Author Topic: The Brewmaster is in.  (Read 5960 times)

Offline DominicJ

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Re: The Brewmaster is in.
« Reply #15 on: October 02, 2011, 08:11:46 AM »
'prison wine' is a pretty old concept
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Offline Paynesgrey

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Re: The Brewmaster is in.
« Reply #16 on: October 03, 2011, 01:35:28 AM »
Has anyone read the Foxfire books?  Great compilations of antique daily living skills, and they touched on brewing and moonshining.  (I wouldn't suggest trying to do home distillation, by the way, because if you do it wrong you go blind and die, wheras with brewing the worst you can generally do is get a mouthful of skunksnot.)

Offline contraducktory

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Re: The Brewmaster is in.
« Reply #17 on: October 03, 2011, 02:47:24 PM »
PG, have you attempted a Mead yet?  If so, any good places you can recommend to get the hardware?
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Offline Paynesgrey

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Re: The Brewmaster is in.
« Reply #18 on: October 03, 2011, 04:27:05 PM »
I've tried it, and I produced what was essentially a honey whiskey.  The stuff had absolutley no sweetness left in it, and an entarding level of alcohol.  I'm guessing 18%ish, which is insane for basic yeast and no distillation of any sort.  Tried adding some cherry to it, and came up with robitusssin.  I used champaign yeast, which seems to be the problem. 

So I'd suggest a lower yield wine yeast, and lots of good raw honey.  For equipment, I've used Midwest Brewing Supplies in the past, until I found a local hardware shop that sells brewing supplies.  If you've got nothing local, I'd try them.  You wouldn't need a whole big monster kit, really.  If going with mead, I'd suggest 1 or 2 gallon batches.  Good honey being more expensive than malt, and small batches being better for getting your technique and proportions down. 

You'd need a couple of glass gallon/2 gallon jugs, a kettle large enough to boil a gallon or two of water.  I'd suggest  a pump style syphon... mouth syphoning's too likely to contaminate your wort.  You'll rubber stoppers and plastic airlocks for each jug (cheap, cheap cheap.)  Some people like no-rinse sanitizer for your jugs, bottles, tubing and such but I just use chlorox and then rinse it very, very, carefully.  And you'll need some "yeast nutrient" to ensure healthy, happy yeast.

I'd suggest going with a pure honey mead until you get that down pat.  True, you won't have the fruit to mask any issues, but let's face it.. fruity drinks that make people get silly and fall down are a dime a dozen, but a good, solid honey mead is hard to find.  You master that, then you start exploring the fruit meads, and you'll be king of your local Drinkities.

Offline Don

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Re: The Brewmaster is in.
« Reply #19 on: October 04, 2011, 12:36:38 AM »
'prison wine' is a pretty old concept

Yeah..  I was just in a small county jail, but I was in with people who have done serious time.  There seems to be a very strong oral tradition that passes ancient wisdom through the generations.
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Offline Snowleopard

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Re: The Brewmaster is in.
« Reply #20 on: October 06, 2011, 07:41:03 AM »
Would you call that a jail meme?

Offline Don

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Re: The Brewmaster is in.
« Reply #21 on: October 07, 2011, 01:59:48 AM »
Would you call that a jail meme?

Yes.  Between the stories I have been told and what I've seen myself, I've discovered that there are a lot of very fascinating "jail memes".  They range from harmless things like how to operate the shower without having to hold the button down yourself to scary things like how to make deadly weapons out of unlikely items.
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Offline Compass Rose

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Re: The Brewmaster is in.
« Reply #22 on: October 07, 2011, 02:48:13 PM »
I've been far more involved with wine making than beer, so hope y'all don't mind a bit of wine making notes added to the beer and ale! First, it's the time of year to look for the last of the watermelon crop. If the melon(s) are a bit soft, still ok for making watermelon wine. Second, right after Christmas/New Years the cranberries usually go on sale - and cranberry wine is great!
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Offline Shecky

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Re: The Brewmaster is in.
« Reply #23 on: October 07, 2011, 03:10:28 PM »
My only involvement in homebrewing is in enjoying the results. And I'm quite pleased with having that job. ;D
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Offline Berrylovely

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Re: The Brewmaster is in.
« Reply #24 on: October 07, 2011, 03:17:56 PM »
My fiance makes beer. He made this chocolate one that EVERYONE loves. I liked his red ale that he made. He wants to make another batch, but we need to get rid of the chocolate ones first! He also caps with real bottle caps!

