hydrometer test jar. A little air is not going to ruin a batch of beer. Just keep things clean, is all.If your hydrometer reading is less than your starting reading, then fermentation HAS been occuring. Now it's a matter of how much has occured, and whether/not to transfer to your carboy. As a guide, transfer when the reading is about 1/3 to 1/2 of your original reading. In this case, the reading should be about 1.020 before transfering. This is NOT hard and fast number, as I say, it's just a guideline.
11/5/2006 -- I live in Seattle, can I come and pick up the bottles in Everett? Do you have a "brick and mortar" store?
Response From Homebrew Heaven: You sure can. It is literally made of bricks and mortar, in South Everett. Our address is:Homebrew Heaven9109 Evergreen WayEverett, WA 98204425-355-8865Hours are 10-6:30 M-F and 9:30-5 on SaturdaysHere is a video of the place:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N1a5fKvv8XITake a look around!
10/9/2006 -- If I were to add a fruit extract to the West Coast Blonde Ale, for example raspberry, at what point during the brewing process should it be added?
Response From Homebrew Heaven: If it it OUR fruit flavorings, you add it just before bottling. It contains no ferentable sugars, so they can be used in this way. This is convenient, because you can adjust the amount used "to taste".OTHER extracts often contain sugars and preservatives which will either cause refermentation, or prevent carbonation altogether.
9/17/2006 -- What difference will I see between the dry yeast that is included in your packages and the optional yeast(s) that are listed?
Response From Homebrew Heaven: Liquid yeasts are very pure, selected strains that are used to provide authentic flavors/aromas that are not available with dry yeasts. Dry yeasts are are very good, but there isn't the variety that we have with the liquid cultures. If you are trying to "clone" a particular commercial beer, you will come much closer if you use the actual strain of yeast in a liquid form. For the West Coast Blond, however, either yeast is just fine. Some people just prefer liquid over dry is all.
8/24/2006 -- Will my beer be harmed if I have a higher SG than what is listed in the instructions? If so, is there anything I can do to reduce it?
Response From Homebrew Heaven: I will assume here, that you mean at your initial reading (before fermentation). Harmed? No. It WILL be stronger and darker than expected, however. The only way this could happen is if your actual volume is lower than 5 U.S. gallons. This often happens if you start with 5 gallons in the boil. The boiling process will cause you to lose almost a gallon, and that would explain your higher than expected reading. What can you do? Easy! Just add some more water, and your SG will drop.
7/23/2006 -- I now have West Coast Blonde in my plastic primary.I pitched the yeast 2 weeks ago and it has been fermenting for about a week and a half.The temp has been a constant 70 degrees.The bubbles are every 9 seconds now.My local brewshop advised me to use a 5 gallon primary with a blow off tube,Then transfer when the foam is gone.That seems to go faster.My question is,is the blow off tube too fast?I'm just anxious to make more beer.I love the constant quality of your kits,I just wish i did'nt have to pay for shipping to Vermont.
Response From Homebrew Heaven: The type of CO2 release mechanism (blow-off tube, airlock etc) has nothing to do with the rate of fermentation. It may "seem" to go faster, but it just isn't so.Using a 5 gallon primary means that you will lose some volume due the natural foaming during fermentation. We advise using a larger primary for this and several other reasons. 1) You are forced into discarding the material being "blown off". There is no good reason to discard it, and it's a messy inconvenience2) You will have to add water to bring it back to 5 gallons in the secondary3) Your hydrometer readings will be inaccurateIn all, I would buy a 6.5 gallon primary for about $9 and avoid all this. Glad to hear you like our kits. We research them well, and we're proud of them. By the way, we just introduced another Homebrew Heaven kit...Brewnet Brown Ale!
4/9/2006 -- With your recipe kits, what would happen if i added the hopped extract to the water in the at the same time i added the specialty grains and started heating? I don't really like moving 6 gallons of boiling water off a cooker to prevent scorching the extract and thought adding the extract right at the start would help.
