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Old 04-26-2016, 04:42 PM   #2141
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It's a slippery slope. You could get started on the cheap for under $150 or so, doing stovetop batches. It won't make great beer, but it'll make beer. to get better, you'll need temperature control (which is usually a Fridge with a temp controller box. Then you'll realize, "DAMN, I could make 10 gallons in the same amount of time". You'll sell off your small equipment for the next step up, After a few hundred on kettles, chillers, inline water filtration, and etc. you'll decide "Man, bottling all this beer sucks!". Now you are building a 4 or 5 tap kegerator. Pretty soom, you'll end up with a bigass banjo burner setup, a 35 gallon kettle, 2 fermentation fridges (or a 2-door commercial fridge if you find one at auction), a separate fridge /freezer for buying hops in bulk, a 10 tap kegerator, Also, a bigger garage.

**** just tends to snowball...





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Old 04-26-2016, 04:48 PM   #2142
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PS, that's 70 gallons of various lagers (Light American, Mexi, Marzen, Schwarzbier) a few slugs of yeast, and some specialty bottled brews. The pic is a friend's keggerator. I'd never be able to cycle that much brew.

Last edited by demoniam; 04-26-2016 at 05:11 PM.
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Old 04-26-2016, 05:00 PM   #2143
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Quote:
Originally Posted by demoniam View Post
It's a slippery slope. You could get started on the cheap for under $150 or so, doing stovetop batches. It won't make great beer, but it'll make beer. to get better, you'll need temperature control (which is usually a Fridge with a temp controller box. Then you'll realize, "DAMN, I could make 10 gallons in the same amount of time". You'll sell off your small equipment for the next step up, After a few hundred on kettles, chillers, inline water filtration, and etc. you'll decide "Man, bottling all this beer sucks!". Now you are building a 4 or 5 tap kegerator. Pretty soom, you'll end up with a bigass banjo burner setup, a 35 gallon kettle, 2 fermentation fridges (or a 2-door commercial fridge if you find one at auction), a separate fridge /freezer for buying hops in bulk, a 10 tap kegerator, Also, a bigger garage.

**** just tends to snowball...



Oh damn, seems like it sucks you in pretty quickly just like any other hobby.
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Old 04-26-2016, 05:09 PM   #2144
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Pretty much. The worst part is the space required, when you start brewing like that. Grain storage, equipment, etc. Keep in mind, this is admittedly the deep end. It's perfectly doable to have a 15g "Keggle" setup, brew 5-10g batches and be perfectly happy. Buying grain by the sack saves a ton of money, but obviously it's got to go somewhere.
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Old 04-26-2016, 05:38 PM   #2145
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Quote:
Originally Posted by demoniam View Post
PS, that's 70 gallons of various lagers (Light American, Mexi, Marzen, Schwarzbier) a few slugs of yeast, and some specialty bottled brews. The pic is a friend's keggerator. I'd never be able to cycle that much brew.
I was gonna say, you sir have a problem not a hobby

I've got a 4 tap keezer that I built for my wedding that I'm trying to transition away from. Its next to my computer desk in my office (because it didn't fit anywhere else) and it makes it WAY too convenient to just turn the chair 90° pull a pint and go back to reading/gaming/whatever. At one point I couldn't keep it filled, but now most of my drinking friends have moved away so I need to scale back.
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Originally Posted by ApexAddict View Post
Oh damn, seems like it sucks you in pretty quickly just like any other hobby.
You have no idea. Once you 'learn' your equipment and you start experimenting you can't get enough of it. You start acting like a hobo stealing empty bottles from friends at parties, because ****, who wants to buy glass?
Quote:
Originally Posted by demoniam View Post
Pretty much. The worst part is the space required, when you start brewing like that. Grain storage, equipment, etc. Keep in mind, this is admittedly the deep end. It's perfectly doable to have a 15g "Keggle" setup, brew 5-10g batches and be perfectly happy. Buying grain by the sack saves a ton of money, but obviously it's got to go somewhere.
Exactly. I went from bottling 5g stovetop batches and thinking "this is an awful lot of work for only 5g of beer" to kegging 10/15g batches and thinking "**** me, what am I going to do with all this damn beer?"

