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  1. Is making beer difficult?
  2. How can I kick my beer up to 20% alcohol?
  3. My wife says my brewing stinks up the house. What should I do?
  4. There's white stuff floating on top of my (beer, wine, mead). What is it and what can I do?
  5. My beer smells like vinegar. What should I do.
  6. My wine smells like vinegar. What can I do?
  7. Can anyone tell me how to make hard cider?

  1. Is making beer difficult?
    Making beer can be as simple as making ice tea, almost. If you have a stove and an 8-12 quart kettle you can make the wort (unfermented beer). You need a food grade plastic, glass or stainless fermenter about 20% larger than your batch size, some clean crown cap finish beer bottles (not screw caps), a capper, some beer yeast and a little patience. We recommend investing in a homebrewing book for beginners and spend a few hours reading before starting your first batch.

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  2. How can I kick my beer up to 20% alcohol?
    While it is possible to produce fermented beverages with alcohol levels approaching 20% we don't recommend that much punch in your beer. We prefer beers with the flavor components in balance. Alcohol is one of those components. If your intent is to get a buzz with the least amount of liquid intake you'd be better off buying your favorite distilled beverage.

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  3. My wife says my brewing stinks up the house. What should I do?
    Well you could stop brewing. Your wife will then have to find something else you do to complain about, which she'll do. You could move you brewing process outside the house. Your wife will then probably complain about you never being around. You could get a new wife who likes the smell of brewing.

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  4. There's white stuff floating on top of my (beer, wine, mead). What is it and what can I do?
    What you probably have is film yeast. Mycoderma candida sometimes called the flowers of wine. It starts out as an oily looking spot on the surface of your wine, beer or mead. It grows into a white film that will cover the surface. Mycoderma candida is airborne and can infect a fermenter that isn't topped up and protected by an airlock. Mycoderma candida id difficult to get rid of once it has infected your beverage. I've had some success with gently removing as much of the culture as possible with a cloth soaked in vodka or sulphite solution and then covering the surface of the beverage with vodka, brandy or sulfite solution. The fermenter must be filled up to the neck for this to have any chance of working. Mycoderma candida is usually slow to spoil the beverage so while the flavor may not be affected it is quite unattractive. Mycoderma candida is aerobic and cannot survive without oxygen so cut off its oxygen supply. In the future avoid unnecessary inspections or sampling of beverages in carboys. You could also keep a spray bottle of sulphite solution handy and spray the air above and around your fermenter before opening them for inspection.

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  5. My beer smells like vinegar. What should I do.
    If it already smells like vinegar it's no longer beer it's malt vinegar. Invite a bunch of friends over for a fish fry. Then do a thorough cleaning and sanitize of your brewing equipment. You should replace plastic components like racking canes and syphon hose.

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  6. My wine smells like vinegar. What can I do?
    If it already smells like vinegar it's no longer wine it's vinegar. Get some herbs and put the vinegar and herbs in clear bottles and give them as gifts to your gourmet friends. They'll appreciate the personalized gift and you won't feel like you wasted your time and money. Then do a thorough cleaning and sanitize of your brewing equipment. You should replace plastic components like racking canes and syphon hose.

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  7. Can anyone tell me how to make hard cider?
    There are some excellent tips along with a recipe for a one gallon batch of hard cider in the FAQ section of this website. Follow this link: http://www.bacchus-barleycorn.com/catalog/article_info.php?articles_id=98

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