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sanjuan23
10-03-2006, 05:11 PM
A buddy of mine and I are headed to the local Home Brewing Store. Just wondering if anyone out there has gotten into this fiasco before. Good-Bad-Indifferent? Thanks!

east tx skier
10-03-2006, 05:24 PM
Rule 1. Enjoy the free samples at your LHBS.

I got into it a few years ago. Like anything, you get in for just a little bit of cash, get interested in it, and start upgrading your equipment. Before you know it, you'll be converting deep freezes to kegerators and uttering words like mashtun. It's all good fun though.

M-Funf
10-03-2006, 06:34 PM
I've been brewing for about 10 years. It can be lots of fun as long as you don't get too stressed out about it.

Cleanliness is very important.

Start with a recipe kit from the local supplier.

Start with simple equipment and move up from there if you enjoy it.

Don't stress...have a beer! :toast:

Hoosier Bob
10-03-2006, 06:44 PM
Can you also save some cash? May be an investment around here. Post some pics of the equipment, production and cost per whatever measure you wish. I do not need another hobby but this one may pay for itself!:rolleyes:

M-Funf
10-03-2006, 07:12 PM
Can you also save some cash? May be an investment around here. Post some pics of the equipment, production and cost per whatever measure you wish. I do not need another hobby but this one may pay for itself!:rolleyes:

Your basic equipment kit will run $70 for a basic kit, and around $100 for a deeeelux kit. You'll also need to buy bottles, but they're pretty cheap.

http://www.thebeveragepeople.com/product_images/BN22.jpg

Go to this site to check out prices and other stuff...

The Beverage People (http://www.thebeveragepeople.com/onlinestore.htm)

Ingredient kits for 5 gallons of beer will run $25-35. I think 5 Gallons makes about 50 bottles of beer.

So, let's see...your first batch will run you about...$70+30+10= (takes off shoes to count toes) $110 for the 4+ cases of beer, or just over $25/case.

Your next batch of beer will only cost you $30 (ingredients) which is about $6/case...

Did I miss anything ETS?

I hate...HATE...bottling, so I bought a keg system. I went to the local junk yard and found a 5 gallon soda keg, bought a used CO2 cylinder and regulator from the beer place, and have a setup like this:

http://www.thebeveragepeople.com/product_images/BN30.jpg

It's easier to clean, fill, empty, everything...

Hoosier Bob
10-03-2006, 07:15 PM
That does look cool. How long does it take to brew? Can I wash the millions of bottles I have now?

M-Funf
10-03-2006, 07:24 PM
That does look cool. How long does it take to brew? Can I wash the millions of bottles I have now?

Oh, and I forgot that you need a big pot to brew in. If you can brew over a propane burner outside that's even better. If you've ever had a boilover on your stove you'll know why:o

It takes me one evening to do the whole brewing ordeal and get it into the fermenter. Fermentation depends on the beer your making and conditions, but it takes anywhere from 1-3 weeks...sometimes more.

I guess you could use the bottles you have now, but I guarnatee that once you take the time to clean, fill, and cap those gazzillion bottles just ONCE, you'll be off to buy some 24 oz. bottles or a keg system...

M-Funf
10-03-2006, 07:24 PM
But I thought you drink Gin????

Hoosier Bob
10-03-2006, 07:36 PM
Who me? Beer and beer only unless I am stupid enough to drink something Stevo137 hands me!

M-Funf
10-03-2006, 07:40 PM
Who me? Beer and beer only unless I am stupid enough to drink something Stevo137 hands me!

:uglyhamme: :uglyhamme:

My mistake...

Back OT...beer is pretty easy. The waiting is what kills you. You get the boil done and sit on your arse for three weeks waiting for the fermenting to finish.

I'm working on getting all the nuts and bolts together for distilling some of my beer next...:D

So far, this is what I'm workin' on...
http://www.imagestation.com/picture/sraid216/p489e3e35ff64d6f2e0f1af4b7010b25f/ecb0b251.jpg

east tx skier
10-03-2006, 10:17 PM
Mfunf ...

I think I spent about $150 on the deluxe kit, which came with a bench capper and my first ale kit. I'd say about an hour to get set up and sanitized. An hour and a half for the brew assuming you're seeping some grains for 15 minutes, a while for the cool down (see additional necessary equipment below), and 45 minutes worth of tedious bottling.

