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

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Posts

  • ShivahnShivahn Unaware of her barrel shifter privilege Eastern coastal temptressRegistered User regular
    Nova_C wrote: »
    I have brewed up another batch of Nova's Ale, it is bubbling away like a madman. The two kegs of a saison are 3 months aged now, they're going to be awesome once carbonated, I think.

    Real news, though, is I finally got around to brewing up my latest recipe for strawberry mead. More honey, different kind of yeast.

    I may....MAY....have overdone it. Initial gravity: 1.115

    Oh god

    @Nova_C let me know how it turns out. I'm making a strawberry mead right now as well.

    Nova_Cknitdan
  • NoisymunkNoisymunk Registered User regular
    edited June 2018
    Hi I usually contribute to the Beer thread in SE++, but I caught up with this one and loved seeing the 'cooler in the garage' rig @hawkbox is using. I snapped some photos today before getting started on a low abv Shandy to share with y'all. I brew gallon batch all-grain recipes in my single bedroom apartment, so if you're curious about homebrewing but feel like you don't have the space...it can be done!
    dkrke1w47u83.jpg
    Everything fits into the cabinet above the fridge, except for my bottle conditioning boxes which I keep in the bedroom closet. Behind the Little Big Mouth Bubblers I've got a pair of gallon glass jugs if I need to rack to secondary for a longer fermentation. The beer in front is a CDA I brewed last week, I'll be dry hopping it next week with Simcoe and I'll bottle it the following week.

    hnjtcfd32w21.jpg
    All my gear, laid out before a brewing session. Starting from the left I've got a plastic bin with two six pack holders for bottle conditioning. The plastic helps contain any potential bottle-bomb situations. A little big mouth bubbler - 1.4 gallon glass primary fermenter. A few colanders and strainers for sparging and straining the finished wort. A 16 qt stockpot and a 14 qt mop bucket from Target that I use to collect wort during sparging. A plastic container that holds my malts, hops and other brewing ingredients and a plastic container holding all the little doodads you need, like a bottle capper, auto-siphon, hydrometer, etc. An induction cooktop I bought so that I can do the mash and the boil out on my little apartment balcony to avoid stinking up the joint. A restaurant supply bus tub for sanitation and a gallon pitcher for measuring out water for mashing and sparging. That's it! A gallon all-grain recipe will make me anywhere from 8-10 bottles of finished beer. I try to brew two weeks in a row with a week off, and it makes plenty for me to drink with a few spare bottles here and there to give to friends.

    ozpjqmmrjwzp.jpg
    I made this shandy base today. It's a very basic blonde ale, just a pound of pilsner and a half pound of Vienna malts. Hopped with a pinch of Apollo for bittering, Sorachi Ace for flavoring and aroma. Before I bottle I'm going to spike it with a quarter cup of fresh squeezed lemon juice, and I can get local lemons at the farmer's market - one of the perks of living in California.





    Noisymunk on
    brDe918.jpg
    SmurphhawkboxRear Admiral ChocoLe_GoatEthea
  • hawkboxhawkbox Registered User regular
    Very cool. I like your setup.

  • SmurphSmurph Registered User regular
    How do you lauter/sparge? Using the colanders as filters/false bottoms? Does that take a while to get the mash filtered? I just got a Brew Bag to use as a false bottom replacement, but I feel like you would get even better use out of one considering you only use one pot.

  • hawkboxhawkbox Registered User regular
    I personally mash in a bag and it works great. My brew bag goes in my mash tun, I get 80%+ efficiency if I have to ambition to make it happen.

  • NoisymunkNoisymunk Registered User regular
    Smurph wrote: »
    How do you lauter/sparge? Using the colanders as filters/false bottoms? Does that take a while to get the mash filtered? I just got a Brew Bag to use as a false bottom replacement, but I feel like you would get even better use out of one considering you only use one pot.

    I heat my sparging water on the stove in a smaller stock pot kept with my other cookware separate from my brewing supplies since I use it all the time for soup. There's only two of us so that big 16 quart pot is only ever used for brewing.
    The colanders sit on top of the red bucket, with the larger aluminum colander sitting inside the finer mesh strainer. The bigger colander forms the grain bed, the mesh strainer catches a lot of the particulates. I started out using only the mesh strainer but it tended to clog up on me and wasn't large enough for higher gravity beers with 3-4 pound grain bills. The colanders also fit on top of the stock pot so I can circulate the wort through the grain bed multiple times by going back and forth between bucket and pot. Sparge time varies depending on the beer, if there's rye or wheat in there it can take a while to filter through.
    The cooler and bag is a great idea, and a 3 gallon cooler would be perfect but I'd be adding another piece of equipment to the pile.

    brDe918.jpg
  • CaptainPeacockCaptainPeacock Board Game Hoarder Top o' the LakeRegistered User regular
    Gotta say, Washington Brewers Festival delivers again! Great stuff out there with good ideas for what to do at home.

