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(Short List)   Home brew kit makes beer in 3.5 hours? We'll never go to the bar again What do you mean it takes a week to ferment?   ( shortlist.com) divider line
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3452 clicks; posted to Geek » on 04 Oct 2013 at 9:25 AM (3 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-10-04 06:36:24 AM  
Make some daily, and after the first week, you will have.... well, you know really
 
2013-10-04 07:02:13 AM  
You caaaan do a weak pruno, aka terlet sangria, in about three hours with bread yeast and plenty of luck.

It's not advisable. It tastes better coming back up than going down. If you need farked up that bad it's time to reevaluate life.
 
2013-10-04 07:19:53 AM  
no, it makes a batch of wort in 3.5 hours.  so can i.
 
2013-10-04 08:14:53 AM  

doglover: terlet sangria


'course it's shank or be shanked.
 
2013-10-04 09:32:56 AM  
I want  This One
 
2013-10-04 09:35:26 AM  
A week if you hate your tongue.
 
2013-10-04 09:35:44 AM  
When it's done, they'll have produced a keg of their very own beer - though it still needs to be chilled, have yeast added and allowed to ferment for up to a week.

2.5 hours. 168 hours. What's the difference?
 
2013-10-04 09:39:38 AM  
So it's two temperature controlled electric pots connected by a pump?
 
2013-10-04 09:42:16 AM  

doublesecretprobation: no, it makes a batch of wort in 3.5 hours.  so can i.


And, from what it appears, a lot less wort.

abhorrent1: I want  This One


Build it for a heck of a lot cheaper. There's at least one farker I know who did so and there are plans online. Sure, it might not look all stainless-steely and nice like that, but it will save you $40k+ I imagine.
 
2013-10-04 09:44:09 AM  

WinoRhino: doublesecretprobation: no, it makes a batch of wort in 3.5 hours.  so can i.

And, from what it appears, a lot less wort.

abhorrent1: I want  This One

Build it for a heck of a lot cheaper. There's at least one farker I know who did so and there are plans online. Sure, it might not look all stainless-steely and nice like that, but it will save you $40k+ I imagine.


Yeah. That thing's neat and all, but it's about 10X too much money for what you get.
 
2013-10-04 09:48:10 AM  

KidneyStone: doublesecretprobation: no, it makes a batch of wort in 3.5 hours.  so can i.

^


^
 
2013-10-04 09:56:08 AM  

baconbeard: Yeah. That thing's neat and all, but it's about 10X too much money for what you get.


Plus, how many home brewers do you know who would rather buy their rig than build it themselves? There's a huge overlap between DIYers and brewers.
 
2013-10-04 09:56:47 AM  
www.towntalk.co.uk
 
2013-10-04 09:58:38 AM  
My buddy got me a Mr. Beer kit for my bday last year, so I've been playing with that. They provide the wort in a can, lots of different varieties (they also provide recipes to make your own, but I'm not quite ready for that yet), but it still requires fermenting and all that.

I'm not very good at it, though. First batch came out perfect. Second batch the yeast was dead so it never fermented. Third batch seemed alright but it never carbonated in the bottles for whatever reason. Fourth batch was good except I got the sugar wrong so it super-carbonated. Tastes fine, it just takes forever to pour a glass because I have to wait for the foam to go down, and I'm only putting one bottle at a time in the fridge, because I'm kind of worried about them asploding.

It's a pretty good setup, though, and a good way to get to know your beer a little bit better.
 
2013-10-04 09:58:47 AM  

WinoRhino: doublesecretprobation: no, it makes a batch of wort in 3.5 hours.  so can i.

And, from what it appears, a lot less wort.

abhorrent1: I want  This One

Build it for a heck of a lot cheaper. There's at least one farker I know who did so and there are plans online. Sure, it might not look all stainless-steely and nice like that, but it will save you $40k+ I imagine.


May be a cool winter project for me while I'm trapped inside. I was just getting into home brewing this spring but my basement flooded and pretty much derailed all my plans for most of the spring/summer. I'll have to see if I can find some plans.
 
2013-10-04 10:00:06 AM  
I think it is kind of silly, but then again anything that gets more people interested in brewing their own beer can't be a bad thing.
 
2013-10-04 10:01:16 AM  

the cake is a pie: My buddy got me a Mr. Beer kit for my bday last year, so I've been playing with that. They provide the wort in a can, lots of different varieties (they also provide recipes to make your own, but I'm not quite ready for that yet), but it still requires fermenting and all that.

I'm not very good at it, though. First batch came out perfect. Second batch the yeast was dead so it never fermented. Third batch seemed alright but it never carbonated in the bottles for whatever reason. Fourth batch was good except I got the sugar wrong so it super-carbonated. Tastes fine, it just takes forever to pour a glass because I have to wait for the foam to go down, and I'm only putting one bottle at a time in the fridge, because I'm kind of worried about them asploding.

It's a pretty good setup, though, and a good way to get to know your beer a little bit better.


With most of those kits, it's almost always better to buy good yeast than use the stuff it comes with.  It also helps to proof it first.  You'll get much better results.
 
2013-10-04 10:02:56 AM  
You just need a shiatload of bottles that you spend your whole life sterilizing and then you can just rotate, there will always be some fresh.