Response From Homebrew Heaven: You can do that, however the dry malt extract will take a while to fully dissolve in the cold water. You will find that dry malt extract tends to float on the top of the water until it dissolves, therefor scorching is less of a problem than with liquid (syrup) malt extracts that fall to the bottom.
3/26/2006 -- I brewed Procrastinator Bock at the end of last year, and I'm really enjoying the fruits of my labor. I'm down to about 12 bottles... :( Anyway, I want to brew another batch, but I'm ready to try a little bit of manipulation of the original recipe in order to tweak it. Do you have the original recipe quantities so I can modify it slightly?
Response From Homebrew Heaven: That's one thing we don't do (give out our recipes). Sorry. We have put a lot of development "work" (fun actually) into our kits, and many people, other brewshops and even commercial breweries have tried to copy them. It doesn't make business sense to release that information. They are tried and true, they are our products, and we're proud of them! We have no problem with customers altering our kits to their tastes, and we encourage brewers to do that. We just don't make the recipes available outside of Homebrew Heaven.
3/26/2006 -- Delayed fermenting question...For three days, my IPA was happily bubbling along when we got a cold snap.. Then there was a decrease in fermenting for a good 2 days or so, even though I moved the primary fermenter inside from the garage. Will this affect taste adversely? Should I rack it into the secondary fermenter earlier/later or anything? Or toss the whole batch and start fresh? Thanks and LOVE the seaturtle bottle caps!
Response From Homebrew Heaven: The most common question we get is:"My beer/wine is not fermenting (according to the schedule) like I think is should...is it ruined?" People think it is either fermenting too slow or too fast, or has stopped prematurely or won't quit fermenting (again,... according to their schedule). This question falls into the same category. My answer to these questions is always:1) Yeast cells don't care about your schedule. They don't have brains or wristwatches. They respond to other things, like sugar levels, competition from other yeast, temperature, nutrient levels and LOTS of other things instead. Trying to get them to adhere to your schedule is futile. Sometime they just behave differently than expected.2) Given the above, recipes that say things like "ferment for 10 days and bottle" make no sense. What does? Hydrometer readings. Without beginning and current hydrometer readings you are guessing based on the calender. At LEAST 95% of the time, there is no real problem with the brew. Without taking a reading, you don't know if your beer is done fermenting. It may very well be...I can't say without that reading. It is almost NEVER a good solution to toss out a batch based on a what it is/is not doing with regards to your schedule.Will a few days of cool fermentation ruin your brew? Not very likely. Extended fermenation of a ale at very low temps is not good, but most of your fermentation (maybe all of it?) took place at the correct temps. If it was me, I would go ahead and trasfer to your carboy now, and get a hydrometer reading to see where you are.
2/28/2006 -- I have recently purchased your west coast blonde and a package of the liquid yeast. Unfortunately I didn't read the directions on the pouch of yeast and didnt store it in the fridge. It (yeast)sat one week in room temperature, but luckily didn't explode. The yeast was still active, for it fermented or burped for 2-3 days, afterward I was out of town and missed all the excitement. I took an O.G. 1.012 so Im guessing it's finished....would you agree? Should I do a 2nd fermentation with more active yeast?
Response From Homebrew Heaven: I would agree completely. It is done. No harm done to the yeast by the week of room temps.If you want to transfer it to a secondary fermenter for a week or two, you will get more clarity. No need for additional yeast. There are no residual sugars left to ferment.
2/20/2006 -- I just finished the ESB kit. When I put the wort into the primary I had to add water in order to bring the level up to 5 gallons. So I added the water and took a SG reading and only got about a 1030 reading. Do you think that I grabbed some of the water in my sample and that is why the reading is low?Is there anything I should do now? The batch seems to be bubbling away nicely.
Response From Homebrew Heaven: Absoutely. Even if you stir it well, it will not completely mix, and will give you low readings. It does not affect your beer, however. No need to do anything.
1/16/2006 -- I am making the west coast blonde kit, and have noticed a white-ish, cloudy substance when I cooled the wort. Whatever it was, it went right through the strainer and settled on the bottom of the fermentor in about 2.5-3 inches of sediment. I thought it might be something related to the whifloc tablet, which is a new ingredient to me. Is this correct, and if not what is it?
