Author Topic: Home Brew discussion  (Read 61295 times)

tomq04

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Home Brew discussion
« on: February 22, 2014, 08:49:22 PM »
Did some searching and saw no dedicated home brew thread, thought this might start.  Direct me elsewhere if i'm wrong.

I did a batch of basic "hopped up" Amber Feb 1 and racked it today into it's keg, will start carbonating Monday (ran out of co2) and will be drinkable next weekend.

Was a bit watery, hoping that the extra week will fill it out.

What are you guys brewing?

swiper

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Re: Home Brew discussion
« Reply #1 on: February 22, 2014, 09:01:50 PM »
I've got a first attempt at wine making going on. Starting with a Zinfandel: https://plus.google.com/118377364589183354775/posts/eKY4znh2hZg


horsepoor

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Re: Home Brew discussion
« Reply #2 on: February 22, 2014, 09:05:25 PM »
Thanks for starting this!  The Want to Buy Beer thread got me curious about some of the cost-savings strategies like reusing yeast.  We've home brewed off and on for a few years now, but have been a little disappointed in the cost savings.  Last spring I planted hops, and got enough for a 5 gallon batch, which did cut costs.  Taking another $7 off for the yeast packet would make it pretty cost effective.

I am actually liking doing hard cider more than beer, lately.  It's easier and cheaper, and I like my dry cider better than the mostly sickly sweet stuff available in the stores (Crispin is the only one I like now that I'm a cider snob).  Once my apple trees mature, cider will be a VERY cost effective beverage.  One of my trees is a bitter cider variety, so I'm excited to see what it will produce.

Current homebrew waiting to be bottled is an Imperial stout. This will be the third batch of more or less the same beer.  I like it because A) it is cost effective when considering how much a 4 or 6-pack of comparable beer costs, and B) it ages really nicely.  I'm still a malt extract brewer.  One of these days I will make myself a mash tun and get into all-grain... maybe...

The one I'm drinking right now was supposed to be and IPA, but it turned out more like a cross between Fat Tire and maybe a nut brown ale.  It's actually kind of nice, but not at all what I was expecting.  However, I'm too cheap/lazy to follow most recipes to the T, so I'm open to variation and surprises.

tomq04

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Re: Home Brew discussion
« Reply #3 on: February 22, 2014, 10:03:26 PM »
I tried a batch of home grown cider from a co-worker (spent all day picking and pressing...somewhat fun!) and I ended up with 5 gallons of the most delicious apple cider vinegar ever (i just threw it all out today :( ).

I believe my problems occured due to sanitation of the carboy and lack of a proper airlock...  go over the steps in case i'm dumb.

1.) Sanitize fermenter
2.) Add cider (if using store bought, ensure it doesn't have any bad additives)
3.) Add fermenting sugar & yeast, and cinnamon if you are so inclined.
4.) Wait 2 weeks
5.) Keg or Bottle
6.) Wait 1 more week
7.) enjoy?

horsepoor

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Re: Home Brew discussion
« Reply #4 on: February 22, 2014, 10:11:47 PM »
You might try pasteurizing the cider first.  I think it's 160F.  Then cool it and add the yeast (I use champagne yeast).  Put on the airlock.  I ferment mine long and cool - like 2 months in primary, then rack into secondary with some fresh apple juice, and let it go for another couple months in secondary.

The batch I did this year, I did not pasteurize, and had no problems.  Year before I did pasteurize.  Product is about the same.

I do my sanitizing with white vinegar, but it sounds like you might have more wild yeasts where you live, so perhaps a bleach solution is needed to ensure sanitation.

Too bad you threw out the ACV.  Raw, organic ACV is a great health food and costs like $20 a gallon!

Russ

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Re: Home Brew discussion
« Reply #5 on: February 22, 2014, 10:28:49 PM »
I tried a batch of home grown cider from a co-worker (spent all day picking and pressing...somewhat fun!) and I ended up with 5 gallons of the most delicious apple cider vinegar ever (i just threw it all out today :( ).

I believe my problems occured due to sanitation of the carboy and lack of a proper airlock...  go over the steps in case i'm dumb.

