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Going to try some homebrewing

post #1 of 33
Thread Starter 
as the title says, i am going to try my hand at some homebrewing..

here's the story why and the questions i have for some of the homebrewers..

i have read all that i can read - information overload..lol
gotta jump in now...

i recently tried a newcastle brown ale on tap and told the missus "i dont really like dark beer and am not really an ale drinker, but this one is good..."

after much research have come to find out that newcastle is actually a mix of two different beers. so the next adventure was to find a basic clone... i found two.... here are the recipes, can you guys please give me some thoughts and comments on the recipes..


recipe #1

Nut Brown
3.3 pounds amber LME
2 lbs amber DME
8 oz crystal crystal malt 60L
1 oz Willamette 60 minutes
1/2 oz Willamette 5 minutes
Yeast (Nottingham)
Steep crystal in grain bag in 2 gallons water at 155 for 20 minutes.
Discard grains.
Bring to a boil, add LME and DME (take off heat while adding!).
Bring to a boil again, and add bittering hops.
Boil 55 minutes and add finishing hops.
Cool to 70 degrees and add water to 5 gallons. Pitch yeast.

Recipe #2 is in pdf so you have to download it

post #2 of 33
Congrats on jumpin on the homebrew wagon! like to try it myself but to much to do, so little time,keep us updated and good luck, maybe we can sample in grand rapids???icon_lol.gif
post #3 of 33
good luck on the homebrew, it's been ages since the sweet smell of wort has been wafting in my house.....one day I'll break out all the equipment and start brewing again..... PDT_Armataz_01_37.gif
post #4 of 33
Thread Starter 
i just have to find a brew place around here to get some ingredients and i am gonna leap rather quickly..lol

i was planning on bringing some, thats why i want to get it going soon...have to brew lots because there are 4 on your team and then myself, couple of cases of beer doesnt last long..lol

beer is like ribs only opposite order....1-2-3
post #5 of 33
I'm lucky as I have an awsome homebrew store nearby, in fact deejaydebi even orders from them via the internet!!!! icon_biggrin.gif

post #6 of 33
Thread Starter 
i never got into homebrew when i was living in Irondale,Wa... my brothers father in law brewed but i had too much on the go to attempt it....

i had been by the place quite a few times but never stopped in(i knew i would get hooked..lol)
post #7 of 33
Hey Jeff, theres a place down here that carries all that stuff, if u cant find it up there maybe u can mail order it.............. or drive down and well have to have a couplePDT_Armataz_01_11.gif Cap n Cork in clinton township
post #8 of 33
Newcastle is one my favorites! My brother also just started homebrewing, Waiting on the first batch to ferment as we speak. (can't wait to sample)!! Good Luck with yours...DB BBQ
post #9 of 33
Here are a few helpful hints:
1) No-rinse sanitizer's are worth their weight in gold. Star-San is a good example. Do not fear the bubbles or rinse them out.
2) Do not squeeze or wring out the grain bag after steeping. You'll extract tannins if you do.
3) Do a full wort boil if you can. If you "top up" make sure you use pre-boiled water. (sanitation and chlorine issues otherwise)
4) Use a starter.
5) Use a wort chiller or immerse pot in ice water to get the wort to yeast pitching temp as rapidly as possible.
6) Have fun!
post #10 of 33
OK, where to begin...

-IMHO, I like the San Pedro Nut brown ale recipe better. The grain bill sounds like it will leave you with a better end product. (personal opinion)

-Nottinghames yeast is a good product. You don't have to make a starter as this stuff is direct pitchable. However, you will probably get "action" a little faster if you make a starter with your yeast as the yeast is already acclimated to the wort and is "awake" and ready to do it's job. All of that being said, personally I would rather use a White Labs product as I have had many better results from this yeast. You probably will want to use a WLP004 or WLP005. You can find info on these yeasts @ www.whitelabs.com.

-Another good resource not already listed is www.northernbrewer.com. They have good ingredient kits at competitive prices.

-Remember, if you stress about anything at all during your entire brewing process, stress about cleanliness of your fermentation vessel. It's really a no brainer with star san and even easier with C-brite (which is a one step powder form clean and sanitizer). If you use Star-san (as already stated) don't fear the bubbles. I read somewhere that the residual material left in the carboy actually ferments to some degree. I've never had a beer taste bad as a result of the suds left behind.

-If you don't have a wort chiller, just make an ice bath to cool your wort. There's no need for a wort chiller until you decide you want to continue brewing more than one batch.

