Posts Tagged ‘Homebrew’

Sad Day

Thursday, August 6th, 2009

from theweeklybrew

laundrybluessadfaceI planned on doing a nice post about the craft beer tent at Summer in the City next weekend, but to be honest I don’t really feel like it today. Why? Because I just checked the beer fridge and I’m out of homebrew. In fact I’m almost out of commercial beer too. I have exactly one 12oz bottle left. Granted I have those big beautiful beers cellaring, but I can’t touch them till next year.

So how does this happen? How do I go from being at the point where I was happily giving homebrew away to having none? Well first it started with a reduction in brewing. The fridge was full, and I had cases of homebrew all over the garage. I was drinking up to a six pack of homebrew a day in an attempt to make room (got to be a problem when I got to my big IPA). There was no room for commercial beer in the fridge either so I decided to cut back. The last beer I brewed was my saison, and that is still sitting in the carboy, refusing to clear. On top of that I’ve been busy, which means I forget to buy beer during the day. Then I’d get home in the evening, open the fridge, and realize I was almost out.

So starting this month I need to start brewing more. On the list is my wine I want to brew, possibly another rye, my rose red, a heather ale, and another batch of my sour herbal red. So I have alot to brew in the next few months. Oh ya, that one commercial beer is a Full Sail ltd lager….. It sucks.

Jesus Christ, Homebrewer?

Wednesday, June 10th, 2009

I figure it’s been a little bit since I’ve offended anyone, and egged on by a pastor friend I figured some blasphemy was in order.

wine-5

I was joking recently with some friends about how there is a book in the bible called Hebrews (pronounced he-brews). After the usual chuckles (people don’t seem to laugh at jokes about the bible) one of my friends pointed out that Jesus turned water into wine also. How could I forget such a detail? Here I was joking about how how God obviously smiled upon brewers since he was one and I’d forgotten the best bit I could have used. So upon arriving at home I became curious how teetotalers explain away this miracle. Apparently Jesus was like many of their mothers and enjoyed making some high quality grape juice for his children. After all we are all children of God. I wonder if God made top shelf PB&J with crinkle cut carrot sticks to go with it also.

Personally I believe Jesus made wine, and can only envy his skills. Can you imagine being able to turn out a batch of alcohol in the course of a wedding reception using only water and clay pots? It takes me a month at the very least for beer, and that doesn’t include bottle conditioning. Not only that, but the pots that held the water for washing feet. Jesus had some serious skills. After all the chief waiter was impressed with the quality. This is guy in charge of making sure the wine is good. And remember, this was Jesus first miracle. Even before he fed 5000 with a couple fish and some bread he made alcohol. Jesus had his priorities right.

So before I click post and am struck down for writing this I leave you with a quote often mis-attributed to Ben Franklin, and some blasphemy from Rowan Atkinson.

Originally posted at http://www.theweeklybrew.com/2009/06/jesus-christ-homebrewer/

“Beer is proof God loves us and wants us to be happy.”
-someone who wasn’t Ben Franklin-

The Cost Of Homebrew

Friday, May 1st, 2009

money_stackPerhaps the thing that’s gotten the most strange looks and questions is when I tell people I save money when I homebrew. Apparently no one believes that brewing your own can save you money. But the truth is it really can. My beer may not always be as cheap as a sixer of Budweiser, but it can definitely be cheaper then those craft beers in the store. Take the current summer rye I have bubbling away right now. The ingredients cost around $35 dollars for a 5 gal batch of 5% abv beer. That comes out to around 75 cents per a bottle. However I doubled the water in this batch in order to try and achieve a small beer of around 2.5% abv this has lowered the cost of this beer too around 35 cents a batch. How much does your Bud Light cost per a can? and I promise this has more flavor.

My Summer Rye doesn’t have alot of specialty ingredients though, so how does a bigger beer like my Rose Red compare? Well it came out to around $1.25 per a bottle, or $7.50 per a sixer. Not really that bad considering. Even if making recipes isn’t your thing it still can be cheap. Last time I was in the local brew shop I failed to find a 5 gal kit beer over $50, and these were nice, but spendy, kits like Rogues Dead Guy.

So we now know how much a batch costs, so what about start up? This is the part that intimidates people the most. After all where does one start? Do I need a glass carboy or a plastic food grade bucket for a fermentor? What about a pot? Do I need a propane burner like the guys online say? What is all grain? What is a lauter tun? Do I need a lauter tun?

As you can see it’s overwhelming when you start looking for equipment. Want to know a secret though to creating a free homebrewing kit? Back when I first started brewing consisted of the largest pot I had at the time (less then 3 gal), and several 2 ltr soda bottles for fermentors. There were no thermometers, hydrometers, bubblers or the like. But how this all worked is another post.

Let’s say you want something a little more substantial then the ghetto setup I started with. Let’s say you want to start where most hobbiests start, extract brewing using your cook top. For a pre-packaged starter kit your looking at a starting cost of around $50 to upwards of 2 or 3 hundred dollars. So what are the basics you need for your kit? For a person just starting you will need at least the following. Bottles aren’t listed since you probably have some lying around from all those beers you’ve purchased at the store.

Needed

•3 gal pot (5 or more would be better)
•5 gal food grade plastic bucket with a lid that has a spot to insert a bubbler
•bubbler
•racking cane
•siphoning tube
•capper and caps
•bottle brush
•thermometer

Optional things that will help

•bottling wand
•hydrometer
•wort chiller

If one were to scavenge their undamaged fermenting buckets from restaurants then you could theoretically have a brewing kit for under $50 easy. Considering how much other hobbies like golf, cycling, and the like cost brewing is a cheap hobby. Combine that with a good beer  that you made for cheaper then the cost of a sixer at the store and one can really appreciate the savings of brewing your own beer.