2-4 weeks for an ale or about 4 months for a lager.

Kegging is definitely the way to go. Cleaning bottles isn't a big deal if you do it a few at a time as you drink them. Then just santitize in the dishwasher. You can't use screw on type bottles. They have to be pop tops for the crown caps. Plus, you get sediment if you bottle condition, i.e., carbonate in the bottle using a sugar. I bought a used soda eg for $20. The only question is coke (ball lock) or pepsi (pin lock). I went pepsi because that's what they had (and you can count the pins 2 = in, 3 = out). You can force carbonate with the C02. But if you rush it, you'll deal with foam for a week. So it's still about a week or two at 10 psi or so to carbonate. Then turn it down to 5 and serve.

Other than the keg (and kegerator (I love ebay for that)), a wort chiller is so key. I got the imersion variety. Drop it in the wort during the last 15 mintues of the boil. It'll santitize itself. Then bring the pot in and hook the chiller up to the sink (make sure you don't have leaks). Then turn it on gradually. The cold water will take the beer from 160 down to 75 degrees in no time (you have to pitch your yeast at around 75 degrees. The alternative is an ice bath, which takes forever. The more time you waste at this step, the more potential there is for nasty yeasts and bacteria to get in the beer and spoil it.

Cleanliness is key, but just remember they used to make this stuff in Egypt thousands of years ago, so it can't be that important as I don't think they had bleach or iodophor.

Great free resource at www.howtobrew.com.

The Northern Brewer Forum is great, too.

Hoosier Bob
10-03-2006, 10:21 PM
I may need to fly down for some skiing, lawyering and some brewing instructions Doug!

Leroy
10-04-2006, 12:04 AM
Better stock up on your hops.

http://www.cnn.com/2006/US/10/03/hops.fire.ap/index.html

east tx skier
10-04-2006, 10:32 AM
I may need to fly down for some skiing, lawyering and some brewing instructions Doug!

Please do. Bring your orange car with the "01" on it. We're a dry county!

LakePirate
10-04-2006, 10:47 AM
I just don't get you Texas guys. The practically give Shiner Bock away at the bars and you want to brew your own.:confused:

M-Funf
10-04-2006, 10:49 AM
Better stock up on your hops.

http://www.cnn.com/2006/US/10/03/hops.fire.ap/index.html

That's O.K...I grow my own:rolleyes:

Tryin-again
10-04-2006, 10:59 AM
I just don't get you Texas guys. The practically give Shiner Bock away at the bars and you want to brew your own.:confused:


I had a buddy do the brewing deal - I kind of felt the same as you Lake..


Also, I would finish weeks worth of work in a few hours...so it just ain't practical... but to each his own.....;)

sanjuan23
10-04-2006, 11:03 AM
I just don't get you Texas guys. The practically give Shiner Bock away at the bars and you want to brew your own.:confused:

Confusing misconception you would think that while the bock is brewed just to the south of me it would be considered a domestic at the bars, etc. Nope still pay import prices for a Texas Beer. What gives:(

east tx skier
10-04-2006, 11:05 AM
I just don't get you Texas guys. The practically give Shiner Bock away at the bars and you want to brew your own.:confused:

The nearest place to buy a six pack (apart from bars and restaurants) is about a 25 minute drive (each way). If I drive that far, I buy a keg. My brewing hobby arose out of a desire to never be without beer, having tied one on, and then needing to drive a long way to get more.

LakePirate
10-04-2006, 11:21 AM
Confusing misconception you would think that while the bock is brewed just to the south of me it would be considered a domestic at the bars, etc. Nope still pay import prices for a Texas Beer. What gives:(


I thought we only got treated like that in Georgia.

From experience, albiet, only in Houston, every bar/resturant was running a special on Shiner. 2$ pitchers.


I can understand not wanting to make the half-in-the-bag beer run Eastie. You just have to be more prepared. What does a keg of Shiner run you?

ntidsl
10-04-2006, 11:53 AM
quarter barrels of Samuel Adams always on tap in my basement...I have a TRUE kegerator bought new 2 months agao and I love getting home...I run downstairs grab a frozen mug and pull the lever...I love it...its going to be a great winter!!! I have 4.5 tons of firewood cut and split and a new kegerator...I'm like a kid at Christmas!!!!

east tx skier
10-04-2006, 12:38 PM
I thought we only got treated like that in Georgia.

