home brew

Hey everyone, I just started brewing my own beer (my first batch has been fermenting for approx 2 days). I was wondering if anyone else home brews?
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Comments

  • sanesane Posts: 151
    I've been wanting to get into it, a good friend just moved down the street from me and he is a very good brewer.

    He just made an excellent wet hops Belgium.
  • Stryker808Stryker808 Posts: 269
    Home Brewing is where its at!  You have the tools in your hand to create the best beer to fit your tastes.  At first I followed the instructions and recipes to a tee.  However, just like good cooking, you have to have experience, feel, taste, and an experimental attitude.  Once you figure out whats going on, don't be afraid to experiment with different hops, timing on adding the hops, etc.  It makes a big difference in taste, but you start to understand what each part of the process and what each ingredient adds to the total package.  Then you can start to make your own recipes.  You will really appriciate beer more now.  Happy Brewing man!!
  • Home brewer here too. I typically do wine but sometimes do beer as well. I come from an old Italian family and a lot of us brew at home and then trade our recent projects on holidays. And Stryker is right, really the only thing that matters in the instructions is to make sure you sanitize things so you get alcohol instead of rot.
  • dep691dep691 Posts: 311
    Ask Madurofan, I believe he was thinking about dabling in it. Not sure how far he got into it though.
  • madurofanmadurofan Posts: 6,152
    I'm still thinking about it, I bought the books and have perused the local home brew USA store numerous times. Just haven't been ready to drop $200 for the "starter kit" yet. Soon though, the neighbor and I are probably going to go in together and get the kit.
  • zoom6zoomzoom6zoom Posts: 1,214
    I've been brewing for a few years. Right now I've got a batch of hard cider ready to keg, and a batch of mead about to start.

    Maddy, you can get a starter kit for a lot less than $200 - for that money you can get everything you need to brew AND keg. A basic kit will go for around eighty bucks. Look at http://morebeer.com/ or http://www.northernbrewer.com

    I'd also invite you to check out the forums at www.realbeer.com - lots of amateurs and even some professional brewers there. You'll find me under the same username.
  • madurofanmadurofan Posts: 6,152
    I know you can get one for less but this kit includes everything to make 5 gallons and all the bottles. It also comes with everythign to make two batches of my choosing.
  • madurofanmadurofan Posts: 6,152
    I know you can get one for less but this kit includes everything to make 5 gallons and all the bottles. It also comes with everythign to make two batches of my choosing. I'll definetly check out realbeer.com thanks for the heads up zoom.
  • zoom6zoomzoom6zoom Posts: 1,214
    I guess that's not a bad deal then if it includes two recipe kits... especially if it includes glass carboys or "better bottles" plastic carboys rather than just buckets (although there should be a bottling bucket, one with a spigot works best. And of course you're not paying shipping. I've never had a chance to check that shop out when I've been down that way.

    I don't bottle much anymore, everything goes straight into soda kegs. For a while I used a Tap-A-Draft system but it's been collecting dust for a while, I need to sell it off. My current setup can support four 5-gallon soda kegs on tap at the same time; currently on tap are a keg of my cider, Sweet Cherry Stout, and some Classic Lager (from Blue & Gray Brewing in Fredericksburg - they'll fill a corny keg for $40, a bit more for seasonals).
  • I always wanted to get a keg, the main thing that keeps me mostly doing wine instead of beer is just my hatred for bottling. I just put the wine into glass gallon jugs and stash it in the cellar for a few months. I need to get my stuff out and make another batch.
  • ScramblerScrambler Posts: 746 ✭✭
    I've decided I'm going to dabble in home brewing/fermenting. I think I'm going to start by making some hard cider.

    Costco.com has a kit that looks decent. It's a bit pricier than other kits around, but it comes with ingredients for a batch of Cabernet, and the price includes shipping. I'm gonna try a local store first, but I might just get that kit.
  • Jetmech_63Jetmech_63 Posts: 3,454 ✭✭✭
    Damn Scram, how did i miss this post? Midwestsupplies.com is where i get all of my stuff from. And the people are extremely helpful and knowledgable. I'll have some applejack in the mail to you tomorrow, it's fresh off the still and i cut it with some traditional freeze distilled stuff, it's still a bit edgy(Read: it's a mother effin barn burner) but it will mellow over time, throw it over ice and you're good to go. I like it strong though ;)
  • ScramblerScrambler Posts: 746 ✭✭
    Thanks, midwestsupplies.com looks pretty cool. Shipping cost on carboys and bottles is gonna suck though. There is supposedly a local brew supply store opening soon, the closest one I have found now is 90 mins away.
  • zoom6zoomzoom6zoom Posts: 1,214
    Cider's easy to start with because you don't need to do any boiling or anything. I start with regular apple cider (Zeigler's is what I can get in my area). Check the ingredients, make sure it just lists "apples". If there is pottassium sorbate or anything else, fermentation will be inhibited. In the past I've used Red Star dry Cotes du Blanc yeast, this year I'm using a liquid cider yeast. Some folks use Nottingham or Champagne yeast, this will give you a much dryer (less sweet) finished product. Be aware that you may get a distinct sulphur odor during initial fermentation.
  • zoom6zoomzoom6zoom Posts: 1,214
    Scrambler, I've got a few friends who use the poly 5 gal water cooler bottles, they work fine and you can find them almost anywhere. I've never bought new bottles, they are usually easy enough to find for free from friends, just look for non-screw offs; you can usually score as many as you want from your local pub free for the asking, too.
  • ScramblerScrambler Posts: 746 ✭✭
    Yeah, I decided I'm not gonna order any bottles. I'll just ask my bartenders to set them aside instead of chucking them in the trash.

