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Old 07-18-2013, 10:46 AM   #1
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Homebrew Thread

Okay im bored so Im doing this anyway

BASICS -

This may or may not be common knowledge but to get started I figure I'd go over the basics first.

What makes up beer?

Making beer is actually a pretty simple process which takes advantage of the bi-product released by yeast cells to make a delicious carbonated alcoholic beverage.

All you need is a LOT of sugar (normally from wheat/barley processed malt extract carbohydates - resembles molasses and is created in the same process sugar is made from cane), water (some say sink water, other say mineral water, DI water is okay too), HOPS (many different available kinds with different Alpha Acid contents but they all perform the same job), and yeast (different variety of yeasts available but basically two main kinds: Top fermenting yeast and Bottom fermenting yeast)

The whole process require clean and clear practices. Anyone working in a manufacturing facility understand that keeping bacteria out is the most important thing when flavor is key. The only step where this is most important is shortly after the boiling process. Bacteria consume sugar and create a different bi-product which give a yucky taste to the beer. Bacteria will compete with yeast and multiply as a result of contamination. Yeast also multiplies as it ingests sugar and releases CO_2 / alcohol but it ends up as a competition between the two.

Why does homebrew beer appear cloudy and not clear?

This is because manufacturers of most of the domestic beers you see on the shelves at your local liquor store perform a filtration process to remove yeast, tannins or other proteins floating in solution as a result of the fermentation process. There is nothing wrong with cloudy beer. Most wheat beer are left cloudy which give it its defined wheat beer look (a.k.a Bluemoon).

Homebrews can be filtered as well by either using gravity filtering (cheap, time consuming) or inline filtration system (costly, quick).

Gravitational filtration sounds exactly like what it is. The uncarbonated beer is left to sit in a light deficit area for a long period of time (roughly 3-4 weeks) for all protein and yeast to settle to the bottom. Using a secondary carbouy or container to transfer the uncarbonated beer into is best to reduce the amount of Trub (settled protein, Hops, and yeast cells).

If you desire to keg your homebrew, an in-line filtration system can be used between two cornelius keg to push the beer from one keg using CO_2, through the filter, and into the clean 2nd keg as filtered beer.

What's the difference between the different types of beers out there?

Basically it comes down to the balance of hops, grain type, source of sugar carbohydrate, and type of yeast -excluding secondary flavoring added like blueberries, watermelon, banana, etc.

The first big thing to note is that Lagers and Ales are only different by one simple thing. Type of yeast used.

Ales use top fermenting yeast which can ferment at room temperature ideally 72*F. This is pretty much why alot of people homebrewing stick to making Ales.

Lagers use bottom fermenting yeast which ferment around 50*F or slightly refridgerated temps. Its possible for homebrewers to make these during late fall early winter depending on your location using the garage as your storage unit but since the temp can vary on you randomly its best to use a small fridge or kegerator to hold and monitor the temperature.

You'll notice that most manufacturers Lagers are very clear. That is one of the important aspects of making a Lager is filtering it for that nice clean crisp taste.

As for the different types of Ales out there.

Porters / Stouts - usually very dark almost black and has a coffee or chocolatey flavor. This is a result of the OVER-ROASTED grains used. The grains are heavily roasted which removes alot of the fermentable sugars that were available and replaces them with NON-fermentable sugars. Think about it, cook something and you denature its structure. Thats what roasting the grains does. Yeast can not ferment broken sugar chains or altered sugar chains. Therefore only some of the grain is utilized for consumption and the carbohydrate source is relied on elsewhere, probably LME (liquid malt extracts).

IPAs - The difference between IPAs and a normal Ale or Golden Ale is that Hops are used to abuse the wort (sugary mixture during and after boiling process). I dont care what Miller Lite tells you, almost all brews are TRIPLE HOPPED. lol. IPAs use just alot more hops during the 60 minute boil phase, the 20-30 minute boil phase, and the 5 minute boil phase. The result is a very bitter, very aromatic, and flavor Ale all at the same time.

White/ wheat - White beers are strictly made using wheat grain as its source of sugar carbohydrate both in the LME and the steeping grain. They usually are complimented with coriander and lemon peel to give it a very very citrousy flavor. Wheat beers usally are a combo of wheat and barley, an example again is Bluemoon.

Golden Ales - These are your regularly formulated beers, no over roasted grains, barley is the main sugar carbohydrate both in steeping and LME, and top fermenting yeast.


Okay thats Enough of the basics. I need to relax my arms, they are tired. Next we will go over getting started, what you need, and formulation.
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Old 07-18-2013, 10:49 AM   #2
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Tired home made beer before but found it easier to just go to the beer store.
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Old 07-18-2013, 11:15 AM   #3
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Tired home made beer before but found it easier to just go to the beer store.
+1

although ive had a chocolate IPA before which was amazing...just takes too long.
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Old 07-18-2013, 11:29 AM   #4
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YOU WANT TO HOMEBREW BUT YOU DONT KNOW WHERE TO START.

