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Posted: 10/21/2004 8:17:16 PM EST
I got a email from a friend that stated they had just returned from a home brew party. He said that there was about 10 people there and they all brought a different brew that they had made. He is not a beer fancier and will drink just about anything, but he said that the home brew was the best he had ever tasted.

In the past I have made a couple batches of wine that could pass as drinkable. But not being a wine drinker or maker, I lost interest in making it. Now the idea of making beer is entering the mind.

I have checked and can not find anybody, within a 100 miles, that sells brewing supplies. The internet is full of supplier but it doesn't give a lot of information on making it, just selling their products. Prices vary from $30 to $50 for starter kits which are basically the same stuff.

Has anyone made their own suds and what was the outcome. Was it worth it, taste and price wise?
Link Posted: 10/21/2004 8:38:17 PM EST
I've made my own beer off and on for the last ten years. Like most everything, you can keep the operation reeeeal simple and cheap or you can go whole-hog and become a freak about it. Dad did it on the cheap: He used mom's baking yeast, household sugar, recycled 2 quart screw top bottles and malt extract and a garbage can. Dad didn't G.A.F.-- He was just trying to do 2 things: 1) He was to have ten gallons brewing, ten gallons conditioning in the bottles and ten gallons ready to drink at all times, and 2) It was not to cost more than $0.05/gallon.

Me, I like to taste what I brew so I don't cut so many corners.

A really good book to get you started on is the Seven Barrel Brewery Brewer's Handbook by Gregory J. Noonan, Mikel Redman and Scott Russell. The book's ISBN number is 1-887167-00-5.

Good luck!
Link Posted: 10/21/2004 8:41:07 PM EST
I've got a place that sells all the goods just a few min from my house. My wife and I stopped one day just to look inside.

We bought the starter Kit that included a 5 gallon glass jar an plastic pail some other assorted shit and the fixins for our first batch, I chose a double malted wheat beer ( 8.3% etoh )

Took about 4 hours to do it the first time and get it in the big glass jar, about 3 weeks later ready to bottle and another hour of my time. One week later and the first bottle goes in the fridge and is ready when I get home from work.

I will never buy beer at the store again, that is the best stuff I've ever had. A batch makes about 2 cases and cost 20$ to buy the goods ( reuse all the assorted shit ).

As soon as I bottle I start a new batch, my Poker buddies beg for the shit, hell even the guy at the beer shop said it was good ( brought him a bottle for his help )

Remember to keep everything as clean as possible while your cooking it up and you'll have good beer.

Def worth doing.

Charlie
Link Posted: 10/21/2004 8:46:01 PM EST
Another home brewer here, just as a hobby. My worst is still better than what you can buy in the store.

www.homebrew.com


This is a good resource for inf on the forums, and the store is good too with fast shipping.
Link Posted: 10/21/2004 9:06:57 PM EST
The only thing I will bother with is Mead.
Link Posted: 10/21/2004 10:05:12 PM EST
Just watched a 1 hour program on the History Channel on the history of distilling. Now I really have the bug. Figure that if I try brewing beer and don't like it, I can get some copper tubing and make shine out of it.
Link Posted: 10/21/2004 11:49:02 PM EST
I used to make alot of kit beer. I made 120 gallons in 2000. My favorite was probably the Brown Ale, but I had some pretty good batches of the Rice beer, and Cerveza.
Link Posted: 10/22/2004 12:47:18 AM EST
TheBeerSlayer needs to see this! I believe he has made a bottle or two himself.


Balming
Link Posted: 10/22/2004 1:11:18 AM EST
My dad (BarleyPop is his nickname) used to make the best beer.

Unfortunately he had some sort of alergic reaction to the stuff he was making. his hands, face, and feet puffed up like he was a blow fish.

He tried different ingredients but for some reason he couldn't pin it down and sold off all of his equipment.

Damn I miss those beers.
Link Posted: 10/22/2004 1:26:36 AM EST
[Last Edit: 10/22/2004 1:27:06 AM EST by gaspasser]
I use the Mr. Beer method. It's pretty simple, takes about 1/2 hour to make the batch, it sits in the keg for a week, then you bottle it. It ferments in the bottles for another week and it's ready to go. I have a buddy who uses a different homebrew method that takes longer and isn't any better. The company runs sales all the time and has a big selection of recipies. www.mrbeer.com.
Link Posted: 10/22/2004 3:16:47 AM EST
Love making beer. Some turn out awesome, some less than that. We have a few shops arond here in Ohio. I am not sure of where you are. I was in Flint from 1990-1996. There where some stores around that had supplies, but I often mail ordered a lot. Check specialty grocery stores that do a lot of import food business. Check speciaialty booze stores, I would find stuff there, usually made a bunch of phone calls to find who had stuff.

