Teach a friend to homebrew day

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ronjohn55

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I was reminded last night that Saturday, November 6th is Teach-a-friend-to-homebrew day.

If anyone is curious to see how beer is made up close and personal, this is a great opportunity. If you check your local phone book for homebrewing supplies or beer making, you should be able to find a place that will have some sort of demonstration (and usually samples, too) on that day.

There's also a listing of registered sites at http://www.beertown.org/events/teach/sites.asp There are sure to be more, these are just sites that have been officially registered.

And yes, I'll be brewing that day, helping a fellow brewer make a cream ale, a style he's been having touble mastering.

Just thought I'd throw this up here for any interested parties.

John
 

ronjohn55

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No bubbles is a pretty easy problem to fix!

There's a good homebrew store in NC (Homebrew Adventures), with a good website for tips, plus there are several excellent brewers in the state.

If you want more info, just give a yell!

John
 

kitchenelf

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ROOOOOOOOOOOONJOOOOOOOOOOOOOOHNNNNNN

was that loud enough?

Maybe I can start him on his way via a Christmas present of some kind.
 

ronjohn55

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Plenty Loud! ;)

Somehow I should have seen that one coming....

What type of informtation would you like?
Starter Kit info?
Extract? All Grain?

I got my starter kit from my loacl shop fo about $100. It came with two buckets (Fermenter and bottling buckets) the other hardware, a book, ingredients for my first batch, and 2 cases of longneck bottles. I've added to it considerably since then, but that's enough to get started.

Down in NC is a store call Homebrew Adventures (http://www.homebrewadventures.com) I'm sure they have a similar setup.

What types of beer is your husband looking to make?

John
 

buckytom

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thanks for the info ronjohn, i am interested in making beer too. so far my christmas list is the new book and companion dvd from lidia's italian american kitchen, and a beer making starter set.

what beer would you recommend for a beginner. i like every beer known to man; some more than others of course, and some i'd marry, to steal a line from deadly sushi.

just had to tell you a quick beer story. my wife and i were taking a rainy day off from skiing at killington in vermont and after a day antique-ing in woodstock, we were heading home to our condo. as we drove thru the shifting foggy mountain roads, we came around a bend, and the sun suddenly started to shine, a great opening in the fog appeared before us. behold, the long trail brewery was just ahead beside the road. it was a beautiful site, and the "aroma"of the malt wafted thru my truck like incense.
we pulled in and upon entering the building, my wife was yapping away, so i stopped, and dropped to a knee and said "quiet, show some respect woman, this is holy ground". well, she just laughed :roll: and we went up to the tasting bar. we had some good soup and bread, cheddar cheese we picked up at another roadside place, and a few 5 way sampler beer trays. my favs are the long trail pollenator, and the double bag.
anyway, it was a great day. i went home with a coupla cases and t shirts, and a good story.
not to be outdone, a few weeks later, my wife and i were in a mall and we went into bloomingdales. she droppped to a knee, and said "shut up ya windbag, show some respect, this is a holy place"... lol.
 

ronjohn55

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Hi Buckytom!

If you're starting out, anything from a pale ale up through a proter or stout is probably best. Ironically, the beer that most brewers bash on the most, Bud, is literally one of the hardest to copy at home!

You defintely want to start with ales. Lagers require cooler fermentation temps, which means more expensive equipment, like a dedicated chest freezer or fridge. Ales can ferment at basically cool room temperatures. I ferment most of my beers in the basement, where it's usually about 68degrees F.

I love the story! We were out to Maui, I got word of a brewpub, and we were off across the island to go check it out, so I can relate!

John
 

beerco

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Hey Ronjohn, I'm in SE michigan too...small world.

I homebrewed for a while but haven't been able to for about 3 years now due to various moves, child etc.

I agree with ronjohn's advice. I'm a big fan of the Papazian books to teach how it's done. Out here we've got a store "Brew & Grow" (the grow part is $500 grow lamps for growing er, um, tomatoes, yea that's it) and their kit seems really nice and they give very succinct instructions.

For a first beer that's drinkable, you've got do to a few things:

* Boil the wert. If the kit doesn't include boiling, run away.
* Steep some specialty malt - not a necessity but it will give your homebregi a bit more depth than syrup alone.
* Some kind of hop addition - usually just finishing hops to give it a little nose.
* Oxyginate - although oxygination during fermentation is bad, oxyginating the wert is important to get that yeast to get going. This can be as simple as pooring the wert at a height to get lots of bubbles to form. I had a difficult time getting this information (it's not clear in most of the books) but it helps. Another side effect of oxygination is that the yeast might take a few hours more to get going (it doesn't ferment while the yeast is absorbing oxygen, only once it's mostly gone) but when it gets going, watch out!

Some tips:

Yeast - if you feel up to it, get a liquid yeast even for your first batch - I've brewed all the way from pre-hopped malt extract to all grain and the biggest difference in flavor was between dry yeast and fresh yeast.

Sanitation - Aparently this is the most important aspect of brewing - keep everything clean. I'm usually a slob, but I've been compulsive regarding sanitation while brewing and I've never had a bad batch (kiss of death, I kow :cry: ).

good luck all.
 

ronjohn55

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Beerco, Is there a Brew and Grow up your way?

