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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
All the beer in the store is flavored pasteurized garbage with funny names. Seems the kids have lost the technique for making honest beer. OK, maybe in the big cities they have honest craft beer. But not in my local. And with kids running it I would not gamble on it.

I've come up with a very easy ginger beer to make. I brew it direct in recycled plastic soda bottles. Very inexpensive and tasty. Just water, fresh ginger juice, lemon juice, sugar and a little bread yeast. Let it work for 3 days or so. You cool it down and it is ready to drink. The sediment forms on the bottom and you don't need to rack it or anything. I can make a gallon in 15 minutes or less.

Now, this ginger beer is not too alcoholic. So it is not for hardcore boozers. But I am looking for beneficial, raw drinks with enzymes in them, not a lot of alcohol anyway. So it is fine for me. That is my gripe against store bought beer...almost all pasteurized.

But when it comes to making traditional beer, it is very $$ and complex to make and you need to be a scientist with a lot of work space.

Has anyone found a recipe for making a simple all grain beer? Or is beermaking going to be complex?

The Germans make the best beer I've ever had. Märzen and Weizenbier in Munich. I have not had any since late 90's, so it may have gone to hell too. I see Becks German beer is now made in the USA, same with Japanese Sapporo.
 

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Been brewing since the 80’s. Its not rocket science, nor expensive. Frequently brew at less than 50 cents/ 12oz. One big thing that you’ll appreciate is skip the bottles. I make hard cider exactly the way you do, 1gal. at a time in the original container. Check around softdrink distributors to score a cornellius, thats the 5gal stainless containers pop comes in. Either make room in a fridge for it or buy a cheap fridge and gut the shelves. If your a welder the same CO2 tank can serve to carbonate and deliver. A plastic bucket or glass/ plastic carboy are the standard primary fermenter for homebrewers. Like everything else people have latched onto hobbies as a business model and come out w/ all sorts of expensive equipment. You don't need it. Coleman stove or kitchen stove will work fine for your fire.
Browse the internet for forums that have all questions covered. Suggest starting w/ extract instead of all grain recipes. Simpler and same quality.
There’s a whole world of brewed beverages to keep yourself and friends entertained. Weddings, parties, reunions, etc. are great events to exhibit your skills. I’ve brewed many batches for special occasions. For example, friends are coming in May, one is recovering from cancer and ales bother his throat. I’ll be brewing a lager as well as hard cider and an ale for their visit.
 

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Luckily... for me... a store in the town down the road has a section for international beer. It's one of the liquor stores that can sell heavier beer, not just the grocery store kind. Went in to see if they had one special German bier... yup! Just a six-pack or two at a time is all they get but they do carry a very nice HefeWeissen from Munich made by Hacker-Pschorr. My favorite! So now every couple of months, my wife will send my oldest son in to buy a six-pack. It lasts me a while since I only drink one beer every couple of weeks. I did cherish them very much. Now... a local brewery has opened up in small-town, bible-belt Oklahoma. Amazingly enough the brew master apprenticed in a couple of breweries in Munich. So he brews a very nice Weiss bier. Very close to anything in Germany. I've been there twice to sample a beer. Good stuff but expensive. Glad I don't drink much...
 

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But when it comes to making traditional beer, it is very $$ and complex to make and you need to be a scientist with a lot of work space.

Has anyone found a recipe for making a simple all grain beer? Or is beermaking going to be complex?
If you can make soup, you have 90% of the skills needed to make beer.

Items needed to brew: large pot, the bigger the better, large spoon, food grade bucket with lid in the 5-7 gallon size, fermentation lock(bubbler), bottling bucket and bottle fill wand, auto syphon, bottle capper and caps, and a sanitizing solution, I like Star-San. Add an extract beer kit with steeping grains and about 55 empty beer bottles and you are ready to go.

Temperature control during fermentation and cold side cleanliness are the other issues to be aware of.

Go to Home Brew Talk dot com and learn from other homebrewers.

All grain beer requires more equipment and does not necessarily make better beer.

Homebrewer since 2008.
 

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I make wheat beer with the only ingredients being wheat, water yeast and hops.

As long as you understand the process it isn't that hard but takes time and a fair amount of equipment.

I have put my maple syrup equipment into service of beer making. It is really way to big for what I want but it works.

More or less the process start to finish is:

Soak the grain in water 24 hours. Drain the water off the grain. 2 times a day run fresh cold water over the grains, stir and drain until the main sprout(not roots) are about half the length of the grain.

