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The homebrew thread

mertesnmertesn I am Bobby MillerYukon, OK Icrontian
edited Dec 2011 in Food & Drink
So who else is brewing their own beer? Got custom recipes you want to share?

I'm getting ready to brew my third batch of beer. Still using beer kits though - I'm not quite ready to try my own recipes.

The first batch was AK-47 Pale Mild. Turned out really well.

The second batch was Smashing Pumpkin Ale. It just finished bottle conditioning...and apparently I didn't get the priming solution mixed in properly as my first test bottle was rather flat. The second was fine though, so there's still hope.

The third batch arrives today, and is Saison de Noel. It'll get brewed either today or tomorrow and should finish just in time for Christmas or New Year's Day.
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Comments

  • BuddyJBuddyJ Dept. of Propaganda OKC Icrontian
    edited Nov 2011
    I drink Nick's beer. Does that count? The AK-47 was AWESOMESAUSAGE. Can't wait to try the others.
  • jaredjared College Station, TX Icrontian
    edited Nov 2011
    I'd like to get into it. Just haven't had the time or funds to start :\
  • mertesnmertesn I am Bobby Miller Yukon, OK Icrontian
    edited Nov 2011
    jared wrote:
    I'd like to get into it. Just haven't had the time or funds to start :\
    The brewing equipment I use currently costs $159.99. Occasionally it's on sale for $100 (which is when I bought mine). That's pretty much the extent of your one-time costs. Everything else is per batch.

    Beer recipe kits run anywhere from $17 up to $70 depending on variety and ingredients. Bottles are inexpensive - I can buy a case of 24 from a local brew show for around $12.

    It takes surprisingly little time.

    I usually reserve three hours for brewing - more than enough time to clean, sanitize, and brew.

    Transferring beer from primary to secondary fermentation takes a few minutes.

    Bottling takes about an hour.

    Devote as much time as you please to enjoying your work with friends and family.
  • Bad-NeighborBad-Neighbor Columbus, OH
    edited Nov 2011
    There are always deals on equipment. If you want to make an investment of it, just sit on craigslist for a while. People who need to get out of the hobby often have impressive setups they're trying to unload. Kegging is coming down in price, too. I saw an assembly with everything you need to keg for $120 the other day.

    I put the hobby on hold for the holidays. I took advantage of the lull to lager a cherry doppelbock (will post recipe and steps later) for three months. Meanwhile my brewing partner and I have been going through the dozens of bottles in his basement.
  • mertesnmertesn I am Bobby Miller Yukon, OK Icrontian
    edited Dec 2011
    Bottled the third batch Saturday morning. The sample pulled for FG measurement was also sampled for taste and I've gotta say it's going to be awesome! Now I have to wait until Dec 23 to taste the final (carbonated) product :(
  • WagsFTWWagsFTW Grand Rapids, MI Icrontian
    edited Dec 2011
    Magic should share some of his experiences! All grain brewing definitely takes longer than 3 hours... especially when you're drinking while you do it. Haha.

    Since I miss watching the weekly Sunday brew happen at Joel's with Andrew, I have decided I'm going to play around with brewing beer pretty soon (when I'm not so busy with the end-of-semester craziness). Talked to a few friends that are very interested in trying it out with me, and they have an attached garage that may work great for it. Otherwise, I'll have a decent-sized kitchen soon with a window in it to try it out there as well. Getting more excited about this the more I think about it! Looking forward to sharing tips and what awesome beers we have created! Maybe next year's EPIC we can share some homebrews! :)
  • fatcatfatcat Mizzou Icrontian
    edited Dec 2011
    I wish I had started making my own Bourbon 7 years ago...

    I think I need a trip to OKC next year
  • WagsFTWWagsFTW Grand Rapids, MI Icrontian
    edited Dec 2011
    I've heard awesome things about bourbon tours. Some friends of mine really enjoyed it.
  • fatcatfatcat Mizzou Icrontian
    edited Dec 2011
    WagsFTW wrote:
    I've heard awesome things about bourbon tours. Some friends of mine really enjoyed it.

    yea there is the Kentucky Bourbon Trail http://www.kybourbontrail.com/ which sounds like a vacation I need to do sometime

    TrailMapPage.jpg
  • mertesnmertesn I am Bobby Miller Yukon, OK Icrontian
    edited Dec 2011
    fatcat wrote:
    I wish I had started making my own Bourbon 7 years ago...

    I think I need a trip to OKC next year

    DOIT
  • TushonTushon I'm scared, Coach Alexandria, VA Icrontian
    edited Dec 2011
    Timothy Olyphant would be proud.
  • CammanCamman NEW! England Icrontian
    edited Dec 2011
    Thought I would chime in on this thread because I've been homebrewing for a couple of years now. I do all-grain mostly now, but I recently have started throwing extract kits into the mix so I have a stead supply of beer especially for those times when I can't do an all-grain batch for a while. Normally my all-grain days take 6-7 hours if everything goes right.

    I have a pile of equipment I've been amassing for a few years, currently I have an extract kit Brown Ale bottle aging plus a Chocolate Milk Stout and Northern Brewer's "Caribou Slobber" beer aging in the carboys, both were all-grain batches, gotta bottle those bad boys up, was hoping to share a few for the holidays and I'm running out of carbonating time!

    I'm also currently working on a kegerator using 5 gallon corny kegs and a chest freezer with a johnson temperature controller, I have some of the taps but its another one of those ongoing projects that I need to devote some more time to!

