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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. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    I am jealous. Just last night I slogged in from working my butt off building a shed to bottle 5 gallons of hard cider that has been sitting for 5 weeks in secondary. It took a couple of hours to sanitize everything and then siphon to the bottling bucket and then fill and cap the bottles. Ugh. I know the payoff is worth it but kegging would be much faster both in labor and in wait time to first draft.

    The cider was purchased with 1.050 OG and finished at 1.004 for just about 5% of naturally occuring ABV. All I added was yeast.

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  2. JDC1

    JDC1 Feeling the Heat

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    Can you post the recipe for the cider. Does it still taste like cider after fermentation?
  3. Agent

    Agent Member

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    This is easily one of the greatest hobbies anybody could have. Kicking back in front of a fire with a homebrew is the ultimate in relaxation.
  4. timfromohio

    timfromohio Minister of Fire

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    Homebrewing and woodburning are just so complimentary ...

    I started homebrewing last year and have done 4 kits from Northern Brewer, 1 wine kit, and 1 batch of cider in which I followed a recipe devised by a coworker who is a very experienced homebrew. All turned out very well. I follow the instructions to the "t" and the extract kits have turned out very well.

    For me, homebrewing is a late Fall and Winter hobby - spring and summer are devoted to gardening. So I'm now looking for what kits I'll try next - thinking of a Scottish ale - any opinions?
  5. Danno77

    Danno77 Minister of Fire

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    yay for this thread. I'm all about homebrew, but have only done a couple of batches ever. I have decided that my next will be some sort of a blue moon, or golden wheat or whatever the kit may be called. Has anybody done one like this? any suggestions on a source for one?
  6. timfromohio

    timfromohio Minister of Fire

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    I've been very happy with everything I've gotten from northern brewer - send off for their catalogue. The only problem is that all of the kits look/sound so tasty ... I want to make them all.

    Also, they have $7.99 flat rate shipping for the majority of the items so it behooves you to order several kits or combine an order with friends, etc.
  7. Jack Straw

    Jack Straw Minister of Fire

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    I home brewed for several years, then I got 4 bad batches in a row. I think I got bacteria growing somewhere in the process. I do miss the great beer!
  8. btuser

    btuser Minister of Fire

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    There are 3 brewerys opening within 5 miles of me. I'm too busy supporting my local businesses
  9. JDC1

    JDC1 Feeling the Heat

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    Northern Brewer is a great supplier. Their kits are well packaged and easy to follow. I have done the Dead Ringer, Chinook IPA and American Wheat. All turned out excellent. I started homebrewing in April and have done a dozen batches so far. It is really addicting.
  10. timfromohio

    timfromohio Minister of Fire

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    I have done NB's (1) Irish Red, (2) Dry Irish Stout, (3) Pattiersbeer, and (4) "Innkeeper" - a British bitter. All are excellent.
  11. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    The best, and weirdest, part of a hard cider is that there is pretty much no recipe or cooking involved. Simply dump the juice into the fermenter and add the proper yeast. You can always add things if you want more alcohol or if you like other flavorings but if you like apples then you just stick to the pure cider. There is enough natural sugar in pure cider to get you more alcohol than most beer.

    There are commercial hard ciders available. In my area there is a brand called hornsby and in the east there is woodchuck. I think it tastes like applejuice. Sweet and fizzy but with a slight alcohol aftertaste. It's a good sipper. Plus gluten free if that matters to you.
  12. timfromohio

    timfromohio Minister of Fire

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    If you do a search on my posts I believe I posted a couple of recipes last year for cider. A coworker made multiple batches - two had additional fermentables, one with spices and one without, and two batches did not have additional fermentables, again one had spices and the other none. I followed the recipe for the strong, no spices cider and it was/is excellent. If you cannot find it, let me know and I'll post it again, although it probably won't get posted until Monday.
  13. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    Big fan of Woodchuck . . . it's a good cider if you like something to be less "alcoholly" tasting . . . they do make different types though -- some of which have a much different taste from their classic "recipe."
  14. Todd

