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Author Topic: Home Brew  (Read 11682 times)
buzzbee
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« on: November 08, 2009, 12:02:55 PM »

I have been dabbling a bit and wondered how many here might make some of their own wine and/or beer?
  I have been making a couple basic wines and got my kegging stuff and started a 5 gallon batch of beer.
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tshnc01
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« Reply #1 on: November 08, 2009, 02:22:29 PM »

I have made mead and cider a few times, and just this summer started brewing beer (I have brewed two batches so far).  It seems brewing with malt extracts (vs. grains) is pretty simple as long as you make sure to sanitize everything well.  The hard part is waiting for it to be drinkable, but at least with beer, it is only about 1 month....

...Tim
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« Reply #2 on: November 08, 2009, 06:01:37 PM »

Back when I had spare time I brewed alot.  Once you get the hang of it, all-grain is the cheapest and highest quality.  Sanitation is the key.  The startup cost is kind of intimidating but if you love beer (like me grin) it will pay for itself pretty fast.  I'm set up for ten gallon batches and kegs and can produce top quality beers similar to newcastle or bass for around thirty cents a beer not including equipment costs. 
I also made fruit wine and a few batches of mead but it wasn't as exiting as beer.
The big problem for me is that I know how to make REEEALLY GOOOD BEEER and I go to work just after midnight and those two things do not go well together. Cry  Thank God I don't have time to do it anymore. Wink
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danno
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« Reply #3 on: November 09, 2009, 08:04:39 AM »

Been making wine for a couple of decades and beer for a few years.  All extract with specialty grains so far but have been working on a 3 stage all grain for this coming winter.  Have a friend that is also going to try all grain so we can split 50# bags of grain.  That will bring the price way down.   I have 2 keg refers.  One large one that holds 4 corny kegs. 
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buzzbee
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« Reply #4 on: November 09, 2009, 06:18:12 PM »

I have a spiced winter ale in the carboy right now. I have five carnys for whatever and 1 dedicated to soda. My winter ale was an extract kit with specialty grains. I will try a few batches or more depending,and may move to an  all grain.
I have a carboy with raspberry wine bubbling along with a carboy of peach.
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Mason
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« Reply #5 on: November 09, 2009, 08:03:25 PM »

A friend that is a home brewer is as good as a friend with a boat

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« Reply #6 on: November 10, 2009, 02:45:03 AM »

I am always wanting to get into home brew, but all the home brewers I know became alkies.
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buzzbee
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« Reply #7 on: November 14, 2009, 10:09:51 PM »

Oddly enough all alkies don't become homebrewers!
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fermentedhiker
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« Reply #8 on: November 15, 2009, 08:54:11 AM »

I've been making wine of various kinds(both from kits and from fresh fruit) for years.  Probably make  15 to 20 gallons a year now.  I've been wanting to try beer as well.  I'm thinking of trying my hand at a stout or dark lager recipe this winter.
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« Reply #9 on: November 15, 2009, 09:23:51 AM »

I've tried blackberry and blueberry wine - it turned out ok. I tried Sake - I got it too warm and it turned to vinegar.
I have a beer book and it seems complicated. Though I'd like to make a nice strong beer for my friends here in America who have dealt with weak beer all their lives and didn't know it. (I got challenged to keep up with 8% molsen in Canada - what a night that was.)
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« Reply #10 on: November 16, 2009, 07:31:25 AM »

I've been making wine of various kinds(both from kits and from fresh fruit) for years.  Probably make  15 to 20 gallons a year now.  I've been wanting to try beer as well.  I'm thinking of trying my hand at a stout or dark lager recipe this winter.

lagers take a more equipment. mainly it needs to be femented at frig temps.  My friends that make it use chest freezers with electric thermostat that keep them at 45deg.  Ales are easy as long as you keep everything clean and are fremented at about 70
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phill
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« Reply #11 on: November 16, 2009, 08:13:08 AM »

Another home brewer here.

I suppose there are home brewers with alcohol problems. Those problems are widespread. But I'd think that brewing would discourage heavy drinking. When you make your own beer/ale, you want to savor it, not guzzle it. That's what I've found anyway.