Time is also a huge factor, for me anyway. Regardless of how much pre-prep I try to do it always ends up being a huge time sink.
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Old 04-26-2016, 06:26 PM   #2146
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I already fear my ability to consume the stockade of bottled beer I currently have aging in the basement. Sadly, the thought of having that much fresh beer on tap reminds me that I haven't got that many friends.
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Old 04-26-2016, 06:39 PM   #2147
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I stopped brewing. Hell, I can buy beer. Only the occasional batch of mead for the summer months these days. Sure, you can brew cheaper, if your time isn't worth anything. I have too much else to do to mess with beer.
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Old 04-26-2016, 11:15 PM   #2148
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I've been brewing over 10 years (with breaks here and there due to poverty, being busy, living in a box, etc). I started with partial mash for a few years, then did brew in a bag for years and now do brew in a basket. In all honesty you can make awesome stuff with almost any set of equipment, so long as you practice good sanitation (spray everything repeatedly with starsan, the brewing equivalent of THIN YOUR PAINTS), use common sense, are consistent in your technique and take copious notes and measurements. Being able to recognize flaws and understand them helps to refine your technique.

You need to remember that the number one priority is to prevent infection because the taste of **** is hard to age out of a beer.
Your main goal is to quickly get the wort from boiling to under 100F (yeast like this) without spending a lot of time between 100-120F (bacteria can stand this but yeast can't, so they'll try to take over your wort). So long as you didn't completely botch the mash temperature or completely botch the recipe proportions and you didn't infect your wort with bacteria, you'll probably get something drinkable about 90 percent of the time. 99 percent of the time if you're following an established recipe. And a lot of the time if you **** up the recipe it will still come out really good. A lot of flaws disappear if you let the beer age on the yeast cake or lager in the fridge for a while. A beer that tastes kind of meh at first can taste awesome after sitting in a fridge for a month. One neat trick for chilling wort quickly/cheaply is to brew up a 5 gallon batch, boil it down to 4 gallons or so and then chill it by freezing a one gallon jug of distilled water and dumping the icy water in the wort to chill it quickly. Don't use ice cubes, they're crawling with bacteria.

Equipment- minimum version:
You need a 10 gallon brew kettle, a 6.5 gallon sanitary bucket with an airlock and a nylon bag for the grains and a nylon bag for the hops. And something to store the beer afterwards, like bottles, kegs, jugs, etc. That's well under 100 bucks of stuff. Oh and a racking cane. AND STARSAN. Take a spray bottle, fill it with a mix of water and starsan, and spray everything wort or beer will touch.

My current setup, which produces a complete 5 gallon batch in about 3 hours (then a week fermenting):
  • Mash/Boil
    • 10 gallon kettle with ball valve and thermometer- available on amazon (bayou classic 10 gallon, was about 160 I think)
    • my custom stainless filter basket (what I use instead of nylon bags- this cost me about 160+ and I consider it to have been worthwhile)- arborfab.com
    • counter flow chiller (hooks up to the garden hose, chills five gallons in like 10 minutes tops- this is the best chilling method and makes it much easier to pitch immediately after boil with zero infection risk)- B3-12A 20 Plate Beer Wort Chiller from duda diesel on amazon (about 80 bucks, well worth it as well)
  • Fermentation
    • I took the smallest bedroom of the house and covered all the windows in reflective insulation to keep the heat out and then I put in a cheap window air conditioner with a digital control unit. Total cost about 100 bucks and I can brew low temperature beers even when it's 95 outside.
  • Store
    • I got my corny kegs over 10 years ago from some soda vendor guy for like 5 bucks each. I also have a CO2 bottle I got for cheap from a fellow brewer who was going up to an industrial sized one. Total cost like 30 bucks maybe.
    • I spent 200 bucks on a small refrigerator that holds 2 corny kegs. Before I bought the kegerator, I had a normal fridge that was divided in half- one half was for shelves for food the other half was for kegs. This is only advisable if you're single