Once sprouts are correct length they can be ground and used or dried ground and used. I spread mine out and dry them with a charcoal fire and a very small amount of smoke from alder brush. It gives the final beer a smoke flavor.

Once dry I grind them coarsely to.

By volume I put 1 part grain to 3 parts water in my pan and very slowly heat it up. I try and hit about 104 degrees and hold it there for about 20 minutes. Then I slowly heat it up to around 130 degrees and hold it there another 20 minutes. Then I slowly heat it up to 155 degrees and hold it for 90 minutes or so(If you heat it beyond 170 before it has been at 155 long enough you have killed it and won't get much sugar) At this point you should have a very sticky sweet mass of goop.

I don't have a false bottom for my mash ton(or a real mash ton) so I put a couple inches I pine boughs in a large stainless stock pot I have with a tap on the bottom to act as my false bottom. I then transfer everything from the cook pot into the mash ton on top of the pine boughs. Then put a couple more pine boughs on top. In the first pot I start heating up more water for the sparge. From there I open the tap on the bottom and slowly drain the liquid. I constantly pour the liquid back on top of the pine branches gently. Eventually it starts coming out quite clear. Once it is as clear as I think it will get I stop pouring it back over. Then I start using fresh boiling water and pour that over to remove whatever sugars are still left behind(called sparging) I sparge with about half as much water as I used in the beginning.

From there the liquid(wort) goes back in the now empty original pot to boil off excess water and concentrate sugar. Durring the boil I toss in some hops. I am not a fan of hops so I just put in enough to say it was in there.

Once the sg is more or less what I want I transfer it into a stainless milk can. I run water on the outside of the can to try and cool it as quick as I can. Once it is down to about 90 degrees I toss in the yeast and put a loose fitting lid so co2 can get out but not much can get back in. I don't use air locks.

I put the milk can in my basement and after a couple weeks I bottle it adding a pinch of sugar or syrup to the bottles to carbonate it. Another few days and it is beer. Once bottled I keep it in the dark in the basement and it stays good for months. The flavor does change as it ages.

Edit: Anything that touches the beer once it is no longer boiling needs to be sterile. Star-san is the easiest but boiling water works too. Anything that touches the beer before or while it comes to a boil doesn't need to be sterile but should at least be clean.

Also large batches are more worth it than small batches. I tend to do 10 gallons at a time. If I found a couple friends who wanted to go in with me on a brew day it would be the same amount of work for me to make 40 gallons as it is to make 2 gallons(at least until it comes time to bottle it)
 

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Do you have any brew shops reasonably close to you? You might be able to meet up with other home brewers who can give you some good tips.

I don't drink enough beer to make it worth going to the extent of making my own mash, etc., so I cheat a bit by using cans of hopped malt and change the taste to my preference by using extra hops.

One good beer I make is using a recipe for Corona to which I add a few stalks of lemon grass to the carboy. It's a great beer to have with Thai food.
 

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I make wheat beer with the only ingredients being wheat, water yeast and hops.

As long as you understand the process it isn't that hard but takes time and a fair amount of equipment.

I have put my maple syrup equipment into service of beer making. It is really way to big for what I want but it works.

More or less the process start to finish is:

Soak the grain in water 24 hours. Drain the water off the grain. 2 times a day run fresh cold water over the grains, stir and drain until the main sprout(not roots) are about half the length of the grain.

Once sprouts are correct length they can be ground and used or dried ground and used. I spread mine out and dry them with a charcoal fire and a very small amount of smoke from alder brush. It gives the final beer a smoke flavor.

Once dry I grind them coarsely to.

By volume I put 1 part grain to 3 parts water in my pan and very slowly heat it up. I try and hit about 104 degrees and hold it there for about 20 minutes. Then I slowly heat it up to around 130 degrees and hold it there another 20 minutes. Then I slowly heat it up to 155 degrees and hold it for 90 minutes or so(If you heat it beyond 170 before it has been at 155 long enough you have killed it and won't get much sugar) At this point you should have a very sticky sweet mass of goop.

I don't have a false bottom for my mash ton(or a real mash ton) so I put a couple inches I pine boughs in a large stainless stock pot I have with a tap on the bottom to act as my false bottom. I then transfer everything from the cook pot into the mash ton on top of the pine boughs. Then put a couple more pine boughs on top. In the first pot I start heating up more water for the sparge. From there I open the tap on the bottom and slowly drain the liquid. I constantly pour the liquid back on top of the pine branches gently. Eventually it starts coming out quite clear. Once it is as clear as I think it will get I stop pouring it back over. Then I start using fresh boiling water and pour that over to remove whatever sugars are still left behind(called sparging) I sparge with about half as much water as I used in the beginning.

