Home Brewing

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baronsamedi

Preferred Member
May 4, 2011
5,692
0
Dallas
Since pipe smokers seem to be independent thinking types, I was curious as to how many of uf brew our own beverages. I brew mostly meads and country wines. I also wrote a book called "Brew or Die" that includes some of my recipes. Nothing would go better with a tin of your favorite smoke than a nice home brewed ale or mead.

 

w1nd0wl1cker

Junior Member
Apr 4, 2011
53
0
Me and a close friend brew our own beer all the time. I think everyone should try to brew their own. Most people don't realize how easy it is. We have quite a few favorites, and of course they all go good with toby.

 

juni

Preferred Member
Mar 9, 2010
1,184
0
Tried that in college (from a kit) - tasted like cr*p (although surprisingly potent) so I decided to leave brewing to the professionals.

 

tom12

Junior Member
Apr 26, 2011
70
0
Yup, I've been all grain brewing my beers for around ten years. I can now brew up to pub standard and pretty much make any beer which doesn't require temp control, so I mainly stick to ales, my most experimental to date is a Imperial porter which I have soured with Brettomayces and I'm currently ageing until christmas. I have had a few sneaky snifters though and it is rather good although somewhat potent at 8.1%.
At the moment I have an all Citra pale ale in keg and I'm fermenting out a ginger beer for June.
I would love to do it as a profession, that's my dream anyhow.

 

abecox

Member
Sep 8, 2010
199
0
A few winters ago my friends and I made our own mead. Was pretty good for something that a bunch of college kids did.
My father and I also brew our own beer, it's really good, our last batch was a delicious Porter. Next I want to try a stout.

 

pstlpkr

Preferred Member
Dec 14, 2009
9,739
0
Birmingham, AL
Here is a recipe that was posted a while back for mead:

5lb honey

1 lemon

1 oz root ginger

1 gallon water (and I'd double check all measurements because these are old-school English Imperial - I know some in the USA are different!)
-Simmer ginger and the lemon rind in some of the water for 20 minutes

-Strain onto the honey and dissolve well

-Let cool to room temperature of around 16-24 degrees celsius; add the juice of the lemon and stir; add yeast (preferably some kind of brewing yeast, but a wine yeast will do; try to avoid bakers yeast)

-Closely cover in something like a bucket for 3 days

-Siphon into a Demi-John and fit an airlock (or if you haven't got this kind of stuff, just siphon it off into another bucket and cover again)

-Rack it off (siphon off) the yeast sediment (lees) when it clears, and then again in 2 weeks.

-Bottle

-Let mature for 6 months to a year (if you can wait that long!).
The trick is to keep everything really settled and get rid of the yeast sediment when siphoning off (called "racking"). The more it's disturbed, the more yeast you'll be able to taste in the final product, if you see what I mean.
What is absolutely vital though, is keeping EVERYTHING STERILE (buckets, demijohn, fermentation bin, bottles, muslin cloth for covering - everything). Use baby sterilising tablets or Campden tablets - the chemical name will be something like sodium metabisulphite...
If you want to make Metheglin (a herb / spice Mead), add herbs and spices to the ginger and lemon in the first stage. Traditional English herbs would be rosemary, thyme, mint, parsley, etc. but try to make sure that there is balance. It shouldn't taste of predominantly one. Alternatively, I've heard of people using things like cloves, allspice, star anise, cinnamon etc. A plethora of choices!!!
 

lyst36

Member
Feb 28, 2011
204
0
I've always wanted to brew myself but haven't gotten around to it. A buddy of mine should be starting it soon and I may join in then. I've also wanted to distill spirits. 8)

 

bootlegbonvivant

Preferred Member
Nov 14, 2009
1,195
0
Flowery Branch, GA
I've always wanted to try something like that, but I tend to just enjoy what everyone else has concocted. There's a new restaurant that brews their own beer close by. I just need to go and see how good it is.

 

gecko13

Preferred Member
Feb 2, 2011
897
0
Goodyear,AZ
I used to brew my own beer several years ago, and had good success with it. Lately I just brew coffee. Now that my boys are of age, they have been bugging me to get back into it. Seems like a good father-sons project. Maybe this summer we'll get the stuff out and cook up a batch or two. :puffpipe:

 

collindow

Preferred Member
Jul 15, 2010
740
0
Portland, OR
I started last year, and stopped for a period. Now, two buddies and I have started again. We're brewing up a beer for a friend's wedding/bachelor party.

And I'm about crack open a stout that just finished carbonating...I know I should wait and let it age, but I really want to try it!

 

duncan

Preferred Member
Jul 28, 2010
576
0
New Jersey
I used to do it while I was in the Navy. It was a great time and some of the crew would buy me the materials so I could make it for our boat parties. Somehow I fell out of it :evil:. So now I have a ton of glass carboys just sitting around, maybe someday I will get back into it.

