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TXlib Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 01:09 PM
Original message
Poll question: Who's a homebrewer here?
How long have you been brewing, and what is your favorite brew?

Sorry, polls are turned off at Level 3.

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Superfly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 01:10 PM
Response to Original message
1. Except in my case, replace "Microbrewery"
with meadery/winery.
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bif Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 01:12 PM
Response to Original message
2. Used to brew. But it all sucked.
And all the home brew I've ever had sucked as well.
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mac56 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 01:15 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. Sorry to hear it.
Like most homemade items: some of it will suck, but more of it is good and some is excellent.
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TXlib Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 01:31 PM
Response to Reply #2
6. There are self-contained brewing toys
but they uniformly suck. They always produce insipid, infected beer. They're a huge disservice to the hobby.

Other than that, the single biggest mistake a novice brewer can make is not enough sanitation.

What kind of commercial beer do you like?
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bif Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 01:46 PM
Response to Reply #6
14. Guinness Stout, most German beer
Pilsner Urquell and a lot of Canadian beer. I dislike most American beer except for some of the smaller regional brewers and Anchor Steam products. I was making this stuff 20 years ago. Steralized the hell out my equipment--but in the end, it all had a wine-like flavor. But it sure kicked ass. My guess was that it was 10% alcohol or higher. I don't remember what the original specific gravity it was starting out, but it was powerful beer.

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TXlib Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 01:52 PM
Response to Reply #14
19. an awful lot has changed in 20 years.
The main thing is prolly the profusion of high-quality beer yeast.

I'd recommend trying again, and make yourself a nice bavarian hefeweizen with weihenstephan yeast.
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bif Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 02:28 PM
Response to Reply #19
29. Maybe I will
I still have the old carboys around somewhere. I always loved the smell of the boiling wort.
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Superfly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 01:53 PM
Response to Reply #14
20. Anchor Steam is a single product...
Anchor Brewing is the name of the company.
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bif Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 02:19 PM
Response to Reply #20
25. I've toured the brewery
And have sampled many of their various products. Unfortunately, the tour was pretty early in the morning--too early to do any serious "sampling."
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cheezus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 02:29 PM
Response to Reply #6
30. I have Mr. Beer. It's pretty good.
Best I can tell it's the same as the bucket fermenter, but it's smaller and the plastic "breathes" (lets out the co2 w/o burper)

Same procedure. It's not one of those with the CO2 cartridge. that would just be wrong.

a question for you: my instructions (and the good eats episode about brewing) call for priming sugar in the bottles to make the yeast pick up and make natural carbination. Is there something better to use than table sugar?
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TXlib Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 02:55 PM
Response to Reply #30
33. Priming sugar
Most homebrewers use corn sugar (pure dextrose, more fermentable than sucrose, table sugar) at a rate of about 3 oz per five gallons of beer. There are good websites that help fine tune the amount of priming sugar to add for different beer styles (about 2 oz for a british bitter, 4 oz for bavarian hefeweizen).

Boil the corn sugar with 2 cups of water for 10 minutes, and then pour into your bottling bucket. Rack the beer on top of that (it'll mix naturally) and bottle. Don't add corn sugar to each bottle; it's too inconsistent, and prone to introducing bacteria.

The small amount of corn sugar does not affect the taste of the beer, but if you're a purist, you can use a cup to a cup and a half of dry malt extract, boiled in 3 cups of water.
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mac56 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 02:59 PM
Response to Reply #30
34. Don't use table sugar.
Corn sugar is the product of choice. Some brewers use DME (dried malt extract), maybe to be purists, but in my experience the difference is negligible.
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tsakshaug Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 01:15 PM
Response to Original message
3. Blueberry lager
Was my best beer. But grew my own blueberries, now that I have moved I cannot afford to make it anymore.

I make an amber with some chocolate malt. dark flavor, lighter taste
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TXlib Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 01:34 PM
Response to Reply #3
7. Did you have a beer fridge that you kept it in for a controlled temp?
Lager is more equipment intensive since it requires a method of keeping the temp around 50 deg F, so many homebrewers don't bother with it, and use ale yeasts with very clean fermentation characteristics to mimic lager characteristics.
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tsakshaug Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 01:37 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. yep had a fridge
kept lots of my brewing stuff in there too.
made a honey lager once that took forever (might as well made a mede)
rigged up the thermostat to control the temp correctly.

Did make some steam beers with lager yeast. that worked out OK
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phatkatt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 01:29 PM
Response to Original message
5. Gots me an ESB in the primary right now!!
Also installed a tap through the front door of my fridge (in the shed) last week. I've had the keg/CO2 system for a year or so ...
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TXlib Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 01:41 PM
Response to Reply #5
9. I just bought my first kegging supplies
Edited on Wed Apr-07-04 01:42 PM by TXlib
two 3-gallon used corny kegs from http://www.betbev.com

They needed a thorough cleaning and new o-rings, but they were very cheap.

