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Sir Walter Scott back in stock

Do you brew?

Opening up the topic, if it hasn't been done yet. Beer, wine, mess, and shine? Who's doing it? I brew, make mead and dabble in the shine. Just finished ten gallons of Orange blossom mead, and south
Another 5 gallons of wildflower mead. Also on the ferment is a sparkling mead with sweet orange peel.


  • I have a batch of perry sitting in a carboy slowly clearing. I made concord grape and gooseberry wines and turned a small batch of apple wine into applejack this year. There are a couple of apiaries nearby and I'll be attempting some mead in the near future. I find it's a fun hobby which can be very rewarding.
  • All I've currently got going is a batch of dandelion mead with local honey, orange slices, and dandelions. It's almost been a year since my wife and I threw that one together. We did a few small test batches of different meads to see how they would turn out and found a few recipes that we really want to scale up. I'd post the recipe but I don't have access to my recipe book right now. I also brew beer and really need to brew a batch soon. I've got the ingredients on hand for about 15 gallons of beer waiting to go in the bucket.
  • Legally Teas. I don't do alcohol
    My knowledge is worthless if not shared and applied . "Joseph McKenna"  
  • Dandelion brews are very popular where I'm from.

    I brew; wine and beer. I shine as well. I make a beautiful rum if I may say so myself, from raw molasses. I love making sour mash bourbon from corn. I've had critical folks say my neutral is more pure than store-bought, and I think that is because as a home-shiner you pay more attention to detail. I make Arak/Raki/Ouzo... and I think that's about it.

    I haven't done it for a few months now. But it's always in the back of my mind. I adore this craft. My absolute favorite hobby.
  • Used to make a lot of Beer and Mead now I make 3 gallons of Kombutcha a week for myself.
  • Shine can be very time consuming. I have ten gallons of a sugar/corn meal wash fermenting that I need to get to, but finding the time to do a run is the hard part. Probly why I enjoy making my mead, an old friend of mine is a bee keeper, so I get buckets on the cheap. And the making isn't as time consuming, and forgetting about it and letting it age, is very rewarding.
  • JustinJustin Moderator
    So what's the legal situation in the US regarding brewing and distilling? I know that brewing at home is fine in the UK, although selling your own without the proper licenses is a big no-no. I have a feeling that distilling is illegal under any circumstances, even if only for personal use, but I could be wrong.
    "Reality," sa molesworth 2, "is so unspeakably sordid it make me shudder."
  • @Justin Federal law states that each household can make 200 gallons (100 for each adult present) of beer/cider/mead/wine each year for personal consumption. You can drink it or give it away but if they catch you selling it you go away for a while. State law has their own rules and it varies, here in Georgia, State law says each household can only produce 100 gallons per year.
    Distilling is illegal without paying taxes but the smallest amount you can pay taxes and make is something like 10000 gallons (I think, I'm not entirely sure on the exact number) and you're not going to produce that much unless you also have a license to sell it, which costs more. It comes down to a matter of don't ask, don't tell, don't sell and you're not likely to get caught; but on the off chance you run your mouth at the wrong time to the wrong person you could get jailed and hit with huge fines.
  • The distillates I produce are for "automotive purposes only" thus allowing me to make what I want. But if you really think about it, with all the other substances out there and everything, a guy like myself, making less than a gallon of hooch shouldn't be a priority.
  • Yeah. I dont go around telling people, but a handfull of my closest, they know. Im not worried about a mention on the web either. I give paranoia the benefit of some slack, hehe. But yeah, its illegal in Norway anyway. We used to have a big shining subculture here... but it's down died tremendously this last generation.
    Shining is very time-consuming. That's the beauty of having a season of some big projects that you put to storage for the rest of the year. At times when I have a lot company and parties (im very much a social drinker and love it) - I feel like I'm working hard with all my liquor projects, lol... but it's a lovely hobby that gives you the opportunity to cultivate some pride in your creations...
    I very rarely buy anything store bought...
  • I'd like to learn how to brew beer, but sadly, I don't know how. Theres a new micro brewing company opening up in my town. Tried to see if they'd hire an old fart like me to sweep, or learn, or anything. I guess anyone over 30 is too old for them. I have learned to make marijuana tincture with grain alcohol.
  • @mrmanos You should read it's the free online version of John Palmers' book of the same title. "The Complete Joy of Homebrewing" by Charlie Papazian is another great resource, it's the book that I read time and time again when I was learning to brew. Either of those books will tell you what you need to get started and have sample recipes to try. is a discussion board for brewing of all kinds and is a great place to get information and swap ideas. The starting equipment is going to be your biggest cost but once you have all of that, the ingredients are pretty cheap all things considered. Most batches are 5 gallons which works out to a bit more than 50 bottles plus or minus, and it's good craft beer for half the cost of commercial craft beer. One of my favorite recipes ends up costing right at $0.75 per bottle which is cheaper than most domestic beer.
  • edited February 2014 PM
    Something made with wormwood. Strange brew; it kills what is inside of you.
    My knowledge is worthless if not shared and applied . "Joseph McKenna"  
  • I tend to leave that to the professionals, such as Trappist monks and micro/nano breweries.
  • Psh... "something made with wormwood". Absinthes effects are completely exaggerated in the lore... the only added thing wormwood does to a brew is stimulate you and make you more awake while drinking.
    You gotta love it though, the lore and mystery, history, reputation and serving traditions...
    Love the beverage.
  • edited February 2014 PM
    @Mario84 can't speak for absinthe, but wormwood kills intestinal parasites. Some people will experience food poisoning but they could have a reaction to a parasite infection. common when eating out at low standards kitchens. If you want to feel the effects try smoking some, mixes well with catnip herb
    My knowledge is worthless if not shared and applied . "Joseph McKenna"  
  • Aha... interesting, @basement_shaman ... I will definitely note the mix down! Might render an otherwise boring afternoon to something a bit more interesting ^^
  • @mrmanos Look for a hombrew club or shop or contest in your area. Bring a 6pk of good craft beer to a homebrew club meeting or a homebrew contest, and just start asking polite questions, even if you think your questions are stupid. Most brewers are very eager to show off and share their beers and knowledge, and you can take it from there. Try asking if you can come by to "help" an experienced homebrewer the next time they brew, and have them explain it to you.