/really need to start kegging
//really need a basemen
 
2013-10-04 10:03:16 AM  

the cake is a pie: My buddy got me a Mr. Beer kit for my bday last year, so I've been playing with that. They provide the wort in a can, lots of different varieties (they also provide recipes to make your own, but I'm not quite ready for that yet), but it still requires fermenting and all that.

I'm not very good at it, though. First batch came out perfect. Second batch the yeast was dead so it never fermented. Third batch seemed alright but it never carbonated in the bottles for whatever reason. Fourth batch was good except I got the sugar wrong so it super-carbonated. Tastes fine, it just takes forever to pour a glass because I have to wait for the foam to go down, and I'm only putting one bottle at a time in the fridge, because I'm kind of worried about them asploding.

It's a pretty good setup, though, and a good way to get to know your beer a little bit better.


They're probably less likely to pop in the fridge. The yeast will shut down.


Man, I really need to get brewing again
 
2013-10-04 10:06:22 AM  

genepool lifeboat: the cake is a pie: My buddy got me a Mr. Beer kit for my bday last year, so I've been playing with that. They provide the wort in a can, lots of different varieties (they also provide recipes to make your own, but I'm not quite ready for that yet), but it still requires fermenting and all that.

I'm not very good at it, though. First batch came out perfect. Second batch the yeast was dead so it never fermented. Third batch seemed alright but it never carbonated in the bottles for whatever reason. Fourth batch was good except I got the sugar wrong so it super-carbonated. Tastes fine, it just takes forever to pour a glass because I have to wait for the foam to go down, and I'm only putting one bottle at a time in the fridge, because I'm kind of worried about them asploding.

It's a pretty good setup, though, and a good way to get to know your beer a little bit better.

With most of those kits, it's almost always better to buy good yeast than use the stuff it comes with.  It also helps to proof it first.  You'll get much better results.


Thanks. :)
 
2013-10-04 10:07:45 AM  

the cake is a pie: My buddy got me a Mr. Beer kit for my bday last year, so I've been playing with that. They provide the wort in a can, lots of different varieties (they also provide recipes to make your own, but I'm not quite ready for that yet), but it still requires fermenting and all that.

I'm not very good at it, though. First batch came out perfect. Second batch the yeast was dead so it never fermented. Third batch seemed alright but it never carbonated in the bottles for whatever reason. Fourth batch was good except I got the sugar wrong so it super-carbonated. Tastes fine, it just takes forever to pour a glass because I have to wait for the foam to go down, and I'm only putting one bottle at a time in the fridge, because I'm kind of worried about them asploding.

It's a pretty good setup, though, and a good way to get to know your beer a little bit better.


Coolers make outstanding asploding beer containment vessels.  Its never a bad idea buy a second package of dry yeast to pitch later just in case the yeast you tried first is dead, but that point is moot if you didn't rinse your brewing equipment thoroughly enough after sterilizing it.
 
2013-10-04 10:08:10 AM  

Tyrone Slothrop: KidneyStone: doublesecretprobation: no, it makes a batch of wort in 3.5 hours.  so can i.

^

^

^

 
2013-10-04 10:09:32 AM  

Wellon Dowd: When it's done, they'll have produced a keg of their very own beer - though it still needs to be chilled, have yeast added and allowed to ferment for up to a week.

2.5 hours. 168 hours. What's the difference?


One tastes like beer, one tastes like grass filtered through a jockstrap.  It's the miracle of fermentation.

Yeast.  Bless you, boys!
 
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2013-10-04 10:12:58 AM  
You millennials are so impatient. When I was a kid we made apple cider which spent the winter fermenting in a barrel in the basement.
 
2013-10-04 10:14:21 AM  
Or you could just get a couple bucks worth of materials and turn any juice into alcohol in just 3 days.

Bonus: a cute nerdy girl shows you how
 
2013-10-04 10:15:25 AM  
What is the point of the machine? I thought home brewing was about controlling process and a DIY attitude.  This seems nothing like it.
 
2013-10-04 10:16:10 AM  
Nice idea, I guess.  But as others have said:

 - Needs to make at least 5G of wort at a time to target homebrewers
 - Probably prohibitively expensive and less satisfying as compared to making a brewing stand yourself
 - They REALLY glossed over the whole cleaning aspect of the machine.  "Just throw the tub in the dishwasher."  Yeah.  Right.
 - Does it do multiple hop additions during the boil?
 - Does it do multi-step mashes?
 - yada yada yada
 
2013-10-04 10:21:21 AM  

AngryDragon: One tastes like beer, one tastes like grass filtered through a jockstrap. It's the miracle of fermentation.


They drink unfermented malt extract in Iceland.  Tastes exactly like it sounds.  I thought it was a practical joke on tourists at first but it's everywhere.
 
2013-10-04 10:24:43 AM  
While brewing my own beer sounds tempting, I will just stick to making Meade.  Its a lot more forgiving than beer for the most part.  It can be bottled, but I just leave it in the large carboys until I'm ready to siphon off a gallon or two to chill and drink.

Just finished drinking my latest 6 gallon batch of Orange Spiced Meade and have to start another one, takes 8-9 weeks start to finish.  There is a batch of Strawberry Melomel still fermenting after 3 months in the closet now.  It tastes wonderful but it hasn't started clearing yet. Starting to have to buy honey by the 5 gallon bucket (60lbs) to keep up with it all.
 
