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Does anyone brew their own beer?

Post in 'DIY and General non-hearth advice' started by JDC1, Aug 18, 2011.

  1. JDC1

    JDC1 Feeling the Heat

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    I just started this spring brewing extract kits and have to say I am very pleased with the results. I have about 10 batches under my belt and am still refining the process but am producing some pretty good brews.

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  2. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    I have No advice, but have you ever made the cider beers? (apple are just around the conor)
  3. JDC1

    JDC1 Feeling the Heat

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    Nope, I have made a stout, porter some wits, and alot of ipa
  4. SolarAndWood

    SolarAndWood Minister of Fire

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    We just did this one, big hit with the ladies. Currently laying out the hops arbors to put up this Fall.

    Attached Files:

  5. jimbom

    jimbom Combustion Analyzer

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    That is where mine goes. If I brewed, there would be no controlling my waistline.
  6. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    My dad got me into this hobby two years ago and I've made about 8-5 gallon batches so far. I make clones from recipes available from my local homebrew shop. Most of the time I use real hops, specialty grains, and the 7 lbs of liquid malt extract. That's what folks seem to call extract beer. Then there's the kits where you don't even use real hops. I made 3 batches using the partial mash method which is very easy but doesn't really improve the taste much. I have not done an all-grain batch and don't really see a reason to do it yet. I only bottle, no kegs.

    My favorites are pale ales. In fact, a fresh batch of Alaskan Amber Ale has just completed carbing and I've got two 22 ouncers in the fridge.

    Currently, in the carboy, is 5 gallons of hard cider. It is my first try at a cider and I am very impressed with how easy it is so far. If it works then I'm going to repeat with fresh cider from the local orchards.

    My 5 gallon batches cost right at 25$ to make. You can barely buy junk canned beer for that and the beer is excellent. My only less than excellent but still drinkable batch was a blackberry wheat ale that I used a whole crapload of fresh blackberries in. Stick to the clone recipes.
  7. JDC1

    JDC1 Feeling the Heat

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    Is that a strawberry wit?

    I use real hops, steeping grains and extract as well. Currently am fermenting a milk stout and a citra rye ipa which turns out excellent. I just started kegging and am not sure if I like it or bottling better. I have a chinook ipa carbing up as we speak that is going to be excellent.

    I have a friend that does only all grain and made the comment after he tasted a few of my brews that he is wasting his time with all grain. I agree. If I can turn out a great beer in half the time, I am going to stick with extract or partial mash brewing. I might try all grain in the future just to compare.
  8. JDC1

    JDC1 Feeling the Heat

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    I am actually drinking less now that I put in all of the work. It is like my firewood, I have so much time involved that I really dont want to see it wasted.
  9. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    I just got started brewing and plan on doing several successive batches to add to the winter larder. I've got to get some more bottles. Got too much going on with the garden and canning right now.

    Tomorrow will be the first day in the last week that I haven't done any canning related work, planning on getting some smoked sausages and going to camp.
  10. jeff_t

    jeff_t Minister of Fire

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    I started brewing 7-8 years ago. Ended up doing 11-12 gallon all grain batches. I found myself drinking a lot, and I sold all my stuff a couple of months ago. I couldn't have cases and cases of really good beer sitting around. Pretty much every day that I didn't have to work, I ended up sucking beers by the end of the day. I couldn't have just one or two either, and that's a problem when it's 7-8% abv IPAs. My father was an alcoholic, and that's not gonna be me. Not saying that I quit drinking, just now I have to buy it and I hate paying $10 for six good beers.

    And yes, I am a beer snob.
  11. SolarAndWood

    SolarAndWood Minister of Fire

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  12. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    One of my co-workers is using me as a guinea pig for his brewing experiments . . . he says he likes my opinions since I tell him straight up if I like it or not vs. his family and close friends who often sugarcoat their compliments . . . he is getting better . . . the first cider he gave me tasted like turpentine . . . the last drink I tried was a strawberry lemonade and it was getting better . . . still needs to be a little more smooth.
  13. VTrider

    VTrider Member

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    Glad to see so many fellow Homebrewers here on Hearth! I started brewing back in 90's and to this day still remains one of my favorite hobbies. Strictly extract w/occasional partial mash, grow my own hops and I both keg and bottle. For a while, 'next year' was always the year when I was going to dive into all grain, but due to money / equipment & experience that day never seemed to materialize. Funny thing is, now that I have the money / equipment & experience, I just don't have the time!