And tonight...I am having beer for dinner. Probably the American Bada** made in Michigan by Kid Rock. Which is VERY tasty. He has a bourbon out now too I think.
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Offline DominicJ

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Re: The Brewmaster is in.
« Reply #25 on: October 21, 2011, 01:32:00 PM »
Just placed my first order.
A Cerveza, an Australian Lager and a Ginger Beer (probably should have got a proper ale, but, oh well)
Along with loads of equipment to have a crack at some winey related social lubricants.
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Offline Paynesgrey

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Re: The Brewmaster is in.
« Reply #26 on: October 21, 2011, 02:17:48 PM »
Biggest thing:  Keep your workspace and utensils clean.  I use chlorine bleach in water, then rinse, rinse, rinse the chlorine off as well.  Cross-contamination is the biggest brew killer out there.  Say you stir the wort and set your spoon down on an unsanitized counter, or wander off to read a book while things simmer, and you come back and handle your utensils without washing your hands... then you could ruin the whole batch by literally inoculating it with any of the common molds or bacteria just lying around. 

Avoid mouth syphoning if you can, because the bacteria in your mouth will turn the whole mess into skunk snot.  If you must mouth syphon, rinse your mouth with grain alcohol like Everclear or something above 150 proof.

Finally, after you boil your wort, when you cool it, you want to set the whole kettle in a sink full of icewater.  Keep adding ice as it melts.  Between around 80 and 90-ish degrees farenheit is the temperature zone where the aggresive, unwelcome contanimant organisms multiply the fastest, so you want move your wort through that contamination window as quickly as possible.  (Don't add your yeast until the wort is below 75 degrees farenheit, or it will die screaming in the heat, or at least give your brew an off flavor.)

Offline DominicJ

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Re: The Brewmaster is in.
« Reply #27 on: November 09, 2011, 02:21:32 PM »
I've got 5L of vimto "red wine" nice bubbling away, and 23L of Ginger Beer from a can thats being very lively. 
Going to try a 5L ginger beer with powdered ginger this weekend and possibly move the ginger beer into bottles and get one of the lagers going.
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Offline Snowleopard

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Re: The Brewmaster is in.
« Reply #28 on: November 09, 2011, 07:50:57 PM »
Just remember to use the right bottle for the right product.
A friend told a story of one of her friends who decided to try to make champagne.
Only problem was that he hadn't realized that champagne bottles are built heavily for
a very basic reason - to contain the pressure, and he used ordinary wine bottles.
He'd put his bottles in the garage and he started hearing loud noises from the garage.
There was a side door and he looked in before opening the main door.
The pressure of the bubbles was literally blowing the bottom off the wine bottles and launching
them like glass rockets.
Wisely he just closed the door and went away until all the crashing noises stopped.

Offline DominicJ

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Re: The Brewmaster is in.
« Reply #29 on: November 16, 2011, 11:04:47 AM »
Yep, Bottle Bombs could be rather dangerous.
Mine are in plastic pop (Soda for the colonials) bottles so should take quite a bit of pressure, and fail none catastrophicaly.

Bottled the Ginger Beer with additional sugar, good god I hope the flavour improves with age, its tastes like someones eaten loads of ginger then had a wee.
Also making a 5 litre ginger beer from ginger powder (probably messed up quantities) but that bubbled like mad for the first 36 hours, so should be potent if nothing else.  Seriously, I was worried the water was just going to be blown out the airlock!
Yeast Vit and "super" yeast, wheres the plastered smiley?

Assuming something drinkable comes out the end, I quite like this brewing lark.
Bit more time consuming than I thought at first, sterilising 12 2L bottles is a pain, but never mind.

I'm saving up "sparkling wine bottles" (other half drinks supermarket brand Asti :-[ ::)) so will have "proper" storage soon enough.  Wonder how much it costs to dig out a cellar under the house?
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