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Advice - I Want to Home Brew Weekend Vanity cuz I Figure All Home Brewers are, well, at Home Tonight

Posted on 04/17/2009 4:29:41 PM PDT by IrishPennant

Happy Friday!!!! Beer lover here. Not a connoisseur, but a little above a warm PBR you might say. I have been thinking for sometime about brewing my own. I have the room, time and enjoy a good hobby as much as the next Joe...and I figure since I can change the head gaskets in my car, recharge the A/C in the old truck and know my way around the kitchen pretty well, I can do this.

I was looking around the web and there are kits and forum sites, etc, but I figured asking for some general advice in a place where I love and trust my FRiends would be fun.

Any FReepers out there brewing your own and want to tell a rookie where to start. I understand the kit avenue is not real good, and supplies and hops and such can all be picked up locally (I'm just outside Memphis in Northern Mississippi).

I did read that Ales were the easiest to make but I do like a good stout beer...From time to time I travel to Germany, just outside Frankfurt for work. The locals are drinking mostly from local breweries and kid me about the amount of great stuff int he beers...claim each beer is the equivelent of eating a loaf of bread. Regardless, I cannot remember the brewer, but the beer was great.


TOPICS: Food; Hobbies; Miscellaneous
KEYWORDS: beer; dyi; homebrew
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1 posted on 04/17/2009 4:29:41 PM PDT by IrishPennant
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To: IrishPennant

Read “The New Complete Joy of Homebrewing” by Charlie Papazian front to back before making any decisions.


2 posted on 04/17/2009 4:37:33 PM PDT by WackySam (The fact that there are 24 hours in a day, and 24 beers in a case, is not a coincidence.)
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To: IrishPennant; knews_hound

Bump for home brewing. Knewshound knows!


3 posted on 04/17/2009 4:38:21 PM PDT by dynachrome (Barack Hussein Obama yunikku khinaaziir)
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To: IrishPennant

Also, stouts are ales.


4 posted on 04/17/2009 4:38:24 PM PDT by WackySam (The fact that there are 24 hours in a day, and 24 beers in a case, is not a coincidence.)
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To: WackySam

Sweet - thanks for the read heads-up...but do you mean before I decide what to brew or before I decide IF to brew???


5 posted on 04/17/2009 4:42:49 PM PDT by IrishPennant (Obama: Succeeding Where Bin Laden Failed)
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To: WackySam

hat makes a stout...More hops and barley???


6 posted on 04/17/2009 4:43:59 PM PDT by IrishPennant (Obama: Succeeding Where Bin Laden Failed)
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To: IrishPennant
hat makes a stout = What makes a stout
7 posted on 04/17/2009 4:45:06 PM PDT by IrishPennant (Obama: Succeeding Where Bin Laden Failed)
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To: IrishPennant

Buy Peanuts


8 posted on 04/17/2009 4:46:31 PM PDT by al baby (Hi Mom)
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To: IrishPennant

Darn it darn it darn it...unannounced and unappreciated in-law arrival down stairs. I’ll be back but any thoughts the meantime will be appreciated!!!!!


9 posted on 04/17/2009 4:49:09 PM PDT by IrishPennant (Obama: Succeeding Where Bin Laden Failed)
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To: IrishPennant
but do you mean before I decide what to brew or before I decide IF to brew???

Both. It will save you time, money and aggravation if you read it first.
10 posted on 04/17/2009 4:50:12 PM PDT by WackySam (The fact that there are 24 hours in a day, and 24 beers in a case, is not a coincidence.)
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To: IrishPennant
but any thoughts IN the meantime...

Man, I gotta stop posting without reviewing first!!!

11 posted on 04/17/2009 4:51:20 PM PDT by IrishPennant (Obama: Succeeding Where Bin Laden Failed)
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To: IrishPennant

The best advice I can give: Invite me over to test each batch.


12 posted on 04/17/2009 4:53:23 PM PDT by Fester Chugabrew
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To: IrishPennant

I would advise going with a kit the first time around. (There are start-up kits which give you the buckets, bottle-cappers, etc.)