I'm just using 12-g CO2 cartridges to dispense right now, but plan to upgrade to a 5-lb cylinder and regulator ASAP.

I'm now lusting in my heart for a 10-gallon brewing sculpture.
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tsakshaug Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 01:46 PM
Response to Reply #9
13. next time a have a few thousand hanging around
I will get one of them there brewing sculptres.
cool
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Superfly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 01:54 PM
Response to Reply #9
21. Build it yourself and save about $2000
find somebody with a welder, buy some angle steel and build one yourself. That is, if you dare! Mmmmwahhahahahaha
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bedtimeforbonzo Donating Member (344 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 01:41 PM
Response to Original message
10. cider only
it's a lot easier than beer, and tastier imho.
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TXlib Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 01:44 PM
Response to Reply #10
11. Ever try cyser?
Combination of mead and cider:

use 2-3 lbs of honey for each total gallon of volume.
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bedtimeforbonzo Donating Member (344 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 02:59 PM
Response to Reply #11
35. nope
but it sounds good :)
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TXlib Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 03:01 PM
Response to Reply #35
36. It IS good.
And it tends to mature quicker than mead alone, since it's mostly cider.
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regularguy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 01:44 PM
Response to Original message
12. I just got started a few months back.
Making lots of mistakes along the way, but I'm learning, having fun, and when all is said and done I gots me some beer. I'm reading the "Joy of HomeBrewing" by C. Papazian; any other reading recommendations?
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tsakshaug Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 01:47 PM
Response to Reply #12
15. "more joy"
of home brewing
subscribe to zymurgy
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regularguy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 01:48 PM
Response to Reply #15
17. Thanks!
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tsakshaug Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 01:48 PM
Response to Reply #12
16. here is a link
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TXlib Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 01:49 PM
Response to Reply #12
18. just go to amazon.com and start browsing homebrewing books,
and see what is recommended. Check the recommended listmania lists and "so you want to..." guides.

Also, hook up with your local homebrewer's club.
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mac56 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 02:25 PM
Response to Reply #12
27. "How To Brew" by John Palmer
Every bit as helpful as Papazian's book.

And you can read it for free at the website.

http://www.howtobrew.com
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blue agave Donating Member (372 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 02:07 PM
Response to Original message
22. Get Suds
I use Suds recipe calculator. It's great for creating and storing your own recipes. Don't forget to add in your own brewing process notes so that you can fine tune your recipe over a period of time.
It's free.

<http://oldlib.com/suds/download.htm >

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Superfly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 02:09 PM
Response to Reply #22
23. I use beertools.com and it's free
Try the recipe calculator
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cheezus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 02:12 PM
Response to Original message
24. Give me brewing tips!
Got a Mr. Beer microbrewery from my mom-in-law for xmas. Only brewed the nut brown ale that came with it. It was okay. But the recipe also calls for a packet of "booster", which is just corn sugar. I'm a bit of a beer snob, so I want it to be all malt.

Mr. Beer is okay. Best I can tell the process is the same as regualar homebrewing, but the keg is smaller (2.5gal vs 5) and it is self breathing plastic for the co2 (vs a burper).

I used the malt in a can, which seemed fine. Alton used malt extract on his epiosde about home brewing, so I'm ok with not malting my own (seems like way to much work and smell)

I like medium thick beers (not a fan of guiness tho) with LOTS of hops. My favs are usually IPA or extra pales.

Got recommendations? Online site where I can buy the malt and hops?

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mac56 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 02:26 PM
Response to Reply #24
28. Ditch the Mr. Beer.
For a modest investment, you can get some serviceable homebrew equipment that will last you a lifetime.

Start here:

www.northernbrewer.com
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cheezus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 02:32 PM
Response to Reply #28
31. getting real equipment for xmas this year
I think mr. beer would be fine for anyone who wants to try it out with a minimal investment.

thanks for the link!
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TXlib Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 02:35 PM
Response to Reply #28
32. Most homebrew stores also do business online
http://www.defalcos.com is my local brew store, and it is very good.

http://www.brewcat.com is the store i went to when i lived in Kansas city. Also highly recommended.

http://www.morebeer.com is a HUGE site. Never saw the physical store, but it seems the largest homebrew store online, anyway.

I agree you should ditch the Mr. Beer. You can get a basic homebrewing kit for about $65 that consists of a 7.5 gallon plastic pail for the primary, a 6-gallon glass carboy for the secondary, a siphon with racking cane, bottlecapper, bottle filler, a starter supply of caps and corks, and a simple wine bottle corker, hydrometer, bottle brush, and a couple of airlocks. You'll still need to buy bottles, a large stockpot, spoon, and ingredients for your first batch.