2013-10-04 10:29:57 AM  
I've been doing barley wine with the pomegranates from my tree the last couple years. Its great but takes forever to mature flavor-wise. I've always wanted to get into beer but I don't have time for doing the full grain process. Does extract brewing produce decent quality beer? Should I just get a Mr. Beer kit and some quality yeast?
 
2013-10-04 10:35:49 AM  

the cake is a pie: My buddy got me a Mr. Beer kit for my bday last year, so I've been playing with that. They provide the wort in a can, lots of different varieties (they also provide recipes to make your own, but I'm not quite ready for that yet), but it still requires fermenting and all that.

I'm not very good at it, though. First batch came out perfect. Second batch the yeast was dead so it never fermented. Third batch seemed alright but it never carbonated in the bottles for whatever reason. Fourth batch was good except I got the sugar wrong so it super-carbonated. Tastes fine, it just takes forever to pour a glass because I have to wait for the foam to go down, and I'm only putting one bottle at a time in the fridge, because I'm kind of worried about them asploding.

It's a pretty good setup, though, and a good way to get to know your beer a little bit better.


That's the whole point of their product.  Precise controlling of the quality.
 
2013-10-04 10:36:02 AM  
Since when does brewing beer involve hours and hours of doing things?  Most of the time spent is waiting for things to happen.  The longest part is bottling.
 
2013-10-04 10:36:23 AM  

mrlewish: What is the point of the machine? I thought home brewing was about controlling process and a DIY attitude.  This seems nothing like it.


The people who built it don't understand that while making/designing/building something like this is really, really cool, actually owning the finished product leaves a lot to be desired.

- if I want beer quickly, I'll buy it from the store
- if I want to brew beer, I'll brew it

This thing seems to sit in the no-man's-land between the two and likely won't hold much appeal. It's a neat personal project with almost no commercial application.
 
2013-10-04 10:39:07 AM  

xalres: I've been doing barley wine with the pomegranates from my tree the last couple years. Its great but takes forever to mature flavor-wise. I've always wanted to get into beer but I don't have time for doing the full grain process. Does extract brewing produce decent quality beer? Should I just get a Mr. Beer kit and some quality yeast?


Mr beer is good if you've never brewed before to learn the basics. If you've been doing barely wine for a while you mostly know them already.

You probably already have a lot of the equipment too.

There are a lot of kits out there that are a step or 3 up from mr beer but still extract. They'll have small amounts of specialty grain just for flavoring that you steep for like 20 mins.

The one I see everywhere is Brewers Best (which I use) but your LHBS will usually have their own kits too.
 
2013-10-04 10:40:53 AM  

Calehedron: While brewing my own beer sounds tempting, I will just stick to making Meade.  Its a lot more forgiving than beer for the most part.  It can be bottled, but I just leave it in the large carboys until I'm ready to siphon off a gallon or two to chill and drink.



Does the increase in air from draining the carboy affect the taste of the reamaining mead at all?
 
2013-10-04 10:41:43 AM  

WinoRhino: abhorrent1: I want  This One

Build it for a heck of a lot cheaper. There's at least one farker I know who did so and there are plans online. Sure, it might not look all stainless-steely and nice like that, but it will save you $40k+ I imagine.


I don't suppose you have a link.  That would be an incredible birthday present.
 
2013-10-04 10:43:33 AM  

Calehedron: I will just stick to making Meade


I made some Medea, but it killed all my children when I drank a different beverage.
 
2013-10-04 10:47:01 AM  

Hack Patooey: Since when does brewing beer involve hours and hours of doing things?  Most of the time spent is waiting for things to happen.  The longest part is bottling.


I think their entire point is the precision and controls of the process.
 
2013-10-04 10:49:01 AM  

baconbeard: The people who built it don't understand that while making/designing/building something like this is really, really cool, actually owning the finished product leaves a lot to be desired.

- if I want beer quickly, I'll buy it from the store
- if I want to brew beer, I'll brew it

This thing seems to sit in the no-man's-land between the two and likely won't hold much appeal. It's a neat personal project with almost no commercial application.


I do a little home brewing and know quite a few people who do a lot of brewing. In my experience when you get to doing whole grain brewing most of the fun is in trying new recipes, I doubt the setup bit has nearly the appeal. So if it makes clean-up easier especially, and allows more precise control and precision, I can see a lot of home brewers really liking it. Then again all of the brewers I know are scientists like me, so we also like shiny tech to do cool things with.

But it will only work for those guys if, as a poster up thread said, you can do things like add additional hops at different points, and things like that.
 
2013-10-04 10:52:52 AM  

Big Beef Burrito: Calehedron: While brewing my own beer sounds tempting, I will just stick to making Meade.  Its a lot more forgiving than beer for the most part.  It can be bottled, but I just leave it in the large carboys until I'm ready to siphon off a gallon or two to chill and drink.


Does the increase in air from draining the carboy affect the taste of the reamaining mead at all?


It hasn't as far as I can tell.  The airlock is only off long enough to siphon and goes right back on.  I also haven't had a batch last long enough to be affected by oxygenation.  I have read of some that use a CO2 blanket when bottling, but I'm not going that far.  I stick to fairly basic fruit recipes that end up more on the sweeter side (1.015-1.040 SG) and it helps keep any off flavors from standing out.
 