Response From Homebrew Heaven: Yes, it is not a problem. It is a combination of proteins and other things. The whirlfoc is doing it's job, is all.
8/7/2005 -- I just started and this is the first beer I have brewed. Being a beginner, I of course made a mistake. I didn't put in the Irish Moss, but everything else I did according to the directions. What kind of effect will this have on the beer?
Response From Homebrew Heaven: Very minor; not to worry.Irish moss is a natural clarifier. It aids clearing by causing proteins to settle out prior to bottling. The worst you may notice is that when you chill your beer, you get a slight haziness (called chill haze), but it will not affect the flavor of your beer at all.
5/16/2005 -- i just asked a question but forgot to ask about your kits. Do the kits come with all the ingredients that i need or do i need to buy other ingredents to make my beer? and thanx again,i noticed that you don't try to sell people needless products when they ask you questions about home brewing. you just want to help people make better beer at home.
Response From Homebrew Heaven: Homebrew Heaven Ingredient Kits come with everything you need except water; they are pre-measured, and ready to go with complete instructions. Thank you for your comment; we try to be helpful. In the long run, that is best for home brewers, and best for our business as well.
11/2/2004 -- My friend and I have recently purchased your Belgian Ale kit. We followed all the proper steps to ensure a good brew, things were going well until the onset of Hurricane Ivan. Our brew was in the first stage primary fermentation. It has been there for a little over a month and a half. Can we proceed normally from here and actually produce a good product or should we consider this batch- botched and start again?
Response From Homebrew Heaven: A Hurricane is no match for BEER! Really, it should be fine.As long as the airlock remained in place, I would pick up and go with it. Now you know what to name it: Ivan's Belgian Ale.
5/16/2004 -- I noticed in the recipes from "Capturing Beer" that the author recommends using less bittering hops when brewing up a full 5 gallons (instead of boiling 2-3 gallons and adding water to the primary). Do you recommend tinkering with the bittering hops of your kits (St. Pete's, etc) when boiling up a full 5 gallons of wort in the brewpot?
Response From Homebrew Heaven: No. Our kits are designed for a full 5 gallon boil (or more). That is the best way to make beer, and that the way we recommend doing it. Using a concentrated wort (partial boil volume) doesn't properly utilize the hops (or malt) in the kit. It will still make good beer, but it is better to boil it all. Actually, I like to start with 6 gallons, to allow for evaporation during the boil, thus yeilding 5 gallons.If you DO boil less than 5 gallons, it is possible to compensate for hop bitterness levels by adding slightly MORE hops, but that still doesn't address the poor breakdown of the malt, or the carmelization (darkening) that occurs from a concentrated boil. As I say, in general it's a bad idea. Get a bigger brewpot, and make better beer!
4/9/2004 -- I have your St Peter's Pilsner kit but desire some info not found in kit. Two questions....Is there a full 5 lbs of the dry malt in the package ??What bitterness rating may I expect using your recipe exactly to the best of my ability ?? I've 8 years brew experience.
Response From Homebrew Heaven: The expected bitterness is 16 IBU's, but we don't give out the actual ingredients, weights etc for our Homebrew Heaven Ingredient Kits.
3/25/2004 -- I am returning to home brewing after about 10 years off - don't ask! I made several batches of a kit called something like "Irish Ale" which was suggested by the retailer where I bought my original supplies. It was amber colored and well received by all. My understanding was that pilzners and ales could be made without cooling, lagers and stouts required cooler temps. (50 deg or so). Could you please give a breakdown as to pilzners, ales, stouts, porters and lagers as far as special temperature requirements during fermentation. Also, could you suggest a full bodied, strong dark beer.