I'd start by getting a basic homebrew kit. Sure you could piece one together but this aint no turbo kit lol. You arent going to save hundreds of dollars by ordering different components. In fact, it might cost more for the shipping of each individual piece (unless you are next to a brew store like How do you Brew, or Home Brew Warehouse - two places in my general area that I've visited)

Homebrew kits dont actually come with everything you need or recommended items. They are exactly what they sound like, basic components to perform the fermentation step.

You still need to get at least a 5 gallon brew pot. Realists suggest that you boil the entire 5 gallon brew which takes longer to heat up and chill, most homebrew kits recommend boiling 2.5 gallons and then after add the other 2.5 gallons which in turn will help "chill" the mixture.

I'd suggest amazon.com to do your online shopping, they have alot of homebrew supplies available at great prices.





These kits are also pretty inexpensive too and come with most of what you need.

Basic homebrew kits should have:

Fermentation Bucket - a sealed 5 gal. plastic container with rubber grommet for airlock.

Racking Bucket - another 5 gal. plastic container with a spicket/ faucet to attach a pastic tube and racking cane for bottling beer.

airlock - a device to keep air out of the fermentation bucket but allow CO_2 gas escape

Racking cane - a flow stop wand that is activated when the tip touches a surface (bottom of the bottle)

auto-siphon - a pump style tube used to start the flow movement of a liquid from one container to another, gravity is your friend. This is used to move the beer from the fermentation bucket to the Racking bucket/ 2ndary carbouy.

Hydrometer - Used to determine "Original" gravity of wort (before fermentation) and specific gravity of the beer (after fermentation). There is a calculation used to determine Alcohol concentration using this device.

Scrub brushes - usually there are two kinds, one with an L shape, and a straight scrub brush. These are used in conjuction with a non-rinse cleaner to clean buckets and bottles.

Other items needed/ recommended:

brew kettle/ pot - you need at least a 5 gal. brew pot and these things can have all sorts of prices depending on any neat features attached to them. Amazon.com. look up brew pots and kettles. I think a 20 qt brew pot is roughly 5 gallons. You can brew on a kitchen stove or on a turkey cooker outside. I prefer outside because boiling over can be quite sticky and messy.

6 gal Glass Carbouy (recommended) - These are normally used for 2ndary fermentation which is really just a step to fully complete fermentation and allow proteins and yeast cells to settle out. provides cleaner beer but again takes longer to accomplish.

Temperature probe/ wax floating Thermometer - Temperature is very important in the steeping process, you do not want to go past 170*F otherwise, you get alot of unwanted denatured protein called Tannins floating in your wort. 160-165*F should be fine for steeping. My trick is to toss in my grain sack as the water heats up and monitor the temp, usually by the time the waters ready to start boiling its time to take the grains out.

Capture tube - works like a reverse racking wand by trapping the wort or beer inside the chamber when dipped. You can use this to take wort or beer out for Hydrometer measurements or satellites or even to use down the road to rack the beer into bottles as your cabonation source - purists ideals.

Iodine solution or PBW - non-rinse cleaners for cleaning. These are used to clean and clear your tools and keeps you from introducing bacteria when rinsing. You do not need to rinse after cleaning with this stuff (as long as your dilution is appropriate). High concentration will kill yeast so becareful that you follow directions.

bottles - you can get any bottles you want. 12oz, 20oz, self capping bottles. I think its best to buy beer, drink it, then wash the bottles in the dishwasher after removing the labels. Remember they must be NON-TWIST off. You can tell by looking at the cap.

KEGS

Now if you dont like doing the job of bottlnig which im sure any of you will find out if you take this adventure of making your own brew, you can KEG!. I definately recommend kegging beer over bottling. much easier, much cleaner, and you only need to worry about clean one container, the keg. lol.

If you have a kegerator you can fit it to accept cornelius kegs with conversion kits. I have FML setup so I can quick disconnect the ball-lock gas and liquid connectors and reattach the Sankey D- coupler for domestic draft beer. Kegging also gives you the option of filtering with inline filters! and carbonating using straight CO_2 and forgoing using the purist concept of having yeast cabonate the beer.

Ok, I wont go into extreme details with these items unless you guys ask me too or have suggestions, or want recommendations.

Next we will talk about brewing and how important timing is lol.
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Old 07-18-2013, 11:55 AM   #5
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sub'd for when i feel like reading, looks like good info though so thanks for taking the time to do this.. i might go start making my own beer because of this
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Old 07-18-2013, 01:18 PM   #6
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John Palmers book is free and walks through the entire process. Worth a read as well.
http://www.howtobrew.com/

I have been brewing All Grain for about 5 years now. Lots of fun and rewarding. I also grow hops. There's some pics in the craft beer thread and home growen'
Kegging - You have to keg. Sure, bottle a few here n there but kegging is the way to go.

