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[Homebrewing] Or how I learned to stop worrying and brew my own damn beer

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Posts

  • minirhyderminirhyder BerlinRegistered User regular
    Cincitucky wrote: »
    Just threw together the first Mr. Beer brew. Will see how it turns out after letting the yeast do its job.

    I expect lots of pictures.

    By the way, this is how my blondie turned out. My prettiest ale so far (also only the second, but still).

    smallblonde.jpg

  • CincituckyCincitucky Registered User regular
    Checked the fermenter, looking for signs of activity. Not seeing any foaming yet but the yeast is doing something at the bottom of the fermenter.

    While I keep telling myself there's a chance of this first one not brewing correctly, there's a lot of excitement for this first one where I'm constantly checking in on the batch. Like I'm a little kid that can't sleep waiting to open up the Christmas morning gifts.

    Imagine what "cheese' could exist if someone tried to copy Velveeta.
  • shadowaneshadowane Registered User regular
    Deadfall wrote: »
    Eh I've used glass for three years and haven't had one problem. I'm not saying it won't explode but it's not as catastrophic as these guys are making it seem. The homebrew store near me that holds classes uses dozens of glass carboys every week, and the Indian brewpub here uses glass to ferment their five gallon special batches.
    Most times I've read about glass is people avoid it due to the danger of dropping it, not really it exploding from fermentation. If you drop a plastic carboy, maybe the beer spills. If you drop glass, beware. But, if you're careful, you probably won't drop one.

    Rich on Beer - I talk about drinking beer. You read about it.
  • minirhyderminirhyder BerlinRegistered User regular
    Cincitucky wrote: »
    Checked the fermenter, looking for signs of activity. Not seeing any foaming yet but the yeast is doing something at the bottom of the fermenter.

    While I keep telling myself there's a chance of this first one not brewing correctly, there's a lot of excitement for this first one where I'm constantly checking in on the batch. Like I'm a little kid that can't sleep waiting to open up the Christmas morning gifts.

    I check on my batches every day. It's still very exciting, even after a couple of successful brews.

    How long has it been since you pitched the yeast?

  • CincituckyCincitucky Registered User regular
    minirhyder wrote: »
    Cincitucky wrote: »
    Checked the fermenter, looking for signs of activity. Not seeing any foaming yet but the yeast is doing something at the bottom of the fermenter.

    While I keep telling myself there's a chance of this first one not brewing correctly, there's a lot of excitement for this first one where I'm constantly checking in on the batch. Like I'm a little kid that can't sleep waiting to open up the Christmas morning gifts.

    I check on my batches every day. It's still very exciting, even after a couple of successful brews.

    How long has it been since you pitched the yeast?

    Its been over 15 hours, pitched it last night around 7pm. Was reading about lagtime and it sounds possible that the foaming could take up to two days.

    Imagine what "cheese' could exist if someone tried to copy Velveeta.
  • minirhyderminirhyder BerlinRegistered User regular
    Yeah it could take like 24+ hours for the yeast to kick in, depending on the yeast, though in my experience liquid yeast takes long than dry. Anyway even if it doesn't start up, you can always re-pitch.
    As nervewracking as it is, lack of fermentation is one of the problems that are fairly easy to fix, and you catch it within a day.

  • DeadfallDeadfall Registered User regular
    shadowane wrote: »
    Deadfall wrote: »
    Eh I've used glass for three years and haven't had one problem. I'm not saying it won't explode but it's not as catastrophic as these guys are making it seem. The homebrew store near me that holds classes uses dozens of glass carboys every week, and the Indian brewpub here uses glass to ferment their five gallon special batches.
    Most times I've read about glass is people avoid it due to the danger of dropping it, not really it exploding from fermentation. If you drop a plastic carboy, maybe the beer spills. If you drop glass, beware. But, if you're careful, you probably won't drop one.

    Ah I see. I use these harness things that makes it much easier to carry.

