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  1. #1
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    Default Anyone brew their own BEER??

    Been thinking about learning how to brew beer for some time. From what I've seen and read it doesn't appear to be all that difficult. But then again, most of the sites you find are trying to sell their beer making equipment and supplies.

    If you're an experienced brewewr, I would be interested to hear how you got started and any advice you might care to pass along.

  2. #2
    Gold Member marimus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anyone brew their own BEER??

    Yep, it can be as simple or as hard as you want to make it.

    First up is sanitation. Hospital grade, everything needs to be clean. Including your hands as you are handling the equipment.
    Then decide if you want to start with extract brewing, partial grain or all-grain. Extract is where most people start as it is simple and all you really need is the extract kit, a clean fermenter with an airlock. Quality can be improved by controlling the fermentation temperature, what temperature is dependent on the strain of yeast you are using. A major step forward is throwing out the little packet of dried yeast that comes with a kit, and using a quality liquid yeast such as wyeast. Something like 60 percent of the flavour actually comes from the strain of yeast you use. The overall quality of the end product is directly proportional to the quality of the ingredients, so basically decide if you want to brew beer, or brew great beer.

    Cheers

  3. #3
    Super Member 2LaneCruzer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anyone brew their own BEER??

    Someone started a similar thread a few months back, don't recall which forum, but there may be some info there you might be interested in.
    Have Wings, Will Travel.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Anyone brew their own BEER??

    Morebeer.com has a great forum, and there are many other beer brewing forums.

    The intro brewing kits are good and have enough to make a quality beer. Get john palmers How to brew. Its the best book out there, and take notes as you go.
    If you can boil water you can make beer.

    I do a lot of brewing, all grain mostly sometimes extract(malt). I also do hard cider (very easy). If you have questions post away, be glad to help.
    www.stormspoons.com my website
    http://www.etsy.com/people/Forgeblast?ref=pr_profile
    Is where I also have spoons listed.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Anyone brew their own BEER??

    I started home brewing a couple of years ago. Finally, since I have been wanting to brew beer for decades but I did not have the time and I barely have the space now. I like HomeBrewTalk.com - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Community..

    My suggestion is to find a local home brew store, and as Forgeblast suggested, get John Palmer's book. Some of what is in Palmer's book is more than you need to start but as you spend more you will keep referring to the book.

    My brew store has hardware kits to make the beer with as well as packages of grain and extract for brewing. I ended up buying the more expensive kit just to make sure I got everything. I kinda wish I had not done this because the kit came with a 5 gallon glass carboy. I just use the 5 gallon fermenting bucket to for 3 weeks before bottling the beer. Some people will move the beer from the bucket to the carboy but I don't.

    The "hard" part of making beer is the sanitation and temperature control. Sanitation is easy. Buy Star San and a spray bottle. Star San is a sanitizer that works really well. You do not have to rinse it like other sanitizer so it is easy to use. The bottles of Star San are not cheap but you only need an ounce or so of Star San to make five gallons of sanitizer. I mix up about a gallon or so and we use it for both beer making and as a general cleaner/santizer around the house. It works very well. All you have to do is put it in a spray bottle and mist away.

    Temperature is the hard part in beer making for me. The beer needs to ferment in a given temperature range set by the yeast. This is hard for me to do in the summer so I don't brew when it is hot outside. This works out because I don't have time to brew in the summer anyway. If it is warm enough, I will fill up the bathtub with water and put the five gallon fermenter in the bath to help control the temperature. I keep one gallon and one liter jugs/bottles of water in the freezer to rotate in the bath water to control the temperature.

    After the wort is boiled you have to cool it down to a given temperature before putting in the yeast. This can be time consuming but I have started to add water right from the well. I used to obsess about sanitation so I would boil the water that needs to be added to the boiled wort but that is time consuming and the cool well water helps cool off the wort for the yeast. Some people use a spiral copper tube to run tap water through the wort to cool it down but to me that is wasteful of my well water so I don't do it.

    My wife has had two shoulder surgeries, and as part of her recovery, we have two devices that pump ice water to her shoulder. I have used these things to help cool down the wort.

    Brewing can be as hard or easy as you want it to be. If you can boil water, read a thermometer, and follow step by step directions, you can make really good beer.

    Later,
    Dan

  6. #6
    Veteran Member wedge40's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anyone brew their own BEER??

    dmccarty, I watch a lot of "Good Eats" and Alton Brown will by bags of ice. All you have to remember is "A Pints a pound the world around"

    Wedge
    1967 Ford 4000,Mahindra 4530 with FEL and BH, Box blade, straight blade, FEL, Rake, Bushhog, Backhoe, Jinma chipper, KKII tiller, Grapple. Mahindra 4530, with FEL and Backhoe.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Anyone brew their own BEER??

    Quote Originally Posted by marimus View Post
    Yep, it can be as simple or as hard as you want to make it.


    ... Something like 60 percent of the flavour actually comes from the strain of yeast you use. The overall quality of the end product is directly proportional to the quality of the ingredients, so basically decide if you want to brew beer, or brew great beer.

    Cheers
    Interesting, and sounds like good advice re. the yeast.

    Apparently there used to be a very active hop growiing industry around here (upstate NY) some years ago. I read somewhere that growing your own hops isn't all that difficult. (?)

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Anyone brew their own BEER??

    Quote Originally Posted by dmccarty View Post
    I started home brewing a couple of years ago. Finally, since I have been wanting to brew beer for decades but I did not have the time and I barely have the space now. I like HomeBrewTalk.com - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Community..

    My suggestion is to find a local home brew store, and as Forgeblast suggested, get John Palmer's book. Some of what is in Palmer's book is more than you need to start but as you spend more you will keep referring to the book.

    My brew store has hardware kits to make the beer with as well as packages of grain and extract for brewing. Dan
    Great info-- thanks much Dan. Do I understand correctly that you have your own brew store? You sell brewing equipment and/or ingredients?

    When I read your description of temperature control, I was reminded of my old photo darkroom days when I used to process all my own color film & slides. Kept everything at correct temperature with fish tanks and heater. Wonder if that might be a possiblity...

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Anyone brew their own BEER??

    I did do a few searches before posting, but did not catch these discussions. Some great links to resources posted here by others and I will definitely invest in Palmer's book as well as check out the other links.

    Quote Originally Posted by 2LaneCruzer View Post
    Someone started a similar thread a few months back, don't recall which forum, but there may be some info there you might be interested in.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Anyone brew their own BEER??

    I have brewed on and off for years. I still like Pappazians books. And Palmer. I hardly ever brew from a kit. I typically peruse the books and pick one. Price is usually the same though, getting the ingredients together at the store, or buying one of their "kits".

    I would start with one of those books. Then try to hook up with someone who is brewing. Or the brew store if there is one in you area; the one here, has classes on brewing, so you could get your feet wet.
    RobertN in Shingle Springs Calif

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