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Subject: What beer did you make yesterday? rss

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Michael Berg
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We helped a friend brew a Mocktoberfest (ale, so it might possibly be done in time) and a Belgian Double a week ago. Was a lot of fun, from going to the grain store and trying to match the recipe with what was in stock to smelling the sugary mash all day long.

I've started researching getting my own equipment, but stuff gets expensive. Fortunately our friend has the equipment to brew five gallon batches, so to start I might just pick up a couple fermentation tanks (any suggestions?) and borrow his kettle and cooling plate.
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Paul DeStefano
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I've been working on getting hard cider.

The first step is cider. I refuse to BUY cider and move on from there.

While I have palatable cider, the hard stuff is ... suitable as a floor cleanser.
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S Squidpigge
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I bottled a braggot and a cider this weekend. I have a plum wine and a peach wine in secondary fermenter. I plan to do a hefeweizen in a week or 2 because the kegerator is starting to run light.
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S Squidpigge
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As far as equipment keep an eye out on classified ads you can find stuff for a good price. I picked up 3 6-gallon glass carboys a while back for $20. I picked up 7 cornelius kegs for 20 a piece, bought new gaskets and kept 4 and sold 3 for a profit.

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Mark Hamzy
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CasualSax wrote:
I've started researching getting my own equipment, but stuff gets expensive. Fortunately our friend has the equipment to brew five gallon batches, so to start I might just pick up a couple fermentation tanks (any suggestions?) and borrow his kettle and cooling plate.


Tell me about it.

I've bought a 10 gallon, 220 volt Blichmann Brew Easy system. A plate chiller is easily worth it when chilling down a 13 gallon batch. Since I have temperature requirements for my yeast and bacteria, I use heat belts for primary fermentation at 84F and large freezers for secondary fermentation at 60F. Also, since my garage can get to be 100+F, I have recently bought a conical fermenter and a glycol chiller.



It currently has 12 gallons of already fermented sour base beer refermenting on 24 pounds of raspberries.

For you, if you have a large refrigerator, you can put a 5 or 6 gallon glass/plastic carboy in it and wrap it with a reptile heating belt and a controller with a temperature probe to set it to a specified value.
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Mark Hamzy
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Cider is incredibly easy to make if you go through the effort of buying the juice. I would keep a one gallon jar with an airlock and bottle 2 750ml bottles every so often and refill with 1/2 gallon of juice. But I built up too many bottles of cider so I stopped making it. I still have a 5 gallon corney keg of cider that I need to dry hop with Amarillo hops and bottle.
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CasualSax wrote:
I've started researching getting my own equipment, but stuff gets expensive. Fortunately our friend has the equipment to brew five gallon batches, so to start I might just pick up a couple fermentation tanks (any suggestions?) and borrow his kettle and cooling plate.

If you have a friend to give advice on brewing from grain, then you're further ahead on the brewing curve than most people ever get. Otherwise, if you've never brewed beer on your own before, a kettle and cooling plate is very specialized equipment.
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Paul DeStefano
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hamzy wrote:
Cider is incredibly easy to make if you go through the effort of buying the juice.


HERESY!
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Michael Berg
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swmalone wrote:
As far as equipment keep an eye out on classified ads you can find stuff for a good price. I picked up 3 6-gallon glass carboys a while back for $20. I picked up 7 cornelius kegs for 20 a piece, bought new gaskets and kept 4 and sold 3 for a profit.


Definitely! Been keeping an eye on Craigslist and a few other sites. The brewing scene around Boston seems pretty healthy, so I'm hoping for a couple good deals. Saw a nice 10 gallon stainless steel kettle with a valve for $90, just didn't snag it in time.

hamzy wrote:
I've bought a 10 gallon, 220 volt Blichmann Brew Easy system. A plate chiller is easily worth it when chilling down a 13 gallon batch. Since I have temperature requirements for my yeast and bacteria, I use heat belts for primary fermentation at 84F and large freezers for secondary fermentation at 60F. Also, since my garage can get to be 100+F, I have recently bought a conical fermenter and a glycol chiller.

It currently has 12 gallons of already fermented sour base beer refermenting on 24 pounds of raspberries.

For you, if you have a large refrigerator, you can put a 5 or 6 gallon glass/plastic carboy in it and wrap it with a reptile heating belt and a controller with a temperature probe to set it to a specified value.


That Breweasy System looks really shiny and awesome - I'm not ready to sell off my board game collection to buy it! We have fridge space, but not enough for five gallons. Luckly our basement stays cool up here in Boston, and if we really get into this we'll buy a chest fridge.

MABBY wrote:
If you have a friend to give advice on brewing from grain, then you're further ahead on the brewing curve than most people ever get. Otherwise, if you've never brewed beer on your own before, a kettle and cooling plate is very specialized equipment.


The benefit (and curse) of having a knowledgable friend is that I want to dive right into the deep end. I've brewed a little from easy kits before, but until he walked us through the whole process I didn't know how much control and customization you could work into a homebrew.
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