Old School DIY Setup

Discussion in 'Homebrewing' started by bobchristenson, Apr 30, 2014.

  1. bobchristenson

    bobchristenson Member

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    I've made beer with a buddy a few times and I'm interested in giving it a go myself. What I'm NOT interested in is spending a bunch (or hardly any) money on supplies.

    The way I see it, people have been making beer for thousands of years without a cooling coil or plastic food grade bucket in sight. So I'm looking for anyone who does truly DIY beer making with stuff they already had on the homestead.

    I have a propane burner. I have a big pot. I have a thermometer.

    How can I make beer without buying any more gear? I'd love to just buy some grains, hops, and give it a go.

    Anyone taking this old school DIY approach?
     
  2. simi-steading

    simi-steading Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I used to brew with a guy that pretty much used what he had..

    We used old kegs with the tops cut off to make the mash in ... He he used an old ice chest with copper tube in it, with holes in the tubing.. then that was wrapped in strainer cloth so we could drain out the wort and leave the grain.. We used old glass 5 gallon water bottles with cheap plastic airlocks...

    Then once it was done, we'd our it into old soda syrup carboys to connect to a tap....

    Everything he used, he found for cheap and almost always used.. even his gas regulator and bottle he found used for cheap..
     

  3. bobchristenson

    bobchristenson Member

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    Thanks!
    This even a little more "fancy" than I was thinking :) But I think I'll have to get used to the idea that there's a 'base' of actual tools you need.

    (excuse my lack of terminology or process knowledge but...) I was thinking like:
    - Boil grains in cheesecloth in the water in a pot
    - Cool by setting pot into a bigger bucket of ice
    - When done, strain through cheese cloth or fine screen into big glass or clean plastic bucket for fermenting (not sure how i'd do a DIY airlock, so maybe I'd need to buy that :)
    - Pour into bottles via a funnel and cap em.

    Too simple? My beer would probably be horrible because I'm obviously cheap and lazy :)
     
  4. simi-steading

    simi-steading Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Nope.. I wouldn't put the grain in the cheese cloth.. I don't think you could get a good constant temperature on all of the grain to pull all the sugars and to heat them to the proper temperature..

    The ice chest worked great for us.. Just put in the copper tube, attach it to the drain of the chest.. then cover that tube in paint strainer cloth...

    Once you strain that wort, let it set to let the sediments settle on the bottom... then pour off the clear wort..

    For the air lock, you can get the cheap plastic ones for something like $2...
     
  5. bobchristenson

    bobchristenson Member

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    Good stuff, this will get me thinking in the right direction anyway. Thanks a bunch Simi!
     
  6. SevenFields

    SevenFields Member

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    sounds like you just about have all you need to do extract batches. All grain requires a few more pieces of equipment and is a long process. sounds like extract with steeping grains, is perfect for you!
     
  7. Riverdale

    Riverdale Well-Known Member

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    Find an ale recipe that works with your water. Lager yeast needs to be cold to work, ale, warm. :D
     
  8. Laura

    Laura Well-Known Member

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    I watched my dad make beer all my life in the basement. Crock, cover, graniteware kettle, flexible tube with a cork float, long neck bottles, bottle capper and caps, Grandpa's recipes. Darn good stuff!

    I'm Old World with wine making. Good sanitation, high alcohol content with kitchen ,magic, you don't need to add chemicals for fine products.
     
  9. rgunn1

    rgunn1 New Member

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    I'd strongly recommend you look into BIAB (Brew In A Bag). It's more of a new school technique of an old school method. All you need in addition to a kettle and some sort of fermenting vessel are some mesh bags that you can purchase off of the internet for under $10 (re-usable).

    Check it out: http://www.homebrewtalk.com/wiki/index.php/Brew_in_a_Bag
     
  10. Terri

    Terri Singletree & Weight Loss & Permaculture Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    I have seen some pictures of the beer that stone aged tribes made. Instead of being clear it was cloudy. The people who were taking the pictures had some and said it TASTED pretty good, though it did not look very good.

    If you want it to LOOK pretty I think you will need more steps than they took!
     
  11. SteffenNate

    SteffenNate Well-Known Member

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    for a super cheap airlock:
    1. make one/two loops out of one piece of clear plastic tubing.
    2. use tape of whatever kind you have laying around to hold the loops in place so the ends of the tube are pointing in opposite directions. make sure loops aren't kinked anywhere
    3. pour just enough water in the top to close off the hose at the bottom of the loop from air.
    4. rotate the hose so the water enters the 2nd loop.
    5. repeat step 3.
    6. stick the hose into a hole in the lid of your sealed container.

    The gas pushes the water up in the tube until it can pass through. it passes and the water returns to the bottom of the loop. locking the air
     
  12. Drizler

    Drizler Well-Known Member

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    Heck just get ya a couple 5 gallon plastic food grade pails . Wallymart has hem or better yet swing by the local Dunkin Doughnuts place and see if they have any old frosting containers they are throwing out. They use to give em away. A cheap plastic air lock is the way to go. Spend the couple bux there and don't take the chance the water evaporates :mad:out of your home rig tube lock and ruin your beer. Its' easy to happen.
    When you go to take it out a simple long piece of plastic aquarium tubing from Petsmart works fine. Just try to keep it out of the sediment in the bottom. Don't shoot for CLEAR Beer. Believe me good beer has some cloudy sediment in it only in the US we only drink mainly Skunkpee:peep:. I'm sitting here in Germany right now with a :happy2:Dunkelweitzen or double brewed wheat dark beer sitting next to me .. Believe me when I say the sediment is fine and dandy.
    Don't sweat the pry off caps either. No Need . Just get ye some good regular bottles with good screw on caps. Quarts in glass are sooooo much easier . Just always make sure to wash them out in clorox before you put beer in them. It's the only way to assure you won't get some foul beer from leftover bacteria. Just clorox water in the sink is fine. Put those caps on tight and you might lose one every hundred, no big deal. So much easier than cappers and filling 12 ozers ect.:hobbyhors
     
  13. bennypapa

    bennypapa Well-Known Member

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    You can also use nylon paint strainer bags from home depot for brew in a bag.

    And, if cheap is What you are after, soda pop bottles can be used for bottling.
     
  14. steamyb

    steamyb Member

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    Don't use water bottles, they are thin and can't hold the carbonated beer. I used Gatorade bottles because of the wide mouth plus they hold a lot. Now I use Cooper's 750 ml bottles (came with the kit @ diybeer.com or Amazon). I gave all my homebrew rig to my son-in when we downsized into an RV. I still help with the Brew, I just have a smaller set-up now. GL!