Author Topic: HELP! I want to buy beer.  (Read 21042 times)

Scandium

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Re: HELP! I want to buy beer.
« Reply #50 on: February 20, 2014, 11:43:23 AM »
Thanks for the tips on the sites to check out. Some great deals there!
Maybe anti-mustachian, but I do like to support the brew store 10 min from me when I can, even if it costs a couple bucks more. Only up to a point though obviously. Might have to have 50# of grains shipped to me. Now where to find a cheap grain mill..

markstache

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Re: HELP! I want to buy beer.
« Reply #51 on: February 20, 2014, 02:08:55 PM »
Thanks for the tips on the sites to check out. Some great deals there!
Maybe anti-mustachian, but I do like to support the brew store 10 min from me when I can, even if it costs a couple bucks more. Only up to a point though obviously. Might have to have 50# of grains shipped to me. Now where to find a cheap grain mill..

You could always ask how much the LHBS would charge for a bag, while kindly pointing out that you could get a bag for $60 shipped.

Some people will buy $30 "Coronoa" type mills off of Amazon. I went with AIH's mill. 6months and 150lbs of grain later, still going strong.


jnik

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Re: HELP! I want to buy beer.
« Reply #52 on: February 21, 2014, 07:33:19 AM »
Damn, everything I saw said to let it age longer if you didn't like it the first time. Cue the "I forgot it in the back of the cabinet, tried it 2 years later and it was amazing!"

That's if you do it carefully (proper sanitation, good yeast, proper airlock for fermentation, bottle.) The meadmaking advice in this thread makes me cringe. The honey's the most expensive part of a good mead and springing for a little equipment plus a buck or two per batch for decent yeast is worth it IMO. If you're doing quick-and-dirty wild fermentation you do need to drink it "green."

jba302

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Re: HELP! I want to buy beer.
« Reply #53 on: February 21, 2014, 09:23:55 AM »
That's if you do it carefully (proper sanitation, good yeast, proper airlock for fermentation, bottle.) The meadmaking advice in this thread makes me cringe. The honey's the most expensive part of a good mead and springing for a little equipment plus a buck or two per batch for decent yeast is worth it IMO. If you're doing quick-and-dirty wild fermentation you do need to drink it "green."

What would you recommend for a good yeast and honey brand? I used one of those slap packs (I can't remember the number but wife wanted it dry)... just need to pay better attention to sanitizing and keeping the airlock properly locked :)

jnik

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Re: HELP! I want to buy beer.
« Reply #54 on: February 21, 2014, 10:16:11 AM »
What would you recommend for a good yeast and honey brand? I used one of those slap packs (I can't remember the number but wife wanted it dry).
The slap packs are probably Wyeast. Both Wyeast and White have fine mead yeasts (although the last time I used the Wyeast "sweet" yeast it came out awful dry) but, being liquid, they're not cheap. The dry Lalvin yeasts, at a buck a pop, work just fine. I do a proper rehydration on them (including some nutrient); others just sprinkle it on the must dry and it comes out okay. I have a friend who likes his meads dry and uses the K1V-1116 "killer" yeast; any champagne yeast is also usually pretty good for dry meads. I like the EC-1118 for mead; it ferments fairly quickly, leaves some residual sugar, and seems pretty good for melomels, but it does have some really weird off-flavors when green that go away quite quickly.

Honey I get what I can get. The stuff from Austin Homebrew is just fine (I made a lovely braggot with their clover); local from the farmer's market when I can; I also got mesquite very reasonably-priced online from a place in Flagstaff (can't remember the name.) Honey's a weird thing because you can find some pretty good stuff quite cheap but standard supermarket stuff can be awful (sometimes illicitly blended with corn syrup.)

the fixer

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Re: HELP! I want to buy beer.
« Reply #55 on: February 21, 2014, 02:22:54 PM »
What would you recommend for a good yeast and honey brand? I used one of those slap packs (I can't remember the number but wife wanted it dry)... just need to pay better attention to sanitizing and keeping the airlock properly locked :)
The bottle would also be quite important. Beer and wine bottles have a narrow neck because it limits the amount of surface area exposed to air, where acetobacter could take root. To make it work, you'd need to also make sure you've filled the bottle almost completely to minimize airspace. In contrast, trying to age mead in something like a mason jar would just be silly.