I always recommend homebrewing for dummies to new folks. There is a lot of good information there, and they seperate things into basic, intermediate or advanced.
Link Posted: 10/22/2004 3:23:18 AM EST
Get the book..."The Joy of Home Brewing"

I love brewing beer. I haven't made any this year due to the low carb thing.

Link Posted: 10/22/2004 4:15:15 AM EST

Originally Posted By jerry48430:
Just watched a 1 hour program on the History Channel on the history of distilling. Now I really have the bug. Figure that if I try brewing beer and don't like it, I can get some copper tubing and make shine out of it.



Ah..then my good man you'd be breaking federal law. Funny, you can make beer and wine no problem, but try to distill spirits in this country and you can go to the pokey. Not like that in other countries. (Note: I've never know anyone to get busted for this, but then I've never knew anyone to get busted for putting a collapsible stock on a postban either)
Link Posted: 10/22/2004 4:30:44 AM EST
Link Posted: 10/22/2004 4:33:01 AM EST
Link Posted: 10/22/2004 4:52:36 AM EST

Originally Posted By TexasEd:
Ah..then my good man you'd be breaking federal law.

I never enforced fereral law, so I won't disagree with you. I always thought you could distill spirits up a certain amount for personal comsumtion. I think the big rub come from selling it.
Link Posted: 10/22/2004 5:02:58 AM EST

Originally Posted By Roadhawk:
Get the book..."The Joy of Home Brewing"

I love brewing beer. I haven't made any this year due to the low carb thing.




+1

As a matter of personal preference I like using the 5 Gallon glass jars (aka Carboys) rather than the small "Mr. Beer" type kits ... For one big reason, you get much more out of a batch.

Homebrewing is a great hobby, and one that your friends will really appreciate. I make a lot of special batches for parties, holidays and events ... I've got a friend coming home from Iraq in the Spring and I've promised a signature batch brewed just for him when he gets here ... The fun part is making up your own labels.
Link Posted: 10/22/2004 5:17:07 AM EST

Originally Posted By The_Beer_Slayer:
i used to make a good bit until my job began to interfere with my brewing time.

It is VERY easy <easier than wine to me>.

The key is to use GOOD QUALITY INGREDIENTS and excellent quality yeast <i prefer liquid yeast>.

Starting out some of the commercial pre made can kits can be very good. In fact most of the brew i made were with these. it's basically pre brewed wort that you add your own malts.

there are TONS of good resources on the net. Do a little reading. The nice thing about beer is you can get as deep into or make it as easy as you want.

A couple of things to consider

STERILISE EVERYTHING

glass carbouys are better than plastci buckets <plastic scratches and bacteria can grow in places you can't easily clean.>

mike




Yea that's what I am finding out. Spent the whole nighton the Beer Board forum reading everything. Right I am leaning towards a Mead or a Cinnamon cider. Maybe I can get the wife to partake.
Link Posted: 10/22/2004 5:24:35 AM EST
AshNH I agree on using glass or stainless, but I have about 100 new 5 & 6 gal plastic buckets that I might use until I figure out how to do it right. About the only hardware I would need is a vapor lock for the first batch. Most of the kits are plastic anyway.
Link Posted: 10/22/2004 5:43:15 AM EST
Ok...something about beer in plastic buckets turns me off lol...

I found a couple of places that sell 5 gal. glass carboys, and the old Grolsche style rubber stopper type bottles for bottling. Besides the actual beer ingredients, what esle would I need?
Link Posted: 10/22/2004 5:51:49 AM EST
Link Posted: 10/22/2004 5:54:13 AM EST
Link Posted: 10/22/2004 5:57:42 AM EST
Fenian if your interested check this site out, and read their forums. Tons and tons of info. Friendly too.



http://forums.homebrew.com/index.php
Link Posted: 10/22/2004 6:52:37 AM EST
[Last Edit: 10/22/2004 6:53:33 AM EST by wildearp]
I have Cornelius kegs, CO2, and can brew 20 gallons at a time. I have brewed over 150 gallons of beer. Just like any hobby, you have to start somewhere. You can brew any style of beer, the important thing is to find your favorite and brew a lot of it. You won't probably save any money, but it is a great hobby. It ain't a hobby if it doesn't cost money.


