Psst... Ready to join TalkBass and start posting, make new friends, sell your gear, and more?  Register your free account in 30 seconds.

Any brewers in the house?

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by baba, Sep 19, 2002.


  1. baba

    baba Supporting Member

    Jan 22, 2002
    3rd stone from the sun
    After music I think beer must be my greatest love. (Don't tell my wife) I've been brewing my own for many years now and wondered if anyone else out there enjoys the fine craft of homebrewing or commercial brewing. If so, what's your setup? What do you brew?
     
  2. I'm not a brewer (Yet), but I've been talking to a friend of mine about trying it out. How long does it take for a fairly normal type of beer?
     
  3. I haven't for a year or so, but for several years I brewed often - mostly ales. My favorite was a Scottish Ale recipe I had. Most of my batches turned out very good.

    I used carboys. I can't remember all the equipment. I used some grains. I also converted a chest freezer into a fridge and used it for kegs. IMO, kegging is the only way to go. I would have two types of beer available at any time.

    It's amazing how much I've forgotten!

    It is a fun hobby.
     
  4. I brewed for a while after I got out of college. There was a homebrew supply store right by my work, so I would stop by and pick up stuff on the way home and make some beer. Since I moved to Germany, I just drink the commercial beer. Its really good and very inexpensive. Around $8 for 20 half liter bottles.
    However, I have 2 6 gallon plastic buckets, 2 6 gallon glass carbouys, 2 3 gallon glass carbouys, and 2 5 gallon kegs. I used to have a refrigerator with taps on the door, but got rid of it when I moved.
    Most of the beer I made were darker ales. I made a few special christmas beers and a spruce beer that was really good. Most my beers were successful so I had lots of friends to drink my beer. When I get back to the US I will start up again since it was a fun hobby. Especially drinking the last batch of beer while making a new one.
     
  5. I don't brew beer, but my hubby and I brew mead. The trick to a successful mead is the kind of honey you get....and the yeast. We use a champagne yeast, and it works out really well. Don't have any special equipment, just 10 gallon carboys.

    Lisa
     
  6. baba

    baba Supporting Member

    Jan 22, 2002
    3rd stone from the sun
    Gunnar, it typically takes about 3 weeks from start to finish. If you keg instead of bottle you can shorten it by about a week. If you brew a high alcohol beer like an imperial stout or barley wine it can actually take up to 12 months or more.

    Lisa, can you provide a good mead recipe? I've always wanted to try it. Is it just honey, water, nutrients and yeast? Do you have to adjust pH?
     
  7. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    3 weeks? Wow, doing bottle conditioning, it always took me around 6 weeks. Of couse I always did secondary fermentation, but still.....
     
  8. baba

    baba Supporting Member

    Jan 22, 2002
    3rd stone from the sun
    Pacman, yes, 3 weeks conditioned in the bottle. This is also after racking into a secondary fermenter. Brew, one week in primary, one week in secondary, one week in bottle for conditioning/carbonation. There are several major keys to a quick and effective fermentation

    1. Good yeast. This is crucial. A starter helps even more.
    2. Correct yeast pitching temp and fermentation temp for given yeast.
    3. Good conversion of your mash/wort. I use all grain but if you use an extract you can guarantee good mash conversion.
    4. Aeration, aeration, aeration for the first 12hrs after yeast is pitched....you gotta feed them yeasties oxygen.

    Once you keg you'll never go back. I go from grain to cold yummy beer in 14-16 days with most brews.
     
  9. Well...I could a couple of weeks ago, but I just moved, and everything is in storage! :eek: Off the top of my head, I believe it was just honey, purefied water, and champagne yeast. I'll try to remember to check with my hubby tonight.

