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Thread: Home Brewing

  1. #1

    Home Brewing

    I've posted a little about this in a beer thread, but I was wondering who out there does this regularly. I'm just getting into it and I really think it ties in to the DIY attitude and Liberty living.

    And Here's the thing. It's EASY!

    I'd love to see others' pics, tricks, recipes, and tips to better brew.

    I just recently started a Belgian style Dubbel beer. It is still in the fermenter awaiting transer to a secondary fermenter at the end of the week...(hopefully).


    What I learned from starting this hobby is you need to get a basic starter kit, so I've compiled a list for anyone who wants to start out at novice level. Novice meaning Extract brewing.

    Beginner Kit:

    5 gal Stainless steel Brew Pot
    Large S/S Brew Spoon or Brew Paddle
    Brewing Thermometer
    Fermentation Bucket w/ liquid crystal thermometer
    Bottling Bucket w/ Spigot and tubing
    bottle wand
    Auto-Siphon w/ tubing
    Glass Carboy w/ rubber stopper for Airlock
    Bottles (brown)
    Bottle Caps
    Bottle Capper
    Bottle cleaning brush
    Carboy cleaning brush
    Star-San sanitizing solution (absolute essential as any bad bacteria will destroy a batch of beer)
    Airlock
    Priming Sugar (Corn Sugar for bottling)

    ingredients for the style you wish to make.


    Not essential but helpful:

    Hydrometer with hydrometer jar - Calculates when your beer has completed fermentation and Alcohol content(for figuring your alcohol content)

    Propane burner w/ stand; Gas heats large amounts of water more quickly than a conventional countertop stove.

    10 Gal Brewpot: For making Big Batches. You will need this size if you move to All Grain brewing


    Links to Homebrewing Resources:

    http://www.homebrewtalk.com/ Forums with recipes and all homebrew related issues; I've had dozens of complications answered here. Also has links for Soda and other drinks.

    http://www.howtobrew.com/intro.html How to Homebrew Directions - John Palmer (one of the pioneers of the hobby)

    http://byo.com/resources Homebrewing Resource guides: Yeasts, Grains, Hops descriptions to help create your own recipes

    http://www.mrmalty.com/yeast.htm Yeast strains and what Beers they are from

    http://beeradvocate.com/beer/style Beer Advocate Beer styles and ratings of Craft beer.

    http://www.brewtarget.org/ - FREE Homebrewing Software. Great for making your own recipes and it's FREE!

    http://beersmith.com/ - Homebrewing software. Great resource but it's not free.

    https://www.brewtoad.com/ - Home brewing recipes, tools and forums for homebrewing.


    Equipment, kits, Ingredients: Northern Brewer and Midwest tend to have the Freshest ingredients.

    http://www.northernbrewer.com/?gclid...FUdbfgodDSIAoQ

    http://www.midwestsupplies.com/

    http://www.homebrewing.org/

    http://www.mrbeer.com/

    http://www.brewersbestkits.com/

    http://monsterbrew.com/

    Books:

    How to Brew - John Palmer

    The Complte Joy of Homebrewing - Charlie Papazian

    Homebrewing for Dummies - Marty Nachel


    Videos:







    http://www.youtube.com/user/CraigTube



    Brewing Hard Cider:



    How to Harvest Yeast for Future Use


    Homebrewing Recipe Builder
    Last edited by Todd; 12-21-2014 at 05:13 PM.
    Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect - Mark Twain



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  3. #2
    Very cool, thanks for the list. All I've "brewed" thus far is soda, but I've been thinking about getting into beer and wine, but haven't been sure where to start. I have a wine-making book, but it seems complicated and a bit overwhelming to me at this point. Your list is a good place to start!

  4. #3
    How much would a starter kit cost, ballpark?

    I've wanted to get into this for years but I worry I'm gonna spend way too much on equipment and then only do it a few times before I get bored with it and give up.
    Waiting for the day the classical liberals drive the hateful alt-right out of the republican party, and the libertarians can rise again.

  5. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by brandon View Post
    How much would a starter kit cost, ballpark?

    I've wanted to get into this for years but I worry I'm gonna spend way too much on equipment and then only do it a few times before I get bored with it and give up.

    Buy a beginner kit. It comes with basic stuff and ingredients to do one batch. Once you make your first brew with it, you have about 80% of the things you need to go on to intermediate. The only additional things you will probably need to brew it is a Stainless brew pot and big spoon.

