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Home Brewing time

Post in 'DIY and General non-hearth advice' started by backpack09, Sep 18, 2008.

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  1. backpack09

    backpack09 Minister of Fire

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    This probably could have gone in the green room too.

    Does anyone else out there home brew? distill? There has to be a few of you out there.

    I have a nice Irish red clarifying in the bottles now and a nice stout recipie waiting to get cooked this weekend.

    Whats in your kegs?

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  2. Tfin

    Tfin New Member

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    I haven't done it in years, but still have my kit and bottles. I really need to get another batch going......tis the season.
  3. daveswoodhauler

    daveswoodhauler Minister of Fire

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    Hey Backpack....just bottled 2 1/2 cases of Pale Ale over the weekend. Now that the carboy is empty, probably going to start on a Kolsch maybe this weekend or next. Going to pop open a bottle of the pale ale this weekend to make sure carbonation is ok, and then sit for another 2 weeks or so. Just brewed my first batch, so I am a newbie at this also. After having three kids, I figured I needed another hobby....now I have 2...splitting wood, and making beer.

    Do you buy your ingred's in kits? or buy it in bulk and work off you own recipe?

    A red would taste nice right about now ;)
  4. backpack09

    backpack09 Minister of Fire

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    I usually bring a receipe I have or found online to one of the local brew supply shops and have them fill up a grocery bag. My usual stop is Witches Brew in Foxboro, but there are others in the area. Nothing like stopping by a brew shop on a saturday and sampling his latest brew.
  5. daveswoodhauler

    daveswoodhauler Minister of Fire

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    Yes, the key is stopping by and not spending the afternoon there ;)
  6. daveswoodhauler

    daveswoodhauler Minister of Fire

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    Backpack, Actually had a question for you. Do you bottle in 12 oz or larger?
    If larger, how much space do you leave in the neck for carbonation....say if you are usig a 24oz bottle. (I have read an inch for 12 oz...a little more ofr 24oz?
    Thanks.
  7. backpack09

    backpack09 Minister of Fire

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    I bottle in 12s for now, I will be stepping up to a keging setup early next year. So I haven't bough new bottles.

    I would think that about an 1.5" of head room in the neck of a 22oz bottle would do the job, CO2/air is very compressible, and the necks on the larger bottles are wider than most 12oz.
  8. Tfin

    Tfin New Member

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    I've traditionally bottled in 12 oz'ers, but have also bottled several 24 oz'ers. I remember leaving around an inch to an inch and a half in the big boys. Never had an issue.

    At some point I'd also like to get into kegging my own (the 5 gal soda kegs would be nice). Would save so much time cleaning and capping all the bottles.
  9. bbb123

    bbb123 New Member

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    I'm intending to do some brewing this fall I'm going right for the 5 gallon soda kegs. I already have the CO2,regulator, and stuff just need the soda ends. If your interested in the kegs try going to your local bar I mentioned my plan to the owner of one by me. He sells Pepsi out of those kegs he gave me 4 of them he says they dont have a deposit on them. Now I just need the brew equipment and some barley and hops and I'm good to go.
  10. homebrewz

    homebrewz Minister of Fire

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    As my handle suggests, I brew. Been doing it since 1996 and all-grain shortly thereafter.
    Currently, I have the last of an IPA on tap, a porter up next, and another one which
    needs to go into the keg. I'm trying to get a bunch of ales done right now, as it gets
    too cold around here for ale fermentation during the winter. Then, I make lagers:
    pilsners, dunkels, and bocks.

    I mostly keg in the 5 gallon soda kegs (specifically pepsi kegs). When I bottle, I like to
    use the larger 22oz. bottles. More beer, less bottle washing. Several friends have given
    me boxes of Schwelmer swing-top bottles which are pretty neat. No bottle caps, just
    rubber gaskets.