2013-10-04 10:53:24 AM  

baconbeard: mrlewish: What is the point of the machine? I thought home brewing was about controlling process and a DIY attitude.  This seems nothing like it.

The people who built it don't understand that while making/designing/building something like this is really, really cool, actually owning the finished product leaves a lot to be desired.

- if I want beer quickly, I'll buy it from the store
- if I want to brew beer, I'll brew it

This thing seems to sit in the no-man's-land between the two and likely won't hold much appeal. It's a neat personal project with almost no commercial application.


Yeah, you two have pretty much summed up my thoughts on it.  But let's play Devil's Advocate for a moment just to be silly...

I know some guys who have built themselves completely automated brewing rigs much like the oneabhorrent1linked to above. Someone could argue that when they brew beer using any automated rig, the machine is doing the brewing, they aren't. Does that make them different from the people who buy one of these box units?

I would say the difference is in the know-how involved. If someone is building their own rig, they need to understand the brewing process and what they're trying to accomplish. Someone who buys a pre-fab box unit like this probably wouldn't care about brewing their own beer in the first place, let alone enough about it to spend the money on something like this. By the time they learn the process with their own rudimentary equipment, they're no longer going to need or want an automated box brewing system like this one. Heck, when their first batch turns out weird, how in the world can you adjust you processes and troubleshoot your beer's quality if all you understand is "grain goes in here, hops in here, and then press this button"?
 
2013-10-04 10:55:42 AM  
I think this is cool for the people that make some money, but don't have time to make the beer. If you can set it and forget it until cleanup time, that is a good one.
I need to watch my sparging so it doesn't overflow, boilovers on the stove, etc - so there is definitely some appeal here. I make 5 gallon batches, but would like to make smaller experimental beers more often.
 
2013-10-04 10:55:47 AM  

you have pee hands: You just need a shiatload of bottles that you spend your whole life sterilizing and then you can just rotate, there will always be some fresh.

/really need to start kegging
//really need a basemen


That's one of the things that really sucks about living in Austin, none of the houses have basements. I have to ferment my beer in a temperature-controlled box freezer.
 
2013-10-04 11:08:08 AM  

Hack Patooey: Since when does brewing beer involve hours and hours of doing things?  Most of the time spent is waiting for things to happen.  The longest part is bottling.


And the bottling point would be moot if you just get a kegging system. Since I've had my kegging system, I wouldn't even dream of bottling again.
 
2013-10-04 11:09:42 AM  

Tyrone Slothrop: you have pee hands: You just need a shiatload of bottles that you spend your whole life sterilizing and then you can just rotate, there will always be some fresh.

/really need to start kegging
//really need a basemen

That's one of the things that really sucks about living in Austin, none of the houses have basements. I have to ferment my beer in a temperature-controlled box freezer.


If you are doing ales, I've had great success fermenting at room temperature (~69-70 degrees F).
 
2013-10-04 11:10:10 AM  

Cortez the Killer: And the bottling point would be moot if you just get a kegging system. Since I've had my kegging system, I wouldn't even dream of bottling again.


I do both.I like to be able to bring a 6-pack over to a buddy's place or give away a case as a gift now and again.
 
2013-10-04 11:14:56 AM  

WinoRhino: Cortez the Killer: And the bottling point would be moot if you just get a kegging system. Since I've had my kegging system, I wouldn't even dream of bottling again.

I do both.I like to be able to bring a 6-pack over to a buddy's place or give away a case as a gift now and again.


If I need to bottle, which is rare but does come up from time to time (your examples match mine), I use a bottling gun.
 
2013-10-04 11:26:03 AM  
So you can make Coors at home now?
 
2013-10-04 11:27:53 AM  

groppet: So you can make Coors at home now?


You don't have running water?
 
2013-10-04 11:50:17 AM  
I like wort.

You can tell the quality of the beer by the quality of the wort.

Actually I just like to say wort.

Wort  Wort  Wort  Wort  Wort  Wort  Wort  Wort  Wort  Wort  Wort  Wort  Wort  Wort  Wort  Wort  Wort!
 
2013-10-04 12:04:12 PM  

Cortez the Killer: If I need to bottle, which is rare but does come up from time to time (your examples match mine), I use a bottling gun.


I use the taps on my kegerator with a one-foot length of vinyl tubing. I had a growler filled at a liquor store once and that's how they did it there; good enough for them, good enough for me. There is a little bit of foaming but it's not too bad.
 
2013-10-04 12:21:13 PM  
This looks like a 1500 dollar Mr. Beer kit.

And yet its over 100% funded in 5 days so what do I know.

 Many red flags to this brewer though.
Such as them burying in the FAQ that it doesn't actually boil, and they seem to think that doesn't matter.
 
2013-10-04 12:23:29 PM  
Oh and for anyone interested in building your own this is just a RIMS.

Recirculating Infusion Mash.

I'm sure a quick google of RIMS build plans or something similar will get you where you need to be.
 
2013-10-04 12:29:02 PM  

jimpoz: Cortez the Killer: If I need to bottle, which is rare but does come up from time to time (your examples match mine), I use a bottling gun.

