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  1. #1
    ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ efrobert's Avatar
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    How to make Beer.

    I brought my brewing equipment over a friends house the other day to brew up an IPA. We get together and brew every couple of months. Our mini brewery uses the same principals and ingredients as the average brew pub or micro brewery. We just do it on a smaller scale. But all the ingredients the micro breweries use are available to home brewers. We’ve done some really good beers in the past.
    If anybody is interested in the brewing process, this is how it goes.

    We used about 11lbs or grain.
    First the grains need to be crushed in a grain mill, this cracks the grain allowing the water to enter when it’s mashed. That’s me crushing the grains while my friends dog looks on.

    Once the grains are crushed they go into a “Mash tun”, I use a converted Home Depot cooler. The pot of water on the stove is being heated. The hot water is added to the grain in the HD cooler. Temp will be about 152 degrees. At this temp, the starch in the grain is converted into fermentable sugar. It mashes for about an hour.

    Grains mashing at 152.

    Hops and years waiting to be used.

    Once the mashing is complete. More hot water is added to the mash tun.

    The next step is called “Sparging”. Basically the water is drained from the mash tun. This is a sweet liquid called “Wort”. We collect about 6 gallons in the boil kettle.

    Now we boil it for about an hour. This is when the hops are added. The longer a hop boils the more bitterness is extracted from them. Hops added at the start are bittering hops, hops added later are more for flavor and aroma.

    Once the boiling is done it is quickly brought back down in temp using a wort chiller, basically it’s a copper coil that is attached to a hose, it works as a heat exchanger.

    Once the Wort is cooled, it’s put into a fermenting bucket (some people use glass, I just use plastic). Now the yeast is added. It will ferment in about five days, Then it will be transferred to a secondary fermenter to settle and clarify. After that it’s bottled and priming sugar is added to create the carbonation. It will be carbonated and ready to drink in about two to three weeks
    Last edited by efrobert; 01-18-07 at 03:24 PM.

  2. #2
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    Great process pics. I've been homebrewing for about a year now with some friends, and now my roommate. We still stick to the malt extracts tho. He's an IPA/pale ale guy and I love the stouts and porters, so we get a good mix of beer types. It's been a lot of fun.

  3. #3
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    That was actually interesting. I'd never taste it, but still quite interesting.

  4. #4
    Belt drive! vtjim's Avatar
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    All-grain brewing always seemed like too much work to me. I just cheat and buy the syrups and dry malts.

    Actually I'm sort of hunting for a good, "authentic" Czech Pilsner recipe at the moment. Saaz hops, light-to-medium body, clean finish. People always seem to want to muck up Pilsners with stuff that doesn't belong in them. (That's me being a beer snob.)

  5. #5
    J3L 2404 gbcb's Avatar
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    Thank for that, efrobert! Very jealous over here (Tsingtaoed out )... let us know how it turns out!

  6. #6
    59'er Mariner Fan's Avatar
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    When I was young we tried to make beer and it tasted like crap. Guess somethings are better left to the experts.

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    I've always wanted to try this!

    Some guys I knew in high school brought some home brew to a party one time(this was YEARS ago).......and that stuff was HELLA NASTY!!! Looked like orange soda.

  8. #8
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    My dad has been making beer for 15 years or so. The most important thing is to have everything clean and sterilized. CLEAN and STERILIZED. Otherwise, you end up with some unwanted bacterial growth and/ or fermentation in the bottles that can be unpleasant.

    His beers all taste pretty good. He doesn't do a final filtration though so you better decant slowly or have gastric disturbances later.

  9. #9
    BF's Level 12 Wizard SingingSabre's Avatar
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    Nice stuff!

    Once I get my own place, I want to brew my own mead. I love me some mead.
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  10. #10
    Chairman of the Bored catatonic's Avatar
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    are there any simple single-stage kits I can get a hold of....I don't have the room to boil stuff, etc....I'd love to find a mead kit for a MrBeer if there is one.
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  11. #11
    Belt drive! vtjim's Avatar
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    Mead is really temperamental stuff, kind of like wine. I've never had "home made" mead (or wine) that was at all drinkable, though there are some good commercial meads beginning to pop up.

    Brewing good beer is easy, like bbattle said. You need a good recipe, with good ingredients, and everything that touches the beer needs to be sanitized. A solution of clorox bleach dissolved in water is all you need for sanitation. It ain't hard! I've been brewing since 1987. :geezer: Even got my own hop vines growing in the back yard.
    Last edited by vtjim; 01-17-07 at 12:17 PM.

  12. #12
    Senior Member royalflash's Avatar
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    I used to make beer from grain-

    you are supposed to make a filter column with the grain and sparge carefully by spraying the water evenly and slowly onto the grain filter column to wash out the sugars to make the wort/wart. I had a rotating sparging arm for this. The final beer should be a lot clearer if you do that.

    The copper cooler is good. I made a similar one and it speeds up the process a lot and helps with clarifying the beer as the proteins coagulate put better with cooling.