1.) Sanitize fermenter
2.) Add cider (if using store bought, ensure it doesn't have any bad additives)
3.) Add fermenting sugar & yeast, and cinnamon if you are so inclined.
4.) Wait 2 weeks
5.) Keg or Bottle
6.) Wait 1 more week
7.) enjoy?

if your booze has turned to vinegar, it's because bacteria have eaten the alcohol and turned it into acetic acid.

ethanol + O2 -> acetobacter -> acid +H2O

Obviously you want to keep the alcohol, so get rid of the bacteria by pasteurizing (so long as you don't mind killing the wild yeast from the apples) and sanitizing, and minimize contact with air

tomq04

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Re: Home Brew discussion
« Reply #6 on: February 22, 2014, 11:45:41 PM »
We pasteurized at the same time we pressed, cooled it, jugged it, brought it home and placed in sanitized carboy.  I suspect my problem involved my air hose.  Went and checked it week 2 and it had been "blown out" and the car boy sat with no lock for who knows how long, week worst case.   Tasted good to me at that point, but I thought it needed more time.  Couple months later it was vinegar.  Should have kegged it, but likely would have had same result at that point.

What's the best way to keep it semi sweet?  Or perhaps re-sweeten it?  My first thought would be just to add a pump of simple syrup to the glass after pouring so I don't have I deal with reactivating the yeast.

lithy

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Re: Home Brew discussion
« Reply #7 on: February 23, 2014, 06:42:43 AM »
I work professionally as a brewer and thus rarely brew at home anymore, but I'm more than happy to try to help with any questions (keep in mind though, I'm no expert...yet!).

I made this post a little while back with the specific thought of doing home brew as economically as possible.

http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/forum/share-your-badassity/opened-my-first-batch-of-brew-and-it-was-good/msg182573/#msg182573

markstache

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tomq04

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Re: Home Brew discussion
« Reply #9 on: February 23, 2014, 10:35:51 PM »
Ok gang, I need some kegging carbonation help.  I need the beer mentioned previously carbonated by Saturday.  It's kegged and sealed, I'm going to go buy co2 tomorrow, in theory I need it to be at 12 PSI for my style and temperature and hose length.  Do I set it to 12 and forget it?  Or set to 30 and rock it a few times and then set to 12 for the rest of the week?

12 until Friday and taste, if weak then force carb?  I'm really unsure since I've never done this at all.

Thanks for pointers

b4u2

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Re: Home Brew discussion
« Reply #10 on: February 24, 2014, 06:37:58 AM »
has anyone tried to make their own vodka? I have fructose malabsorption so I have been thinking about trying my hand at my own potato vodka. Any tips?

Russ

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Re: Home Brew discussion
« Reply #11 on: February 24, 2014, 06:41:39 AM »
has anyone tried to make their own vodka? I have fructose malabsorption so I have been thinking about trying my hand at my own potato vodka. Any tips?

tip #1, don't tell anybody 'cause it's pretty illegal

Russ

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Re: Home Brew discussion
« Reply #12 on: February 24, 2014, 06:43:18 AM »
a quick web search turned up this which appears to be pretty informative:
http://homedistiller.org/

tomq04

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Re: Home Brew discussion
« Reply #13 on: February 24, 2014, 07:14:35 AM »
a quick web search turned up this which appears to be pretty informative:
http://homedistiller.org/

NSA'D!!!!

Russ

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Re: Home Brew discussion
« Reply #14 on: February 24, 2014, 08:17:00 AM »
OW, MY RIGHT TO SECURITY AGAINST UNREASONABLE SEARCH!!!!

TreeWeezel

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Re: Home Brew discussion
« Reply #15 on: February 24, 2014, 09:13:31 AM »
Homebrewing is cool because you choose your own degree of difficulty.  Most extreme-mustache would be all-grain brewing on equipment you made yourself.  But all you need to do to get started with a cider is dump AJ in a sanitized carboy and let the yeast do its magic.  I think the juice itself matters a lot less than it does with wine.

The hardest things to do are to make a cider sweeter, and an extract-brewed beer drier.  You can use great ingredients and great recipes, but you can't control fermentation like the commercial operations.

lithy

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Re: Home Brew discussion
« Reply #16 on: February 24, 2014, 05:51:59 PM »
Ok gang, I need some kegging carbonation help.  I need the beer mentioned previously carbonated by Saturday.  It's kegged and sealed, I'm going to go buy co2 tomorrow, in theory I need it to be at 12 PSI for my style and temperature and hose length.  Do I set it to 12 and forget it?  Or set to 30 and rock it a few times and then set to 12 for the rest of the week?

12 until Friday and taste, if weak then force carb?  I'm really unsure since I've never done this at all.

Thanks for pointers

Since you have several days I would just set it to 12 psi (maybe 15) and rock it for a minute once every day except for Saturday.

Pull some off at the end of the day Friday to see how it is.  If you really need more carb, then you can bump the CO2 pressure up and give it a good few minutes of shaking and let it settle overnight before serving on Saturday.

