Homebrewers unite!

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Re: Homebrewers unite!

Postby some call me...tim? » Thu Apr 09, 2009 10:01 am

disc junkie wrote:I was talking with my land loard the other day about brewing your own brew and his number 1 advice was to get a mini fridge for a kegerator. His reasoning behind this was because bottling beer is a big pain in the ass (so he says, Ive never done it) and he just likes it from the tap more.

What do think about that...is bottling really that big of a pain and would the cost difference between bottling your beer versus getting a kegerator be that drastic.


Bottling isn't that big of a pain...kind of time consuming I guess, it takes around 1-2 hours with setup/cleanup and all. It's cool if you have a buddy to help out, just crack a couple brews, turn on some music or a movie, and go at it. It's a lot easier to share bottles than to have to have people come over to taste your kegged beer.

That being said though, I'd love to be able to have a kegerator with like 4 taps available at any given time. Also, with kegs, you force carbonate your beer, rather than having to let it carb in the bottle, so you can enjoy your brew that much more quickly.
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Re: Homebrewers unite!

Postby spitfire » Thu Apr 09, 2009 10:08 am

I am bottling right now. I bottled 48 bottles and about 25 wine bottles. I honestly don't mind it..........yet.

My thinking was this. I want to learn as much of the process as I can. So I decided that for my first several batches I would bottle, that way I know what I am doing in case I have to do it.

I am in the process now of builder a keezer(chest freezer with tap system)

I am doing this so I bottle less(I will still bottle) but I also think it would be awesome to be able to go downstairs and pull a pint fresh from the tap :D

The worst part about bottling is processing the bottles. Here is what I do to process a case of bottles to ready for bottling.

Soak 48 bottles in bathtub with Oxy-Clean Free to help clean and hopefully remove the labels. Removing the labels can be very hard sometimes. When I soak SN Pale Ale the labels come off on their own, nice and easy. I have also used bottles where I had to scrub and scrub and scrub and still could get the labels all the way off

I then run them through some clean water just to get the oxy clean residue off them.

After that I turn upside down to air dry.

On bottling day i soak all bottles in Star San(a sanitizing solution) then bottle the beer.

There are other ways to do it, like use the sanitize setting on a dishwasher but my setup is what works best for me.
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Re: Homebrewers unite!

Postby spitfire » Thu Apr 09, 2009 10:10 am

some call me...tim? wrote:
disc junkie wrote:I was talking with my land loard the other day about brewing your own brew and his number 1 advice was to get a mini fridge for a kegerator. His reasoning behind this was because bottling beer is a big pain in the ass (so he says, Ive never done it) and he just likes it from the tap more.

What do think about that...is bottling really that big of a pain and would the cost difference between bottling your beer versus getting a kegerator be that drastic.


Bottling isn't that big of a pain...kind of time consuming I guess, it takes around 1-2 hours with setup/cleanup and all. It's cool if you have a buddy to help out, just crack a couple brews, turn on some music or a movie, and go at it. It's a lot easier to share bottles than to have to have people come over to taste your kegged beer.

That being said though, I'd love to be able to have a kegerator with like 4 taps available at any given time. Also, with kegs, you force carbonate your beer, rather than having to let it carb in the bottle, so you can enjoy your brew that much more quickly.



That is a good point that I left out. Also, another reason why I want to keg some of my brews.

basically you have to weight the options. use free bottles and just pay for caps or setup a tap system.
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Re: Homebrewers unite!

Postby spitfire » Mon Apr 20, 2009 5:28 am

My APA is about 1 week from bottling and I will be brewing a new brew this weekend. I am going to be doing a
Vanilla Coffee Power Pack Porter 8)
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Re: Homebrewers unite!

Postby chunk » Mon Apr 20, 2009 8:54 am

go get'em spitfire. i'm running out of home brew and need to brew another batch. i got all the supplies, now all i need is the time.

the act of bottling beer is not a pia but keep track of all the bottles and removing labels is a pia. i was talking to a buddy this past weekend who said he'd loan me everything i need to start kegging so i might be giving that a try soon.
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Re: Homebrewers unite!

