Brewing Beer

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by Boomhauer, Jul 26, 2017.

  1. kiwi blue

    kiwi blue Tele-Afflicted

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    Been brewing for six or seven years now, mainly because it’s a lot cheaper to make your own. A combination of new baby (at that time), partner not working, and a large mortgage meant it was either that or go teetotal. Those who know me know that teetotal wasn’t an option ;-)



    For most of that time I’ve done extract brewing, often based around a kit but almost always adding more malt and aroma hops, often steeping grains, and always using a good dried yeast like US05 or Nottingham. I find the Coopers Real Ale and Stout kits are a good basis for that kind of brew.



    Recently I’ve got a new Grainfather and have entered the world of all grain brewing. My first all grain brew using the Grainfather is fermenting right now. It’s an ESB using English hops with Golden Promise and Special W malts. I’m sure the malt flavour will be better, but the extract brews I was doing were still pretty respectable and better than a lot of mainstream commercial beer. I don’t always have time for a 6 hour AG brew so I’ll probably end up using the Grainfather once a month and making extract brews inbetween. I’ve also worked out that the Grainfather can handle enough grain for me to make a high gravity wort then dilute it at fermentation stage so as to have two 20 litre batches instead of one 23 litre batch, so long as you’re aiming for a strength around 4 – 5% ABV, which is what I like anyway. So that’s probably what I’ll end up doing most of the time to justify the extra hours spent brewing.



    My tastes lean towards traditional English styles more than modern hoppy craft beer. The great thing about home brewing is you can make the kind of beers you enjoy the most.
     
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  2. jimdkc

    jimdkc Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    To me, turning grain, water, hops, and yeast into BEER is about as close to alchemy (making gold from lead) as you can get! It's magic!

    The only thing remotely close is the ability to turn wood and a few bits of metal into a guitar!
     
  3. Smokin OP

    Smokin OP Tele-Holic

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    I brewed for the past 7 years but recently gave it up due to some health issues. Loved every minute of it. Enjoy it and cheers!
     
  4. sunkidd

    sunkidd Tele-Holic

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    I just invited my brother over, who lives near by, and that took care of that!:twisted:
     
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  5. brobar

    brobar Tele-Holic

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    Which one? Sam Adams? AleSmith? Goose Island? Blackstone? Tommyknocker? There are so many nut browns out there. I think the second batch I ever did was a generic nut brown (after my first which was an Irish red).

    One of my all time favorites is a variation I did on the Moose Drool American Brown recipe. I named it after my Uncle James and called it Uncle James Brown Ale. Sooooo good!
     
  6. drf64

    drf64 Poster Extraordinaire

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    I was thinking more of Samuel Smith's actually. I'd really love to try that one fresh sometime. It's always kind of thin and a little stale out of the bottle. But I'm left thinking it could be terrific under the right circumstances.
     
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  7. brobar

    brobar Tele-Holic

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    Aaahhh... I've got clone recipes for Samuel Smith's "Winter Welcome", "Taddy Porter", and "Oatmeal Stout", but not their Nut Brown.

    I'll take a look through my past Zymurgy and BYO magazines and if I find one I'll let ya know.
     
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  8. drf64

    drf64 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Awesome.
     
  9. brobar

    brobar Tele-Holic

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    Alrighty buddy... you are in luck. Charlie Papazian founder of the Brewers Association has a recipe in his Homebrewer's Companion Book (Second Edition) pages 257-259. The recipe is called "Saunders's Nut Brown Ale"... it is an extract recipe.

    he says "My friend Michael Saunders once pleaded, 'I want something like Samuel Smith's Nut Brown Ale. Can we make something like that?' Of course. Caramel-like sweetness, relatively low bitterness, and the gentle nuttiness of roasted malts and barley. Could almost be your everyday session beer, no matter what kind of day you've had. Saunders's Nut Brown Ale will always be your friend. Cheers." And then the 5-gallon recipe follows.

    I won't post the recipe out of respect for the author and his intellectual property. But if you have a hankering for something pretty close to SS's Nut Brown Ale... grab a copy of his "Homebrewer's Companion (Second Edition)" and you'll be all set. I'm sure if you search the databases of beersmith, brewtoad, beerrecipes, brewer's friend, etc... for "Saunders's Nut Brown Ale" you might be able to stumble upon the recipe if someone has uploaded into those tools... but you can support the author by buying it on Amazon. It's only 10 bucks. https://www.amazon.com/dp/0062215779/?tag=tdpri-20

    I knew I had seen mention of Samuel Smith's Nut Brown in recipe form somewhere... so I started looking through all my beer books. Luckily it was the second one I grabbed. =)
     
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  10. Nickfl

    Nickfl Tele-Afflicted

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    Knowing what I do about Charlie Papazian, I'm pretty sure he wouldn't get bent out of shape about anyone sharing his recipes.
     