The biggest problem with starting high is that it is just very imprecise.  Your beer will have some residual CO2 just from fermentation and at 35 degrees and 30 psi of CO2 you can easily get the beer up to 3 volumes of CO2 pretty quickly.  Sometimes you can eventually get a 'feel' for it, but I still prefer slow carbonation.

the fixer

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Re: Home Brew discussion
« Reply #17 on: February 25, 2014, 09:58:01 AM »
Homebrewing is cool because you choose your own degree of difficulty.  Most extreme-mustache would be all-grain brewing on equipment you made yourself.  But all you need to do to get started with a cider is dump AJ in a sanitized carboy and let the yeast do its magic.  I think the juice itself matters a lot less than it does with wine.
I was experimenting with this over the fall, and I got better results with fermenting store-bought cider than with store-bought apple juice. I was bottling and drinking it green, though; it's possible if you age it until dry that the taste would be harder to distinguish.

CanuckStache

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Re: Home Brew discussion
« Reply #18 on: February 25, 2014, 10:11:14 AM »
Im' super tempted to try cider. I'm in the Okanagan Valley in BC, surrounded by orchards. I can get some of the best juice in the world right next door, so why not give it a shot?

Just started a batch of win fore the first time too...we'll see how it turns out. I inherited all the equipment from my dad so start up cost has been basically zero.

Cromacster

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Re: Home Brew discussion
« Reply #19 on: February 25, 2014, 10:12:26 AM »
I haven't done it in a while, but from what I remember, to make the best hard cider from store sources, its best to look for unpasteurized and preservative free.  It might just need to be preservative free for best results.

Apple juice or cider bought right from an orchard or farmers market might be your best bet.

the fixer

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Re: Home Brew discussion
« Reply #20 on: February 25, 2014, 10:29:00 AM »
I haven't done it in a while, but from what I remember, to make the best hard cider from store sources, its best to look for unpasteurized and preservative free.  It might just need to be preservative free for best results.

Apple juice or cider bought right from an orchard or farmers market might be your best bet.
What I did was wild-ferment the pasteurized juice and cider I bought by sticking slices of apple in it. This should reintroduce the enzymes and bacteria that were killed off by pasteurization. I didn't check on how much preservatives were in the apple juice (pretty sure it was organic though for what that's worth), but the cider I bought later was definitely much better quality.

I'm not sure where you'd buy unpasteurized cider other than straight from an orchard:
Unpasteurized cider + time + airlock == hard cider.
Unpasteurized cider + time == apple cider vinegar.
Unpasteurized cider + time + seal == bomb.
...so it's not something easy to store.

Cromacster

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Re: Home Brew discussion
« Reply #21 on: February 25, 2014, 11:01:12 AM »
I haven't done it in a while, but from what I remember, to make the best hard cider from store sources, its best to look for unpasteurized and preservative free.  It might just need to be preservative free for best results.

Apple juice or cider bought right from an orchard or farmers market might be your best bet.
What I did was wild-ferment the pasteurized juice and cider I bought by sticking slices of apple in it. This should reintroduce the enzymes and bacteria that were killed off by pasteurization. I didn't check on how much preservatives were in the apple juice (pretty sure it was organic though for what that's worth), but the cider I bought later was definitely much better quality.

I'm not sure where you'd buy unpasteurized cider other than straight from an orchard:
Unpasteurized cider + time + airlock == hard cider.
Unpasteurized cider + time == apple cider vinegar.
Unpasteurized cider + time + seal == bomb.
...so it's not something easy to store.

The only time I've bought unpasteurized is from farmers markets and orchards.  I guess you probably can't get it in stores.

Organic juices/ciders can probably still have preservatives in them, unless your buying preservative free.

PantsOnFire

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Re: Home Brew discussion
« Reply #22 on: February 26, 2014, 09:01:14 AM »
The hardest things to do are to make a cider sweeter, and an extract-brewed beer drier.  You can use great ingredients and great recipes, but you can't control fermentation like the commercial operations.
I think that's a misleading statement.  Those things may pose problems for some novices but I wouldn't say they are the hardest things in brewing by a long shot. 

You certainly can control fermentation like the commercial operations, and in fact homebrewers can have MORE control because brewing at home doesn't have to be profitable.  Some commercial operations (DFH for example) will take risks on one-offs that may or may not make money, but they still have to prop up their bottom line with the staples that are more or less guaranteed to bring in enough money to keep the lights on.  In mainstream breweries, the thought of introducing wild yeasts, lacto, brett, etc. is verboten--too much liability for contamination of other product lines.  Not so in a homebrew setting where you can simply have a $10 bucket dedicated to sours and keep it away from your conventional brews. 

