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Posted: 8/21/2002 9:53:45 AM EDT
Alright, so I finally stopped procrastinating and purchased my own homebrewing kit today. Everything seems straight forward - sanitize, create the wort (in this case, I have a premade wort ready for ->), fermentation, siphoning, bottling, aging, and enjoying. I'm about ready to start making my first batch. Anyone have any age-old brewer's wisdom they'd be willing to pass down to a [newbie]? TIA, the_reject
Link Posted: 8/21/2002 10:05:30 AM EDT
I have only done a few batches so I am not an expert. Make sure you keep everything clean. It is much easier to control the temperature with a gas stove or burner. My next beer related purchase is going to be a gas burner similar to the burners used to fry turkeys. I suggest going with a high-end kit beer for our next batch. Most brewers stores will have a pre-packaged kit with everything you need for a recipe. Don't be discouraged if your first attempt isn't great.
Link Posted: 8/21/2002 10:14:45 AM EDT
Link Posted: 8/21/2002 10:36:47 AM EDT
well first of all you shouldn't brew noobs. they might take offence. second... i dunno i forget.
Link Posted: 8/21/2002 10:53:18 AM EDT
Rule #1 - read the recipe carefully and correctly. Reading tsp. as tbsp. makes for a very messy cleanup when the bottles have become overpressurized. It almost made a grown man cry.
Link Posted: 8/21/2002 11:09:22 AM EDT
Link Posted: 8/21/2002 11:27:21 AM EDT
Never use table sugar for anything. Always use glucose/corn sugar.
Link Posted: 8/21/2002 11:30:05 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/21/2002 1:46:33 PM EDT by llanero]
If you brew long enough, you are gonna have bottles explode on you during conditioning. Really no way around that one. To minimize the effect, I keep the bottles of beer in their original cardboard boxes (I use 22 oz bottles that come in cases of 12) and then place the boxes in a trash bag. The cardboard contains the glass shards and the bag contains the (sniff, sniff...) wasted beer. Good luck, man!!! Oh yeah--Sanitize, Sanitize and Sanitize
Link Posted: 8/21/2002 11:59:19 AM EDT
Just to reiterating whats already been said but cleanliness and sanitization are extremely important, just one small lapse in sanitation will ruin a great batch of brew! But be careful not to accidently let your sanitizor(chlorine,idophor,etc.)come in contact with your wort - not much you can do with of bunch of dead yeast... Get a good hydrometer and thermometer and keep very detailed records of time, temperature, and specific gravity. This is particularly important if you ever want to try and duplicate a batch. Cheers - Homebrewed Stout Forever!!! Terry
Link Posted: 8/21/2002 12:19:25 PM EDT
Make sure your brew has completely fermented out before you prime/bottle. I'd wait until you don't see any more bubbles in the air lock, then wait a few more days longer. If your brew has not completely fermented out when you bottle it it will finish fermenting in your bottles (in addition to the priming sugar)....too much fermenting and your bottles will EXPLODE! Trust ECS on this I know all about exploding bottles [rolleyes]
Link Posted: 8/21/2002 12:27:21 PM EDT
Originally Posted By The_Beer_Slayer:
Originally Posted By MrKandiyohi: Rule #1 - read the recipe carefully and correctly. Reading tsp. as tbsp. makes for a very messy cleanup when the bottles have become overpressurized. It almost made a grown man cry.
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rotflmao! My wife tried to make an apple beer a few year ago. WAY WAY WAY to much suger in the wort. Then she added WAY to much priming sugar. 1 week later about 2am it sounded like the 4th of july in my kitchen. [:D] Damn what a nasty sticky mess.
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HAHAHAHAHA. Man, I don't know a homebrewer that hasn't had that happen. What's really bad is that what little was left tasted really good. Talk about depressed! [BD]
Added tip for bottles. I find that typically i don't drink unless someone is around with me. And we always drank at least a 6 pack. I started saving 2 liter coke bottle and using them. Much easier to clean and easier to transport. I save the beer bottle for gifts. Also the 2l bottles are a little more forgiving for overpressure. Be very careful.... you have embarked on a wondrous journey for the ultimate brew. Only the trully righeous will obtain the golden hopp and find nirvana. [:D]
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Preach on Brother! BeerSlayer, didn't I send you a recipie a long time ago. It was for a dark honey porter. Did you ever make it? I got some righteous recipies i'm working on now. Its going to be my Fall batch. MIerinMD
Link Posted: 8/21/2002 12:27:44 PM EDT
Some good advice. Some not so good. 1st, by lots of Clorox. Clean is good. 2nd, deviate. Be unique. You'll make mistakes but hey, you can usually still drink them to hide them. 3rd, don't use table sugar but you can use other stuff, corn suryp, fructose, and my favorite, honey. Also depending on the brew ferment a little on the cool side, around 65-68 egress F. Buy some yeast hulls, I think it's called ferment spiker. It starts or augments fermentation if it's slow or stops. Last but not least invite me over for some sampling.