In a pinch I have racked a pale ale to the keg,burst carbed it at 30 psi and had bubbly beer in 3 hrs.
The crappy thing about bottling is sitting around waiting for it to carb up and hoping you used enough Dextrose etc etc.

I do 8Gal batches and usually bottle a 6 pack or 12 from every batch.

My buddies were VERY skeptical back in the day but now I cant keep them off my taps. You just can't beat fresh brewed all grain beer brewed in such small batches. You can control every step of the process too so you know quality is A1.

Best thing to do if your interested is join a local brew club and watch someone brew, help out. Every year our club has a brew day where about 20 people all show up and brew. New people are invited to come out and watch and ask questions, hell even help.

Those Kits above is really all you need to get rocking.
It just depends on the AG brew process you want to choose. I have done BIAB (Brew in a bag - like beer tea) and 3 vessel. I have had excellent results with both.

Just be careful with the extract canned kits. Although they make beer many people turn away from the hobby due to the quality of some of these. Don't take extract as the be all end all of homebrew.

Quote:
You'll notice that most manufacturers Lagers are very clear. That is one of the important aspects of making a Lager is filtering it for that nice clean crisp taste.
In the winter up here I will put my fermentor in the 5C garage for 72 hrs and cold crash (Cold Filter) my Ale. It makes for a really clear beer. Try it.

Also toss in half an Irish Moss tab with 10 min left in the boil.

Last edited by SuperchargedSS; 07-18-2013 at 01:24 PM.
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Old 07-18-2013, 01:23 PM   #7
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BREWING YOUR FIRST BEER

DAY 1


Okay so now we will go over brewing on a low level so you have a good understanding of key time points that pretty much every brew recipe has.


Cleaning

The first thing you need to do before starting the brew is cleaning the equipment. Everything you plan on using on the first brew day should be cleaned using PBW/ Iodine cleaning solution/ or other non-rinse cleaners. They way I set this up is I use the Racking bucket for my equipment cleaning. usually its about 1 oz of iodine/PBW per 5 gallons or whatever the directions say. I place all equipment Im using (thermometer, hydrometer, plastic paddle or plastice spoon (not wood), nylon beer line, and auto-siphon (probably wont be using this or the line but its nice to clean it anyway).
The idea is to have the tool stay in the cleaning solution until ready to use (much like the haircomb and siccors that a hairdresser uses sitting in that blue liquid at the salon. lol.

Organize and Read the directions/recipe thoroughly

I find that it is most important to familiarize yourself with the ingredients in the brew kit (assuming you buy a beer kit which comes with everything you need for your first batch of beer - recommended) and familarize yourself with the directions so that you have an understanding of timing when adding hops or boil time length, etc.

THE WORT

To make the wort, I will follow the guidelines most beer kits follow when brewing, makes things easier and quicker. To start, you should add 2.5 gallons - 3.0 gallons of water in your 5 gal. brewkettle/pot. Ive used bottled DI water, mineral water, and ive also used sink water. So far I find sink water or bottled mineral water to be the best. bottled mineral water at a grocerie store is like 70 cents a gallon (please dont by a whole bunch of 12oz bottles, thats just stupid).

Start heating the water up, at this point you will be filling your steeping bags with your grain which is premeasured for the beer kit you bought so we arent going to worry about math here. At this point I like to go ahead and toss the grain bag in for steeping. The directions will tell you to get the water temp between 155-165*F . You will notice that what you are doing is making a big pot of tea using barley/wheat grain in a steeping sack as the teabag. The water color will change to the color which your beer will taken on. This steeping process is usually about 60 minutes @ 155-165*F.

After steeping is complete, remove grain and toss out. Bring the water to a "rolling" boil, which means a gentle boil thats not out of control. Now your kit more than likely comes with LME and DME. These are your main carbohydrate sources. VERY STICKY and can make a mess. LME is liquid malt extract of either barley or wheat depending on your beer kit. DME is the Dried version or Dry Malt Extract. you will be adding both of these to the boiling water slowly while stirring it in with the plastic paddle. You do not want to add it too fast cause it will sink to the bottom and burn. Remember I said earlier that heating a sugar will denature it? Well if it goes to the bottom where the heat source is, it will burn and add undesired flavor to the beer -- well at least not intended flavor for the recipe, it may still taste pretty good who knows!? The DME and LME should boil with the water/grain mixture for about 60 minutes as well. Now about those Hops. There additions should be timed with the boiling of the sugary mixture we just created, within the 60 minutes.

PLEASE BE CAREFUL OF BOIL OVER. With all the sugar added, the density of the mixture can flash boil over on you. The properties of water are no longer existant at this point lol. You have a very dense liquid and adjust the heat down may be necessary to continue the rolling boil.

You probably have two or three packets of Hops with your beer kit. 1 packet is meant to add in at the beginning of the 60 minute sugary mixture boil. These are your bittering hops and they add the bitter after taste to the beer.

at the 15 - 20 minute mark till boil completion, you add another packet of hops. These are the flavoring hops and provide a subtle aromatic taste to the beer in the end product.

at the 5 minute mark till boil completion, you add the last packet of hops. These are the aroma hops. They provide the hoppy aroma to the beer.

