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Smoke 08-15-2013 08:53 PM

Any Homebrewers?
Not homebrewed drum gear - BEER!

A few years ago, I used to keep two 5 gallon (19 liter) batches going at a time, but have fallen away since then. Work, home projects, grand-kids, etc., seem to get in the way.

I started out with extract brews and later graduated to partial grain brews, as I don't have enough volume to boil 5 gallons of wort. Most of my brews were about half grain and half extract, and I've kept that up. I've never dumped a batch, but came close once. The beer was astringent from too much chocolate malt. I drank most of that brew to 'get rid of it', and only stored a couple of bottles. After 9 months or so, I revisited the last two bottles which were surprisingly good! I've never repeated that brew as I can't keep 5 whole gallons stored for that long. ;-)

Brewed a nice kolsch last winter but have been too busy to keep at it. Our local homebrew store closed a while back, so brewing had become spotty. Now we've got a new homebrew store in town, so I picked up some necessities and am poised to brew an extra special bitter (ESB). Just need to find - no, MAKE - the time. Maybe this weekend...

Wish me luck!

tamadrm 08-15-2013 09:32 PM

Re: Any Homebrewers?
I used the kits for the most part.I got this huge stock pot from a restaurant suppy house for around 15 bucks.The only trouble was getting enough heat under it,so I also had to get a large propane burner,and boil the wort outdoors.

I tend to favor amber lagers,porters and black and tans and darker ales the most.

I had to move a few years ago to smaller quarters so I don't have the room to brew 5 gallon batches.

I'm looking into smaller recipies and using all my own malt,yeast and hopps and filtered NY state water,which is to my palate,the best tasting water there is.

I'll post if and when I finish a batch.

Steve B

viva_nate 08-15-2013 10:00 PM

Re: Any Homebrewers?
Good luck. My last two were a late-season pumpkin ale (good) and an even-later season chocolate stout (not good, but got better at how to handle the chocolate). My friend does all-grain and just upgraded to a 10 gallon rig, so I'm going to just drink what he makes, I think.

MrInsanePolack 08-16-2013 01:56 AM

Re: Any Homebrewers?
I made 5 gallons of mulberry wine like 3 summers ago. There was a mulberry tree in my yard and i harvested probably 25-30 gallon freezer bags of them. I found a recipe online and followed it to the letter. The finished product was extremely bitter (which shocked me because mulberries are really sweet), and the alcohol content was rather low, about on par with beer. Needless to say I didn't make anymore wine and just ended up eating the berries. It was a fun experiment though.

Smoke 08-16-2013 03:42 PM

Re: Any Homebrewers?

Originally Posted by MrInsanePolack (Post 1171116)
I made 5 gallons of mulberry wine like 3 summers ago.

I hear ya on the wine. The best batch I ever made was from a carton of oranges. I worked at a small grocery store (30-some years ago) - the oranges were on the verge of going bad, so the owner gave them to me. Probably one of my smarter moves - I gave them to my Dad and asked, "Hey, can you show me how to make wine with these?" and promptly forgot about them for a year or so. Dad showed up at my house one day when I was broke and couldn't afford beer - case of orange wine in tow. Whoo-hoo! Party that night!

I've got a crab apple tree in my yard that goes absolutely bonkers every other year. Figured I'd make some crab apple jelly. Must have done something wrong, because it didn't gel. So what do you do with 16 pints of crab apple syrup? Make crab apple wine!! Wasn't too bad, either.

Smoke 08-17-2013 01:44 AM

Re: Any Homebrewers?

Originally Posted by tamadrm (Post 1171036)
I'm looking into smaller recipies and using all my own malt, yeast and hops and filtered NY state water, which is to my palate, the best tasting water there is.

I'll post if and when I finish a batch.

Steve B

Go for the small batch, Steve. I sort of envy your forays into 5 gallon boils, but I've got the 2.5 gallon boil kind of nailed, so I'm OK with it now. I never gave it much thought, but I'd bet that you can experiment more (and have more batches running!) with 1 and 2 gallon batches of brew.

I've only used the well water from my south-central Michigan home. It's 240 feet deep, with hardly any iron and relatively low dissolved solids. No matter how many different styles I brew, how many different yeasts I use and no matter how I conduct the boil, there's always a common flavor to the finished beer - I can only guess it's the water. I've threatened to use the well water from my 'retirement home' up north, but trucking 7 gallons of water never makes it to the "radar" when packing up to go back south. Guess I'll have to brew a batch up north, too!

Did you ever use distilled water in your wort? I'm thinking you might have to add salts or some such. I've never tried it, as the water I have "works" - I'm just curious to see if my suspicions are correct.

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