I use the taps on my kegerator with a one-foot length of vinyl tubing. I had a growler filled at a liquor store once and that's how they did it there; good enough for them, good enough for me. There is a little bit of foaming but it's not too bad.


To get rid of 100% of the foam on a growler fill, get a short length of straight racking cane (long enough to reach the bottom of growler) and one of your carboy rubber stoppers. Insert the racking cane into your vinyl tubing and then through the carboy stopper. Slide the stopper up toward the top of the racking cane and insert the whole shebang into your growler.

Start filling while maintaining pressure against the stopper - slowly allow excess pressure to burp up by slightly pinching the stopper from time to time.

If you do this right you will be able to growler fill right to the top with zero foaming as none of the CO2 was pushed out of suspension.
 
2013-10-04 12:37:40 PM  

Calehedron: While brewing my own beer sounds tempting, I will just stick to making Meade.  Its a lot more forgiving than beer for the most part.


Just don't overcarbonate prior to bottling.  Nothing quite like most of a case of IPA going spontaneously supernova.
 
2013-10-04 12:41:56 PM  

bonkmeist: Many red flags to this brewer though.
Such as them burying in the FAQ that it doesn't actually boil, and they seem to think that doesn't matter.


They actually explain why they think it doesn't matter. From a chemistry and physics perspective their explanation makes sense. Consistency at near boil, for all sorts of processes, is either just as good or better than boiling.

Now it could be that they are totally wrong, but I wouldn't be surprised if they are right.
 
2013-10-04 12:45:22 PM  

entropic_existence: bonkmeist: Many red flags to this brewer though.
Such as them burying in the FAQ that it doesn't actually boil, and they seem to think that doesn't matter.

They actually explain why they think it doesn't matter. From a chemistry and physics perspective their explanation makes sense. Consistency at near boil, for all sorts of processes, is either just as good or better than boiling.

Now it could be that they are totally wrong, but I wouldn't be surprised if they are right.


I just am skeptical that they have dismissed years worth of research into brewing science.  They basically say boiling is a relic from a time before thermometers but ignore the fact that we've done QUITE a bit of research in between then and now.

They basically acknowledge its a problem with the very next question.  I'm skeptical they are able to evaporate enough DMS for it to not show up as an off flavor.

Regardless, this is a fine product as long as people know what they are getting into.  It seems like a Mr Beer kit for someone with more money than they know what to do with.
 
2013-10-04 12:46:20 PM  

baconbeard: This thing seems to sit in the no-man's-land between the two and likely won't hold much appeal. It's a neat personal project with almost no commercial application.


About the only major benefit that I could see from these brewing machines is that it might result in a more consistent wort.  When doing it in a pot over the stove, there is more room to get different results.

That's actually my issue right now.  I passed up on a chance to get an external thermostat for my fridge (which only goes up to 60F), so I just use a large insulated box with blue ice packs to keep the temp in the low 70s to high 60s.  It doesn't do a very good job of keeping the temps stable enough, so my batches have all been coming out tasting a little different.  I've seen external thermostats on eBay, but they're kinda expensive.
 
2013-10-04 12:46:39 PM  

Elzar: jimpoz: Cortez the Killer: If I need to bottle, which is rare but does come up from time to time (your examples match mine), I use a bottling gun.

I use the taps on my kegerator with a one-foot length of vinyl tubing. I had a growler filled at a liquor store once and that's how they did it there; good enough for them, good enough for me. There is a little bit of foaming but it's not too bad.

To get rid of 100% of the foam on a growler fill, get a short length of straight racking cane (long enough to reach the bottom of growler) and one of your carboy rubber stoppers. Insert the racking cane into your vinyl tubing and then through the carboy stopper. Slide the stopper up toward the top of the racking cane and insert the whole shebang into your growler.

Start filling while maintaining pressure against the stopper - slowly allow excess pressure to burp up by slightly pinching the stopper from time to time.

If you do this right you will be able to growler fill right to the top with zero foaming as none of the CO2 was pushed out of suspension.


You are correct. That is a good setup. I would have done it that way instead of the gun if I would have figure that out before I purchased the bottling gun.
 
2013-10-04 01:04:02 PM  

the cake is a pie: I'm only putting one bottle at a time in the fridge, because I'm kind of worried about them asploding.


If you're worried about them asploding, you should refrigerate ALL THE BEERS:

1) It puts the yeast to sleep, stopping them from building up even more pressure
2) More CO₂ will dissolve into the beer at cold temperatures, reducing the overall pressure
 
2013-10-04 01:47:46 PM  

you have pee hands: AngryDragon: One tastes like beer, one tastes like grass filtered through a jockstrap. It's the miracle of fermentation.

They drink unfermented malt extract in Iceland.  Tastes exactly like it sounds.  I thought it was a practical joke on tourists at first but it's everywhere.


Hrmmm.  Chase it with a pinch of yeast and be belching and farting CO2 all day while you slowly get drunk.
 
2013-10-04 01:53:50 PM  
Now that I've got all you home brewer types together in one place, can anyone tell me where the magical 5 gallon volume comes from?  Seems to be what most recipes are based on.  Spontaneous industry standard?  Can I halve all the ingredients so I can try to brew more types of beer and drink less of each?  Or is the mere thought of drinking less beer anathema?

