Frequently Asked Questions
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Q: What size corks/caps do I need for my bottle?
You can find all of our sizing information here
Q: How many bottles do I need?
For 12 ounce beer bottles, you will need approximately 10-12 bottles per gallon
For 22 ounce beer bottles, you will need approximately 6-8 bottles per gallon
For standard 750ml wine bottles, you will need approximately 5 bottles per gallon
Q: Does the color of the bottle matter?
It’s recommended to bottle beer in amber colored bottles because of the way it protects the beer from light.
Q: My bucket lid doesn’t fit?
It is very, very likely that your bucket lid does indeed fit. The first time you put your bucket lid on you will have to apply quite a bit of pressure to snap it into place. With each use, your lid will loosen up slightly.
Q: How do I use an airlock?
Watch our handy dandy little guide here
Q: How do I use an auto-siphon?
Watch our short little tutorial here
Q: How do I use a hydrometer?
Watch our quick tutorial here
Q: How much does it cost?
You will need to purchase equipment and ingredients, which vary greatly depending on if you are extract brewing or all-grain brewing, as well as what size batch you would like to purchase equipment for. A typical extract ingredient kit costs around $19-50, but you’ll still need equipment. The most inexpensive option overall is to purchase our one gallon Beer Love Collection, bottles, a brew pot, cleaner, and sanitizer. These supplies will cost around $150, but besides the included ingredients, the rest of these supplies can be used time and time again for future batches of beer. To learn more about exactly what you need, check out this article.
Q: Difference between extract and all grain brewing?
All-grain brewing uses grain (aka malt) for the first few steps of the brewing process. Extract brewing shortens the brewing process by using already made malt extracts in either liquid or powdered formats so you can skip the first few steps. All-grain brewing takes longer and requires more equipment than extract brewing. It’s generally recommended that new brewers start off with extract brewing, but some people like to jump right into all-grain right away and that’s not a problem! Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide how much time and effort you want to put into the homebrewing process that will largely determine whether or not you’d like to extract or all-grain brew.
Q: What equipment and supplies do I need for my first batch of beer?
Check out our graphic here to learn all about it!
Q: How long does brewing beer take?
In general, most batches of beer take about 4-6 weeks from the start of the brew day to either bottling or kegging. Some beers like stouts and porters are best when aged for long periods of time (think months-years).
Q: What’s the difference between cleaning and sanitizing?
Cleaning is the process of removing visible debris from your equipment. Sanitizing removes bacteria and other contaminants that are too small to see with the naked eye that have potential to ruin your brews. It’s extremely important that you do both when homebrewing.
Q: How do I come up with a recipe?
There’s so much information online, so that’s a great place to start. Checkout Reddit forums, make a free account on Grainfather’s website to look through other’s recipes, browse through the American Homebrewers Association recipe section of their website. Ask your local homebrew club for help if there’s one available, or a friend or family member that homebrews. We also sell a selection of recipe books.
Q: Should I ferment in glass or plastic?
You can ferment in either. Pros to a plastic fermenter is that it is lighter and less expensive. Cons are that plastic can get small scratches more easily and small bacteria particles can be hard to remove from those small scratches, potentially ruining batches of beer if attention isn’t paid to this.
Q: Is secondary fermentation necessary?
There is a split school of thinking on this one. It used to be that secondary fermentation was kind of the standard, but more and more people are making beer without using secondary fermentation now. One purpose of secondary fermentation is to make a clearer beer, so if beer clarity is important to you, secondary fermentation may help you be more successful in your endeavors. What we can tell you is that all the manufacturers of our extract brewing kits recommend a secondary fermentation. It’s up to you!
Q: Do you guys mill grain?
We mill grain as long as you put it in the notes in your homebrewohio.com order!
Q: How much does winemaking cost?
Winemaking cost varies greatly depending on the type and amount of wine you are making. The most inexpensive option is to start with our one gallon Wine Adoration Gift Collection, then purchase bottles, a corker, and corks. This option will cost you around $100.
Q: How do I make wine from a kit?
Most winemaking from one of our ingredient kits takes around 4-8 weeks. The process involves mixing together the wine juice, a few chemicals, water, and yeast, then letting it ferment. After a couple of weeks you will degas and add a few more chemicals that help to clear the wine. After clearing, the wine will either be ready to drink, or will need to be aged for the recommended period of time based on the specific kit instructions. You can watch our basic winemaking video here.
Q: What are some of the different types of wine? Which one should I make?
Here are just a few suggestions! If you like sweet wine, you can try any of our Orchard Breezin’, Island Mist, Dessert Wine or Moscato kits. If you like bold red wines, try our Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot kits. If you like light white wines, Riesling or Sauvignon Blanc.
Q: How do I bottle my wine?
You will need bottles, an auto-siphon and tubing, combination bottle-filler, corks, and a corker. Use the auto-siphon connected to tubing connected to the bottle-filler to siphon the wine into your bottles, then cork using the corker. For a more in-depth look, check out our video about bottling wine here
Q: What is mead?
Mead is an alcoholic drink similar to wine but instead of grapes, the main fermentable is honey.
Q: How do you make mead?
Making mead is similar to making wine. You add honey to water and a few helpful chemicals, then ferment it using yeast. After fermentation, a few clarifying agents can be used and additional time is needed to clarify. Check out this video to learn more.
Q: What is the ABV of mead?
The ABV of mead is generally around 12-17%, but variations that have less alcohol (called session meads) or higher ABV (called sack meads) exist as well.
Q: What is kombucha?
Kombucha is fermented tea. It is non-alcoholic, although variations of “hard kombucha” with alcohol in them are becoming more popular.
Q: How long does kombucha brewing take?
It takes around 7-20 days to brew a batch of kombucha depending on your taste preferences.
Q: How much does kombucha brewing cost?
Kombucha brewing is relatively inexpensive, starting at around $20-30 for your first batch.
Q: How do you make kombucha?
Kombucha is made with tea, sugar, and an ingredient called a SCOBY (Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast). After brewing the tea and adding sugar, you will add your scoby and let sit to ferment. For a more in depth look at how to make kombucha, watch this video
Q: How do I make my own soda?
Soda is pretty easy to make and only takes about 3-5 days until it’s ready to drink! It’s a combination of sugar, water, flavoring and yeast. Watch this video to see the process?
Q: What do I need to make my own soda?
You need an Equipment Kit and an Ingredient Kit. You will also need plastic PET bottles to bottle.