Be sure to buy Charlie Papazian's Home Brewers Bible. It goes step by step through the brewing process. That book will make your decision for you. I bet you will become a brewer.
Link Posted: 10/22/2004 6:57:14 AM EST
it's big in certain parts of canada where they tax the shit out of beer.

best i've ever had.
Link Posted: 10/22/2004 6:59:12 AM EST

Originally Posted By jerry48430:

Originally Posted By TexasEd:
Ah..then my good man you'd be breaking federal law.

I never enforced fereral law, so I won't disagree with you. I always thought you could distill spirits up a certain amount for personal comsumtion. I think the big rub come from selling it.



You'd think a little personal comsumption wouldn't hurt anything right ???

From ATF site

"You cannot produce spirits for beverage purposes without paying taxes and without prior approval of paperwork to operate a distilled spirits plant. [See 26 U.S.C. 5601 & 5602 for some of the criminal penalties.] There are numerous requirements that must be met that make it impractical to produce spirits for personal or beverage use. Some of these requirements are paying special tax, filing an extensive application, filing a bond, providing adequate equipment to measure spirits, providing suitable tanks and pipelines, providing a separate building (other than a dwelling) and maintaining detailed records, and filing reports. All of these requirements are listed in 27 CFR Part 19.

Spirits may be produced for non-beverage purposes for fuel use only without payment of tax, but you also must file an application, receive TTB's approval, and follow requirements, such as construction, use, records and reports. "



Link Posted: 10/22/2004 7:04:06 AM EST
I guess this related. I just started tinkering with some very simple wine recipes.
4 cups fruit
3 cups h20
2 cups sugar
Put in a gallon jug
Seal TIGHT!
Wait 90 days
Sip as needed!

I've done scuppernong and pear.
Last week a friend who is big into simple wines gave me some scuppernong, muscadine, pear & locust, and CORNCOB! Thats right corncob! That stuff was FINE! The pear and locust was top shelf!

Do any of you know anything about making sour mash as for moonshine?
I've known folks who drink the beer from the process of mixing wheat shorts, sugar and water.
How long does this take?
Link Posted: 10/22/2004 7:05:46 AM EST
[Last Edit: 10/22/2004 7:07:23 AM EST by jerry48430]
I stand humbly corrected. Hell it more fun catching them after they drank. Never asked if they made it.


eta Wonder if you could get away with claiming it was the fuel of champions.
Link Posted: 10/22/2004 7:12:35 AM EST

Originally Posted By onemangang:
Do any of you know anything about making sour mash as for moonshine?
I've known folks who drink the beer from the process of mixing wheat shorts, sugar and water.
How long does this take?



I don't know yet
Link Posted: 10/22/2004 7:14:44 AM EST

Originally Posted By jerry48430:

Originally Posted By onemangang:
Do any of you know anything about making sour mash as for moonshine?
I've known folks who drink the beer from the process of mixing wheat shorts, sugar and water.
How long does this take?



I don't know yet



Link Posted: 10/22/2004 7:22:14 AM EST
I home brew my own stuff. I feel fairly qualified to answer some basic questions for you.

Brewing beer consists of three primary "stages".

1) You brew the beer. This consists of steeping some grains (think tea) for roughly 20 minutes. You then add some syrup, which contains your sugars. Then you bring the tea/sugar mix to a boil, and add hops to add bitterness to cover the syrups sweetness. This takes about an hour.

2) Cool the water, put it in a bucket with yeast, and let the brew ferment. This stage turns the sugar into alcohol. CO2 is a byproduct. This stage takes anywhere from 1 to 3 weeks.

3) Bottling. You take the fermented beer, and put it in a bottle. You add a little more sugar water to ferment so that the CO2 produced by this fermentation will pressurize the beer in the bottle and carbonate. This takes a couple more weeks.

That's it. THen refridgerate and drink. So 3-6 weeks from brewing to drinking.

A basic starter kit will have a fermenting bucket, an air lock for that bucket, a bottling bucket, a capper, a "racking tube" (syphon hose to move beer from one container to the other).

You will have to buy a stainless 5 gallon pot to boil your brew in if you don't have one.

Some upgrades:

2 stage fermenting. This is where the glass carboy comes in. Most of the fermentation in beer happens in the first week. Fermentation results in a layer of silt in the bottom of the fermentation bucket. This adds off-flavors to the beer. So what alot of guys do is after most of the primary fermentation is done, syphon the beer into a secondary container for the remainder of the fermentation cycle to make the beer less succeptable to yeasty flavor. I HIGHLY recommend this.

Kegging. Gets rid of bottling, gets rid of that little bit of silt in the bottom of your beer, beer is more consistently carbonated, and ready in 4 days not two+ weeks. I do this now, and the beer tastes the same, but it's a WHOLE lot easier.