\currently building lautering tun manifold
\\may be brewing by this weekend
 
2013-10-04 02:01:32 PM  

Honest Geologist: Now that I've got all you home brewer types together in one place, can anyone tell me where the magical 5 gallon volume comes from?


I've always assumed it was just a defacto standard based on a glass carboy size that's easy enough for most people to wrestle around.
 
2013-10-04 02:36:43 PM  
All yours for the low price of $1499...
 
2013-10-04 02:42:12 PM  

Honest Geologist: Now that I've got all you home brewer types together in one place, can anyone tell me where the magical 5 gallon volume comes from?


Like SansNeural said, it's about the largest batch you can make without a need for pumps and other special equipment and a common carboy size. Now, $1499 may seem like a lot for a fully automated home brew system, and that could buy an awful lot of beer, it's still a lot cheaper than back surgery. I've had to switch to smaller batches and using a pump because my lower back ain't worth a damn.
 
2013-10-04 03:03:01 PM  
been out for many years

http://www.beermachine.com/

thebeermachine.smartt.com
 
2013-10-04 03:51:52 PM  

Cortez the Killer: Tyrone Slothrop: you have pee hands: You just need a shiatload of bottles that you spend your whole life sterilizing and then you can just rotate, there will always be some fresh.

/really need to start kegging
//really need a basemen

That's one of the things that really sucks about living in Austin, none of the houses have basements. I have to ferment my beer in a temperature-controlled box freezer.

If you are doing ales, I've had great success fermenting at room temperature (~69-70 degrees F).


Room temperature for me is around 75-76.
 
2013-10-04 04:00:31 PM  

Dinjiin: baconbeard: This thing seems to sit in the no-man's-land between the two and likely won't hold much appeal. It's a neat personal project with almost no commercial application.

About the only major benefit that I could see from these brewing machines is that it might result in a more consistent wort.  When doing it in a pot over the stove, there is more room to get different results.

That's actually my issue right now.  I passed up on a chance to get an external thermostat for my fridge (which only goes up to 60F), so I just use a large insulated box with blue ice packs to keep the temp in the low 70s to high 60s.  It doesn't do a very good job of keeping the temps stable enough, so my batches have all been coming out tasting a little different.  I've seen external thermostats on eBay, but they're kinda expensive.


Use this. It's < $60, maybe $50 if you catch it on sale somewhere. Or Amazon.
 
2013-10-04 04:06:43 PM  
For most of you who are only doing 5-10 gallons at a time (one or two 5 gal carboys), there's this.

Fermentation temp stability is the second most important thing to consistent flavors as far as I'm concerned. (the most important is proper mash/sparge temps/durations).
 
2013-10-04 04:38:10 PM  

the cake is a pie: My buddy got me a Mr. Beer kit for my bday last year, so I've been playing with that. They provide the wort in a can, lots of different varieties (they also provide recipes to make your own, but I'm not quite ready for that yet), but it still requires fermenting and all that.

I'm not very good at it, though. First batch came out perfect. Second batch the yeast was dead so it never fermented. Third batch seemed alright but it never carbonated in the bottles for whatever reason. Fourth batch was good except I got the sugar wrong so it super-carbonated. Tastes fine, it just takes forever to pour a glass because I have to wait for the foam to go down, and I'm only putting one bottle at a time in the fridge, because I'm kind of worried about them asploding.

It's a pretty good setup, though, and a good way to get to know your beer a little bit better.


As a home wine-maker, when i moved away from making kit wines, my stuff got better. With kits, even following the directions, the ferment times were wrong, one batch got over-oaked, etc. With so many steps, theres a lot to go wrong.

Now that i work from my own pure juice and fresh grapes, and selecting my own yeasts, etc,  i get much better, and more consistent results.
 
2013-10-04 04:54:35 PM  

SansNeural: Honest Geologist: Now that I've got all you home brewer types together in one place, can anyone tell me where the magical 5 gallon volume comes from?

I've always assumed it was just a defacto standard based on a glass carboy size that's easy enough for most people to wrestle around.


And it makes about two cases worth of beer, or fills one corney keg. That's the way I always figured it - nobody wants to bottle more than 4 doz. bottles at a stretch, and 5 gal corney kegs are about the most common size dispenser out there.

xalres: I've been doing barley wine with the pomegranates from my tree the last couple years. Its great but takes forever to mature flavor-wise. I've always wanted to get into beer but I don't have time for doing the full grain process. Does extract brewing produce decent quality beer? Should I just get a Mr. Beer kit and some quality yeast?


I've gotten some very drinkable beers using extract and some specialty grains. Usually, a can of LME, a bag of DME, a pound of specialty grains, and two kinds of hops is a very simple and delicious way to try it out. There's enough hop/grain/yeast varieties out there that just working through the different permutations until you find a favorite will keep you entertained for a long time with minimal equipment. Hell, I didn't even have a hydrometer for the first two or three batches I did, just estimated when fermenting was done by counting burps in the airlock.