Basic process:
  1. Decide what you will brew
  2. Purchase grains, hops and yeast.
  3. Grind the grains
  4. Mash the grains at the appropriate temperature. (a lot of beers are fine at 152, high 140s is dry, mid 150s is sweet- this is a very simple explanation)
  5. Raise temp to 170, separate the grain from the water
  6. Raise the temperature to boiling for however long you need (ie long time to reduce volume, but an hour is the most common boil temperature)
  7. Add the hops per the hop schedule in the recipe (malty beers will usually only have a bittering addition around 60, more hoppy beers might have flavor additions around 15 minutes, aroma in last 10 or so, etc)
  8. When the boil time is done, turn off the heat, chill the wort to room temperature (100F maximum, lower is better), place in fermenter.
  9. Add your yeast to the fermenter. Take gravity reading.
  10. Wait until it stops bubbling, wait a few more days, take gravity reading to be sure it's done and determine ABV, then place in bottles/kegs
  11. carbonate
  12. get wasted
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Old 04-27-2016, 01:23 AM   #2149
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EO2K View Post
You have no idea. Once you 'learn' your equipment and you start experimenting you can't get enough of it. You start acting like a hobo stealing empty bottles from friends at parties, because ****, who wants to buy glass?
Yeah I bet man, that sounds like fun. I'll have to try and get a few buddies in on this.
Quote:
Originally Posted by good2go View Post
I already fear my ability to consume the stockade of bottled beer I currently have aging in the basement. Sadly, the thought of having that much fresh beer on tap reminds me that I haven't got that many friends.
Where do you live? I'll come over and help you polish them off!
Quote:
Originally Posted by AlwaysBroken View Post
I've been brewing over 10 years (with breaks here and there due to poverty, being busy, living in a box, etc). I started with partial mash for a few years, then did brew in a bag for years and now do brew in a basket. In all honesty you can make awesome stuff with almost any set of equipment, so long as you practice good sanitation (spray everything repeatedly with starsan, the brewing equivalent of THIN YOUR PAINTS), use common sense, are consistent in your technique and take copious notes and measurements. Being able to recognize flaws and understand them helps to refine your technique.

You need to remember that the number one priority is to prevent infection because the taste of **** is hard to age out of a beer.
Your main goal is to quickly get the wort from boiling to under 100F (yeast like this) without spending a lot of time between 100-120F (bacteria can stand this but yeast can't, so they'll try to take over your wort). So long as you didn't completely botch the mash temperature or completely botch the recipe proportions and you didn't infect your wort with bacteria, you'll probably get something drinkable about 90 percent of the time. 99 percent of the time if you're following an established recipe. And a lot of the time if you **** up the recipe it will still come out really good. A lot of flaws disappear if you let the beer age on the yeast cake or lager in the fridge for a while. A beer that tastes kind of meh at first can taste awesome after sitting in a fridge for a month. One neat trick for chilling wort quickly/cheaply is to brew up a 5 gallon batch, boil it down to 4 gallons or so and then chill it by freezing a one gallon jug of distilled water and dumping the icy water in the wort to chill it quickly. Don't use ice cubes, they're crawling with bacteria.

Equipment- minimum version:
You need a 10 gallon brew kettle, a 6.5 gallon sanitary bucket with an airlock and a nylon bag for the grains and a nylon bag for the hops. And something to store the beer afterwards, like bottles, kegs, jugs, etc. That's well under 100 bucks of stuff. Oh and a racking cane. AND STARSAN. Take a spray bottle, fill it with a mix of water and starsan, and spray everything wort or beer will touch.

My current setup, which produces a complete 5 gallon batch in about 3 hours (then a week fermenting):
  • Mash/Boil
    • 10 gallon kettle with ball valve and thermometer- available on amazon (bayou classic 10 gallon, was about 160 I think)
    • my custom stainless filter basket (what I use instead of nylon bags- this cost me about 160+ and I consider it to have been worthwhile)- arborfab.com
    • counter flow chiller (hooks up to the garden hose, chills five gallons in like 10 minutes tops- this is the best chilling method and makes it much easier to pitch immediately after boil with zero infection risk)- B3-12A 20 Plate Beer Wort Chiller from duda diesel on amazon (about 80 bucks, well worth it as well)
  • Fermentation
    • I took the smallest bedroom of the house and covered all the windows in reflective insulation to keep the heat out and then I put in a cheap window air conditioner with a digital control unit. Total cost about 100 bucks and I can brew low temperature beers even when it's 95 outside.
  • Store
    • I got my corny kegs over 10 years ago from some soda vendor guy for like 5 bucks each. I also have a CO2 bottle I got for cheap from a fellow brewer who was going up to an industrial sized one. Total cost like 30 bucks maybe.
    • I spent 200 bucks on a small refrigerator that holds 2 corny kegs. Before I bought the kegerator, I had a normal fridge that was divided in half- one half was for shelves for food the other half was for kegs. This is only advisable if you're single