I'm only familiar with the one in Livonia - We swing by at lunch sometimes. Most of the time, I get my stuff from Adventures in Homebrewing down in Dearborn. Probably 99% of my brewing supplies to date have come from there. I'll prbably be back there this weekend to grab some more kegs. $13 each, all they need is a little TLC (or PBW in this case...) and some elbow grease.

John
 

beerco

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ronjohn55 said:
Beerco, Is there a Brew and Grow up your way?

No, no brew & Grow up here, I used to live in Livonia when I started brewing. I haven't found (or looked very hard) anything up here.

I've always been impressed at the quality of the hops & yeast at B&G
 

norgeskog

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I think I might get in trouble here in Oregon. There are strict liquor laws in this state, owned by the state. Only beer and wine in a supermarket, all other in a store. They are also thinking of taking all malt beverages with more than 1/2 proof in them which would include beer.
 

beerco

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norgeskog said:
I think I might get in trouble here in Oregon. There are strict liquor laws in this state, owned by the state. Only beer and wine in a supermarket, all other in a store. They are also thinking of taking all malt beverages with more than 1/2 proof in them which would include beer.

Sounds like time for some foamy tasty patriotic civil disobedience (perfect timing with the election and all).

(by the way, in my other posts I noticed that I was writing "wert" instead of "wort" which is correct. It's pronounced "wert" which is why I spelled it that way. Please forgive my transgression)
 

norgeskog

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beerco said:
norgeskog said:
I think I might get in trouble here in Oregon. There are strict liquor laws in this state, owned by the state. Only beer and wine in a supermarket, all other in a store. They are also thinking of taking all malt beverages with more than 1/2 proof in them which would include beer.

Sounds like time for some foamy tasty patriotic civil disobedience (perfect timing with the election and all).

(by the way, in my other posts I noticed that I was writing "wert" instead of "wort" which is correct. It's pronounced "wert" which is why I spelled it that way. Please forgive my transgression)

Good idea beerco, I like being rebellious, especially if I do not get caught. I had a cousin (living in central Norway) who made rhubarb wine in her basement and it was 90 proof. The liquor laws are much tighter there than anywhere here in teh USA, but she got away with it until she died last year at 90.
 

buckytom

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my macedonian neighbor makes his own wine and grappa. both are terrible, but it's neat to watch him make them.

the first year he did it, i was working in the garden on an early sunday morning, and he stumbled out of his garage and asked if i liked vishkey. i was unsure what he meant, so i hopped the fence and followed him into his garage. there he had built this 6 foot tall phallic looking m*a*s*h* type still, replete with the condenser made out of a huge fish tank and ice water. it dripped the elixir into a bucket where he was measuring the alcohol content, i think somewhere around 100 proof.

i was not sure if it was legal to make something like that in joisey, so i told him to close the garage doors so the nosey malcontents living next door would not call the cops. he said in his broken english "no close door, BOOM!"... :shock:

i was very happy to see him finish for the day and that both of our houses were still standing...

btw, it is legal to make wine and beer and shine for your own consumption here, just not for sale.
 

ronjohn55

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buckytom said:
my macedonian neighbor makes his own wine and grappa. both are terrible, but it's neat to watch him make them.

the first year he did it, i was working in the garden on an early sunday morning, and he stumbled out of his garage and asked if i liked vishkey. i was unsure what he meant, so i hopped the fence and followed him into his garage. there he had built this 6 foot tall phallic looking m*a*s*h* type still, replete with the condenser made out of a huge fish tank and ice water. it dripped the elixir into a bucket where he was measuring the alcohol content, i think somewhere around 100 proof.

i was not sure if it was legal to make something like that in joisey, so i told him to close the garage doors so the nosey malcontents living next door would not call the cops. he said in his broken english "no close door, BOOM!"... :shock:

i was very happy to see him finish for the day and that both of our houses were still standing...

btw, it is legal to make wine and beer and shine for your own consumption here, just not for sale.

Wine and Beer - Yes. Shine, NO!

Home winemaking was legalized with the repeal of prohibition, beer was left off, and not corrected until 1979. There are still several states that haven't changed the old laws, but I don't think they're out to bust brewers.

Distillation, on the other hand, is against federal law. Even though a lot of the supposed health risks the government puts forward as reasons are false, it is still a bit dangerous to those who aren't familiar with it (The BOOM is a possibility). Then there's the whole tax revenue issue.

John
 

buckytom

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ronjohn,
i've known lots of people that have made grappa in my life. no one ever got busted, or was even hassled by the cops or atf. i guess that's because they only make a few gallons a year, fo rtheir own consumption (and to torture their freinds and neighbors making them drink what would otherwise be used for degreasing carbeurators)

oh, btw, have you ever drank soju? it's good stuff. i had a bottle of green soju on the rocks last night; tastes like a strong vodka, but it's only 42 proof.

here's a link about the stuff: http://www.rohanlounge.com/soju.shtml
 

ronjohn55

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Bucky,

I agree, and I know a few folks who do "purify" their beers, if you know what I mean. But it is technically illegal. (Never stopped some of my ancestors, though...)

Granted, if you're quiet about it, and like you said, make some for yourself, and a few freinds you wish to torture - you probably won't be getting a visit from the Feds. (What'd they used to call them, revenuers?)

Never had soju - have to see if the local shop carries it. Thanks!

John
 
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