Author Topic: Homebrewing Notes/Thoughts  (Read 9641 times)

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Homebrewing Notes/Thoughts
« on: September 04, 2012, 05:54:33 PM »

Offline indeedproceed

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Hey, I've got a kind of specific request. I know there are about 10-15 homebrewers on here so rather than message all of you, I'm going to blindly just send this out there:

My girlfriend fiance wife has been listening to me kvetch about not having homebrew for around a year now. I quit because we moved, and my entire brewing setup was hinged on my house at the time. I've just never tried to make the transition at our new place. She is determined to make me make the transition, so for my birthday next month, she's gonna be buying some crap.

I need a banjo burner (we've got propane, but its a woefully tiny stove, and I'd use the whole tank in all likelihood):

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000291GBQ/ref=ox_sc_act_title_3?ie=UTF8&smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER

I need a secondary brewpot:
http://www.amazon.com/Bayou-Classic-4042-42-Quart-All-Purpose/dp/B0000BXHL3/ref=pd_bxgy_lg_img_y

I need a clip on liquid thermometer:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000095RBQ/ref=ox_sc_act_title_5?ie=UTF8&smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER

I need a straining bag:
http://www.amazon.com/Nylon-Straining-Bag--Fine-Mesh/dp/B006O2F4FE/

I need a wort chiller:
http://www.amazon.com/Copper-Coil-Immersion-Chiller-Length/dp/B002NZNJG2/

I need starsan, and I need a bottle tree, but I'll likely make one, and buy the other on my own.

I also need a sweet new joint to buy beer kits, because northern brewer totally sucked the fun out of it by killing their $7.99 flat rate shipping. BTW, here is the crappy reply I got back from NB when I asked about it:

Quote
Hi There,

We did stop our flat rate shipping last Saturday, as flat rate shipping always will have hidden costs in the products, themselves. So, we dropped that in exchange for faster shipping times, lower costs on 100s of products, and our new beer kit guarantee, where we replace a beer kit for you for free if you are not satisfied with it.

Cheers,

Ilan

I mean, it'd be cool if the prices actually dropped, but the prices didn't drop. If I'm paying $40 for a basic kit with wyeast before shipping, they didn't drop. ANGRYYYY!!!!

Well anyways, I need deals. I want to make it as easy/painless for my girlfriend fiance wife to get me brewing again, and part of that is keeping the cost down so she doesn't spend too much of my our hard earned money.

Any help receives TP's.
« Last Edit: October 31, 2012, 10:31:26 PM by IndeedProceed »

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Re: Hey Homebrewers: I'm Looking For Deals, Help!
« Reply #1 on: September 04, 2012, 06:22:46 PM »

Online Lucky17

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Funny, I just submitted an order to NB last night (so I can turn around quickly after hop harvest party this Friday at my friend's place), and noticed the change in shipping policy.

I ordered my initial brew equipment kit (the Gold with glass carboy, IIRC) from these guys:

http://www.monsterbrew.com/Cat-EquipmentKits.cfm

Otherwise, I've gotten my gear (such that it is) and ingredients from Craigslist, my local HBSS, and NB, so I don't have much experience in alternate vendor options for you, I'm afraid.

Still, I'm heartened by the fact that you're getting back into it. Hard to keep a good man down. Is the girlfriend fiancee wife a beer drinker?
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Re: Hey Homebrewers: I'm Looking For Deals, Help!
« Reply #2 on: September 04, 2012, 09:21:05 PM »

Offline indeedproceed

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Yeah she's a beer drinker, and her taste is evolving, so she likes mine now too! Used to be she would see a racer 5 in the fridge and walk away. No more. I liked it better when she just drank bud light.

I'll check out the link lucky, thanks!

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Re: Hey Homebrewers: I'm Looking For Deals, Help!
« Reply #3 on: September 04, 2012, 09:22:55 PM »

Offline the_Bird

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I'm just getting back into brewing after a move, too (two batches in the past three weeks, though!).  I've been buying my stuff locally, so can't really help with finding a new store.  I've always loved NB, always gotten good stuff from them so I'd probably stick with them myself.  Austin Homebrew, I've bought a few things there but they've always seemed expensive. 

Brewmaster's Warehouse still offered $6.99 shipping, I don't think I've shopped there but I've chatted with the owner on HBT and he's got a great reputation.  I'd take a gander at his stuff.  He does that "Brewbuilder," where you put in your recipe and he blends it all together for you (so you don't end up with an extra half-pound of Special B or whatever).