After you see how the first batch goes... just getting it to ferment, I mean — You’ll have the general-knowledge of how to do things and can begin making your own recipes.

(I made one that had a 11.2 ABV! It tasted great too. Though I lost the recipe. :( )


13 posted on 04/17/2009 4:54:48 PM PDT by OneWingedShark (Q: Why am I here? A: To do Justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with my God.)
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To: IrishPennant

The addition of roasted malt and/or roasted barley.


14 posted on 04/17/2009 4:56:34 PM PDT by WackySam (The fact that there are 24 hours in a day, and 24 beers in a case, is not a coincidence.)
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To: WackySam

Bump


15 posted on 04/17/2009 4:57:53 PM PDT by CJinVA
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To: IrishPennant

knews_hound has a good page to get you started.

It is a worthy hobby with many benefits. The beer is fresh and soooo good.

And the ingredients are tax free in many locales.

“It’s a far better brew when you know the government’s getting the screw.”


16 posted on 04/17/2009 4:58:35 PM PDT by 5Madman2 (There is no such thing as an experienced suicide bomber)
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To: IrishPennant; WackySam
Sam's right. You need THIS BOOK!

Charlie's got a complete list of what you'll need, but basically you need:

1. Brewkettle - 5 gal is standard - with lid

2. Submersible thermometer (you can clip a candy thermometer to the side if you angle it away into the wort).

3. Long stirring spoon.

4. Carboy. This can be an old class water bottle and most of them are.

5. Funnel.

6. Strainer that fits the funnel.

7. Tube fitting the top of the carboy that you can put into water for primary fermentation.

8. Vapor lock that fits the carboy for secondary fermentation.

9. Big bucket (5+ gal) that you can sterilize for beer transfer.

10. Chlorine bleach (or iodine - bleach is less messy).

11. Bottles, caps, and a bottle capper.

12. Small-diameter tube for syphoning the beer from the bucket into the bottles.

13. Small muslin bags for the hops.

14. The makin's - malt, yeast, hops.

15. Beer. It is a scientific fact that one makes better beer when drinking beer. It's magic.

I've probably forgotten some stuff such as a saucepan for the priming malt but that ought to get you started. FR homebrewers, pick me up here if I've missed anything critical.

Cheers!

17 posted on 04/17/2009 5:06:45 PM PDT by Billthedrill
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To: Billthedrill
FR homebrewers, pick me up here if I've missed anything critical.

RDWHAHB
18 posted on 04/17/2009 5:11:28 PM PDT by WackySam (The fact that there are 24 hours in a day, and 24 beers in a case, is not a coincidence.)
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To: IrishPennant

I have an idea for a home brewing machine that would look much like, and fit into the niche normally used for a washer-dryer combo, using the same attachments.

The “unitank” washer side would be used to add the pre-made, concentrated hopped wort liquid, perhaps 10 gallons of bottled water, yeast, and even special sugars to augment the process. The mixture would be kept at the ideal temperature and gently agitated, while the CO2 produced would be vented through the dryer vent, or compressed for later use.

This would accomplish the fermenting and lagering. Then the bright beer would be filtered and pumped to the dryer side. Additional carbonation could be used with the compressed CO2, both for a finer head, and to pump the beer from the internal keg. The dryer would be a small portable refrigeration unit with a draft tap on top, so could be wheeled and plugged in where wanted.

The washer side could then be put through an automatic wash and rinse cycle with a mild, flavorless detergent, then with a final rinse cycle using bottled water.


19 posted on 04/17/2009 5:13:24 PM PDT by yefragetuwrabrumuy
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To: WackySam

Actually the difference between an Ale and Lager is the yeast. And with the difference in the yeast comes a difference in fermentation time and temperature. Ale yeast can ferment a batch of beer in as little as three weeks to bottle and need at least 55-60 degrees. Lager yeast can take over 6 months to ferment a batch and like around 40 degrees.


20 posted on 04/17/2009 5:14:56 PM PDT by ResponseAbility (Government tends to never fix the problems it creates in the first place)
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To: ResponseAbility
Actually the difference between an Ale and Lager is the yeast.