Link Posted: 8/21/2002 12:28:18 PM EDT
Do at least 2 or 3 batches of the readymade stuff...where you just have to boil the water, dump the stuff in the plastic thing into the water, mix it, put the hops and stuff until you get the hang of it. Then move up to the next step which is grain. Where I'm at now. Now you have the mash, the grain, possibly some other ingredients, and hops. Not much extra to do. Will probably end up going to the next step after I do a readymade thing I forgot to do last time. Hopefully within another year or two I'll be able to just find a recipe I want and then just make it...[:)] Also, although the rule of thumb is to wait 2 weeks to drink after bottling, I'd recommend at least 3 or 4 weeks. Tastes better anyways the longer you wait. But I've had a few batches that taste like they weren't ready after week 2. And ECS is right, make sure its done. If you're doing ale, it should be done by the 7th day but it won't really hurt if you wait 10. Haven't done Lagers since it gets a little more complicated so hopefully someone could help you from there.
Link Posted: 8/21/2002 12:29:35 PM EDT
Originally Posted By poikilotrm: Never use table sugar for anything. Always use glucose/corn sugar.
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I always use malt for my priming sugar.
Link Posted: 8/21/2002 12:33:14 PM EDT
Originally Posted By llanero: To minimize the effect, I keep the bottles of beer in their original cardboard boxes (I use 22 oz bottles that come in cases of 12) and then place the boxes in a trash bag. The cardboard contains the glass shards and the bag contains the (sniff, sniff...) wasted beer.
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That's a great idea - I'll have to try that one. Here's a question though - is racking between primary and secondary fermentation absolutely necessary, or is it just "preferred"? the_reject
Link Posted: 8/21/2002 12:36:42 PM EDT
Originally Posted By MIerinMD: BeerSlayer, didn't I send you a recipie a long time ago. It was for a dark honey porter. Did you ever make it?
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If you wouldn't mind, I'd [b]LOVE[/b] that recipe. [:D] Well, off to sanitize the primary fermenter and start with my Munich dark lager! the_reject
Link Posted: 8/21/2002 1:04:52 PM EDT
Link Posted: 8/21/2002 1:32:03 PM EDT
I've been wanting to make my own beer and wine for quite a while. I guess I'll have to get to makin it soon. With this many guys into it, theres always someone here who will be able to answer any questions I may have. [beer]
Link Posted: 8/21/2002 1:36:02 PM EDT
Originally Posted By CAPITALIST: I've been wanting to make my own beer and wine for quite a while. I guess I'll have to get to makin it soon. With this many guys into it, theres always someone here who will be able to answer any questions I may have. [beer]
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Since there is a photoshopping forum, maybe we can petition GoatBoy for a brewing forum! [;)] the_reject
Link Posted: 8/21/2002 1:41:04 PM EDT
Link Posted: 8/21/2002 1:53:57 PM EDT
Racking between primary and secondary fermentation is really only necessary if you're using a lager yeast. Lagering a beer involves a sloooow fermentation in lower temps (i usually clear out my fridge, crank up the temp and live out of my girlfriends fridge). Anyway the long exposure the trub at the bottom of the fermenter will give you some "off" flavors that you want to avoid. Using an ale yeast means you can have yer beer ready for conditioning after 2 weeks usually which is best for beginners. Racking during the fermentation period is just adds more chance for wild microbes to contaminate yer brew. BOTOH, the longer the fermentation period, the better the bee will turn out--you just don't want to wait so long that all yer yeast is too far gone for their last task: Conditioning yer brew.
Link Posted: 8/21/2002 2:48:41 PM EDT
To avoid the problems with bottles, buy soda kegs and a CO2 tank. As soon as the beer is done fermenting you can chill it and transfer to the keg. You can then carbonate the beer using the high pressure CO2 and start drinking the next day. Note: Your wife or girlfriend may not be happy when you take the shelves out of the refrigerator to get your keg in.
