Anyone tried it...?

Discussion in 'The Club House' started by DrumJunkie, Jan 22, 2014.

  1. DrumJunkie

    DrumJunkie New Member

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    Home brewing...Has anyone here attempted to make your own beer?
    My wife got me a small kit that allows me to make beer 2.5 gallon at a time. Being I really don't drink much it seemed like the way to go (smaller fermenter)
    I've since started doing a ton of research into beer making. The kit I got sells liquid malt extracts that work great but I've never been one that can just follow a recipe so I have looked to branch out. There's tons of places that sell malted grains and about anything else you can possibly want. I'm also looking at maybe growing my own hops after I learn a little more about the different types and how they work in beer.

    My first brew come out of the fermenter tonight and is in bottles to carbonate then condition. It will be a while before I know if it's any good or not. The stuff that come out of the fermenter appears to be pretty good though.

    So...Who else has tried it?
     
  2. 303tom

    303tom Well-Known Member

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    I make all my own alcohol !.....................
     

  3. TheSadPanda

    TheSadPanda New Member

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    I don't home brew, but I work in a brewery, so if you have any questions I can definitely get you some answers.

    Sent from my DeLorean Time Machine
     
  4. DrumJunkie

    DrumJunkie New Member

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    Actually I do have one or two. I'm reading all over the net from small people like me to microbreweries and it seems the ferment temp and time are all over the place. Now I"m pretty sure that optimal fermenting temp and time would have to change from type of brew to another. What I'm making mostly (trying really..lol) are different ales and maybe a lager or two. The one I got in a bottle carbonating now is a med light lager. I was of the understanding that it would have to stay in the first fermenting stage for at least two weeks. My yeast stopped looking active on one week though. After looking around it seems that isn't all that uncommon so I thought I"d bottle at least some of it and see what happened. It fermented at a pretty steady temp of 70-72 F. I see a lot of people saying though that getting over 70f can produce off flavors and that I should have been between 60-68F. So I might have some funky beer :( Any info you might be abler to provide me for a good fermenting temp would be great.

    I'm naturally fermenting so I wont be able to really see what's up for a couple weeks. I used cane sugar to prime the bottles. I head corn sugar works better and I do have some coming but my fermenting stopped about a week short so I was caught with my beer drawers down I guess there. It's supposed to just make a more loose head with the cane sugar so that's no big deal for me at this point. I'm still experimenting. :)

    This first batch I used a liquid malt extract with a common ale yeast. So the boil phase was not as important and I didn't have to add hops to this recipe unless I really wanted to. But I thought for a novice sticking to the recipe as it was written to be the smarter rout to go. I was very careful to not pitch the yeast too worm though. I was at around78-80F when I pitched the yeast.

    I'm worried that this first batch might not have done real well. Using a hydrometer I was able to calculate alcohol content around 3.8. That was pretty close to the target so that was a little calming. I mainly want to find out where the best temp range is to ferment.

    My next run will be an all grain Montana Brown Ale So it will be pretty much entirely different and I think the learning curve will be a bit more sharp. I'll have to pay real close attention to the boil phase.:eek:
     
  5. KJG67

    KJG67 New Member

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    Been wanting to for a long time. I have a friend that does it like clockwork. #1 rule is clean your equipment thoroughly!!! Any contaminants will ruin your hard work and.you'll have to start all over.
     
  6. KJG67

    KJG67 New Member

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    You just increased your friend count :)
     
  7. mountainman13

    mountainman13 New Member

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    My father brews. Avoid the cheap "Mr.beer" (iirc) kits. As stated sterilization is key. If a beer sucks, let it sit longer. Same with wine.

    better judged by twelve than carried by six.
     
  8. msup752

    msup752 New Member

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    Lol. I got a Mr Beer kit for Christmas. I rarely drink beer so it was an unusual gift. The included Czech beer mix is now in bottles and has a few more days to ferment in front of the fireplace.
    I'm going to take a stab at hard cider next or a darker beer.
    I cleaned the equipment well with bleach and the oxygen no rinse powder the kit comes with so I think it should turn out well.
     
