Home Brewing thread, offshoot of the beer thread.

djbradles

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Did it for many years with great success. Had to ditch it due to wife’s shagrin. (She has bad alcoholic abuse in her family)

Loved it and had many great recipes for all things Belgian. Darks, blondes, avant- gardes, dubbels, tripels, quadruples, saisons, sours, and wild yeast I’ve cultured from my own basement.
 

KBCraig

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I've always wanted to. I've made a few batches of wine, nothing to brag about.

My problem is that I don't want to start off with the basics. Dad was my first guitar instructor, and he always laughed that the first thing I wanted to learn to play was Dill Pickle Rag.

I don't like IPAs. I want Maisel's Hefeweizen.
 

scatter

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I'm an amber ale guy. After our trip to Alaska, the wife walked into the local brew shop and had him put together a kit for Alaskan Amber. Good stuff. I'm not yet at the point where I experiment on my own.
 

CoastieRon

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Me and my partners were talking today about a Memorial Day weekend 5 gal batch. Looks like we are doing a heavy hopped & whirlpooled pale to drink fresh over that weekend.
 

daekken

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Anyone else grow hops? I've got 10 vines - 8 Willamette and 2 that I forget what they are.
@Fritz the Cat mentioned that he is.

My first ever batch (Maple Chocolate Porter) came out OK, I've had about a pint of it so far. Kind of watery, you can tell it doesn't have quite the right "body."
My guess (although really just a guess since I'm brand new to this) is that I didn't boil the wort hot enough. I had more wort after the boil than would fit in my fermenter. Next time, I'll keep it hotter. I did buy a NEIPA kit to try next.
 

djbradles

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I was heavily into it for several years and honed my skills to produce beers that I found better than commercial offerings. Unfortunately that ride had to end since my wife’s side of the family had bad etoh abuse and it was a sensitive matter. I do miss those Belgian dark ales.
 

slap shot

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Anyone else grow hops? I've got 10 vines - 8 Willamette and 2 that I forget what they are.
I was growing cascade and centennials, fugles died that I got from an NESr that lived in my old town. Would love to start growing again if anyone has any extra root balls or splits.
 

KBCraig

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I plunged and bought a full setup from a friend who's going to be gone overseas for some time. Killer deal, too. I paid less than the grain grinder alone would cost.
 

Fritz the Cat

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Anyone else grow hops? I've got 10 vines - 8 Willamette and 2 that I forget what they are.
I have been growing hops for 7 years. 5 years on my former property and this will be my 2nd year at the new homestead. Right now I have Chinook and Fuggle that I brought from the last property. They did well last year but I think where they are planted is too wet which can lead to vine rot. I may move them to a different location or build a hügel mound and move them up a foot.
I have rhizomes of Magnum coming as it is very hearty and produces a good yield.
When on my last property I had very good yields, dried on racks in the sun, and bagged and froze the hops I didn't use right away.
My ultimate goal is to grow full time to sell to breweries as there is a huge need for local hops right now.
 

Golddiggie

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About to get back into brewing. Haven't brewed since around 2014 due to various reasons. Not the least of which was what happened in late November 2016.

My nephew reached out a week or two ago wanting to know if I still had all my hardware. Yup... He wants to brew a batch this month. So I pulled down the latest 2.x version of BeerSmith. Pulled my recipes in (done it enough times that I know the tricks) and changed it from a 6 gallon out batch to 9 gallons out (final amount to keg). That way he can have 6 gallons (into bottles) and I'll get three in a keg. The entire batch will be carbonated in my brew fridge on CO2 (~2 week set and forget method).

Got the regulator rebuild kit in the mail yesterday, which will be done probably Saturday at the latest. Ordered up 30# of Fawcett maris otter and two pounds of EKG pellet (from Hops Direct). Hoping that Jasper's has Wyeast 1882-PC in store for when I go on Saturday. I'll be calling them tomorrow to find out. If not, I'll order up a pack online and have it in plenty of time. Of course I'll be making a starter to get the right amount of yeast to pitch. I also oxygenate the wort with pure O2 (done that for most of my batches, give great results).

I'll inspect the 13 gallon fermenter over the next few days, or on Saturday. As long as it looks good to go, we'll use that to ferment the entire batch in one vessel. It's a converted Guinness with a TC cap ferrule welded in the top. I have a cap configured with fittings for CO2 in and beer out. Plus a thermowell. I'll put an airlock on one of the fitting posts (the one used for beer-out) but I don't bother using that activity to tell me when it's done. That's what the thermowell is for. ;)

This coming batch should be somewhere in the 5.4-6.0% ABV range. Depending on how much grain we actually use, and system efficiency. I use keggles for boil, mash and soon for the HLT.

We need to finish the brew stand I started more than a few years ago this weekend. It has spots for three burners, but I only have two right now. Need to clamp the burners into position, transfer punch for the mount holes, drill those and then get the burners into where they will live. Also need to make the mount plates/brackets for the pumps and get those welded on. As well as get mounting hardware installed for the plate chiller I have.

Once I have the regulator rebuilt, and tested, I'll be able to carbonate either my wee heavy (12.5%) and/or old ale (8.9%) after transferring some to three gallon kegs. I use CO2 to move all beer after the yeast gets pitched. It makes things a LOT easier. ;)

BTW, if anyone wants to build up an electric HLT, I have one I started but didn't finish. It has the fitting welded in as well as the heating element with it. The element is for 240v. I have most of the electronic parts, but you'll need to get a PID of your own. Plus a temperature sensor to tell it when to turn on/off.
 