Tips:

Cooling wort: A wart chiller has been recommended. I use a different method. I use the kitchen sink, and just fill both sides with cold water. Then I toss ice cubes into the wort to cool it even faster. I cool a batch of wart in 15 minutes using nothing more than cold water from the tap in the sink and some ice cubes.

Sanitize: This is a MUST. Sanitize, and be religious about it. Remember, beer while it's fermenting is basically a controlled science experiment. Don't contaminate your peetree dish.

Start off with kits, to see if you like it. They sell kits with everything you need (grains, syrup, yeast, hops) for 15-25 bux, and if you follow the instructions, the beer will turn out good. After you've committed to a life of home brewing, you can start playing with your own recipies.

Enjoy!

Link to some of my beer pics so you can see what it's like...
Link Posted: 10/22/2004 7:42:34 AM EST
Fast351 has described the process as well as can be described without a book.

I also recommend trying a kit to see if you like it. I have been using Mr. Beer for several months, and am quite pleased with it. I realize that I could brew even better beer with more sophisticated equipment, but time and space are at a a premium in my house, and what Mr. Beer does for me is adequate.

Take the leap! Even with simple kits the beer rivals/surpasses what you find at the store. Once I tried Nut Brown Ale I couldn't go back...
Link Posted: 10/22/2004 7:48:44 AM EST
I started about 3 years ago. All beer has been excellent, I have tried many companies, but I love the quality of the kits and the freshness also at WWW.northern brewer.com I have never had a problem and they have the full kits with the recepies. If you need reciepies you can download the .pdf files from the website. They have starter kits and everything you could possibly need. Any questions feel free to e-mail me. YOU WILL BE ADDICTED!


Link Posted: 10/22/2004 7:53:02 AM EST
Thanks Fast. Thats very informative and the pics are good. Two questions, 1 what's the low end temp for the fermenting stage, 2 how is the odor. If the odor is to bad I'll have to move to the basement, its unheated.
Link Posted: 10/22/2004 7:55:14 AM EST
I have been making mine for a few years and Im lucky enough to live in the same town as these guys.

They have a pretty good website.

www.morebeer.com/
Link Posted: 10/22/2004 7:59:35 AM EST
[Last Edit: 10/22/2004 8:05:23 AM EST by AshNH]

Originally Posted By jerry48430:
...I have about 100 new 5 & 6 gal plastic buckets that I might use until I figure out how to do it right. About the only hardware I would need is a vapor lock for the first batch. Most of the kits are plastic anyway.



Yep, no reason why you can't use buckets, lots of people do it ... The limiting factor on the bucket method is how long you want to keep your brew in it ... For a simple Ale they will be fine. Your initial fermentation will be done in a week, give it a few more days for clearing and then bottle and you're good to go.

If you decide that you want to do something with a bit more "OOmph" (like a dopplebock, mead or any lager) you'll probably want to avoid plastic as it can impart a flavor that you don't want.

In any case I'd recommend sticking with Ales at first anyway since they are easier, and quicker to brew and you'll be able to enjoy the fruits of your labor sooner.

BTW: last winter I brewed a Dopplebock for the first time ... it took about 3 months from start to finish but yielded a very strong brew that came in at around 15.5% alcohol


Originally Posted By jerry48430:
...Two questions, 1 what's the low end temp for the fermenting stage, 2 how is the odor. If the odor is to bad I'll have to move to the basement, its unheated.



For an Ale you want to be in the 65-75 degree range ... lagers need to be a bit cooler because they need to sit for a longer period of time. The key to temp is consistency ... You really want to be able to maintain the temperature that it settles at for the duration of fermentation, if you have a cool cellar that is really the best place.

The smell once you're in the fermentation vessel will be fairly nonexistent ... The only time you really get any odors is when you are pasteurizing (not boiling) your wort. The smells here will come from the grains, malt and hops ... Ever driven by a brewery? That's the smell. I think that homebrewing is a great way to understand beer more, before I brewed I had no idea how to identify maltiness vs. hoppiness, when you brew your own you get to smell and see all the ingredients as they go in.
Link Posted: 10/22/2004 7:59:51 AM EST

Originally Posted By jerry48430:
Thanks Fast. Thats very informative and the pics are good. Two questions, 1 what's the low end temp for the fermenting stage, 2 how is the odor. If the odor is to bad I'll have to move to the basement, its unheated.



Do a lager cooler is better.
Link Posted: 10/22/2004 8:04:00 AM EST
This thread should be in the Survival Forum, cause the shtf, if there is no beer
Link Posted: 10/22/2004 8:06:08 AM EST
There was a great show on Food Network about brewing.