For all of you guys talking about doing small specialty batches, it's a lot easier to do that with extract than with all-grain. With extract, you have resealable jugs of LME and ziploc bags of DME just hanging out in your kitchen that you can use to mix and match a wort that you like. Toss in some specialty grains which are super cheap in bulk and whatever hops have caught your fancy and away you go. I used to do one gallon batches and ferment them in an old barbecue sauce bottle with a rubber stopper and an airlock on the top. I've even done half gal batches in growlers if I wanted to compare finishing hops or yeast strains or something. Midwest Supply has the Briess malts that work quite well for most everything - you basically just pick a color and it's a fairly neutral and repeatable wort base to experiment with hop/grain/yeast varieties. I've also used Mt. Mellick in the past, which I've only been able to find pre-hopped (not recommended) and the Munton & Fison, which I did not like as well, either - probably because both are imports, so the Briess is fresher.
 
2013-10-04 05:07:54 PM  
Thanks for all the tips, everyone. I appreciate it. I'm just getting started with all this, but I enjoy doing it so I hope I'll graduate to something a little more DIY soon, once I've nailed the process on the kit.
 
2013-10-04 06:15:30 PM  
This looks really dumb.  For 100 bucks, you can get a turkey fryer, copper wort chiller and brew bucket and be able to boil up 5 gallons/batch of extract/specialty grain brew in about the same amount of time.  After that, beer only costs between 30-60 bucks / batch on average (depending on ingredients).  Seriously, brewing beer is almost as easy as boiling water.
 
2013-10-04 06:22:17 PM  
I'm brewing a Best Bitter this weekend so I'm am really getting a kick out of these replies...
 
2013-10-04 06:35:23 PM  

travoltron: For most of you who are only doing 5-10 gallons at a time (one or two 5 gal carboys), there's this.

Fermentation temp stability is the second most important thing to consistent flavors as far as I'm concerned. (the most important is proper mash/sparge temps/durations).


Questions for more experienced homebrewers than I:

Would it be better to use a freezer like this one plus a temperature controller or a big enough wine cellar with the temperature control already built in?  I usually only have one batch going at a time, so I'm only worried about finding something reliable that doesn't take much storage space.

/5 extract + specialty grain batches in
//About to start constructing an all-grain setup
///Probably base it off The Electric Brewery but make my own control panel
 
2013-10-04 06:47:07 PM  
As long as you can set the temperature for the fermentation and have it static, you should be alright. I myself have graduated to glycol wraps and a lot more money than I want to admit to spending (going legit is not cheap, oof), but stable is the key.

Also, pay attention to your ferment temps as they're going on. If you've got a vigorous pile of yeast going to town, you'll see a temperature increase of a couple to a few degrees as they get rolling. Be sure to adjust for that as your lighter brews have less malt/hop hiding place for off flavors.
 
2013-10-04 06:58:59 PM  
Nice, but the whole process of brewing beer is much too enjoyable to automate it.
 
2013-10-04 07:31:36 PM  

natazha: Nice, but the whole process of brewing beer is much too enjoyable to automate it.


^

Plus, this thing is basically a Keurig for beer, and when they say things like it will be done fermenting in about a week, and fermenting right in the keg you will be drinking it out of, and it will carbonate in 24 hours, it makes me really question the quality of the product this thing will produce.
 
2013-10-04 08:25:28 PM  

Doogled: travoltron: For most of you who are only doing 5-10 gallons at a time (one or two 5 gal carboys), there's this.

Fermentation temp stability is the second most important thing to consistent flavors as far as I'm concerned. (the most important is proper mash/sparge temps/durations).

Questions for more experienced homebrewers than I:

Would it be better to use a freezer like this one plus a temperature controller or a big enough wine cellar with the temperature control already built in?  I usually only have one batch going at a time, so I'm only worried about finding something reliable that doesn't take much storage space.

/5 extract + specialty grain batches in
//About to start constructing an all-grain setup
///Probably base it off The Electric Brewery but make my own control panel


Before buying a temp controller for a freezer, see if the thermostat can be hacked to convert it to a fridge.

I plan to dump my gas setup, and go electric next year.
 
2013-10-04 09:04:57 PM  
I guess I shouldn't be, but I'm still surprised that nobody read enough of the article to find out that this device WILL make 5 gallon batches. It was one of my concerns while deciding if I would buy it. The second concern was the variation in recipes (ie, can you make your own recipes and how many different hop additions can you have in a recipe. Seems to be 4). Third was how big this thing was, and finally cost ($1300-$1400 if I jump in now, it seems).

I'm not personally averse to simplifying the brewing process, but while reading the page I also learned that it's still up to you to chill it (I guess that'd make it really, really expensive instead of simply really expensive) which is one of the harder parts of home brewing for me. Well, not the chilling so much as the cleaning the chiller of all those hop particles afterward.

But for that much cash, I think I'll keep brewing the way I do now. It's a nice afternoon or evening of work for about 50 bottles of beer that's better than anything I can buy at a store, with very, very few exceptions.

Oh and if you let the beer only ferment for a week you're crazy. 2 weeks in the primary, 2 or 3 in the secondary, and another week or 2 in the bottle seems to be the sweet spot for time and taste.
 