    Cluck cluck, gibber gibber, my old man's a mushroom, etc.
  • SmurphSmurph Registered User regular
    Noisymunk wrote: »
    Smurph wrote: »
    How do you lauter/sparge? Using the colanders as filters/false bottoms? Does that take a while to get the mash filtered? I just got a Brew Bag to use as a false bottom replacement, but I feel like you would get even better use out of one considering you only use one pot.

    I heat my sparging water on the stove in a smaller stock pot kept with my other cookware separate from my brewing supplies since I use it all the time for soup. There's only two of us so that big 16 quart pot is only ever used for brewing.
    The colanders sit on top of the red bucket, with the larger aluminum colander sitting inside the finer mesh strainer. The bigger colander forms the grain bed, the mesh strainer catches a lot of the particulates. I started out using only the mesh strainer but it tended to clog up on me and wasn't large enough for higher gravity beers with 3-4 pound grain bills. The colanders also fit on top of the stock pot so I can circulate the wort through the grain bed multiple times by going back and forth between bucket and pot. Sparge time varies depending on the beer, if there's rye or wheat in there it can take a while to filter through.
    The cooler and bag is a great idea, and a 3 gallon cooler would be perfect but I'd be adding another piece of equipment to the pile.

    I think you could just mash in the bag in the pot you're currently using without adding a cooler. Heat the water to temp, put the bag in the pot, mash in the grains, then when the mash is done you pull the entire bag out and let it slowly drain while you heat up to a boil. Probably just set the bag on one of the colanders on top of the pot and let it drain that way. Seems like it would be a lot less labor intensive than sparging through colanders.

  • hawkboxhawkbox Registered User regular
    Yeah that seems fairly labour intensive. I could probably simplify my setup more than it is, but I like doing a mash the way I do.

  • NoisymunkNoisymunk Registered User regular
    Hmm.
    la6xp7i1azap.jpg

    Neat.
    ox35a5nxrd9b.jpg

    Well alright!
    gq469m1db1d2.jpg

    Thanks for the suggestion, that worked out well and took roughly a half hour off of my brew day. The brew is a Belgian amber, like Ommegang's Rare Vos, Belgian pilsner and caramunich malt, east kent goldings and US saaz hops, lallemand abbaye yeast.

    brDe918.jpg
    CaptainPeacockSmurphwebguy20
  • CaptainPeacockCaptainPeacock Board Game Hoarder Top o' the LakeRegistered User regular
    That's a beautiful thing.

    Cluck cluck, gibber gibber, my old man's a mushroom, etc.
    webguy20
  • hawkboxhawkbox Registered User regular
    Looks tasty.

  • Nova_CNova_C I have the need The need for speedRegistered User regular
    Nova_C wrote: »
    I have brewed up another batch of Nova's Ale, it is bubbling away like a madman. The two kegs of a saison are 3 months aged now, they're going to be awesome once carbonated, I think.

    Real news, though, is I finally got around to brewing up my latest recipe for strawberry mead. More honey, different kind of yeast.

    I may....MAY....have overdone it. Initial gravity: 1.115

    Oh god

    @Shivahn

    I have kegged my new batch of Strawberry mead. It came to 10% ABV, and tastes amazing, though it definitely needs to age. In the background of the sweet flavour is a bit of jet fuel.

    My project for next week? Watermelon mead. I'm going to use a bit less honey, and I'm going to carve up a fresh watermelon and blend the innards right into the mix.

    Or should I use two watermelons? Hmmmmm.......

    Shivahn
  • hawkboxhawkbox Registered User regular
    I've thought about mead but that's a shitload of honey. Barley is way cheaper, or Costco apple juice for cider.

  • Nova_CNova_C I have the need The need for speedRegistered User regular
    hawkbox wrote: »
    I've thought about mead but that's a shitload of honey. Barley is way cheaper, or Costco apple juice for cider.

    Yeah, but, vikings, man.

    GvzbgulLe_Goat
  • SmurphSmurph Registered User regular
    You just need to be like the insane people in my homebrew club and buy your own beehives. Free honey! Thousands of $ in equipment and supplies and hours of labor, but 'free' honey!

    Mojo_Jojohawkbox
  • UrielUriel Registered User regular
    I have to move all my brewing stuff to the new place soon. I tell you moving a 5 gallon carboy, even though it's empty, is gonna be tough since I am currently suffering from a kidney stone.

    I think I want to get some stack-able shelves soon and some ingredients and do another mead this year though.

