If you have a question about your brew, the easiest place to start is our FAQ section. If you prefer to talk with a human being, or have a question that we’ve not yet covered, just pop in to the shop and have a chat with Colin. We’re happy to help.

About our Shop

Your shop is never open when I need to come - do you ever open outside your normal times?

Yes. It’s always worth a ring. I’m not far away so if I can do so I will! I can be contacted on 01795229073 to arrange a time to open for you if at all possible.

If I need advice on a kit I’ve purchased from the shop can you help me?

Yes, of course – you can ring anytime and if I can help in any way I will. *Please Note* I’m sorry but I can only give advice on products bought directly from Faversham Homebrew.

Do you do courses on making beer/wine kits?

People don’t usually realise just how simple it is to make great beer/wine from kits and they all come with good and simple step by step instructions but if you still think you could do with some guidance I’m more than happy to help you start your first one – no problem, just ask!

Brewing Questions

What temperature is best to ferment my beer, Cider or Wine at?

In my opinion the best all round temperature if in doubt is 18-21°C – this works well with most Beers, Ales, Ciders and Wines. Too high temperatures above these ranges can impart unusual flavours into you beverages. Generally ferment Low & Slow!

How long can/should I ferment my beer for?

You should obviously ferment your beer until at least it stops bubbling and producing CO2. This usually takes around 1-2 weeks but I generally leave mine 3 weeks to make sure especially in cooler weather. This also allows more yeast to settle, giving a clearer finished product.

My beer/wine failed to bubble, does this mean it’s ruined and I should throw it away?

Almost certainly not, I get many people think that because no bubbles have passed through the airlock it’s ruined, but in most cases the gases have escaped by other means. The best way to check is by using a hydrometer, which checks the gravity (how much sugar is left in your beverage). If you are still in doubt please ring the shop for advice and I will endeavour to help you test your brew BEFORE discarding it.

I’ve mixed up my beer kit as instructed but the mixture is still warmer than the recommended temperature, should I put the yeast in now?

No! Be Patient! Wait until it cools naturally even if it takes overnight, make sure the bucket/fermenter is sealed and pitch the yeast as soon as the temperature reaches the desired level.

I’d like to make some beer from scratch but I don’t have much equipment, can I still do this?

Yes! You can make very small batches on the hob at home using a large saucepan and a grain bag! It’s very simple but remember it’s almost as much work to make 1 gallon of beer as it is to make 10 gallons, you just require larger equipment.

I’ve just bottled my beer/cider a few days ago and it’s clear, so can I drink it?

Yes. The beverage will now be OK to drink but probably won’t be anywhere near its best. In my opinion if you can always be at least one brew ahead of yourself you will be enjoying the products far more, It’s amazing what difference just a couple of weeks can make.

I’ve bought a 7 day wine kit. Can I really make wine in 7 days?

In my opinion, NO! Not good wine anyway! Unless you’re in a real rush for your wine it’s never a bad thing to leave it longer. I would say the fastest you can do the job properly is 14 days, rush it through and you will end up with a fizzy, cloudy mess that you will not want to drink or serve to your friends.

Storage – Kegging & Bottling

How much sugar do I need to prime my beer bottles/keg?

Add exactly half a teaspoon to a 500ml bottle of Ale and a whole teaspoon to ciders and lagers. Use a half teaspoon measure to get the amount just right.

Some of my beer bottles are very lively and some of the same batch is flat - why?

This could be to do with many reasons but in my experience the main one is that the yeast has sunk to the bottom of the fermenter and therefore when you siphon straight to bottles you get more yeast in some than others. Remedy- siphon your beer into another sterilised bucket first (preferably with a tap) leaving the sediment behind. This not only makes bottling easier but also gently mixes the beer first giving a consistent finish.

I’ve put one end of my siphon into my fermenter but nothing is coming out the other end! Why?

This might sound a strange question but I get asked this all the time and many people don’t realise you need to suck on the other end to get the flow going. Once it has started you can turn the tap on and off and it will restart automatically. If you don’t like the idea of sucking on the end of the pipe, auto pump siphons are available.

I notice most beer bottles are brown - is there a reason for that, and could I use clear ones?

Yes, basically homebrewed beer is a live product (the yeast remains active in the bottle) and therefore light is detrimental to the shelf life of the product. It is possible to use clear bottles but they would need to be stored somewhere dark in a cellar or in some sort of box away from strong light.

Can I lay beer bottles down on their side in the fridge?

You can, but you will then need to stand them upright again to allow the sediment to settle before you can serve – so little point really.

I want to store my beer/cider in a keg/barrel. Would I have to drink it quickly before it goes bad?

Probably not. It depends on your keg/barrel. If you use a keg/barrel that allows the addition of gas then as long as you follow the guidelines the beer/cider should be good for several months. If you allow air to replace the beer/cider served from the keg it will go off quite quickly.

I enjoy making the wine kits but can’t stand the bottling - is there any other way?

Yes. I sell collapsible reusable containers in 5,10 and 20 litres called Vinotainers, which you can fill and re-fill with wine and then dispense to a bottle to chill in the fridge. The wine should last several months stored in this way. You can produce great wine once set up for around a quarter of supermarket prices.

I bought some shrink caps from your shop. How do I put them on?

The easiest way in my opinion is with the steam of a kettle. Open the kettle a little to stop it keep turning off then hold down the shrink with a blade of a knife and rotate it in the steam. It will shrink in seconds giving a professional look to your wine.