I was commenting on the differences between ales and stouts (which do use the same types of yeast).
21 posted on 04/17/2009 5:19:47 PM PDT by WackySam (The fact that there are 24 hours in a day, and 24 beers in a case, is not a coincidence.)
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To: Billthedrill

If you use bottles I found a nice attachment for a faucet made out of brass that squirts water upwards at a nice strong stream when your dirty bottle is placed on it. And I like to use 2-liter pop bottles for most of a batch to cut down on work.


22 posted on 04/17/2009 5:24:21 PM PDT by ResponseAbility (Government tends to never fix the problems it creates in the first place)
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To: IrishPennant
Get a stainless pot for boiling yer wort. Doesn't need to be 5 gallons - add water later. The best thing to invest in is 25 feet of 1/4” refrigerator copper line. Get the right fittings to connect it to your faucet. Bend right angles in each end and plumb the fittings on one end for use later. Make sure the other end is able to run up, out and over the edge of your brew pot. Sterilize every thing with a good brand of sterilizer from your brewing store.

When the wort is fully boiled and ready to cool, transfer the pot to the sink from the stove and drop in the coil. connect to the faucet and turn on the cold full blast. Cover the brew pot and let the water run into the sink until tepid or room temp. Remove coil, pitch yer yeast in and put it in the brew pail. Stir in a little air with a drill and a stainless of plastic rod with right angle bend in the end.

Follow the usual instructions. Rack on time. Bottle whenever. Add dextrose priming sugar (I lean on it a little for extra carbonation). Bottle and store for a good long while - I find a couple months to be best.

Prosit, comrade!

23 posted on 04/17/2009 5:24:51 PM PDT by WorkingClassFilth (Actually, it all started back in Mayberry. Helen Crump was a traveler and Floyd, well, you know...)
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To: IrishPennant

Read up before you start. Papazian’s books are classics but there are other resources, especially on-line.

Buy a gear kit and a recipe kit and give it a go.

The key is to sanitize absolutely everything.

A corollary is to not drink while you brew. Mistakes will happen. Get it in the carboy and then have at it.

Also, be patient. You probably won’t be able to drink your first batch for a month or so.

Tons of work and tons of fun. If you have the time.


24 posted on 04/17/2009 5:27:32 PM PDT by plymaniac (2010=1994)
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To: IrishPennant

Irish: I’ve brewed my own many times, and here is what I can offer:
1. You will need bottles - ask your local bartenders if they will save you the capped bottles they pour - not screw heads, but cappers - and give them $5 or $10 per case - reuse them. Soak them in bleach and water before each use, and let them dry for a few days to be sure the bleach gets out.
2. Search the online sites - then call or e-mail them with questions. They can set you up with the equipment you will need - not expensive - a couple of food grade 5 gal. canisters, an airlock, canned materials. Mix the canned stuff with the yeast, and go for it.
If you get good at it or really like it, you can order the separate ingredieants (hops, yeast, etc.) and really make it from scratch, but I recommend canned ingredients to start - you mix it, seal it up, let it bubble, strain it into the bottles, add a little sugar to each bottle (to pressurize the bottle) and cap it. Home brewed beer is better than anything you ever tasted. Send me a bottle.


25 posted on 04/17/2009 5:28:18 PM PDT by majormaturity
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To: WackySam
"Well let's set the record straight, and yes there was a hint above. I will start by defining what defines ales and lagers. Well... drum roll please..... it is the yeast and the fermentation temperature. It is as simple as that. Oh..., you want more!" A quote from this website by a guy who teaches brewing at UNLV
26 posted on 04/17/2009 5:28:24 PM PDT by ResponseAbility (Government tends to never fix the problems it creates in the first place)
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To: Fester Chugabrew
You got it Fester!!!

All...this is great 0- thanks soooo much for the feedback...on the books and all. I snuck away from the in-laws for a few - surprised so many into home brewing...I gotta go back and read it all now!!!!

I hope I don't forget to thank someone...oh what the heck...it is a fun topic, huh????

27 posted on 04/17/2009 5:29:44 PM PDT by IrishPennant (Obama: Succeeding Where Bin Laden Failed)
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To: WackySam

Oops, I misread your reply. You are correct.


