#1
Has anyone here ever made an attempt at homebrewing beer or mead (in short, honey wine)?

Talk about your success stories, advice for brewers, etc. Brew-talk.

I'm about to start brewing and wanted to hear about other brewers' experiences.
#3
i was gonna order a kit for it. but its a pain in the ass
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#5
i heard wine sint hard at all. well cheap wine that you can sell off to aprties and such, all you need is yeast and lei water jogs and ****
#7
Quote by lounge act
Sorry, I'm a civilized Northerner

There's a HUGE difference between homebrewing and moonshining.
#8
I did it for several years. It is not difficult, but it can be complicated. Beer after it is brewed but before it ferments (wort) is extremely succeptible to bacterial infection. The equipment costs can escalate in a hurry, because the beer needs to ferment for a week at cold temps, so you are looking at buying a fridge that can hold a 5 gallon glass carboy, unless you already have room. Also, don't expect it to come out like Bud or Miller, the lightest lager I brewed was still pretty dark; big beer companies filter theirs through some pretty tight filters. Homebrew has a layer of yeast in the bottom of the bottle, won't hurt you but doesn't taste very good and looks like semen. Need to pour from the bottle to a glass very slowly while tilting the glass so the beer runs down the side to prevent too much head building, and stop before the yeast rolls in the glass. Homebrewers make some of the best (and worst) beer in the world, so enjoy if you go for it. Here's my stats:

Start up costs $150ish
Add-ons 100
Time (5 gal batch) 4 hours of prep, brew, cooling, and cleaning; 4 weeks of fermenting and carbonization.

You can make it as complicated as you want. Some of the books I have are far more difficult to understand than my college chemistry class ever was.
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#9
Quote by millerdrr
I did it for several years. It is not difficult, but it can be complicated. Beer after it is brewed but before it ferments (wort) is extremely succeptible to bacterial infection. The equipment costs can escalate in a hurry, because the beer needs to ferment for a week at cold temps, so you are looking at buying a fridge that can hold a 5 gallon glass carboy, unless you already have room. Also, don't expect it to come out like Bud or Miller, the lightest lager I brewed was still pretty dark; big beer companies filter theirs through some pretty tight filters. Homebrew has a layer of yeast in the bottom of the bottle, won't hurt you but doesn't taste very good and looks like semen. Need to pour from the bottle to a glass very slowly while tilting the glass so the beer runs down the side to prevent too much head building, and stop before the yeast rolls in the glass. Homebrewers make some of the best (and worst) beer in the world, so enjoy if you go for it. Here's my stats:

Start up costs $150ish
Add-ons 100
Time (5 gal batch) 4 hours of prep, brew, cooling, and cleaning; 4 weeks of fermenting and carbonization.

You can make it as complicated as you want. Some of the books I have are far more difficult to understand than my college chemistry class ever was.

I've never heard of a cold fermentation step, rather that the temperature should remain relatively consistent. What does cold fermenting do?

Brew chemistry is pretty damn complex. I've been reading a lot about it and I'd say 9 times out of 10 my brow is furrled in the "Huh?" position.

Also, don't expect it to come out like Bud or Miller

Noooooo problem.
#11
Quote by x/taluha
i thought that was illegal?


Sorry, I forgot to say I am in the US. Small amounts were legalized here in 1978.

By cold fermenting I meant around 40 degrees farenheit for lager. Ales can go a little warmer, to about 50, but when you are fermenting that temp has to remain constant the entire time, or at least with only small variances. Where I live I don't get a lot of 40-50 degree days; they are all over 75 or under 30
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#12
My first batch was a traditional ale, which was delicious, my second batch was a cervesa, or mexican style lager, my 3rd batch was chocolate infused stout, and right now I'm perfecting a summer ale recipe.
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#13
Quote by millerdrr
Sorry, I forgot to say I am in the US. Small amounts were legalized here in 1978.

By cold fermenting I meant around 40 degrees farenheit for lager. Ales can go a little warmer, to about 50, but when you are fermenting that temp has to remain constant the entire time, or at least with only small variances. Where I live I don't get a lot of 40-50 degree days; they are all over 75 or under 30

A dorm fridge, or some kind of mini fridge of slightly larger-than-average proportions should do the trick.
#16
Quote by ckellingc
It takes like a freakin month.

'Tis not a hobby for those that enjoy "instant gratification"
I make about 10-15 cases/year.
Once you get a recipe or 2 you like it is not that difficult.
The hard part is getting a brew you like. Once you do it's not that hard to replicate.
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#17
Quote by Jackal58
'Tis not a hobby for those that enjoy "instant gratification"
I make about 10-15 cases/year.
Once you get a recipe or 2 you like it is not that difficult.
The hard part is getting a brew you like. Once you do it's not that hard to replicate.

Do you participate in any brewing competitions?
#18
I'm bottling a batch of bitter tonight and tomorrow I'm going to start brewing a wheat beer. I want to look at making mead too, but honey is pretty expensive, so I'll have to read up on it before I risk spoiling $50 worth of honey. Ooh, and if I could grow enough pot to use some in brewing, I'd like to make a homebrew alcoholic drink using pot, sugar and yeast. THC is alcohol soluble, so you would get drunk and stoned at the same time and it would be interesting to see what it tastes like.

Beer making is easy, and doesn't cos $150 to set up, like someone above said. I paid $50 for my kit, but before that I was making it in a bucket, with about $10 worth of equipment, and I was still getting good results.

Homebrew is so economical too, good for a student like me. I make 23 litres of beer for about $20, and it's not bad either. You can make it pretty strong too, which is another plus.

I made apple cider once, but I lost interest and it sat in the fermenter for about 6 months, slowly turning to vinegar, so I couldn't drink it afterwards. I also made wine from the chinese apples (lilipilis) that grow in my back yard, that turned out ok, but quite strong!

Homebrew doesn't usually taste bad, if it's done properly, but it definatley tastes different to shop bought beer. I like to think it's going back to the roots of beer, like they used to make it years ago, rather than the chemical stuff they make these days.

I'm sort of thinking about making spirits soon, but I don't know if I trust those distillers you can buy... Anyone had any experience with them?
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Last edited by MrAngryEyes at Sep 19, 2007,
#19
Quote by The Leader
My first batch was a traditional ale, which was delicious, my second batch was a cervesa, or mexican style lager, my 3rd batch was chocolate infused stout, and right now I'm perfecting a summer ale recipe.


Awesome. I bow down to this.
#20
Quote by millerdrr
Sorry, I forgot to say I am in the US. Small amounts were legalized here in 1978.

By cold fermenting I meant around 40 degrees farenheit for lager. Ales can go a little warmer, to about 50, but when you are fermenting that temp has to remain constant the entire time, or at least with only small variances. Where I live I don't get a lot of 40-50 degree days; they are all over 75 or under 30
It's been a while since I helped a friend with this (he's quite knowledgeable on the subject) but I think ale can be fermented at up to 55 degrees. There's a different yeast you would choose for one or the other. I think one is called top fermenting, the other bottom fermenting. I don't recall which is used for what.

Most important thing is STERILIZATION. Bacteria can ruin a brew, and can even make it unsafe to drink. The water you brew with should be free of chlorine, and some well waters that don't taste all that great can sometimes make excellent beer.
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#21
My roommate attempted it and his entire batch turned out like ass. It's like all you could taste was yeast. It ended up at about 6% alcohol, but was just undrinkable. He's trying a cerveza right now. We'll see how that comes out.
#22
^He probably let something unsanitized come into contact with the wort or let an unknown substance in or measured wrong. It's way too easy to let these things happen.