Hops- Why?

Now I will probably get alot of questions behind the hops thing and why they do different things at different times? First lets answer why HOPS? Hops add a bittering agent the Alpha acids (heat treated) to the beer ad provide a bitterness. Early brews were too sweet and sugary so hops were a natural ingredient to improve the flavor.

As for the different additions at different times, Hops have a residue which contains the Alpha acids. This residue by itself does not bitter the beer when added. It has to be "cooked" to release the bittering agent. At 60 minute heat treatment, the entire hop bud/pellet residue is converted to the alpha acid. around 15 minutes only partial of the residue remains unconverted and gives off the flavor of the hop. At 5 minutes, very little of the residue is cooked and provides the aroma of the hop to the beer.

Dry hopping

Up to now I described how to TRIPLE HOP your brew - LOL MILLER LITE. There is alway the 4th way to hop the beer and this is by far my favorite. Dry hopping is when you add the hops after fermentation is complete and allow the hop oil residue to seep into the beer and provide a very very earthy taste and aroma. Dry hopped IPAs are some of my favorite. New South Brewing company in Myrtle Beach, SC has a great dry hopped lager.

Back to the brew

At this point your brew is now officially called "wort". Turn off the stove/ turkey cooker and now its time to cool the wort. This is the critical point to prevent and bacteria contamination. This is when you wort is most suseptible to contamination. There are two ways to cool this 3-2.5 gal hot mess.

1.) One way is to fill the sink with ice and water and salt and set the pot with lid in the sink replacing ice in the sink as needed. DO NOT PUT ICE IN WORT - this will contaminate the wort. This method usally takes about an hour to cool. Once you get it to 80*F-85*F you should be okay to add it into your clean fermentation bucket and add the remaining water you have to get it to 5 gallons.

2.) A second way that may waste alot of water is investing in a wort chiller. This is a copper tube coil that you should put into the boiling wort to "sterilize" and leave in there until ready to chill. A garden hose or a plastic line hooks up to one end for the water in, and then another line leads to the sink or yard for the water out. You are basically creating a radiator setup here to pull heat out of the wort. This is a bit quicker but wastes alot of water.


Its time to Start the Fermentation process and get rid of all this WORT!

Okay, at this point you will be transfering the wort to your fermentation bucket. I normally use some gauze fixed in a strainer to remove and debris from hops or grain as I pour into the fermentation bucket. A second person helping to hold the strainer is nice cause tipping a 5 gal pot is pretty tough to pour.

Now you add the remainder of the water you have if bottled or sink to a total volume of 5 gallons. The directions usually have a OG (original gravity) reading. The best way to know if you are adding the appropriate amount of water is to add you clean non-rinse hydrometer into the bucket and monitor the specific gravity to make sure you dont over fill and acidentally dilute the wort. If you over fill at this point, you will effectivly lower the target alcohol content and flavor of the final product. record the OG reading for calculating the alcohol content down the road.

At this point, purist like to siphon off a bottles worth of the wort, capped, for naturally carbonating the beer later instead of using dextrose. if your kegging then you dont need to worry about this at all. Its basically using the wort to carbonate bottles of beer instead of sugar.

ADD THE YEAST

This is called pitching the yeast. Sprinkle the yeast into the fermentation bucket containing your ~5 gallons of wort. Use a clean non-rinse paddle to stir the yeast in real good. Seal the lid on the bucket and rock the bucket back and forth somewhat violently to oxygentate the mixture (important for good yeast growth and activity) Yes Oxygen ruins beer, but you have wort now so no need to worry about oxygen contamination. Place the airlock on the lid and usually the airlock has a water fill line. I like to either use grain alcohol or vinegar in the airlock to prevent any bacteria from growing in the airlock. The liquid you put in there can back splash into the fermentation bucket during vigorous fermenting... food for thought.

Now we play the waiting game Set the sealed fermentation bucket in a dark area like a basement or closet to keep light away, light and oxygen are both destroyers of delicious beer. Speaking of which...

Enemys of BEER

Light - breaks down flavor proteins and adds funk flavor like the delicous skunked flavor of beer.

oxygen - breaks down flavor proteins as well by oxidation. skunks beer!

heat - excessive heat breaks down flavor proteins and skunks the beer.

Now you ask but what about the air trapped in the fermentation bucket with the wort fermenting?????!?!? The CO_2 produced from fermentation will push the air out through the airlock and create almost a 99% CO_2 enviroment for the beer. This is good. CO_2 does not denature the beer proteins which is why kegged beer lasts for a longer time (+3 months) vs those hand taps that push air into the keg to force beer out lol (1 day).

