T Nation

Homebrewing Beer


#1

Anybody do this. I'm about to give it a shot and found a couple starter kits online. I have a big pot to cook the ingredients, and am wondering what else I need to start.

The kits I saw have a fermenting bucket and bottling bucket w/ pump. I've also drank beer which is bottle fermented and was wondering if this is a viable option for a homebrewer.

I'd like to do this as cheap as possible, but I also wouldn't mind getting whatever I need because I will probably continue to do it until I die.

The kits I looked at were here:
http://www.homebrewers.com/category/aardvarks/

Any advice?


#2

I have never done it, but talked to a few people, and the common theme is sterile. Make sure your shit is sterile.

Other than that I got nothing.

Good luck and hope you make some kick ass brew man.


#3

i used to brew beer. many good kits are out there. find a good beer supply store and talk to them. you will learn all you need from them. there are also beer making clubs all over the place if you do not know anyine who brews. keep your equipment clean.


#4

I'm way into homebrewing. If you have any specific questions feel free to ask/PM me.

Briefly:

1.) Those are decent kits. However, you can almost certainly save some money if you get the components yourself. Nothing is really that exotic, aside from the wort cooler. If you are set on a kit, I would opt for one in the 150 dollar range, and buy a kettle separately.

2.) Use an extract for your first few brews. They've really come a long way in terms of quality. As you progress you can go up to specialty grain or all-grain.

3.) Bottle fermentation is possible. Technically most homebrews have some degree of "bottle fermentation" involved, as corn sugar is often used to carbonate the final product. You are probably referring to the German/Belgian style..."on lees"...possible but a more advanced technique.


#5

I just use extract kits, the majority of my brews are drinkable. Some are great, some are terrible.

The most complicated thing I do is boil some hops in malt extract and water, if you get it right it can turn an ordinary beer into a good beer and you don't need anything special to do it, just a pot.

All you will need for this is a 6 Gallon fermenter, an airlock, a thermometer and a plastic stirring spoon. I would also get a bottle filler. If you have lots of glass bottles get a capper, if not, invest in the brown PET bottles that are screw-cap, they are much easier to use and the difference is negligible. You will also need a hydrometer at some point, but it's not essential.

Do you have Coopers kits over there? They are foolproof so long as you don't use table sugar. The yeast is very reliable. Nearly every Coopers kit does well with what we call "half'n'half" (500gm dextrose, 500gm light dried malt extract).

Keep the fermenter at a stable temperature. Too cold and it won't ferment, too warm and it will smell like farts and taste off. My best brews were when the fermenter was stable at 17-19 deg Celcius.


#6

I don't homebrew...but craft beer is a hobby. I spend about as much time on BeerAdvocate.com as I do on T-Nation.

Check out their Homebrewing forum...

http://beeradvocate.com/forum/list/2


#7

I have brewed beer in the past. I have found sanitizing your equipment to be very important and can be a major pain. The last few times I brewed I was using an iodine product and it worked well.

I bought an Auto-Siphon and it was great for moving the beer between fermenters. The ones on that website are similar to the one I use.

I used extract kits to save some time and they worked well. If you do this a lot you can save money in the long run by going to all grain. It requires more equipment but that is a fixed cost. The grain is usually cheaper than extract.

I used 22 oz. bottles so that I didn't have to fill as many bottles. I think you can use old bottles (maybe even champagne bottles) but I think you will need to remove the labels. You can also go the kegging route but I don't have any experience with that. I would assume it is easier than filling bottles.

bpeck


#8

Check out http://forum.northernbrewer.com and http://thebrewingnetwork.com


#9

I went ahead and ordered a kit last night, although I probably could have saved a fair amount if I just got some of the stuff on its own. I think it comes pretty well stocked w/ buckets, an air lock, sanitizer, capper, hygrometer, bottling tubing, and some other stuff. I already have a big kettle that I think is perfect. The kit is an extract, that you boil w/ hops, then add yeast to.

I've been drinking a fair amount of beer lately, so I'll be saving the bottles.

I'm going to have a go at a porter extract kit for my first brew. Hopefully I don't screw it up too badly.

Thanks for the replies and links. I may be in contact with some of you if I have any questions, but it seems pretty straight forward.