Any particular reason you DON'T homebrew?

Discussion in 'Beer & Ale' started by grahamfw, May 5, 2014.

  1. mike5051

    mike5051 Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Thanks for the links HopVol!  I am interested in getting into this hobby, not like I need more hobbies!  [​IMG]

    Mike
     
  2. slysmoke

    slysmoke Smoke Blower

    So I started out with a Mr. Beer kit several years ago. Brewed a few of their recipes, and joined their forum at http://community.mrbeer.com/.

    After a while, and reading the forum, I started to experiment with adding hops and other add-ons from their site to see how it affected the recipes.

    Then they changed the forum, and alienated most of the users, so we moved to http://www.beerborg.com/forum/index.php?sid=35eee9a2ce797d53a643a25138ea7f6d 

    where a bunch of longtime Mr. Beer folks still hang out.

    I now understand Mr. Beer has reopened the forum, and the community seems to be getting back to the level of knowledge sharing it used to have.

    I also note via emails I still get form Mr. Beer they have started adding the option to add specialty steeping grains to their recipes, which was the second step in my evolution, so hopefully there is some good info on how to best utilize that option on their forums now.

    I eventually switched to doing all-grain via brew-in-a-bag (BIAB), but due to too many household projects haven't brewed in a while.

    As HopVol said, the Palmer book is a great way to understand exactly what is going on in the brewing process.

    Also, if you happen to have a Home Brew Store in your area, it's worth a trip there just to poke around, ask questions etc. Maybe eventually start buying extracts and hops from them for your own recipes.

    The Mr. Beer fermentors (Little Brown Kegs LBKs) make great simple fermentors for small experimental batches as well.

    Good luck, have fun and remember, at the end of the day, you're making beer!
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2016
  3. I hope you enjoy it. SlySmoke brought up a good point about talking to the people at your local home brew store. I know at least one store here in Nashville that does home brew classes for beginners. I'll also add, check out your local home brew club. The club I'm in does Big Brew Days a couple times a year where we all get together and brew. We eat, drink, and make a day of it. Its a great opportunity for beginners to come out and help or just watch and learn.
     
  4. tjdcorona

    tjdcorona Meat Mopper

    I have thought of it and looked heavily into it before I put it aside. Like people have said - theres so many good brews around, and I enjoy going to a brewery and discussing beers with the people.
     
  5. I agree. It is time consuming but can be very rewarding. I started home brewing way back in the 1960s (I'm 70 years young) and the reason for the home brew was to get a decent brew. Back then, we only had the large regional breweries Molson's, Labatte, Carling etc. (Canada) and they pretty much held the monopoly. The beer was crap, and still is so to get a good beer, you had to make it yourself. When the craft brewers got going, I found that I couldn't make as good a quality as they so I gave up making my own due to what you said, time consuming. Why make it if the micro/cottage craft breweries are making it for you. San Diego is the place to be.
     
  6. normonster

    normonster Fire Starter

    Wow, this is a crazy old thread that keeps getting the Walking Dead treatment...haha

    I brew. A lot. I have a big stainless 15 gallon rig but if I were just going to dabble I'd have started differently. Below is the advice I give to people who are thinking of brewing but want to start with something more than extract or Mr. Beer.

    Small batch brew-in-a-bag all-grain brewing in small steps.

    ________________

    Cheers! I hope someone out there finds this useful.




    Phase One:

    BeerSmith (moble ap or PC version)

    3 Gallon Kettle

    BIAB bag to fit (if you scale up later, this is your hop bag)

    Auto Syphon

    Scale (tenth gram accuracy – hops now, water additions later)

    Refractometer

    FG Hydrometer

    5L wine bottle or equivalent (Capable of fermenting 1.25 gallons with headspace for krausen)

    Airlock

    (2) 2L flip-top growlers/bottles

    Corn Sugar for priming, grain for recipe (pre-milled), hops for recipe

    Starsan

    PBW

    Whirlfloc


    *With this setup you can mash and boil 2-2.5 gallons of wort on your stovetop (need at least 1.25 gallons of boiled wort), chill the boiled wort in your sink, transfer wort and ferment in the wine bottle, then transfer to the growlers and prime for carbonation. You end up with 4L of finished beer in two growlers. Not to mention you can do this in your kitchen.


    Phase Two:

    Mini fridge (tall enough to fit your fermentation vessel with airlock)

    Inkbird temp controller (2 stage)

    Reptile heat-mat (or propagation heat-mat or whatever source of heat you want to use)

    Second 5L wine bottle

    Second airlock

    Two more flip-top growlers

    Maybe a cheap Corona grain mill, but buying pre-milled at this rate of consumption is totally fine


    **Now you are set to control the temperature of your fermentation and double you production capacity. With a 2 week fermentation window and a 1 week bottle refermentation you could add a third set of fermenter/airlock/growlers and set yourself up with 2 growlers per week with weekly brew days, and you can make a wide range of styles and not have to worry about what you’ll do with 5 gallons of Russian Imperial Death Water. Not to mention that if a recipe does go awry, you can dump and not lose much in the way of cost.


    Phase Three:

    Download Brew’n Water (and read all the notes)

    pH meter

    pH meter calibration/storage solutions

    Pipette

    Lactic Acid (go EASY on additions here…start with half what is specified in Brew’n, measure and adjust further)

    All chemicals for water adjustment listed in Brew’n Water (Gypsum, Calcium Chloride, Baking Soda, etc.)



    ***Now you are not only controlling the temperature of your ferment, but you are also in control of your water profile. It can be tailored to support certain styles and their characteristics.
     

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