From experience, albiet, only in Houston, every bar/resturant was running a special on Shiner. 2$ pitchers.


I can understand not wanting to make the half-in-the-bag beer run Eastie. You just have to be more prepared. What does a keg of Shiner run you?

About $160 for a 1/2 Barrel of Dos Equis. I think Shiner is about the same. We got $1 pitches of Shiner in Park City in 2001. They'd bought it to try it and nobody wanted it.

Around here, it's listed with the better beers on the menu. A buddy of mine who was living in D.C. about five years or so ago told me that a local bar called the Austin Grill had Shiner and Lone Star on tap for $4.50. :eek3:

Way back when, you couldn't give Shiner away in Texas. Of course, that's what's now referred to as Shiner Blonde. Thank lots of musicians in Austin (and the Spoetzel brewery being distributed by the Gambrinas people) for Shiner's ultimate success and title of best selling bock beer in America.

east tx skier
10-04-2006, 12:39 PM
quarter barrels of Samuel Adams always on tap in my basement...I have a TRUE kegerator bought new 2 months agao and I love getting home...I run downstairs grab a frozen mug and pull the lever...I love it...its going to be a great winter!!! I have 4.5 tons of firewood cut and split and a new kegerator...I'm like a kid at Christmas!!!!

Mine's a true kegerator, too. It's a summit purchased via ebay from a guy in Dallas who developed a drinking problem and needed to unload it before it got worse. I was glad to do him the favor.

Harvey
09-26-2008, 12:48 PM
OK I got bit by the bug! I am about halfway through my first two cases of brew. It is an excellent ale brewed from kit. I just brewed my second batch last sunday. I found that a $35 outdoor crawfish broiler/turkey fryer is my new best friend. It gives me unbelievable temperature control, as well as a stable outdoor platform to brew. I find it a bit of a challenge in cooling it quickly to 75 degrees to pitch my yeast but I have been successful enough to cool it in less than 1 hour.

I brewed a Hefeweizen this time around, wife's favorite flavor, and it has been fermenting about a week now. I see what you guys are talking about with the bottling and how contagious it can be. I am already thinking about kegging.

captain planet
09-26-2008, 01:58 PM
OK I got bit by the bug! I am about halfway through my first two cases of brew. It is an excellent ale brewed from kit. I just brewed my second batch last sunday. I found that a $35 outdoor crawfish broiler/turkey fryer is my new best friend. It gives me unbelievable temperature control, as well as a stable outdoor platform to brew. I find it a bit of a challenge in cooling it quickly to 75 degrees to pitch my yeast but I have been successful enough to cool it in less than 1 hour.

I brewed a Hefeweizen this time around, wife's favorite flavor, and it has been fermenting about a week now. I see what you guys are talking about with the bottling and how contagious it can be. I am already thinking about kegging.

Get yourself a coil of copper tubing, about 1/4 or 3/16 and configure it like a double helix. Then get a fitting to attach a garden hose to it. Set it up so you can install the coil inside your wort kettle, run cold water through it, and have the water discharge OUTSIDE your wort kettle. When you have about 15 minutes of boiling your wort left, put the coil inside the wort with the garden hose attached. Watch out because any water inside the coil is going to start to boil and spit out the end of the coil.

When done with your boil, turn the hose on and let the water run through the coil and into your sink, or driveway, or whereever you are boiling. My buddy and I brew in old stainless steel kegs and we can get 12 to 13 gallons of wort down to 75-80 degrees in about 15 minutes.

