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Homebrew (Beer, Not Injectables)

Anybody here into making their own brew at home? I just bought a kit online and could use any tips you guys can offer

[quote]slimjim wrote:
Anybody here into making their own brew at home? I just bought a kit online and could use any tips you guys can offer[/quote]

I have always wanted to but never have. I hope you get some responses.

http://www.T-Nation.com/tmagnum/readTopic.do?id=1518313&pageNo=0

I haven’t brewed in a few years but I seem to remember lifticus had some info posts in here.

Number 1 rule is keep it clean, sterilise the bejesus out of everything with Sodium metabisulfite, including your hands.

Make sure fermentation has completely stopped before bottling, or the beer tastes funny and your bottles may explode.

Use finings and get a second barrel, after the initial fermentation put in the finings let the barrel sit for 24 hours then siphon it into the new barrel, let it sit for another 24 hours, it reduces the amount of sediment by at least half.

Don’t be tempted to crack into too soon, I always find the kits take at least 6 weeks after bottling to develop full flavour and head.

I just got a kit also, I don’t have any experience yet but found this online book. I read it and really get the impression this guy knows what he’s talking about.

http://www.howtobrew.com/section1/chapter2.html

this is an organic brew web site, which I don’t really care about the organic part…it’s got a good step by step article with lots of pictures.

http://www.breworganic.com/tips/virtual_class.htm

hope that helps! good luck! let us know how your first batch turns out.

I stopped after I put on 15 ibs around the middle. The temptation of large quantities of good strong beer laying around all the time was too much. My fellow homebrewers in the area were not much help either!!

If you can find a supply shop in the area the owners are usually a wealth of information and ideas.

Used to brew back when I lived in Texas. Still got one last bottle of “Goatbomb” barleywine left.

A couple more tips.

Start hoarding 22 oz and larger bottles. Larger bottles = less sterilizing/cleaning. But I’d avoid corked champagne or Belgian ale bottles in the beginning - getting a good seal with a cork consistently isn’t that easy.

Bottles with long narrow necks are easier to cap without cracking them. The most convenient type are bottles with spring-loaded ceramic caps such as from Fischer or Grolsch. You just need to replace the rubber seal when it dries out after a year or two.

Because the wort can rise very rapidly when boiled (especially with higher-gravity brews) use a vastly oversized pot and do it somewhere you can deal with a spill if you need to. Outdoors over a propane burner was my choice.

go to www.morebeer.com.

It is a great site for kits, equipment and tips.

I also recommend mucho sterilization, although, you don’t have to obsess so much over it that you don’t brew. Just follow the directions that come with the cleaning stuff and you’ll be fine, keeping in mind that up until the mid-20th century, they were making beer without sterilizing the equipment. Don’t be lax about it either.

I ferment in a 6 gallon, food-grade plastic bucket with an air lock until the bubbling has ceased. Then, I siphon-transfer it to a glass carboy (big bottle), also with an airlock. I let it sit until the sediment has settled. Then I siphon it back into the plastic that already has a mixture of a little water (previously boiled then cooled to room temp) and corn starch. This puts the carbonation in the beer.

If you can use some chilled wort that you saved from the brew, you will be better off, but I haven’t gotten the nerve up to try that. Once you’ve siphoned into the bucket, you then siphon it off into the bottles (unless you are kegging it), cap them and wait.

I’ve found 3-4 weeks of sitting in the bottles in a dark closet works very well if you’re brewing an ale. (Btw, I recommend you only try ales until you’ve gotten the feel for brewing).

Other types of beer require more diligence in the fermentation process, like temperature control, additives, etc. I really want to brew a Pilsener, but I don’t yet have a way to keep my fermentation temps within the range needed.

Have fun and good luck,
DB

Thanks for the info and tips guys, I’m really looking forward to this…I love beer