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Everything Homebrew!

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posted on Apr, 8 2013 @ 03:47 PM
My ElderBetty clone has been in the keg for a couple of weeks now and I snuck a glass or two.
There is a gold color with a hint of lavender to it. The berries really tinted the beer.
The taste is still young, but it has a fruity flavor to it. I was told it had a wine like finish, I guess I can see that.
The clarity so far isn't great, but I attribute that to sediment at the bottom of the keg being pulled into the glass.

Two weeks at about 30 psi and soon to be dialed back to about 12 psi in the fridge.
I'm eager to get some Magic Hat and compare, but that will have to wait until next week or so.

posted on Apr, 8 2013 @ 07:23 PM
reply to post by shadow watcher

Dangit, National Homebrew Day is coming up quick. (May 5th!) I was gonna do a Cyser (love Mead, have bees!) but there's not enough time left, not really, it would be rushed. I like to take a case of whatever for our NHD party. We usually have 10-40 people show up, pending on the weather, 2-3 5 gallon kegs, and several cases of various homebrews to sample. On the National registry, for the AHA, we are listed as "Part Time Brewers". We've been officially participating for about 7 years. Or so. Quite a while.

Over the next couple days I may do a honey wheat, but I have to calculate my grains. I'm thinking 2 pounds of 2-two, 4 pounds of wheat, and 4 pounds of honey. I have an App (BrewR) that is really handy for calculations, and I'll have to tweak it a bit and decide the final recipe, but I'll post the recipe after I finish it. After having moderate success with clone recipes and extracts, my buddy and I only do all-grain anymore, and we start our recruits out with extracts. There's a beauty to taking grain and turning it into sugar, and then alcohol.

All-grain brewing is really not that hard. Sure, it's a bit more technical than extracts, but the beauty of homebrewing is the freedom to tinker. There is no such thing as a bad batch of brew. (Unless, of course, it spoils from a sanitation problem.)

posted on Apr, 8 2013 @ 08:57 PM
Well I decided to have a few glasses to purge the sediment from the bottom of the keg.
The first glass was a bit muddy but it got progressively more clear.....(hic) as I pushed through.
If I lived near to you Druid, I'd bring a keg along to share. Hmmmm...Maybe if I rigged a small transport trailer to my motorcycle I could make a long trip. I bet I'd need a lot of dry ice. haha

I too enjoy all grain batches, lately since I'm teaching a few guys the basics, I have been making many 'kit' type beers. My wife found a few friends spouses looking to learn the hobby so it looks like I'll be brewing all summer long. I'll have to look back and see, but have you described your all grain equipment? Do you have a false bottom kettle or a cooler conversion?

We may need pics

posted on Apr, 9 2013 @ 11:33 PM
reply to post by shadow watcher

I have a homemade lauter tun for mashing in. Yes, false bottom. Before you think I have fancy equipment, let me say that my buddy and I go with the least sophisticated method possible. Our rigs are all homemade, to serve a purpose, and we've seen the wooden rigs and tiered racks with all sorts of stations, and that's WHY we started our own brewing group. We don't believe in fancy rigs to make good brew. We lean to the chemistry aspect, and like to calculate heat drop in a fresh mash. Yes, we use thermometers, but I would love to be at the level of expertise where I could dip my finger in a bowl of sanitizer, then wort, and know the mash temp.

But yeah, pics are welcomed, if you like. Please share your own. I may run through the procedure, from start to finish, just so you can get a hoot. I'll have a nice OG, and a target to meet.

I have to bottle by the 5th of May. Tick-tock.


I piddled a bit with the recipe, and showed it to my brewing buddy. He said it's good, but never had that variety...

I'm trying to work in a Honigweizenbock. (Honey wheat bock.)

I'll just offer the specs, and let you guys provide comments.

Name: Honigweizenbock.

Style: Weizenbock.

The style states:
OG: 1.064-1.080
IBU: 15-30
Color: 12-25
FG: 1.015-1.022

My recipe:
OG: 1.071
IBU: 20.1
Color: 18.6
Est. FG: 1.018
ABV: 7.0%

The recipe:

5 lb. Honey
5 lb. Wheat (US)
2 lb. Crystal 90L
2 oz, Saaz for boil
Wyeast # 1068.

