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The Homebrewing Thread

Let's see if there's anyone here that likes to make their own brews. Mead, beer, wine, what have you got in the fermenting chamber?

I'm sitting on a 5 gallon batch of a hoppy blonde ale right now. Put it up for fermentation Saturday evening, so it's probably due to start showing some airlock activity today or tomorrow with the temperature it's at. Thinking about brewing a dunkelbock this weekend just to have some variety.


  • GlasgowSnuffGlasgowSnuff Member
    edited November 2019 PM
    Count me in. Been brewing my own for about 15 years.  Nothing on the go at the moment but do a mix of all grain beers and some kits if I feel lazy.
  • thatotherguythatotherguy Member
    edited November 2019 PM
    Edited because of more info.

    Welcome to the thread, @GlasgowSnuff !
  • Have an evil dog kit to get started but it is a strong one so will not be ready for Christmas 
  • boiledonionsboiledonions Member
    edited November 2019 PM
    I started brewing with extract kits a few years ago with the thought that after a few batches it was cheaper than paying 10 USD for a six pack of good beer. Then I found a discount beer store near my house that always has a selection of 15 to 20 craft beers on super sale 5 USD per 6 pack or 18 USD per 24 case. All the sudden homebrewing was no longer the best frugal option. I still enjoy it and whip up a few 5 gallon batches a year. Going to try a lager this winter as my storage room stays a pretty consistent 40 degrees farenhieght during the cold months. Then in summer I will try some Saisons when that room starts to hit a consistent 80.

    I also make some fruit wines when we have a bumper crop of strawberries or when the neighbor drops off a five gallon bucket of apples.

    Edit? great idea for a thread!
  • @boiledonions I'm into it for the fun of the process, personally. I like making my own stuff, learning how things work- I always have. The savings are just gravy for me. Course, it doesn't hurt that I'm rather taken with tripels, which seem to be pricy around here... which reminds me, I need to make a tripel. I also need to work out a recipe for my Christmas ale idea. Lots of fun to have when I've got the time...

    What's your process for converting the fruit into a fermentable mash, if you don't mind me asking? Crushing, cutting up and throwing into a sugar wash, stewing? Fruit wines are one of those things I've been kicking around the idea of but haven't tried yet.
  • boiledonionsboiledonions Member
    edited November 2019 PM
    I usually do one gallon batches for fruit wines. For strawberries, I freeze them for a day or two, then thaw them out and put in a cheesecloth bag and let them sit in sugar water overnight before removing the bag and starting primary fermentation. The freeze and thaw cycle seems to really let a lot of juice out.
    For the apple wine I try to kinda juice or puree them in a food processor for half of them then cut up the other half and let them sit in sugar and water over night before primary fermentation.

    I would like to try stewing, especially for the apples, to extract a little more flavor and to kill off any wild Yeasts so I have more control.
  • volungevolunge Member
    edited November 2019 PM
    I would love to try making beer from scratch - to grow some barley, make malt in a stove etc. Making a cask would be too challenging for me, though :). Alas, not a drinker anymore.

    However, 15 years ago I made a few small batches of crude absinthe (non-distilled 96% ethanol tincture of dried wormwood, anise, star anise, fennel, carraway, coriander, peppermint, lemon-balm and calamus root, thinned down to 68% with equal amount of 40% vodka). I won't expand describing the experience for ethical reasons, just mention that one mini shot (20 ml) delivered pot-like effect. Mind you, large amounts gave me and my buddies the worst hangover ever experienced. I think I have some photos of concoction; not sure, where, though.

    Apart from that, me and my cousin gave a hand to our uncle in running a nice batch of light apple wine (natural cider) once. We shortly aged it in an old cellar and proudly called it  "Our Champagne", haha. Boy, was it refreshing!

    I tried my hand at making dandelion wine, too, but did not enjoy the taste.
  • thatotherguythatotherguy Member
    edited November 2019 PM
    @volunge you could always try your hand at making kvas or soda if you haven't yet! I haven't made soda, but the batch of kvas I made was quite good, and very simple. The carbonation in it was absurd though- nearly broke the glass jars I was keeping it in as I drank my way through it.

    The absinthe sounds interesting, to say the least. Not really my kind of thing, but I would try it just to say I had- so thanks for not sharing the exact recipe so I don't end up regretting it later on.
  • @volunge I forgot about dandelion wine! I still have a few small bottles from a 2016 batch tucked away in be basement. I read that you had to only have yellow flower petals and no greenery to avoid bitterness. This made it extremely labor intensive, but the taste is quite nice.
  •  Not sure if I am allowed to promote so apologies to the mods if this is a bit cheeky. There is a really friendly forum on jims beerkit. Reminds me a lot of this place, full of lots of great advice on all aspects of brewing.
  • I am brewing my own spirit- brandy from grapes called "rakia" or blumb brandy. I have small distillation unit. The alcohol vol. is at about 40 -45. In my country it is legal. Cheers
  • I have been a home brewer for about the last 45 years.
    Started off with those ridiculous boil in the bag kits in the seventies, that produced a murky brew with an inch of sediment in the bottom of the bottles. 
    Progressed to cans of malt extract with added sugar and hop powder.
    Had a break and then returned to better products, ingredients and kit.
    Then all grain. The best of all.
    Gone back to cans of malt kits of late due to time constraints.
    Been a member at jimsbeerkit for quite a few years now. Very knowledgeable people there when it comes to brewing.

  • For UK brewers,    with Brexit at the door, it could be a precautionary thing to stock up on Continental hops and yeasts if your favourite all grain recipes use them.
    The continental growers will still want to peddle their wares to us and vice versa, but who knows what the politicians will do with import and export taxes and trade processes. Could go up, could go down.

    I bet the brewers put up the price of beer in shops and pubs once we leave. Any excuse for making an extra quid for the share holders and themselves.
    Politics possibly a no no ???

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