Brewer??? Brewer??? Brewer??? Farris Brewer?

unm1136

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 30, 2012
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426
Location
Albuquerque NM
Anyone else here homebrew?

I started about 20 years ago in college. I was too young to buy beer, but I could buy the ingredients for it and was patient, so I started making it. I made two extract batches, before jumping into all grain. I would set aside a bit of each financial aid check to buy equipment that was pricey, but most of it was creatively appropriated. When my eldest daughter was born my wife and I brewed a batch of beer and bottled it, and she labeled the beer with labels colored with crayons, with the baby's name, sex, weight, and length, and we passed those out instead of cigars.

I have gotten away from brewing lately, due to space issues. I have a family of five in less than 1600 square feet, and all of us are notorious packrats. You don't need a lot of space, but when you are buying gadgets and kettles, and kegs, and the like, you start to run out of room. I knew we found the right chuch when the pastor had a self depricating sense of humor, and announced that he would rather make beer than drink it. I later learned that he is a published author and authority on the subject (those you who already brew, he will have an article in next month's Zymergy), and when he was burned out preaching he took a sabbatical and opened a brewery, whose beer I used to purchase and enjoy. For less than $150.00 you can get started, and it takes a 3-4 weeks per batch. The only good thing President Carter did was legalize homebrewing, and it is perfectly legal for one to make 250 gallons a year of beer or wine (distilling is regulated by the BATFE) per year per adult over the age of 21 in the household. Like everything else there is a learning curve, but for the cost of a case of keystone I can make 2.5 cases of really good beer. I am so lazy that I got into kegging early on, and no longer have to wash and fill bottles. Like all my other hobbies if you are a gear queer, it can get expensive, but like all those hobbies it is relatively cheap and easy to get started.

Next spring my wife has agreed to get me a huge shed for the back yard. I will be using it for storage, and as a workshop for reloading, and it will have a refrigerator for my draft keg system and meat curing/cheese making, and a smoker. I plan on getting a propane burner for making stocks, and for brewing.

I prefer dark, sweet english style ales, IPAs, porters and stouts. The pastor has planted an orchard to grow cider apples to make cider, and my peach tree in the back yard has produced so many peaches in the last couple of years I have made several batches of peach wine. If the next batch turns out like the last one, I will be picking up an acetobacter and making peach vinegar.

For those of you that brew, I still have a hard copy of the The Cat's Meow from when before there was a WWW, got started with Charlie Papazain, and think Randy Mosher's was the ultimate in taking the science as far was the brewer wants to, being supremely appliccable to beginners and experienced brewers alike.

pat
 
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unm1136

unm1136

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 30, 2012
Messages
426
Location
Albuquerque NM
Nevermind, I just checked Amazon, and Randy Mosher's 1993 classic is out of print and going for over $300 for a new copy, and over $40.00 for a used copy. He does appear to have a new book that I will have to explore.

pat
 

Shrek

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Jul 17, 2012
Messages
7,068
Location
Hilliard Florida
Not yet but might try. What does it take to get started. I am fond of Belgian quads and at $6 + a glass it gets out of hand quick.
 

tstowater

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Joined
Apr 26, 2012
Messages
1,203
Location
Iowa
With a shed with those amenities, a bath room and tv, I would be in business. My wife would then wonder if I am ever coming to the house. Sounds like a great idea. I need a real big one is the problem. I would also end up with a lot of friends in the process. Post pictures when you get it done.
 

Ridge Ghost

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Joined
Mar 21, 2012
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1,060
Location
Missoula, MT
umm1136, I just started homebrewing a few months ago. My first batch was a scotch ale that turned out great. Now I'm hooked.

ps- I'm already jealous of the man shed you are going to have.
 
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unm1136

unm1136

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 30, 2012
Messages
426
Location
Albuquerque NM
umm1136, I just started homebrewing a few months ago. My first batch was a scotch ale that turned out great. Now I'm hooked.