  • ShivahnShivahn Unaware of her barrel shifter privilege Eastern coastal temptressRegistered User regular
    Nova_C wrote: »
    Nova_C wrote: »
    I have brewed up another batch of Nova's Ale, it is bubbling away like a madman. The two kegs of a saison are 3 months aged now, they're going to be awesome once carbonated, I think.

    Real news, though, is I finally got around to brewing up my latest recipe for strawberry mead. More honey, different kind of yeast.

    I may....MAY....have overdone it. Initial gravity: 1.115

    Oh god

    Shivahn

    I have kegged my new batch of Strawberry mead. It came to 10% ABV, and tastes amazing, though it definitely needs to age. In the background of the sweet flavour is a bit of jet fuel.

    My project for next week? Watermelon mead. I'm going to use a bit less honey, and I'm going to carve up a fresh watermelon and blend the innards right into the mix.

    Or should I use two watermelons? Hmmmmm.......

    Raaad

    I've had some mead sitting with strawberries for months, that I have been meaning to rack and add more berries to. Bah. Good to know it works, let me know how the watermelon turns out!

    Nova_C
  • hawkboxhawkbox Registered User regular
    I did a Brulosophy style short and shoddy Helles today, fermenting at 19C. This will either turn out fantastic or terrible.

  • Le_GoatLe_Goat Frechified Goat Person BostonRegistered User regular
    hawkbox wrote: »
    This will either turn out fantastic or terrible.
    I need that as a sticker on my primary. It's how I feel after sealing up every batch I've ever made, with the exception being my first batch. I was young and naive.

    While I agree that being insensitive is an issue, so is being oversensitive.
    hawkbox
  • GvzbgulGvzbgul Ask me about my scrotalist agenda Registered User regular
    edited October 2018
    Ey, I made some Kvass, it might be my first successful homebrew? I've made some other stuff before but it was never great. Sure, I drank it, but I wasn't getting anything that I couldn't just buy. It's fun brewing something, but if the end product is not as good as what I can get in the shop then what's the point?

    This kvass is interesting. I drink it, think it's not great either, but I also crave a second glass. So maybe it is great? I'm keen to make another batch, this time properly, I didn't burn my rye bread the first time as the idea was fairly foreign to me and the recipe I was using said "well done". It tastes a bit like a fruit juice, I've added some raisins and lemon. Also, rye bread is really, really good toast, so I ate the rest of the packet pretty quick.

    Summer's coming up soon and I think I need a big batch of kvass. This lot was just some small batches with a variety of additional ingredients. I've only tried the "plain" kvass so far, but I also have one that I added some apple juice to (so it's not really kvass anymore). I have a feeling that the apple juice one will not be as nice, but who knows.

    Gvzbgul on
  • cloudeaglecloudeagle Registered User regular
    So, thanks to work I have access to a bunch of pistachios. This post has given me a great idea on turning it into pistachio extract, but the question is, what style of beer should I ruin spice up with the extract?

    Switch: 3947-4890-9293
    CaptainPeacock
  • SimpsoniaSimpsonia Registered User regular
    The first two that come to my mind are a bit of opposites. The obvious would be a brown ale. However if you want to try something different, I think a pistachio saison could be excellent, if unorthodox.

    CaptainPeacock
  • CaptainPeacockCaptainPeacock Board Game Hoarder Top o' the LakeRegistered User regular
    I was thinking that same thing. How would it interact with a pepper beer, I wonder?

    Cluck cluck, gibber gibber, my old man's a mushroom, etc.
  • GvzbgulGvzbgul Ask me about my scrotalist agenda Registered User regular
    Hey. Haven't posted any updates in a while but I've been trying out Iced Tea.

    I think I made my first homebrew that I needed more of straight away. Usually the reason for homebrewing is the creation process and the end result is... ok. I get a kick out of the journey but not so much the destination.

    But, I've been bolder with filtering out the yeast. Before I was worried about being wasteful but I've learned that it's better to chuck out more than less.

    The ice tea was great. I filtered it twice, left it for the weekend and had a perfectly carbonated drink.

    I'm giving kvass another go. This time with homemade rye bread. I was worried that I'd killed my yeast. I had had started them but then I remembered I had another step to go, so they sat in the bowl for a little too long as I finished the final mixing of the ingredients. There was still no bubbles in the airlock last I checked. But the raisins are dancing. So there's still life in the yeast yet.

  • cloudeaglecloudeagle Registered User regular
    Decided to go with a nice, neutral brown ale and made pistachio extract to go into it. Though the link said freezing it would cause the oils to freeze on the top, all I got was a sediment on the bottom of the extract. I strained that out with a cheesecloth and added it to the brown during bottling. The pre-bottled beer tasted pretty good but not very pistachio-y. Here's hoping it works after carbonation.

    Switch: 3947-4890-9293
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