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Cullion
14th March 09, 01:44 PM
I decided a while ago that if I was going to prepare for the apocalypse properly, I would need to be able to produce my own alcohol.

I'm a week in to brewing 40 pints of english bitter using a beginner's kit of Woodford's Wherry. The starter kit with all barrel, siphon, hydrometer, sanitising chemicals etc.. cost 55. Future batches of malt will mean I get beer at about 20 pence a pint.

I will also be able to make wine from stuff out of my garden.

http://www.brew-it-yourself.co.uk/shop/catalog/images/woodfordes_wherry.gif

Anybody else produce their own booze?

I'm going to be conducting all kinds of experiments once I can reliably produce basic quaffing ale, and I'll tell you about them in this thread.

Zendetta
14th March 09, 01:53 PM
My best friend/acupuncturist/snow boarding compadre has been home brewing for a while. The stuff he makes can honestly stand up to most of the expensive west-coast microbreweries. The best one was a Russian Red Ale, but his porter and his blonde ale (to which he added chinese herbs) were also amazing.

If you don't already have one, get a wort cooler. Homebrewing without one makes for bitter, undrinkable beer.

Cullion
14th March 09, 02:14 PM
Hmm. I'd never come across that term before.

I've had homebrew from a friend that was drinkable without using a wort cooler years ago, he made some kind of very dark beer and said he'd added extra sugar to try and get the alcohol content up.

I just added cool water to the malt and boiling water mix at the bottom of the fermenting bucket to fill it up before adding the hop powder and yeast as per the instructions on the kit.

Keith
14th March 09, 03:13 PM
I've been using the Mr. Beer homebrewing kit for about 6 months now. It's about as basic as it gets, makes 2 gallons of beer in a batch. My home brewing tastes are starting to outgrow the Mr, Beer system and I'm thinking about getting something a little more robust soon. But I have made some pretty tastey stuff (I'm enjoying some right now).

jubei33
14th March 09, 04:30 PM
I also used to do it as well. Be careful with sterilization {obvious/}

Cullion
14th March 09, 04:44 PM
Yeah, I'm worried about that part the most. I tried this once before when I was a student and before I even transferred it out of the fermenting bucket it got some nasty looking green shit growing in the froth that smelled foul so I threw it away.

I've just siphoned this batch into a sterilised airtight barrel with some sugar this evening and it seemed healthy, just smelled like beer and I tasted a little after doing the hydrometer test. Just tasted like very bitter fizzy 'raw' beer.

Steve
14th March 09, 05:26 PM
An old mate of mine brewed the best beers I've ever tasted, did kegs for a few of my birthdays. I don't like dark beers, but he made a blackberry porter to die for.

Unfortunately, but not surprisingly with his talent, he had to quit drinking; and thus, brewing.

I have thought about doing it myself but I spend enough time drinking as it is, don't need to spend more time making drink (though, I would try it if I had the time).

Cullion
14th March 09, 05:55 PM
If you're worried about going over the edge by having too plentiful a supply of alcohol on hand, it's pretty easy to limit it, because whilst it's much cheaper, this is booze you have to wait for.

As far as it being time consuming, this is what I had to do:-

Rinse out the fermenting bucket from the cold tap.

Fill it about a third full and add a few teaspoons of the sterlising chemical and shake it around, with the spoon and the siphon tube in there so they get sanitised too.

Pour some boiling water into a pot and leave the 2 cans of malt in it to warm and soften for 10 minutes.

Repeat the shaking a few times over that ten minute period to get the bucket sanitised all around the inside.

Rinse it.

Open the cans of malt and pour them in with 2 kettles of boiling water.

Fill up the rest of the bucket with cold water so it's lukewarm and frothy.

Stir in the hop poweder and then the yeast into the lukewarm malt mix with the sanitised spoon.

Clip the lid tightly on the bucket and put it in the cupboard under the stairs.

Maybe half an hour ?

Forget about it for a week.

Sanitise the spoon again, and the plastic 40 pint barrelwith the tap as with the bucket, rinse it and then siphon the beer into it. (10 minutes to sanitise and then just leave it siphoning for maybe 20 minutes or so)

Add 100g of sugar and stir in some of the yeasty goo from the bottom of the bucket with the sanitised spoon. Screw the airtight seal on the barrel tight. Put it back under the stairs.

Following the instructions, I'll be taking that barrel out from under the stairs in about a week and putting it somewhere cooler for another week before I attempt to drink a pint of it.

It's really not much time. I understand your concerns about being tempted to go over the edge with your alcohol consumption, but to be honest unless you actually feel you need to give up alcohol altogether then this is just a way of spending less money on it, have a bit of a hobby getting involved in making it yourself and it's beer you have to wait for. With a single barrel and a single bucket you can't physically produce more than 40 pints per month.