  9. DrumJunkie

    DrumJunkie New Member

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    Actually The Mr Beer ingredients are made by Cooper Brewery in Australia now. They are one of the largest and older brewers in Aus. They (Mr Beer) have become much better from what I understand. I'm not using their LME though.

    Very right about sanitation though. It's extremely important every step of the way. I'm using Star San for that.
     
  10. TankTop

    TankTop Well-Known Member Supporter

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  11. MisterMcCool

    MisterMcCool Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Someone gave me the Mr. Beer ten or fifteen years ago. I made up one batch that tasted like really sweet Kool-Aide. I never tried again. :(

    I am a connoisseur of beers. I have tried hundreds. I despise microbrews. They all taste bitter from too much hops.
     
  12. DrumJunkie

    DrumJunkie New Member

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    I've heard the Mr Beer kits used to be really bad. They have got better though after the Cooper Brewery got with them.

    I have the same problem with most micro-brew/craft brewers. I understand the desire to make something unique but that does no have to mean adding a ton of 300 types of hops.:rolleyes:

    I'm not looking to change the world or anything. I would like to make a beer that goes down well while sitting on my porch watching nothing but time go by in my little corner of the woods. I've tasted hundreds of beers in my 50 years on the planet and many of them I found myself thinking if it was just a little more this or less that. Maybe I'll find it now..heh. I'm not a big drinker anymore but I do like a frosty barley pop in the evenings or on game day.
     
  13. DrumJunkie

    DrumJunkie New Member

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    Some of those kits look pretty cool. I hope if I can do any good with what I have to build my own stuff up. I'd love to get one of the 6 gal carboy bottles to ferment in. I'm going to be making myself a wort chiller too my next trip to the hardware store. I need some copper line ;)
     
  14. DrFootball

    DrFootball disappointed & disgusted, But DETERMINED... Lifetime Supporter

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    Don't Do Beer anymore,..but...

    I'd love to make my own Hard Cider!!
     
  15. eatmydust

    eatmydust New Member

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    I personally have not brewed my own beer. However, I had a very good customer that used to bring me samples of his Mr. Beer kit made brews. They were excellent, he made everything from malty lagers, to double IPAs, to amber ales. With the right ingredients, patience, good sanitation and some imagination, you can crank out damn good brews.
     
  16. msup752

    msup752 New Member

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    My hard cider went in the keg yesterday. I found some cider off season and was excited.
    I tasted the Czech beer I made with my mr beer kit and it was weak and bland. 2 weeks in the keg and 2 in the bottle. I'll let the rest of the bottles keep fermenting a bit longer.
    After finding the cider, I dropped by my local brewing shop and it was too cool. The experts gave me tips on brewing cider and I started with a pectin reducer and lactose to sweeten it up a bit. They sell the raw ingredients to make beer and wine so my next batch of beer will be a bit better.
     
  17. donthav1

    donthav1 Active Member

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    the wife got me a Mr. Beer kit for Christmas, my first batch has been sitting in bottles for about 9 days now. I don't have real high hopes for this batch seeing how it's my first attempt but who knows. I let it ferment for 18 or 19 days before I bottled it, when I sampled it before bottling it tasted like flat beer & apparently that's a good sign. Won't find out if how I did for another week or so.

    I've got a friend that brews from scratch & he makes some damn good beer, so it can be done
     
  18. DrumJunkie

    DrumJunkie New Member

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    If it tasted like flat beer you're doing good with their kit. Depending what you primed the bottles with carbonation should be good regardless. Cane sugar wqorks fine but the head will have more loose bigger bubbles. Corn sugar is supposed to make a tighter head if you can find it. The carbonation drops mostly work well too from what I"m seeing.

    It's good to condition the beers like in a fridge for a week to several weeks after the carbonation step I"m told. I think the Mr Beer ting says 2-2-2 for their stuff (2 wk ferment-2 wk carb-2wk conditioning). I'm going to check a bottle a week in the conditioning phase to see how that effects things.

    I used a liquid malt much like the Mr Beer thing the first go around. I'm going to do an all grain brown ale next. Wife got me 10 lb. of the grains. I want to do the steep method rather than pour it in loose so it will be easier to get the stuff back out. I got to get some muslin bags for that yet though. I hear paint strainer bags work really well too.