Golddiggie

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Finally brewed the English IPA today (Sunday) with my nephew.

In the previous weeks, I managed to get the riser for the barley crusher made so that it would align with the shaft of the motor I got for it, and finished up the brew stand.

Barley crusher with the motor and the rolling cart/table I made for it:
IMG_20200521_171515.jpgIMG_20200521_171520.jpgIMG_20200521_171529.jpgIMG_20200521_171534.jpg
The hopper on the crusher holds up to 33 pounds of grain.

We ran 20 pounds through it today for the batch. Made easy work of it.

Brew stand with the keggles on it.
IMG_20200531_110749.jpg
This is from when we were running the burner under the mash tun (far right keggle) to get the mash water up to temp. After that, we shifted it to the middle spot so that we could heat the sparge water in the HLT.

IMG_20200531_132254.jpg

I'll be ordering some fittings to be welded into the HLT tomorrow since we had issues getting them to seal up properly for some reason. Holes were made the correct size, but we still has issues. I actually used the same hole punch to make all the holes in all three keggles. Only the HLT had issue with two of the holes. One we couldn't get to the point where we could deal with it for this batch. Which means the sight tube was not used today.

I also need to work on the valve assembly that's on the plate chiller in the next week or two, so that it works better with a hose connected to the chiller (for the chill water). I think I know what I need to do there to get it to work out well.

Looks like Hops Direct puts more than 16oz in their one pound bag of hops (pellet form). I had planned to use the entire bag in the batch, so it got almost 2oz more than originally planned. That went in with the 5 minute addition. Since all the hops were added 20 minutes from the end forward, it was pretty easy.

On the brew stand, you can see the sheet of metal I placed between the burners and the pump bodies. I wanted a heat shield between them to reduce the risk of the pumps getting too hot from the fire right there. Worked really well in this case. I also surprised my nephew when I told him to put his hand on the ground under the burner (while it was going). Ground wasn't hot at all. Pretty much as I expected, and have experienced in the past. It can get warm enough to melt ice/snow directly under it, but not enough to hurt anyone.

I'm going to get some high temp paint and give the stand a coat or two. I'll need to remove the burners, pumps, and chiller at that point. It will be worth it though. I'm also going to make some 'feet' to go on one end of the stand for when it's placed on end for storage. I was planning to use some round PTFE stock I have. Now I'm thinking I'll use some 1" diameter brass round stock that I also have. I can cut pieces off, machine it all to the same thickness, then drill holes in the middle. Then drill and tap holes into the square tubing the stand is made from and secure the feet to it. I might also make some handles to go on the other end to make lifting it to that position easier. I just need to think on that a bit. Since I don't want those items to be too hot after a brew session even after being off the heat for 1-2 hours. It took us about 1-1/2 to 2 hours to clean up everything after brewing today. Made for a pretty long day.

The brew has a wonderful color ( a nice gold) and the aroma from the malt and hops was epic.

Next up we're going to brew my mocha porter (before end of June) with it being ready for drinking for Thanksgiving.
 

Golddiggie

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Captured some video of the airlock starting this morning (just before 9am)...

Then just before 1pm

Then just after 6:45pm tonight

Temperature sensor has logged it going from almost 66F at the start (after pitching the yeast in) to just over 71F now. Used Wyeast 1098 in the batch (British Ale | Wyeast Laboratories). Not sure what effects will come about if it goes above the temperature range listed. Either way, I expect to give it at least a week post ferment to 'rest'.

I was hoping to be able to do some fermenting under pressure, but the hardware I currently have for that is full of fail. I cannot get either of the setups to retain any pressure in a keg when connected to the gas post. So, I'll have to try that with another brew. Not going to do that with the next brew since it will be aging [on oak] for 2 months post ferment and rest.

I do remember (when I was on the HBT boards) how some people would post up about not having any airlock movement after pitching the yeast. I've never had that issue. Especially since I switched over to converted sanke kegs to ferment in. Since these seal up tight, there's only one place for the CO2 the yeast is producing can escape.

BTW, I also did two yeast starters for this batch. First was 32oz of starter wort. Second (after decanting spent starter) was 64oz of starter wort. I use a stirplate and have flasks to use (2L, 3L and 5L). I did the first step in the 2L flask. Then shifted to the 3L flask since it was too close to the top for comfort. I also used pure O2 to oxygenate the wort before pitching the yeast in. I have a setup that uses an O2 bottle with a LPM regulator (I have two regulators). It pushes the O2 through a sintered stone to get it fully infused. I have two of the wands with the stones on them. Plus the hardware if I ever decided I wanted to make some of my own.I need to check on those items since I might want to use one of the stones to force carbonate a brew in keg through it.
 
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Great setup. I want to get back into it but a bad batch is giving me cold feet. It was much easier when I had a whole day to myself. But still a lot of work.
 

NHKevin

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Great setup. I want to get back into it but a bad batch is giving me cold feet. It was much easier when I had a whole day to myself. But still a lot of work.
A bad batch? Welcome to the club. If you are brewing, you are guaranteed to have bad or mediocre batches sometimes. Even the pros have it happen.
 
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