T Nation

Homebrewing Beer


#1

I just started brewing my own beer recently, and I'm wondering if anyone else on T-Nation does this. I seem to recall a few people mentioning it in the "favorite beer" thread. I was thinking people could share some of their favorite recipes and techniques for other members to try. Also, where do you find empty bottles to store your batches?

I think I have enough empties lying around for the batch I'm brewing right now, but it would be nice to have a source for future batches. Thanks a lot, and happy brewing!


#2

I've done it once. Everything went great and the beer was great. I just followed some recipe that came with the kit, though I had to buy all of the ingredients. I was a little disappointed with the idea of hop-pellets. I wanted the real buds. But whatever, it was fun and I will probably do it again sometime.


#3

Save up your Sam Adams bottles. You can also go to a bar and ask them for empties. They will look at you funny but they usually let you pick through their dumpster. Make sure they are not twist off bottles as your caps won't sit right.

The experts say to use only brown bottles, but I've used green ones as well with no adverse effects. As long as you store them in a dark place it shouldn't matter. So, I've used Grolsch bottles, Sam Adams, Weissbier bottles (true pints), Guinness, etc.

I also bought a case of bottles - it's nice to have extras so you don't have to be a tool and ask your friends to return the bottles if you give some away.

If they still have labels, soak them in hot, soapy water for an hour to get the labels to peel right off and break up any caked on sediment in the bottle. Then, run them through your dishwasher on a sanitize setting or hot rinse and dry (without detergent). Inspect them before bottling your beer to make sure there isn't anything unsavory still in them.

DB


#4

I brewed a lot. I stopped because I was drinking to much and putting on a TON of weight. It is addictive.

My favoite brew was a copy of the Pilsner Urequell. It always came oout very well. I bought the ingredients as a kit at the homebrew shop.

The bottles came from my old empties. My friends used to save them for me also...at least if they wanted homebrew beer from me.

Eventually I decided I hated the bottling part most of all. I bought a few soda kegs, a CO2 tank and a tap system. The kegs are easy to fill and if I remember hold about 3 or 4 gals. You do not need to fill them all the way. They hold the beer for weeks if fully charged. Keep them in an old fridge to stay cold. (see where this starts to add up)

Beer making was fun but not really good for my training. I stayed with it for a year or two. FYI - the dark beers are easies to make in the beginning.


#5

I shutter to think of what you consider unsavory DB.

Here's a good site. You actually got me interested. http://www.realbeer.com/discussions/forumdisplay.php?s=ce877ffe597925b52cedeb5d8304ad1b&forumid=43

Here's the basics for anyone that is interested.

Funny thing. First thing I thought of was; how do you increase the alcohol percentage?

Would you add more yeast? Someone recommended champaign yeast and maple syrup? Someone else recommended just adding more malt?


#6

I did ALOT of looking around for supplies and I can almost guarantee this is the best deal for bottles. 12pack-22oz. bottles for $9
http://morebeer.com/search/102304

depending on what type of beer you like you can find just about any "clone" recipe to brew something really similar in this book

http://www.beer-wine.com/product_info.asp?productID=777§ionID=1

alot more info here.....

http://www.realbeer.com/

hope that helps!


#7

Washing the bottles, that's what will eventually curb your enthusiasm. Otherwise, it's great fun. Make some wine too, you need less bottles.


#8

i'm no expert, but from what i've read the sugar you add turns into alcohol. I.E. the more sugar (or honey or whatever you add) the higher the alcohol content. i'm sure there's more too it then that. here's one more REALLY good read about brewing....this guy goes into everything

http://www.howtobrew.com/sitemap.html


#9

The alcohol content is basically the product of the conversion of sugar through fermentation. Therefore, the more sugar you ferment, the higher the ending alcohol content. Adding more yeast will make it ferment faster, not necessarily increasing the alcohol content. Adding more sugar, preferably via more malt, will increase the alcohol, as long as you let it ferment fully.

IMO, you shouldn't be striving for a higher alcohol content if you want to make good-tasting beer. Rather, brew for an overall quality beer and the alcohol will take care of itself.

DB


#10

This is basically correct, the yeast consume the sugar and excrete alcohol as a byproduct. However, depending on the strain of yeast the fermentation process will stop at about 11-13% alcohol because the yeast cannot survive in a solution with a higher alcohol concentration. The yeast kill themselves with their own excrement. Yum. This is why beer and wine is never really above 13-15% alcohol.

And as far as high alcohol concentration not making good beer... You simply must try Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout. 9% alcohol and one of the best beers I have ever had the pleasure of tasting.

Nuff said. (That was for you DB)


#11

You can buy a case of returnables from a store for the price of the deposit, something like $1.50. Attach a wire bottle brush to a power drill, and it is pretty easy to get the unsavory stuff out.

Or better yet, buy the returnable case and enjoy the beer and just keep the bottles.


#12

Thanks for the replies. I'm pretty excited about trying out some clone recipes myself. I ordered some supplies to make a Sierra Nevada Pale Ale clone, and so that's going to be my next batch.