    My wife got me this several years back and I'm still using most of the hardware. It's about $130 to $150

    http://www.monsterbrew.com/Prod_NewB...AutoSiphon.cfm

    It's a basic Amber style.

    I've heard that Mr. Beer has some really delicious kits, but their fermenting vessel doesn't hold a 5 Gal batch.
    Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect - Mark Twain

  6. #5
    If you are gonna just use recycled bottles instead of buying bottles; I always like the sierra nevadas best as they are short and fit in the dishwasher. If buying bottles then I recommend the 24oz, saves some time.

    I did 1 batch/month up until my kid was 1+yr and walking. now I just don't have the time or energy. I do have a few bottles I brewed that have aged a few years now still in my beer cellar and they are still good and unskunked.
    Last edited by specsaregood; 09-24-2013 at 09:49 AM.

  7. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Todd View Post
    Buy a beginner kit. It comes with basic stuff and ingredients to do one batch. Once you make your first brew with it, you have about 80% of the things you need to go on to intermediate. The only additional things you will probably need to brew it is a Stainless brew pot and big spoon.

    My wife got me this several years back and I'm still using most of the hardware. It's about $130 to $150

    http://www.monsterbrew.com/Prod_NewB...AutoSiphon.cfm

    It's a basic Amber style.

    I've heard that Mr. Beer has some really delicious kits, but their fermenting vessel doesn't hold a 5 Gal batch.
    Thanks for the link. I may end up ordering that in a couple weeks. Will post results.
    Waiting for the day the classical liberals drive the hateful alt-right out of the republican party, and the libertarians can rise again.

  8. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by calendula View Post
    Very cool, thanks for the list. All I've "brewed" thus far is soda, but I've been thinking about getting into beer and wine, but haven't been sure where to start. I have a wine-making book, but it seems complicated and a bit overwhelming to me at this point. Your list is a good place to start!
    I've been told the basic wine kits are more simple than the beer ones, if that helps. The price seems crazy until you realize that you are going to get about 30 bottles of wine out of the kit. Which comes out to about $5 to $8 a bottle.
    Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect - Mark Twain

  9. #8
    If you want to just try it out, I have made some excellent beer with Mr. Beer... It costs less than $50. You don't make very much, but you get a good idea of the process and what you can do.
    "He's talkin' to his gut like it's a person!!" -me
    "dumpster diving isn't professional." - angelatc


    "Each of us must choose which course of action we should take: education, conventional political action, or even peaceful civil disobedience to bring about necessary changes. But let it not be said that we did nothing." - Ron Paul

    "Paul said "the wave of the future" is a coalition of anti-authoritarian progressive Democrats and libertarian Republicans in Congress opposed to domestic surveillance, opposed to starting new wars and in favor of ending the so-called War on Drugs."



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  11. #9
    I'm doing my first batch of hard cider this year. I'll let you know more as I get into it. Apples are off the tree

    'We endorse the idea of voluntarism; self-responsibility: Family, friends, and churches to solve problems, rather than saying that some monolithic government is going to make you take care of yourself and be a better person. It's a preposterous notion: It never worked, it never will. The government can't make you a better person; it can't make you follow good habits.' - Ron Paul 1988

    Awareness is the Root of Liberation Revolution is Action upon Revelation

    'Resistance and Disobedience in Economic Activity is the Most Moral Human Action Possible' - SEK3

    Flectere si nequeo superos, Acheronta movebo.

    ...the familiar ritual of institutional self-absolution...
    ...for protecting them, by mock trial, from punishment...


  12. #10


    My Belgian in a bath of cool water to keep the fermenting temps lower.
    Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect - Mark Twain

  13. #11
    I started home brewing about a year ago, when my brother got me a Mr. Beer kit for my birthday. IMO, this is a very good way to become familiar with the process and workflow of making beer (or wine). I haven't brewed as much as I've wanted to, but I will be brewing more 4 more batches in the Mr. Beer fermenter (called Little Brown Keg or LBK) over the next 15 weeks, and then investing in a 5 gallon system.

    Here is the 5 gallon kit I will most likely buy: http://morebeer.com/products/persona...-deluxe-1.html
    Note that it's not a complete kit, but has almost everything.

    My Witbier is fermenting nicely. Those Belgian yeast sure know how to party.


    Here's what I'm planning
    Blackberry ale
    White IPA
    Random Ale from left over Mr Beer ingredients.
    Presence's Apple Jack

  14. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Root View Post
    IMy Witbier is fermenting nicely. Those Belgian yeast sure know how to party.
    Yes they do.....once they get going.

