Brewing your own beer??

Discussion in 'Social Life, Food & Drink, Travel' started by gregor, May 3, 2010.

  1. gregor

    gregor Senior member

    Messages:
    282
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2009
    Location:
    NB, Canada
    I was just wondering if anyone on here makes their own beer?
    Me and a few friends just started and I was wondering if anyone on here does, what they make, etc.


    Gregor
     
  2. musick

    musick Active Member

    Messages:
    38
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2009
    I brew off the wall styles and have been doing so for about 5 years. Won a few local competitions and have finished a business proposal for a brewery. Am going to start looking for financial backing shortly.

    Styles/flavors include:

    - Whiskey and Oak Imperial Stout

    - Chocolate Coffee and Vanilla Dry Stout

    - Jalapeno and Serrano Amber

    - Sage infused Red IPA (IRA[​IMG] )

    - Black Pepper/Fenugreek IPA

    - Wormwood Pale
     
  3. gregor

    gregor Senior member

    Messages:
    282
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2009
    Location:
    NB, Canada
    Wow haha
    Sounds delicious.
    Me and my friends just bought the wort and the yeast and a starter kit (carboy, bucket, racking cane, etc) but if it goes well we might stray from the premixed stuff and make our own .
    did you start completely from scratch or a kit to begin with?
     
  4. musick

    musick Active Member

    Messages:
    38
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2009
    They were quite good. The Whiskey/Oak took 2nd place against 74 other entries.

    Never have used a kit as I feel they dont allow enough flexibility.

    Started w/ unhopped pale extract and steeping grains + hops, then extract + mini mash. Finally moved to all-grain, although I still do extract on occasions when Im short on time.

    Keep w/ it. Its a great hobby and can be as creative as you are. Dont be confined to guidelines and take some chances.

    Best advice I can offer to a beginner is to be diligent w/ your cleaning/sanitization regimen.
     
  5. ChicagoRon

    ChicagoRon Senior member

    Messages:
    6,217
    Likes Received:
    157
    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2007
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    I went through the phase in college - I enjoyed it, but ultimately stopped... partially it was a financial decision, but here are some other things that impacted my decision. I'm not trying to dissuade you, just hopefully provide some useful advice: 1> You have to be fanatic about cleaning/sanitizing. I am good, but you really need to be anal retentive... you're dealing with live cultures. Things can go horribly awry. This never happened to me, but the amount of work to sanitize was too much for my taste after a while. 2> You have to ease into it... start with "starter kits" , then move to "partially processed ingredients" (e.g. types of malt), then finally onto basic raw materials (making your own mash). I was not patient enough.... I felt like the intermediate learning steps were too much work. 3> I was in college at the time, so cost was a factor. Equipment and ingredients made it as expensive or more than buying similar beer (in the beginning, you are generally following recipes like "XXX Brand YYY Style Clone" .. so I thought "if it's costing me more to try and make something taste like xxx/yyy, why don't I just buy it?" 4> The waiting.... it takes so long to find out how a batch came out (and there will be some so/so batches in the beginning), I was extremely discouraged/disappointed when I made a bad one.
     
  6. kwilkinson

    kwilkinson Having a Ball

    Messages:
    33,650
    Likes Received:
    856
    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2007
    Location:
    Chicago
    My pops brews his own beer. New 5 gallon or 3 gallon batch every Saturday. He's pretty good, gives a lot of it away to friends, trades other beer heads for theirs. I helped him a few times but I'm not a fan of beer so I lost interest. He is really into it though. Grows several different varieties of hops in their yard, etc.
     
  7. kaxixi

    kaxixi Senior member

    Messages:
    1,899
    Likes Received:
    21
    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2007
    Like most things, it's not too hard to get acceptable results, but very hard to get great results. Our beers are, at best, almost as good as good microbrews, and, at worst, not so good but still drinkable.

    Stick to ales and don't even try lagering (except in the winter, if you have a cold attic or basement). Stick to mini-mash for a while.

    It is a fun activity to do with friends, but I don't enjoy it enough to do it on my own.
     
  8. Piobaire

    Piobaire Not left of center?