Link Posted: 8/21/2002 4:51:02 PM EDT
My next project is 15 gals. of beer. 1 30 gal. copper kettle. 25 feet of copper tubing..........
Link Posted: 8/21/2002 4:57:48 PM EDT
Originally Posted By the_reject:
Originally Posted By CAPITALIST: I've been wanting to make my own beer and wine for quite a while. I guess I'll have to get to makin it soon. With this many guys into it, theres always someone here who will be able to answer any questions I may have. [beer]
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Since there is a photoshopping forum, maybe we can petition GoatBoy for a brewing forum! [;)] the_reject
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Sounds like a Kick Ass idea to me. How about it Goatboy?????? [beer][beer][beer]
Link Posted: 8/21/2002 5:03:50 PM EDT
Originally Posted By MIerinMD:
Originally Posted By poikilotrm: Never use table sugar for anything. Always use glucose/corn sugar.
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I always use malt for my priming sugar.
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I use dried malt for fizz to. But next time you make a stong lager, add 1/2 quart of honey, and add an extra bud of fresh aromatic hoppes before setting.
Link Posted: 8/21/2002 5:13:32 PM EDT
tip -> if you're gonna add spices or other flavor enhancers, go very lightly. my friend insisted on adding about three times the amount of cloves i told him to to a batch of stout. it has an aftertaste like vomit. i will be pouring it out soon...
Link Posted: 8/21/2002 7:34:55 PM EDT
Originally Posted By elvez: tip -> if you're gonna add spices or other flavor enhancers, go very lightly. my friend insisted on adding about three times the amount of cloves i told him to to a batch of stout. it has an aftertaste like vomit. i will be pouring it out soon...
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CLOVES?? OUCH! As to the question of a Brewing Forum, I'm all for it. I'll post a couple of good recipies I have. 1) Dark Honey Porter (I've become addicted to this one) 2) Boingo Summer Ale (Very light, with just enough hops to give it the right bite) 3) An Oatmeal Stout (a version of the one in the "The New Complete Joy of Homebrewing" but with a few tweaks that I enjoy) I really enjoy experimenting so I can add a few more as I create them (and test them of course)
Link Posted: 8/21/2002 7:39:31 PM EDT
Originally Posted By the_reject:
Originally Posted By MIerinMD: BeerSlayer, didn't I send you a recipie a long time ago. It was for a dark honey porter. Did you ever make it?
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If you wouldn't mind, I'd [b]LOVE[/b] that recipe. [:D] Well, off to sanitize the primary fermenter and start with my Munich dark lager! the_reject
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Sure. I'll dig it up and post it for you.
Link Posted: 8/22/2002 3:38:33 AM EDT
Thanks! Now we just need to petition for a Brewing forum... [:D] the_reject
Link Posted: 8/22/2002 5:56:20 AM EDT
Originally Posted By JIMBEAM: To avoid the problems with bottles, buy soda kegs and a CO2 tank. As soon as the beer is done fermenting you can chill it and transfer to the keg. You can then carbonate the beer using the high pressure CO2 and start drinking the next day. Note: Your wife or girlfriend may not be happy when you take the shelves out of the refrigerator to get your keg in.
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I had a hard time getting the right pressure for force carbonating, which led to all foam when dispensing. So I tried natural conditioning in the keg, but I couldn't figure out how to prevent the sediment from siphoning off with the beer. Any ideas on either of these?
Link Posted: 8/22/2002 6:33:26 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Bretshooter:
Originally Posted By JIMBEAM: To avoid the problems with bottles, buy soda kegs and a CO2 tank. As soon as the beer is done fermenting you can chill it and transfer to the keg. You can then carbonate the beer using the high pressure CO2 and start drinking the next day. Note: Your wife or girlfriend may not be happy when you take the shelves out of the refrigerator to get your keg in.
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I had a hard time getting the right pressure for force carbonating, which led to all foam when dispensing. So I tried natural conditioning in the keg, but I couldn't figure out how to prevent the sediment from siphoning off with the beer. Any ideas on either of these?
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I'd like to know as well. I have been dying to start kegging (anybody who's had the "joy" of cleaning out umpteen million freaking bottles knows why). Anybody know of a good kegging system that doesn't do what JIMBEAM noted. I was thinking of converting an old dorm fridge (one that is about 2 1/2 to 3 feet tall), cutting a hole in the top for the tap and a hole for the CO2 line. Seal it up and you have a perma-cold keg. Obviously the keg is removable and refillable. Let me know.