-When it comes time to bottle, make sure that your bottles are clean and sterilized. The funk can still get your beer eventhough there's alcohol in there. Also, don't add more priming sugar than is directed just to see what will happen...unless you like over carbed beer or bottle bombsPDT_Armataz_01_23.gif...I speak from experience.

Most importantly, have fun with what you are doing. I've often found that people's first batch of homebrew is some of the best that they make. That may be isolated to me...but it seems to work out that way. Now, that's the short and skinny...Good luck!
post #11 of 33
Good for you! Brewing is a great hobby and I'll miss it for the rest of my life.
I brewed semiprofessionally for years, here are a few tips I can offer you. Sterility is everything, use a good no rinse sanitizer, I don't recommend using chlorine for anything. Move on to all grain mashing as fast as you can, malt extracts will never make as fine a product, and it just ain't that hard to do. Never use dry yeast. Wyeast is best and Wrights is almost as good unless you know a local micro who might donate some to you, most will if you ask them. Remember your just a yeast farmer, yeast coverts wort to beer, it's well worth the money to use the best and if your good you can always re-pitch and get your money back anyway. The more hops you use the better, and dry hoping is safe no matter what some folks say. Use the freshest hops and malt you can find, stay clean and you will make a great brew.
post #12 of 33
Thread Starter 
wow... thanks for replying everyone....

i am on a couple of brewing forums, but they are not real friendly when it comes to new brewers...

i know all about sterilization... i use to make cheese... you have to wash everything over and over again... hair nets... step in cleaner with your boots.. etc etc

i googled that one last night... going to have to talk the missus into driving down there and take a look

thank you for all your comments, most i have read over and over again... beermaking overload..lol

- i was leaning more towards the San Padro Nut Brown as well
- i was planning on using a liquid yeast(term not right but you know what i mean)

- why did you stop if you dont mind me asking
- i would like to move onto AG eventually but right now space is not an option right now
- we have a few around the michigan area, i am right by Frankenmuth,Michigan - known as "Michigan's Little Bavaria"

the biggest reason i wanted to start brewing was that i couldnt find a commercial beer that i truly enjoyed, well not since i left canada.... i have never really enjoyed big commercial beers(bud,coors,miller etc.)

the first truely drinkable beer i had was Shiner Heifenweizen on tap in Texas, after that i was hooked on tap micro brewery beers
post #13 of 33
Sounds great Teacup .....you da man!!!!

Hey check out this link from Michigan brewing company. They bought Celis beer out of Austin Texas a few years back and make some incredibe beers!!

post #14 of 33
Teacup -

Here's my Newcastle Clone

Newcastle Brown Ale Clone (6.5 Gallons) - Deejay

6 lbs. of Light Dried Malt Extract (DME)
1 lb of British crystal Malt 40L
1 oz Target (bittering hops)
1 oz Kent Goldings (Aroma hops)
1 tsp. Irish moss
1 grain bag for steeping grains
¾ cup priming sugar
British Ale Wyeast 1098

1. Wash and sanitize everthing including spoons, plates, fermentor, themometers, counter tops.
2. Pre boil top off water and allow to cool
3. Add 1 – 2 gallons of water to brew pot bring up to 155o F
4. Steep crushed grains for 10-30 minutes at 155 o F. DONâ€T BOIL GRAINS!
5. Remove grains and bring to wort up to a boil
6. Take brew pot off the burner, add Light DME and dissolve completely.
7. Put brew pot on the burner continue to boil, stirring constantly
8. Add enough water to reach 6.5 gallons
9. Add 1 oz Target (bittering hops) for 45 minutes (up to 60 minutes for hoppier beer)
10. Add Irish Moss for last 15 minutes
11. Add 1 oz East Kent Goldings hops (aroma hops) for the last 10 minutes.
12. Cool and add yeast.
13. Ferment for about 3 days then transfer to secondary fermentor
14. Bottle or keg
15. Condition at least 3 weeks

http://homebrewheaven.com/ Great guys there!
http://www.listermann.com/ Another Great Guy!
http://www.homebrewadventures.com/ Another Great Guy!
post #15 of 33
If you want a really good summer brew that you can't keep enough of try this one:

Deejays 1950's Balentine XXX Clone
5 Gals Extract/ steeped Grains Version

0.125lbs.Crystal 20L .
0.75lbs.Maris Otter .
0lbs.Black Patent (just a pinch for clarity)
1lbs.Flaked Maize

Dry Malt Extracts (DMEs)
4lbs.Pale Extract .
1lbs.Extra Light Dry Malt
2Oz.Williamette Hops 60 min.(Bittering)
2Oz.Williamette Hops 5 min. (Aroma)
1tspIrish Moss 15 min. Yeast
1tubeWyeast 1056 or WLP001 California Ale

Priming Sugars
3/4cupCorn Sugar for priming


1Bring 1.5 gallons of water to 150o - 160oF
2Add grains to musslin bag and knot loosely
3Add grains to pot and steep for 3minutes DO NOT BOIL GRAINS!

