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Author Topic: Homebrewing counts as "Arts & Crafts"?  (Read 6584 times)

Irenfrea

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Homebrewing counts as "Arts & Crafts"?
« on: 19 Nov 2010, 08:17 »

Because I brew my own beer, and wanted to talk about this in the forums. Anyone brews too?
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jimbunny

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Re: Homebrewing counts as "Arts & Crafts"?
« Reply #1 on: 22 Nov 2010, 08:43 »

I've just started recently! I've made two successful batches: one english-style brown ale and one irish red. They've turned out pretty tasty, but more variance in carbonation than I'd like; plus there's this strange, subtle taste that I don't think belongs (but doesn't ruin it by any means). I've been meaning to try boiling the whole batch instead of adding water afterwards, wondering if that makes much of a difference. I dream about one day growing my own barley and hops.
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Irenfrea

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Re: Homebrewing counts as "Arts & Crafts"?
« Reply #2 on: 22 Nov 2010, 09:44 »

I've just started recently! I've made two successful batches: one english-style brown ale and one irish red. They've turned out pretty tasty, but more variance in carbonation than I'd like; plus there's this strange, subtle taste that I don't think belongs (but doesn't ruin it by any means). I've been meaning to try boiling the whole batch instead of adding water afterwards, wondering if that makes much of a difference. I dream about one day growing my own barley and hops.

Nice, I brewed a honey beer and a scottish red last weekend. For the strange taste check the fermentation temperatures and sanitization of your tools to override contamination. If you add water after boiling be sure to add de-chlored water, since chlorine in water will give beer a medicine-like taste. Maybe you can search for a description of this off flavor to find a better explanation.

It's not hard to grow hops on your backyard (I know some people that does it), but for growing enough barley you will need to own a couple of acres of land :P (then you have to malt it)

Do you brew all-grain or extract?
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Aurjay

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Re: Homebrewing counts as "Arts & Crafts"?
« Reply #3 on: 23 Nov 2010, 07:05 »

I brewed my own once or twice only because I was given a Mr Beer home brewing kit as a wedding gift. It was fun but once i ran out of the extract that came with it i never bothered getting more. I assume you could use it just like a regualar brewing kit and just buy the ingredients but i haven't had time to research it yet.
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Irenfrea

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Re: Homebrewing counts as "Arts & Crafts"?
« Reply #4 on: 23 Nov 2010, 08:44 »

I brewed my own once or twice only because I was given a Mr Beer home brewing kit as a wedding gift. It was fun but once i ran out of the extract that came with it i never bothered getting more. I assume you could use it just like a regualar brewing kit and just buy the ingredients but i haven't had time to research it yet.

Yeah, you can get more ingredients to keep brewing using extracts, yet its funnier (and messier) to brew from grains and natural hops. And you can fit your recipes to your personal taste.
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Aurjay

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Re: Homebrewing counts as "Arts & Crafts"?
« Reply #5 on: 23 Nov 2010, 09:55 »

I think im gonna try that next time. The extracts were ok but it kinda took all the guesswork out of it and just made it kinda plain. Think the whole point of homebrewing is experimenting and not sure you can do that with extracts.
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benji

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Re: Homebrewing counts as "Arts & Crafts"?
« Reply #6 on: 24 Nov 2010, 08:19 »

I have several friends who make their own beer, wine, and mead. I've helped them a couple of times, and attended workshops they've done as church fundraisers, but I haven't had a chance to do my own just yet. 
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jimbunny

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Re: Homebrewing counts as "Arts & Crafts"?
« Reply #7 on: 03 Dec 2010, 08:23 »

I haven't worked myself up to doing an all grain batch yet, but the added control seems like a lot of fun. Extracts are alright for what they are, but laying down $25 for a batch's worth (even though it'll still be cheaper than store-bought beer) gets to me a bit. What I'd really like to find - I'll order online for my next batch, I think - are intact hops, if only for the fact that the pellets disintegrate into this goo and make straining out the wort a right bitch.
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Irenfrea

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Re: Homebrewing counts as "Arts & Crafts"?
« Reply #8 on: 08 Dec 2010, 08:58 »

I just tried out my last honey beer and it blows a punch, having about 7% alcohol you get a couple of pints and youll start feeling funny :P

All-grain is quite cheap, I spend half money in a 20 liter batch than I'd have to spend for 20 litres of commercial beer. And tastes better :D
« Last Edit: 09 Dec 2010, 03:48 by Irenfrea »
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neomang5