    Todd Minister of Fire

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    I started brewing back in the early 90's with extract and eventually moved on to all grain. Lots of good times and good beers. I think I have brewed every major style, joined clubs, entered contests and enjoyed the hobby very much. Last couple years I started brewing mead, lost intrest in beer and sold my beer stuff to a friend. Now I'm thinking of trying the wine thing since the wife is kind of interested, she never really liked the beer or mead but loves wine.
  15. Danno77

    Danno77 Minister of Fire

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  16. Agent

    Agent Member

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    I just bottled an American Wheat (not a TrueBrew though) a few days ago, and even opened a bottle later that day since it was sooooo good!!!
    I have used their kits once - It was a Light German or something along those lines - It was ok, but that could have easily been my amateur brewing ways.
    After three days of nonstop foaming discharge, I finally got to take the blowoff tube off my Maibock ale - I've never seen such a rambunctious beer before, and hope it doesn't make me that wild and crazy during consumption!
    My labeling involves taking a sharpie to the cap. I'm neither artsy nor clever enough to design a respectable label.
  17. Danno77

    Danno77 Minister of Fire

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    What American Wheat did you make?
  18. Agent

    Agent Member

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    I started with the Norther Brewer American Wheat (all grain) kit last year, but lucky for me they include the actual recipe in their kit and I just copied it for all my later ones. During the summer, one keg is always devoted to either a citrus wheat, cherry wheat, or the occasional plain wheat.
  19. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    Hard apple cider.

    Six gallon batch:

    Heat 6 gallons of sweet cider to 165°F to kill off any natural yeasts (while these normally work just fine, you can get some really nasty ones). You can add 0.5 pounds of light brown sugar per gallon and any spices if desired before heating.

    Run through a wort chiller into your primary fermenter. When temperature is below 30 °C pitch a good champagne yeast (the abv can get quite high especially if you add additional sugars).

    Insert your air lock, be prepared for a long fermentation and an even longer conditioning.

    I bottle from my primary fermenter and condition in the bottles. The primary took over 2 weeks and wasn't quite done when I put it into my PET bottles. This will be changing shortly.

    Minimum conditioning time is 3 months and gets really good after one year.

    Make certain that the cider you use has not been chemically pasteurized or had preservatives added as it will not ferment.
  20. JDC1

    JDC1 Feeling the Heat

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    I have been brewing double batches (two recipes) lately and always brew a drinking beer for the keg and a stronger sipping beer for bottles. I will be building a better kegerator in the near future and would like to have room for 4-5 kegs w/ 2-3 on tap.

    I really enjoy Northern Brewers kits, I recently did my first all grain and brewed their Cream Ale which turned out great. I have their Rye IPA ready to go into the keg and have a sweet stout in the secondary as well as Surly Bender. My next brew day will be their Chinook IPA which I have brewed the extract version but will be doing an AG batch.
  21. JDC1

    JDC1 Feeling the Heat

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    I have been looking for a cider recipe, I think I will try this soon.
  22. Pallet Pete

    Pallet Pete Guest

    Amazing there are fellow brewers here I feel even more at home now ;-)

    Kudos fellow brewers
    Pete
  23. Danno77

    Danno77 Minister of Fire

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    Just keeping this thread at the top. Check out this label I made. Took about 2 minutes.
    [​IMG]
  24. timfromohio

    timfromohio Minister of Fire

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    Regarding the cider - I use campden tablets to kill off the natural yeast rather than heating.
  25. homebrewz

    homebrewz Minister of Fire

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    There are many brewers on this site.. and even more beer appreciators.

    Danno, thanks for the link. I'll give that a try. If my friends are lucky, they get a piece of printer paper taped to the bottle with barely legible scratchings.
    Otherwise, I just take a sharpie to the cap. A friend made labels for me once, printed on sticky-back paper. I coated them with clear spray-on acrylic so the ink wouldn't run.

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