Good Eats

A lot of information in a short time. Almost got me back into doing this again.
It ran last week...dunno if it will run again but the link will have the episode number
and you could ask Food Network if they plan on airing it again.
Link Posted: 10/22/2004 12:19:54 PM EST

Originally Posted By jerry48430:
Thanks Fast. Thats very informative and the pics are good. Two questions, 1 what's the low end temp for the fermenting stage, 2 how is the odor. If the odor is to bad I'll have to move to the basement, its unheated.



The bottom end of the acceptable temp range for fermenting ale is 60 degrees. 70 is ideal. Try not to let the temp cycle by more than a couple degrees during the day. Lager is fermented colder, but takes longer and is more touchy in general.

There is no smell from fermenting. The only smell is when you boil the beer (wort). I don't mind it. Some people might. FWIW it seems to dissipate fairly quickly once you're done, as in a couple of hours, vs a couple of days like the toast my wife burnt last week You could do that outside using a turkey cooker style propane heater. Lots of people do. Then move it inside once it's in the fermenting container.

Link Posted: 10/22/2004 12:53:11 PM EST

Originally Posted By Fast351:
You could do that outside using a turkey cooker style propane heater.



That's a damn good idea, I'd never thought of that, I've always used the stove ... I kind of like the smell it gives the house, kinda like potpourri for manly men.
Link Posted: 10/22/2004 2:19:45 PM EST
Hmmm...it's a balmy 62 in my house now lol...so I may have to brew beer in the SPRING!

I'm afraid I'd have a hard time keeping a constant temperature in the house...maybe down here in the basement somewhere might be a little more stable.

Well, I'm kinda psyched...I'm gonnna bust out the credit card in a bit and order something from one of the places recommended. I'm probably gonna start with the Mr.Beer, and go from there.
Link Posted: 10/22/2004 2:49:50 PM EST
I made a lot of beer when I lived in Utah and it was still illegal there to homebrew beer. The law is not really enforced though. Some legislator tried to get the law changed and the mormons threw a tizzy-fit.
Link Posted: 10/22/2004 4:12:31 PM EST
Tagged for later.

Vulcan94


(Dopp­lebock!!! ....15.5% alcohol! )
Link Posted: 10/22/2004 4:42:38 PM EST

Originally Posted By TheWind:
This thread should be in the Survival Forum, cause the shtf, if there is no beer



I agree, it's ocurred to me that, if the zombie plague ever does arrive, the two things I'll miss the most will be beer and fresh eggs.
Link Posted: 10/22/2004 4:48:45 PM EST
Tag.

Hiccough...

Danny
Link Posted: 10/22/2004 4:54:11 PM EST
Tagged.......
Link Posted: 10/22/2004 5:13:56 PM EST
Leads to this:

The Waterford Brewey

It's an all grain system, capable of producing 10 gallons of finished product. It is a two tier system, utilizing a pump to move wort out of the mash-lauter tun (middle vessel) into the brew kettle (right vessel). The hot liquor tank (on left) uses a gravity to sparge through the mash-liquor tun.

The pump can also be used to recirc the wort during mashing.

The stainless steel kegs leaning against the walls are the fermentation vessels.

I haven't brewed in a coupla years. I gotta get rid of this stuff.

Link Posted: 10/22/2004 6:36:47 PM EST
[Last Edit: 10/22/2004 6:37:22 PM EST by llanero]

Originally Posted By entropy:
Leads to this:

The Waterford Brewey

It's an all grain system, capable of producing 10 gallons of finished product. It is a two tier system, utilizing a pump to move wort out of the mash-lauter tun (middle vessel) into the brew kettle (right vessel). The hot liquor tank (on left) uses a gravity to sparge through the mash-liquor tun.

The pump can also be used to recirc the wort during mashing.

The stainless steel kegs leaning against the walls are the fermentation vessels.

I haven't brewed in a coupla years. I gotta get rid of this stuff.

home.nc.rr.com/juanpiedra/brewset.jpg


DAAAYUUUM! That's purdier than a marble top reloading bench!
Link Posted: 10/23/2004 4:17:44 AM EST
Damn entrop, nice setup, How do you clean it all up?
Link Posted: 10/23/2004 5:32:57 AM EST

Originally Posted By jerry48430:
Damn entrop, nice setup, How do you clean it all up?




That part of the issue. The whole process burns up an entire Saturday, and part of a Friday night.

To clean, after (and before) brewing, rinse everything out reall good, then run near boiling water through the system.

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