Response From Homebrew Heaven: Welcome back!There are two primary types of beer, ales and lagers, based on the type of yeast used to ferment them. Typically, lagers are the following styles:pilsnersbocksmarzen/oktoberfest/vienna beersAles have many different styles:stoutsporters weizenspale alesIPA'sbelgian alesThe above listing are generalities, of course, and there are a few "crossovers". There is nothing saying you can't make a bock using an ale yeast, for example.Lagers are best fermented and stored at cool temperatures, in the range of about 40-50 deg F. They can be done warmer, but generally they become smoother with lagering.Ales are typically fermented at about room temperature.There are MANY full bodied, strong dark beers. For a lager, my favorite is our Procrastinator Bock. For an ale, try the Scuttlebutt Porter or Belgian Ale.
3/23/2004 -- I am a beginning homebrewer and I am trying to determine the Alcohol by Volume of your beer kits. How you you go about using the specific gravities (starting/ending) to determine the alcohol by volume?
Response From Homebrew Heaven: You can approximate the % alcohol by taking the starting gravity and subtracting the ending gravity. You then divide this value by 8.For Example:Start Gravity (OG) = 1.050Ending Gravity (FG) = 1.012Difference in gravity "points" = 3838 divided by 8 = 4.75% alcohol by volumeThis is a handy (easy) way to do it. There are other, more accurate ways but for most purposes this is close enough.
3/13/2004 -- 1. For a first time home brewer, is there a recipe that is cheap and easy, like only one thing to mix with the water? I want to have a test run to make sure I have the steps and the sterilization right, even if it makes a run of the Mill(er) style beer. I do not want to waste $30 on a good ale kit and turn it to vinegar as a learning experiment when I could just waste $5 of malt syrup!I have a plastic-glass set-up and scotch ale ingredients that someone gave me, that is why I ask.2. What is the success rate for first time brewers, and if I do make vinegar, should I run away crying?3. Should I be trying to filter out the Irish Moss when I put the wort in the primary fermentor?4. A comment: you have the only site on this subject that is both user friendly for shopping, and informative on the process!
Response From Homebrew Heaven: 1. We try to make really, really EASY, and the first time success rate is 100%, as far as I can tell. I'd recommend our Back to Basics Ale Kit, tho, if you want to be cautious. It is only $22.50 and makes a very good beer. The instructions are good...they walk you thru step-by-step.Here is a link to it:http://www.nexternal.com/hombre/?Target=products.asp&ProductID=9562. See above. Success is expected. If, for some reason, you make something undrinkable, we'll refund your $$ on that batch. End of problem.3. No, the irish moss should be left in. It helps proteins and other stuff settle out later. You will see it happen after the fermentation stops.4. Thank YOU, Gill. We work hard on our website, and it just keeps getting bigger and better. We hear that people appreciate the variety of products and the advice. People keep coming back, too.... sneeky aren't we?
2/20/2004 -- what ingredient kit do i have to buy thatsclose to the taste of coors light or bud light?
Response From Homebrew Heaven: That would be the American Pilsner Kit.Here is a link to it:http://www.nexternal.com/hombre/?Target=products.asp&ProductID=992
1/4/2004 -- I have started a batch of this beer (St Peter's Pilsner) and have the primary fermatation going in a cool place, but at what temparture should the secondary take place.
Response From Homebrew Heaven: The temperature difference between the primary phase and the lager phase should be roughly 10°F. I guess I'd say the ideal temperature would be 45 deg F., but remember, nothing is absolute. Brewing is both a science and an art! Lower temperatures will extend the time required to finish, but will result in a clean, soft finish that is characteristic of true lagers.
12/27/2003 -- A while back you answered a question about adding blackberries to make a blackberry wheat. How about adding cranberries for a cranberry wheat?
Response From Homebrew Heaven: Heck yes. I've found that the only thing limiting you is fear and common sense. Thankfully, I have little of either. About the only advice I can give is add too little, rather that too much. Sneak up on the amount you use.FWIW, we plan to introduce a vanilla wheat beer kit soon. So much for common sense.
11/30/2003 -- Is it possible to modify this or any other recipe as to gain a higher gravity or alcohol content in a lighter ale?
Response From Homebrew Heaven: Yes, by adding more fermentable sugars to the boil. This is often done with corn sugar or malt extract. Corn sugar is ok within limits, but using too much will add a "cider-like" taste. Malt extract is a better choice, but it will add some color as well. With Belgian ales, it is common to use clear candi sugar (rock candi). This keeps the color light, and adds alcohol.