I have 2 experiments in mind once this batch is done:-

i) I have a rain barrel in the back garden. I'd like to build something that lets me filter and sanitise that water to use for brewing. Oxfordshire tapwater tastes awful to me compared to the tapwater where I grew up.

ii) In the warmer months, hedgerow fruit, apples and pea-pods from the garden might make cider and wine.

Steve
14th March 09, 06:20 PM
See, this is where I can't do that: I've helped said mate brew on many occasions, he placed in the Hale's Ales (http://www.halesales.com/) brewery competition more than once. He was semi pro in the brewing process, worked at a brew store here in Seattle.

So the box type stuff just doesn't interest me.

jubei33
14th March 09, 06:22 PM
have you thought about distilling your own booze?

Steve
14th March 09, 06:23 PM
No, but I haven't thought about breaking the law either.

Cullion
14th March 09, 06:25 PM
See, this is where I can't do that: I've helped said mate brew on many occasions, he placed in the Hale's Ales (http://www.halesales.com/) brewery competition more than once. He was semi pro in the brewing process, worked at a brew store here in Seattle.

So the box type stuff just doesn't interest me.

Wow, he sounds like a real expert. I've been reading home brewers' forums for a few months now, and there are some eccentric, dedicated dudes out there living in the rural US with home-made chemical plants hidden in their barns.

Was he making his own malt from sprouted grain and that kind of advanced stuff ?

Cullion
14th March 09, 06:27 PM
Distilling your own booze is illegal in the UK AIUI, partly because there's more of a risk you'll accidentally make methanol and fuck yourself up, and partly because most people simply don't have enough space to make enough beer to run a real business whilst evading tax, but if you start distilling bottles of spirit, then it becomes possible with a modest amount of space.

My next projects are going to be wine from stuff out of the garden (because AIUI this is simpler than making beer from grain) and to try and purify rainwater from the barrel to brew with, because our tapwater tastes like shit.

If I was to think about distilling some plum wine, I'd look at freeze distilling because AIUI you can't accidentally make meths, but it's illegal so of course I won't.

Robot Jesus
14th March 09, 06:50 PM
I doubt that beer is going to turn out well, generaly kits produce watery beer.

also I did not know that powdered hops existed.

Truculent Sheep
14th March 09, 06:56 PM
I've brewed beer a few times and am about to dust off my brew bin for another go. It's always been a success, but good lord I've got fucked a few times on the end product. Am presently experimenting with sugar levels. I hear using two cans of syrup has better results than using just one and adding sugar.

Cullion
14th March 09, 06:57 PM
I've had reasonable beer from a kit before. It was much less carbonated than beer sold in a pub or out of a can, but it had an OK flavour and it was strong.

I will post an honest review of my first batch when it's ready, but my main aim for now is to produce something acceptable at radically lower cost.

Steve
14th March 09, 06:58 PM
Wow, he sounds like a real expert. I've been reading home brewers' forums for a few months now, and there are some eccentric, dedicated dudes out there living in the rural US with home-made chemical plants hidden in their barns.

Was he making his own malt from sprouted grain and that kind of advanced stuff ?

Not at all, but he used real hops, not powdered stuff.

And he brewed with the weather (he lived in a cramped house. Used the environment for brewing according to season. For lagers he stored them outside when it was cold etc), as it should be done.

Cullion
14th March 09, 07:00 PM
I've brewed beer a few times and am about to dust off my brew bin for another go. It's always been a success, but good lord I've got fucked a few times on the end product. Am presently experimenting with sugar levels. I hear using two cans of mix has better results than using just one and adding sugar.

The kit I bought has 2 cans of malt (3kg) and you don't add sugar for the first fermentation, but the instructions say to add some (80-100g) to the barrel for the secondary ferment to produce about 4.5% bitter if you follow their measures and time timetable closely.

I've never had Woodford Wherrie on draught, but the website I got it from said to expect lower carbonaton and slightly higher alcohol levels than the professionally brewed version.

What recipe did you use ?

Cullion
14th March 09, 07:03 PM
Not at all, but he used real hops, not powdered stuff.

I could probably grow hops in my garden (I'm not that far from Kent, it's about the same temperature just a bit of a wetter climate over here in the west). Do you know how the volumes compare ? i.e. what weight of real hops would I need compared to the powdered stuff which I assume is more concentrated?



And he brewed with the weather (he lived in a cramped house. Used the environment for brewing according to season. For lagers he stored them outside when it was cold etc), as it should be done.

The brewing forums I looked at suggested that Lager was more complex and should be avoided for a first attempt because it needed more stages and more careful temperature control, as you say.

Luckily, I like the simpler English bitter, so I'll stick with that for beer.

Did he ever make wine ?

Neildo
14th March 09, 07:09 PM
i heard the best hops come from belgium, and the import tax on it is so high it closed a couple of really good microbrews here. you should be able to get it for much cheaper than us, and it would probably be worth it.