Are you doing extract or all-grain?  If AG, maybe make an investment in a bag of base malt the next time you're near a local shop, then you'd just have to buy your specialty ingredients on a per-recipe basis. 

Probably better to ask this question on HBT, although you'll probably get three hundred responses to sort through.

Re: Hey Homebrewers: I'm Looking For Deals, Help!
« Reply #4 on: September 04, 2012, 09:28:29 PM »

Offline the_Bird

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Oh, and MoreBeer still has free shipping on $59+ orders, but I've always heard that their shipping is a bit spotty.  The one order I made from them (because I had won a gift card), they screwed up.  It's also clear across country, and it takes a while' if you want to brew, you better plan ahead. 

I've had good luck with Williams Brewing, too.  Shipping is also subsidized.

Honestly, the best answer is probably for you to price out the total cost with all five or six of these shops with whatever recipe you're planning, and just see what the totals run out to.  I never thought of NB as being cheapest, anyway, I bought stuff from them because they never once screwed up and stuff always got to my door pretty quick even with the cheap/free shipping.

Last; I'm guessing no local shops?
« Last Edit: October 31, 2012, 10:33:24 PM by IndeedProceed »

Re: Homebrewing Notes/Thoughts
« Reply #5 on: October 31, 2012, 10:45:39 PM »

Offline indeedproceed

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So first batch in Ober a year is in the bucket as of last night. It's the Dead Ringer kit from northern brewer.

Everything went awesome. To everyone out there who isn't using a banjo burner (like you'd use for a turkey deep-fryer) and has the space to do it, stop wasting time. I got 7 gallons to a boil within 35 minutes, and there is no recover time when you cut the heat to put in your extract (if like me you haven't gone all grain).

Everything went great, my only wish is that my wort chiller was a bit bigger. Took 15 minutes of wasting lots of water to get the heat down. I bet I used 15 gallons total for a 5 gallon batch.

Also, if you're not using yeast starters, you're wrong. I've never seen a bucket explode like this before, had to go to a blowoff tube within 3 hours of sealing it. My airlock was already full of beer.

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Re: Homebrewing Notes/Thoughts
« Reply #6 on: October 31, 2012, 11:51:41 PM »

Offline indeedproceed

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Also Bird, since I never said it before, thanks for the responses. Gave me a lot to think about.

Another question: with a yeast starter, is there a huge difference between Wyeast and Safale dried yeast? I got 3 more kits, and one Wyeast and 2 safales. Is it worth buying the Wyeast in a separate order?

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Re: Homebrewing Notes/Thoughts
« Reply #7 on: November 11, 2012, 11:35:29 PM »

Offline indeedproceed

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So I've been nuts about Yeast starters. But, I think I done messed up.

I did a starter with 2 packs of dried yeast for a imperial stout I'm brewing on Tuesday. Apparently you're not supposed to do yeast starters with dried yeast (normally I'm a smack pack guy), and now I'm concerned about over-pitching.

Otherwise, got. Honey porter bubbling happily in the primary and a IPA stoic and beautiful in the secondary. Man I missed this.

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Re: Homebrewing Notes/Thoughts
« Reply #8 on: November 16, 2012, 01:00:32 AM »

Offline indeedproceed

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There is beer on my ceiling. My big stout exploded, twice. And the second time, I forgot to sanitize. Infection is very likely, but heaven help the bug that tries to compete with my yeast right now. It is just demolishing the beer right now.

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Re: Homebrewing Notes/Thoughts
« Reply #9 on: December 03, 2012, 01:00:44 AM »

Offline indeedproceed

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Just put another batch in the bucket. A big scotch ale with a 90 minute boil, and man it smells good. And thankful to be back using Wyeast after my last 2 Safeale batches.

Right now I've got too much beer. I've got an IPA I bottled last week, a honey porter Im bottling sometime this week, a Big Stout (that exploded in the above post, still holding out hope it'll work out), a big Lager that'll be done sometime in March or May, and the Wee Heavy I made today. For those keeping track at home, that's 25 gallons of homebrew, or 250 beers. Anyone thirsty?

