Author Topic: Brew Beer here or any other adult beverage.  (Read 8891 times)

Offline chuck9982

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Brew Beer here or any other adult beverage.
« on: January 10, 2010, 10:02:43 AM »
I have a beer kit I am planning on starting up once I get settled in my new place.

I made meade when I lived in Germany in a Rubbermade tote under my kitchen table.  It was awesome fresh but my bottling attempts in recycled wine bottles failed miserably.

I hope to get some Pop Top bottles sent from Germany from a buddy stationed there. The only ones readily available around here are Grolshe and I don't like it so drinking it for the bottles is out of the question.


Advice welcome. 
Chuck
Graham, WA
Building J25.2

Offline Brewboy

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Re: Brew Beer here or any other adult beverage.
« Reply #1 on: January 10, 2010, 11:53:00 AM »
Does any one know the prismatic coefficient of the Jumbo? ;D ;D

What kind of kit do you have? What tools came with the kit, do you have a chiller? How large of boiling pot do you have? Do you have an outdoor propane burner or are you planning on brewing in the kitchen? What is your water source, well or city water, is it chlorinated, is your water hard or soft. Do you have THE BOOK?

 
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Offline SmokinFletch

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Re: Brew Beer here or any other adult beverage.
« Reply #2 on: January 11, 2010, 06:58:36 AM »

  I would like to try this "Home Brewing". What book should I read? Does it have lots of pictures? I have a brewing "kit", my lovely wife got me for Christmas many years ago. I have yet to use it, I have no excuse. It's just easy to get my supplies (beer) from the corner store. Following this tread, inspires me to get "the Kit" off the shelf, and brew a gallon or two. ;D

Offline Eric D

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Re: Brew Beer here or any other adult beverage.
« Reply #3 on: January 11, 2010, 11:10:41 AM »
Does any one know the prismatic coefficient of the Jumbo? ;D ;D

 

ok, now that IS FUNNY STUFF right there...thanks  Brew boy.

Trust me on the fruit back deal....look into it, try it small first if you want, major improvement on the tast of most wines, but especially the lighter wines, pear, peach, raspberry etc. Puts more flavor, but also better bouquet as well. Masks the over attenuation of most yeasts in these types of wines.

I would love to see a pic of your kettle....I am not set up for 12 gal.....wow.

Offline Brewboy

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Re: Brew Beer here or any other adult beverage.
« Reply #4 on: January 11, 2010, 02:40:20 PM »
"What book should I read?"

When it comes to home brew there is only one book  "The Complete Joy of Home Brewing" by Charlie Papazian
Home brewing is kind of like building a tolman, at first it's rather overwhelming with all the science and variables that go in to it but once you understand the principles and process and get a little experience it's simple. So much so that it's been years since I followed a recipe, I just know what happens when I add this grain or hop. Here are my keys to being successful at home brewing. Everything must be cleaned well, everything that comes into contact with the beer post boil must be sanitized, temperature control and fresh ingredients are important. The most important thing is patience. 

"I have a brewing "kit", my lovely wife got me for Christmas many years ago."

Beer kits are a food product and will turn stale, check the expiration date. You don't want to have your first batch turn out poorly just because it's old.  Having said that from time to time I will buy old or damaged cans from my local supplier, brew the beer then distill it and  age it for a year or so in some 1 gallon oak casks I have. If i brew a bad batch of beer or wine I will "squeeze" it also.   
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Offline jawilco

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Re: Brew Beer here or any other adult beverage.
« Reply #5 on: January 11, 2010, 03:55:08 PM »
I've just picked How to Brew by John J. Palmer. I gave it a once over, and it seems to be a pretty good book on brewing.

I started a red raspberry wine tonight. The specific gravity on these concentrated cans of fruit seems to be very low.
The directions say to add some sugar, but the hydrometer only indicated about 8% possible. I crossed my fingers and added more sugar.

Meanwhile on the beer front, I'm making inquiries about kegs to convert to boil pots. This is a good hobby. I don't drink all that much anymore, but it's still interesting.

Got a new imac for the family this Christmas.
I got tired of being a test pilot for Bill Gates.
The imac is way different than pc.....it doesn't crash....so far anyway.
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Offline Brewboy

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Re: Brew Beer here or any other adult beverage.
« Reply #6 on: January 11, 2010, 05:46:35 PM »
Sounds like a nice start, where were the hydrometer readings after you added the sugar? If at 8% you need to add more. Get it up to 12-15 % PAC so about 5 more pounds. You can add it later when you rack it the first time in about 4-6 weeks, that's what I would do. Heat about 2 quarts of water, dissolve the sugar, cool it with a lid on and then add it after you rack. You could do it again but the yeast start to die off at about 17-18 % AC so you end up with unfermented sugars and a sweeter wine. There are strains of yeast that will survive in AC up to 21% tho...   Cheers
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Offline jawilco

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Re: Brew Beer here or any other adult beverage.
« Reply #7 on: January 11, 2010, 07:15:06 PM »
Yeah, well I was rushed to dinner and didn't take a reading. No biggie, as these are just a few desert type wines to get some practice. I didn't even make an acid test on this batch...hope I don't pay for that later.  I think I may go downstairs and add some more acid blend, not sure if I should or not. What say you ?
Good idea on adding sugar later. Thanks. I'll try that.