Cullion
14th March 09, 07:14 PM
I'll certainly investigate using real hops when I've got the basics down with my first batch. It will take less time and effort than trying to purify rain water, but I still want to do that too.

Truculent Sheep
14th March 09, 07:16 PM
The kit I bought has 2 cans of malt (3kg) and you don't add sugar for the first fermentation, but the instructions say to add some (80-100g) to the barrel for the secondary ferment to produce about 4.5% bitter if you follow their measures and time timetable closely.

I've never had Woodford Wherrie on draught, but the website I got it from said to expect lower carbonaton and slightly higher alcohol levels than the professionally brewed version.

What recipe did you use ?

I follow the instructions for the most part, but sometimes vary the sugar. I even tried golden sugar one time - it sort of worked but didn't stand out. I entertain crazy notions of using brown sugar or giving brewing sugar a try.

I think I'll try mixing two cans (perhaps of slightly different flavours) in next time, cutting out the sugar. It does effectively double the cost of each pint though, so perhaps I'll change my mind.

Steve
14th March 09, 07:19 PM
I could probably grow hops in my garden (I'm not that far from Kent, it's about the same temperature just a bit of a wetter climate over here in the west). Do you know how the volumes compare ? i.e. what weight of real hops would I need compared to the powdered stuff which I assume is more concentrated?

He brewed 5 gallon batches. It would be easy for you to convert depending on your batches.


The brewing forums I looked at suggested that Lager was more complex and should be avoided for a first attempt because it needed more stages and more careful temperature control, as you say.

Luckily, I like the simpler English bitter, so I'll stick with that for beer.

Did he ever make wine ?

No, well, I can't say that. He made fortified juice, but that is just soaking berries (or whatever you want) in hard alcohol for an extended period of time.

Cullion
14th March 09, 07:20 PM
All this DIY hedonism is giving me strange hippy ideas.

Have you thought about getting sugar from fruit ?

Cullion
14th March 09, 07:22 PM
He brewed 5 gallon batches. It would be easy for you to convert depending on your batches.

I've got a 5 gallon bucket and barrel too. Do you know what weight of real hops he used ?



No, well, I can't say that. He made fortified juice, but that is just soaking berries (or whatever you want) in hard alcohol for an extended period of time.

Like flavoured Vodkas?

I want to avoid buying in spirit because the cost is mostly in the ethanol (due to tax) rather than what you flavour it with.

Steve
14th March 09, 07:22 PM
I didn't address the powdered vs the hops, no, powdered is not the same as having real hops. It's not the same as you would think: powdered is the remains of the hops, while hops are, well, hops.

Steve
14th March 09, 07:25 PM
I've got a 5 gallon bucket and barrel too. Do you know what weight of real hops he used ?

No, I don't.


Like flavoured Vodkas?

I want to avoid buying in spirit because the cost is mostly in the ethanol (due to tax) rather than what you flavour it with.

Yep, I agree.

Robot Jesus
14th March 09, 10:25 PM
for five gallons usualy around eight ounces would be used.

also hops added early give bitterness, hops aded in the middle of the boil add spicyness, and hops added towards the end or added to the fermenter add aroma

bob
14th March 09, 10:36 PM
Aside from sterilisation, having a good storage place while it ferments is the key AIUI. I've had a couple of goes at it with mixed results but my friend is an expert.

And I will say that while I've drunk many a tasty home brewed beer, I have never drunk an even moderately palatable home made wine.

I had some nice home made whiskey in Laos but that may have been because it was liberally laced with opium.

Steve
15th March 09, 12:30 AM
I had some nice home made whiskey in Laos but that may have been because it was liberally laced with opium.

lol, ya think? ;)

Sounds like something I would like.

bob
15th March 09, 12:39 AM
Your mum told me you weren't allowed any.

Steve
15th March 09, 12:42 AM
My "mum" tells you a lot of things, downt she?

jubei33
15th March 09, 03:26 AM
sucks that it's illegal to distill in England. (+1 for downfall of your society ?)
I believe we're allowed a gallon or 2 for personal consumption. I wouldn't worry too much about the methanol, if you've prepared your beer, wine under normal conditions then the product would be ethanol, then there's the distilling process where the difference in fractions is about 15 C (MeOH 64.7C; EtOH 78.4C). It's doable. Generally, you might have a bigger risk of poisoning yourself with botulin toxin or something. Just my 5 pence

Cullion
15th March 09, 06:36 AM
Well, I could avoid any risk of that by freeze distilling, although that would be more labour intensive. Hypothetically.

Cullion
15th March 09, 06:37 AM
Goon probably knows all kinds of useful shit relevant to this, but I'm scared to take his advice because he'll probably get me to manufacture something which turns my skin blue and makes me hallucinate that I'm Napoleon.

Kein Haar
15th March 09, 06:44 AM
tl;dr

What's your point then?