Link Posted: 8/22/2002 10:20:14 AM EDT
Basically, I chilled the beer first to clear it up and then siphoned it into the soda keg. Carbonation took about 45 minutes. I charged the keg with appor 40 psi of CO2 and rolled it on the floor for several minutes. Repeated this process 7 or 8 times and then placed it in the fridge under about 25 psi of CO2. Next afternoon I was drinking cold, carbonated homebrews.
Link Posted: 8/22/2002 10:41:04 AM EDT
Originally Posted By JIMBEAM: Basically, I chilled the beer first to clear it up and then siphoned it into the soda keg. Carbonation took about 45 minutes. I charged the keg with appor 40 psi of CO2 and rolled it on the floor for several minutes. Repeated this process 7 or 8 times and then placed it in the fridge under about 25 psi of CO2. Next afternoon I was drinking cold, carbonated homebrews.
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Okay, so you don't prime it? After fermentation stops, you chill it, rack it into your soda keg and pressurize it? Is it that simple? Hmmmmm... gotta try that. *btw - I agree with your sig line. Gotta love the red-headed women!
Link Posted: 8/22/2002 10:59:47 AM EDT
Originally Posted By the_reject:
Originally Posted By MIerinMD: BeerSlayer, didn't I send you a recipie a long time ago. It was for a dark honey porter. Did you ever make it?
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If you wouldn't mind, I'd [b]LOVE[/b] that recipe. [:D] the_reject
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Ask and ye shall recieve: DARK HONEY PORTER Ingredients: 4 lb. can light unhopped malt extract 1 lb. light dried malt extract 1/2lb toasted malted barley (toast at 350 for ten minutes and crack when warm) 1/4lb roasted malted barley 1 lb. Clover honey 1 lb. Munich malt 1 lb. Crystal 40 malt 1 oz. Hallertauer hop pellets 1 oz. Tettnang hop pellets 1 tsp. Irish moss British Ale yeast (Liquid - It's in a pouch that you squeeze to mix yeast with starter. After it's done swelling you pitch it) 1 1/4c dry malt extract for priming 1. Steep grains in hop bag in 1.5 gallons of water at 155 for 30 minutes. Remove grains. *Remember to sparge the grain bag with extra boiling water. There is still plenty of goodies to be extracted. Don't waste!* 2. Add malt extract and honey and bring to a boil. 3. Add 1.5 oz Hallertauer and boil for 15 minutes. 4. Add .5 oz Tettnang and boil for 15 minutes. 5. Add Irish Moss last 15 minutes of boil. 6. Add .5 oz Tettnang for the last 2 minutes of boil. 7. Combine wort with water to make five gallons. There is no need to strain. 8. Pitch yeast when wort temperature is between 70-80 . 7. If using one step fermentation, allow to sit in the fermenter at 65-70 for about 7 days, then use a sanitized hydrometer to ensure that the beer has reached its final gravity. If using two step fermentation, rack to a secondary fermenter (glass carboy) after 5 days and allow to sit for another 10-14 days before bottling. 8. Prime and bottle. When priming, dissolve dry malt extract in two pints of boiling water for 15 minutes. Pour this mixture into the empty bottling bucket and syphon the beer from the fermenter over it. This method ensures that the priming sugar will disperse evenly through your beer. 9. For proper carbonation, store your beer at 75 for at least the first week after bottling. This will allow the yeast to feed on the priming sugar and produce the necessary carbon dioxide needed for carbonation. It's ready to drink, but it will improve if you age your beer another two to three weeks. Enjoy! MIerinMD
Link Posted: 8/22/2002 11:21:57 AM EDT
Great thread guys,go with the outdoor cooker,wife and daughter voted to throw me out after the second batch.Another good book is the "How to for dummies",(the big yellow one)lots of good recipes and "how to's".Bottles are fine for just getting started,but after washing dozons of bottles, I have gone to the soda kegs as well,got them from the local 7up guy,(on the side of course)for less $$.Another thing to watch out for is the dreaded Boil-over,mine seems to happen after the hops have gone in:D.Check this out www.byo.com
Link Posted: 8/22/2002 1:45:43 PM EDT
If you're not already subscribed, check out the Home Brew Digest. Info at [url]www.hbd.org[/url]. Also check out [url]www.brewery.org[/url]. There are a couple of recipe collections and a lot of good beginning & advanced info.