    BFzWh4r.png
    xbl - HowYouGetAnts
    steam - WeAreAllGeth
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  • CincituckyCincitucky Registered User regular
    edited March 2013
    Came home to find the fermenting foaming away. Was able to get a couple snapshots of MrBeer doing its thang...

    Fermenter Base

    Fermenter Profile

    Fermenter Top

    Cincitucky on
    Imagine what "cheese' could exist if someone tried to copy Velveeta.
  • webguy20webguy20 Registered User regular
    How easy was it to set up? It looks fun.

    Steam ID: Webguy20
    Origin ID: Discgolfer27
    Untappd ID: Discgolfer1981
  • CincituckyCincitucky Registered User regular
    As a first time brewer, MrBeer was easy to setup. Though I would recommend reading the introduction of John Palmer's How To Brew. MrBeer has an overly simplified feel, probably in an attempt avoid intimidating first-timers, and it glosses over the entire process without going in depth to explaining anything.

    Two things about my MrBeer experience. First, I almost got burnt by not having a two gallon container. I was able to improvise with two one gallon containers (which have to be sanitized!) to refrigerate the water. Second, I now understand the uses of ice baths or cooling systems to bring the tempatures down after boilings. While MrBeer didn't have instructions to boil water before refrigerating, I boiled the tap water for my brew. Where I got hosed was I didn't have a way to bring the temp down quickly. It took FOREVER to cool off!

    Imagine what "cheese' could exist if someone tried to copy Velveeta.
  • minirhyderminirhyder BerlinRegistered User regular
    Man look at this sexy ale

    tumblr_inline_mk15b9TlFj1qz4rgp.jpg

    kuhlmeyeCincituckyDeadfall
  • CincituckyCincitucky Registered User regular
    edited March 2013
    What type of ale is that? It has a porter/stout appearance and jeez look at that head. I'm starting to think you're getting these great looking beers via another's store bought sixpack. :mrgreen:

    Checked the fermenter, I'm curious why the contents have lost their opaqueness at day five. It's taking me some will power to fight the urge to mess with the brew but I'll let it sit for another week.

    Cincitucky on
    Imagine what "cheese' could exist if someone tried to copy Velveeta.
  • minirhyderminirhyder BerlinRegistered User regular
    edited March 2013
    I used this recipe, but subbed in Styrian Golding for Fuggles because my shop didn't have Fuggles at the time.

    It lacks the full body of a stout - it's a bit on the light side, but quite nice all the same. Very strong coffee/chocolate taste.
    Don't you wish you could taste stuff over the internet? When's technology gonna get on that?

    minirhyder on
  • CincituckyCincitucky Registered User regular
    Got the brew bottled. Will be showing the results in a couple weeks.

    Imagine what "cheese' could exist if someone tried to copy Velveeta.
    webguy20
  • CincituckyCincitucky Registered User regular
    This is a pleasant surprise... my first homebrew turned out to be Newcastle Ale!

    First%2520Pour%2520of%2520First%2520Ever%2520HomeBrew.jpg

    Imagine what "cheese' could exist if someone tried to copy Velveeta.
    minirhyderkuhlmeye
  • kuhlmeyekuhlmeye Registered User regular
    I was looking for this thread.

    Here's my double starter for the imperial ipa I'm brewing on Wednesday. Oh, and there's a batch bubbling happily away in the background.

    20130408_225041.jpg

    PSN: the-K-flash
    Cincitucky
  • CincituckyCincitucky Registered User regular
    @Koldanar here's the homebrewing thread.

    Imagine what "cheese' could exist if someone tried to copy Velveeta.
  • KoldanarKoldanar Registered User regular
    Cincitucky wrote: »
    @Koldanar here's the homebrewing thread.

    Excellent! This didn't pop up for me in my search, oddly enough.

    My lovely wife got me a gift certificate to a local brew shop for Christmas, and my first attempt (Brewed on their equipment) is finally bottle conditioned and ready to drink. I made a dry, standard stout (Heavy on the malt, next to no finish) that came out fairly well, though the bottles are a little inconsistent.

