Home brewing

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Shygal, Jun 1, 2005.

  1. Shygal

    Shygal Unreality star Supporter

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    Not sure if this should be in cooking and crafts but here goes.

    How many here brew their own beer? Is it hard? Worth it? Explosive? :haha:

    Does it taste good enough for the trouble it takes to make it?
    Ive always been curious how it is, but I dont want to invest in a bunch of stuff and find I hate it.

    Are there any "Beginner" kits that are worthwhile?
     
  2. Canucklehead

    Canucklehead Active Member

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    It's easy! Just keep it simple and when you start don't get sucked in to expensive kits. For under $30 you can have the stuff you need to brew your first batch.

    I've brewed my own for quite a while. It's usually much cheaper to make your own (at least before you really get into it) and after you gain some experience you can make some really great tasting beers. Many of the kits taste only so-so but I'd suggest you start out there. There are some local brands I use here on occasion... so I can't suggest them but I know Coppers is available world wide. It comes in a tin of syrup and makes fairly good kit beer and is found in most supermarkets.

    As for the actual brew supplies you only need to start (ale) is a big bucket with a lid and some bottles and caps. You'll need some brewers sugar but you could use table sugar if you have too. Then you need the coopers can if you use that. It will come with the yeast you need. And then some fish tank hose to syphon off into bottles. That's how I started. You can use a few other things but they are not absolutely required.

    After you try that a few times and learn how easy it really is, you can start adding extra things to the kit. Extra hops etc. This stage will help you learn how to add some of your own flavours without going all the way on your own. Then after that, if you are still interested, you can invest in the extra equipment to make you own all grain if you like. If you get that far you'll be hooked and will never look back.

    It's a great hobby.
     

  3. slimecoat

    slimecoat Member

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    Yea the beginning kits are good but don’t get the one with a co2 cartridge. You want natural carbonation. When I was a kid I tried making beer in my closet and the container exploded. Homemade beer has yeast in suspension and will not give you a hangover. Commercial beer is filtered to remove the yeast and is harder on the head! Cooking the wort makes the house smell very grainy but its fun. A word of warning though; everything must be absolutely clean and sterile or the beer will taste weird.

    You will also need to find pop top bottles. I dug mine out of the dumpster behind the bar.
     
  4. BCR

    BCR Well-Known Member

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    Been brewing beer for about 20 years now and it is worth it to me. If you can drink Milwaukee's Best or Budweiser and enjoy it, well, then don't bother. They are cheap enough to outweigh making your own. But if you like import and richer beers, making your own is definitely cost-effective. Get a copy of "The Complete Joy of Homebrewing" and pour yourself a cold one and study up. The book can start you on the basics and will serve you as you expand your recipe lists.

    I have never used CO2 cartridges or kegs. I make simple ales and occ. lager. I have used a plastic wort bucket made for that purpose with great success.

    Check here for good mail order supplies: http://www.midwestsupplies.com/products/products.asp?category=160
     
  5. anojones

    anojones Member

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    Brewing is safisfying and you can make some great beer. It's probably cheaper to buy cheap beer, but if you enjoy more complex beers homebrewing can be cost effective. Here's a great website to get you started http://www.howtobrew.com/ I would also consider checking out the usenet news group rec.crafts.brewing. I've been doing some all grain brewing and have now started growing hops this year.
     
  6. BCR

    BCR Well-Known Member

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    anojones: as you are learning, homegrown hops are one of the easiest ways to improve your own beer. Plus it is a pretty plant on a trellis. Not to mention the lovely tea it makes that is relaxing. The plants can cause scratchiness on your arms if you handle them much and they like to wander with long tendrils, so I stake them with very tall poles. They also make nice garlands in the fall in the house.
     
  7. WisJim

    WisJim Well-Known Member Supporter

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  8. Merrique

    Merrique Well-Known Member

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  9. Swampfoot

    Swampfoot Active Member

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    I have been brewing for about 15 years and will echo what some of the others have said. If you want a Bud/Miller/Natural Lite substitue then you are better off just buying that at the store. If you like real beer (like Guiness, Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, Heinekin, Abita, etc) then you will enjoy homebrewing. Once you smell and taste the ingredients as they go in the brew pot it will give you a real appreciation for quality beer. The one thing that I will say is that cleanliness is the single most important thing, at least for me. Sanitize your equipment and work area before brewing and bottling and it will pay off every time. After all this time I have only had one batch of "gushers".

    I use "Alternative Beverage" in Charlotte, NC for my supplies. Their website is http://www.ebrew.com/ and has a lot of information. I think someone already said this but "The New Complete Joy of Home Brewing" by Charlie Papazian is a classic reference guide. You might be able to find it at the library. The only other thing I have to add is that you can make a lot of your own equipment. I didn't realize that until after I had bought my first kit. This is a hobby where you can start simple and add to it as you go along. There is actually a book that tells you how to make homebrewing equipment but I can't remember what it is called.

    Brewing can be fun event. Set up outside, play some good music, and drink a few from the last batch if you have any left... In the words of Papazian, "Don't worry, have a homebrew!"