Cost effective? Kinda.

Satisfaction? Not really.

I started about 12 years ago and it just became tedious. I found myself still alienated from the principles of the craft. Using extracts just amounts to following recipes.

Now, the REAL method, however...that's another story. You gotta prep the grains yourself and convert yer own starches and pay attention to temperatures etc etc. That's more of a craft, and it's an all-day affair.

It's definately more of an investment in hardware, though.

I never found sterilization to be a problem. Just bleach and rinse thoroughly, and make sure your yeast starter has a good head of steam going.

No matter what, I'm never, ever, ever, doing this again unless I have a kegging system. Bottles...FUCK...THAT.

Don't bother with most fruit-juice fermenations. You'll be dissapointed.

I had visions of peach this and rasberry that...eh. It was all....palatable I guess, but...eh.

Cullion
15th March 09, 06:52 AM
Cost effective?

Mainly. It's a lot more than 'kinda'. It's 20p a pint using canned malt.



I started about 12 years ago and it just became tedious. I found myself still alienated from the principles of the craft. Using extracts just amounts to following recipes.

Yup. I'm OK with that for now, my initial motive is cost.



Now, the REAL method, however...that's another story. You gotta prep the grains yourself and convert yer own starches and pay attention to temperatures etc etc. That's more of a craft, and it's an all-day affair.

It's definately more of an investment in hardware, though.

This is the step I may never take. Making wine from fruit and vegetables out of my garden is probably less complex way to satisfy any desire to get deeper crafting my own flavours. I've read enough by advanced people on brewing forums to see the serious undertaking involved in making beer straight from grain. These are the dudes with jury-rigged chemical plants with automated heaters etc.. in their barns and garages.

Cider is a possibility though.



No matter what, I'm never, ever, ever, doing this again unless I have a kegging system. Bottles...FUCK...THAT.

I don't have bottles, just a secondary keg with a tap.

Kein Haar
15th March 09, 07:29 AM
Yeah, cider wasn't bad as I recall. Hell, I even did it with apple juice concentrate.

Kein Haar
15th March 09, 07:31 AM
Oh, and you live in a climate conducive to growing hops. That's just plain easy.

They are definately aggressive growers, but North America's interior is just too fucked-up on both extremes. The vines grew fine, but I got scant flowering.

Cullion
15th March 09, 08:10 AM
I'm not going to try and make wine from grapes, just what you might call 'country wine'. Stuff made from blackberries, pea pods, oranges, raisins etc..

I'll probably try and stick to things I can grow in our climate for cost reasons, so blackberries, plums and pea-pods are the main candidates.

Best home made white I ever tried was made from pea pods and raisins. A little bit sweet, very very strong.

Keith
15th March 09, 12:05 PM
I've brewed cider from store bought apple juice and it came out quite well. If you plan to spice it, be VERY conservative with the amount of cloves. I ruined a batch that way.

As far as distilling goes, a lot of neat information can be found here: http://homedistiller.org/

I ... have a friend ... who tried a little home distilling from some super cheap store bought wine (found at the 99 cent store of all places). No idea what the final alcohol content was, but it was able to sustain a flame so it was at least proof. The product did smell like rubbing alcohol and tasted what I imagine rubbing alcohol would taste like. So my friend says anyway. Spirits really need to be aged properly in wood in order to be palatable to anyone but a severe alcoholic.

Cullion
16th March 09, 02:13 PM
Status Update:

I siphoned it into the barrel for secondary fermentation.

I tasted some out of curiosity. It had alcohol, and no molds or vinegary flavours. It had a good frothy head on it. It smelled just like strong real ale. There was a raw, bitter aftertaste that I think will mellow with age.

I drank a whole glass. I actually quite liked it as it was. I ingested live yeast, obviously. I felt fantastic the next day, more energetic than usual. Google tells me I probably got a good dose of B-vitamins by doing that.

I think I may have discovered the elixir of life.

Zendetta
16th March 09, 02:31 PM
"Beer is proof that God exists, and that he wants us to be Happy."

- Benjamin Franklin

Kein Haar
16th March 09, 02:34 PM
Status Update:

I siphoned it into the barrel for secondary fermentation.

I tasted some out of curiosity. It had alcohol, and no molds or vinegary flavours. It had a good frothy head on it. It smelled just like strong real ale. There was a raw, bitter aftertaste that I think will mellow with age.

I drank a whole glass. I actually quite liked it as it was. I ingested live yeast, obviously. I felt fantastic the next day, more energetic than usual. Google tells me I probably got a good dose of B-vitamins by doing that.

I think I may have discovered the elixir of life.

It'll get MUCH better. I still find it disgusting after that first fermentation. Just wait.

Cullion
16th March 09, 05:12 PM
The bitter, almost soapy aftertaste certainly needs to mellow.

Yeast doesn't have to die due to alcohol concentration until after 10% alcohol, depending on the strain used, IIRC.

