I’m really into data and numbers, so I spend a good amount of time checking out the stats for We Make Home Brew. One thing I’ve found interesting is the search engine terms; what people are searching for when they stumble upon this blog.
This has inspired me to do two things. Firstly, there is a handy new section above that provides links to the occasional general tip article that we do. Secondly, I thought I’d share some of the search terms and expand where possible. Hopefully whoever originally found this blog through a search engine is still reading and now has their question answered! Feel free to comment with questions and I can go into things further.
Adding to this, we’re currently in the process of writing some other general informational posts that we’ll throw into the new section. A lot of this is to provide some information, a lot of this is because we’re taking a brief break from brewing because I’ll be going on holidays for about a month!
How do I make cider? Also various cider related searches.
One of the reasons for the new tips and tricks section. I’ve done a general run down on cider making here.
Buy super yeast for wine
All yeast is pretty super. This is a bit of a strange search to do. I have done a post on yeast, but there is so much to consider, it’s probably best to consult your local home brew store: they should be able to advise you on the best yeast to use for your brew. All yeasts are different and it’s best to make sure you’re using the most appropriate yeast.
In relation to wine yeast, I’ve only used the SN9 wine yeast for my ciders. This is advertised as generally good for whites and sparkling wine. I’ve found it’s a pretty clean yeast that doesn’t leave any yeasty tastes. What I’ve also found is that it’s a fairly slow fermenting yeast when compared to ale yeasts I’ve used.
I’m not sure where this pointed the searcher, but I think we’ve made references to such things… I keep my fermenter in the kitchen, so I generally just throw a towel or an old blanket over it to keep things warm. I’ve found that the fermentation process creates a little bit of heat, so in a modern house, a decent blanket can work wonders. My kitchen also gets a fair amount of morning sun, and it’s best to keep UV off of your brew, so the blanket also helps to block the sun
Mikey, on the other hand, keeps his fermenter in the garage (AKA the Brew Dungeon). Mikey has insulated a cupboard with old sheets which does a pretty good job. To compliment this, Mikey also has a heat pad to use in case of emergencies. Heat pads can be purchased at most home brew supply stores; I’ve even seen heat belts for sale as well. For general heating, Mikey has thrown some Christmas tree lights into the cupboard. Keeping these on for a few hours a day does wonders.
I’ve seen and read about various other home made temperature regulation systems. A popular thing to do is to use an old bar-fridge (not plugged in). Refrigerators are designed to be very well insulated, so the temperature should stay fairly constant. Heating/cooling sources can be added to the fridge if the temperature is wrong.
Will yeast die if it gets too hot?
it depends on what is meant by “too hot”. But yes, yeast is a living thing and will die if things get too hot, it’s always best to keep things in recommended temperature ranges (the yeast packet should tell you). Even if the yeast doesn’t die, you can create fusel alcohol by mistake. Fusel alcohol may form at temperatures above about 27 degrees C. Unfortunately, if the temperature is too low for your yeast, the fermentation process may be too slow (same if you under-pitch your yeast), once again causing the yeast to sit in your fermenter for too long, causing other off tastes or also fusel alcohol formation.
Similar problems can happen if the wort isn’t aerated enough prior to pitching. This can cause a build up of nitrogen in the fermenting wort, and once again, causing impurities or the wrong types of alcohol to form.
That’s it for now. Maybe I’ll really nerd out and make some graphs in the future, we’ll see!