Author Topic: Making beer (obviously NGC)  (Read 4641 times)

Offline drums4money

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Making beer (obviously NGC)
« on: December 30, 2014, 06:52:51 PM »
Anyone make beer using one of them Mr. Beer kits? 
I like beer. I'd like to try making some beer, but don't have a lot of room to get into a whole drawn out enterprise.
It's winter now, and boredom is on the horizon.

Any suggestions for a small batch -few gallons max- to see if the satsfaction of DIY is greater than picking up a 6'er of Anchor Steem or a growler of Weyerbacher?
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Offline Triple Jim

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Re: Making beer (obviously NGC)
« Reply #1 on: December 30, 2014, 06:57:11 PM »
I've been making beer for about 35 years.  I'd say a good way to get started is by going to a site like www.midwestsupplies .com or one of the other many reputable homebrew supply sites and buying a starter kit that will make five gallons at a time.  That's only two cases, and for the time you'll put into a batch, making less than that will not be something you want to repeat very often.  It can definitely be a fun hobby.

Edit:  If you have a homebrew store near you, go there and talk to the folks about the process.  Then maybe buy the stuff from them if it seems reasonable.  I tend to think mail-order because I don't have a store near me.
« Last Edit: December 30, 2014, 07:01:04 PM by Triple Jim »
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Offline normzone

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Re: Making beer (obviously NGC)
« Reply #2 on: December 30, 2014, 06:57:49 PM »
Go for it!

It's two different animals, like comparing restaurant burgers to on your own grill.

You're initial batches may not be too impressive - you can make drinkable beer but to get to the Anchor Steam / Stone Brewing level requires a little bit more time, patience and gear. But go for it, time weighs heavy on your hands and beer lightens the load.

I go back and forth between brewing my own and giving my money to others, but learn how to do it and you'll have another skillset in the toolbox.

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Offline r3bauer

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Re: Making beer (obviously NGC)
« Reply #3 on: December 30, 2014, 06:58:56 PM »
I homebrew. Never used a Mr beer. I got great reviews on my beers so far. The key to it is cleanliness and sanitization. Follow a few recipes and you will be good to go.

Offline Kent in Upstate NY

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Re: Making beer (obviously NGC)
« Reply #4 on: December 30, 2014, 07:24:30 PM »
But most Guzzisti have beer content.  ;D
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Offline Wayne Orwig

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Re: Making beer (obviously NGC)
« Reply #5 on: December 30, 2014, 07:42:35 PM »
I made homemade brew for about 10 years.
But over the years more and more good beers, and micro-brews, have become available. So I have converted my equipment to wine making. Wine is actually easier to do, since the temperature and time is less critical.
Speaking of which I need a beer growler refill.

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Offline JoeW

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Re: Making beer (obviously NGC)
« Reply #6 on: December 30, 2014, 07:45:04 PM »
I've been brewing for a few years. I've never used Mr. Brew but, I would try a brew kit from a brewing supply house or a local brew shop, if there's one in your area. I started on a stove top in a stainless pasta pot. It's worth the effort home brewing is a blast.
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Online Perazzimx14

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Re: Making beer (obviously NGC)
« Reply #7 on: December 30, 2014, 08:05:14 PM »
If your goal is to try to mimic something readily available don't waste your time or money home brewing. If you want to experiment and make something out of the ordinary you are going to waste a lot of time and money getting it right. 

Mr. Beer and boxed mac & cheese are very similar. Add water to the premeasured kit and wait. When its all said and done you'll have something palatable but not over and above. Mr. Beer is not home brewing IMHO as you have no input other than the water. 
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Offline LowRyter

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Re: Making beer (obviously NGC)
« Reply #8 on: December 30, 2014, 08:08:53 PM »
Drinking Beer (Obviously Guzzi Content)
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Offline betres

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Re: Making beer (obviously NGC)
« Reply #9 on: December 30, 2014, 08:10:18 PM »
d4$,  

kits for a gallon of beer are available from northern brewer supplies in minnesota.  great web site with a half dozen or so choices  i believe at the one gallon level, and a gazillion at the five gallon level. also, i have to say their tech support or beer support or whatever is even better than apples. they have seen it all, heard it all and done it all......and they are a hoot too.   had three batches on at the same time and all got infected.....being new i described the "symptoms and their advice was to a. drink it and write a report to drs. w/o borders, b. find a nuke dump site in a foreign country that also had u.p.s. or c. envision the rapture and drink the "kool aid"......seriously,  they are major players so all ingredients are fresh, fairly priced and backed with all the help you will need to walk you through any problems.....give it a shot, it is almost as much fun as riding......