    Used to brew, but gave it up when I moved.

    Also, if you ever want to have a good time, volunteer to help out at a homebrew contest or beer tasting event. Not only will you most likely get in for free, but you'll be able to meet some good people, taste some good beer, and maybe even take home some schwag if the event features commercial beers and the brewery rep likes you or if you help clean up. :-)
  • I've been brewing small batches of cider lately, mostly just to get my recipes and techniques down before a big brew, and has generally been coming out good. I would like to begin trying some other types of fruit juice to get a nice wine, although the last batch of white grape I tried didn't turn out well at all..
  • I've been brewing beer and making wine for 35 years. Always got at least 20 gallons of ale and 5 gallons of wine in stock! I'm an unsocial bugger at the best of times but paying for inferior wine and beer during those unavoidable social occasions actually breaks my heart...
  • edited December 2015 PM
    This Man got the setup.I had to look twice

    My knowledge is worthless if not shared and applied . "Joseph McKenna"  
  • Oh boy, love the YouTube videos basement_shaman =))
  • Just tested my Imperial Stout and I have to say it's my best batch yet. Spiced with licorice root and 'holiday' spices. I think I'll brew another batch at the end of this year to give away as Christmas presents. Think I'll call it Neal's Dark Gift.
  • I brew everything that I drink which contains alcohol. Stout is my staple, and the latest chocolate,oat and vanilla concoction ( 5.8% ABV ) is a cracker. I make all the missus' wine too, but I used a different brand of yeast for the last two batches and it's giving me a LOT of grief. I can't be doing with this type of sub standard crapola.
  • I would like to try my hand at wine sometime. But I'm pretty invested in beer at this point so I'll probably stick with that for the forseeable future. I brew all over the spectrum, stouts and porters pale ales and IPA's sometimes a DIPA or Imperial stout if I want to take the time and headache. I give most of it away because I brew way more than I can drink personally, especially the really hoppy ones with the shorter shelf lives. My friends think I should start a brewpub or something, but I think the craft beer movement is reaching critical mass and will be downsizing in the near future.
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