    My next attempt will be a wheat beer, close as I can get to Troeg's Dreamweaver. Me and the wife both love the flavors the yeast bring to that beer, and it seems fairly straightforward to do.

    3DS friend code : 1375 - 7258 - 4504
  • kuhlmeyekuhlmeye Registered User regular
    Oh man, another convert! Glad to hear your first batch came out okay!

    I haven't attempted a pure wheat beer yet, but I also really enjoy the yeasts used for Hefe's and saisons. Last night I brewed up the imperial IPA I mentioned above. A total of 10lbs of fermentables and 6 ounces of hops , should come out to around 8% ABV and 100+ IBUs when it's done. The yeast I'm using is a saison yeast, which I'm hoping will add an interesting note to the final product. I also plan on dry hopping it after about 2 weeks.

    Last weekend I brewed a pumpkin ale I received as an accident, and will be brewing a coffee vanilla stout this weekend, making my week total up to 15 gallons brewed. It's the most I've brewed in one week!

    PSN: the-K-flash
  • CaptainPeacockCaptainPeacock Board Game Hoarder Top o' the LakeRegistered User regular
    So I'm really nervous about brewing my first batch. Maintaining sterility so that I don't spoil it with infection is what's worrying me. Any tips? I've heard that during the boil and decanting into the carboy I should use the bucket to sterilize every instrument since I won't need the bucket until bottling day. Can I leave the instruments in the sanitizer fluid the whole time during the boil?

    Cluck cluck, gibber gibber, my old man's a mushroom, etc.
  • CincituckyCincitucky Registered User regular
    edited April 2013
    Hefeweizens are great warm weather brews. What's does the recipe look like for your wheat batch?

    That IPA is going to pack a punch at 8% ABV.

    Cincitucky on
    Imagine what "cheese' could exist if someone tried to copy Velveeta.
  • CincituckyCincitucky Registered User regular
    Holy hell I messed up editing that post.

    Found a recipe recipe link that uses the Mr. Beer St Patrick's Stout extract, planning on using this to get a stout batch in the fermenter this weekend.

    Imagine what "cheese' could exist if someone tried to copy Velveeta.
  • CincituckyCincitucky Registered User regular
    So I'm really nervous about brewing my first batch. Maintaining sterility so that I don't spoil it with infection is what's worrying me. Any tips? I've heard that during the boil and decanting into the carboy I should use the bucket to sterilize every instrument since I won't need the bucket until bottling day. Can I leave the instruments in the sanitizer fluid the whole time during the boil?

    There's actually nothing to worry about. I've only been through one homebrew and the final product turned out well.

    Yes you can leave your instruments in the sanitizer fluid. You can also pour some of your sanitizing solution onto a large plate or bowl so you can keep your brewing items close by on a countertop while you're working. Saw a video on youtube where the guy was keeping it sanitized items in a wallpaper trough which is ingenious.

    Best thing to keep in mind approaching your boiling day. Stay calm... getting worked up won't help your brewing process. Even better, have a beer before you start. :D

    Imagine what "cheese' could exist if someone tried to copy Velveeta.
  • minirhyderminirhyder BerlinRegistered User regular
    So I'm really nervous about brewing my first batch. Maintaining sterility so that I don't spoil it with infection is what's worrying me. Any tips? I've heard that during the boil and decanting into the carboy I should use the bucket to sterilize every instrument since I won't need the bucket until bottling day. Can I leave the instruments in the sanitizer fluid the whole time during the boil?

    You can. Or you can quickly rinse it. Or you can put some sanitizer into a sprayer and do it that way.
    Don't worry about it too much. If you put the sanitizer on your equipment, it's good to go, doesn't matter if it soaked for hours or just got quickly rinsed.

    Do be OCD about sanitizing, do not be OCD about the process itself.

