Question: I’d like to try making beer or wine, but I don’t know where to start. Can you give an absolute beginner some pointers as to where to get started or what equipment to buy?
Answer: We are happy to help. We always have staff members and other customers ready to impart their knowledge right here at the store! Come on in have a free sample and learn by talking to other brewers.
Basic pointers are be clean, be clean, and be clean. You can’t screw up a batch of beer that easily. Just keep your brewing area clean and follow the directions for the recipe. Its that simple. If you think you screwed up your batch, relax, take a step back and don’t worry about it. It may turn out to be the best beer you ever made!
Regarding equipment, come on in. We have a full range of supplies from beginner kits to ingredients for larger and advanced batches. Let us know what you want to do and we will get you what you need!
Question: Does it cost a lot to make wine or beer?
Answer: If you like to drink wine or beer even as an occasional drinker, making wine or beer can actually be quite economical.
With a basic beer kit using extracts (After initial start up costs of about $60) you can make 2 cases of quality beer for less than the price of a case of micro-brewed beer. If you buy in bulk or use the “All Grain” method, the price drops even further!
With wine, after the purchase of a basic kit (about $80), you can make (about 28 – 30 bottles per kit) at a cost of $1.75 – $3.50 per bottle based upon the kit purchased. These kits can make the equivalent of a $20 bottle of wine for $3.50!
Question: My beer or wine has been in the fermenter for 7 days but the airlock is still bubbling. Should I transfer or bottle it?
Answer: NO! Do not transfer or bottle the beer or wine yet. It is not done fermenting. For beer and wine, the primary fermentation should be complete (no bubbles from the airlock) before transferring the liquid to another container.
Question: What isbeer?
Answer: Beer is a fermented beverage made from malted grains, hops and water. Drink and be happy.
Question: Are beer and wine hard to make? How long does it take?
Beer:When making beer from extracts it takes about 2 hours from start to finish on brew day. After the brewing process is complete 7 – 10 days in the primary fermenter and then an additional 7 – 10 days in the fermenter then 2 weeks in the bottle or 2 hours in the keg until you can drink it. When using the “All Grain” method, the brewing process can take 5-6 hours.
Wine: To make wine from the kits bought at The Witches Brew, all you need to do is pour the juice into a sanitized fermenter, add water to 6 gallons, and throw in the oak and/or berries etc. provided with the kit, add the yeast and your wine is ready to ferment! It takes about 45 minutes to prepare a batch of wine for fermentation. Then it takes about 4-6 weeks before you can bottle it. (There are a few transfers between vessels in that time). The wines do get better with age, but if you like it at any point in time, drink it, you can always make more and age it!
Question: How do I bottle my wine and beer? Is the equipment expensive?
Answer: It is very simple.Siphon the wine or beer into the bottling bucket (included in starter kits). Then attach the provided gravity driven bottle filler. Fill the bottles to the desired level. Then use the provided double lever hand corker to cork the wine or the double lever bottle capper to cap the beer bottles. Just make sure you use new corks and new bottle caps. The Witches Brew provides a variety of corks and caps for all your needs!
Question: When force carbonating my keg how do I know it is done?
Answer: It stops bubbling. Usually you force carbonated at about 30 psi after chilling the beer. When the bubbles stop (while you are shaking the keg) it is done.