11/26/2003 -- I recently bought Shamrock Stout. The bubbles were down to under a minute within 2 days, which is when I transferred to the secondary carboy. The bubbles aren't apparent now... which leads me to believe I should add more yeast. The temperature was 78 f at initial yeast introduction, yet now I am concerned that the yeast was not good... Should I add another packet now, or am I thinking too much about this? Thanks HBH!!!
Response From Homebrew Heaven: It sounds just fine to me. A fast, vigorous fermentation is a good thing! It indicates good, fresh yeast and ideal fermentation conditions. This kind of thing is more common in summer months, but it sounds like you have it in a warm place.I assure you that even if you don't see them, plenty of yeast are still in there. I would just let it completely stop, and for the "crud" to settle out before bottling. It is a good idea to take a hydrometer reading to make sure, but it sounds like you could be bottling soon. Not to worry...our motto is "More Beer, Sooner!"
11/9/2003 -- What is the life span of the beer (period of expiration)
Response From Homebrew Heaven: Not very long at MY house! Seriously, tho, if you store your homebrew properly, it should last for at least a year. Some, like the heavier, darker beers just get better with age. I have had some that was over 4 years old and it was excellent!
10/12/2003 -- I FELT LIKE THE BREW KITS I'VE BOUGHT IN THE PAST LACKED A PUNCH (ALCOHOL CONTENT). WILL USING DME INSTEAD OF SUGAR LOWER THE ALCOHOL CONTENT? HOW STRONG SHOULD I EXPECT MY BEER TO BE BREWING YOUR KITS, I.P.A.AND ST.PETERS PILSNER, ALSO APPROXiMATELY HOW MUCH LONGER TILL DRINKABILITY OR CARBONATION THAN CORN SUGAR? THANK YOU FOR ALL YOUR HELP TODAY PLANNING ON ORDERING MY EQUIMENT AND BEER KITS AFTER YOUR RESPONSE.
Response From Homebrew Heaven: Using DME in place of corn sugar will lower the alcohol content slightly, but I doubt if you could measure it. It is more a matter of finer bubbles, and additional flavor from the DME.Each of our Homebrew Heaven Ingredient Kits is designed to make a beer that is true to the style...in other words, it varies kit by kit. For example, the St. Peter's Pilsner will be very much like a pilsner style beer, and lower in alcohol (St. Pete is approximately 4% alcohol by volume). The Diamond Knot IPA is over 5.5% ABV. Others, like Procrastinator Bock are higher (6.9% ABV). In other words, there is no single "correct" alcohol level for the many different styles of beer.
9/20/2003 -- I ordered some of this with the liquid yeast here recently. When in the initial brewing stage, I mixed in the liquid yeast as per instuctions, and 24 hours into the brew, I saw no action at all in the check valve, so I removed the check valve, and added the dry yeast I had that also came with the package. Upon entering the secondary fermentation stage, there seems to be a slightly different odor than my first batch, slightly less sweet....reminescent of a German lager.Did I mess up my beer by adding the dry yeast? IS there anything I should worry about? I did a taste test, and so far, it seems ok, but until the first bottle is opened, you truly never know.
Response From Homebrew Heaven: Nothing to worry about at all! I'm certain it will turn out just fine. Many people, when using liquid yeasts are unaccustomed to the longer "lag" time they experience comparded to dry yeasts. This is entirely normal.For your next batch, however, I would wait for the liquid yeast to kick in. It will, it just takes longer. You can avoid this longer lag time by building a "starter culture" prior to adding to your wort. Very easy to do, and makes sense especially with lagers and high gravity beers.
8/2/2003 -- What is the approx. amount of alcohol content in these beers? Just so I know what to expect when I brew it.
Response From Homebrew Heaven: The alcohol content varies with the beer kit. For the Golden Eagle, it runs about 4.5% ABV. Other beers, like the Procrastinator Bock, are higher; some, like the American Pilsner are lower. We try to keep the alcohol level appropriate to the style of beer.
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