M-Funf
09-26-2008, 02:40 PM
Yup, what he said. You need a wort chiller. They look like this and can be purchased for about $60-80

40673

brucemac
09-26-2008, 02:49 PM
i used too. not any more. don't have the time. way way way too much cleaning. :)

all grain mash brew is superior.

it was fun for a while and the rewards were sweet.

my brother still brews. he can do two half barrels in about 8-9 hours, including clean up. but then you have to rack it post fermentation and guess what, clean some more. i don't miss cleaning carboys at all. he has a glycol wrapped fermenter too that he can do lagers in. he's quite good at it.

that reminds me, i was going to do a hard apple cider for halloween...mmhhhh...little champagne yeast...good stuff 8p

east tx skier
09-26-2008, 08:52 PM
i used too. not any more. don't have the time. way way way too much cleaning. :)

all grain mash brew is superior.

it was fun for a while and the rewards were sweet.

my brother still brews. he can do two half barrels in about 8-9 hours, including clean up. but then you have to rack it post fermentation and guess what, clean some more. i don't miss cleaning carboys at all. he has a glycol wrapped fermenter too that he can do lagers in. he's quite good at it.

that reminds me, i was going to do a hard apple cider for halloween...mmhhhh...little champagne yeast...good stuff 8p

Went all grain in May and haven't looked back. Absolutely fantastic hobby that I've sampled the rewards of no more than 5 times this evening!

brucemac
09-26-2008, 09:00 PM
right on eastie. yeah, there's no comparison. :)

east tx skier
09-26-2008, 10:36 PM
Yeah, thrown way too much money into equipment, but having a ball with it and the beer quality is astronomically better.

Willski
09-26-2008, 11:53 PM
Kind of funny, my bro bought me a kit years ago, and I did use it once. I want to do it again, not for the cost savings or anything, but just for the sense of accomplisment. It is like a drunken science experiment.

ggroller
09-27-2008, 08:05 AM
I've been brewing for 4 years.

Lots of fun to create your own stuff

east tx skier
09-27-2008, 11:37 AM
Kind of funny, my bro bought me a kit years ago, and I did use it once. I want to do it again, not for the cost savings or anything, but just for the sense of accomplisment. It is like a drunken science experiment.

www.howtobrew.com

Don't follow the directions on the kit. Read this!

Harvey
09-29-2008, 02:02 PM
www.howtobrew.com

Don't follow the directions on the kit. Read this!

I studied this site a ton before I brewed my first batch. It has all the knowledge a beginner could ever need. I also found my local brew shop owner to be a great resources as well.

My wife and I are huge beer lovers and so this is not only fun but a little cheaper as well. I figured with as many breweries as we have been to we ought to brew at home.

east tx skier
09-29-2008, 08:19 PM
I studied this site a ton before I brewed my first batch. It has all the knowledge a beginner could ever need. I also found my local brew shop owner to be a great resources as well.

My wife and I are huge beer lovers and so this is not only fun but a little cheaper as well. I figured with as many breweries as we have been to we ought to brew at home.

Also, www.thebrewingnetwork.com

The podcasts are addictive.

Jamil Z's "Classic Styles" book is about the only recipe book I think I'll ever need from here forward.

TX.X-30 fan
09-29-2008, 08:28 PM
Also, www.thebrewingnetwork.com

The podcasts are addictive.

Jamil Z's "Classic Styles" book is about the only recipe book I think I'll ever need from here forward.





Was he with MC Hammer. :confused:

east tx skier
09-30-2008, 08:40 PM
Was he with MC Hammer. :confused:

No, I just couldn't remember how to spell Zainasheff. He wrote that book with John Palmer, who wrote the "How to Brew" book.

dapicatti
09-30-2008, 08:44 PM
Eastie- how are the Texas hops doing?

east tx skier
09-30-2008, 09:05 PM
It's my first year so I wasn't expecting much. I thought 3 of my 4 plants were toast and the one that was alive wasn't putting out flowers. Well, in the last week or so, the Sterling started sprouting flowers and 2 of the other three have started coming back and one or two of them is showing some flowers.

Will harvest within the next month. Keeping my fingers crossed.

Bought a pound of German Hallertaur last month to get me through next year.

dapicatti
10-01-2008, 01:35 AM
Nice. I'd love to hear how they do in your climate.....

captain planet
08-19-2009, 08:48 AM
I was a little short of my goal...I think. I wanted to brew enough beer to last the entire summer. I started the summer with 12 cases of home brew (5 different varieties) and am now down to 2 cases. I don't think I am going to make it to Labor Day. :o8p I may actually have to BUY beer.