    Lesson learned from this go around is that I'd better aerate the wort better or make a good yeast starter before I put the yeast in the fermenter. I started this on Wednesday Sep 18 and it didn't kick in until VERY early Sunday morning while I slept. I was out of town and couldn't do anything about it but the wife sent me a picture of it going crazy. I just hope it didn't become infected because of the 72 hr + slow start and that it ate all that candi sugar I put in.....or else I'm going to be drinking Kool aide beer.
    Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect - Mark Twain

  15. #13
    What are ideal fermenting temperatures?
    Waiting for the day the classical liberals drive the hateful alt-right out of the republican party, and the libertarians can rise again.

  16. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by brandon View Post
    What are ideal fermenting temperatures?
    Cooler generally; but it depends on the type of yeast/bear. eg: lagers are fermented at very cool/refrigerated temperatures.
    I did most of my ales in the basement at around 70F (which would be considered almost too high).
    Versus a saison, which was a beer brewed in france during the summer and likes hot temperatures.

    If the temperature gets too warm, you'll get some funkiness where the yeast puts off unwanted tastes; often banana-y.
    Last edited by specsaregood; 09-25-2013 at 02:17 PM.

  17. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by brandon View Post
    What are ideal fermenting temperatures?
    You can actually get different types of yeast that are better for different temps, but room temperature is optimal for most yeasts on the market afaik.
    "He's talkin' to his gut like it's a person!!" -me
    "dumpster diving isn't professional." - angelatc


    "Each of us must choose which course of action we should take: education, conventional political action, or even peaceful civil disobedience to bring about necessary changes. But let it not be said that we did nothing." - Ron Paul

    "Paul said "the wave of the future" is a coalition of anti-authoritarian progressive Democrats and libertarian Republicans in Congress opposed to domestic surveillance, opposed to starting new wars and in favor of ending the so-called War on Drugs."

  18. #16
    Interesting. So for example, in the summer I don't run the AC during the day and my temps can fluctuate from 90 midday to 68 overnight. I guess that would be a bad environment for brewing?
    Waiting for the day the classical liberals drive the hateful alt-right out of the republican party, and the libertarians can rise again.



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  20. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by brandon View Post
    Interesting. So for example, in the summer I don't run the AC during the day and my temps can fluctuate from 90 midday to 68 overnight. I guess that would be a bad environment for brewing?
    Well it depends on the yeast. Some yeasts/beer types do better in heat. That might be the time to brew a saison.
    But aside from that, summer inside isn't necessarily ideal for beer brewing because you have to boil the stuff. I wouldn't brew in my house during the summer simply because of that reason, it would make the house sweltering.

  21. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Root View Post
    Presence's Apple Jack
    Are you swatting me?







    No where did I mean insinuate you should freeze your hard cider




    'We endorse the idea of voluntarism; self-responsibility: Family, friends, and churches to solve problems, rather than saying that some monolithic government is going to make you take care of yourself and be a better person. It's a preposterous notion: It never worked, it never will. The government can't make you a better person; it can't make you follow good habits.' - Ron Paul 1988

    Awareness is the Root of Liberation Revolution is Action upon Revelation

    'Resistance and Disobedience in Economic Activity is the Most Moral Human Action Possible' - SEK3

    Flectere si nequeo superos, Acheronta movebo.

    ...the familiar ritual of institutional self-absolution...
    ...for protecting them, by mock trial, from punishment...


  22. #19
    oooh....

    Just got my free catalog in the mail from Northern Brewer: 800-681-BREW

    MEGAPOT 1.2 is a masterpiece!

    'We endorse the idea of voluntarism; self-responsibility: Family, friends, and churches to solve problems, rather than saying that some monolithic government is going to make you take care of yourself and be a better person. It's a preposterous notion: It never worked, it never will. The government can't make you a better person; it can't make you follow good habits.' - Ron Paul 1988

    Awareness is the Root of Liberation Revolution is Action upon Revelation

    'Resistance and Disobedience in Economic Activity is the Most Moral Human Action Possible' - SEK3

    Flectere si nequeo superos, Acheronta movebo.

    ...the familiar ritual of institutional self-absolution...
    ...for protecting them, by mock trial, from punishment...


  23. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by presence View Post
    Are you swatting me?







    No where did I mean insinuate you should freeze your hard cider



    No sir. I think the idea brilliant and the Mr Beer keg fermenter is perfect for this application once I move up to 5 gallon batches.