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Re: Homebrewing counts as "Arts & Crafts"?
« Reply #9 on: 11 Dec 2010, 03:38 »

What about brewing your own cola? I'm not really a fan of beer, but have become sort of a soda/cola snob recently (fenitman's curiosity cola is the best thing I have ever had) and i figure the base idea is similar, formulating flavors and whatnot, but instead of adding yeast, I carbonate it with a bit of dry ice. What are your tips for ingredients and combinations for something fairly sweet?
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Inlander

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Re: Homebrewing counts as "Arts & Crafts"?
« Reply #10 on: 12 Dec 2010, 06:56 »

Clearly we should have a catch-all booze sub-forum.
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Re: Homebrewing counts as "Arts & Crafts"?
« Reply #11 on: 12 Dec 2010, 08:52 »

What about brewing your own cola? I'm not really a fan of beer, but have become sort of a soda/cola snob recently (fenitman's curiosity cola is the best thing I have ever had) and i figure the base idea is similar, formulating flavors and whatnot, but instead of adding yeast, I carbonate it with a bit of dry ice. What are your tips for ingredients and combinations for something fairly sweet?
i saw a kit for making your own soda in a costco the other day
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sean

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Re: Homebrewing counts as "Arts & Crafts"?
« Reply #12 on: 12 Dec 2010, 11:06 »

I'm not really a fan of beer,

are you doing life wrong? i mean, thats what it sounds like...
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Elysiana

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Re: Homebrewing counts as "Arts & Crafts"?
« Reply #13 on: 13 Dec 2010, 10:32 »

I used to say that until I got introduced to actually GOOD beer. I had always assumed it all tasted like Budweiser. Turns out, thankfully, not much of it does.

My hubby brews mead. He's working on a fig-apple mead right now that will hopefully be ready in just a few more months. We'll see what happens - it smelled really awesome at one point but he wanted to let it ferment a bit longer, and now I think it smells pretty gross, but most mead smells like a musty old book anyway. Luckily it usually tastes a lot better than it smells.
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tHEfOOL

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Re: Homebrewing counts as "Arts & Crafts"?
« Reply #14 on: 13 Dec 2010, 04:33 »

i find that i only like lagers and stouts, don't much care for anything else.
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Irenfrea

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Re: Homebrewing counts as "Arts & Crafts"?
« Reply #15 on: 15 Dec 2010, 06:59 »

What about brewing your own cola? I'm not really a fan of beer, but have become sort of a soda/cola snob recently (fenitman's curiosity cola is the best thing I have ever had) and i figure the base idea is similar, formulating flavors and whatnot, but instead of adding yeast, I carbonate it with a bit of dry ice. What are your tips for ingredients and combinations for something fairly sweet?

You could get a Cornelius keg, a small refillable CO2 tank and start experimenting. A homebrewer pal of mine used one of his Cornelius to make 5 gallons of orange soda for his daugther birthday.

Most sodas are based on corn syrup as sweetener, you could start from there. Then using caramel, fruit essences and the such to create a flavor. My friend used Tang :P
« Last Edit: 15 Dec 2010, 07:03 by Irenfrea »
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neomang5

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Re: Homebrewing counts as "Arts & Crafts"?
« Reply #16 on: 18 Dec 2010, 07:12 »

are you doing life wrong? i mean, thats what it sounds like...

Nah, just not really many beers I enjoy. They're not BAD per se, just not something I really enjoy drinking.

Also, I am HEAVILY opposed to HFCS, so I was thinking of making a cane or other natural sugar syrup base but need to research ratios and good types of sugar to use. There's a homebrewing store in my town (I just have to find its new location) so I guess I'll check there for flavorings.
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Carl-E

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Re: Homebrewing counts as "Arts & Crafts"?
« Reply #17 on: 13 Mar 2011, 10:20 »

I have a couple of gallons of cider that started fermenting on their own.  Cracked one, it was quite tasty, and then rebottled it (it got cloudy, thoug).  I'm going to let them go to near completion, then bottle them. 

Can't wait! 

Oh, and now I know what to do with the (several hundred) pears from my tree next year... peary, anyone? 
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pwhodges

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Re: Homebrewing counts as "Arts & Crafts"?
« Reply #18 on: 15 Mar 2011, 03:54 »

The word is perry.  Personally I've found it disappointing in comparison to apple cider, though that may be because I've only come across fizzy bottled ones - I don't know if there's anywhere I can get draught perry.

