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Thread: Homebrewing

  1. #1
    Enthusiast
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    Homebrewing

    As noted in the NY StraightBourbon Crew thread, I enjoy drinking beer, and once in awhile, I brew my own. As there have been some interest in this hobby, I thought I'd share some of my info...

    I started homebrewing in 1993, and I have made about 30 brews. When I first started homebrewing, I would brew 4 or 5 times a year. Over the last few years, I've slowed down considerably: I now am lucky if I do 2 5-gallon batches in a year. All my brewing has been with malt extracts along with some specialty grains. Here's a few of my favorites: Imperial Pale Ale, a Rasberry Framboise (made with rasberries from my yard, I've done this a few times), Irish Stout, Grand Cru, an Old Ale (recipe from the Papazian book on homebrewing, it is a nice, simple, quick brew to make; I've made this a few times), a Kriek (cherry) beer, a kick butt Imperial Stout (it was a fairly high alcohol content brew, and the yeast had such a wonderful time enjoying eating up the sugar, that the cork was blown off of the carboy about 12 hours after fermentation started! It created quite a mess - I had beer on the ceiling! But, it was a damn good beer. ), a Holiday Spiced Stout, a few Pale Ales, brown ales, and I've made a couple attempts at IPA's, but for some reason, they never turn out right!

    Anyway, that's a quick run down. I have used liquid yeast on occassion, but usually use dried yeast that I rehydrate. I either bottle the brews, or fill 1.25 gallon mini-kegs that Nancy got for me. She is a big help with the bottling process, which is the part that I find least appealing, although once it's bottled/keged, it's not long till I can enjoy them!

    This is definitely a fun hobby, if you have the time. I like the ability to create receipes and tinker with them a bit to try getting a better product. Another benefit is that the cost is considerably less than what I would have to pay to buy a couple of cases of good beer.

    Bob

  2. #2
    Bourbonian of the Year 2006
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    Re: Homebrewing

    Bob,
    I'm a with ya'. Love to home brew. Down to a few batches a year. I try to do my first in February, so I can have homemade beer on St. Patrick's Day and one in September, so I can have some for Halloween and Thanksgiving.
    My last batch was stout that blew the top off the carboy. Those high gravity starts will get ya.
    I'm thinking we need do at least a microbrew pub crawl one of the Festival Days. (Bluegrass Brewing Company, Rich-O's, Irish Rover, Molly Malone's) All within an hour of Bardstown.
    I'll see if the Fossil's Homebrew club will do a tasting for us at Rich-O's in New Albany, IN. Nice afternoon diversion.

  3. #3
    Administrator in exile
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    Aug 2002
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    3,904

    Re: Homebrewing

    I am fairly new to homebrewing. Beginning earlier this year I have made 5, 5 gallon batches to date, my latest, an Irish stout, being bottled just two days ago. So far this has proven to be a fun hobby, if a little testing on the patients. My first IPA I think I had about half of it drank before it was truely ready. I just couldn't help myself but to try one every couple of days. I still have about 12 left from that batch, about 3 months old now, and they are definitely better with age. This stout is my first attempt using liquid yeast, WYeast Irish Ale strain to be exact. It is also my first attempt at making a starter, and boy does the fermentation take off

    Thus far I am an extract brewer, but I am gathering the equipment needed to go all grain. I think I will wait 'till fall for that however.

    I'm excited that there are other homebrewers here on SB.com. I think it would be interesting if everyone would bring a sampling of their wares to the festival for a homebrew tasting. Any takers?

  4. #4
    Enthusiast
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    Re: Homebrewing

    Bob, it's neat to hear of your homebrewing, especially the fact that you've been exploring with some richer brews rather than trying to come up with a home-brew version of COORS

    Speaking of yeasts.... When I started homebrewing 19 years ago, I had this great little spot in the laundry room where fermentation was gently controlled by the coolness of the concrete slab floor. Laundry days were always a way to speed up the process if fermentation wan't moving along too well.

    I discontinued the "Laundry Room Brewery" a few months later when a few batches tasted "a bit off" (or so my friends said). It ended up that my wife had been washing our home-made diapers on the same days as fermentation. Now that's taking the Lambic process to new heights (or lows!)

    With a lack of time on my hands now, I brew at a local "u-brew" shop, but we crush our own grains and recipe tinkering is the name of the game.

    Enjoy!

  5. #5
    Connoisseur
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    Jan 2004
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    Baldwin, Maryland
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    635

    Re: Homebrewing

    Jeff,

    You wouldn't want to taste the so-called brew that I made.

    I received one of those inexpensive homebrew kits as a

    gift and I swear the yeast was bad. I made a great batch of

    O'Douls.

  6. #6
    Enthusiast
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    Re: Homebrewing

    I will bring along a sampling of what's available come September.

  7. #7
    Guru
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    May 2003
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    Moscow Mills, MO
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    2,507

    Re: Homebrewing

    Ed, you can count me in on the pub crawl list. I don't make my own YET but have given it some thought. Hopefully I can remember to bring a notebook with me in September to get some healthy notes on what to do and more importantly not to do to get started. Any input will be appreciated but I don't want to take too much server space on the site to get this started here.

  8. #8
    Guru
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    Sep 2001
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    Pelham, AL
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    3,894

    Re: Homebrewing

    Bob, I used to brew in the 80's. I really enjoyed it and several of my batches were quite good (some others were awful).

    Then, I got married.

    Tim

  9. #9
    Bourbonian of the Year 2006
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    Dec 2001
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    Rockland County, NY
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    1,937

    Re: Homebrewing

    I have the makings of a "Red" in the shop. Looks like September is as good a time as any.
    That means fermenting in August. Oooh!! Risky in KY. Hot and Humid.
    Damn the torpedos, full steam ahead.
    Now, What goes best with homebrewed beer?
    BBQ???


  10. #10
    Enthusiast
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    495

    Re: Homebrewing

    Ed,

    What goes best with homebrew you ask? Well, yes BBQ would be on my list, but I think we should add...Bourbon!

    Bob

 

 

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