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Beverage Making Beer, wine, mead, soda, cider, spirits, cordials, etc.

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  #1  
Old 06-07-2014, 04:00 AM
Kachad Male Kachad is offline
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Default 1st Beer Batch - Satisfactory

My first batch is coming of age. Have tested a couple of bottles and a growler, and they have reached good carbonation.

The beer is a little too sweet, although you still definitely get the bitterness from the hops. No bitter aftertaste, but still has a slight banana type of sweetness to it.

I will have to contemplate and evaluate the rest of the batch. Much of this will be done while clearing and burning stuff Up North.

I have two new batches in the works.

I'm kind of hooked.
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Old 06-07-2014, 12:26 PM
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Default Sounds good.

Congratulations.

I have never drank, nor do I care to start, but I love the science/art of brewing,distilling,creating. I may make that attempt someday.
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Old 06-08-2014, 11:41 AM
hunter88 hunter88 is offline
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I've been surprised how different a batch can taste a few months later. The hard part is letting it sit in the bottle that long without drinking it.
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Old 06-12-2014, 03:27 PM
Kachad Male Kachad is offline
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David - I'm just starting to delve into the science side of the brewing. My background is chemistry, and even though I've moved over to the Dark Side (Business Side), I'm still a tech geek at heart. There's alot to learn for sure.

Hunter - Yeah, it's a bit difficult waiting for the beer to age. I'm rationing this batch to see how it ages through time. It's matured quite a bit in the last week, losing some sweetness and the overall taste has become more refined. Going to bring a six pack back Up Nord this weekend for further evaluations.

Second batch is bottled!
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Old 06-20-2014, 02:38 AM
Kachad Male Kachad is offline
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Second batch = Oktoberfest. Sampling the first bottle. Pretty good, very drinkable, but probably needs a little more time to mature.
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Old 08-06-2014, 04:34 AM
Kachad Male Kachad is offline
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5 batches completed. Can't wait to get deeper into this craft.

After working for a solid 8 hours Up North - it sure is pretty satisfying sitting down with a meal from garden veggies, harvested wild raspberries, grilled venison, and washing it down with your own beer.

Now I have to graduate to all grain brewing. Updates to come!
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Old 03-01-2015, 08:30 PM
Kachad Male Kachad is offline
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Graduated to all-grain brewing. Kind of.

I decided to try my hand at making a batch similar to Alaskan Freeride APA. Booted up a formulating program, Beersmith. Entered in all the ingredients that I picked up and started playing with that. It's amazing that the program is very similar to a formulating program that I used when I was formulating powder coatings back in the day.

The measured original gravity was dead on to the calculated OG, so it looks like all the first steps were successful.

Now the wait!
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Old 03-01-2015, 11:06 PM
StockdaleDave Male StockdaleDave is offline
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Haven't home brewed in years. Makes me want to get back into it. Look forward to your reports.
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Old 03-02-2015, 01:57 AM
hunter88 hunter88 is offline
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I used to use Beersmith too. It was a lot of fun plugging ingredients into the formula and seeing how it came out.

I never did go all grain, but I did steep some grains and messed with different hops. In the end I found a Lager from Coopers I really liked and went with that. Still got to make beer but it didn't take as much time.

Somewhere I should have some 3x5 cards with my recipes on them. Have to see if I can find them.
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Old 04-13-2015, 01:01 AM
connie189 Female connie189 is offline
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Hi

Can you recommend an easy kit to start with? Hubby expressed interest but I'm not sure which kit to purchase for him.

Is there any way to make a "light" beer? (Most of the docs I've spoken to like the idea that if I want a beer, to drink Sharps (low alcohol).

Thanks for any recommendations.
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Old 04-13-2015, 04:53 PM
Knowitall Male Knowitall is offline
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connie189, I'm a new brewer and I've been happy with extract kits. Basically you are just given some yeast, 6 pounds of a condensed syrup, and hops. The extract kits can be painfully easy, but it's a good way to avoid getting overwhelmed since you don't have to deal with any grain.

You may be able to find a local homebrew shop in your area to supply you with an extract kit, but you can find good kits online too. I've bought several from Northern Brewer and they have turned out nicely.

As for light beers, I would recommend looking into "session" beers. Basically with these beers you ferment a less sugary liquid which means less alcohol in the finished product.

I know of a number of digital resources which I can recommend for skill-building if you are interested.
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Old 04-13-2015, 09:16 PM
hunter88 hunter88 is offline
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Connie I agree a local home brew shop will be able to set you up with a kit to get you started. I just bottled 5 gallons last week and started another 5 gallon batch that will be ready to bottle a week from Thur.

I prefer the Coopers syrup and usually make a lager. To this I add a 3# bag of DME [dry malt extract]. The syrup has all the hops already added and a yeast packet is included, so that's all you need. The Coopers syrup is usually about $20 and the DME around $15.

