Brewing your own beer - TwoWheelForum: Motorcycle and Sportbike forums
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post #1 of 26 (permalink) Old 06-27-2007, 08:56 AM Thread Starter
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Brewing your own beer

Anyone done it? I'm working on my first batch now. The hardest part is waiting!
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post #2 of 26 (permalink) Old 06-27-2007, 10:53 AM
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My buddies and I used to do it here and there in HS... Waiting is a pain in the arse... Forgetting about it, then remembering about it way too late sucks too... Of course, when the beer tastes like wine, you know you're about to get flucked up...
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post #3 of 26 (permalink) Old 06-27-2007, 10:55 AM Thread Starter
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I'm cheating a little, doing "extract brewing" versus dealing with full grains. Still, it's brewing.

Yeah, if you're only looking to get drunk there are better ways to do it.
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post #4 of 26 (permalink) Old 06-27-2007, 10:55 AM
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Anyone done it? I'm working on my first batch now. The hardest part is waiting!
Yes, I've brewed many many times. What style are you making? Is it from a kit? Single stage or 2 stage brewing? 5 Gallons? Are you going to bottle or keg?
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post #5 of 26 (permalink) Old 06-27-2007, 11:02 AM
 
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Where I am from the stuff we brew isn't beer. If your looking to get drunk though, it's the only way to go.
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post #6 of 26 (permalink) Old 06-27-2007, 11:04 AM
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I'm cheating a little, doing "extract brewing" versus dealing with full grains. Still, it's brewing.

Yeah, if you're only looking to get drunk there are better ways to do it.
Your using some grain though right? Are you using any dry malt or is it all liquid?
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post #7 of 26 (permalink) Old 06-27-2007, 12:53 PM
 
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I know someone who is interested in this...shhh don't tell him

I choose to leave it to the professionals
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post #8 of 26 (permalink) Old 06-27-2007, 01:01 PM
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Where I am from the stuff we brew isn't beer. If your looking to get drunk though, it's the only way to go.
Read the lyrics to Rocky Top, I think we are on the same path. I lost my connection when my bro got divorced. I need to find someone new to train me. Damn I miss those moonshine cherries. 1 or 2 cherries could get most people plastered it was so strong.

2005 Honda CRF88RR - 2007 Honda CBR600RR
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post #9 of 26 (permalink) Old 06-27-2007, 04:53 PM
 
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hmm, I think I should start brewing my own beer. would be an interesting experience for sure.
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post #10 of 26 (permalink) Old 06-27-2007, 07:14 PM
 
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I used to brew quite a bit. Got tired of bottling though and started using one of those plastic kegs with a tap and mini CO2 cartridge. Put it in a used fridge I bought and there you go! Cold, delicious beer ready anytime you want it. Even kept a couple of mugs chillin in the freezer. Scary how easy it was to drink.
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post #11 of 26 (permalink) Old 06-27-2007, 07:37 PM
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I've only done it once so far. Turned out ok. Not alot of carbonation tho. Keeping everything clean is a chore fo sho.
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post #12 of 26 (permalink) Old 06-27-2007, 07:57 PM Thread Starter
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Ok, now that I've got some do it I'll go into more detail. First off, I'm just starting so it's a Mr. Beer kit. All of you all-grain/mash/whatever brewers roll your eyes now and take a big sigh. THere, better?

I'm working on my first batch of "West Coast Pale Ale" right now. I am deviating from the original instructions a little by NOT using white granulated sugar for priming, instead I bought 5lbs of corn surgar from a local home brew shop. I'll boil it in a solution (doing that as I type actually) and prime the bottles, then condition.

I can see where I can alter the method to get a better end result, even with Mr. Beer, now that I've had a chance to (almost) finish one batch.
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post #13 of 26 (permalink) Old 06-27-2007, 09:59 PM
 
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My buddy back in college had an entire bedroom in his apartment on campus dedicated to brewing. He would make some pretty good stuff. I helped him make a port once (don't advise trying this without someone who knows what they are doing, takes A LOT of work). Had a little micro brewery but only got one batch out of it.
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post #14 of 26 (permalink) Old 06-27-2007, 10:36 PM
 
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I've been brewing for 7 years and have been serving as Primary Fermenter (read: President ) of the local homebrew club for the last 5 years. I started with botttling extract brews before graduating to kegging and all-grain brewing. I won't slam you for using a Mr. Beer kit. It's actually not a bad way to get into the hobby to see if you enjoy it before getting a full blown brewing kit. A number of my club's members started this way. In fact, my first 2 batches were made with a kit my wife got me at the science store at the mall!
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post #15 of 26 (permalink) Old 06-27-2007, 10:46 PM
 
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PS, over the last few months my friend and I have been talking about making some absinthe (the old kind) I will let you guys know if we venture it. And just to cover my arse absinthe does contain harmful toxins so I wouldn't recommend trying it.