    I'm really not much for wines, but I like to try and make something different now and then.
    I picked 19 pounds of elderberries and they are currently fermenting away. Soon I'll be pressing
    them out and putting what will hopefully be elderberry wine into the carboy for aging.
  11. Czech

    Czech Minister of Fire

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    I've got free hops! I planted cascades a few years back with good intentions, have yet to do anything more. Does anyone know when to harvest these? The people I know that brew buy the compressed dried ones, I'd like to see the ones I grow go to good use.
  12. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    Harvest now. Dehydrate and vacuum seal, then freeze for long term storage.

    Gents that are looking to get into kegs: may I suggest using the 3 gallon kegs and then bottling the remainder. It sure does make it nice to have the bulk in a keg, but the portability of the bottles are tough to beat (yeah, I know, they make expensive little co2 adapters for the kegs, but its just hard to beat grabbing a few 22 oz. bottles and stuffing them into a cooler.) My opinion.
  13. homebrewz

    homebrewz Minister of Fire

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    Ditto on what Jags said. Pick them now, before they turn brown. I'd also like that add that they shouldn't be dried in the sun.. it will scorch them.
    I dried mine on old window screens in a back room.
  14. Corey

    Corey Minister of Fire

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    I ran a batch of absinthe earlier in the year. It turned out well...if you like licorice flavor. I've got a couple of ale's I need to get fired up. But having the kitchen in 'remodel mode' takes up most of my free time. Plus, the wife might frown on the beer making activities while she is using temporary plywood counter tops and storing dishes in the living room! Though she was the one who actually got me the beer kit!
  15. Tfin

    Tfin New Member

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    Just tell her its all about priorities! ;-)
  16. d.n.f.

    d.n.f. New Member

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    I do wine at home, but am afraid to brew beer.
    Had the store do me up a batch of German Red Ale (I had to bottle it, hard work... not).

    Have heard so many brewing horror stories over the years I am afraid to try. The cleanliness aspect sounds like wine turned to 11.
    I know it is not a big deal but getting off my ass is another story.
  17. Catskill

    Catskill New Member

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    This was my setup back in 2002. I haven't brewed for years though.

    [​IMG]
  18. backpack09

    backpack09 Minister of Fire

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    I see why you stopped... I couldnt afford that much space being stolen from my garage... that and my garage is anything but sterile...
  19. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    Is that a still down in the corner? I would love to get into the beer brewing. My father does it and is switching from the large rubber flip lid bottles down to the 12 oz used commercial beer bottles. Thing is he makes them pretty high in alcohol so a 22 ounce beer makes you pretty tipsy.
  20. Catskill

    Catskill New Member

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    That is an immersion chiller. The copper tubing is placed into the wart (unfinished beer) so that it can be cooled to the proper temperate to pitch the yeast.
  21. Tfin

    Tfin New Member

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    Yep, the last batch I made had a fairly high abv.....around 8 or 9%. A few of those and you knew something had changed!
  22. biggenius29

    biggenius29 New Member

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    I am a big homebrewer. I was actually sent to this site by another homebrewer. I used to brew every 3rd weekend, but we had a daughter and priorities change and I dont have the time to spend 6-7 hours making a batch of beer. Now I do it once every couple of months.
  23. Czech

    Czech Minister of Fire

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    I know you guys told me not to dry hops in the sun, but is this ok? House smells great imho! Supervised drying of course, no fires unless.

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  24. homebrewz

    homebrewz Minister of Fire

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    Is that stove on? It doesn't look like it in the pic. I guess drying them on top of a pellet stove is OK, since the
    stove top doesn't get very hot. Otherwise, having them on a screen or rack just drying somewhere in the house is fine.

    Once the cone flowers feel like paper, they are dry. Ideally they need to be stored in oxygen-barrier bags, and vacuum packed
    and/or flushed with Nitrogen. If you plan on using them this winter, just putting them in freezer bags and freezing them will suffice.
    Thats what I do.
  25. Czech

    Czech Minister of Fire

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    The stove was just shutting down. That's the third batch, I've been vacuum sealing them in bags and freezing. Not sure what I'll do with them, I don't brew but they do make a nice cup of tea! If a brewer uses the pelletized store bought ones, how does volume compare with fresh?
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