To cut the alcohol you could cut down the DME to 1 1/2#. This way a 3# bag would make two batches and help cut the cost. The only other way to make light beer is to add more water then called for.

Of course if you make a 5 gallon batch, you need around 54 bottles when the time comes to bottle. Plus caps, plus capper. And then you need at least 2 6 gallon buckets so you can make a 5 gallon batch. Spigots, air vents, and of course a few other things are needed.

If your hubby just wants to see if he likes brewing I'm going to suggest a Mr Beer kit. Right up front I'm going to tell you the beer is not the best quality. It's not bad, but you can make much better with higher end kits. The Mr Beer kit will use sugar instead of DME, so to me the beer doesn't seem as rich. My first batches were with sugar, but it didn't take long to switch to DME instead of sugar, and right away the beer was better, even with a Mr Beer kit.

The advantage of the Mr Beer kit is you only make 2 gallons at a time, and it's very simple to use. Plus it includes the plastic bottles. Everything needed in one box to get started. If your hubby likes brewing he will outgrow the Mr Beer quickly, at least I did after 5 or 6 batches. But if he doesn't like it you're not out much.
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Old 04-14-2015, 02:53 AM
Kachad Male Kachad is offline
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Connie - x3 on what Knowitall and Hunter posted.

I started by doing some research online, then went to the local brew shop to purchase a basic starting equipment setup and ingredient kit.

For bottles, I started saving my bottles (non screw cap type) before getting the kit. For some reason, didn't take that long to save up a little over 2 cases, which you'll need for a standard 5 gallon batch.
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Old 04-14-2015, 11:01 AM
hunter88 hunter88 is offline
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On bottles I should add, you can use plastic soda bottles. Now you can't use plastic water bottles, the thread design is different, but large or small soda bottles will work.

Before I got enough glass bottles I always used plastic soda bottles. I used a smaller ones for everyday use, and sometimes I'd fill a 2 liter bottle if I knew I had something coming up where a lot of people were coming over. Then everyone could take from the 2 liter bottle and it was like having a mini keg.

The soda bottle with the screw on cap worked well for my mom who is in her 90s. Sometimes a beer with her lunch was too much, but with the soda bottle she could drink half one day and it would still be good the next day for the other half.
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Old 04-14-2015, 02:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hunter88 View Post
The advantage of the Mr Beer kit is you only make 2 gallons at a time, and it's very simple to use. Plus it includes the plastic bottles.
Good point, having to deal with a smaller volume would be helpful.

Here are the basic instructions in case anybody wants to see what is involved:

http://cdn2.hubspot.net/hub/410478/f...=1428968845000

The more I look at the Mr. Beer kits, the more I think that Connie should go that route. The instructions are simple, the cost is low, and he can "doctor" the kits in the future if he likes brewing (I found a good video link).
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Old 04-14-2015, 03:31 PM
hunter88 hunter88 is offline
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Actually one of the best beers I made came from a Mr Beer kit. I used the Nut Brown Ale and 1 1/2# DME. After one week fermenting I added about 8 or 10 strips of crispy fried bacon in a cheese cloth bag.

Bacon beer, it would have made Homer Simpson proud. Had a salty smoky flavor.
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Old 04-14-2015, 03:34 PM
hunter88 hunter88 is offline
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And for you other guys that brew. Do you batch prime or do you bottle prime. I know since I started with a Mr Beer kit I first learned to bottle prime. But once I went to 5 gallon batches I went to batch priming since it was so much easier.
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Old 04-16-2015, 03:17 AM
Kachad Male Kachad is offline
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Batch prime.

I had no idea you could use two liter bottles, I will have to think about that.

Think I'm going to get a few kegs as well and test that out. I would like to have a few kegs of homebrew for the wedding.
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Old 04-16-2015, 11:21 AM
hunter88 hunter88 is offline
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I'm not sure if they still make them, but a couple years ago they came out with some small plastic beer kegs. I think it was Millers and maybe Coors that had them.

I found a you tube video on them, but as I said I'm not sure they still make them.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U9WyfgE3o_M

On a home brew forum we found out you could take off the tap and if you used a vice grips you could twist the Co2 cartridge holder back until you broke the safety device. Now you could unscrew the holder and remove the Co2 cartridge.

All you had to do was fill the plastic keg, put in a new Co2 cartridge and you had a mini keg. Problem was after about 3 or 4 fills the plastic tap started falling apart. It just wasn't built for multiple use. I still have one around there somewhere. Oh the other downside was, you had to drink all the cheap beer in the keg in order to use it. But then that's why you have friends to invite over for a beer.
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Old 04-16-2015, 11:28 AM
connie189 Female connie189 is offline
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Beer problem (hops shortage):

http://www.msn.com/en-us/foodanddrin...ply/ar-AAaZNe3
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