From there the liquid(wort) goes back in the now empty original pot to boil off excess water and concentrate sugar. Durring the boil I toss in some hops. I am not a fan of hops so I just put in enough to say it was in there.

Once the sg is more or less what I want I transfer it into a stainless milk can. I run water on the outside of the can to try and cool it as quick as I can. Once it is down to about 90 degrees I toss in the yeast and put a loose fitting lid so co2 can get out but not much can get back in. I don't use air locks.

I put the milk can in my basement and after a couple weeks I bottle it adding a pinch of sugar or syrup to the bottles to carbonate it. Another few days and it is beer. Once bottled I keep it in the dark in the basement and it stays good for months. The flavor does change as it ages.

Edit: Anything that touches the beer once it is no longer boiling needs to be sterile. Star-san is the easiest but boiling water works too. Anything that touches the beer before or while it comes to a boil doesn't need to be sterile but should at least be clean.

Also large batches are more worth it than small batches. I tend to do 10 gallons at a time. If I found a couple friends who wanted to go in with me on a brew day it would be the same amount of work for me to make 40 gallons as it is to make 2 gallons(at least until it comes time to bottle it)
Is there an English version of this? :eek::
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Do you have any brew shops reasonably close to you? You might be able to meet up with other home brewers who can give you some good tips.

I don't drink enough beer to make it worth going to the extent of making my own mash, etc., so I cheat a bit by using cans of hopped malt and change the taste to my preference by using extra hops.

One good beer I make is using a recipe for Corona to which I add a few stalks of lemon grass to the carboy. It's a great beer to have with Thai food.
No, not too close. One direction maybe an hour away. Other direction 2+ hours away.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
How did they make beer in the middle ages? They must have done it very simple.

What do you grind your grain with lasers? From your post I take it you can grind it wet or dry?
 

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How did they make beer in the middle ages? They must have done it very simple.

What do you grind your grain with lasers? From your post I take it you can grind it wet or dry?
I grind it dry. I have a grist mill meant to be powered by a small tractor. You can grind it wet but I think you may end up with something a bit closer to wine than beer. I have wet ground malted corn in the past and it gave a different flavor than dried malted corn. Not necessarily bad different, but different.

If you want is as simple as at can get.

Put some grain in a pot.

Wet it down and allow it to sprout(you will probably have to rinse it a few times to prevent it from molding)

Once they sprout start smashing them up.

Add some water.

Very, very, very slowly heat it up. You want to heat it up slowly so it spends a lot of time between 130 and 170. If you could spend some time at 104 that will help to.

Continue to heat it up to boil, toss in some hops(at this point it should taste like dirty sugar water, if not it didn't work out). Boil it until it has the sugar level you want.

Allow it to cool below 90 degrees.

Add yeast or hope for good natural yeast.

Cover. Wait a couple weeks

BEER!

That is about as simple as it can get.
 

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@slackercruster

There are websites to buy brewing supplies. Midwest Supplies is one I have used. Determine if it is cheaper to buy a gear "kit" or buy items piecemeal.

US Plastics is where I get 6 and 7 gallon food grade buckets.

You can spend some money or lots $$$$ if you chose.
 

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Your brew sounds A bit gaggly. Me, Voodoo Ranger Imperial IPA 9%. Kids aren’t brewing it. Hoppin!
Brewing can be a pita. Wine making otoh, what a pleasure. So simple! I make good wine but I give it all away.
 

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I brew about 30 gal of stout a year in 5 gallon batches. Making beer can be as simple or complicated as you choose these days.

There are kits that can make some excellent beer for less than a dollar per bottle. Brewing from all grain is less expensive, but it requires a bit of extra effort. I usually do some of both in any given year.

If I use an extract kit, the B3 stout from morebeer dot com is a good place to start. The kit comes with some additional specialty malts to use in the brewing process. I add in a few extra pounds of base malted barley and some roasted barley to make the product have a richer flavor and feel.

I skip siphon/racking wands. I installed a spigot about an inch off the bottom in my fermenting buckets and it works well to drain the beer from the primary into a pitcher a gallon at a time. transfer to another bucket that contains the sugar (malt extract, corn or cane sugar) for priming so you can carbonate in the bottle and drain from a spigot back into the pitcher or directly into bottles. Easy and quick.

