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Old 08-31-2013, 08:26 AM   #16
Snarky
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While I'll agree that cleanliness is the key to good beer, lets use some common sense here. Humans have been brewing beer for thousands of years. We've only understood hygiene and microbes for probably less than 150.

Be clean and do things properly but don't go crazy. Do what needs to be done and realize that not being 100% perfect is what makes beer 'good'. A bit of variation between batches is what keeps craft brews from being clinical like the macrobrews. Besides it's like like you can sterilize every ingredient that goes into a batch.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bikerfish View Post
like said above, SANITIZE EVERYTHING that will come in contact with the beer, EVERYTHING!!!!I Pretend your doing surgery! we're dealing with active yeast cultures here, it doesn't take much for things to go wrong.
good advice for using known good water, I always buy gallons of spring water.
good water and good sanitizing, follow the directions and you will have some great beer.
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Old 08-31-2013, 10:31 AM   #17
Carl Spackler
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^^^ People drank very shitty beer for thousands of years. VERY important to use the best hygiene available. Particularly when the wort comes from boil to room temp. When it passes 110 degrees to fermentation temperature, all available bacteria are competing with your precious yeast for all that sugar.

Plan accordingly.
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Old 08-31-2013, 11:00 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by flackattack View Post
Good yeast and good water make better beer. Get the liquid yeast. Follow the directions. Fun hobby but unless you get really into it cost wise I bet I never saved much

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There are good and bad liquid and dry yeasts, I'd say just experiment. For instance I keep 4-6 packs of Safale US-05 dry yeast around as it's a good go-to yeast for ales and works well to clean up where other ones (Like stupid Danstar Windsor) fail. Some liquid ones are crazy temperamental too, Wyeast Belgian Saison comes to mind. I had to coax that damn beer along for 7 weeks to get it to ferment to completion.

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Originally Posted by bikerfish View Post
like said above, SANITIZE EVERYTHING that will come in contact with the beer, EVERYTHING!!!!I Pretend your doing surgery! we're dealing with active yeast cultures here, it doesn't take much for things to go wrong.
good advice for using known good water, I always buy gallons of spring water.
good water and good sanitizing, follow the directions and you will have some great beer.
Water is an aspect I've yet to delve into but like everything else, it's easy to get carried away with. You can add minerals and whatnot to get things absolutely perfect if you want to, but as long as you have decent city water, it works.

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Originally Posted by Shuffler View Post
Agree on everything ... these Kegerators look nice but they are pricey. My only concern is the quality of the motor/cooling system in the long run.

http://www.beveragefactory.com/refri...c500bv-2.shtml
I'd skip the pre-made units and make one yourself, cheaper and more fun. You can do a keezer too, I helped a friend build one, not bad at all. I just started writing for a beer blog and I'm currently working on a big post about DIY kegerators, I'll throw a link up here when I finish.

On the cost savings note, you have to be quite dedicated to really make that happen, I have no illusions that I'm saving money. The new system I'm building is deep into the 4 figure territory. It's all electric, some estimates by one of the electric brewing pioneers have the cost of beer made on his system at about 10-15 cents a pint, but the break even point is still decades out.
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Old 10-03-2013, 12:45 PM   #19
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Old 10-05-2013, 06:04 AM   #20
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As a small piece of advice, don't set your sights on cloning the mass produced light lagers. You'll only set yourself up for failure if you're expecting your first beer to be the same.

Light lagers are one of the most difficult beers to make. They are so light in flavor and procedurally intense that any mistake will be noticeable in the finished product. Lagering, for instance, is something most noob's don't have, nor have experience in. Cold fermenting is another. Yeast starter? You get the idea...

Start with a stout (NOT Guinness). They are an Ale (ferment at room temps), and the roasty flavors mask imperfections in procedure. Stouts are a great noob brew.
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Old 10-05-2013, 04:29 PM   #21
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At one time I was into it like crazy, made a ton of GREAT beers. Had some corny kegs and a beer fridge. After awhile I got tired of messing around with the kegs, a big hassle.