  24. #21
    Here's another thread about homebrewing that was started several years ago.

    I guess I've been brewing for 5 years now. My friend and I have been using this same setup for most of that time. These days we'll brew 120 gallons of beer or more a year.



    Liberty is for all; privileges are for none.

  25. #22
    Transferred the Dubbel to secondary tonight. Got a reading of 1.014 for the Gravity. That means I probably have about a 7.5% Alcohol beer. I know it's a picture of my John.. but that's the only place my wife will let me mess around with my brew. LOL......

    [IMG][/IMG]
    Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect - Mark Twain

  26. #23
    I'm probably getting ahead of myself, but I tried to harvest yeast tonight. The yeast for the Dubbel was $7. So it can get kind of expensive. I had read and watched videos on harvesting your own if you intend to do other batches in a short period of time.

    You boil and sterilize water and the containers you will collect your yeast in. It is very important that the water is sterile and cooled to around room temperature....or you could kill the yeast.

    Then you "wash" your yeast. This bucket is a mixture of the beer, yeast and left over waste. Your object is to separate out the crap. To do this you mix all the left over yeast and junk in the bucket with the cooled sterile water. Then you pour it into one or several other sterile containers. I used mason jars. After about 20 minutes you can see separation of layers in the jars. Then you simply decant off the top portions (which should be just a small layer of beer and a healthy layer of yeast into other sterile containers and leave the bottom dark crappy layer behind. (this is called the Trub) You then put it in the Frig for several weeks. Some say up to 3 months. I dunno yet cause I've never done it. If I decide to make this style again or another which calls for this particular yeast, I have about triple what I began with.


    [IMG][/IMG]
    Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect - Mark Twain

  27. #24
    Looks like a great beer you've got going there Todd! How long to you anticipate you will ferment in the secondary? I'm not motivated enough to harvest yeast. I'm interested to hear how it works out for you.



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  29. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by Root View Post
    Looks like a great beer you've got going there Todd! How long to you anticipate you will ferment in the secondary? I'm not motivated enough to harvest yeast. I'm interested to hear how it works out for you.
    I'm going to bottle this next Saturday/Sunday. Some leave these styles in Secondary for up to a month. I'm not really experienced enough yet to understand the ins and outs of long term secondary fermentation. At this point, I'm just hoping to have made a decent tasting beer which at least resembles the style I was after. I'll get the nuances later.

    I think I harvested the yeast correctly. This was the jar in the fridge this morning after it settled. That thin bottom creamy layer is my Abbey yeast and everything above is a just water and beer.

    [IMG][/IMG]
    Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect - Mark Twain

  30. #26
    Bottled the Dubbel Saturday. It smelled really nice, so now just waiting 3 weeks for the carbonation and conditioning in the bottle.
    Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect - Mark Twain

  31. #27
    I made my first prototype labels last night.




  32. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by Root View Post
    I made my first prototype labels last night.
    Nice.
    Liberty is lost through complacency and a subservient mindset. When we accept or even welcome automobile checkpoints, random searches, mandatory identification cards, and paramilitary police in our streets, we have lost a vital part of our American heritage. America was born of protest, revolution, and mistrust of government. Subservient societies neither maintain nor deserve freedom for long.
    Ron Paul 2004

    Registered Ron Paul supporter # 2202
    It's all about Freedom

  33. #29
    I encourage people to try making mead (honey wine). I've done it off and on since about 2005 with reasonably good results. I make the best product when I keep it simple (experimentation is difficult with mead because you have to wait so long before you know how it worked out). One thing about mead: age is your friend. I've made several batches of mead that tasted like what you would imagine gasoline to taste like, but a year of bulk aging made a very good wine (I've since learned to ferment at lower temperatures which helps). While honey is pricey, it stores indefinitely (and good prices can be had for quality honey in bulk). Also, one of the best wines I made was fermented with both honey and peaches, so honey wines do very well with fruit (called "melomels"). Blackberries is another fruit that I like with honey wine. However, a good dry honey wine is hard to beat. It's easy to make, but it takes time. A couple of carboys, honey, water, perhaps some nutrient, a little acid blend helps sometimes, and a good wine yeast and time. You might be surprised how good it can be, and there is a great deal of variation possible.
    “The beginning of wisdom is to call things by their proper name.” - Confucius.
    "When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men living together in society, they create for themselves in the course of time a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that glorifies it." - Frederic Bastiat
    "Being well adjusted to a sick society is not a measure of health." - Jiddu Krishnamurti

  34. #30

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