Would it be broken and wrong for me to try and brew it so it matures for a few weeks but I still get live yeast mixed in with it ?

I sort of like the idea of ingesting some live yeast. It seems to agree with me.
I just want most of the sugar gone but I don't want super-strength beer that gets me hammered.

I just like a bit of that lively vitamin-B rich live yeast and a touch of the rawness of young beer.

Kein Haar
16th March 09, 05:22 PM
I don't understand what you're asking exactly, so I'll just explain the process as I have performed and understand.

Primary fermentation in one bottle. Once that basically stops, transfer it to a second bottle.

The added agitation and fresh air is supposed to polish off the rest of the available sugars, and distance yourself from the bulk of the crap at the bottom of the last bottle.

Finally, for natural carbonation, you'd toss in another dose of barley sugar, and then immediately bottle (or otherwise contain). Then you let that sit another few weeks to mellow and carbonate. At the bottom of said bottles (or other containers) will be a fresh layer of yeast silt from that last dose of sugar you added.

So, in that case there's no way around drinking some yeast, even if you wanted to avoid it.

There should be no remaining sugars if you're still within average alcohol specs for beer since you'll never have reached the threshold at which the alcohol would kill it.

Cullion
16th March 09, 05:30 PM
The process I followed was:-

Two cans of malt, somewhere warmish for a week in the fermentation bucket (they said 4-6 days).

Siphon to airtight barrel, stir in a little of the yeasty goo from the bottom of the first barrel and some extra sugar. Leave somewhere warm for another week.

Move somewhere cool and allow to mature for a week or two before starting to serve.

I had my first drink of it after 8 days. It's still under the stairs doing a secondary fermentation.

By 'live' yeast I mean I can still see it in suspension with little CO2 bubbles attached to it here and there.

Kein Haar
16th March 09, 05:33 PM
Oh, well...never thought about that. I figured it tasted so unremarkable upon completion, I couldn't imagine it being a whole lot better even earlier.

Your directions do seem hasty, though.

Things can really come together after several weeks of aging in the final container.

Cullion
16th March 09, 05:36 PM
I agree that all the serious brewers say to age it.

I'm just finding I like the raw, edgy taste of very young beer.

To be honest this really is almost all about cost for me.

I'd like to find a way of keeping the raw edgy side I like whilst some of the soapy aftertaste goes and to ensure I'm not drinking too much sugar water.

Kein Haar
16th March 09, 05:38 PM
On the other hand, not-quite-completed cider...that sounds quite good in my mind.

Cullion
16th March 09, 05:40 PM
I have an apple tree in the back yard. That's coming.

I'm also thinking about plum wine. Maybe if it accidentally froze on top because I left a big container outside, and I skimmed the ice off the top, and then did the same thing over and over again for several weeks in winter, it might accidentally turn in to Slivovitz.

MEGA JESUS-SAMA
17th March 09, 01:19 AM
we should have a DIY forum
tips, tricks, and possibly sales

nihilist
17th March 09, 01:26 AM
Yes, we could also offer tobacco and firearms.

MEGA JESUS-SAMA
17th March 09, 01:40 AM
DIY guns?
i sort of meant people who made, i don't know, suits of chainmail or leather jackets or something.

nihilist
17th March 09, 01:42 AM
Alcohol, tobacco and firearms fits right in with leather and chainmail.

Mr. Mantis
17th March 09, 02:09 PM
I don't make the stuff, but I commonly find myself drinking some strange liquid from a bottle.

nihilist
17th March 09, 02:11 PM
I won't say it.

Mr. Mantis
18th March 09, 03:34 PM
It wasn't jizz.
I know because I've tasted it before, my own.
My philosophy is that I couldn't ask her to drink that stuff down unless I knew what the deal was.

It wasn't that bad at all, so quit yer bitchin' and swallow!

Thank God I'm not into golden showers or Cleveland steamers.

Robot Jesus
18th March 09, 04:03 PM
The process I followed was:-



Siphon to airtight barrel, air tight or barrel with an airlock?

Cullion
18th March 09, 06:34 PM
Sorry, barrel with a tap that could be twisted shut and an airtight seal at the top which was secured after siphoning the raw beer in.

Like a 5 gallon plastic keg.

Zendetta
18th March 09, 07:14 PM
Funny story: a (different) friend was making a lovely brown ale. He didn't realize that he had left a tiny bit of water in the glass carboy, and poured the hot, just cooked mix (wort? I dunno) into it. The hot beer hit the millimeter or so of cooler water and made a tiny hairline crack alll around the bottom of the carboy.

He didn't realize what had happened until he grabbed the neck and lifter the carboy. The top and sides came up, the base stayed on the floor, and five gallons of brown ale washed thru his kitchen.

You can cover a lot of tile with five gallons of beer.