I'm going to make kit wines from here on, so I won't be winging it so much.

Got a source for a couple of kegs, and I'll pick them up in a couple of days.
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Offline Eric D

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Re: Brew Beer here or any other adult beverage.
« Reply #8 on: January 12, 2010, 10:55:31 AM »
"What book should I read?"

  Having said that from time to time I will buy old or damaged cans from my local supplier, brew the beer then distill it and  age it for a year or so in some 1 gallon oak casks I have. If i brew a bad batch of beer or wine I will "squeeze" it also.   

I will have to get back to you on the books....been a while since I made any and they are sitting on the shelf. I will check when I get home, remind me if I forget.

Charlies book is indeed the gospel in many ways....

you say brew the beer then distill it....then age...you need to explain that a bit more for me please. I would like to hear more about that.


Offline Brewboy

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Re: Brew Beer here or any other adult beverage.
« Reply #9 on: January 13, 2010, 02:53:56 PM »
Hey Eric,

The process of making alcohol is basically the same no matter what you are making, Sugar + yeast = Alcohol

 In beer making you get your sugar from mashing barley grain, this means heating crushed malted barley in water to 145-155 degrees, this heating (mashing) causes enzymes in the barley to activate and break down the starch and carbohydrate molecules into individual sugar molecules. This mix is rinsed and the resulting liquid is grain flavored sugar water. Yeast and hops are added, the yeast turn the sugar in to alcohol.

When whiskey is made you get the sugar from mashing barley and corn. Straight barley can be used but corn does not contain enough of the enzymes to fully convert the starch to sugar so its added with barley or enzymes are added. Rum is made with cane sugar, vodka is made with potatoes, tequila is made from the sugar of the agave plant, grappa is made with grapes.

After fermentation is finished distilling is the process of extracting the alcohol from the rest of the liquid, this is done by heating the liquid to above the alcohol boiling point (174) but below the boiling point of water (212), the alcohol boils off and is captured in the still and the water and flavor is left behind. You can be very careful about controlling the temperature to keep all the water out and end up with something you  can put in your gas tank or you can allow some water to go through and end up with some thing that can be comfortably consumed, I shoot for 100 proof or 50% alcohol. Very little of the flavor from whiskey is derived from the ingredients but rather the aging process, this involves putting the liquid in oak casks and aging for about a year. 

As a wine maker you can do the same thing with wine, I made a plum wine that was undrinkable, rather than throwing it away I distilled it and ended up with 1/2 gallon of alcohol that was great for mixed drinks.


Disclaimer for the moralist: The legality to distilling varies from location to location, check your local laws. 
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Offline chuck9982

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Re: Brew Beer here or any other adult beverage.
« Reply #10 on: January 15, 2010, 04:04:20 PM »
The kit is on the moving truck so I am unsure of the brand. I am on city water. I have a turkey deep frier with a big pot for it. More to follow after I get unpacked.
Chuck
Graham, WA
Building J25.2

Offline bleach

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Re: Brew Beer here or any other adult beverage.
« Reply #11 on: January 19, 2010, 03:49:16 PM »
Here are a few shots of our brewfest last July 4th.  We had 3 batches going for a total of 37 gallons.
Lots of fun, just go for it!  Just remember to keep everything clean...

Brian

Offline guldam

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Re: Brew Beer here or any other adult beverage.
« Reply #12 on: January 23, 2010, 08:29:46 PM »
A fishing buddy makes Grappa. He was fresh off the boat from Italy about 30 years ago, and in his home town, everyone made Grappa.

Usually he takes left over pomace from a winery boils it up with a bunch of sugar. Adds yeast and after the yeast have exhausted themselves he starts distilling. Personally I think the stuff is firewater, and I don't care for it much. I do find the process pretty interesting.  He's slacked off in the past few years, probably because the stuff really did some damage to his liver.


Steveoh

Offline chuck9982

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Re: Brew Beer here or any other adult beverage.
« Reply #13 on: February 06, 2010, 07:11:09 PM »
I have a Brewer's Best Equipment kit.

It contains 2 six gal buckets, a bunch of simple tools, and a booklet - Home Beermaking by William Moore

I also have a can of John Bull Beer Kit just add sugar and a can of malt extract amber.

I think I already have 2 strikes - the kit has a best by date of May 08 (before I deployed) and my Turkey fryer pot is aluminium.  Strike 2 may be my town water but I at least have Brita tap filter on it.
Chuck
Graham, WA
Building J25.2

Offline walknbob

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Re: Brew Beer here or any other adult beverage.
« Reply #14 on: February 08, 2010, 10:06:14 PM »
my Turkey fryer pot is aluminium.  Strike 2 may be my town water but I at least have Brita tap filter on it.

I am not sure if an alum pot is of itself bad but if it has ever had oil in it don't use it for brewing.
I found that in our last home we had a well and the water was excellent. We came to this home and it has community water which means chlorine. Cholrine has a VERY noticable affect on brewing. I found that whatever water is going into the brewing process should set in a clean, open topped, container for at least 24 hrs, 48 is better. That allows the chorline to off gas.
WalknBob aka Bob Southwick - Depoe Bay OR