Sweetening cider can be accomplished a variety of ways.  If the cider is already finished, you can backsweeten--just add Splenda (or some other non-fermentable or partially-fermentable sweetener).  If fermentation is chugging along and your desired residual sweetness has been achieved, add potassium sorbate to halt fermentation.  If you are still in the designing phase you can simply select a more appropriate yeast with a lower alcohol tolerance so that fermentation will cease while residual sugars still remain.  Or, conversely you can add less-fermentable sugars such as molasses, dark brown sugar, etc. which will leave some sweetness behind when fermentation has been completed.  You can reduce fermentation temperature to reduce attenuation, following up with Campden and/or filtering to keep yeast from reproducing in the packaged product and continuing fermentation.  Or any combination of the above. 

Getting better attenuation from extract brews is also not insurmountably hard.  Even if you are forced into using a yeast with low attenuation due to recipe guidelines, there are workarounds.  Supplemental yeast nutrient, proper wort oxygenation, fermentation temps, etc. all factor in and are not just matters of chance.  For problematic recipes that tend to finish too high, I often increase temperature after the initial surge of primary fermentation.  This keeps the fruity esters down at appropriate levels for the style (most of these would be produced during the peak of fermentation activity), but allows for more complete fermentation.  There is also no shame in adjusting a recipe and replacing some of the extract with more highly fermentable sugars if getting a lower FG is a priority.  Many people will add yeast with a super high attenuation at the tail end of primary fermentation to shave off those last few gravity points, while still getting the flavor characteristics from the primary yeast. 

WARD

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Re: Home Brew discussion
« Reply #23 on: February 27, 2014, 02:12:38 PM »
Search EDWORTS APFELWEIN...MMM (yummy, not MR MONEY MUSTACHE).   Age it six months in the primary and then bottle.   Backsweeten or just mix with sprite for sweetness.  Cold crash is enough, or pasturized after 2 months or so to allow some sweetness to remain.

Spork

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Re: Home Brew discussion
« Reply #24 on: February 27, 2014, 03:27:41 PM »
I've got a first attempt at wine making going on. Starting with a Zinfandel: https://plus.google.com/118377364589183354775/posts/eKY4znh2hZg

I'd like to hear a report.  Zin is my favorite.  (I'm assuming you mean real, proper Zin here and not pink Zin).  I made one batch about 15 months ago.  I started tasting a bottle a month at about 6 months time.  It was a little over a year before it even remotely tasted like Zin.  It's still "not great" (though... that could be my own pilot error, too).

We mostly drink very inexpensive wine and have mostly decided that for the cost of the wine kits we like, we can buy wine cheaper.  Our plan from here on out is to stick to experimenting with stuff we grow (berries and fruits ... mead if I ever get around to starting a bee hive).

...but ... if you had a decent Zin turnout for a decent price.... I might change my mind.  ;)

George_PA

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Re: Home Brew discussion
« Reply #25 on: February 27, 2014, 09:08:43 PM »
I have a 1 gallon batch of hard cider fermenting now, started on Feb 16th:



I never tried wine making but this seems a lot simpler to me anyway than swiper's setup. 
« Last Edit: February 27, 2014, 09:28:45 PM by George_PA »

tomq04

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Re: Home Brew discussion
« Reply #26 on: February 27, 2014, 09:53:11 PM »
This is what i'm going to fire up the weekend after next:

Goose Island Summertime Kölsch

(5 gallons/19 L, all-grain)
OG = 1.046 FG = 1.010 IBU = 18 SRM = 4.5 ABV = 4.7%


Ingredients
7 lb. 11 oz (3.5 kg) 2-row pale malt (1.9 °L)
1 lb. 15 oz. (0.87 kg) wheat malt (2.5 °L)
2.0 AAU Mt. Hood hops (60 mins) (0.4 oz./11 g of 5% alpha acids)
3.0 AAU Czech Saaz hops (15 mins) (0.75 oz./21 g of 4% alpha acids)
2.5 AAU Mt. Hood hops (15 mins) (0.5 oz./14 g of 5% alpha acids)
Wyeast 2565 (Kölsch) or White Labs WLP029 (German Ale/Kölsch) yeast


Step by Step
Mash at 145 °F (63 °C) for 40 minutes, 152 °F (67 °C) for 45 minutes and 170 °F (77 °C) for 10 minutes. Mash pH 5.4–5.5. Boil for 60 minutes. Wort pH = 5.2. Aerate to 8 ppm O2. Pitch rate = 20 million cells per mL. Ferment at 56–58 °F (13–14 °C). (Note: Goose Island adds the final two hop additions in their whirlpool.)

