Home Brewing

Discussion in 'Beer & Ale' started by bigtrain74, Apr 30, 2009.

  1. bigtrain74

    bigtrain74 Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Hey all,

    Just curious to see how many of us actually make their own beer. Smoking meat and brewing beer are just two of my passions. I used to make it very often but, as life goes on you find you have less and less time to do everything you want to do in your day.

    If your a homebrewer, I would like to know what types of beer you make, do you bottle or keg, and maybe some tips for everyone else who may want to get into the art of making beer.

    Maybe some brew-view can be in order???

  2. richp692

    richp692 Smoke Blower

    I used to brew quite often but haven't made a batch in 2 years. I am getting the itch again. I used to brew my own versions of a Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. I would make up a couple of mini kegs and bottle the rest.
    I want to give a Belgium White a shot.
  3. meat hunter

    meat hunter Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    I have been homebrewing for about 12 years. My preferred method is all grain, with a kit beer every now and then. Kit beers have come so far in the past several years. My favorite style is probably the darker versions, porters and stouts, but have also made a few scotch ales along with some lighter summer time ales of my own design.

    I do both, bottle and keg. Prefer to keg.

    I understand just what you mean, as life goes on, less time to do the things one really likes.

    As far as tips go, anyone who thinks that you cannot make quality brew at home, you have no idea what your missing. I promise you, if you start with a good kit beer and have the time, (about 4 hours) and the basic equip, you will brew beer far better than ANY commercial stuff out there. I have heard people say, yeah my neighbor brewed some beer, tasted like watery flour, and left it at that. Its kinda like people who eat venison from someone who cooks it like they would a regular fatty beef steak and then say, yeah I had venison, tasted like shoe leather.

    If you have ever wondered about, try it. It will consume you just like the hobby of smoking meats.

    Actually, I think this post should be moved to the beer section, so any Mods, feel free to do so.
  4. bigtrain74

    bigtrain74 Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I totally agree!!! Even if your first starting out, you can go out and buy pre made wort... Just add the yeast and go!
  5. thepiro

    thepiro Fire Starter

    Been a home brewer since the 60’s and brewed some pretty ruff stuff back then. Exploding bottles, sore gut, the lot.

    As the years past I got into using pressure barrels rather than bottles, brewed most things, the beer that you brew today is defiantly a vast improvement and can be as good as the micro brewers that in my view brew the best real ale. I am having a love affair with the porter type beers at the moment.

    Have made all sorts of wine, some of my country wines were really bad, but with time and experience I am now working on filling my wine racks in the new house. As with the beer, modern methods of wine making produce a very palatable drop.

    As a bee keeper I make my own prize winning mead. Believe it or nought, with modern methods you can’t go wrong, and I can get an excellent drop in about 2 months.

    But as time goes by with any hobby you try for bigger and better things, and granddad did give me his recipe from the good old days in the old country, so some copper work was called for.

    I do like my White Dog
  6. I've been homebrewing for a number of years now. I don't have the time / space / inclination to get involved in making everything from scratch, so I use the "set and forget" kits :eek:) I have always bottled in 1 litre bottles, and I haven't had more than one or two "bad" batches. Although my definition of a bad batch is one that takes me longer than a few weeks to drink!

    My most recent adventure is wine, but I'm not sure it is going to be my new favourite. I am getting very nice colour and clarity, and the Missus is a big fan, but I don't know that I have the interest to keep it up.
  7. ronp

    ronp Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Haven't brewed in 10 years. I liked to make Pilsners and Octoberfests. I have 4 coke tanks and co2 setup, a 1/2 barrel converted for the boil and a 2 burner propane stove. I also have a filtering system.

    Shame I lost interest in it. Great beer and cheap.
  8. afreetrapper

    afreetrapper Fire Starter

    I used to brew occasionally mostly Czech style pilsners , mead and wine. I'm now pretty much limited to wine. Just finished my last bottle of persimmon last week [​IMG]. In 2008 I made persimmon,elderberry wine in 2007 dandelion and elderberry.
  9. mrh

    mrh Meat Mopper

    Probably been brewing off and on for around 20 years now. Made some that went down the drain and some that were real good. Kinda like this smoking thing the more you do the better they get!! The biggest tip I could give is clean things well when you are at the right places that need to be clean.
  10. bayoubear

    bayoubear Fire Starter

    Brewing about ten years now, bottles, anything in the meade family and the heavier flavored beers. (IPA's, stouts, porters, etc...) i've done full grain but as the PP said the kits have come a long way. guess im sort of inbetween the two- ill use LME and DME along with my own hops choices.