Apps are great for calculations, but this needs put into realistic terms.

The honey is set to the side, and gets added in right before the hops, before the boil.

There are only 7 pounds of fermentables left, but they are grain. Non-crushed, nothing. Just grain. How do you make beer out of grain?

That's the beauty of all grain brewing. Freedom. My brew buddy, BTW, makes random brews, and is past the retirement age. He used to be a chemistry teacher, in his younger years. He's nearly a guru.

He got me to quit worrying about equipment, and focus on sanitation and the enzymatic process going on with each type of grain.

So I have freedom.

My buddy has a hand crank mill, to crush the grains. In the first step, the kernel needs cracked to release the sugars. I used to argue about automation, and he refuses. I conceded. On HBD, I crush my grain my hand. It's the tradition. (Besides, my electric unit didn't win, as I had no better conversion rate.) IT takes a while to grind 15 pounds of grain, but, in the process, I realize the reason. IF tshtf.

Once a year, I'll grind grains by hand, smile, and have fun.

So I have 7 pounds of cracked grain, what do I do? (A normal all-grain recipe is 15 pounds of grain or so, cracked.]

In my recipe, I am doing a partial boil, meaning the volume of my brew kettle will never exceed 3 gallons. I am making a concentrate. (Kinda odd, when you consider everyone tells you a 5 gallon mash. It's all in how you calculate.) When my three gallon boil is done, I will add ice cold water to bring it up to volume. That's two gallons on icy water, and it drops the temp from 212 degrees to 170 really quick. It cuts down on chiller time.

Once volume and temp are met, and an OG reading is taken, I pitch yeast and add a fermentation lock.

I skipped the cracked grain to boil segment. That is the essence of converting grain to sugar, and the miracle of homebrew. No more DME for you. I want to designate a single post for that transition. I may even persuade my brew buddy to post about it. He is a member, and has posted in this thread, but not lately. He may post, I'll have to ask, but no guarantees.

posted on Apr, 10 2013 @ 07:17 AM
Thanks for the tips. I was lucky that my neighbor bought a wort chiller last year and I've grown to really love it.
I too do 3 gallon boils and use 2 gallons of cold water to speed up pitch time. The chiller is nice for the push to final temp. I don't have a grain mill but where I buy my supplies, they do, so it's cool.

When you do the all grain mash, how long to you hold it at 170 for optimal conversion?
I always worry that I'm not converting long enough.

I'm still hoping to convert my 15 gal keg to a brew pot. I really need a false bottom set up.

posted on Apr, 10 2013 @ 08:41 PM
Druid. Do you add the honey before the boil or after? Doesn't seem to be a need for submitting it to the rigours of th boil.

posted on Apr, 10 2013 @ 09:07 PM
By the way. National Homebrew Day is May 4th this year not the 5th. Always the 1st Saturday in May.

posted on Apr, 10 2013 @ 09:41 PM
reply to post by PartTimeBrewer

At the rate of consumption, I worry that I may run out before the 4th!!
This is why we ALWAYS make back to back batches. My guys are slacking!

Ok, here's a brewer's conundrum.
We have two types on brew night, the brewers and the drinkers. The brewers do all the work and cover all costs. The drinkers 'visit' on brew night and hang about watching and drinking (mostly drinking). The question is should we make an effort to save the drinkers some brew or should it be their luck of the draw? I've been known to barter for brew, but all too often there is no attempt to barter. I am far from stingy with my beer and everyone wants to have some set aside for them, but sometimes a batch is so good, it drains QUICK. I try to get the drinkers to convert to brewers, but they decline for various reasons.

It can be a tough spot being between sharing great beer and supplying the house.

posted on Apr, 11 2013 @ 07:19 PM
reply to post by shadow watcher
I tend to like everything that I brew to be cold conditioned for at least a month or more, no matter what the style. So every January l brew 3 batches to serve on Brew Day and I leave them largely untouched in my dedicated cooler until the day, then it's first come first served. As you point out, we have both brewers and drinkers, but its usually Druid42 that consumes the most. That's OK because he always brings some of his own. Most of the rest of the people are curiosity seekers who come and go. Those few others who do drink a lot usually come with 6/12 packs of some craft brew to share.

edit on 11-4-2013 by PartTimeBrewer because: misspelling

edit on 11-4-2013 by PartTimeBrewer because: (no reason given)

posted on Apr, 11 2013 @ 10:19 PM
Yeah, I really don't mind serving, We just have a running joke about who is going to show up on brew night.
I am always hopeful they will catch the bug so we could swap out a variety of beers, but we all have fun anyway.