Last edited by CudaJoe; 07-19-2013 at 01:11 AM.
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Old 07-18-2013, 01:26 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by SuperchargedSS View Post
John Palmers book is free and walks through the entire process. Worth a read as well.
How to Brew - By John Palmer

I have been brewing All Grain for about 5 years now. Lots of fun and rewarding. I also grow hops. There's some pics in the craft beer thread and home growen'
Kegging - You have to keg. Sure, bottle a few here n there but kegging is the way to go.

In a pinch I have racked a pale ale to the keg,burst carbed it at 30 psi and had bubbly beer in 3 hrs.
The crappy thing about bottling is sitting around waiting for it to carb up and hoping you used enough Dextrose etc etc.

I do 8Gal batches and usually bottle a 6 pack or 12 from every batch.

My buddies were VERY skeptical back in the day but now I cant keep them off my taps. You just can't beat fresh brewed all grain beer brewed in such small batches. You can control every step of the process too so you know quality is A1.

Best thing to do if your interested is join a local brew club and watch someone brew, help out. Every year our club has a brew day where about 20 people all show up and brew. New people are invited to come out and watch and ask questions, hell even help.

Those Kits above is really all you need to get rocking.
It just depends on the AG brew process you want to choose. I have done BIAB (Brew in a bag - like beer tea) and 3 vessel. I have had excellent results with both.

Just be careful with the extract canned kits. Although they make beer many people turn away from the hobby due to the quality of some of these. Don't take extract as the be all end all of homebrew.



In the winter up here I will put my fermentor in the 5C garage for 72 hrs and cold crash (Cold Filter) my Ale. It makes for a really clear beer. Try it.

Also toss in half an Irish Moss tab with 10 min left in the boil.
good points here, I was using beer kits in this example for beginners because its easier to start with. Also Irish Moss is great for clearing up the cloudiness too. I forgot to add that.
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Old 07-18-2013, 01:30 PM   #9
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good points here, I was using beer kits in this example for beginners because its easier to start with. Also Irish Moss is great for clearing up the cloudiness too. I forgot to add that.
Yep. I started with a Muntons kit. Then went to Mash\Extract and then All Grain. I think that should be the path for someone new. Unless of course you have an experienced friend to walk you through your first few All Grain brews and ensure your mash is done properly, temps etc.

In the dead winter when it's uber cold, I still do stovetop mash /extract brews.

Also, a wort chiller is a sound investment. However many people here would have the skills to make one by hand. They are easy to make from 3/8 copper tubing and hose connectors. I just drop it in and the end of boil, turn the cold water on and its drops the temp really fast.

With that being said I have yet to get an infection in my beer, and pretty much all my brew buddies haven't either. At the end of the day, they made beer in caves once... lol
Still I sanitize the crap out of everything. I have had a few airlocks fall into the wort, and it's been fine... lol

Oh yeah, I have even distilled a little scotch and apple brandy 1L batches in the past..... Just experimenting etc.. They don't care at all about that stuff like they do down in the Southern States.

Last edited by SuperchargedSS; 07-18-2013 at 01:39 PM.
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Old 07-18-2013, 01:46 PM   #10
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BREWING YOUR FIRST BEER

DAY 2 (up to 2 weeks later)


DETERMINING ALCOHOL CONTENT and RACKING.

Usually in the first 2-3 days, you will see alot of activity out of the fermentation bucket, but then it slows down alot. Usually by day 7, you are ready to start racking. Id personally just wait alittle longer to let stuff settle but this is also the opportunity to use 2ndary fermentation where at day 5, you move the beer to the glass carbouy or another bucket to finish out fermentation by using the auto-siphon and gravity to move it

Once its completely done fermentation, which means no bubbles in the airlock for 24 hrs, you can check the FG or final gravity! The number should be a lot lower than the OG. Now you can calculate the Alcohol content of your delicious beer!

% Alcohol = (((1.05) x (OG - FG)) / FG) / 0.79) x 100

From here we should decide if we are kegging or bottling. If you are kegging you need, at least a 2Ib CO_2 canister with CO_2, a conelius keg ,ball lock or pin lock, beverage line and CO_2 line, a CO_2 regulator, and a modified kegerator to connect cornelius kegs and to keep it cool would help. <--- This is a bit of money for all this but its worth it lol. Anyone want suggestions, on everything they need I can help. You could also convert an old fridge into a kegerator. Thats always an option.

If you are bottling, you will want to have your beer line, auto-siphon, racking wand cleaned with non-rinse cleaner. You also need about 52 bottles clean and ready with a packet of caps to seal them. Beer kits usually come with caps.

To start racking you will boiling about a cup of water with the packet of Dextrose (included in your beer kit) . once the sugar water starts boiling (decontaminates the mixture), pour it into the racking bucket. Now auto siphon the Beer, by the way completely fermented wort is called beer, into the racking bucket. Set the fermentation bucket higher than the racking bucket in order to allow gravity to do its work, thats how the auto-siphon work.