The great fun of brewing is tinkering with the recipe. You taste a batch, and wonder what it would be like with a different kind of hops, or a bit of some specialty grain. Every batch tastes good, but you're always working to make it better. You can vary with the seasons, too: a lighter brew for summer, richer tastes for winter. The frustration, of course, is that once you've altered the recipe, you've got to wait a month (more or less) to find out how it came out.

Sanitation is the key to success, as someone said upstream. You've got to be absolutely ruthless about cleansing all equipment-- and especially the bottles. There are a couple of stages-- the bottling process, notably-- where it's a lot easier if you have extra hands. I've found that I can usually bribe a friend or two to help, offering them a jar or two of Batch A while we bottle Batch B. Then of course they'll want to know when Batch B is being opened.

Yes, you lay out some $$$ initially for the equipment. But then you're brewing exactly what you like, with high-quality ingredients, for about the price of Budweiser.

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« Reply #12 on: November 16, 2009, 08:25:52 AM »

My Grandpa whos parents came here from germany told me 40+ years ago.  Boy there isn't a beer big enough to pick up more that 2 times.  That guy loved his beer.  home brew isn't the same.  Most is heavier and is better sipped.  As stated,  sanitation  is the most important part.  I dont bottle.  I use Corny kegs first washed with hot water and oxi clean.   I then seal them up and pump them full of iodine sanitizer.  When its time to fill them I blow the iodine out with co2, then siphon from the carboy right into the sealed keg.  I then force carbonate
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nella
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« Reply #13 on: November 16, 2009, 09:21:20 AM »

To clean and sanitise carboys and bottles, I put 2oz. of Clorox in 5 gallons of water, let set until glass is clean. It takes about 24 hrs or longer until they are clean on the inside, then rinse with water until there is no Clorox oder and they are ready to use. I have been doing this for many years and never had a problem with reinfections.
« Last Edit: November 16, 2009, 10:24:53 AM by nella » Logged
danno
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« Reply #14 on: November 16, 2009, 09:30:12 AM »

bleach works well but need to be rinsed which could cause reinfection and cant be used on stainless.  This is the best stuff out there because it doesn't need rinsing.   http://homebrewheaven.com/
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« Reply #15 on: November 16, 2009, 02:37:11 PM »

Bleach is cheap.

There is a tool called a bottle washer that hooks to a kitchen sink.  This allows to rinse the bottle very good and fast.  It's a must have tool for home brewing.  I have not done it in years but recently had a friend get into it.  I gave him all of my remaining equipment and some Grolshe bottles and a few 2 liter growlers.  Those are great for home brew because you don't need a capper. 

Talk about the gift that keeps on giving.  It's great!  He always hooks me up with a six pack or two of every batch.  He certainly doesn't have a problem with me returning his bottles for refills.

You average malt kits turn out some pretty fine beer and better than just about anything you can buy in a store.
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buzzbee
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« Reply #16 on: November 17, 2009, 07:27:24 AM »

I racked my spiced ale into a secondary fermenter to free up my primary.I gave it a taste when checking the gravity and it is coming along nicely.
  I recently have had Bud American Ale and liked it very much. I have found a malt extract clone and ordered it. When it gets here my primary will be back to work!!   Cheers!!

As far as sanitizing,Star san is easy and not very expensive. It is safe on stainless too!
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buzzbee
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« Reply #17 on: January 10, 2010, 03:04:02 PM »

R & R  today!! This is a Red Ale I brewed in early November.


« Last Edit: January 10, 2010, 06:19:52 PM by buzzbee » Logged
David LaFerney
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« Reply #18 on: January 10, 2010, 05:54:10 PM »

Bleach is cheap.

You average malt kits turn out some pretty fine beer and better than just about anything you can buy in a store.

I agree.  I soak mine in bleach solution then rinse with a bottle washer, and drain them on a tree until dry, and I've never had a bottle go bad.  I've made whole batches that you could barely stand to drink (over hopped) but nothing because of sanitation.   Usually it's good enough to give as Christmas gifts.  I make a dark ale once and bottled it in old Coke bottles - excellent reusable bottles BTW - looked just like cola.  Had to watch out for my bottles though.
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buzzbee
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« Reply #19 on: January 10, 2010, 06:18:18 PM »

I kegged my Bud American Ale clone today,added the priming sugar and will wait about three weeks and chill that baby. I cant wait to sample it cold and carbed. The stuff tasted good that I was putting in the keg.
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