Postby spitfire » Mon Apr 20, 2009 9:08 am

chunk wrote:go get'em spitfire. i'm running out of home brew and need to brew another batch. i got all the supplies, now all i need is the time.

the act of bottling beer is not a pia but keep track of all the bottles and removing labels is a pia. i was talking to a buddy this past weekend who said he'd loan me everything i need to start kegging so i might be giving that a try soon.



I forgot to mention too that my brown has been in the bottle for 3 weeks now and conditioned very nicely. I enjoyed a few of them over the weekend :wink:
Very similar to New Castle.

I actually have the chest freezer and 2 tap tower and all connections to start kegging. All I need is the CO2 tank and 2 cornies which I should have in the next few weeks once I sell some taps. I have a guy holding 2 cornies and 10# CO2 tank for me which I should last me quite a while.
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Re: Homebrewers unite!

Postby chunk » Mon Apr 20, 2009 9:26 am

spitfire wrote:
chunk wrote:I have a guy holding 2 cornies and 10# CO2 tank for me which I should last me quite a while.

you should look into getting a bigger co2 tank. sure 10 gal will last you a couple of corny kegs but from what i here it costs ~ $15 to fill a 10 gal and ~ $20 to fill a 15 or 20 gal tank. most of the cost is just for hooking up your tank to be filled.
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Re: Homebrewers unite!

Postby spitfire » Mon Apr 20, 2009 9:32 am

I was actually happy to go with a 5 gallon, but he is selling me the 10 gallon with 2 cornie kegs for 100 bucks which is a great price as the tank has been re certified and freshly painted.

The 10 gallon should last me 8+ kegs which should last me in the ballpark of 6 months.
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Re: Homebrewers unite!

Postby uNicedmeMan » Tue Apr 21, 2009 9:31 am

Good Deal?

I really want to start brewing my own here in the near future.
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Re: Homebrewers unite!

Postby spitfire » Tue Apr 21, 2009 9:49 am

uNicedmeMan wrote:Good Deal?

I really want to start brewing my own here in the near future.



I would get it. You wouldn't get that much in a starter kit for that price. Get this try it. If you like it add more equipment as you get more into it.....which you will trust me :wink:
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Re: Homebrewers unite!

Postby spitfire » Tue Apr 21, 2009 11:07 pm

I took a few pictures from my brew tonight. This is going to be my Vanilla Coffee Porter.

stepping the grains

Image
My first taste of Aprihop, not bad but not my favorite Dogfish brew

Image
Taking out the grains and getting ready for the boil and malt addition
Image


Hops were added and getting ready for the hot break. You have to be careful hear not to have a boil over. I had to pull it off the burners for a few seconds to prevent from having a boil over.
Image

This is right after the hot break, full on boil
Image

Here is will hang out for abut a week. Then I will transfe to the secondary and also add some cold brewed coffee and pure vanilla extract. It will hang out in the secondary for about 2 weeks then I hope to have my keg system up by then, if not then I will bottle it. I have high hopes for this beer as it is my first one adding additional ingredients outside the basic recipe.
Image

Here is a picture o my brew closet. You can see my APA which I will be bottling this weekend if I get to it. The cases of beer in the bottom left is my fist brew, a Brown Ale. You can also see my empty secondary and my bottling bucket.
Image

Up next will either be a Banana Cream Ale or Strawberry Cream Ale. I haven't decided yet but I am leaning towards the banana just because it is different.
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Re: Homebrewers unite!

Postby JR » Wed Apr 22, 2009 9:30 pm

Soon you'll be high on your own supply so no need for Aprihop brewing the next batch :)
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Re: Homebrewers unite!

Postby chunk » Fri Apr 24, 2009 9:04 am

finally got a chance to check out your pics. what temp is your brew closet? i'll post some pics the next time i make a batch. my supplies are getting low.
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Re: Homebrewers unite!

Postby spitfire » Fri Apr 24, 2009 10:19 am

The brew closet has been holding right at 66 but it is getting warmer here so I had to move my porter to the landing in my basement to keep a good temp on it. My brew closet has gone to 72-74 in the last 2 days which is a little higher than I like considering that the fermentation creates a little heat as well. The brew closet is mostly for supplies and when it is colder out to maintain a good temp.
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Re: Homebrewers unite!

Postby chunk » Fri Apr 24, 2009 11:53 am

have you seen this for brewing in the summer time?

http://www.brew-dudes.com/swamp-cooler-magic/287
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