Edit: [or add back your bottle of wort!!! Theres a calculator available for calculating how much wort to add back without over carbonating, its somewhere on the internet, if anyone knows post it. If not, I will ask my co-workers who homebrew]


Use the paddle to give it a good stir in the racking bucket. At this point, unfermentable sugars and flavor adders are added in depending on what beer kit you have, the directions will tell you.

now hook up the beer line and racking wand to the spicket/faucet. turn to on position with you bottles lined up in front of you and caps and CAPPER available. start filling the bottles and leave about 1 inch of head space at the top of each bottle, usallly the racking wand fully submerged will give you that 1 inch when you take it out of the bottle so fill to the top. After you fill all 52 bottles start capping! Becareful not to knock the bottle over and make a mess.

With all the bottles capped. Set them in a dark place away from light (hopefully you used brown bottles to begin with) and wait 10-14 days for carbonation.

After 10-14 days, set in the fridge for 8 hours then take them out and have a power hour with a group of friends.

CONGRATS, YOU MADE YOUR FIRST BEER BATCH.

These directions are very basic but are the basis for making brews, all grain brewing is for real die-hard fans if you want to mash your own grains, it usually gives you better flavor than extracts.



P.S. > STAY AWAY FROM MR.BEER KITS. THATS NOT HOMEBREWING, JUST A CRAPPY GIMMICK THAT WILL LEAVE A HOLE IN YOUR SOUL.

Last edited by CudaJoe; 07-18-2013 at 02:26 PM. Reason: Edit: remember setting that bottle of Wort aside?
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Old 07-18-2013, 01:48 PM   #11
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brewmaster is the best job ever
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Old 07-18-2013, 01:49 PM   #12
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Yep. I started with a Muntons kit. Then went to Mash\Extract and then All Grain. I think that should be the path for someone new. Unless of course you have an experienced friend to walk you through your first few All Grain brews and ensure your mash is done properly, temps etc.

In the dead winter when it's uber cold, I still do stovetop mash /extract brews.

Also, a wort chiller is a sound investment. However many people here would have the skills to make one by hand. They are easy to make from 3/8 copper tubing and hose connectors. I just drop it in and the end of boil, turn the cold water on and its drops the temp really fast.

With that being said I have yet to get an infection in my beer, and pretty much all my brew buddies haven't either. At the end of the day, they made beer in caves once... lol
Still I sanitize the crap out of everything. I have had a few airlocks fall into the wort, and it's been fine... lol

Oh yeah, I have even distilled a little scotch and apple brandy 1L batches in the past..... Just experimenting etc.. They don't care at all about that stuff like they do down in the Southern States.
yup I have a home made wort chiller lol. Its fitted for 1 1/2" garden hose fittings so Im going to get the couplers to use 3/8th nylon lines with worm driven clamps. also add a flow stop in there to control the flow rate, get the maximum heat absorbance possible with least water loss.

By the way, what keg do you use for 8 gal batches? you have a 1/4 keg? Do you use the commercial Kegs with Sankey D couplers or do you use the soda kegs?
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Old 07-18-2013, 01:59 PM   #13
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I use 19L Ball Locks "Pepsi" style kegs.
I keg 5 gals and bottle 2 and 1 is for trub and crud/loss.

I have two 15 gal kettle over 80 000 btu burners and a 15 gal mash tun/cooler.
I also do BIAB in the winter as it's easier.

Check out the Beersmith App if you haven't already. Its an amazing recipe builder. Basically if you wanted to you could clone a beer. I know people who do that.

Up here in Ontario Canada we reeeaaallly get bent over for beer and alcohol prices. Case of Heineken is 50$. Brewing beer saves you big money over time as well as tastes better. And if you have to buy, its worth driving to Quebexico..

Aside from beer, you can also make cider very easily. Much easier than beer.
This is my favorite recipe. I highly recommend trying this.

EdWorts Alpfenwein:

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f81/edwo...felwein-33986/


Skeeter Pee is sure hit fav with the ladies, but be careful. It goes down so smooth but packs a whollop. Great for that first date

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f25/skeeter-pee-195681/

Last edited by SuperchargedSS; 07-18-2013 at 02:08 PM.
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Old 07-18-2013, 02:06 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SuperchargedSS View Post
I use 19L Ball Locks "Pepsi" style kegs.
I keg 5 gals and bottle 2 and 1 is for trub and crud/loss.

I have two 15 gal kettle over 80 000 btu burners and a 15 gal mash tun/cooler.
I also do BIAB in the winter as it's easier.

Check out the Beersmith App if you haven't already. Its an amazing recipe builder. Basically if you wanted to you could clone a beer. I know people who do that.

Up here in Ontario Canada we reeeaaallly get bent over for beer and alcohol prices. Case of Heineken is 50$. Brewing beer saves you big money over time as well as tastes better. And if you have to buy, its worth driving to Quebexico..


Yea I know about the calculator, my co-worker swears by it. I havent tried it myself yet. My dad's friend buys grain in bulk and like to mimic Magic Hat #9. Its pretty awesome. He used a 1/2 size keg as his brewpot. He cut the top off and puts his beer in it, then he kegs in mulitple corny kegs.