    I'm gonna look around for some PET water cooler bottles, but I'll probably buy one glass carboy too.
  • ScramblerScrambler Posts: 746 ✭✭
    So, as with most hobbies, I went ahead and spent way more money that I really needed to. $300.82 later I'm all set. I'll be making 6 gallons of California Cabernet and 6 gallons of Apfelwein, some of which will possibly become a sparkling hard cider, some will remain a still wine, and some might get fortified into an apple brandy. I ended up with a glass carboy and a better bottle, as well as the plastic bucket fermenter. I'll post up here or start a new thread with results as they come.
  • Seriously, it's sooooooooo easy you'll wonder why you ever paid for it The only problem is the time involved, but as long as you keep brewing it's not really an issue.
  • bandyt09bandyt09 AKA Mr. Barley & Mr. HopsPosts: 4,339 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I Just finished brewing up a batch of Winter Ale. Been doing this for just less than a year now and about to start expanding on the kits. In August brewed up a Belgium Hef and it was fantastic. A friend of a friends wife, who is not a beer drinker, took down 3 bottles in a 45 minute time period so that gives a brewer quite a rush. Not looking to take it beyond a hobby though. Nothing is better than enjoying a great smoke with a bottle of your own brew, live doesn't get much better than that.
  • ScramblerScrambler Posts: 746 ✭✭
    I just started the cider. We'll see how it comes out.
  • zoom6zoomzoom6zoom Posts: 1,214
    dont worry if you get a bit of sulphur smell from the fermenting cider, it's normal.
  • Jetmech_63Jetmech_63 Posts: 3,454 ✭✭✭
    For me the worst part is the waiting and resisting the urge to open it up and look at it LOL, nevermind the smell, it's no where near what it'll taste like. What yeast did you use Scram? All my stuff gone yet :)
  • ScramblerScrambler Posts: 746 ✭✭
    I still have about 1/4 of what you sent me. It would be all gone, but I decided to ration the last bit.

    I used the Cote Des Blancs yeast, 5 gallons of whole foods brand juice (the cloudy stuff, with just juice and vitamin c), and 6 lbs of brown sugar. I got my glass carboy before the shipment with the bucket fermenter, so I just used that. Helps a bit with the urge to look at it.
  • ScramblerScrambler Posts: 746 ✭✭
    Apparently today was the perfect day to make my first batch of hooch, since today is the 75th anniversary of the end of prohibition.
  • madurofanmadurofan Posts: 6,152
    Scrambler:
    Apparently today was the perfect day to make my first batch of hooch, since today is the 75th anniversary of the end of prohibition.
    Way to celebrate! lol
  • kaspera79kaspera79 Posts: 7,259 ✭✭✭
    Scrambler:
    Apparently today was the perfect day to make my first batch of hooch, since today is the 75th anniversary of the end of prohibition.
    Thanks to FDR. Hey Scram, Did they teach you that at Mixology College ? That is a great bit of knowledge.. Now let's all have a drink to celebrate.
  • gmill880gmill880 Posts: 5,947
    cheers
  • Jetmech_63Jetmech_63 Posts: 3,454 ✭✭✭
    Hey Scram, how goes the brew?
  • ScramblerScrambler Posts: 746 ✭✭
    Still bubbling away. The bubbles have slowed a bit, maybe every 4-6 seconds instead of every 3, but still going.

    I'm going out of town for a few days this weekend, I was hoping it would be ready to rack by then so I could take a little with me, but I may just let it sit until I get back.
  • ScramblerScrambler Posts: 746 ✭✭
    Fermentation has stopped. When I get a chance I'm going to rack it into a clean carboy, then let it age a while. Since I have 5 gallons of juice in 6 gallon bottle, do I need to worry about the airspace at the top of the bottle? If so, I can put it back into the gallon bottles instead.
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