    Lisa
     
  10. mchildree

    mchildree Supporting Member

    Sep 4, 2000
    AL/GA
    I'm a little late here, but I thought I'd check in. I've been brewing for a few years. I do mostly all-grain ales, but now that I have a new home and the space available, I'm probably going to get a fridge to convert so I can do lagers as well as kegging. My setup is the average all-grain homebrewer stuff....glass carboys, picnic coolers for mash and lauter tuns, a converted stainless keg for a brewpot, propane cooker, etc.
     
  11. baba

    baba Supporting Member

    Jan 22, 2002
    3rd stone from the sun
    Get the fridge!!! The bottling process is the only in brewing that sucks IMO, so once you get the keg and fridge everything is gravy....or beer that is.
     
  12. My dad is a GREAT brewer. He's won several awards at some local fairs, and took second at the state fair. He does all sorts of ales, stouts, Guiness, lagers, plus some of the more Norse style of things, Meads, Mellow Mells, and Methylglens.

    I just tried his Raspberry Mellow Mell. Mmmm, tastes like Raspberry juice, but with a kick!! (11%)

    Rock on
    Eric
     
  13. baba

    baba Supporting Member

    Jan 22, 2002
    3rd stone from the sun
    Eric, I've never heard of a Mellow Mell or Methylglen. Are they the same thing? What's in them?
     
  14. Mellow Mells and Methylglens are variations of Mead. Depending on what you add to it. I just don't remember which is wich right at the moment. I'll get back to you later this evening when I can ask dad.

    Rock on
    Eric
     
  15. Hategear

    Hategear Workin' hard at hardly workin'.

    Apr 6, 2001
    Appleton, Swissconsin
    No, I'm not a Brewer fan. In fact, I don't like baseball at all.

    ;) :D

    I'm interested in starting to brew my own brew, but haven't taken the first step (research) yet. I'm going to watch this thread to see if I can learn something.
     
  16. fadlan bassman

    fadlan bassman

    Oct 23, 2001
    Austin,Tx
    I love beer but i can never go out (2 kids) I want to brew my own. What are the basic necessities to get started with just bottling?
     
  17. mchildree

    mchildree Supporting Member

    Sep 4, 2000
    AL/GA
    You need a variety of vessels, tubing, and small stuff that can be gotten all at once in a "starter kit" for around $100...usually, this will include an ingredients kit for your first batch. In addition to what comes with the kit, you'll need a brewpot large enough to brew 2 or 3 gallons for an extract brew (which is good for beginners), and also 2 cases of bottles.

    A good place to buy this stuff online is Williams Brewing. They should have links to lots of other sites for info, etc.
     
  18. baba

    baba Supporting Member

    Jan 22, 2002
    3rd stone from the sun
    Another good online supplier is St. Pats Brewing out of Austin, TX. Great stuff, great prices, very knowledgable and helpful. If I remember correctly their site also has tons of free info and tips, etc.

    To start I would get "The New Complete Joy of Homebrewing" by Papazian. It is generally regarded as the homebrewers bible and is indispensible. There are many other good books as well but this was the first really good one and even now continues to be one of the best. It is great for the beginner and also gets you started on some more advanced techniques, etc.
     
  19. Secksay

    Secksay Guest

    Sep 6, 2002
    New York, NY
    For all those underagers out there just remember, it may be illegal to buy beer, but you can still brew it ;)


    I'm planning on getting into it myself, but I wanna do the whole shebang with the keggerator and everything. My apartment isn't exactly well suited for that.
     
  20. I've done it before (10 batches) and still have all the stuff. Hmm...might be a fun winter project again.

    And just did ales and stouts.

    You're gonna think I'm crazy, but we did a prune stout one time. That stuff went QUICK. Those brave enough to try it were rewarded with the smoothest stout they've prolly had.

    I wanna do some more of that, maybe something with lemon zest in it also. I've got a large garage, so I've got place for another stove/fridge.

    Plus we have an excellent place here in town just for homebrewing. Bingo. Everything you'd need for wine/beer/mead/etc. Got the carboys from a culligan place...etc.