28 posted on 04/17/2009 5:32:15 PM PDT by ResponseAbility (Government tends to never fix the problems it creates in the first place)
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To: WackySam

Just bought all the ingredients to make an Irish Stout. Get back to me if anybody wants to know how to make it.


29 posted on 04/17/2009 5:32:16 PM PDT by redreno (Americans don't go Gault. Americans go Postal.)
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To: IrishPennant
Here is the bottle washer I mentioned earlier
30 posted on 04/17/2009 5:37:22 PM PDT by ResponseAbility (Government tends to never fix the problems it creates in the first place)
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To: IrishPennant

Guys - thank you so much...I think what I am reading is it is a very LOVED hobby...I need to read the Boble o’ Beer and maybe at the same time try my hand a few times with a kit to get the rookie hang of it. Then when I get good (or brave), devote the entire laundry room to my hobby (I’m in - I get clean underwear from Walmart anytime and I can shower with my clothes on - the wife may be a different story tho’), save my beer bottles now (Cus I ain’t brewing yet - buyin’ off the shelf - might as well stop pretending I am recycling and really do it for me - heck with the world - we are dying from global warming anyway)and then keep in touch with you guys along the way. Is that pretty much it?????


31 posted on 04/17/2009 5:41:57 PM PDT by IrishPennant (Obama: Succeeding Where Bin Laden Failed)
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To: ResponseAbility

Cool, Thanks RA- kinda looks like something from an OB/GYN’s office, tho :)


32 posted on 04/17/2009 5:43:38 PM PDT by IrishPennant (Obama: Succeeding Where Bin Laden Failed)
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To: IrishPennant
I'm home - and having a brew...

Does that count?!

33 posted on 04/17/2009 5:44:20 PM PDT by Ladysmith (The trouble with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people's money - M. Thatcher)
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To: Ladysmith

Yes’m - Friday brew drinkers always count.


34 posted on 04/17/2009 5:45:59 PM PDT by IrishPennant (Obama: Succeeding Where Bin Laden Failed)
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To: IrishPennant

Well if you sat on it, it would give you one heck of an enema...LOL.


35 posted on 04/17/2009 5:54:31 PM PDT by ResponseAbility (Government tends to never fix the problems it creates in the first place)
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To: ResponseAbility

So I can get one on-line at Bwarnyfwank.com???


36 posted on 04/17/2009 6:01:51 PM PDT by IrishPennant (Obama: Succeeding Where Bin Laden Failed)
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To: IrishPennant

Almost every city has a beer brewers club.
Avoid them for one year. Most of the members are too busy trying to impress newbies than help them.

They are, however, very good help after you know what you are doing.

Go to your beer supply store and ask them for some names of guys who have just started. Call them for help. Ask them to watch while they make a batch. Best way to learn.


37 posted on 04/17/2009 6:09:55 PM PDT by american_ranger (Never ever use DirecTV)
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To: IrishPennant; quantim; spinestein; 5Madman2; DTogo; Horatio Gates; Ribeye; decal; B Knotts; ...
What?

No one from the FR Homebrewers pinged me to this?

Man, you guys are slackin.

If you are interested in Homebrewing I strongly urge you to read Homebrewing 1A (Homebrewing for beginners) which I wrote specifically for situations such as this.

Homebrewers, help a guy out here will ya?




On or off the Homebrewers Ping List, let me know.


Cheers,

knewshound

Homebrewing 1A (Homebrewing for beginners)

Homebrewing 101 (for experienced Homebrewers)
38 posted on 04/17/2009 6:16:54 PM PDT by knews_hound (I for one welcome our new Insect overlords!)
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To: knews_hound

Tell us how to make IPA’s


39 posted on 04/17/2009 6:20:11 PM PDT by mylife (The Roar Of The Masses Could Be Farts)
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To: dynachrome

Apologies to Dynachrome who did ping me but I was too buzzed to see it :)

Cheers,

knewshound


40 posted on 04/17/2009 6:24:08 PM PDT by knews_hound (I for one welcome our new Insect overlords!)
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To: knews_hound

Except for the carbonation, which I am still having trouble getting right, my Coopers Stout turned out wonderful.