My buddy used to brew it every year, but he moved to the wrong side of the state, so i'll have to do it myself!  This is amazing when done proper!  Would recommend to anyone, I don't love kolsch's, but this is a top notch brew.  I'm actually going the partial mash route for $5 more, my LHBS helped swap to the partial recipe.

lithy

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Re: Home Brew discussion
« Reply #27 on: February 28, 2014, 08:30:18 AM »
That sounds good, I like Kolsch a lot.  What is the reasoning though behind moving the 0 minute hops up to 15?  You're going to get a lot more IBUs and less aroma.  I've never used Mt. Hood, but I like it for Koslch based on the profiles I am seeing online.  Lastly, do you have a way to cold crash the beer?  Kolsch/Alt yeast really does benefit from at least 2 weeks and probably more like 4 weeks on cold (35-40F) after primary fermentation is done.

Here is a Schwarzbier recipe I did at work last week for those with the ability to do lagerbier.  I also did a hoppy saison, but with 1.5# hops/bbl (about 5 oz in a 5 gallon batch), it isn't really an economical drink.

Adjust for your system's size and efficiency for a starting gravity of 1.052/13P

47% Weyermann Pilsner
47% Weyermann Munich I
6% Carafa III Special

Mash the Pils and Munich together at 152F for an hour.  Take a decoction of thick mash (about 20-25% of total) and boil for 15 minutes.  Add crushed Carafa III Special to the top of the mash, then add the decoction back to the mash.  Recirculate the mash until clear and runoff as usual. 

Hops (scaled to a 5 gallon batch with 6.5 gallons starting boil volume, scale up or down as necessary).  The bittering addition can really be anything you have on hand that is neutral.  The 15/0 hops you can change around in a lot of different ways depending on what you like, but you want noble or noble-esque hops to keep it traditional. 

1/4 oz Perle 8.5% AA at 60 minutes
1/2 oz Tettnang 5.4% AA at 15 minutes
1 oz Tradition 6.8% AA at 0 minutes

We use Augustiner lager yeast at work, as far as I know White Labs and Wyeast don't currently offer this yeast.  You can use Wyeast 2206 or White Labs WLP830, but just about any clean lager yeast you have available will work fine.

Wiggle

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Re: Home Brew discussion
« Reply #28 on: February 28, 2014, 09:16:49 AM »
I've been into homebrewing for a few months now.  Been doing mostly extract based recipes and did one partial mash.  Me and a buddy recently made a DIY mashtun to try to transition into all grain.  Can anyone recommend a good imperial IPA recipe that won't break the bank?

swiper

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Re: Home Brew discussion
« Reply #29 on: February 28, 2014, 01:06:46 PM »
I've got a first attempt at wine making going on. Starting with a Zinfandel: https://plus.google.com/118377364589183354775/posts/eKY4znh2hZg

I'd like to hear a report.  Zin is my favorite.  (I'm assuming you mean real, proper Zin here and not pink Zin).  I made one batch about 15 months ago.  I started tasting a bottle a month at about 6 months time.  It was a little over a year before it even remotely tasted like Zin.  It's still "not great" (though... that could be my own pilot error, too).

We mostly drink very inexpensive wine and have mostly decided that for the cost of the wine kits we like, we can buy wine cheaper.  Our plan from here on out is to stick to experimenting with stuff we grow (berries and fruits ... mead if I ever get around to starting a bee hive).

...but ... if you had a decent Zin turnout for a decent price.... I might change my mind.  ;)

I'm in Canada, so not much in the way of "cheap" wine here. It'll be a few months, but I'll report back on how it goes. Assuming I'm impressed, a bottle may be in your future...

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Re: Home Brew discussion
« Reply #30 on: February 28, 2014, 01:13:07 PM »
I have a 1 gallon batch of hard cider fermenting now, started on Feb 16th:



I never tried wine making but this seems a lot simpler to me anyway than swiper's setup.

yo, Looks like that area is probably normally dark, but might be worth mentioning to watch out for light. Could be a good idea to wrap a towel around that carboy. nice color!
« Last Edit: February 28, 2014, 01:15:34 PM by Stagleton »

PantsOnFire

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Re: Home Brew discussion
« Reply #31 on: February 28, 2014, 02:09:36 PM »
For godsakes get it away from the water heater! 