Robot Jesus
18th March 09, 08:17 PM
Sorry, barrel with a tap that could be twisted shut and an airtight seal at the top which was secured after siphoning the raw beer in.

Like a 5 gallon plastic keg.

I forsee issues bottleing. now just to be clear when you say air tight do you mean no air in or out, or air can get out but not in?

Quikfeet509
18th March 09, 08:29 PM
Funny story: a (different) friend was making a lovely brown ale. He didn't realize that he had left a tiny bit of water in the glass carboy, and poured the hot, just cooked mix (wort? I dunno) into it. The hot beer hit the millimeter or so of cooler water and made a tiny hairline crack alll around the bottom of the carboy.

He didn't realize what had happened until he grabbed the neck and lifter the carboy. The top and sides came up, the base stayed on the floor, and five gallons of brown ale washed thru his kitchen.

You can cover a lot of tile with five gallons of beer.


Your not supposed to pour hot wort directly into a glass carboy for several reasons.


This is one of them.

Zendetta
18th March 09, 09:05 PM
Yep. I'll bet he won't do that again.

After a year or so, his apartment stopped smelling like a mexican brewery.

jubei33
19th March 09, 04:05 AM
Yeah I knew that guy too, his bathroom always smelled of manchego as well. Unregulated cheese.....MMmmmmmmMM

Zendetta
19th March 09, 03:15 PM
uh, I think that was a different guy.

Quikfeet509
19th March 09, 05:17 PM
Yep. I'll bet he won't do that again.

After a year or so, his apartment stopped smelling like a mexican brewery.


Homebrewing is one of those hobbies where when you have epic fail, you make progress.




I completely fracked up my North Coast Old Rasputin clone. Got the malt wrong so it looks like an amber, wasted about 1/2 gallon pouring it into the primary, and I tried to add coffee (not in the original recipe) to the secondary but couldn't get the cheese cloth to work and ended up dumping a ton of coffee into the secondary which caused an acrid coffee flavor plus an infection.

Bottled it anyway and hopefully in 6 months it will taste fine.

Zendetta
19th March 09, 05:22 PM
Jeebus Cripes. I LOVE that Rasputin stuff, but it'll put hair on your chest (or remove it, if you have too much already).

That sounds pretty gnarly.

My brewer friend is an acupuncturist, and he sometimes puts Chinese herbs in the beer.

socratic
19th March 09, 06:25 PM
Jeebus Cripes. I LOVE that Rasputin stuff, but it'll put hair on your chest (or remove it, if you have too much already).

That sounds pretty gnarly.

My brewer friend is an acupuncturist, and he sometimes puts Chinese herbs in the beer.

Five-spice beer.

Hmmmm.

... Mmmmmm.

Cullion
19th March 09, 06:41 PM
Update: My beer is still undergoing secondary fermentation in the tapped barrel it will be served from. Still no sign of molds or vinegary tastes.

Based on my prior attempt, this seems to suggest I have a 50% hit rate following beginner's kit instructions.

I have an idle fermentation bucket I might need to restart on Friday night and buy a second tapped barrel.

A 50% hit rate with regards to avoiding molds and infected flavours suggests I still need to study and master home sanitisation and environmental control of the brewing equipment.

I think I might need to start recording temperatures and humidity in an automated low-maintenance way.

Zendetta
19th March 09, 06:48 PM
Damn you dirty.

You should consider getting a keg-erator. That way you won't have to bottle it.

Although if you bottle it you can make your own weird, disturbing labels.

Cullion
19th March 09, 06:50 PM
I'm not bottling, I'm serving straight from the tap of the secondary fermentation barrel. It has an airtight cap and a tap down the bottom like a keg.

Bottles are too time consuming.

Zendetta
19th March 09, 06:58 PM
and also a major vector for infectious funk.

So you serve it warm?

Fuckin' Limeys, I tell ya...

Cullion
19th March 09, 07:12 PM
It's English bitter. I serve it at room temperature and love it that way.

I would not try to serve Lager or white wine that way.

Quikfeet509
19th March 09, 10:43 PM
Jeebus Cripes. I LOVE that Rasputin stuff, but it'll put hair on your chest (or remove it, if you have too much already).

That sounds pretty gnarly.

My brewer friend is an acupuncturist, and he sometimes puts Chinese herbs in the beer.


Brewing with Chinese herbs is an eventual goal for me although I am too busy now to anything beyond my current scope.


I think my first herb batch will be a Yin Yang Huo Hefeweizen.

socratic
20th March 09, 05:15 AM
It's English bitter. I serve it at room temperature and love it that way.

I would not try to serve Lager or white wine that way.

Is it heading into summer or winter over there? If it's still cold, just leave the keg outside when you've finished brewing and it will chill the au naturale way.

That or have a huge freezer.

Robot Jesus
20th March 09, 03:41 PM
Brewing with Chinese herbs is an eventual goal for me although I am too busy now to anything beyond my current scope.