41 posted on 04/17/2009 6:27:49 PM PDT by djf (Live quiet. Dream loud.)
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To: mylife; knews_hound
Buy a can of IPA malt mix, and an extra 1.5kg can of dark Malt Extract (instead of using sugar), and some Fuggle and Cascade hops.

If there is a local brewhouse you frequent that has a particular IPA you like, ask 'em what's in it (i.e. hops) and go for it at home.

Get brewing!

42 posted on 04/17/2009 6:34:11 PM PDT by DTogo (Time to bring back the Sons of Liberty.)
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To: DTogo

Fuggle? Fug you to pal!


43 posted on 04/17/2009 6:37:14 PM PDT by mylife (The Roar Of The Masses Could Be Farts)
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To: knews_hound

/sarc Got a good recipe for bud lite? /endsarc


44 posted on 04/17/2009 6:44:30 PM PDT by 10000Taxes (Minnesota - Land of 10,000 Lakes, 10,000 Taxes, and 1 tobacco use fee.)
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To: IrishPennant

He probably tests them all before he mails them, you still want one?


45 posted on 04/17/2009 7:20:06 PM PDT by ResponseAbility (Government tends to never fix the problems it creates in the first place)
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To: IrishPennant

The more you make beer, the easier it gets. I buy recipes and enhance. Last year I made a coffee stout that was so good. Flying fish put out the same product and I thought they stole my recipe.
When I cook food I don’t ever refer to recipes. I know what I want.
Right now I have another coffee stout fermenting, but I found Vanilla corn syrup in Aldi’s and I added that. it’s on its second fermentation. It has been gurgling up a storm.
I plan on aging it a few months. This will get better with time.


46 posted on 04/17/2009 7:53:47 PM PDT by o-n-money
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To: IrishPennant

I’m a home-brewer, can I be of assistance? Actually, there’s already some great advice on this thread so far. The New Complete Joy of Home Brewing is really a great first step, next would be to seek out a local brew-supply store and pick their brains.

Neither of these things are necessary but it will likely prepare you to make great batches from the start. In there is any one piece of advice I can give you is the be a madman about sanitation. Sanitation and preparation are the keys to make great beer, if you get those two things down you’ll be surprised just how good your beer will turn out.


47 posted on 04/17/2009 7:57:25 PM PDT by ATLDiver
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To: IrishPennant; knews_hound
I perceive from post #6 that you're married - will she be a sport about your taking over the kitchen for a few hours once in a while and having a carboy taking up space in a closet for a few days?

Not to mention that you'll probably make a sticky mess of the place sometime or other - everyone does eventually.

Assuming she does, the best suggestions I can make is:

(1) Get lots of bottles - most recipes you'll find in the basic books are for five gallon batches; that's a little more than two cases. You're probably gonna want more than one batch going at a time once you get the hang of it. You'll have people advising you to use soda kegs and such instead. Pay them no mind - suffering for your art is good for you, at least at first.

(2) You say you like stouts - good, they're probably the easiest thing to make starting out - but don't be afraid to branch out into other styles once you've made a couple of batches. The first dunkelweizen (dark wheat ale) I ever tried was the one I made - it's one of my favorites now.

(3) Homebrewing is very susceptible to economies of scale and the principle of Many Hands Make Light Work, so get your neighbors interested in it, too.

(4) See Tagline - zymurgy is as much art as science, and art doesn't always turn out like you think it should. Everyone screws the pooch once in a while - just learn your lesson and persevere.

48 posted on 04/17/2009 10:37:41 PM PDT by decal (I make the beer I drink, which sometimes means I have to drink the beer I make.)
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To: knews_hound

An excellent excuse, IMHO!


49 posted on 04/18/2009 3:05:20 PM PDT by dynachrome (Barack Hussein Obama yunikku khinaaziir)
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To: WackySam

RDWHAHB
Relax, don’t worry, have a homebrew.
Truer words have never been spoken.


50 posted on 04/19/2009 5:13:43 AM PDT by brewer1516
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