My favorite commercial beer is Bellhaven Wee Heavy Scottish Ale. I have been trying to duplicate it, but don't quite have it. Drinking the failures is not so bad. One rule of thumb, is you should always have three batches at once: one finished for drinking, one conditioning in bottles, and one fermenting. That way you never run out of homebrew.

I would also end up with a lot of friends in the process.

Brewing will find you a lot of friends. I keg, so I rarely get asked to bring homebrew anywhere. If you have a couple of growlers on hand it gets easier. If you don't jump into kegging, champagne bottles will take a standard crown cap, giving you a 750ml beer. If you hit a hotel after a wedding reception they will usually just give you all you can carry away. Otherwise you are buying empty bottles, or saving all the non-twist offs you can find.

What does it take to get started. I am fond of Belgian quads and at $6 + a glass it gets out of hand quick.

Stay away from the kits you find at sportsman's warehouse/cabellas. If you google homebrew supplies you will come up with all kinds of retail outfits that will sell you a basic kit. I have used www.midwestsupplies.com in the past. Plan on $99.00-$200 for a basic kit. For extract brews (where nearly everyone starts) a 16 quart pot that I picked up at Wally World for $12.00 works just fine. They are larger and cheaper at hispanic ethnic stores and restaurant supply houses. If you have bottles, you are golden. The process is fairly straight forward. Boil extract and water with hops in boiling pot. Add to a measured amount of filtered or distilled water in your primary fermenter so you roughly 5-6 gallons of wort, or baby beer. Cool to room temp and pitch yeast. After primary fermentation, rack into a secondary to clear, prime and bottle. Let condition and enjoy. Pick up a copy of Charley Papazain's the Complete Joy of Homebrewing (ISBN 978-0060531058, if you want to do interlibrary loan) and it will hold your hand through several batches. There are clubs and competitions all over the US, and Jax is bigger than ABQ, so I am sure there is a club there.

Now, I am not a fan of Belgian beers. But 15 minutes on Google and I found an extract kit http://www.austinhomebrew.com/product_info.php?products_id=395. Around here Chimay Trippel costs about $8.99/24 oz or about $0.38 per oz. This kit with the double pitching option runs about $0.11 per oz. This is the most expensive ingredients kit I have seen, and looking at the grain bill, I can see why. This is a very high gravity, high alcohol beer, which are fussy and temperamental. I would not start here. If I were to do this kit, I would double pitch the yeast (if I didn't do a starter from my favorite non-filtered,non-pasteurized beer) and give it a month in the primary, 6-12 months in the secondary, and 6-12 months bottle aging. There is a serious time/space commitment here for this type of beer. I do, however think it is something you can work up to in a year or two.

Actually, between here and the Kifaru boards, there are a lot of patriotic folks here. Beer was the beverage of choice during the Black Death, because of the boiling of the wort, and the acidity, it was safer to drink than water from the town well. There are no potentially lethal microorganisms that can survive in beer. There are many that will give off flavors, but none of the big nasties. All of the Founding Fathers of our country brewed beer. Samuel Adams was a brewer, but so was Jefferson, Washington, and a bunch of the signers of the Declaration.

Sorry, it is bed time and I am getting diarrhea of the keyboard quite badly.

pat
 

MOcluck

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 28, 2012
Messages
282
Location
Missouri
Been brewing since 08' started with an extract kit my uncle gave me moved on to all grain BIAB now I don't have to buy beer unless I want to try a style when im not hunting im brewing. Relax don't worry have a homebrew!
 

Colby Jack

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 22, 2013
Messages
237
Location
Eagle River, AK
Another BIAB brewer here. New on this board, but have found that there are some cool peeps here. I've been brewing for about 3 years now. I'm into the redneck-tech side of things. I made my Keggle, got a turkey fryer burner for free, and figured that BIAB is for me. I am an avid seamster, and was able to sew up my brew bags in about five minutes. I basically drink IPA and Cider. I brewed for a friends wedding this summer. 5 gallons of IPA gone in probably 45 minutes. It was a hit.
 
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