I think my first herb batch will be a Yin Yang Huo Hefeweizen.
brewing a sneaky pete that won't be overpowering is one of my goals.

Quikfeet509
21st March 09, 10:14 AM
I'm not bottling, I'm serving straight from the tap of the secondary fermentation barrel. It has an airtight cap and a tap down the bottom like a keg.

Bottles are too time consuming.


Bottles do suck and I want to switch over to kegging. Is what you are using something like this:


http://www.midwestsupplies.com/products/ProdByID.aspx?ProdID=6858

Keith
22nd March 09, 12:55 PM
I just started a batch of mead last night, which will occupy my fermenter for a while. it's unlikely that I will try this again (unless it turns out REALLY tasty) as the sheer amount of honey I needed to boil to get the 13% alcohol content made for a very labor intensive process.

Cullion
22nd March 09, 04:22 PM
Bottles do suck and I want to switch over to kegging. Is what you are using something like this:


http://www.midwestsupplies.com/products/ProdByID.aspx?ProdID=6858

No, much, much simpler. No gas cylinders or anything like that.

Just a plastic barrel with an airtight seal at the top you close when you've siphoned the beer in, and a simply tap at the bottom. The only carbonation comes from the fermentation.

The last few days have been sunny and reasonably warm for the time of year. As I said, being British I am happy to drink dark beers and ales at room temperature. Lagers and White wines I would chill.

Quikfeet509
22nd March 09, 05:26 PM
I do think there is a difference between fermentation and serving temperatures, but many people like the dark beers because there is plenty of taste in there to cover up the "off flavors" produced by too high fermentation temperatures.



Personally, I'm glad I hate lagers because the effort required to produce one must suck.

Cullion
22nd March 09, 05:40 PM
It's a brit cultural thing to drink bitter or other dark ales at room temperature.

From what I've read, Lager involves more fermentation stages and you have to be much more precise with temperature control.

Kein Haar
22nd March 09, 05:47 PM
I did a lager a time or two. I submerged the carboy in a 32 gallon garbage can of water in a heated garage (stayed in the 40s and 50s), and the water tempered the temperature swings.

Not really worth the effort, though.

Why?

Because if you chill an ale, the cold temps dullen the taste buds anyway and you don't get the same degree of flavor.

For home brewers, if you want a lager, just chill an ale. Close enough.

jubei33
23rd March 09, 04:19 AM
For home brewers, if you want a lager, just chill an ale. Close enough.

hmmm. interesting point of view.

You ever try making some of the heavier stouts or a russian imperial ale?

Kein Haar
23rd March 09, 10:41 AM
Don't placate me like I'm your mother, son.

jubei33
23rd March 09, 03:41 PM
Yeah your right, my real question was what would a stinking persian drink and how does it differ from what kingly Leonidas drinks?

Robot Jesus
23rd March 09, 04:12 PM
a persian would probably have a heavily spiced and sweetened wine.

a greek would drink watered down wine.

jubei33
23rd March 09, 04:20 PM
So a fru-fru drink and pabst blue ribbon?

Cullion
23rd March 09, 05:50 PM
Xerxes himself drank wine, but forbade even a drop to his troops. The penalty for a persian soldier being caught with alcohol was public beheading. The spartans drank it by the bowl before battle as an offering to Zeus.

Kein Haar
25th March 09, 04:07 PM
There ya go.

Robot Jesus
26th March 09, 04:44 PM
Xerxes himself drank wine, but forbade even a drop to his troops. The penalty for a persian soldier being caught with alcohol was public beheading. The spartans drank it by the bowl before battle as an offering to Zeus.


did he have a rational other than "I'M A GOD, DO WHAT I SAY OR I'LL FUCKING SMITE YOU"

Cullion
26th March 09, 05:34 PM
did he have a rational other than "I'M A GOD, DO WHAT I SAY OR I'LL FUCKING SMITE YOU"

What else would he need ?

Quikfeet509
26th March 09, 07:45 PM
So I decided to try my fracked up Coffee version of North Coast's Old Rasputin Imperial Stout after 4 weeks in the bottle and it wasn't bad. It still is rough around the edges and it has sort of an acrid coffee flavor to it, but it is drinkable.


Homebrewing rocks.

Cullion
26th March 09, 08:33 PM
Congratulations!

I need some advice now.

I've been pleased with my second ever brew (and it was the first drinkable one). Nice flavour, nice alcohol content, no infections or anything.

However, the beer has too much head.

Maybe it's a problem with the tap at the bottom of the barrel that I've been serving it from, but it seems really hard not to get a head that takes up 50% of the glass and then takes an age to settle, unless I slow the pouring to a pitiful little trickle. Yes, I know about tilting the glass etc..

Anybody here know much about taps?