Anybody have a good Octoberfest recipe?

east tx skier
08-19-2009, 10:50 AM
I was a little short of my goal...I think. I wanted to brew enough beer to last the entire summer. I started the summer with 12 cases of home brew (5 different varieties) and am now down to 2 cases. I don't think I am going to make it to Labor Day. :o8p I may actually have to BUY beer.

Anybody have a good Octoberfest recipe?

Hunt down the book "Brewing Classic Styles" by Jamil Zainasheff (sp) and John Palmer. I've brewed a ton of recipes out of this book and they are gold. Jamil is the most award winning home brewer in the country.

Google Beer DeJure. A lot of his recipes are up there.

I'm not a huge fan of Marzen though, so I haven't brewed his.

I had to break down and buy beer mid summer. I've sinced upgraded my system to do 10 gallon batches and am working to get back ahead. Been on antibiotics this week, so I've been dry. Looking forward to Friday!

Here's my new setup. The 15 gallon cornie is my fermenter. Ignore the not MC in the background. :)

http://lh3.ggpht.com/_1gl9obJSimU/SkuB67cIGEI/AAAAAAAACWU/cT6gUprgyIg/s800/BS2.0.jpg

east tx skier
08-19-2009, 10:53 AM
Nice. I'd love to hear how they do in your climate.....

This was after a few weeks. They hate the heat. I will transplant to the ground for next year. But I think the pot was they way to do it the first year.

These are Mt. Hood. My Mt. Hood from last year sprouted about 3 weeks ago and is doing well.

No flowers yet though from either of them. :(

http://lh6.ggpht.com/_1gl9obJSimU/ShyvR7vSGzI/AAAAAAAACP8/eLkP9NK3CeQ/s576/PICT0002%20%282%29.JPG

Ric
08-19-2009, 10:54 AM
gratuitous N pic! from East Tx Grower

Hunt down the book "Brewing Classic Styles" by Jamil Zainasheff (sp) and John Palmer. I've brewed a ton of recipes out of this book and they are gold. Jamil is the most award winning home brewer in the country.

Google Beer DeJure. A lot of his recipes are up there.

I'm not a huge fan of Marzen though, so I haven't brewed his.

I had to break down and buy beer mid summer. I've sinced upgraded my system to do 10 gallon batches and am working to get back ahead. Been on antibiotics this week, so I've been dry. Looking forward to Friday!

Here's my new setup. The 15 gallon cornie is my fermenter. Ignore the not MC in the background. :)

http://lh3.ggpht.com/_1gl9obJSimU/SkuB67cIGEI/AAAAAAAACWU/cT6gUprgyIg/s800/BS2.0.jpg

captain planet
08-19-2009, 11:29 AM
Nice set up eastie. My college roomate who got me into brewing is looking to make himself a similar set up. What kind of pump is that? I'm assuming it can handle 180 degree water and is food grade?

I will look into those books you suggested. My local brewing supplier is a great source for information and can match most recipes.

east tx skier
08-19-2009, 11:35 AM
Nice set up eastie. My college roomate who got me into brewing is looking to make himself a similar set up. What kind of pump is that? I'm assuming it can handle 180 degree water and is food grade?

I will look into those books you suggested. My local brewing supplier is a great source for information and can match most recipes.

Just sketched it up and had a local guy weld it (then reweld it). If I'd gotten it right the first time, it would've been around $400 total. Not unreasonable when you consider what the commercially produced sculptures go for. What I needed was a folding stand. So that's what we did. Folds into a 23"x23" space.

M-Funf
08-19-2009, 11:47 AM
This was after a few weeks. They hate the heat. I will transplant to the ground for next year. But I think the pot was they way to do it the first year.

These are Mt. Hood. My Mt. Hood from last year sprouted about 3 weeks ago and is doing well.

No flowers yet though from either of them. :(

http://lh6.ggpht.com/_1gl9obJSimU/ShyvR7vSGzI/AAAAAAAACP8/eLkP9NK3CeQ/s576/PICT0002%20%282%29.JPG

I don't think Hops likes to be grown in a pot. Mine is growing taller and fuller, but not much flower production. Before the flowers start to really go, the bottom of the plant is already dying off. I don't know if it's because of the heat, or the lack of soil, but I know it's frustrating.