I ended up selling my keg equipment and just bottle now, its easier to share, ages better (for big beers) and takes up less room.


One thing that not readily apparent is you NEED to be able to do a full boil. Most all cook tops in a kitchen will not boil 5.5 gallons of liquid. Get a turkey Fryer setup with a big enough stock pot. Even the cheapo aluminum ones will do.

I don't brew much anymore, in fact I have not brewed a batch in 2 years. This thread makes me want to dust off the equipment!
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Old 10-06-2013, 10:39 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jayrod1318 View Post
At one time I was into it like crazy, made a ton of GREAT beers. Had some corny kegs and a beer fridge. After awhile I got tired of messing around with the kegs, a big hassle.

I ended up selling my keg equipment and just bottle now, its easier to share, ages better (for big beers) and takes up less room.


One thing that not readily apparent is you NEED to be able to do a full boil. Most all cook tops in a kitchen will not boil 5.5 gallons of liquid. Get a turkey Fryer setup with a big enough stock pot. Even the cheapo aluminum ones will do.

I don't brew much anymore, in fact I have not brewed a batch in 2 years. This thread makes me want to dust off the equipment!
You are the first person I've heard go back to bottling from kegging, what was it that you didn't like? I just rebuilt 3 kegs last night which is about as in depth as I go with them, nothing too bad.

OP (or anyone that brews), check out www.homebrewfinds.com for good deals on equipment, ingredients, etc.
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Old 10-06-2013, 10:40 AM   #23
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Yeah, homebrewing is a slippery slope. It can be as simple or as complex as you want...or from a different perspective, as cheap or expensive as you want! Someone suggested How to Brew by John Palmer - that's essential. The first edition is free, but the book is invaluable. Also, homebrewtalk is the brewing equivalent of this site. I finally found a way to combine my two hobbies...or obsessions...perspective again!


random1781 screwed with this post 10-06-2013 at 10:48 AM
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Old 10-06-2013, 10:51 AM   #24
Manuel Garcia O'Kely
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Used to brew at home - did not have a very good setup and location so my dad and I did a number of batches then stopped - too much trouble in a 5 gallon batch.

Later, I went to a place that was a 'brew your own' brewhouse where they stocked all materials had recipies and steam kettles with hardware to do it in 15 gallon batches - I used to crank out a batch every other week or so there - he sold weed too, so it was a great business for a while. Then I got too busy even for that.

It can be fun to do, no arguement, and there's plenty of satisfaction.

I don't think you really save much - in old days you could make beers you could not buy - today that is gone.

FWIW, Ales are the easiest to deal with and least finicky with respect to fermentation temperatures and such. Fortunately for me, I love Ale.
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Old 10-06-2013, 11:12 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hyperboarder View Post
You are the first person I've heard go back to bottling from kegging, what was it that you didn't like? I just rebuilt 3 kegs last night which is about as in depth as I go with them, nothing too bad.

OP (or anyone that brews), check out www.homebrewfinds.com for good deals on equipment, ingredients, etc.
Here's another.....

My modified chest freezer died and I never replaced it. It was difficult for me to share the brew in kegs unless everyone came over here. Sure, it looked cool in the garage, but taps and hoses do require maintenance. I also have a keg-to-bottle setup, but even that was kind of a pain. And then on top of that my boys are becoming teenagers, so I didn't feel it necessary to have such easy access to my beer when friends come over. Bottles are a lot easy to account for....

Not to say the kegs CAN'T travel......



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Old 10-06-2013, 07:16 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by Manuel Garcia O'Kely View Post
I don't think you really save much - in old days you could make beers you could not buy - today that is gone.
Disagree. Do you know of anyone making a taco pumpkin braggot? Neither do it. I haven't made one. But I don't know of anyone else making one either.
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