I usually let the summer beers chill for a few weeks, but this particular one I was too excited to wait.
The winter brews are the hard ones to wait for, so we usually will do a 'secondary' quick beer to tide us over until the good stuff is ready.

I wish I lived near you guys, it would be fun to swap ideas and consume.

posted on Apr, 12 2013 @ 12:10 AM

Originally posted by PartTimeBrewer
Druid. Do you add the honey before the boil or after? Doesn't seem to be a need for submitting it to the rigours of th boil.

Ah. It's after the boil, but before the chilling to pitching temp. 30 minutes at 160 degrees F is how I pasteurize for Mead, but factor in the drop from 212 degrees F, to 160, and if you add the honey directly after the boil, and stir, it dissolves nicely, and is nicely blended before pitching yeast. Both pasteurized and blended.

posted on Apr, 12 2013 @ 12:11 AM

edit on 4/12/13 by Druid42 because: dbl post

posted on Apr, 12 2013 @ 12:24 AM
reply to post by PartTimeBrewer

largely untouched in my dedicated cooler until the day,

Kegorator details?

but its usually Druid42 that consumes the most.

True. I have never in all the years been able to deplete your stores. Not ever even close.

posted on Apr, 12 2013 @ 08:07 AM
reply to post by Druid42

Interesting hybrid in a Mead/Bock. Just noted that you are using a wheat-malt with cristal malt mix whereas Bocks usually have a hardier Munich or Vienna base malt cut with a Pilzner or wheat. Are you using wheat because of its ability ro better attenuate the sugars?

It seems to me using adding a high attenuating base malt like a wheat would be adding more sweetness to your honey? Was wondering if you had considered using Munich or Vienna to accentuate more malty flavours? To compensate for the honey sweetness.

Just thinking out loud really. But since you have made honey based beers and I haven't, you would be in a much better position to enlighten me.

posted on Apr, 17 2013 @ 10:41 AM
My son's Amber Boch clone he made was a success!

Now he's making a Honey Porter this morning. Partial grain. Here's a pic of the specialty grains steeping:

64 ounces of amber malt
32 ounces of honey.
US Goldings and Cascade hops.

posted on Apr, 17 2013 @ 11:12 AM
reply to post by palg1

Interesting style comments. I'll have to run the differences, and see the results. I'm not set on the recipe yet, saving it for actual homebrew day, so I'll tweak it a bit more now that you've pointed out those factors.

I was going for simple, wheat and honey, and getting it into the proper range.

posted on Apr, 17 2013 @ 11:15 AM
reply to post by eriktheawful

Don't forget to get that OG reading!

That looks like a partial boil, as well. Nice. Saves on time spent chilling to pitching temp.

posted on Apr, 17 2013 @ 12:07 PM

Originally posted by Druid42
reply to post by eriktheawful

Don't forget to get that OG reading!

That looks like a partial boil, as well. Nice. Saves on time spent chilling to pitching temp.

We have a inline chiller to cool the wert down for pitching. Built it myself with parts from Lowes. Works like champ.

posted on Apr, 17 2013 @ 05:15 PM
OG readings are my downfall. Too many sips while brewing makes me forget every time.
You should snap a pick of your chiller, ours is the typical brew store one. I bet yours was much more inexpensive.

BTW, my hops plant is awake and happy as can be! So many little shoots coming up.

posted on Apr, 17 2013 @ 06:48 PM
reply to post by shadow watcher

Here you go, just two plastic hoses clamped to copper tubing, with one of the hoses having a garden hose attachment. Can't remember what the total cost was, but I know it was a LOT less than buying one.

I need to clean it up as it's all sticky with wort, hehehehehe:

It cooled the wort from 200+ down to 78 in about 15 minutes and that was 3 1/2 gallons.
edit on 17-4-2013 by eriktheawful because: (no reason given)

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