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Old 08-28-2013, 07:31 PM   #1
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Home Brewing / Fermenting

Now this is a little off topic even from the "Any Beer Drinkers" thread so here goes:

Has anyone done or currently do their own home brewing or fermenting? Making your own beers or wines at home rather than buying from the store? My dad used to make his own pear wine from the orchard in the back yard, it was amazing stuff.

Have been wanting to get into brewing for a long long time now and finally getting started. I recently just fired up a 1 gallon batch kit from the Brooklyn Brew Shop, their Every Day IPA.

The process of boiling mashing sparging etc was a ton of work but fun. But gotta say never thought I'd go through so many paper towels.

And for me personally it is definitely a two person job. I made the mistake of throwing on a load of laundry around the same time... and get back into my brewing zone to find the cats wandering the table I'd laid out all the equipment.

Had to re-sanitize EVERYTHING!!!!

Keep cats away from your gear.... this can not be overstressed.

Right now the beer is sitting and bubbling in a closet, keeping the cats out of it, and hopefully staying the right side of cool. Currently even after filtering it before putting it into the carboy it looks like a cross between swamp water and the bilge from the bottom of a boat.

2 weeks in the carboy, then bottling and two more weeks waiting. Looking forward to trying it out once it's done. YUM!!!
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Old 08-28-2013, 07:55 PM   #2
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I have never home brewed beer.... but i know how to make a still out of an old pressure cooker.
I have drank quite a few homebrews. Homebrewer are kinda like new parents they could have the ugliest baby on the planet and still have to show it off to the world.
I hope it comes out good but dont have to high of expectations most of the homebrews ive had are dissapointing. The problem lies in set up. With out the spending a bunch of money its hard to maintain precise temps. Source top quailty fresh hops barley and malt. Yeah you can make you own malt.
Much easier to make booze... if only i could get a charred oak barrel and wait 7 years for my own whiskey...
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Old 08-28-2013, 08:10 PM   #3
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I have been doing a bit of studying on this subject. I am now going through the steps of acquiring the start up equipment for brewing beer. I have done some wines, but I do not particularly care for wine (Strong beer and whiskey/whisky are my preferences). It is a shame that making whiskey in the States is a big no-no.

Thankfully I am neighbors with someone who owns the only local Micro-Brewery in my hometown, and they have been a fountain of information (Along with many free samples!).

Best of luck on your batch! ~Sláinte
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Old 08-28-2013, 08:23 PM   #4
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Quote:
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Had to re-sanitize EVERYTHING!
I knew a girl who's father was big into brewing and this sounds like the most important part of it, so I'm glad you said it. You gotta be very careful and sanitary about the process or you can get yourself and others very sick pretty easily. I look forward to hearing how this comes out for you, I bet it'll become a super addictive hobby for you and should be a lot of fun.
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Old 08-29-2013, 03:32 PM   #5
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@ Kraizeeman.... Whiskey is a no no to make in the US? Say wha?!?!

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I knew a girl who's father was big into brewing and this sounds like the most important part of it, so I'm glad you said it. You gotta be very careful and sanitary about the process or you can get yourself and others very sick pretty easily. I look forward to hearing how this comes out for you, I bet it'll become a super addictive hobby for you and should be a lot of fun.
Yah, a buddy has already made up a few batches and is making them consistently now, he's pretty hooked and so am I, keep looking up recipe kits to try with the eventual plan of making my own recipes when I understand the process better. Don't see my bud often and he and his wife live wayyyyyy the fuck out of town. So no sampling yet.

A cousin has been brewing for a couple years now and let me try their IPA a while back at a family gathering, turned out very refreshing and not too hoppy (tho I love the super hoppy), it turned out really nice. This is after a couple years experimenting and having a garage/basement to work in.

I have to deal with an apartment and curious two cats!! Our crappy little electric apartment stove takes forever to heat up and it was hell getting to temp and trying to keep it there.

The sanitation part if anything took the longest amount of time and care. I'm using a no-rinse sanitizer which makes it easier. But it's still not easy.

Honestly my hopes for the batch are slim, but it's a start!!

Also going to be collecting flip top bottles for the next month until bottling day, haven't bought a capper yet. So looks like I'll be drinking a lot of Grolsch!
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Old 08-29-2013, 04:37 PM   #6
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@ Kraizeeman.... Whiskey is a no no to make in the US? Say wha?!?!
Well, you can get the Federal Distilled Spirits Permit. However, to an ordinary citizen, the task is nigh impossible. In conjunction with the federal laws, each state has their own specific laws as well.
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Old 08-30-2013, 01:56 PM   #7
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Well, you can get the Federal Distilled Spirits Permit. However, to an ordinary citizen, the task is nigh impossible. In conjunction with the federal laws, each state has their own specific laws as well.
Which is probably why bootleg moonshine is so easy and cheap to get across the river

Grew up on Lake Erie, there was always boats going back and forth.
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Old 09-19-2013, 08:00 PM   #8
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Bump and update:

The first batch was bottled last week. With a touch of honey for carbonation. Will be ready for chilling and an unveiling on the 28th.