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post #16 of 26 (permalink) Old 06-27-2007, 11:03 PM
 
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So how did the beer turn out.....?
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post #17 of 26 (permalink) Old 06-28-2007, 07:29 AM Thread Starter
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It hasn't turned out yet. I did taste it from the keg prior to bottling and it tasty yeasty and not sweet, as it should. Of course it's warm and non-carbonated at that point so it's not drinkable.

I used eight 1 liter (PET/plastic) bottles for my batch. I primed four bottles with a water/sugar solution I boiled in a pot on the stove (using instructions I found here) and the other four with dry corn sugar. The Mr. Beer instructions state to use table sugar, however after reading that not all of regular table sugar is fermentable and corn sugar is, I opted to go that route.

As far as priming, it's MUCH easier using the boiling method. I simply used a syringe to prime each bottle with a tablespoon of the liquid. Priming with the corn sugar directly into the bottle created a mess. I don't even know that I got all of the sugar in there, there was a lot on the counter.

The bottles will sit for a week while the yeast breaks down the sugar and creates carbon dioxide gas under pressure, giving me carbonated beer at the end. The bottles are already starting to firm up a bit so I know it's working. As a precaution, since I deviated from the original instructions and since I experiemented with headspace in the bottle, I put the bottles in plastic bags in case of explosion.

Mr. Beer said 2" of headspace in the bottle, the website I linked above said 1". I have variations between 1" and 2", so I can see what works best.

It should be done in about a week when I can refrigerate them for a day or two and taste it. So it'll be the end of next week at the earliest. So far so good. I'm enjoying it, but even the easy kit is a bit time consuming, I'm sure I'm interested in all-grain brewing at this point. I'm going to order some more Mr. Beer recipes and start the next batch. I'd like a few kegs of brew under my belt before I determine how serious to get.
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post #18 of 26 (permalink) Old 06-28-2007, 07:39 AM
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It hasn't turned out yet. I did taste it from the keg prior to bottling and it tasty yeasty and not sweet, as it should. Of course it's warm and non-carbonated at that point so it's not drinkable.

I used eight 1 liter (PET/plastic) bottles for my batch. I primed four bottles with a water/sugar solution I boiled in a pot on the stove (using instructions I found here) and the other four with dry corn sugar. The Mr. Beer instructions state to use table sugar, however after reading that not all of regular table sugar is fermentable and corn sugar is, I opted to go that route.

As far as priming, it's MUCH easier using the boiling method. I simply used a syringe to prime each bottle with a tablespoon of the liquid. Priming with the corn sugar directly into the bottle created a mess. I don't even know that I got all of the sugar in there, there was a lot on the counter.

The bottles will sit for a week while the yeast breaks down the sugar and creates carbon dioxide gas under pressure, giving me carbonated beer at the end. The bottles are already starting to firm up a bit so I know it's working. As a precaution, since I deviated from the original instructions and since I experiemented with headspace in the bottle, I put the bottles in plastic bags in case of explosion.

Mr. Beer said 2" of headspace in the bottle, the website I linked above said 1". I have variations between 1" and 2", so I can see what works best.

It should be done in about a week when I can refrigerate them for a day or two and taste it. So it'll be the end of next week at the earliest. So far so good. I'm enjoying it, but even the easy kit is a bit time consuming, I'm sure I'm interested in all-grain brewing at this point. I'm going to order some more Mr. Beer recipes and start the next batch. I'd like a few kegs of brew under my belt before I determine how serious to get.
Plastic bottles? Are they clear? Light will have an adverse affect on your beer. Also the plastic will give your beer an "off" flavor. ALWAY, ALWAYS use brown GLASS bottles. Makes sure you keep your beer in a dark place while it is fermenting. Also you may want to pick up a book called The Brewers Companion by Michael Jackson (No, not THAT Michael Jackson )
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post #19 of 26 (permalink) Old 06-28-2007, 08:06 AM Thread Starter
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Plastic bottles? Are they clear? Light will have an adverse affect on your beer. Also the plastic will give your beer an "off" flavor. ALWAY, ALWAYS use brown GLASS bottles. Makes sure you keep your beer in a dark place while it is fermenting. Also you may want to pick up a book called The Brewers Companion by Michael Jackson (No, not THAT Michael Jackson )
They are amber, dark PET bottles that came with the kit. I am going to buy a case of 24 glass bottles, caps and a capper. However, is there any compelling reason NOT to use the bottles from the beer I buy at the store, i.e. Sam Adams. I've got a SA Summer Styles case and I can recycle those bottles.

I know glass is better and I have every intention of using them in the future! Plus, a liter of beer is a bit much.
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post #20 of 26 (permalink) Old 06-28-2007, 08:10 AM
 
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I have a brother in NH that brews his own beer, he's gotten really good at it too. He makes a raspberry wheat that is to die for.

My brother uses leftover beer bottles, he just makes sure to wash them out, and sanitize them.

Let us know how it turns out Shan!!
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