    Jumped right into wines, meads & ciders about 5 years ago and pleasantly happy with the results - pretty much the same basic concepts, just had get used to waiting 'years' instead of weeks. I find myself in the produce section of the grocery store asking myself.."I wonder how that ferments? :) ". Anyway, if anybody is in the least bit interested in brewing their own beer I highly encourage it.
  14. homebrewz

    homebrewz Minister of Fire

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    Just brewed a porter yesterday and checked into hearth for the first time in a while and saw this thread.

    I started homebrewing in 1996 and brewed extract for a year or two and then made the jump to all-grain. I made some pretty good beers with extracts, and my friends liked them too, but I noticed that the extract beers always had an extract "taste" associated with them. I found this mostly went away with several months of aging and it was more forgiving with the darker beers. I also noticed that my all-grain beers tasted more fresh. I've heard this from others as well. Then again, I was also a novice brewer back then.
    All of that aside, I enjoy the all-grain process. Its more work, but I have a lot more control over the ingredients in the mash. For instance, last fall I bought a bag of organic pale malt and made some organic brews. Plus, I buy most of my ingredients wholesale so on average I'm making beer for around $0.50 a pint.

    Solar, I used to make a strawberry pale ale every June. Very similar to your recipe.

    A couple years ago I started looking for some podcasts on homebrewing and found the brewing network, based in southern CA. I've learned a lot of good stuff listening to their shows.
  15. JDC1

    JDC1 Feeling the Heat

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    I have read about the extract taste as well, it is caused by either stale extract, caramelization of the extract or poor brewing process. To combat it, add the majority of the extract additions either 15 minutes before the end of the boil or at flameout. It will also result in a lighter color.
  16. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    Be sure to boil the extract too to kill the bugs. The boil is a great sterilization step. I would like a lighter beer color too. The extract recipes all seem to result in a copper or darker beer.

    It felt really weird when I loaded this hard cider into the fermenter and never had to boil anything.
  17. homebrewz

    homebrewz Minister of Fire

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    Boiling all of the extract is essential as many chemical reactions take place during the boil which are beneficial to brewing.

    Extracts come typically in extra light, light, amber, or dark. You can mix and match to achieve what you're looking for. If anyone who is brewing extract hasn't tried adding some specialty grains to the pre-boil, I definitely recommend it.
  18. backpack09

    backpack09 Minister of Fire

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    Find a recipie for an american ale and you will get a nice light colored beer.
  19. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    Not if you use extract. Even the belgian whites aren't that light. Of course, the color doesn't make it taste any different so it's no big deal.
  20. johnsopi

    johnsopi Minister of Fire

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    I stated brewing this summer and just setup kegging this week. A lot of fun.
  21. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    I bottled some stout last Tuesday and my fermenter is gurgling away on a holiday ginger ale. Just a 3.5 gallon sample run.

    I'll have to get more bottles to do another batch.
  22. Mrs. Krabappel

    Mrs. Krabappel Minister of Fire

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    I am just working with my very first batch :)
  23. homebrewz

    homebrewz Minister of Fire

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    Great! :) Post your results sometime.
  24. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    You'll know that you have the brewing bug bad when you start wondering at what will ferment well while walking through the veggie and fruit isles at the supermarket.
  25. JDC1

    JDC1 Feeling the Heat

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    If I am not cutting/splitting/stacking or mowing, I am usually doing something that pertains to my homebrew. I have a single keg system but also like to bottle. It is like firewood to see the 2 cases per batch stacked up.

    Right now, I have a brown ale and milk stout in secondary, a xmas ale and imperial nutbrown in primary and just bottled/kegged an imperial red, citra rye ipa and a belgian wit.

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