Link Posted: 8/22/2002 2:01:26 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/22/2002 2:02:06 PM EDT by The_Beer_Slayer]
Link Posted: 8/22/2002 2:13:08 PM EDT
Link Posted: 8/22/2002 2:32:07 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/22/2002 2:33:33 PM EDT by raven]
Originally Posted By The_Beer_Slayer: one of my favorites This one will put your dick in the dirt! Rocky Raccoons Crystal Honey Lager
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I always wanted to make that one. I put away the brewkit after some lame failures and exploding apple hefeweizen. If I try again, this is what I'll make. Good to hear someone's made it and I was right about thinking it was good. Reject, a lot of good advice on this thread I had to learn the hard way. You guys are cool.
Link Posted: 8/22/2002 4:52:45 PM EDT
Keep a small bowl of icecubes nearby when cooking your wort. If it starts to boil over, drop an icecube in. Also, go light with the hops for the first few batches. A little hops goes a long way. Relax. Don't worry. Have a homebrew. Charlie Papazian
Link Posted: 8/22/2002 5:35:19 PM EDT
Ahh! A subject near and dear. Here's my setup: [url]http://home.nc.rr.com/juanpiedra/watbrew.htm[/url] Hints: 1. Get out of bottling as soon as you can. Kegging with the soda kegs is the way to go. Prevent "foam overs" by force carbonating at around 20 PSI, and reduce pressure to 5 psi for serving. Sometimes you have to disconnect the outlet line on the keg, as pressure here can cause foaming. Get a second hand fridge for $100 bucks that you can convert to a serving fridge. 2. Get out of using glass carboys for fermenting. These suckers will cut your damn arm or leg off. Use 10 Gal corny kegs, or anything else. 3. Experiment with the kit beers and malt extract stuff, keep reading up on all-grain process. If you like the extract brewing, econsider going to all grain for the following reasons - You will make a better tasting beer with all grain. - This will get you out of the kitchen, and outside - You can brew lighter colored beers and lagers much easier with all-grain - Your batch size will increase from 5 gallons to 10 gallons. - Buying 50 lb sacks of barley gets the neighbors talking. 4. If all grain is too intimidating start with full wort boils, ie get a propane burner, and a 7-10 gal container and boil the full volume of wort, not the concentrated, you will get a better result. 5. Keep everything super clean. 6. Finally, go here, read, and ask questions, it is to homebrewing what ar15.com is to ar-15s. [url]http://hbd.org/forums/messages/board-topics.html[/url]
Link Posted: 8/23/2002 6:40:17 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/23/2002 6:57:09 AM EDT by entropy]
Originally Posted By Bretshooter: I had a hard time getting the right pressure for force carbonating, which led to all foam when dispensing. So I tried natural conditioning in the keg, but I couldn't figure out how to prevent the sediment from siphoning off with the beer. Any ideas on either of these?
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Bretshooter, I get about 13.5 gallons out of my brew kettle, and I primary ferment in (2) 10 gal corny kegs. What I do is cut an inch or so off the bttom of the dip tube that goes to the bottom of the tank. When I finish primary fermentation, I chill the kegs to about 40F. I transfer the primary to 5 gallon serving keg by hooking c02 to input of 10 gal keg, output of 10 gal keg to [b]output[/b] of the 5 gal keg. This leaves all the fermentation residue in the primary. I force carbonate at around 20 PSI, shaking the keg every so often. I then crank pressure back to 5 PSI or so for serving. On some brews, I have foaming problems, normally I solve this by taking off the outlet connection on the serving keg, sometime excess c02 ends up in here. I just hook it back up when ready to serve. I tried keg conditioning, I'm not that patient! I even have given up on secondary fermentation for ales. Still do it for lagers though.
Link Posted: 8/23/2002 7:37:57 AM EDT
Make at least one batch of mead. You might not want to go back to making beer.
Link Posted: 8/23/2002 7:47:18 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Silence: Make at least one batch of mead. You might not want to go back to making beer.
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I plan that for later on in the season. [:D] the_reject
Link Posted: 9/1/2002 1:35:59 PM EDT
Hey entropy, What is a "corny keg"? I have used the carboys, and am always leary of dropping one. I did get a metal handle that clamps to the neck, but it still sucks! Thanks in advance! Bret
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