 

baronsamedi

Preferred Member
May 4, 2011
5,692
0
Dallas
I just did 5 gallons of Cyser (Apple Mead) for my brother's wedding. It was a hell of a wedding! People, even those who have brewed beer are usually shocked at how simple and good mead can be. It takes a little longer to finish, but it's worth the wait. I've also done ale-meads (Braggot) and it had a taste between a standad mead and an octoberfest beer.
Basic Mead Recipe:

5 gal. spring water, heated to about 150°F

15 lbs of honey

A cup of extra strong tea, steeped with lemon rind

1-2 packets Lalvin EC-118 champagne yeast

2 5 gallon bottles (carboys)

1 bubble lock (or failing that, a balloon with a small hole in it)
Mix the honey and water until all the honey is dissolved (you will have water leftover) leave room at the top for about 2" of foam

Add the lemon/tea mix

Wait until it cools to 90°F

Add the dry yeast, just dump it on top

cap it off with the bubble lock and watch the fun.
After 4 weeks, siphon the liquid off the sediment at the bottom, siphoning into the other carboy. Once the mead clears, you will be able to read the pages of a book through it. If it is still and not releasing CO2 anymore, bottle it.
New mead tastes good, but the older it gets, the better it tastes. I keep bottles up to 5 years or so, if I can keep from drinking them that long.

 

nathaniel

Preferred Member
Jan 4, 2011
612
0
Mmmm this looks so good... My parents are in the dairy business (goats) over seas in Costa Rica, and my dad recently ordered a special thermostat for his refrigerator to help make hard cheeses. The company he ordered from though is actually a brewing company however, and he was nice enough to give me the free catalog that came with it. Well, now I just have to decide whether to spend more on tobacco or brewing equipment. From what I understand it should cost me about $200 to get everything set up. Does that sound about right?

 

nathaniel

Preferred Member
Jan 4, 2011
612
0
Mmmm this looks so good... My parents are in the dairy business (goats) over seas in Costa Rica, and my dad recently ordered a special thermostat for his refrigerator to help make hard cheeses. The company he ordered from though is actually a brewing company however, and he was nice enough to give me the free catalog that came with it. Well, now I just have to decide whether to spend more on tobacco or brewing equipment. From what I understand it should cost me about $200 to get everything set up. Does that sound about right?

 

sjpipesmoker

Preferred Member
Apr 17, 2011
1,073
0
Way to busy to brew at home, but I did try home soda making, spent a bunch of money and it didn't come out at all, wasted time and money.

Now I got a sodastream... And I love it. I give props to home brewers... Keep brewing and keep drinking!!

 

baronsamedi

Preferred Member
May 4, 2011
5,692
0
Dallas
Nathaniel- If you know where to look you can get in for under $100 and spend less than $200 total! In the month or so before the first racking, you have time to expand, then during the long secondary fermentation you can save more $$. Mead won't complain even if you let it sit for 6 months in the secondary fermenter, in fact, it will get better!
First Buy-
5 gallon carboy $20 (or find a food grade 5 gal bucket, sterilize it and cut a hole in the top for the bubbler for free)

6- 1 gal. jugs of spring water at discount store $6 (or free if you have filtered tap)

15 lb honey- $30-50

Bubble lock and stopper $3 (or free if you have a balloon, the bubbler is way better though)

Tea and Lemon $3 if you don't already have them.

2 packs EC-1118 Yeast $1 Trust me 2 wee little packs are enough. This yeast is badass!
Total- $1-$83 depending on resourcefulness
Second buy -
Racking crane $15 (or less if you can find some food-grade plastic tubing, but the racking crane is worth the $$)

Another carboy $20 (you can use another bucket but a glass carboy is way easier to sanitize so you should use one for secondary fermentation IMHO)
Total- $35 or less.
3rd buy (6 weeks to 2 months later)
24 wine bottles $0 if you have a local wine bar. They usually have to throw them out and are happy to give away cases of used bottles. Wash, sanitize and go. If you have to pay at a brewing supply store, expect to pay $2 a bottle so about $50

Corks- Pack of 30 $10

Corker- Double lever corker $20
Grand total investment- $66 to $208 depending on your tastes and ability to scrounge.
I also happen to know that people will pay up to $20-$25 a bottle for home brewed mead. Not that I reccommend doing anything illegal, but one could pay themselves back rather quickly if they happened to give someone a bottle of mead for their birthday and that person remembered the kind gesture and later reciprocated in the appropriate fashion.

 

baronsamedi

Preferred Member
May 4, 2011
5,692
0
Dallas
Incidentally, if anyone wants to get into brewing, just holler at me. I know I'm selling a book, but I'm in it for the joy of brewing so I'll kick out friendly advice and even recipes to anyone who asks!

 

smoker

Member
Jun 25, 2011
185
0
I used to brew my own ales which is my preference, anyway my initial setup cost me £80-90. I found a brew i liked the sound of and away i went. I ended up using 2kg of sugar mixed into the ingredients i left it a few days while fermenting and went in for a sample taste, wow don't sniff you'll be out hahaha. i got used to drinking it and it wasn't untill i had a glass of water the next day that the alcohol took effect. If i got into it again i'd be a little more caucious with the sugar i think.