    ill do a batch of wine on occasion but it bugs me to have a fermenter full of wine must knowing i could be making a meade or beer. i used to keep a couple fermenters going constantly but my tap water is so poor quality i have to buy jugs of water so ive backed way off on the amount i brew.

    i mentioned in a different thread about using hopped LME in bbq sauces..
    if you enjoy IPA's and like really hoppy beer try a little and see how it goes. putting a pinch of dry hopps in the sauce does the same thing. may i suggest marinating a porkchop in a bottle of dogfish 90 minute IPA for a day and cook it up. make sure you like it before you do a whole Q with the stuff, its not for everyone.
  11. bayoubear

    bayoubear Fire Starter

    excellent advice
  12. got14u

    got14u Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    can't say I have done beer but I am in the process of doing my own wine. I work with a lady that makes some incredible wine and she gave me her recipe.....
  13. afreetrapper

    afreetrapper Fire Starter

    Bad water is also the reason I don't brew to much every place ive lived in the past 20 years has had water with a high calcium and mand mineral content.
  14. mulepackin

    mulepackin Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Yodelhawk has a killer set-up and turns out some incredible brews of all varieties. He's done some pretty unusual things as well.
  15. Hey there... I've been brewing for many years. Started out with your basic syrup kit and went nuts after that. Am now in an all grain system that would knock your socks off. It's a filtered, self contained unit that has three converted beer kegs as vessels. All SS plumbing, copper counter flow wart chiller... man I could go on but as you can see, you hit my passion spot. I have made many different kind of beer but now have settled on the porters. I dispense out of soda kegs after fermentation in glass. Oh.. did I mention I LOVE BEER!!! [​IMG]
  16. bigtrain74

    bigtrain74 Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    How does the filter system work? I have been wanting to get into a filtration but afraid of the cost...
  17. mnola917

    mnola917 Smoke Blower

    I didnt realize so many people were homebrewers! I guess we are all those kind of "do-it-yourself" people. All the people around me here on long island have no interest in brewing their own beer, or smoking their own meats, or doing any of the things I do. I am still making Extract brews, but have been doing it for about 4 years now (im only 21) and just made a few lagers this winter that were great. I love making IPA's and have two different ones fermenting right now, one is in primary, one is in secondary. The IPA that is in the secondary right now had a 4 ounce centennial hop addition for flavor with 15 minutes left in the boil. Its the first time I've done that much, so I'm looking forward to how good it is being that I love Hoppy Beers
  18. mostly hoppy ales, a few stouts, lagers and a pilsner. I tried a raspberry ale last year and it tastes okay, but not very fruity. Need to mash the berries next time to get the flavor out.

    I have perfected a true "coffee stout" recipe. A buddy gave me a recipe and told me to just brew up a batch of coffee and dump it in. Well it was good for about a month, but didn't age well. I came to the conclusion that the oils released while brewing the coffee began to sour the batch after awhile. I have modified this recipe using a cold brewed coffee extract I get from the local coffee shop and WOW is all I can say. It'll blow the pants off any Guiness fancier any day!

    That reminds me...I need to make more....

  19. isutroutbum

    isutroutbum Meat Mopper SMF Premier Member

    I've been brewing for approx 10 years now. I still occasionally use a kit, but for the most part I do 16 gallon all grain batches. Frankly, I've made just about every 'main' style. My favorites are: German Hefe, Scottish Wee Heavy, Dopple Bock, and American Apricot Wheat. I either bottle in 1 liter EZ-cap bottles, or keg the beer.

    When first starting out, my recommendation would be to get these two books: Papazian, "The New Complete Joy of Homebrewing" and Szamatulski, "Beer Captured". Though the first book appears 'dated' it has all of the basic information you need for kits or all grains. It is well written and easy to understand. The second book is recipes (and some excellent ones at that), but the introduction to the book is worth the price of the book itself. It covers some very necessary material that new brewers will find helpful. I would also suggest subscribing to "Brew Your Own" magazine. It is an EXCELLENT resource - great tips, suggestions, and recipes. For a good online source check this: http://www.howtobrew.com/intro.html

    Good beer is a snap to make if you closely follow the procedures outlined in the books and magazines (or that come with the kits). Hands down the most important part of brewing is to keep everything clean and sanitized. Anything . . . and I mean anything . . . that will come in contact w/your wort (thats what the beer syrup stuff is called) after it stops boiling must be sanitized (it's simply imperative, and you need to be anal about it.) I recommend 'Star San'. It is a food grade acid that is no-rinse, and IMHO, the easiest thing to use on spoons, buckets, carboys, bottles, kegs, et. al.

    Beyond being clean, there is really no stress in making a great beer. It is so much fun! Plus, there is nothing like drinking a few while the meat is smoking away!
  20. Care to share???????????????????????????????

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