1. Welcome to CowboysZone!  Join us!  Come on!  You know you want to!

Home Brewing

Discussion in 'Off-topic Zone' started by Hoofbite, Jul 6, 2011.

  1. Hoofbite

    Hoofbite Well-Known Member

    32,586 Messages
    2,243 Likes Received
    Anyone do it?

    I've got a lot of time on my hands right now and I've been looking into a couple of hobbies. This one seems pretty interesting.

    What about those Mr. Beer kits? That seems to look like a decent starting point. I've always thought the beer in those kits would make your butt pucker but does anyone have any experience with em?
  2. CowboyDan

    CowboyDan Anger is a Gift

    3,368 Messages
    110 Likes Received
    I can't say too much about the specifics of our college home brew without being banned permanently from the forum, but I can say that it tasted like donkey and was about 60 proof. I hope yours tastes better than ours did, but we had fun doing it. Ours was a Mr. Beer kit, fyi. I'm sure there are better ones out there though.
  3. MetalHead

    MetalHead Benched

    6,031 Messages
    1 Likes Received
    Theory vs reality...I love it.
    Listen to Dan.
  4. Hoofbite

    Hoofbite Well-Known Member

    32,586 Messages
    2,243 Likes Received
    Ah yes, one man's failure will forever discourage the rest of the world from attempting success.

    You really think all beer is brewed by Coors or Budweiser-sized operations?
  5. CowboyDan

    CowboyDan Anger is a Gift

    3,368 Messages
    110 Likes Received
    After re-reading my post, I can see how it comes off as prettty negative. I assure you that we didn't exactly follow the directions to a T or put a ton of care into our brew. We were just college kids then, and....well....you know how that goes. It actually went down pretty easy after the first 16 ounces (because your tastebuds were totally torched at that point) and did exactly what we wanted it to do.........get college kids wasted. And as I said, we had a lot of fun doing it. You should've seen the labels we made.
    I'm sure you can brew a tasty sud with care and some practice. I do think that Mr. Beer had some inferior raw materials though, and I would do a little shopping around selecting one. Also, I'm talking about 13 years ago, so the product does not compare to what they are putting out today.
    I say go for it, and let me know how you make out. Hell, I may even buy some off you. :D
  6. tomson75

    tomson75 Brain Dead Shill

    16,714 Messages
    0 Likes Received
    If you have A LOT of time on your hands...I'd suggest getting a PT job at a local brewhouse or microbrew.

    Or, for a shortcut, befriend someone that works at one, and bribe him with free brew if you can pick his brain. I had a friend in VA that started working at a local brewhouse as a bartender...learned the trade over 3-4 years, and now he's part owner and head master-brewer of the Starr Hill brewery in VA. Pretty damn tasty stuff. Talk about a cool job....
  7. CowboyMcCoy

    CowboyMcCoy Business is a Boomin

    12,749 Messages
    234 Likes Received
    My buddy used to do it. The best beer you drink is the kind you make on your own. Various recipes and how-tos on the net. I didn't know they made rope outta that stuff, but it makes for good beer.
  8. Meat-O-Rama

    Meat-O-Rama Vegetarians are so stupid.

    2,261 Messages
    52 Likes Received
    Will be following this thread closely. I love craft beers and would love to try making my own IPA some day. Unfortunately, like all good hobbies the time and money required are elusive for me.
  9. Zaxor

    Zaxor Virtus Mille Scuta

    8,398 Messages
    1 Likes Received
    me and a couple of the boys from Tennessee made some home brew during desert storm

    ....blame it on the water:D
  10. ZeroClub

    ZeroClub just trying to get better

    7,619 Messages
    0 Likes Received
    How about mixing up some homemade liqueur?
  11. Dodger

    Dodger Indomitable

    4,212 Messages
    42 Likes Received
    Cool. An off-topic thread I can really get into.

    I've been brewing for several years now, and honestly, it's not as difficult or time consuming as you may think.

    Basically, you need some tools and some ingredients. You don't really need the brewing kits that are offered on some websites. Some of those are kind of expensive, and you don't necessarily need all the stuff that comes with them. You can buy the tools you need separately, and some of the kit ingredients I'd stay away from as well. Why? Fresher is better. Who knows how long that malt extract has been sitting in that can on their shelves?