Pretty good idea about the 1/2 keg as a brew pot, just cant ever go back to that liquor store he paid the $30 fee for
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Old 07-18-2013, 02:13 PM   #15
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I love homebrewing! Sure it's easier to just go out and buy beer, and I do love trying new beers, but you can't beat the sense of accomplishment after waiting so long to finally try the first beer of the batch.

I would really like to start brewing more but I want to get a kegging system first. I've only brewed 3 batches in the past two years and I was already tired of bottling.
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Old 07-18-2013, 02:15 PM   #16
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I think I will start posting a list of supplies to get just so people can get an idea of cost.

Gold Complete Beer Equipment Kit (K7) with 5 Gallon Glass Carboy: Amazon.com: Industrial & Scientific Gold Complete Beer Equipment Kit (K7) with 5 Gallon Glass Carboy: Amazon.com: Industrial & Scientific

Amazon.com: 5 Gallon Stainless Steel Stock Pot with Lid: Kitchen & Dining Amazon.com: 5 Gallon Stainless Steel Stock Pot with Lid: Kitchen & Dining

If you bottle, 2 sets of these.
Amazon.com: 24 12oz Amber long neck bottles: Kitchen & Dining Amazon.com: 24 12oz Amber long neck bottles: Kitchen & Dining
^Or just drink alot of beer

Amazon.com: True Brew Bavarian Hefeweizen Home Brew Beer Ingredient Kit: Kitchen & Dining Amazon.com: True Brew Bavarian Hefeweizen Home Brew Beer Ingredient Kit: Kitchen & Dining


That list right there is all you need to get started.


Now if you want to keg...

5 Gallon Reconditioned Ball Lock Keg: Amazon.com: Home & Kitchen 5 Gallon Reconditioned Ball Lock Keg: Amazon.com: Home & Kitchen

Amazon.com: Ball Lock Home Brew Keg Tap Complete Set: Kitchen & Dining Amazon.com: Ball Lock Home Brew Keg Tap Complete Set: Kitchen & Dining

Amazon.com: EdgeStar Full Size Kegerator and Keg Beer Cooler: Home & Kitchen Amazon.com: EdgeStar Full Size Kegerator and Keg Beer Cooler: Home & Kitchen
<--- Edgestar is american made and is one of the coldest kegerators available. Plus its probably one of the most affordable.

OPTIONAL:

Amazon.com: 10" Beer Filtration Kit: Home & Kitchen Amazon.com: 10" Beer Filtration Kit: Home & Kitchen
<--- You need a second keg to filter.

Amazon.com: Premium Double Gauge CO2 Regulator - Polycarbonate Bonnet: Home & Kitchen Amazon.com: Premium Double Gauge CO2 Regulator - Polycarbonate Bonnet: Home & Kitchen
<--- for single tap, single beverage

Amazon.com: Taprite T752HP Two Product Dual Pressure Kegerator Co2 Regulator: Home & Kitchen Amazon.com: Taprite T752HP Two Product Dual Pressure Kegerator Co2 Regulator: Home & Kitchen
<---double tap double beverage.

The double beverage means if you have two kegs that have different beverages in them.... say.... a cider and an ale. They require different PSI of CO_2. Ciders require alot! or they tast flat. Follow this chart below to get an idea of what im talking about.

I keep this by my keg

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Old 07-18-2013, 02:16 PM   #17
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Yeah I buy all my grain and hops through my brew club via a group buy. You can then split bags with people etc and pay the wholesale price on small quantity. Also, people car pool to the malt splits because the sampler table tends to be full of bottles... lol

My next recipe is going to be a Lemongrass Ale for the wife

10lbs of Muntons Pale Ale 2 Row
2LBS Vienna
.5LB Carahell (For body and head retention)

Hops
60 min 1 oz Citra
30 min .5oz Amarillo/.5Citra

10 min - Add Kaffir Lime leaf (No rind!) 1 tbl spoon of ground corriander and a some ginger

You dry hop with 5 oz of chopped lemon grass and let sit 3 weeks.

s-04 english ale yeast (makes it dry)
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Old 07-18-2013, 02:20 PM   #18
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My next brew after I empty my keg is going to be a Belgium Caramel Wit Beer flavored with buckwheat honey.

Im trying to come up with a honey wheat recipe that taste like a beer I had in Wales called Honey Fayre or something like that. Most amazing thing ever and its a small brewery, they dont export.
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Old 07-18-2013, 02:20 PM   #19
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Awesome. Thanks so much for putting the time and effort into making this. Anyone who homebrews should post some pics of their finished products and any of their favorite recipes if they aren't too secretive.
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Old 07-18-2013, 09:31 PM   #20
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Pumpkin Spice Ale I was making last October for my wedding gift to the groomsmen. This was really good.