Offline Chuck in Indiana

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Re: Making beer (obviously NGC)
« Reply #10 on: December 31, 2014, 05:32:32 AM »
To the OP.. extract brewing won't get you to the level of the majors or micros. You'll have to do all grain for that, and there's some knowledge and skill involved, along with equipment.  ;D If you're willing to make the commitment, you can brew some great stuff.
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Offline skromfols

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Re: Making beer (obviously NGC)
« Reply #11 on: December 31, 2014, 09:37:53 AM »
I spent 5 years in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia with the Army Corps of Engineers (1975 - 1980) where alcohol is against the law.  Since the Corps goes nowhere without booze we managed to smuggle in enough that we all had an adequate supply of hard liquor (our ration was 5 fifths per month), but since beer is bulky it was too hard and costly to smuggle in, so it was very limited.  Since I don't drink hard liquor and love beer I had to learn to brew.

Since that was before the internet I had to order books on how to brew (we had APO mail), then find where to order brewing equipment and supplies.  It was strictly a hit and miss procedure, and my first couple batches turned out flat and only my Brit friends liked them.  But I learned how to bottle at the correct time and learned to age my brew for at least a month, and ended up with a great product.

I used Pabst Blue Ribbon hopped liquid malt, corn sugar, brewing yeast and yeast nutrient.  I would brew 5 gallons at a time and had the process down to about an hour to brew, 3 days to ferment, and about an hour to bottle and clean up.  I brewed once a week and had to keep my brew out of sight, so I brewed on top of my wife's washer and dryer, so she only had limited days that she could do the laundry.

I probably taught 8 - 10 others how to brew while I was there, including a US Army General.  I can still remember when the general was called out of an important meeting because his wife (at his home) checked the hydrometer and found that it was time to bottle, so the general claimed he had a family emergency and put the meeting on hold while he went home to bottle.

One advantage to brewing is that you can adjust the percentage of alcohol by the amount of corn sugar you add to your brew.  I brewed anywhere from 2% to one batch at 14% alcohol.  And it doesn't affect the taste as long as you age it properly.

If anyone is interested in brewing I probably still have my instructions and my receipt around here somewhere, although I haven't brewed in many years now.
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Offline Moto Fugazzi

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Re: Making beer (obviously NGC)
« Reply #12 on: December 31, 2014, 10:35:19 AM »
I made quite a few batches back in the day. There is a Brew and Grow local to me, and they were very helpful in getting me started. It was fairly easy to do, but also a bit messy without all of the right equipment.
Ken
« Last Edit: December 31, 2014, 10:37:26 AM by Moto Fugazzi »
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Offline normzone

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Re: Making beer (obviously NGC)
« Reply #13 on: December 31, 2014, 02:45:17 PM »
Good story, [skromfols].

During Gulf War I my local homebrew store was shipping a lot of DME (dried malt extract) and yeast to the folks there. It was fermented in five gallon cans buried underneath their tents. I understand now in Afghanistan that stuff is on the not allowed to be shipped in list.
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Online Markcarovilli

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Re: Making beer (obviously NGC)
« Reply #14 on: December 31, 2014, 02:51:43 PM »
I made homemade brew for about 10 years.
But over the years more and more good beers, and micro-brews, have become available. So I have converted my equipment to wine making. Wine is actually easier to do, since the temperature and time is less critical.
Speaking of which I need a beer growler refill.



Wayne

I am with you - takes too much concentrated time to make beer. I did for a number of years and made some good brew, but so much easier too make vino.  Plus more Guzzi content with wine......


Mark

Offline radguzzi

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Re: Making beer (obviously NGC)
« Reply #15 on: December 31, 2014, 07:20:34 PM »

For Christmas of 2012 my kids, Michelle and Michael made a killer batch of IPA for me, that was so good.  Their kids call me B_Pa and they named the IPA B_Pa's Holiday Cheer.