DanBrewMan

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Re: Home Brew discussion
« Reply #32 on: February 28, 2014, 02:28:40 PM »
I've been into homebrewing for a few months now.  Been doing mostly extract based recipes and did one partial mash.  Me and a buddy recently made a DIY mashtun to try to transition into all grain.  Can anyone recommend a good imperial IPA recipe that won't break the bank?

Imperial IPA will always break the bank because it requires more grain/extract than other brews (it's imperial!) and lots of hops (it's an IPA!).

If you find hops on sale, that's probably the best way to save $.

Plus you'll need a lot of yeast cells to get proper fermentation for an IIPA.  So either make a starter or buy extra yeast... adds to the cost!  I never see yeast on sale except for the expired ones which you definitely don't want to use for an IIPA.

That being said, there's a great recipe here in 'Brewing Classic Style' for an IIPA.  It's the same recipe as Russian River's Pliney the Elder.  You can most certainly find that recipe online if you don't have the book.

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Re: Home Brew discussion
« Reply #33 on: February 28, 2014, 02:48:31 PM »
For godsakes get it away from the water heater!

LOL.  I wasn't even thinking about the heat looking at the pic.  All I could think was "hey, that catch pan has a drain in it that drains to the floor."

the fixer

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Re: Home Brew discussion
« Reply #34 on: February 28, 2014, 03:57:09 PM »
For godsakes get it away from the water heater!
I'm confused, this time of year it seems like placing it in a location where it should stay a couple degrees warmer would be a good thing. I have terrible trouble getting things to ferment when the temp is in the mid 60s F.

George_PA

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Re: Home Brew discussion
« Reply #35 on: February 28, 2014, 06:48:30 PM »
The hot water heater is insulated, almost brand new and you don't feel any heat outside of it (or it is so little to be noticeable).  This particular batch is using a lager yeast that likes a slightly lower temp than normal.  Other yeast like warmer temperatures, just look one on the package of whichever one you choose

PantsOnFire

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Re: Home Brew discussion
« Reply #36 on: March 01, 2014, 01:16:15 PM »
Well then for godsakes crop your photos! 

horsepoor

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Re: Home Brew discussion
« Reply #37 on: March 01, 2014, 10:21:19 PM »
Bottled up my imperial stout tonight.  This is my third batch based on the recipe from The Joy of Home Brewing.  I say "based on" because I sort of used whatever hops I had out of the garden, and made up for the deficit of malt extract with a few pounds of honey.  From some rough calculations, this batch ran me around $42 for 35 12-oz bottles plus 5 or 6 22-oz bottles, which sounds like about $90 bucks worth of beer.  And I'm obviously not a proud person, because it tasted good enough flat that I poured the leftover after bottling in with another homebrew for a black and tan.  Couldn't stand to throw it down the drain!

greaper007

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Re: Home Brew discussion
« Reply #38 on: March 01, 2014, 10:40:58 PM »
I've been into homebrewing for a few months now.  Been doing mostly extract based recipes and did one partial mash.  Me and a buddy recently made a DIY mashtun to try to transition into all grain.  Can anyone recommend a good imperial IPA recipe that won't break the bank?

Imperial IPA will always break the bank because it requires more grain/extract than other brews (it's imperial!) and lots of hops (it's an IPA!).

If you find hops on sale, that's probably the best way to save $.

Plus you'll need a lot of yeast cells to get proper fermentation for an IIPA.  So either make a starter or buy extra yeast... adds to the cost!  I never see yeast on sale except for the expired ones which you definitely don't want to use for an IIPA.

That being said, there's a great recipe here in 'Brewing Classic Style' for an IIPA.  It's the same recipe as Russian River's Pliney the Elder.  You can most certainly find that recipe online if you don't have the book.

I've brewed a DFH 90 min IPA (close enough to a double for me) and it was still cheaper than a commercial bottle of the same stuff.   I can't remember how much I paid for that batch, but it wasn't the $2.50 a bottle the liquor store is charging.   

Buy your hops by the pound and reuse your yeast.    I can get 10 brews out of a single package of liquid yeast.   Also, try not to get too hung up on everything being perfect, or having a completely repeatable product.   If you were brewing for a commercial operation that's important, I'm just brewing for cheap brew and as long as the flavors aren't really off, I don't care that the 3rd generation of yeast is a little different than the first.   It's kind of fun actually, and most of my small beers are cheaper than a can of coke.

