Question 1

I have been using a capping tool for long neck twist top stubbies. So far I have not had any problems with my many brews. Is there a particular reason why this kind of crimper is unsuitable for twist top bottles?

View Answer

The Emily Two-Handed Capper sold in our Micro Brew Kits and featuring in our instructions are specifically designed for capping crown seal bottles. If used on twist top bottles the risk is that the tool may snap off the neck

Question 2

Hi, I bought a Brewtec Lager home brew which I have been brewing for 3 years now, however this particular brew kit did not work. The brew didn't start fermenting for 3 days, it now has a SG of 1020 after 8 days, smells like 'plastic' and has mild yeast infection.

View Answer

From the information you have provided we can ascertain that you have had fermentation and by the sounds of it, the brew has developed an infection. It is not uncommon to have little to no activity in the airlock during fermentation which is why we recommend monitoring fermentation by taking Specific Gravity (SG) readings on a daily basis. It is very important now, that you give your brewing equipment a very good clean and sterilisation. This will ensure that you do not transfer the infection to your next brew.

Question 3

I have been a home brewer for 22 years and have used Brewtec lager mixes many times. This last batch took longer than normal to start fermenting. On completion of bottling, I noticed a dark grey yeast scum at the top of the fermenter, and this is normally an orange/yellow colour. The beer has been bottled now for ten days and there is no sign of clearing. I am very particular with my sterilisation and have not experienced this problem before.

View Answer

As part of routine testing we conduct a number of ongoing yeast tests including ageing to ensure that our products work for the full two years given as shelf life. It is important that the yeast, which is a living organism, is treated with respect and cared for. From your email we read that the batch has had fermentation which means that the yeast provided with your can was active, the cause of the infection therefore is difficult to tell without analysis of the brew. It is very important now, that you give your brewing equipment a very good clean and sterilisation. This will ensure that you do not transfer the infection to your next brew.

Question 4

We have put down two batches of Brewtec Classic Dark Ale and both times there is condensation in the lid and a scum line around the keg but there is no popping in the airlock. Could you please tell me what we are doing wrong? We follow the instructions to the letter. Also, will the beer be ok?

View Answer

It is common for brew kits not to have any bubbling through the airlock of the fermenter during primary fermentation. The airlock is fitted to allow gas to escape and prevent micro-organisms and wild yeasts from entering the fermenter not as the only sign that fermentation is occurring. We strongly recommend no matter how experienced you are at brewing that you monitor fermentation by taking Specific Gravity (SG) readings daily to ensure fermentation is taking place. The most critical reading being after the first 24 hours, rather than relying solely on visible airlock activity. Also look for other signs-a foamy brew, condensation inside the lid, a brown scum ring at the top of the wort and sediment on the bottom. Hopefully you did not throw your batch out. If you did take SG readings and based upon these readings fermentation did commence, then you should have no problems with your brew and should continue as per the instructions.

Question 5

I think my Draught brew has failed. There has been no activity during the fermentation ie. no bubbling through the air lock. I bottled the last lot but it is very cloudy.

View Answer

The lack of activity could be for a number of reasons. We know for certain that there is not a batch wide issue with any of our products however there have been a few isolated incidents of damaged yeast, usually from exposure to high temperatures & transportation & storage prior to purchase. Please also note that whilst we have had a few isolated incidents of yeast failures we have also had a number of calls from brewers who brew solely by the activity in their airlock and are used to vigorous bubbles which often some of the products don't emulate. Of those that haven't thrown out their brew before contacting us we have managed to save a number of brews simply by asking the brewers to take Specific Gravity (SG) readings, which has confirmed that there has been fermentation. In other cases brews have been saved by adding a second sachet of yeast. It is our strong recommendation that all brewers, no matter how experienced, take daily SG readings. The most important readings are the Start SG, a reading with 24 hours to confirm fermentation has commenced and the end SGs, ensuring that the brew has finished fermentation by obtaining the same reading for a minimum of 24 hours.


I have been home brewing for a few years. I recently purchased Brewtec Lager and Brewtec Draught brew mixes for the first time. I carefully followed the instructions. But the fermentation did not start on BOTH brew mixes. Any suggestions?

View Answer

Brewing is an art and a science. Record keeping is absolutely imperative; you should keep records of the batch numbers of beer kit and yeast, expiry date of beer kit, Specific Gravity (SG) readings, and temperature at time of adding yeast and during brewing, how long you waited before ditching brews and whether you tried adding a second yeast sachet to either brew. By taking a start SG and then another reading within 12-24 hours a brewer can confirm whether or not fermentation has commenced, if not another yeast sachet can be added at this point. We can also assure you that there are no batch wide issues with any Brewtec product.

Question 7

I have just purchased your Brewtec Classic Dark ale and wondered what sugar or brew mix to use for best results.

View Answer

We would suggest you use either Brewtec liquid brewing sugar,a blended sugar mix for fuller flavour or malt extract in place of sugar for a more malty flavour. Your local specialty home brew shop should be able to provide you with lots of recipes, ideas and ingredients for creating recipes to your taste. This is where the fun can really happen in home brewing. Remember you are completely in control of the flavour and style of beer that you brew.

Question 8

Should the specific gravity of the Dark Ale on completion of fermentation be about the same as a lager or would you expect it to be a bit higher?