  11. Nickfl

    Nickfl Tele-Afflicted

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    Brewing software is a must, unless you want to make your own spreadsheets or something. Beersmith is fine, though I prefer beertools pro. Its a little less clunky IMO and has all the tools and options you could ever want.

    Also, that whole idea that IBUs etc don't scale linearly is often repeated, but kind of overblown. IMO the beersmith scaling tool is a joke, or it least it was the last time I played with it 5 or so years ago, and calling it an algorithm is giving it WAY too much credit. Virtually everything in a beer recipe scales 1:1 with volume, including hops, with the possible exception of bittering additions, which do get more efficient with larger batches, though you would have to be scaling up from homebrew to commercial size for that to be a factor.

    The real issue is that efficiencies (both mash and to a lesser degree hop utilization) will vary widely from one system to the next. For example you may only get 65 or 75% eff on a 5 gallon homebrew setup, whereas even a smallish craft brewery will get 80-90% eff if they know what they are doing and their equipment is decent (both big ifs these days, but I digress) and a bigger brewery will always be working in the 90+% range. Not to mention that all of the calculations any software uses for theoretical IBUs are massively, fundamentally flawed. Some of them will get close when used within certain, very specific parameters, but when you use any significant quantity of late hops, or high gravity, or high AA hops, or go above 80IBU, of any number of other variables they are completely worthless. Trust me they basically never match lab results, sometimes by bonkers margins of error...

    Long story short, if you are scaling from say a 10 gallon batch to 2.5 gal, just divide your recipe by 4 and leave it at that, the vagueries of your equipment will make more of a difference than anything else at that scale. I've regularly scaled pilot batches up from 10 to 450 or 900 gallons and what I've learned is that knowing your equipment is the biggest factor in doing so successfully.
     
  12. brobar

    brobar Tele-Holic

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    From my own personal experience using exact ratios doesn't always work for me. If you uncheck the "keep same IBU, color, gravity" in BeerSmith it will perform a linear scale. When I went from doing one gallon batches to 5 and 6 gallon batches I tried scaling up my own recipes both ways. The linear scaling was noticeably off. I tried three of the same recipes that I scaled linearly but let BeerSmith scale it with "keep same IBU, color, gravity" checked. They were so much closer to the original because it takes brewhouse efficiency and boil-off rates into account. The key is definitely dialing in your system(s) accurately (both based on the original recipe's system if you have that info and your scaled system). Once you get BeerSmith dialed in it is fantastic at scaling recipes... small scale and large scale. We used BeerSmith to scale my 6-gallon Black IPA recipe for the university's half barrel system and it scaled perfectly. The only thing we tweaked by hand was the hop schedule and it came out dead on.

    I can't speak to previous versions... I've only used BeerSmith2. Obviously YMMV so experiment and see what works best for you, your recipes, and your system.
     
  13. raito

    raito Poster Extraordinaire

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    My wife used to, but her friends drank faster than she could make it. She got a bit tired of footing the bill.

    It was very funny the people who'd try to give her process advice. She's a chemical engineer who was working with fermentation and enzyme products at the time.
     
  14. brobar

    brobar Tele-Holic

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    Yeah... SUPER nice guy. I got to meet and talk with him at last year's GABF.
     
  15. drf64

    drf64 Poster Extraordinaire

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    I ordered the book. Thanks again.
     
  16. Sean_D

    Sean_D Tele-Meister

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    I am an avid homebrewer and equally an avid DIY homebrew equipment "maker", if that makes sense. I have made my own mash tuns, immersion chillers, wort cooling systems, brew stands, keezer (chest freezer which has 6 taps), lagering fridge, and more which I can't recall ATM.

    I have not brewed in a couple of months because my main burner was broken in a recent storm and I have not replaced it. I have been focusing all my cash on guitars so the brewing will have to wait for a little bit. Although I have about 300 lbs of gran and 5-6 lbs. of hops sitting around waiting to be converted.
     
  17. Sean_D

    Sean_D Tele-Meister

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  18. Boomhauer

    Boomhauer Friend of Leo's

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    General question:

    My spruce beer is ready to be bottled...or, was supposed to have been ready on Friday. For various reasons, I don't have enough bottles on hand to do the entire batch. What are the risks of leaving a batch of beer in the fermenter for a few extra days, while I scrabble up a few more bottles?
     
  19. kiwi blue

    kiwi blue Tele-Afflicted

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    Negligible risk.
     
  20. Boomhauer

    Boomhauer Friend of Leo's

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    Whew.

    I don't have a capping rig at home, but I do have a bunch of Grolsch-style bottles...but not nearly enough. So, I've been buying Grolsch...but a guy can only drink so much beer!

    And seriously, a 4-pack of Grolsch comes out to about $10 here...One pint glass bottles with the ceramic flip-top lid at the local brewery store cost $3 apiece, and they don't even come pre-filled! Grolsch FTW!
     
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