50717

east tx skier
08-19-2009, 01:23 PM
I'm watering almost daily. My pots are the 20 gallon variety (nursery planter). If let go, those root balls can go down to something like 20'. I think pots are great for the first year, but a transplant is probably in order.

captain planet
11-23-2009, 10:46 AM
I Currently have a Brown Ale and a Honey Porter in the fermenters. Hopefully they will both be ready for the holidays and college bowl season. The brown ale will be ready, the porter is a question-mark.

east tx skier
11-23-2009, 02:34 PM
10 gallons of Cal common will be ready to keg the Tuesday after Thanksgiving. 5 gallons of pale ale and 5 gallons of Classic American Pilsener are on tap. Munich Dunkel to be brewed some time in December.

captain planet
11-23-2009, 02:56 PM
I'm planning on brewing again around December 5th. Looking to try something my wife will like. She likes my Belgian wit beer (blue moon). It's a little fruity for me, but OK. She likes pumpkin brew in the fall so I may try that. Ever made any pumpkin beer?

east tx skier
11-23-2009, 02:58 PM
No, but I got an advance tasting of St. Arnold's Divine Reserve #9, a 10% pumpkin stout. Very tasty.

I've gotten the most family acclaim for my Munich Helles. Served it at this year's family reunion and got raves, even from those from whom I wouldn't have expected it.

captain planet
11-23-2009, 03:10 PM
No, but I got an advance tasting of St. Arnold's Divine Reserve #9, a 10% pumpkin stout. Very tasty.

I've gotten the most family acclaim for my Munich Helles. Served it at this year's family reunion and got raves, even from those from whom I wouldn't have expected it.

What style of beer is that and is the recipe comlicated?

east tx skier
11-23-2009, 04:02 PM
What style of beer is that and is the recipe comlicated?

Light German Lager. Malty and not overly bitter.

Roughly 85% German Pils Malt, 10% Munich Malt, 5% Dextrine Malt. Some add Melanoidin malt to simulate decoction mashing. Mash at 150. Single bittering hop addition at 60 minutes. Ferment with a large starter of WLP 830 or similar at 50 degrees for one month.

flyingskibiker
11-23-2009, 04:10 PM
Light German Lager. Malty and not overly bitter.

Roughly 85% German Pils Malt, 10% Munich Malt, 5% Dextrine Malt. Some add Melanoidin malt to simulate decoction mashing. Mash at 150. Single bittering hop addition at 60 minutes. Ferment with a large starter of WLP 830 or similar at 50 degrees for one month.

I would love to brew a lager. But I don't have the temperature control to do it...

east tx skier
11-23-2009, 04:14 PM
I would love to brew a lager. But I don't have the temperature control to do it...

I've got an old Johnson Controls Analog temp controller. The probe has a little patina on it, but the unit was functioning fine (and has as long as I've owned it) when I replaced it with a dual stage controller. For what it's worth, I'm sure the patina could be cleaned from the probe. Literally plug and play on any fridge or freezer. Make me an offer.

Stock photo

http://www.beveragefactory.com/images/tn2_large_a19aat-2c070809120350.jpg

Jousigwow
11-26-2009, 04:56 PM
No offense to your GF, but a better more useful kit can be bought for about the same price.

With that said, however, if you dont like Mr Beer, you probably wont like brewing beer with any equipment, so it is an easy entry into the hobby.

flyingskibiker
11-27-2009, 02:02 PM
I've got an old Johnson Controls Analog temp controller. The probe has a little patina on it, but the unit was functioning fine (and has as long as I've owned it) when I replaced it with a dual stage controller. For what it's worth, I'm sure the patina could be cleaned from the probe. Literally plug and play on any fridge or freezer. Make me an offer.

Stock photo

http://www.beveragefactory.com/images/tn2_large_a19aat-2c070809120350.jpg

Thanks for the offer! I probably SHOULDN'T pass up on it, but I'm going to have to. Just not good timing for me right now. Unemployed and all... I wouldn't know what it's worth in order to make a legitimate offer, anyway (OK, I could do a google search).

east tx skier
11-27-2009, 03:11 PM
I think the new ones are selling in the mid $50's. But if you aren't employed, I think the right decision is to pass on something like this that is about as far from a necessity as I can imagine.