I've referenced this in another post (here), but i was just wondering if there are any other homebrewers out there in the raven bar. its one of my favorite things to do and is so relaxing. love talking about it too.
so, if there are any, want to trade recipes? i just bottled a really strange, Belgian-style imperial stout... fermented on top of oak chips...heh, go figure. Basically imagine a real nice chocolaty, roasty-toasty stout, but with a bit of champagne-like qualities too it. i hope it'll be good, but to hedge my bets i'm going to let it age out for a while.
anyone else? maybe just fans of (craft) beer in general?
I've been a fullmasher for a couple of years now. It's the best way to make beer. I mainly do it with one of my brothers and occasionally we culture liquid yeast strains for exotic brews. I like all styles of beer but I seem to gravitate towards the more bizarre brews, ones you definitely cannot buy. One of our better beers was an Imperial IPA. It finished at 10% and was complex and smooth and still subtle. It was pale and we fermented it with a dried English yeast called Nottingham. We have made a sour Belgium style beer as well which was quite interesting and very tasty. It's good talking about it - it makes me want to get on the Recipator and start compiling recipes. I'm in Australia by the way and American beers feature in our range as much as other nationalities. The home/craft brewing industry in the US sounds pretty exciting.
nice, i'm still working my way up to full-mash; i'm on to mini-mashing with a bit of extract.
my second to last beer was also a double IPA - turned out pretty good, if not a bit too sweet. but hey, i hopped the crap out of it! used about a pound of hops for five gallons if include both boiling and dry-hops.
Mrs. Deadlock got me a basic brew kit for my last birthday. Besides a big ol' stockpot, a bunch of non-twist beer bottles, and ingredients (which conveniently come in single batch kits with instructions) that's all you need to get started.
We've made several beers... the best have been a spiced Christmas beer and an awesome Fat Tire clone (made from an ingredient list we got straight from a bartender at the New Belgium Brewery!).
I know I could internet search this, but I'd rather do it here, what does one need to do to get started? How can I "catch the bug" so to speak?
Would you rather do this, or bottle your own wine?
beer over wine, any day of the week. something about the smell of a pot full of boiling grains, malted sugars, and delicious, floral, herbal hops makes me more relaxed than any other time in my life. though, that could be caused by the lupulin, a sedative found in hops .
i would say to just get yourself an easy recipe and a starter kit - half glass instead all plastic if you can afford it. there are a lot of really great places online, but the best thing to do would be to find your local homebrew shop. there's a great directory (and a great rest of the website) on beeradvocate.com
i would say start off with a simple pale ale. lagers are too complex for first timers, and, with the pale, you can put in enough hops to cover up any mess-ups in your malt profile.
from brew day until you crack that first bottle, i'd say it could anywhere from two months to years later, depending on the style. but, its always worth it.
edit: deadlock's right about nothernbrewer - great site. i'd also check out morebeer and, if you are so inclined, check out the website of the brewmaster i learned from - griz of san francisco brewcraft
Guys, if you think your beers are good now (and I know they are), wait til you set up for full mashing. It is more complicated, but you open up a horizon of quality possibilities and variability in recipes that is unlimited. Watch someone do a full mash and if you like their beers copy their set up. You will change this in time no doubt as you learn more about brewing like a brewery does it. I think the hobby only ends up turning into a microbrewery eventually because you want to convert the world to drinking great beer!
ugh - that weird stout i posted about a few back... just cracked a bottle and it tastes really weird. like fruit juice and popsicle sticks. no good... i'll let it age out for a few more months, but i don't know if those fruity flavors will fade enough... shucks...
I have found fruity flavours occur when the fermentation temperature is too high. Try and keep your ales at 18 degC at most and lagers 10 - 12 degC. SO4 which is a good dried yeast can produce very apricot flavours above 20 degC. The right temperature and keeping it constant is as important as using the right yeast in the right amounts. I am planning a robust porter next week and then a wheat beer soon after. Hmmm...wheat beer. It is mandatory to use WLP300 for wheat beers, so a-culturing I will go!