    A yeast starter is a good idea as well if you don´t do this (rather than just sprinkling the yeast on). The fermantation gets off to a quicker start and the probability of contamination is reduced.
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  13. #13
    ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ efrobert's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by royalflash
    I used to make beer from grain-

    you are supposed to make a filter column with the grain and sparge carefully by spraying the water evenly and slowly onto the grain filter column to wash out the sugars to make the wort/wart. I had a rotating sparging arm for this. The final beer should be a lot clearer if you do that.

    The copper cooler is good. I made a similar one and it speeds up the process a lot and helps with clarifying the beer as the proteins coagulate put better with cooling.

    A yeast starter is a good idea as well if you don´t do this (rather than just sprinkling the yeast on). The fermantation gets off to a quicker start and the probability of contamination is reduced.
    I used to sparge like that but I read alot about batch sparging (Just filling the mast tun, draining then filling again) and I've had good results doing it that way. I actually add Irish Moss at the end of the boil to help clarify the beer.
    Never needed a starter with White Labs yeast, Fermentation on this batch was so active it blew the airlock right off the next day.

  14. #14
    I-M-D bell curve of bikn'
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    Looks like a Meth Lab that I busted once. Just kidding. My neighbor makes beer that way and it is goooooood!
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    The AVatar Ninja SaabFan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by catatonic
    are there any simple single-stage kits I can get a hold of....I don't have the room to boil stuff, etc....I'd love to find a mead kit for a MrBeer if there is one.
    You will at least need to be able to boil 2 - 3 gallons to make beer. That means you need a pot big enough to hold 5 gallons or so, to give some wiggle room.

    Check this place out:

    www.morebeer.com

    Lotsa quality stuff at good prices. Keep in mind that you can probably get some/most of the equipment you'll need locally at kitchen supply houses, too.
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    Scum, Freezebag! Mo'Phat's Avatar
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    Your dog looks like Rowdy (the dead/stuffed dog) from Scrubs. Same pose...same dog.
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  17. #17
    Senior Member GaryA's Avatar
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    Im an extract brewer as well, looking forward to collecting the gear for all grain. One small correction though its Wort not Wart. lol

    And yes who ever had the nasty beer someone didn't pay enough attention to keeping things clean, that is the number 1 enemy of brewing.
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  18. #18
    You know you want to. Eatadonut's Avatar
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    homemade beer is good, if done well. I had some friends that made beer in their apartment and it went really well. I made lemon wine once - about 1/4 of it was actually pretty good, but the filtering was a failure, so most of it was unusable.
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  19. #19
    ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ efrobert's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GaryA
    Im an extract brewer as well, looking forward to collecting the gear for all grain. One small correction though its Wort not Wart. lol

    And yes who ever had the nasty beer someone didn't pay enough attention to keeping things clean, that is the number 1 enemy of brewing.
    Wart, lol, I fixed that... Too much homebrew when I posted.
    Temp control during fermentation is also very importaint. That's why this is the perfect time to brew, it's easy to keep fermentation temps cool.

  20. #20
    Bike Junkie aadhils's Avatar
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    Hmmm yes. We could always do with more drunk drivers on the roads...

  21. #21
    Scum, Freezebag! Mo'Phat's Avatar
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    Fact: Do you know why drunk drivers get in so many accidents? 'Cause they don't learn to drive drunk.

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  22. #22
    Senior Member GaryA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by efrobert
    Wart, lol, I fixed that... Too much homebrew when I posted.
    Temp control during fermentation is also very importaint. That's why this is the perfect time to brew, it's easy to keep fermentation temps cool.
    Oh yes that is very important, I had a batch go funky on my last summer because I was trying to brew it in the summer and couldn't keep it cool enough. Made a Blueberry Wheat and a Amber Ale the Amber got to warm but the Blueberry Wheat behaved itself and could not be poured fast enough at my dads retirement party (the reason I was brewing at the worst time of year).
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    The AVatar Ninja SaabFan's Avatar
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    I live in a 200 year old house with a dry stone basement that's about 58 year-round at waist level, and 50 at floor level. Rock solid stability in a perfect temperature range. If I need to brew something warmer, I keep it up in the kitchen.

    Hmmm yes. We could always do with more drunk drivers on the roads...
    Stop being a troll.
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  24. #24
    Belt drive! vtjim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SaabFan
    I live in a 200 year old house with a dry stone basement that's about 58 year-round at waist level, and 50 at floor level. Rock solid stability in a perfect temperature range. If I need to brew something warmer, I keep it up in the kitchen.
    I hate you. Sounds like my mom's house. (1790.) Maybe I could lager something there, although it would be easier to just use my spare fridge. One of these days...

    Stop being a troll.
    Everyone who gets drunk goes out and drives, mowing down children (the younger the better), cyclists, and kittens. Didn't you know that? MADD tells us so.

  25. #25
    The AVatar Ninja SaabFan's Avatar
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    If I put a carboy right on the floor, it'll hit good cold lagering temps. Keep it up just a few inches on some wood blocks and it's warm enough for California common. Up near the top it's good for a super-smooth ale.

    Okay, I'll stop bragging now.
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