Making beer.....relatively easy or ?????

Joined
May 12, 2003
Messages
7,799
Location
Oklahoma
Ever since I "discovered" microbrews, I won't even touch domestics anymore. Luckily for me, we have one close by and they can sell it "to go." They have an ale, pilsner and a lager. All just too good. Got to thinking and looking in to home brew. You see all these different ways to making it....anywhere from high end stuff to "just add water and wait" brews. What, and about how much, would it take for me to try it out? I'm not wanting to sell or anything, just the Friday night after work and maybe a little on Saturday when I'm changing oil kind of thing. Like, once the beer is made, how long do I have to drink it? Won't it go flat if left in the refrigerator for more than a day or two? What size of a "system" would I need to look at in getting? What type? I generally like a more sweeter beer than stouts, most of the ones I've tried and liked have been ale's.
 
Joined
Dec 12, 2002
Messages
43,673
Location
'Stralia
Schmoe, down here, you can get set up to brew your own for around $40. You need bottles, and these can be used beer bottles, new poly beer bottles, or even plastic soft drink bottles. You make 22-25 litres at a time, then need to leave it sit for a few weeks. Never seen it go off. BTW, that's the sum total of my home brew advice. I make the worst beer that I've ever tasted. My father inlaw makes great beer. Decants it into another brewer to drop off the yeast. Then into soft drink kegs to age for a few months, then into the fridge with the tap and beer gas. His set-up cost a little more than $40 though.
 
Joined
Oct 28, 2002
Messages
48,025
Location
Everson WA - Pacific NW USA
An ale in a little less than a month. Lagers a couple months. Depending on alcohol content and complexity as well. You can bottle or keg (with CO2). You should start with a nut brown ale or a mild. Don't get one of those cheapie kits that you just add water. You can however start with an extract (canned malt concentrate) beer before you go to all grain beer. Or you can do a combo. Get a book or two. It's fun and good, but it does take time. For this exact reason (kids), I have not brewed in over 10 years.
 
Joined
Mar 21, 2006
Messages
461
Location
Fredericksburg, VA
You should order the "Deluxe Beer Equipment Kit" from AustinHomeBrewSupply to get you started in the right direction. It is $99.99 and will allow you to make excellent beer. I have used AHB Supply since I lived in Austin throughout the 90's, and their ingredients are always very fresh. Pablo is right in that you should start with an ale that is medium strength, full-flavored, and not challenging to make in any respect. You can use malt extract and hop pellets, steep some specialty grains, and use dry yeast and make excellent beer with minimal effort. You will quickly learn the process. Most of the effort is in the cleaning. Use bleach if you can see residue, and just the sanitizer if the surfaces are clean. I can brew 200 gallons of beer a year with 3hrs a week effort using the simplist process. The beer is extremely tasty and gives minimal hangover compared to the store-bought oxidized and tortured brews. You will be sold on home-brewing after your first batch. Ales conditioned in the bottle take about 4weeks (1 in the primary, 1 in the secondary, and 2 in the bottle). Ales carbonated in a soda keg take about 2.5 weeks. I put my everyday guzzling beer in the keg, and the specialty beers in the bottles. Good luck. It is easy! But AERATE the wort after cooling and pitching!!!
 
Joined
Jan 4, 2006
Messages
3,161
Location
North Arkansas
Never tried myself, but the best beer I've ever drank was homebrew made locally. Fellow that made it isn't particularly good at anything else, but has time to keep beer making on a exact schedule. Plan to take a stab at it in the future and will definately get the kit that Rodbuckler mentioned. Bob
 
Joined
Apr 26, 2004
Messages
1,463
Location
CA
www.maltosefalcons.com did you see this link in the humor forum? The owners of Sierra Nevada and a few other micobrews started out with that club. I think it was recently on Discovery or the History Channel.
 

Schmoe

Thread starter
Joined
May 12, 2003
Messages
7,799
Location
Oklahoma
Thanks gentlemen. I've come across AHB when we used to be able to go TDY down there and I was impressed. First rate operation. Probably my best bet but there is a store similar in function in OKC. Was kind of suprised that you guys are saying it will take 4 weeks from start to mouth. Didn't think it took that long.
 

HEV

Joined
Sep 13, 2004
Messages
327
Location
Great Central Valley, CA
Hi Schmoe. I'm a long time brewer (15 years plus) and I'm a BJCP Master Beer Judge, so, I think the info I'm providing is pretty good. The very best way to learn how to brew is to get involved with your local home brew club. Aside from that, there are many instructive sites on-line, some of them mentioned here already. To start, I recommend beginning with a well-developed kit, one that provides you with most of the basic tools, materials, and guidance necessary for ease and success. I like the kits provide by http://www.williamsbrewing.com . I also like http://www.northernbrewer.com . Both provide solid beginner kits. Once you get going, you can get as involved as you'd like. You can brew with malt extact, all grain, or partial grain. Dye yeast (not recommended) or fresh live yeast cultures. The possibilities are pretty much as endless as you imagination. The key to success for a beginner is a solidly designed e equipment kit and a solidly formulated “recipe.” The sites I listed above have both. Feel free to PM me if you have more questions. HEV [Cheers!]
 
Top