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sKratch
01-12-2010, 07:14 PM
I was just wondering if maybe any people on here are into homebrewing (beer). I've got a couple buddies who are really into it and I'm working my way into it as well. For people who don't know anything about it, it's tons of fun and 100% legal (in the USA). Some of the start-up costs may be a little high, but once you've got the equipment you can make tons of beer for relatively low prices and you can make it however you want!

In any case, I guess feel free to share your favorite recipes or ask some questions!

Al Coholic
01-12-2010, 07:41 PM
It's something that's always really interested me but I've never known anyone who did it. I'm somewhere between beer enthusiast and connisour but always thought of working on the perfect beer.

What kind of equipment do you really need anyway? Is it something you could put into a keg yourself or are you stuck with a tub of beer?

nieh
01-12-2010, 07:46 PM
I know my brother's done it in the past. He got one of those kits (http://www.amazon.com/Mr-Beer-Premium-Gold-Home/dp/B001BCFUBU/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=home-garden&qid=1263354348&sr=8-1) for it that came with the barrel and all the necessary ingredients for like $50. I think the thing broke or something since he hasn't done it in years.

Rag Doll
01-12-2010, 07:57 PM
Some people I know do it, but they've spent a few hundred dollars on supplies....and as cool as it is, I can't see myself doing that. Plus the idea of it taking over the kitchen.... =\

However, I enjoy the beer my friend always brings to parties. It's tasty.

Al Coholic
01-12-2010, 09:26 PM
I know my brother's done it in the past. He got one of those kits (http://www.amazon.com/Mr-Beer-Premium-Gold-Home/dp/B001BCFUBU/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=home-garden&qid=1263354348&sr=8-1) for it that came with the barrel and all the necessary ingredients for like $50. I think the thing broke or something since he hasn't done it in years.

Those don't do much for me, as you're just "making" the beer, and not really designing it. Designing my own beer sounds awesome. But just brewing someone elses? Nah.

sKratch
01-12-2010, 10:21 PM
This (http://www.docsbrew.com/beerkits.htm) is what good kits will generally look like. A "standard" batch of homebrew as far as I know is 5 gallons. A great book to start off with is The Complete Joy of Homebrewing (http://www.amazon.com/Complete-Homebrewing-Third-Harperresource-Book/dp/0060531053/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1263362971&sr=8-1) and I think there's also a "For Dummies" (http://www.amazon.com/Homebrewing-Dummies-Sports-Hobbies/dp/0470230622/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1263363001&sr=1-1) book that's apparently decent.

For your first batch you would DEFINITELY want to brew straight from a recipe. Until you get the hang of exactly how certain things will effect your final product, you will fuck up without a doubt. Think about what kind of beer you like and find a recipe. If you have a homebrew shop around you (I'm lucky enough to have one 5 minutes away) talk to the employees and get some tips. They probably also have "kits" with all the ingredients ready. The problem, like you said, is there's nothing "personalized" about it, but it's tried and true and you still made it! Also, you'll probably want to stick with ales (but don't worry this covers ale, pale ale, IPA etc as well as stouts and porters) because lagers ferment at ~40F so you need a dedicated refrigerator or a leet hax0r cellar.

"Kegging" beer, as far as I know, is not an straight-forward thing to do, and I think it's very uncommon for homebrewing. Here's how the brewing process generally looks:
You cook a bunch of grain malt in water, add malt extract (which is like a thick bread syrup), boil the water and add hops, and finally you dump the mixture into a vat where it will ferment. Once it cools down you dump yeast into it which is really fucking nasty stuff. It's amazing that it doesn't make your beer taste permanently like total ass. This entire process will have taken 3-4 hours up until this point. You then cover your vat, pop a 1-way airlock on top of it, and let it sit in a dark area for a few weeks. The yeast will happily eat up the sugars in the malt and poop out ethyl alcohol. Once most of this sugar is eaten and most of the poop is pooped the beer will stop bubbling so much out of the airlock. You then get a bunch of clean empty bottles, add "priming sugar" to the beer, and fill up the bottles and cap them. The new sugar is introduced to provide more food for the yeast. They eat a little more and keep pooping and making CO2, carbonating your beer and finishing it up to perfection. After about a week or so after bottling, the beer will be ready to drink. So all in all it should take about a month to get a batch of ale. You don't end up with a "tub" of beer, you end up with 2 cases of bottles!

PS I love beer.

nieh
01-13-2010, 06:32 AM
Those don't do much for me, as you're just "making" the beer, and not really designing it. Designing my own beer sounds awesome. But just brewing someone elses? Nah.

You can add stuff or change the amount of everything that goes into it, the kit just basically gives you the basics and you can experiment from there.

Harleyquiiinn
01-13-2010, 08:15 AM
I am not really into alcohol and if I was, it would be more about red wine than beer, but I have to say, designing your own beer sounds like a really cool thing to do !

Alison
01-13-2010, 11:53 AM
Never done it, but relatives of mine have made poitin...secretly...as it's now illegal in Ireland..

nameless
01-13-2010, 04:55 PM
ive never thought about doing it before and dont find the idea that appealing really! reminded me of the simpsons episode where homer tried it though!

WebDudette
01-13-2010, 11:54 PM
I'm slowly acquiring a taste for beer, I hope the effort is going to be worth it. Beer just seems like a really interesting thing to get into, along with good liquors, wine, and cigars. That said, this is something I'd like to look into as a hobby a few years down the line.

sKratch
01-14-2010, 06:47 PM
I am not really into alcohol and if I was, it would be more about red wine than beer, but I have to say, designing your own beer sounds like a really cool thing to do !
You can make your own wine too. I don't know anything about it, but it takes a lot longer I think.

I'm slowly acquiring a taste for beer, I hope the effort is going to be worth it. Beer just seems like a really interesting thing to get into, along with good liquors, wine, and cigars. That said, this is something I'd like to look into as a hobby a few years down the line.
Beer is awesome. There's really a lot to it and after you try enough different kinds and enough different brews of the same general type you start to pick up on the subtleties. It doesn't take that long.

wheelchairman
01-14-2010, 07:32 PM
Yeah and once you pick up on the subtleties of beer you get better at choosing beer that you think tastes good, which is a great help.

Beer is just easier, cheaper and better than anything else.

sKratch
01-21-2010, 11:59 PM
So I just made my first personal batch (I've only ever brewed "under" my friend until now). It's sitting in my closet, having just pitched the yeast. In about a week or so I have to switch containers, and then in another 2 weeks it will be ready to bottle!

sKratch
02-15-2010, 11:43 AM
So my beer is done and it is delicious.