    Doodmann
  • CaptainPeacockCaptainPeacock Board Game Hoarder Top o' the LakeRegistered User regular
    So the setup I'm planning has my boil happening on my kitchen gas stove, the move it outisde where my immersion chiller will be, hooked up to an outside water hose. Run that until it's cooled, then siphon into the carboy. I guess another worry I have is that doing the chill outside would allow things from the air (spores, etc) a chance to fall in. Is that something I shouldnt be too concerned about?

    Cluck cluck, gibber gibber, my old man's a mushroom, etc.
  • KoldanarKoldanar Registered User regular
    Cincitucky wrote: »
    Hefeweizens are great warm weather brews. What's does the recipe look like for your wheat batch? That IPA is going to pack a punch at 8% ABV.

    I plan on doing something like this, converted to extract (or steeping some grains, if that's possible)

    4 lbs. German 2-row Pils
    3 lbs. German Vienna
    3 lbs. German Wheat Malt Light
    .5 oz. Saaz (Pellets, 5.00 %AA) boiled 60 min.
    Yeast : White Labs WLP300 Hefewizen Ale

    3DS friend code : 1375 - 7258 - 4504
  • CincituckyCincitucky Registered User regular
    edited May 2013
    So the setup I'm planning has my boil happening on my kitchen gas stove, the move it outisde where my immersion chiller will be, hooked up to an outside water hose. Run that until it's cooled, then siphon into the carboy. I guess another worry I have is that doing the chill outside would allow things from the air (spores, etc) a chance to fall in. Is that something I shouldnt be too concerned about?

    There always is a chance of something floating in the air, inside or outside, that can infect your batch. Best thing to do is to place a sanitized lid on your container to prevent contamination. When you do your flame out, place your lid on your container when you move outside to do your temperature drop on the wort and you should be fine.

    Out of curiosity, what sanitizer are you using?

    Edit: removed stout recipe. Its not worthy of posting until I can get it up to a better quality.

    Cincitucky on
    Imagine what "cheese' could exist if someone tried to copy Velveeta.
  • CincituckyCincitucky Registered User regular
    Just finished brewing. Not sold on the recipe. Thinking the amount of water used for steeping and boiling the extract is way to low.

    Checked the OG, it clocked in at 1.068. We'll see what happens after the yeast has done its job.

    Imagine what "cheese' could exist if someone tried to copy Velveeta.
  • kuhlmeyekuhlmeye Registered User regular
    Well, it's been a long week. 3 separate brew days, culminating in 15 gallons of beer fermenting in my spare bedroom.

    20130414_203615.jpg

    PSN: the-K-flash
    CincituckyminirhyderAiouaArsenic Canary
  • DaedalusDaedalus Registered User regular
    So I generally keg beer but I'm considering doing a batch of blonde ale in bottles to take to places over the summer. One of those places does not allow glass bottles, and I can't exactly use aluminum cans, so that leaves plastic.

    Has anyone here used the brown plastic beer bottles that homebrew stores sell? Mine is selling them for like $23 per 24-pack, which is pretty pricey. Are they really worth the premium over, say, cleaned and reused Diet Mountain Dew bottles, which I always seem to have an abundance of?

  • minirhyderminirhyder BerlinRegistered User regular
    I'd be concerned about regular soda bottles because they probably won't have an airtight seal and your conditioning won't happen.

    Deadfall
  • CincituckyCincitucky Registered User regular
    Are the brown plastic bottles 1 liter and what size are the Mountain Dew bottles? The only advantage to the brown plastic bottles over the Dew ones is you could reduce the total number of bottles based on volume.

    My brewkit came with eight of the 1L brown plastic bottles and they worked just fine.

    Imagine what "cheese' could exist if someone tried to copy Velveeta.
  • kuhlmeyekuhlmeye Registered User regular
    Also, you need to be careful about the Mountain Dew bottles and skunking. Brown would not have that problem.

    PSN: the-K-flash
  • DeadfallDeadfall Registered User regular
    Gingerbread Brown and Coffee Coconut Stout fermenting now.

    So excite bike.