<Googles a bit> Yes I can; it's brewed, among other places, in a town where I recently bought some of the best beef I've ever had - Ledbury in Herefordshire.  If you plan to make it, note that just as marmalade is made from oranges you wouldn't eat, so perry is made from pears you wouldn't eat; it might be very hard to get the right pears.
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Inlander

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Re: Homebrewing counts as "Arts & Crafts"?
« Reply #19 on: 15 Mar 2011, 07:18 »

If you're feeling really adventurous you could try making some Poire Williams. (Warning: necessitates home distilling; may not be legal.)
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Elysiana

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Re: Homebrewing counts as "Arts & Crafts"?
« Reply #20 on: 15 Mar 2011, 07:38 »

Pear mead is awesome but would probably require a lot of work to get out the majority of the pulp and work it down to just juice. Would be nice with a little zap of ginger or vanilla.

Are you wanting to actually brew something or hoping that it will ferment properly on its own? I know a few people who liked this thing pretty well, including some brewers/vintners.
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Carl-E

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Re: Homebrewing counts as "Arts & Crafts"?
« Reply #21 on: 19 Mar 2011, 08:37 »

If you're feeling really adventurous you could try making some Poire Williams. (Warning: necessitates home distilling; may not be legal.)

Very cool, and the pears I have are  Bartlett/Williams.  But yeah, it involves making pear wine then distilling it, and I think one tree won't really give me enough - in a good year, I only get 150 - 300 pears of various size and quality, from huge supermarket style to little stunted nubbly things (I don't spray the tree, so it's catch-as-catch-can). 

@Elysiana, I've just gotten some bottles and airlocks to finish the cider.  For cider, some people add yeast, but there are naturally occuring yeasts on the skins of apples, and they'll usually  do the trick, though they sometimes introduce weird flavors.  Same's true for pears.  Commercial products are fully pasteurized to remove the natural stuff and then their own yeasts are added.  The stuff I've got going now was  pasteurized, but it seems a few of the buggers made it through! 
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Bearer

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Re: Homebrewing counts as "Arts & Crafts"?
« Reply #22 on: 25 Dec 2012, 09:18 »

Figured I'd restart this thread instead of making a new one since there's a lot of cool projects here.

I've done one successful extract brew so far: a Kolsch that I got to use some whole flower hops with that I got from work, and it turned out quite nice (I do photo/video stuff for a PA craft brewery.)  I've got my first all grain test batch fermenting now (a dunkel).  Looking at the carboy now however, it appears to be stuck... probably a byproduct of not having a thermometer during the mash.  For that brew I actually went out and converted a tiny 2-Gal. igloo cooler into a mash tun.  I'm working on putting together a 10-Gal. job for some future brews, but until then I'll try to give the current stuck one another go.
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Re: Homebrewing counts as "Arts & Crafts"?
« Reply #23 on: 25 Feb 2013, 11:57 »

I'm going to buy a kit I think and start from there.  Can anybody reccomend a good but relatively inexpensive kit in the UK  (they seem to be around 50 so I'd like a little cheaper if possible, but you gotta pay for the right stuff)
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Re: Homebrewing counts as "Arts & Crafts"?
« Reply #24 on: 09 Aug 2013, 12:45 »

I just started brewing and am having a blast with it.  I've done up a decent ginger beer, but my two fave are an apple ale (done using apple cider in place of water) and a fraoch or heather ale. 

I've even got the kids to help out (with the brewing, not the drinking), although they will get to try the root beer.
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Lupercal

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Re: Homebrewing counts as "Arts & Crafts"?
« Reply #25 on: 11 Aug 2013, 02:57 »

A beer kit costs 50? I hope that's including the keg, sanitation equipment, and beer ingredients? Even then you can find them online for about 35.

I just bottled 38 pints last night of the first beer I've ever made. It was a "Canadian Blonde", and my Dad had a rather interesting idea to use golden syrup instead of sugar in the initial mixing process - it should add a subtlety to the beer that wouldn't have otherwise been there with just normal white sugar. I'm also led to believe different sugars can develop different tastes, colours, etc.

How long do people normally let their beer brew for? The instructions said only a week, but I was inclined to wait until the bubbling had completely stopped before I began bottling.
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Re: Homebrewing counts as "Arts & Crafts"?
« Reply #26 on: 12 Aug 2013, 04:51 »

I wait til the final gravity stabilizes (same reading for two days)
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