The extra equipment you need for all-grain brewing is basically a larger strainer called a lauter tun. I made one using a large nylon grain bag and a 5 gallon water cooler. Change out the spigot and it works well enough and was very inexpensive.

I don't use any bleach or sanitizing solution in my brewing. Make sure everything is clean throughout the process and I have not had any problems. The alcohol produced by the yeast in the brewing process discourages growth of other organisms.

The whole process to make a 5 gal batch takes me about 4 hours of intermittent hands on time the first day, then an hour or so 10-14 days later to fill the bottles. The bottles are carbonated and ready to start drinking within ~3 days if you are in a hurry, but they will last many months if you don't drink very often. Just keep them in a dark cabinet away from the sun.

If you like beer, it is well worth taking the time to learn the craft. If you are short on space or equipment, brewing in 1 or 2 gal batches works just fine, too. You can experiment with more variety that way.
 

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You can also stop the process before it is totally beer and end up with something that is halfway between soda and beer.

One way that I really like is to make various types of juice. (I've done apple, raspberry, and grape as well as malt) Pasteurize it and bottle it in sterile jars(pasturize again if you think necessary) Then a few days to a week before I want to drink it I open about 6 bottles. Sprinkle a tiny bit of champagne yeast in each bottle and reseal. In a couple days it will be a carbonated soda with a bit of a yeasty flavor. In a week or so it will still be quite sweet, be highly carbonated, and have a bit of alcohol in it as well.

When made with malt this is actually my go to alcoholic drink it is a cross between cream soda, brandy and fresh baked bread, it is probably an acquired taste but I like it.

I have also done the same with watered down maple syrup and watered down honey. Those were just sweet with an aftertaste that I didn't care for at all.

If you go this method keep in mind the bottles are pretty much time bombs that start ticking the second you put yeast in and seal them up. If you use plastic bottles you can squeeze them to see when they build up pressure and release it. If you use glass bottles.... good luck.

If you are wondering what malt is look up malta soda. It is soda made from what you would make beer out of it just isn't allowed to ferment. Again, it is probably an acquired taste but I like it.
 

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Great thread!!!!

I always liked dark beer but wanted it stronger so I would sink a shot or two of boutbon in it. Then I discovered brewing with molasses and how to actually hide the metallic aftertaste completely.

It would add 1-3 cups of molasses to a 6 gallon batch of wort at the beginning of the boil. Each cup add 1 ABV to the end. The secret comes in at bottling...for each cup of molasses added to the wort, add 1/4 teaspoon of splenda to the bottle brfore filling it and capping. It is confirmed by an actual brewmaster at Yellow Springs Brewery. On a taste, he told me the ingredients, my boil times and temps, what I could do to improve the next batch but try as he might, he could not identify th er mystery ingredient or why it was stronger than it should be...til I told him.

This is my only victory in brewing so, yes, I am shamelessly boasting. I have very average skill otherwise. Very average. If you do parti brews, this trick helps the second brew and saves the third brew. I tried it from the first brew too but that made th er third brew truly toxic and the second brew drinkable, ice cold. Not reccommended.
 

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At some point I am doing

"Tesgüino is an artisanal corn beer produced by several Yuto-Aztec people.[1] The Tarahumara people regard the beer as sacred, and it forms a significant part of their society.[2][3]"

This is highly recommended

The Art of Fermentation: New York Times Bestseller Hardcover – Illustrated, May 14, 2012
by Sandor Ellix Katz (Author), Michael Pollan (Foreword)
4.7 out of 5 stars 1,935 ratings

"TARAHUMARA BEER RECIPE
As mentioned, the tribe produces its own Tarahumara beer recipe using locally grown corn. So, it is referred to as corn beer, and in their language, Tesguino. The Tarahumara beer recipe involves the soaking of the corn kernels for days to allow germination. Once it is adequately germinated, it is grounded up and boiled. Then wild yeast is added for fermentation, and local grass is mixed to the beer to add flavor.

This locally produced corn beer is the rich source of carbohydrates and Vitamin B. Both these nutrients help the runner to gain the strength and energy needed for long-distance running."

 

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The Katz book is great info. My favorites are The Complete Joy of Hombrewing - Papazian, The Alaskan Bootleggers Bible - Kania, and more about mixing herbs with alcohol than brewing, The Drunken Botanist - Stewart

I used to experiment a lot with my ferments, some were meh, I'll never do that again, to omg that's awesome. Never had to throw anything away, because of the winos down by the river, they didn't seem to care, it got the job done.
 
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