greaper007

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Re: Home Brew discussion
« Reply #39 on: March 01, 2014, 10:46:25 PM »
Also, look up a few recipes on homebrew talk if you want to brew cheap.   I really like the BeeCave Hefeweizen.    It tastes just like Paulander and it has a super cheap grain and hops bill.   On a 10 gallon all grain batch I'm saving about $100 over buying six packs in the store.   Also, I can't think of a beer that has better thirst quenching properties than wheat beers, and if you dig the banana/bubble gum/clove aroma, the German wheats are the tops.   You can save just as much with an American wheat though, and your non-beer drinking spouse/friends will love you for it.

cambridgecyclist

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Re: Home Brew discussion
« Reply #40 on: March 03, 2014, 11:44:16 AM »
Currently on tap:
Cranberry Wheat (cranberry juice was the result of a successful dumpster dive)
Redfield Cider (bought in bulk from a local orchard)
German Pilsner

On deck:
Chai Tea Brown
ESB
Kolsch
Altbier
Gratzer

Long term aging:
Imperial Stout
Maerzen/Octoberfest

jdoolin

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Re: Home Brew discussion
« Reply #41 on: March 03, 2014, 12:41:17 PM »
Wow, I just came to the DIY forum to specifically post about homebrewing, and here's this thread.

I started homebrewing back in 2006.  I did three extract batches then started all-grain.  I brewed a fair number of all grain batches that turned out great.  But life happened and I got out of the hobby.  However, as of this week I'm back in business.

Yesterday I built a new cooler mash tun with a 48 quart cube cooler and a CPVC manifold (photo attached).  Cost me less than $20 and 2 hours for the whole thing.

My planned brewing schedule

Wednesday - Dark English Mild (nobody brews these any more and they are awesome, so I plan to master the style)
Mid-March - Oatmeal Stout (pitched onto the Dark Mild's yeast cake)
Late March/early April - Maibock (I've got good lager fermenting temperatures in the basement)
Late April or May - Orval clone (I love Orval, but at $5/bottle, that's just too much to have more than just occasionally).

Depending on how the Orval clone goes, I may do another one on the previous yeast cake, or at least harvest some for later use.

In terms of brewing while keeping costs down, I will be doing lots of Milds.  First of all, it's less ingredients, second it's quick to brew, thirdly I can keep re-using yeast for a few generations, especially if I top crop (hard to do with a carboy though, but I figure I can manage with a racking cane and tubing).    I've also made an arrangement with a local restaurant to get bottles for free.  I also plan to let no ingredients go to waste. I'm using home made or cheap equipment, so that cost is pretty low.  A friend of mine is also growing hops and apparently there are far too many for him to use.  I may be able to acquire some for free, but they may limit my style selection.

I'll post some photos here when I have some batches going.

skunkfunk

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Re: Home Brew discussion
« Reply #42 on: March 03, 2014, 01:25:44 PM »
(I've got good lager fermenting temperatures in the basement)

How do you lager it once it's done fermenting? Refrigerator?

jdoolin

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Re: Home Brew discussion
« Reply #43 on: March 03, 2014, 01:28:40 PM »
(I've got good lager fermenting temperatures in the basement)

How do you lager it once it's done fermenting? Refrigerator?
Yeah, when we brewed our Oktoberfest we lagered in the bottle in a fridge.  We also have a spare refrigerator we never have plugged in that we could potentially use sporadically for lagering in a carboy.

Cromacster

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Re: Home Brew discussion
« Reply #44 on: March 03, 2014, 01:36:27 PM »
Wednesday - Dark English Mild (nobody brews these any more and they are awesome, so I plan to master the style)

A friend of mine is also growing hops and apparently there are far too many for him to use.  I may be able to acquire some for free, but they may limit my style selection.

Surly Brewing in MN does a great English Dark Mild.  Its one of their seasonal rotations, but its currently on rotation.  I am also a big fan of this style.  Scotch Ales and English milds mmmmmmm

Just remember with homegrown hops its a little more sporadic as to how much acids they actually have.  I think the typical transfer rate is 1oz pellets ---16oz fresh.  The people I know who grow and brew with their own hops typically use the home growns for the late additions.  Although if you are going for something not very hoppy, they still might provide enough bitterness to be used exclusively.

lithy

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Re: Home Brew discussion
« Reply #45 on: March 03, 2014, 01:55:53 PM »
Gratzer

Do you have a recipe worked up for this one yet or have you already done it before?  This is one I would love to do, but probably not on a commercial scale.  We did a Lichtenhainer last year using a portion of the Weyermann Oak-Smoked Wheat and co-pitched ale yeast and lactobacillus.  Let's just say that it moved...slowly.

I do love the flavor and aroma of the Weyermann Oak-Smoked Wheat malt though, and while Bamberger Rauchbier and smoked beer in general are some of my favorite beers, I'm not sure how the hoppiness of Gratzer would blend with the smoke.  Might have to get a chunk of Lublin hops and just do a homebrew batch to find out.