No homebrewer (or extremely few) malt their own grain, but a large fraction do mash their own. It adds 2-3 hours to your brewing day, but the results make it worthwhile.
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CrownPrinceBandar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 02:20 PM
Response to Original message
26. Haven't brewed in a while, but want to again soon...
I would like to do a Shiner-style bock, as I have been hankering some of Spoetzel's (sp?)finest. I have heard Austin Homebrew Supply carries a kit that closely approximates the flavor. Drove through Shiner once ad stopped to get a six-pack. It turned out that the Shiner beer was more expensive a .5 mile from the brewery, than it was in Austin. Go figure.
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ChavezSpeakstheTruth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 03:05 PM
Response to Original message
37. I'm very interested in trying it
can anyone recommend a way to start?
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TXlib Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 03:08 PM
Response to Reply #37
38. First, get Charlie Papazian's book, "The New Joy of Homebrewing"
Read it, and pay special attention to the bit about sanitation.

See if there is a homebrew store local to you; if not, check out any of the others mentioned in this thread; most have a strong online presence. Get them to set you up with a beginner's kit.

See if there is a homebrewer's club in your area; if you live in at least a medium-sized city, you should.

Read the other posts in this thread. Some good advice there.
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mac56 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 03:13 PM
Response to Reply #38
40. Wow! TXlib!
GMTA!
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TXlib Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 04:02 PM
Response to Reply #40
43. GMTA?
Edited on Wed Apr-07-04 04:04 PM by TXlib
Oh, Great Minds Think Alike.

I figured out the acronym, when i read your post below mine, which looked pretty much the same as mine, then thought "Great Minds Think Alike. Oh, GMTA!" and then smacked my forehead.
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mac56 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 04:04 PM
Response to Reply #43
44. Great minds think alike!
:beer:
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mac56 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 03:12 PM
Response to Reply #37
39. Like learning to swim
Just dive right in.

Find a good homebrew store, either in person or on line. A set of basic starter equipment will cost you less than $100, but it's stuff you can use forever. I'm still using equipment I first bought 20 years ago.

Pick up one of these books: "The New Joy Of Homebrewing" by Charlie Papazian, or "How To Brew" by John Palmer. I only recently got Palmer's book, but I use Papazian's every time I brew. Palmer's you can read for free at his website www.howtobrew.com .

Ask lots of questions at your homebrew shop. There's no question you can ask that they haven't already heard, or haven't asked themselves. If you can hook up with an experienced homebrewer to make a first batch, that's a good way to learn.

Eventually, find out if there's a homebrewers club or association in your area.
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ChavezSpeakstheTruth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 08:00 PM
Response to Reply #39
47. Thanks you two!
I'm getting married in a year so I hope to brew my own "wedding label",

:toast:
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mac56 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-08-04 08:49 AM
Response to Reply #47
50. I brewed three kinds of beer for my brother's wedding.
An American pale ale, a honey weizen, and a porter. The mini-keg system was definitely the way to go.
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Commendatori Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 03:46 PM
Response to Original message
41. Well, I've tried...
...but it appears that the only type I can do correctly is amber. All of my other attempts came out like crap.
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BrotherBuzz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 03:52 PM
Response to Original message
42. Wife kicked me out of kitchen...(smart)
as my interest in home-brew grew to a twelve gallon system. Beer kegs are your best friend. Had a fifteen and seven gallon keg stacked and welded together for a brew pot on a propane burner salvaged from a water heater. Huge cooler with spigot installed for mash. Primary fermentation in keg, and bottled everything in 22 oz bottles. Heck, I even grew cascade hops in the backyard on an old twenty foot TV tower. Had a killer pale ale brew that neighbors and friends could not tell the difference from Sierra pale ale in a blind taste.

Alas, I got tired of doing it; Clean, Clean, Clean was the order of the day. Today I make wine because it's so easy and much more forgiving. One month a year, and I have all the wine I can drink or give away. I've got a thousand pound system (fills a 60 gallon oak barrel with topping left over) worked out well, and one crazy year we bought seven tons of grape. This year I plan on a ton and a half - three barrels, or 180 gallons. Moderation.
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JVS Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 04:40 PM
Response to Original message
45. A friend of mine brews a lot of sugar water
Wonder what he does with it all.
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LWolf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 06:46 PM
Response to Original message
46. Not a brewer, but
a home-brew drinker. At least I used to be, when I had access to the home-brewer and his brew. I still like homebrew best when I can get it!
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Wapsie B Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 08:13 PM
Response to Original message
48. My attempts at homebrewing
would make a billy goat puke.
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SarahB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 10:32 PM
Response to Original message
49. Nope
But I accidently left orange juice in the back of the fridge once and no one drank it, so it fermented. :7
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LincolnMcGrath Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-08-04 08:54 AM
Response to Original message
51. APPLE PIE
Sell about 4 jugs a week
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