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Re: Homebrewing Notes/Thoughts
« Reply #10 on: December 03, 2012, 01:12:58 AM »

Offline foulweatherfan

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I just brewed a batch of a Bell's Two Hearted clone kit.  Used the liquid yeast for the first time and I'm excited to see how it turns out.  Hope it's good since it's gonna be like half my Christmas presents. 

On the other hand, I just looked up yeast starters and concluded I'm in no hurry whatsoever to tack that onto the routine  >:(

Re: Homebrewing Notes/Thoughts
« Reply #11 on: December 03, 2012, 01:32:47 AM »

Offline indeedproceed

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I just brewed a batch of a Bell's Two Hearted clone kit.  Used the liquid yeast for the first time and I'm excited to see how it turns out.  Hope it's good since it's gonna be like half my Christmas presents. 

On the other hand, I just looked up yeast starters and concluded I'm in no hurry whatsoever to tack that onto the routine  >:(

The IPA I made was called 'Dead Ringer'. It used to be called 'Three Hearted Ale', and apparently it's like the Bell's 2 Hearted. I used the Wyeat American Ale II and so far it's been big, bitter, not as citrusy/piney as Id like but still delicious. Even flat.

How to make a Yeast Starter:

You need: 1 Erlynmeyer (sp?) flask, preferably 2000ml, 1 pound DME, stopper (piece of breathable foam to fit inside the flask)
0) 3 hrs before, smack the pack, leave somewhere warm
1) fill flask up 3/4, dump into pan, bring to boil.
2) Cut heat, add DME, return to boil, 10 mins.
3) Pour into flask, aluminum foil top of flask, stopper sink, fill sink with could water up to waterline in flask, put flask in sink, do something else for 15 minutes
4) pitch expanded smack pack into flask, stopper it with foam
5) everytime you walk past it in the next day, pick it up and swirl it to get the yeast off the bottom, give it at least 12 hours and not more than 48

Starters greatly decrease chance of infection, make better beer with less off-flavors, and are kinda cool to make. Takes about as much effort as making rice, all said and done.

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Re: Homebrewing Notes/Thoughts
« Reply #12 on: December 03, 2012, 01:42:06 AM »

Offline indeedproceed

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Also, I get to fuel my neighbors suspicion that Im cooking meth, with weird chemical flasks that contain a cloudy yellow substance. Win-win.

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Re: Homebrewing Notes/Thoughts
« Reply #13 on: December 03, 2012, 03:54:15 AM »

Offline Kiorrik

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This topic is all kinds of epic.

Re: Homebrewing Notes/Thoughts
« Reply #14 on: December 03, 2012, 04:43:31 PM »

Offline foulweatherfan

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I just brewed a batch of a Bell's Two Hearted clone kit.  Used the liquid yeast for the first time and I'm excited to see how it turns out.  Hope it's good since it's gonna be like half my Christmas presents. 

On the other hand, I just looked up yeast starters and concluded I'm in no hurry whatsoever to tack that onto the routine  >:(

The IPA I made was called 'Dead Ringer'. It used to be called 'Three Hearted Ale', and apparently it's like the Bell's 2 Hearted. I used the Wyeat American Ale II and so far it's been big, bitter, not as citrusy/piney as Id like but still delicious. Even flat.

How to make a Yeast Starter:

You need: 1 Erlynmeyer (sp?) flask, preferably 2000ml, 1 pound DME, stopper (piece of breathable foam to fit inside the flask)
0) 3 hrs before, smack the pack, leave somewhere warm
1) fill flask up 3/4, dump into pan, bring to boil.
2) Cut heat, add DME, return to boil, 10 mins.
3) Pour into flask, aluminum foil top of flask, stopper sink, fill sink with could water up to waterline in flask, put flask in sink, do something else for 15 minutes
4) pitch expanded smack pack into flask, stopper it with foam
5) everytime you walk past it in the next day, pick it up and swirl it to get the yeast off the bottom, give it at least 12 hours and not more than 48

Starters greatly decrease chance of infection, make better beer with less off-flavors, and are kinda cool to make. Takes about as much effort as making rice, all said and done.

Yeah, the Dead Ringer is the kit I made.  Haven't tried it before.

I get the rationale for the starter, but the "Yo dawg I heard u like brewing so we made brew u brew b4 u brew so u can add brew 2 ur brew and make it brewier" aspect is a little daunting, since I already have trouble finding time as it is.  Sounds like a problem for 2013 FWF, that guy seems pretty on the ball.

 

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