    Messages:
    50,301
    Likes Received:
    13,554
    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2006
    Location:
    In My Douchemobile
    Used to do this years ago. Here's something I came up with for a wort chiller. Just go get some 3/8's, or there abouts, copper tubing. It comes in a spiral and leave it roughly in that spiral, as it fits nicely inside the standard big white food grade bucket. Thread a garden hose size female on each end and then use garden hose to attach the top end to your sink faucet and the bottom end to run hose back up to your sink or a floor drain. Place the copper tubing in hot wort and run cold tap water through it.
     
  9. boo

    boo Senior member

    Messages:
    665
    Likes Received:
    1
    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2006
    Location:
    NJ
    I'm a relative newbie at this, but I found www.benshomebrew.com to have good pricing on kits. They also have 1 gallon kits which are good if you're short on space.
     
  10. ChicagoRon

    ChicagoRon Senior member

    Messages:
    6,217
    Likes Received:
    157
    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2007
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
  11. Grayland

    Grayland Senior member

    Messages:
    2,347
    Likes Received:
    47
    Joined:
    May 10, 2007
    Location:
    Upstate New York
    Like most things, it's not too hard to get acceptable results, but very hard to get great results. Our beers are, at best, almost as good as good microbrews, and, at worst, not so good but still drinkable.

    Stick to ales and don't even try lagering (except in the winter, if you have a cold attic or basement). Stick to mini-mash for a while.

    It is a fun activity to do with friends, but I don't enjoy it enough to do it on my own.


    I brewed for a while and would advise the same. As odd as it seems, the hardest brews to copy are the traditional, rather bland American lagers, although I'm not sure why anyone would want to copy them. I had much more success with ales, especially brown ales. My experience was that the darker and more full-flavored the brew, the easier it was to copy.
     
  12. Xiaogou

    Xiaogou Senior member

    Messages:
    3,794
    Likes Received:
    47
    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2008
    Used to do this years ago. Here's something I came up with for a wort chiller. Just go get some 3/8's, or there abouts, copper tubing. It comes in a spiral and leave it roughly in that spiral, as it fits nicely inside the standard big white food grade bucket. Thread a garden hose size female on each end and then use garden hose to attach the top end to your sink faucet and the bottom end to run hose back up to your sink or a floor drain. Place the copper tubing in hot wort and run cold tap water through it.

    I might have to try this. It almost seems that copper cooling kits cannot be skipped. Initially it was a pita cooling down the batch without copper.

    OP: A good friend and I have just started brewing our own beer. I recommend using a glass carboy over plastic. We are trying to find a brew we like to serve in my wife's restaurant when it opens.

    Good luck!
     
  13. ChicagoRon

    ChicagoRon Senior member

    Messages:
    6,217
    Likes Received:
    157
    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2007
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    I might have to try this. It almost seems that copper cooling kits cannot be skipped. Initially it was a pita cooling down the batch without copper. OP: A good friend and I have just started brewing our own beer. I recommend using a glass carboy over plastic. We are trying to find a brew we like to serve in my wife's restaurant when it opens. Good luck!
    +1 on glass - way easier to sanitize X - if the brew fails, you can always try serving cheese made from her breast milk... (I hope you read that threak, or you might think I'm being way inappropriate)
     
  14. Xiaogou

    Xiaogou Senior member

    Messages:
    3,794
    Likes Received:
    47
    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2008
    +1 on glass - way easier to sanitize

    X - if the brew fails, you can always try serving cheese made from her breast milk...

    (I hope you read that threak, or you might think I'm being way inappropriate)


    [​IMG]

    Just avoid the cheese course!
     
  15. Piobaire

    Piobaire Not left of center?

    Messages:
    50,301
    Likes Received:
    13,554
    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2006
    Location:
    In My Douchemobile
    I used to do the first few days in the big white buckets. They are larger than the 5 gallon glass carboys and the first few days are very active. The extra room in the white plastic gives you some head room where the wort won't go up and out of your airlock. After a few days, I'd rack into a carboy, leaving some of the lees behind.
     

Share This Page

Styleforum is proudly sponsored by