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    xbl - HowYouGetAnts
    steam - WeAreAllGeth
    www.hoptonogood.com - Beer/Adventure/Life
  • AiouaAioua Ora Occidens Ora OptimaRegistered User regular
    Me and the housemates dragged the equipment into the driveway for our first brew of the season. A nice, simple, red ale. One of them bought a pretty sweet brewstand off a co-worker who was moving.
    2K5h3Jx.jpg?1
    The plumbing arrangement is kind of silly, we're going to probably re-build it from scratch. But two pumps, two burners (and a spot for a third), and the counterflow wort chiller make up for it.

    life's a game that you're bound to lose / like using a hammer to pound in screws
    fuck up once and you break your thumb / if you're happy at all then you're god damn dumb
    that's right we're on a fucked up cruise / God is dead but at least we have booze
    bad things happen, no one knows why / the sun burns out and everyone dies
    kuhlmeyeTL DR
  • kuhlmeyekuhlmeye Registered User regular
    Aioua wrote: »
    Me and the housemates dragged the equipment into the driveway for our first brew of the season. A nice, simple, red ale. One of them bought a pretty sweet brewstand off a co-worker who was moving.
    2K5h3Jx.jpg?1
    The plumbing arrangement is kind of silly, we're going to probably re-build it from scratch. But two pumps, two burners (and a spot for a third), and the counterflow wort chiller make up for it.

    That is a sweet set up! Do you know how much the stand cost you?

    PSN: the-K-flash
  • AiouaAioua Ora Occidens Ora OptimaRegistered User regular
    edited April 2013
    kuhlmeye wrote: »
    Aioua wrote: »
    Me and the housemates dragged the equipment into the driveway for our first brew of the season. A nice, simple, red ale. One of them bought a pretty sweet brewstand off a co-worker who was moving.
    2K5h3Jx.jpg?1
    The plumbing arrangement is kind of silly, we're going to probably re-build it from scratch. But two pumps, two burners (and a spot for a third), and the counterflow wort chiller make up for it.

    That is a sweet set up! Do you know how much the stand cost you?

    I think it was something like $600 for the stand, burners, plumbing, pumps, and chiller, plus some other misc gear.
    I didn't have to pay for it so what do I care. :P

    Aioua on
    life's a game that you're bound to lose / like using a hammer to pound in screws
    fuck up once and you break your thumb / if you're happy at all then you're god damn dumb
    that's right we're on a fucked up cruise / God is dead but at least we have booze
    bad things happen, no one knows why / the sun burns out and everyone dies
  • kuhlmeyekuhlmeye Registered User regular
    Pricey! Although you bring up a good point...

    I really wish I had room for a brew stand like that. I'm still brewing on the stovetop, and I can't wait to move up to a standalone burner.

    PSN: the-K-flash
  • AiouaAioua Ora Occidens Ora OptimaRegistered User regular
    We used to use an outdoor propane cooker, you can get them pretty cheap.
    We needed it, too! The first time we brewed we managed to boil over like 4 times. Would not want that to happen on a stove :O

    life's a game that you're bound to lose / like using a hammer to pound in screws
    fuck up once and you break your thumb / if you're happy at all then you're god damn dumb
    that's right we're on a fucked up cruise / God is dead but at least we have booze
    bad things happen, no one knows why / the sun burns out and everyone dies
  • DaedalusDaedalus Registered User regular
    Cincitucky wrote: »
    Are the brown plastic bottles 1 liter and what size are the Mountain Dew bottles? The only advantage to the brown plastic bottles over the Dew ones is you could reduce the total number of bottles based on volume.

    My brewkit came with eight of the 1L brown plastic bottles and they worked just fine.

    The brown plastic bottles are 500ml, same as the Dew bottles. At almost $1 per, they seem overpriced.

    And I'm pretty sure the Dew bottles will be airtight, since they held carbonated soda.

    Maybe I'll reuse the bottles but get new caps? Caps are cheap.

    I will need to worry about skunking.

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