    Tools:
    - A couple of 5 gallon plastic food buckets with lids, one for the first stage of fermentation, another for the second stage and for bottling.
    - A brewing pot. 5 gallon is sufficient, and you can pick one up at Wal-Mart.
    - A bottle brush
    - Some sanitizer
    - A couple of fermentation locks
    - A good thermometer
    - A long metal spoon
    - A racking cane and tubing
    - A bottle capper
    - Bottle caps
    - Some priming sugar (corn sugar, i.e. dextrose)
    - Muslin mesh bags for grain steeping
    - A bunch of beer bottles

    All of this stuff you can buy online or at a local brewing supply shop.


    Ingredients: (for extract brewing with grains)

    Liquid Malt extract and/or dry malt extract
    Hops (pellets or whole)
    Yeast
    Grains
    Distilled water


    That's about it. All the tools would cost about...eh...maybe $150. The ingredients for one 5 gallon batch usually cost me about $30, and that makes about 52-54 bottles of beer. Do the math. That's about .57 cents a bottle, and for beer that, for me, is better than most beer that I can buy.

    Seriously. I rarely buy beer anymore...only when I'm out of home brewed beer.

    As for time invested, the brew itself takes about 2 hours or so. The first phase of fermentation (where you do next to nothing but wait) takes about a week. The second phase takes another week. Then you bottle, and that might take a few hours of your time followed by another 2 weeks of bottle conditioning where you again...wait. The whole thing takes about a month for each batch.

    The most important thing about brewing is, and this may sound weird, sanitation. Everything MUST be sanitized or you risk having bacteria ruin your beer.

    Anyway, if anyone wants more info, just PM me, or I can answer questions in this thread (if it's info on which websites to buy from, though, I suppose that will have to be done via PM).
  12. Meat-O-Rama

    Meat-O-Rama Vegetarians are so stupid.

    2,261 Messages
    52 Likes Received
    What kinds of beers have you brewed up for yourself? Any favorites?
  13. LeonDixson

    LeonDixson Illegitimi non carborundum

    9,747 Messages
    90 Likes Received
    Dodger, that was good info.

    Hoof, if there are any microbreweries in your area you may want to check with them too. Some of them will (for a fee) let you mix and brew your own batch of beer using their equipment at their site. That would give you a lot of info to go on when you decide to wing it on your own.
  14. Dodger

    Dodger Indomitable

    4,212 Messages
    42 Likes Received
    I've made several, some of them many times over, and all of them ales because lagers need to ferment at a lower temperature, and I don't have a fridge devoted to brewing.

    - Pale Ale (so-so...not as flavorful as I was expecting, but the grains you use don't impart much flavor...not one of my favorites).

    - Amber Ale (very good...one of my favorites. I've made this one many, many times. Good flavor due to a variety of darker grains used).

    - Stout (also very good, though the first batch I made was better than all the subsequent attempts, and I'm not sure why. I keep chasing that first batch, but I just can't get it exactly the way I want it. Not as easy of a brew as I would have thought. I prefer them with a rich malty, coffee, chocolate flavor but with a light body. Next time I'm going to use even more grains and see how it goes).

    - Belgian Ale (strong and hearty. You use rock candy in the boil which gives the yeast more sugar to consume and thus more alcohol as a by-product. You can really taste that alcohol in this one...about 12%...about the same as wine).

    - Wheat Ale (Different but good. Some people like wheat beers, some don't. Not my favorite but I'm sure I'll make it again some day).

    - IPA (I'm not a hop-head like some of my friends, so I don't make this one very often. If you like hops, this is the one. Strong hop flavor comes from dry-hopping which is adding hops to the wort [the liquid that becomes beer] after the boiling...while it's in the fermenting bucket).

    Brown Ale - (Another favorite and easy to get right. A bit of chocolate grain and low bittering hops makes this a good, malty, light, refreshing beer. Some people like to add honey to the boil, but I've never done that).

    I made a Stout once that really turned into more of a Porter because I didn't have the right ingredients at the time (I used light malt instead of dark), but it turned out okay.

    What I want to try is some barley wine, but barley wine takes longer to make, and I'm usually not that patient. :)

    I guess my favorites are the stout, the amber and the brown ales.

Share This Page