Let's see if I've made something drinkable for my friends to enjoy or something to poison my enemies with.
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Old 09-20-2013, 01:36 AM   #9
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what the heck dude send me a bottle
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Old 10-01-2013, 04:21 PM   #10
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what the heck dude send me a bottle
I will add you to the very prestigious and limited waiting list for the next run, you can experience the Opiate's Brewery difference for the low low pre-purchase deposit of 100,000 energon payable at any Bank of Cybertron, account no. 00011010011100011100. Will even toss in a t-shirt!

These are Small Batch Limited Editions lovingly hand crafted by yours truly. Only 9 bottles were produced per batch!!

UPDATED UPDATE:

Friday night the batch was chilled. Saturday night they were opened with close friends and my SO present...

No one died! No one even ended up in ER. That does wonders for my morale!!

Actually, it did turn out wayyyyy better than I'd even hoped. Good colour, nice hoppy flavour, great aroma, went down nice and fresh and that tell-tale sign I always look for in any beer: it actually started tasting BETTER as it warmed. Lots of room for improvement as I figure out what the hell I'm doing.

First good sign, I was terrified at this point, was cracking open the first bottle it gave that happy little "psst". No bottle bombing, no overflow, just the right amount of bubbling from the proper amount of carbonation. Then we poured into glasses and did a countdown to the first sip. It went down way too easy!! Everyone polished off their bottles and liked it (my friends are pretty blunt, I trust them to tell me if something is shit lol).

So all in all a good time. Will definitely be making that one again!!



My SO wants to start getting some printer sticker paper and making labels for my beers and to be the one to write on the caps too, which is awesome. And my handwriting is shyte. It's great having a gf who's as much a beer hound as myself and is great at design as well.

Batch number 2 is a Belgian Dubbel I brewed up last week and no. 3 is a Brown Ale boiled on Sunday (which cut into my GSL time but hey...). Bottling of those buggers happily bubbling away in my closet right now will be in a couple weeks time.

Batches yet to go:
Amber Ale
Honey Porter
and a DOUBLE CHOCOLATE PORTER!!!!!!

Only two bottles survived of the original 9, both of which I traded to my bud who got me into the small batch thing, he gave me two of his. A maple porter and the other I don't remember the name of.

Honestly I was hugely intimidated going into this but now that I've got three boilings under my belt, getting the hang of the process of sanitation, mashing, sparging, boiling etc... gotta admit it's a great way to spend a 3-5 hours and damn does it ever make the kitchen smell good!! 1 gallon starter sets and recipe kits are easy to find (especially from US companies), would totally recommend it to anyone curious to try it.

It's a lot of fun and the end result is BEER!!!! Win win.
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Old 10-17-2013, 06:46 PM   #11
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Beer Bumpin'

Update on batches 2 & 3: Both bottled last night.
No. 2, a Belgian Dubbel, spent an extra week in the carboy due to the death of a close friend. I was supposed to bottle the day he died. Bottled the batch in larger 650ml bottles and will save one for his brother and father.

No. 3 is a brown ale, fingers crossed the caps are sealed properly. Used Founders IPA bottles which have a slightly wider neck and found the capper not settling properly. Hoping there's no air exchange after all the work getting it to the bottle in the first place.

Tried a small sip of both, both will benefit from the bottle conditioning and are where I'd thought they'd be and am looking forward to getting them chilled and tasted in a couple weeks time.

Not sure which one to brew next... have a honey porter and a chocolate porter in the fridge ready to cook up plus a few more on the way.
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Old 10-18-2013, 04:21 PM   #12
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Sounds .... just awesome.
Reading your updates has really got me tempted to start experimenting myself. I think i'll start with some light reading this weekend, and if the inclination turns to inspiration i'll let you know!
Chocolate porter next in my opinion
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Old 10-22-2013, 07:22 PM   #13
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Okay I've finally broken down and started a blog, updating it when I get the time.
http://thatbeerguy.weebly.com/

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Sounds .... just awesome.
Reading your updates has really got me tempted to start experimenting myself. I think i'll start with some light reading this weekend, and if the inclination turns to inspiration i'll let you know!
Chocolate porter next in my opinion
Hmmm..... I'm leaning in that direction. This Sunday is brew day for me, going to fire up another batch and may very well be the chocolate!

Dude it's totally worth it.

Brewed up a couple 5 gallon batches over the weekend with my cousin and dammit that was fun.

The sight of a 5 gallon carboy full of soontobeBEER warms my soul
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Old 10-28-2013, 01:27 PM   #14
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Next batch: sorry Lava, went with the Honey Porter, the ingredients for that were sitting in my fridge a long time waiting for their day

This is the last batch I make until I get back from Asia, and should be ready to fridge before we fly. Can't have potential bottle bombs sitting in my closet unattended.

That chocolate porter is going to be one of the first things I tackle when I return though.
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