Quikfeet509
26th March 09, 09:04 PM
I've only done bottling, and if you have too much head with bottling, it is usually because you added to much sugar to the beer immediately prior to bottling.


Since your secondary is also your serving apparatus, I doubt you added sugar when you transfered your wort to it. Perhaps a kegger has some info...

Cullion
26th March 09, 09:17 PM
I did add sugar and I added a touch more sugar than was suggested to finish at the 4.5% for the two cans of malt I bought. You probably have it nailed.

How do making stronger beer with more manageable head ?

Zendetta
26th March 09, 09:43 PM
Getting too much Head?

Bet you never thought you'd be saying that.

Kein Haar
27th March 09, 11:31 AM
How do making stronger beer with more manageable head ?

More sugar in the first fermentation, less in the second.

I used to add 3/4 of a cup for bottling. Perhaps 2/3 cup for your process? Maybe 1/2.

Chilling it would, I think, cut that down too.

Robot Jesus
27th March 09, 02:18 PM
pour melted butter on top of the glass,that will settle the head almost imideatly.

Robot Jesus
28th March 09, 12:02 PM
anyone have any advice on hard cider?

I have the equipment to brew and bottle beer, is there any different process i need to follow?

Keith
28th March 09, 12:48 PM
anyone have any advice on hard cider?

I have the equipment to brew and bottle beer, is there any different process i need to follow?
I've brewed cider two batches of cider. One batch was unsuccessfull because I was going for a spiced cider and I used too much of cloves which became overpowering once it fermented. The second batch I was very conservative with the spicing and it was great.

You can just use store-bought applejuice, pour directetly into your fermenter, add yeast and go. Best to use a yeast that's more suited for cider than you would for beer: talk to your brewing supplier about this.

Robot Jesus
28th March 09, 04:15 PM
I was thinking of using champaign yeast, also can someone talk me out of spiceing with just a hint of salvia.

Quikfeet509
30th March 09, 05:50 PM
Go ahead and try it.

As for yeast, here's a good place to start:

http://www.midwestsupplies.com/products/ProdBySubCat.aspx?SubCat=11125

[it is safe to click BTW]

Keith
3rd April 10, 09:00 PM
So I had my first major problem with my home brew. Last batch I brewed I really procrastinated on bottling for about 6 weeks, letting the brew sit in the secondary for too long. The result: no carbonation from bottling. I think the yeast died from sitting too long. I had a package of powdered yeast that had been sitting in my fridge for a while. I warmed it up and got a starter culture growing. I used a dropper to add yeast slurry to all the bottles and re-capped them. I then used the remaining yeast to make a gallon of half-strength mead (about 6 to 6.3%). I've heard that it's good practice to add extra nutrients to mead as the honey doesn't give the yeast a lot to work with, but we'll see. I'll report back in a week or two as to how my carbonation quick-fix worked.

Cullion
4th April 10, 07:00 AM
I was thinking of using champaign yeast, also can someone talk me out of spiceing with just a hint of salvia.

Yes. Having watched youtubes of people high on salvia it apparently turns you into a fucking retard.

Keith
4th April 10, 12:39 PM
Yes. Having watched youtubes of people high on salvia it apparently turns you into a fucking retard.

Your advice may be late by ohhhhh about a year or so :tongue:

Robot Jesus
8th April 10, 03:48 PM
Yes. Having watched youtubes of people high on salvia it apparently turns you into a fucking retard.


it's suppose to be milder if taken orally. I had an Idea once that if I ever start a brew house i would initially offer a salvia beer as a marketing stunt alongside two normal beers.

Zendetta
8th April 10, 03:51 PM
The saving grace of Salvia is that it is over quick. Ingested orally, it can last a long, long time.

Salvia and beer is, imo, a terrible idea... unless you plan on having someone else drink it.

Robot Jesus
8th April 10, 04:01 PM
I'll just leave a case outside of a local highschool and see what happens.

partyboy
12th October 10, 08:40 PM
http://i.imgur.com/NPWjU.png

bob
12th October 10, 10:12 PM
Just get her to milk you. You know what I'm talking about.

Ajamil
12th October 10, 10:43 PM
She doesn't like you drinking, either - so no go.

Adouglasmhor
13th October 10, 11:48 AM
I did a lager a time or two. I submerged the carboy in a 32 gallon garbage can of water in a heated garage (stayed in the 40s and 50s), and the water tempered the temperature swings.

Not really worth the effort, though.

Why?

Because if you chill an ale, the cold temps dullen the taste buds anyway and you don't get the same degree of flavor.

For home brewers, if you want a lager, just chill an ale. Close enough.

i have made a biere de garde* using pilsener and pale malt mixed and bakers yeast and just told lager drinkers it was lager, they thought it was really good and nagged a couple of other guys who were into home brewing to try making some too.

I was inspired by supermarkets in Glasgow selling bierre de garde as lager. Mine was better.

*It's just like doing a pale ale only less hops.