All of this is why I just enjoy my meads green, it's the 80% solution for 20% of the effort; perfect for someone like the OP who doesn't drink a lot or alcohol or have a super-picky taste. There are other areas of food prep where I'm much more exact so I don't disparage those that take this stuff seriously.

Kriegsspiel

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Re: HELP! I want to buy beer.
« Reply #56 on: February 21, 2014, 05:20:55 PM »
When the Vikings made their mead, did they take the time to fashion a nifty airlock? Did THEY sanitize their equipment!? NO, I SAY! They tipped over a bee's nest while raping and pillaging, and carried it home in a longboat alongside the plunder! Hell there might have been a touch of blood in the mix! After they figured out it got them drunk, they DRANK IT OUT OF THE SKULLS OF THE CONQUERED!

That's the flavor, NAY, the essence I want inside my mead. Any suggestions?

the fixer

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Re: HELP! I want to buy beer.
« Reply #57 on: February 21, 2014, 05:51:34 PM »
When the Vikings made their mead, did they take the time to fashion a nifty airlock? Did THEY sanitize their equipment!? NO, I SAY! They tipped over a bee's nest while raping and pillaging, and carried it home in a longboat alongside the plunder! Hell there might have been a touch of blood in the mix! After they figured out it got them drunk, they DRANK IT OUT OF THE SKULLS OF THE CONQUERED!

That's the flavor, NAY, the essence I want inside my mead. Any suggestions?
Actually they probably did use airlocks. I don't have a primary source, but see http://www.nourishingtreasures.com/index.php/2012/05/15/the-science-behind-sauerkraut-fermentation/ under "What did traditional cultures use for ferments?" No, they didn't sanitize. From what I've read, a lot of traditional ferments were either wild fermentations, or a starter was used by fermenting in a clay jar that was never washed or by stirring with a special stick. These people didn't know anything about bacteria and attributed it all to spirits and such.

Heirloom starter cultures and wild fermentations are generally extremely hardy ecosystems of bacteria that can keep out competing species and adapt to small changes in environment. If you use less viable cultures like commercial yeast things may not be so robust, and a greater level of cleanliness may be needed.

My fermentation hero, Sandor Ellix Katz, likes to say in his books that traditional cultures used a lot of ingenuity to make fermentation work with the limited technology they had. Yes, you can spend hundreds on making beer, wine, or even sauerkraut by buying lots of products. Or, if you understand the concepts of what you're trying to make happen (and also what you're trying to prevent) you can experiment with different improvised solutions and see what you get. Think of all your creative ancestors and what they had to work with while you piece together your design!

For instance, if I had an interest in aging some mead without buying anything I might use a wine bottle. I'd take a rubber stopper and drill a hole in it, then press-fit and hot glue in place a piece of vinyl tubing that I lead to a small open jar filled with water next to the bottle. That's an airlock, and the only thing on that list I don't have sitting around is the stopper. Heck, you could probably even do it with an old cork.

Kriegsspiel

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Re: HELP! I want to buy beer.
« Reply #58 on: February 21, 2014, 06:12:47 PM »
Can you comment on the pillaging and skulls of the conquered aspect please?

the fixer

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Re: HELP! I want to buy beer.
« Reply #59 on: February 21, 2014, 06:24:25 PM »
No experience on use of human skulls as fermentation vessels here. I eagerly await your report back on Share Your Badassity, as long as you don't use mine. I'd also love to read about someone making mead in a pig stomach or something :)