4 Remove grains from the pot and add in DMEs. Stir frequently so it doesn't scorch. Bring to boil.

5 Bring to boil.
6Add 1 oz. hops and boil for 45 minutes. (Bittering Hops)
7Add Irish Moss and boil for 10 minutes.
8Add 1 oz. hops and boil for 5 minutes. (Aroma Hops)
9Cool wort to 75oF and pitch yeast.
10Ferment for 5-7 days at 70oF.
11Secondary Fermentation 5 days at 65oF.
12Drop temperature to 40oF and condition an additional 2 days. DO NOT FREEZE!

13Bottle or Keg
14Age 3-4 weeks before serving.

NOTE: The original beer was aged for 6 months in oak barrels you can add oak chips to get a more authentic 1950's flavor!
post #16 of 33
- why did you stop if you don't mind me asking

No I don't mind you asking. After many years I had moved into fairly large scale brewing, and built my own equipment, I was working with 1bbl batches and perfecting prototype beers for a large Regional Brewery in the Pacific Northwest. The brew master there is still one of my best friends, my teacher and an AHBA "brewer of the year" twice over. The brewery was nice enough to supply me with all my supplies, pallets of malt and all the hops I could store in my walk-in cooler chemicals etc. Enough that I helped start a brewing business on the side which is still in operation, "let's Brew" in Portland Ore, and they can still provide you anything you need. I got to meet Michael Jackson, Charley Papazian, Fred Eckert and a host of others. We had great fun at the Waterfront Brew Festival in PDX for years. I dabbled in wine making and distilling on the side even though the latter isn't quite legal in this country.

But to make a long story short, after many years of enjoyment it got on top of me and effected my life in a negative way. I had to come to terms with the fact that I had become an alcoholic. I am now a thankfully member of AA and no longer drink. I don't miss the beer itself as much as the hobby and camaraderie that surrounded it. I still have my pico brewery but don't envision myself using it again at this point. If anyone is interested in some large stand alone equipment, I'll provide more details.

So now I stay with my other hobby's, including meat processing and BBQ. Hopefully one day I will become as proficient at this as I was at brewing, I have a long way to go there.

I'm really interested in the cheese you make! I have tried that myself and got lucky a time or two,but without access to fresh, non-homogenized milk it doesn't seem to work too well. If I only had a cow of my own.

- i would like to move onto AG eventually but right now space is not an option right now
- we have a few around the michigan area, i am right by Frankenmuth,Michigan - known as "Michigan's Little Bavaria"

the first truely drinkable beer i had was Shiner Heifenweizen on tap in Texas, after that i was hooked on tap micro brewery beers[/quote]
post #17 of 33
Jim -

I have a few good recipes for cheese on my site that are pretty easy except for the waitting.


PS glad to hear you found the acceptence courage and wisdom ... God Bless!
post #18 of 33
Thanks! All I need is a cow now!
post #19 of 33
Teacup -

Check this site lists all the MI brew places


Jim -

You don't need a cow, Store bought milk works if you can't get certified raw milk. Soe stores are even carrying goats milk there day if you need it. WalMart has it in (of all things) cans. icon_eek.gif
post #20 of 33
I use to brew quite a bit myself and specialized in lighter bodied beers along with mead and cysers. I had lots of good resulys and the typical mishaps we all have as we learn.

My favorite memories are:

Drink beer to get brewing bottles....to many screw types at that time.
Exploding overprimed bottles....reminds me of a Mentos experiment when de-fusing them.
Buying honey by the gallon from the local beekeeper.
Making cyser with fresh apple cider.

I still have 80% of my equipment and only quit because my wife is a diabetic and I abstain from alcohol for her benefit. I have beeen threatening getting back into it since I started making the bread for the house, but the GOSM took my attentions first.

I recommend the books by Charles Papazian as a primer and try not to fall into the trap of making the strongest and darkest beer possible. My favorite beer I ever brewed was a Bock that was very silky and took much monger than expected.

Enjoy and be sure to tell us how it goes for you........CHEERS! PDT_Armataz_01_34.gif
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