Truckman

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Re: Home Brew discussion
« Reply #46 on: March 03, 2014, 06:05:25 PM »
I just recently got into home brewing. My first batch brewed in late November, bottled mid-December and cracked the first bottle Jan 10. It's a nut brown ale that we added local buckwheat honey to (4 lbs). When sampled during bottling it had an awesome heavy honey flavor to it. After bottling, the first week or so they had good honey flavor, too, but as it's been aging it's been losing honey flavor. A bit disappointed with it now, although everyone that tries it loves it (even if it isn't very honey flavored).

Hoping to brew a milk stout soon, trying to decide on a basic extract recipe. Since this will be my 2nd brew I want to keep it simple.

Glad to hear about jdoolin's arrangement with a restaurant for bottles, I've been thinking of doing the same thing.

db_cooper

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Re: Home Brew discussion
« Reply #47 on: March 03, 2014, 06:47:26 PM »
I've been into homebrewing for a few months now.  Been doing mostly extract based recipes and did one partial mash.  Me and a buddy recently made a DIY mashtun to try to transition into all grain.  Can anyone recommend a good imperial IPA recipe that won't break the bank?

Imperial IPA will always break the bank because it requires more grain/extract than other brews (it's imperial!) and lots of hops (it's an IPA!).

If you find hops on sale, that's probably the best way to save $.






Plus you'll need a lot of yeast cells to get proper fermentation for an IIPA.  So either make a starter or buy extra yeast... adds to the cost!  I never see yeast on sale except for the expired ones which you definitely don't want to use for an IIPA.

That being said, there's a great recipe here in 'Brewing Classic Style' for an IIPA.  It's the same recipe as Russian River's Pliney the Elder.  You can most certainly find that recipe online if you don't have the book.

I've brewed a DFH 90 min IPA (close enough to a double for me) and it was still cheaper than a commercial bottle of the same stuff.   I can't remember how much I paid for that batch, but it wasn't the $2.50 a bottle the liquor store is charging.   

Buy your hops by the pound and reuse your yeast.    I can get 10 brews out of a single package of liquid yeast.   Also, try not to get too hung up on everything being perfect, or having a completely repeatable product.   If you were brewing for a commercial operation that's important, I'm just brewing for cheap brew and as long as the flavors aren't really off, I don't care that the 3rd generation of yeast is a little different than the first.   It's kind of fun actually, and most of my small beers are cheaper than a can of coke.


You don't need liquid yeast anymore for an IPA,  the Safale US-05 is the same as Wyeast 1056 strain, and it's cheaper with a lot more yeast cells.     And then get you some Citra hops,  you can make really floral, hoppy IPA's with less ounces than some other varieties.  I'm using 2 oz at flameout, and 2 more to dry hop and getting great hop aroma.  Use something else (chinook) for the bittering hop.  Ditto on reusing yeast,  washing yeast is easy, but a little time consuming.   I'm making 6 gallon double IPA's for less than $25 not including propane costs.   FWIW, I buy grain by the 50 lb bag, and hops by the pound.  I've also had great results pitching a new beer on the old yeast cake, but that means bottling and brewing day are the same.   Lots of good info on homebrewtalk.com.



greaper007

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Re: Home Brew discussion
« Reply #48 on: March 03, 2014, 08:29:05 PM »
I haven't used dry yeast for a long time.  But, I normally brew less hoppy beers where the yeast flavors really matter.  My wife is almost exclusively a hop-head, so I try to keep some IPA on hand for her.   I'll have to try some of the dry yeasts.

I haven't had a lot of luck finding citra for a decent price, where are you buying yours?

tomq04

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Re: Home Brew discussion
« Reply #49 on: March 04, 2014, 10:30:15 AM »
That sounds good, I like Kolsch a lot.  What is the reasoning though behind moving the 0 minute hops up to 15?  You're going to get a lot more IBUs and less aroma.  I've never used Mt. Hood, but I like it for Koslch based on the profiles I am seeing online.  Lastly, do you have a way to cold crash the beer?  Kolsch/Alt yeast really does benefit from at least 2 weeks and probably more like 4 weeks on cold (35-40F) after primary fermentation is done.


I can cold crash it, plan on doing 3 weeks in primary and 2-4 in 2ndary in the cold.  Then finally carbonating it.  I may cheat and just rack it into the keg instead if a 2ndary in a carboy and just let it age a month.  I'm not sold on clarity at the moment, just want a decent beer and to remember how this whole process works.