View Answer

The end Specific Gravity (SG) on the Brewtec range does not vary greatly between variants if brewed under the same conditions, i.e. using the same brewing sugar. However in saying that Brewtec Dark Ale is made using a combination of malts including dark malts, such as chocolate, which have a slightly lower rate of fermentation to lighter malts which means that the end SG could be slightly higher than say the Brewtec Lager. We believe that if you brew the Brewtec Dark Ale with 1kg of sugar with a high rate of fermentation, i.e. Dextrose or Cane sugar, then your end SG will be around the 1010 as stated on the label. By adding a brewing sugar that is in whole or part malt extract or Maltodextrin which have lower rates of fermentability your brew will have a higher end SG reading.

Question 9

Hi, I have been home brewing for around 12 years, and for the last couple of years have been brewing Brewtec Classic Dark Ale. My last two brews have taken around 18 days to ferment, and the brew I have in now has been going for around 15 days. Average daytime temperature is 25-32 deg at the moment. After bottling and leaving sit for 4 weeks the beer is gassy and foams out the top of the stubbie.

View Answer

It is certainly unusual at that temperature range for fermentation to take so long. We can suggest three things that you could try in an attempt to reduce the gas or carbonation of the brew. You could try ordinary household white sugar in place of the carbonating drops. In addition, you could bottle only after 3 days of consistent SG readings and if you leave the newly filled bottles in a warm place for 7-10 days and then move to a cool, dark place for the rest of the bottling process.

Question 10

We have always brewed with Brewtec home brew kits as they give us the best results. On our last batch everything went fine until we bottled the beer. After about a week we decided to try it to see what it tasted like. It tasted like normal dark ale but it was very flat. Have we done something else wrong? We put in the carbonation drops as directed or was it just too soon?

View Answer

Yes, after a week your beer will still be flat. It is too soon to expect good carbonation. If your SG readings were good and fermentation had begun, the fact that the taste is right and there are no funny smells or tastes is a good sign of no infection or problems. For best results, we suggest you leave your newly bottled beer (after its first bottled) in a warm place with a temperature similar to that recommended during fermentation in the fermenter (i.e. 18-28 degrees) for 7-10 days, then move it to a cool, dry place for the balance of the process. This should produce a good 'head' to the beer. Also, for your information, fermentation will often not occur if the yeast has been exposed to high temperatures or moisture. It is difficult for us to control the conditions to which our yeast is exposed after distribution, and during transportation it can become exposed to non-ideal conditions. Your yeast should come out of the packet without sticking to the sides of its package

Question 11

Can you please help? I am brewing your Classic Dark Ale and have followed the directions but the brew has been under way for 8-9 days, and the fermentation seems to have stopped but the s/g is only 1010 as it has been for several days. Would it be best to bottle it now?

View Answer

Yes, bottle it now. If the final S.G. has been consistent for more than 2 days it has finished. It is a dark beer and they will finish at a higher S.G. of 1006 � 1012. It is a dark a beer and can finish between 1006 -1012.

Question 12

What is the alcohol content for a large bottle of your brew?

View Answer

The alcohol content of a brew depends on the amount of water and sugar used with the brew kit and how far the yeast ferments the brew. If you use a Brewtec Draught and 1kg of Dextrose and make the brew up to 23ltrs with water then your finished beer should have an alcohol content of around 4.5%. To determine the alcohol content of your own brew you can use the following equation: Start SG less Final SG = X x 0.13 = Y + 0.5 = Z% i.e. if you start SG is 1040 and your end SG is 1006 then the calculation is 1040 -1006 = 34 x 0.13 = 4.42 + 0.5(bottle sugar) = 4.92% by volume

Question 13

I was curious as to what the EBU rating (Bitterness) and Colour (EBC) was for the Brewtec homebrew cans?

View Answer

Measure as at 5 Brix

Product EBC EBU
Brewtec Lager max 8 16
Brewtec Premium Drought 25 21
Brewtec Brown Drought 18 10
Brewtec Classic Dark Ale 40 20

Question 14

I have been brewing Brewtec Draught which is a nice drop and brewing for over a year now. The last Draught did not start so I added extra yeast. It has now taken off. Will this spoil the flavour?

View Answer

Using a different beer yeast to the one supplied with the kit will change the flavour profile however it is unlikely it will spoil the brew. Just looking at bubbles in the airlock will not give you a good indication of fermentation. It is our strong recommendation that no matter how experienced, all brewers should monitor fermentation by taking SG readings. By taking a start SG and then another reading within 12-24 hours a brewer can confirm whether or not fermentation has commenced, if not another yeast sachet can be added at this point. If bread yeast has been used then it will/may add bread/dough flavours that would not be desirable.

Question 15

I am seeking advice on the Dark Ale I started brewing on Sunday. Fermentation appears to have stopped after only 2 days. The temperature in the barrel rose to around 32 deg after leaving the heat belt on during the day on Monday and the specific gravity today (Wed.) is at 1020.Is the brew still ok? And what advice can you give me?

View Answer

It is common to have little to no activity in the airlock during fermentation which is why we recommend monitoring fermentation by taking Specific Gravity (SG) readings. The SG reading after three days of 1020 shows that you have had fermentation. The only way to tell if your brew is still fermenting is by taking another reading either 12 or 24 hours later. If the reading is lower then the brew is still fermenting so continue to brew and take SG readings. If however there is no change the most likely scenario is that the high temperature has killed off the yeast, in this case you could potentially save your brew by adding another 5g sachet of beer yeast but we would caution to check for off smells and tastes before doing so.

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