2013-10-04 09:39:43 PM  
It is ridiculously easy to make your own alcohol, you just need yeast, sugar, water, a 2L pop bottle, and a balloon or condom:

1 mix 1 cup of sugar with water in 2l bottle
2 activate 1 packet bread yeast using warm water and a bit of sugar
3 pour in the activated yeast and top the bottle off with water
4 poke some holes in the condom/balloon to allow gases to excape the bottle without letting air in.
5 put it over the opening of the bottle and secure with elasticband/tape/whatever
6 wait 1-2 weeks, done
 
2013-10-04 09:56:50 PM  

abhorrent1: I want  This One


$45,000!?  I take this one, or this one, or...for that kind of coin I'd set up THIS!
 
2013-10-04 10:25:57 PM  

Lars The Canadian Viking: It is ridiculously easy to make your own alcohol, you just need yeast, sugar, water, a 2L pop bottle, and a balloon or condom:

1 mix 1 cup of sugar with water in 2l bottle
2 activate 1 packet bread yeast using warm water and a bit of sugar
3 pour in the activated yeast and top the bottle off with water
4 poke some holes in the condom/balloon to allow gases to excape the bottle without letting air in.
5 put it over the opening of the bottle and secure with elasticband/tape/whatever
6 wait 1-2 weeks, done


Sounds nasty.  Maybe toss a Lipton teabag in there for color and a little flavor.

/Errrrpp!
 
2013-10-04 11:48:39 PM  

Yotto: I guess I shouldn't be, but I'm still surprised that nobody read enough of the article to find out that this device WILL make 5 gallon batches. It was one of my concerns while deciding if I would buy it. The second concern was the variation in recipes (ie, can you make your own recipes and how many different hop additions can you have in a recipe. Seems to be 4). Third was how big this thing was, and finally cost ($1300-$1400 if I jump in now, it seems).

I'm not personally averse to simplifying the brewing process, but while reading the page I also learned that it's still up to you to chill it (I guess that'd make it really, really expensive instead of simply really expensive) which is one of the harder parts of home brewing for me. Well, not the chilling so much as the cleaning the chiller of all those hop particles afterward.

But for that much cash, I think I'll keep brewing the way I do now. It's a nice afternoon or evening of work for about 50 bottles of beer that's better than anything I can buy at a store, with very, very few exceptions.

Oh and if you let the beer only ferment for a week you're crazy. 2 weeks in the primary, 2 or 3 in the secondary, and another week or 2 in the bottle seems to be the sweet spot for time and taste.


And if you head over to the homebrewtalk forums, all of the veteran brewers over there are now convinced that a secondary is unnecessary.  The basic guidelines they throw around is 3 in the primary, and 3 in the bottles.  And the more hardcore folks insist that a week in the fridge after bottle conditioning will lead to better tasting beer.
 
2013-10-05 02:09:47 AM  
It looks too small and simple and expensive for me. I guess you could throw a plate chiller between it and the keg, but can the pump handle a hop back? What about DMS without a chiller? How farking hard is that thing to take apart to clean? And how easy is it to break it?

I'll just stick to my 10-11 gallon hodgepodge setup I have now.
 
2013-10-05 02:17:03 AM  
Cheers mark
 
2013-10-05 11:05:52 AM  
Although it's true CO2 will infuse the liquid better at colder temperatures, the lower temperatures also place your yeast at risk of going dormant and resulting in under-carbonation. I generally do two weeks in the primary and keg/bottle it. The only time I set things down for a significant duration is when I'm doing meads or ciders. I've never had a beer bottle explode (wine and mead bottles make nice grenades if you're not careful though). Austinhomebrew.com has a good selection and flat-rate shipping, and I've been using their recipes for years. Most come out pretty good.
 
2013-10-05 11:10:43 AM  

Torion!: Cheers mark


干杯 time.
 
2013-10-05 06:32:51 PM  
I make my own hard cider. Cider is way easier than beer and I think it tastes better too.

If you want to start making your own it is wickedly simple to get started....

Go to a store and buy a large bottle of Cider, just make sure it has no preservatives in it (no sodium benzoate or potassium sorbate listed on label). Get some cheap wine yeast from your local brew shop, or off the internet. This kind will do just fine:

http://www.amazon.com/Packs-Lalvin-Dried-EC-1118/dp/B003TOEEFG/ref=s r_ 1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1381009583&sr=8-2&keywords=yeast+wine

Finally get a balloon, a pin, and a can of frozen apple juice concentrate.

Poke a super-small hole in the top of the balloon with the pin. Open the bottle of cider (keep the lid for later), pour off about 10%, dump the yeast in (you can use just half a packet if you want, that should be plenty), put the balloon over the top and put the bottle on your kitchen counter or out in the garage for a week or so (someplace that is pretty consistently around 60-70 degrees)
Keep an eye on the balloon, it will fill with gas and sit straight for a while, then eventually fall over to the side. Once it falls over wait two more days then very gently poor about 90% of the the cider out into a another (very very clean) container. Leave the bottom 10% in the original bottle because that is where the unpalatable "lees" should have settled by now. Clean the original bottle (and it's lid) out with hot water and a little dish soap. Rinse it good and poor the cider back into it. Replace the lid.
Next you need to decide whether to back sweeten. Pour a small glass and try it out. If you want it sweeter put some frozen apple juice concentrate in the bottle and shake it up good, then test it for sweetness again. Keep adding more concentrate until it is a little sweeter than you really like (because it will be less sweet when cold). Then put it in the fridge for a few hours and drink away.
 
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