Preparing for bottling



Got a bunch of carriers to go along with the theme lol



Thought I had a finished product photo but Icant find it. I had labels made for the bottles I will try to find that
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Old 07-18-2013, 11:25 PM   #21
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Wow. I can only imagine how good your beer is if you put as much effort into as you did this thread. I do have to say thought that you have really piqued my interest and might try it out. I have been thinking about it for along time but had no idea who to ask or where to even start.

And the best thing is that I have a Jungle Jim's by my house and they sell all the stuff I need to make it. Not to mention they sell over 2,000 different kinds of beer.
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Old 07-19-2013, 07:46 AM   #22
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Okay heres what the Pumpkin spice bottle looked like, too bad I didnt have the beer in a glass. I gravity filtered it/ 2ndary carbouy. It was pretty clear for a homebrew.






This is my Kegerator set up, currently trying to swap out the barbed ends with FML 1/4" disconnects for easy switching between Sankey D-couplers and Ball lock taps.







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Old 08-14-2013, 09:56 AM   #23
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Okay, so an update to this thread I have a couple of things.

1.) I had a Dry-hopped Imperial Pale Ale in the keg and I noticed the kegerator did not get it cold effectively... I had probably a 40-44*F beer which is honestly too warm for us americans when it comes to beer drinking

So I adjusted the kegerator thermostat. There was a how to video located on Edgestars website that I followed. Easily findable on youtube if you search for Edgestar KC2000 thermostat adjustment.

After the first adjustment following the youtube video, I found every single bottled beer and the beer lines from the Keg FROZEN after 2 hours. lol. Made a educated guess that clockwise rotation closes the bellow which reduces the flow of freon and increases the thermostat setting.. I made another adjustment and wahlah, my highest setting is the freezing point and I keep it at the middle setting and enjoy 34*F beer!

2.) Since this was my first kegged beer I will point out a mistake I made. I used priming sugar to carbonate the keg instead of force carbonation. Why is this a problem? Well... when it comes time to clean, there is a ton of debris at the bottom of the keg and it clogges the beer out line... Really makes an aweful mess that you want none of. Force carbonation, another lesson you can find on youtube, will carbonate your beer without utilizing the yeast to do it for you. Takes like 3 days to carbonate but its easier cleaning and guarantees you only have beer in the keg and not this trub.

3.) I made a new beer! I present to you "Belgian Caramel Honey Wheat"



I tried a few oz last night. Pretty good. Very sweet, Alcohol content higher than expected lol. I calculated ~5%, I think I taste 7%. maybe more. You can smell the alcohol lol.

Pretty sweet with wheat characteristics.

Now for the bad news, theres an off flavor that has a sort of yeast taste to it, to be expected with a wheat beer but this one shows up after you swallow the delicious beer and it leaves an after taste. Im hoping if I let this sit for a while, whatever caused that taste will settle out. The keg pulls from the bottom so it makes sense why I might taste that. CO_2 content wasnt quite high enough last night after hyper forcing carbonation but it did have enough bubbles to taste like beer. Maybe tonight it will be ice cold and the carbonation will add more acidic flavor to balance all the sweetness.

Bottom line, its delicious, pretty clean looking, has a nice golden color (like blue moon) and very honey aroma and scent). Slight after taste that may go away with time.

The beer was made using the following ingredients

3.3 Ibs Light LME
2 Ib Wheat DME
1 Ib Belgium Candi Syrup (clear)
12 oz 2-Row Pale grain
12 oz Wheat grain
6 oz Munich 20L
6 oz Caramel 30L
0.75 bittering Hops
2 Ib Buckwheat Honey

5.5 gal of Decilious Delaware sink water lolololololol

The honey was added after primary fermentation has subsided (5 days) I dont think the honey was pasteurized but I mixed the 2Ibs of honey with 1 quart of water to improve fermentation, water was not boiled, microwaved instead lol. but not to a boiling point so to not denature honey flavor characteristics.

Chances are the off flavor is coming from the buckwheat honey... really hoping its sediment still in solution settling out. Now that its in the kegerator, it should cold gravity filter out. First beer will be full of crap but after that, sweet necter for 50 beers.

pics for color and clarity. Its a wheat so its got that bluemoon cloudiness and color




I only let is sit in the secondary for 4 days :/ might have been a mistake but it looked pretty clean already and the keg was ready for a new brew Another reason why Im thinking its a sediment giving it that off flavor. Dont rush the process like I do lol.




Taste test at at the primary stage color in the glass. The off flavor was not noticed here as well so its probably the honey.. taste test at the secondary had the off flavor.

Last edited by CudaJoe; 08-14-2013 at 10:03 AM.
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Old 08-14-2013, 10:10 AM   #24
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I always wanted to try this but don't have the extra time or money. I may be getting a small still though.
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Old 08-14-2013, 10:45 AM   #25
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This fall when I can keep my house temps where the yeast is happy I'm going to start my brewing back up. I've decided I'm going to experiment and make a Ghost pepper Chocolate Stout this year.
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