This year they gave me the Brewer's Best Kit to make an Imperial Pale Ale, I like hoppy IPAs...  When I was home for Christmas we started the new brew. 

I find the process fun and the results can be just amazing.

http://www.brewersbestkits.com/




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Offline drums4money

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Re: Making beer (obviously NGC)
« Reply #16 on: December 31, 2014, 08:34:45 PM »
Thanks everyone for the insight & experiences. I agree that there's plenty of true "craft" to produce a brew with great flavor AND predictable outcome.  I also get the box-mix analogy.  My wife's a baker, and sometimes the brownie situation calls for something quick, low prep, with some key ingrediments pre-mixed by Betty Crocker. Not as intense as when she destroys the kitchen with the commercial grade equipment, but damn tasty when only a brownie will do. 

I'm thinking I'll dip my toes in the water with a beginner kit to get an appreciation for the steps, basic ingredients & timing/temperatures, and the sanitation of it all.  A little experience on a scale i can swallow over a few weeks time (2 to 3 gallons) would be a good gateway a larger brew (5 to 8 gallons) that i could share. 

Thanks also for mentions of some kit suppliers. Plenty of options to get a start without breaking into cycle funds.
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Offline betres

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Re: Making beer (obviously NGC)
« Reply #17 on: January 01, 2015, 06:21:28 PM »
well in a couple of months get back to us with the results drums......

Offline Triple Jim

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Re: Making beer (obviously NGC)
« Reply #18 on: January 01, 2015, 07:05:45 PM »
One of the pain in the necks of starting to brew is the two cases of beer bottles to acquire and sterilize.  Consider using 2-liter soda bottles.  They're free if you buy soda, work just fine, are easy to clean after you empty the soda, and it takes only 10 of them for a 5-gallon batch.  A bonus is you can tell when the beer is properly carbonated by squeezing them.  If you continue long-term you'll probably want to go to 5 gallon soda kegs or something similar.
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Offline Kent in Upstate NY

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Re: Making beer (obviously NGC)
« Reply #19 on: January 01, 2015, 09:26:19 PM »
One of the pain in the necks of starting to brew is the two cases of beer bottles to acquire and sterilize.  Consider using 2-liter soda bottles.  They're free if you buy soda, work just fine, are easy to clean after you empty the soda, and it takes only 10 of them for a 5-gallon batch.  A bonus is you can tell when the beer is properly carbonated by squeezing them.  If you continue long-term you'll probably want to go to 5 gallon soda kegs or something similar.

And the problem there is? I just bought 2 cases of good beer and saved the bottles after I drank the beer.
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Offline boatdetective

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Re: Making beer (obviously NGC)
« Reply #20 on: January 01, 2015, 11:21:44 PM »
Best situaation: have severaal friends who do the brewing and you show up for tasting!

My buddies do it and make fantastic beer. They have not been doing it for years either. You need to use the best ingredients and the sanitation thing is no joke. they got around the bottling by using a small keg (a soft drink keg is perfect). Not having to bottle saves lots of time. The proper gear can run you some dough- but worth it in the long run. The local church has a mens group that gets together and brews. They have a great time and make enough to sell (way better than bake sales!)
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Offline Triple Jim

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Re: Making beer (obviously NGC)
« Reply #21 on: January 02, 2015, 09:17:27 AM »
And the problem there is? I just bought 2 cases of good beer and saved the bottles after I drank the beer.

That works fine, I did it that way for several years.  Just speaking from my own experience, getting away from washing, sanitizing, filling, and capping 50 bottles makes the experience noticeably nicer.  Now I use 15.5 gallon Sankey kegs enjoy the larger batches, longer times between brews, and more free afternoons for riding.
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Offline Jim Rich

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Re: Making beer (obviously NGC)
« Reply #22 on: January 02, 2015, 12:06:43 PM »
Triple Jim is right on target.  I would skip the brew kit.  I have home brewed for 15 years and you should be able to get started for around $100.  Northern Brewer is a good supply and knowledge source. If you have a brewing supply store or better yet a homebrew club in the area go introduce yourself and see if you can take a class at the shop or go watch an experienced brewer do a batch.  It is a great hobby, I have made what I was sure was the best beer in town (after several samples  :BEER:) and made a lot of great friendships with the hobby. 

There are some great books available as well to get you started and give you ideas for things you may want to try.

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