    Anyway, homebrewing is a great time, lots of fun and its fantastic to enjoy and share the fruits of your labor with friends and family. I also enjoy both extract kit and all grain, some all grain brewers try to snub their nose at extract kits but both styles of beer can come out tasting great and just like PC modding or any other hobby it just depends on how crazy you want to get into it!

    Glad to see more homebrewers are active here on Icrontic!
  • mertesnmertesn I am Bobby Miller Yukon, OK Icrontian
    The third batch didn't carbonate on schedule properly (for Christmas Eve), but it still tasted awesome. Cracked one open a few days ago and everything was fine...proper carbonation and even better flavor.

    I'm getting yeast starters ready for batches four and five now. One is a Barleywine, the other is an IPA. Both will be ready in time for EPIC...and it looks like I'm driving this year. Assuming the driving plan works out I'll bring some samples for folks to try.

    I've also acquired equipment for kegging. Got a great deal on some equipment from a coworker and just recently got things converted from Sankey to soda kegs. It's gonna be awesome.
  • MAGICMAGIC Doot Doot Furniture City, Michigan Icrontian
    edited Jan 2012
    Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App

    I made a counterflow chiller this past weekend. Going to be trying it out when I make something this weekend. I'll let you guys know how well it works.

    Should be much cleaner than an immersion chiller and wont kill your boil, im excited.
  • mertesnmertesn I am Bobby Miller Yukon, OK Icrontian
    Barleywine and IPA are in the fermenters now. The Barleywine won't be ready until July, so it's definitely out for EPIC. The I2PA, on the other hand, has plenty of time to finish and should be ready for any hopheads who want to try.
  • midgamidga "There's so much hot dog in Rome" ~digi (> ^.(> O_o)> Icrontian
    As soon as I can get some equipment I'm going to start doing this :D

    I've been doing this for a couple months now, and let me tell you Internets, if you've ever wanted to make alcohol but are a lazy fuck, it is absolutely the way to go.
  • mertesnmertesn I am Bobby Miller Yukon, OK Icrontian
    As soon as I can get some equipment I'm going to start doing this :D

    I've been doing this for a couple months now, and let me tell you Internets, if you've ever wanted to make alcohol but are a lazy fuck, it is absolutely the way to go.
    Pretty much the same thing. Add yeast, let it ferment, alcohol get.

  • midgamidga "There's so much hot dog in Rome" ~digi (> ^.(> O_o)> Icrontian
    Yeah, exactly. It's really a good introduction to the process, and you get a handy airlock with the kit :D

    I'm ready to step up to bigger and better things (though I'll keep a bottle of juice spiking most of the time ;) ), and while I've done the Mr. Beer thing once (I only recommend doing it if you don't mind spending that much on a one-time-use system...) it's essentially kindergarten homebrewing. Also, I don't have that kit anymore (didn't sanitize it...it got reeeeeeeal ugly).

    So, when I can get my hands on a 6gal carboy and relevant equips, I'll be jumping into that world. I'll actually probably pick up that Northern Brewer starter kit you linked a while back and try one of their extracts.

    Gotta wait a couple paydays, though. =/

    I'm so excited I could shit!
  • mertesnmertesn I am Bobby Miller Yukon, OK Icrontian
    If you're looking for a good starting point for equipment, Northern Brewer is pretty awesome. I got their deluxe starter kit last year. My only advice there is to go with the glass carboys. They're easier to keep clean, and only slightly more expensive.
  • midgamidga "There's so much hot dog in Rome" ~digi (> ^.(> O_o)> Icrontian
    Oh yeah, for sure. You'd have to seriously twist my arm to get me to go plastic.
  • mertesnmertesn I am Bobby Miller Yukon, OK Icrontian
    I started with the plastic carboys. Still have 'em, just doubled my production capacity with a glass purchase recently.
  • As a note, Amazon has italian glass carboys (~6.25 gal.) for $30 shipped via prime. It's probably the best carboy deal out there.
  • mertesnmertesn I am Bobby Miller Yukon, OK Icrontian
    My first kegging is nearly complete. Got the beer into it last night. Just working on carbonation and getting the keg fridge into its semi-permanent location.
  • MAGICMAGIC Doot Doot Furniture City, Michigan Icrontian
    Awesome. I would love to get three of these and make a mini fridge tap.

    http://www.northernbrewer.com/shop/brewing/kegging/soda-kegs-fittings/ball-lock-soda-keg-3-gal.html
  • mertesnmertesn I am Bobby Miller Yukon, OK Icrontian
    edited Apr 2012
    I'm using one of the five gallon kegs right now. I know one more will fit and am pretty sure two three gallon kegs would go in the back without a problem. At that point it's just a matter of getting the tap handles :)

    It's too bad they don't have used three gallon kegs available.
  • MAGICMAGIC Doot Doot Furniture City, Michigan Icrontian
    kegs are getting pretty expensive now. Soda companies ship in the syrup bags now so the kegs are rarely used. We need someone to go to China and source some specifically for homebrewing and provide a reasonable priced option.

    I'm looking for investors.
  • shwaipshwaip bluffin' with my muffin Icrontian
    kegs are getting pretty expensive now. Soda companies ship in the syrup bags now so the kegs are rarely used. We need someone to go to China and source some specifically for homebrewing and provide a reasonable priced option.

    I'm looking for investors.
    kickstarter?
  • MAGICMAGIC Doot Doot Furniture City, Michigan Icrontian
    Yeah, maybe.
  • MAGICMAGIC Doot Doot Furniture City, Michigan Icrontian
    I need someone crafty in CAD to help me draft up a concept.
  • midgamidga "There's so much hot dog in Rome" ~digi (> ^.(> O_o)> Icrontian
    Keep our manufacturing out of China! Send it to Detroit instead.
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