Basic process:
  1. Decide what you will brew
  2. Purchase grains, hops and yeast.
  3. Grind the grains
  4. Mash the grains at the appropriate temperature. (a lot of beers are fine at 152, high 140s is dry, mid 150s is sweet- this is a very simple explanation)
  5. Raise temp to 170, separate the grain from the water
  6. Raise the temperature to boiling for however long you need (ie long time to reduce volume, but an hour is the most common boil temperature)
  7. Add the hops per the hop schedule in the recipe (malty beers will usually only have a bittering addition around 60, more hoppy beers might have flavor additions around 15 minutes, aroma in last 10 or so, etc)
  8. When the boil time is done, turn off the heat, chill the wort to room temperature (100F maximum, lower is better), place in fermenter.
  9. Add your yeast to the fermenter. Take gravity reading.
  10. Wait until it stops bubbling, wait a few more days, take gravity reading to be sure it's done and determine ABV, then place in bottles/kegs
  11. carbonate
  12. get wasted
Holy **** that sounds like a lot of work.
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Old 04-27-2016, 09:04 AM   #2150
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It's like cooking. Only better. If you can follow a recipe, you can brew beer.

We need to fire the beer exchange thread back up. I have assorted berry wines and hard ciders at the moment.

P.S. Enjoy by 420. Fantastic. Best beer I've had this year.
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Old 04-27-2016, 09:50 AM   #2151
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It's a lot easier than it sounds.
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Old 04-27-2016, 01:37 PM   #2152
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Originally Posted by Monk View Post
It's like cooking. Only better. If you can follow a recipe, you can brew beer.

We need to fire the beer exchange thread back up. I have assorted berry wines and hard ciders at the moment.

P.S. Enjoy by 420. Fantastic. Best beer I've had this year.
Damn it I wish I would've known about that. I'm a huge stone fan and an IPA lover.
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It's a lot easier than it sounds.
It just sounds like you have to pay attention to detail a lot.
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Old 04-27-2016, 02:58 PM   #2153
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Honestly, the best way to get into it, is to find a local homebrew club, and sit in on a brewday/split a batch with someone. Be sure to taste their already made beer beforehand, so that you know they are a half-decent brewer.
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Old 04-27-2016, 06:59 PM   #2154
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Originally Posted by demoniam View Post
Honestly, the best way to get into it, is to find a local homebrew club, and sit in on a brewday/split a batch with someone. Be sure to taste their already made beer beforehand, so that you know they are a half-decent brewer.
Damn I didn't even know homebrew clubs existed, I'll definitely have to check one out over the summer.
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Old 04-28-2016, 10:18 AM   #2155
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So yeah, Epic's Son of Baptist is as great as I was hoping. All the coffee and chocolate of BBB, but without the barrel flavor, and less abv. Pretty awesome that this batch was made with local (Raleigh, NC) beans.
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Old 04-28-2016, 10:34 AM   #2156
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Need! Where did you buy it?
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Old 04-28-2016, 10:54 AM   #2157
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They held a tasting event at Pharmacy in Dt Cary last night. Probably still have some on draft, I *Think* they brought 2 kegs... I'd call before heading over though, just to be sure. Pretty sure Saucer, and Boxcar wll get some. I know for a fact that Ted at Bottle Rev will get a keg; he's as big of a Baptist fan as I am. Oh, and if you are close by, there's a cask of Big Boss' "Aces and Eights" with Pure Intentions espresso available that is easily the best version of that beer I've ever tasted.
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Old 04-28-2016, 11:37 AM   #2158
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Damn I didn't even know homebrew clubs existed, I'll definitely have to check one out over the summer.
My neighbor is a stay at home dad. He is part of a group of other stay at home dads that brew beer. faces not blurred because DGAF.

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Old 04-28-2016, 01:17 PM   #2159
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My neighbor is a stay at home dad. He is part of a group of other stay at home dads that brew beer. faces not blurred because DGAF.

That's awesome man, I hope there are some home brew clubs around where I live.
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Old 04-28-2016, 01:38 PM   #2160
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This is my life now
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