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Old 12-13-2009, 04:22 PM   #1
UmassSteve
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Default Cheapest all-grain homebrew recipes

Now hold on! I know these type of threads tend to become anti-cheap beer flame wars and "Why even home brew if you want cheap beer" kind of retorts, so I want to head this off here and now.

I'm a college kid. A poor college kid. In a recession.

I do homebrew, and I've done some twenty all-grain batches with my roomie by now. We've brewed some great clones, and we've brewed some mediocre clones. We've also brewed infected messes. Sunday through thursday, I want one or two darn good beers, and we go all out in making them nice beers.

Friday and Saturday night? I like to start off with good beer, but a few beers into a night, I feel like I'm doing a disservice to my better beers. They should be savoured and enjoyed, not pseudo binge-drunk in a hot, cramped apartment. This is why I want a cheap homebrew. For those late weekend nights where the quality of the beer is lost on me. Something that's better that coors(I know, setting the bar high) or bud or pabst but still as cheap or cheaper if possible.

So I turn to you, for ideas for cheap, mass-produced "party beer." If it helps I can bulk buy sterling, cascade, an willamette for 1.25$/ounce and marris otter for 1.05$/pound and american 2-row for 1$/pound. What would you suggest? I personally like big, heavy, high alcohol beers myself, but anything from 4-5% coors-style beers to cheap-but-drinkable 7-9% or more beers are all welcome.

The best recipe gets the coveted title of "Umass Recession Beer"

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Old 12-13-2009, 04:39 PM   #2
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6 gal Batch:

8# 2-row
2# Vienna home-made with 2-row ala http://oz.craftbrewer.org/Library/Methods/Sanders/roasting.shtml
.75# Carapils
.75 oz Cascade 60 min
.5 oz Cascade 15
.5 oz Cascade 5
Nottingham yeast.

Simple and cheap. I Mash at about 150. My BMC friends love it. Comes in at about 4.5% ABV, but you can up the grains/hops if you want it higher.

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Old 12-13-2009, 04:47 PM   #3
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PBR CLONE
Brew Type: All Grain Date: 2/9/2008
Style: American Light/Standard/Premium Lager Brewer: Who Knows
Batch Size: 5.50 gal Assistant Brewer:
Boil Volume: 7.00 gal Boil Time: 60 min
Brewhouse Efficiency: 75.00 % Equipment: Brew Pot (7.5 gal) and Igloo Cooler (10 Gal)
Actual Efficiency: 16.71 %
Taste Rating (50 possible points): 35.0

Ingredients Amount Item Type % or IBU
10.00 lb Barley, Raw (2.0 SRM) Grain 86.96 %
1.00 lb Rice, Flaked (1.0 SRM) Grain 8.70 %
0.50 lb Victory Malt (25.0 SRM) Grain 4.35 %
0.25 oz Cascade [6.00 %] (60 min) Hops 5.2 IBU
0.25 oz Cascade [6.00 %] (35 min) Hops 4.3 IBU
0.25 oz Mt. Hood [4.50 %] (25 min) Hops 2.7 IBU
1.00 oz Cascade [6.00 %] (15 min) Hops 10.3 IBU
1 Pkgs American Lager (Wyeast Labs #2035) Yeast-Lager

Name Description Step Temp Step Time
Mash In Add 3.59 gal of water at 161.4 F 150.0 F 75 min


Mash Notes
Simple single infusion mash for use with most modern well modified grains (about 95% of the time).
Carbonation and Storage Carbonation Type: Corn Sugar Carbonation Volumes: 2.4 (2.5-2.7 vols)
Estimated Priming Weight: 3.9 oz Temperature at Bottling: 55.0 F
Primer Used: - Age for: 8.0 Weeks
Storage Temperature: 35.0 F

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Old 12-13-2009, 05:38 PM   #4
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Being another college student I think simplicity is the way to go here. I would just do a SMASH. Bulk buy hops from hopsdirect, or somewhere else online, and they're dirty cheap. Then bulk buy a sack or two of two-row. Make a corona type mill for 30 bucks, and you're all set.

8# two row + however much hops you feel like = cheap, easy, good beer...

EDIT: If you would like an actual recipe, try

10# two row
1 oz Cascade at 90 ~21 IBUs
1 oz Cascade at 20 ~12 IBUs
1 oz Cascade at 5 ~4 IBUs
1 oz Cascade dry hop

And thats it, a good American Pale Ale. Use some cheap dry yeast, and it'll be ready to drink within a month!

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Old 12-13-2009, 07:44 PM   #5
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I plug my Kentucky Common again. Everyone loves it. I'm also a poor college student, which is another reason I brew this all the time. I still think it is the best bang for your buck recipe. It uses a 24hr mash so you should get really good efficiency. Between me and another guy, we've had 92-98% multiple times. Another guy on here got 85%. On a 6.75lb grain bill I got a 5.2% abv beer.

If you're interested, I would start with this recipe to see what kind of efficiency you get. If you get 90+, you may want to try the 1908 recipe below if you want a cheaper and lower abv (around 5%) beer. The 1908 is a little lighter in flavor and body, but they are both still awesome session beers. People are always wanting me to brew these. You can use dry yeast on the first recipe if you want. I'm kegging a batch with dry yeast today.

Quote:
Recipe: O’Daniel’s Kentucky Common
Style: Specialty Beer
TYPE: All Grain

Recipe Specifications
————————–
Batch Size: 5.00 gal
Boil Size: 6.41 gal
Estimated OG: 1.054 SG
Estimated Color: 15.9 SRM
Estimated IBU: 25.0 IBU
Brewhouse Efficiency: 90.00 %
Boil Time: 60 Minutes

Ingredients:
————
Amount Item Type % or IBU
6.00 lb Pale Malt (6 Row) US (2.0 SRM) Grain 70.59 %
2.00 lb Corn, Flaked (1.3 SRM) Grain 23.53 %
0.25 lb Caramel/Crystal Malt -120L (120.0 SRM) Grain 2.94 %
0.25 lb Chocolate Malt (350.0 SRM) Grain 2.94 %
1.00 oz Cluster [7.00 %] (60 min) Hops 25.0 IBU
1 Pkgs California Ale (White Labs #WLP001) Yeast-Ale

Mash Schedule: My Mash
Total Grain Weight: 8.50 lb
—————————-
My Mash
Step Time Name Description Step Temp
60 min Step Add 12.75 qt of water at 163.3 F 150.0 F

Notes:
——
Mash for 24 hours to sour. Nothing else is added. Leave the top on the mash tun the whole time. If when you open it and it smells funky and the top looks a little funky, just scrape it off and continue to sparge. It will be fine.
Quote:
Recipe: O’Daniel’s Kentucky Common 1908
Brewer: O’Daniel
Style: Specialty Beer
TYPE: All Grain

Recipe Specifications
————————–
Batch Size: 5.00 gal
Boil Size: 6.41 gal
Estimated OG: 1.045 SG
Estimated Color: 9.9 SRM
Estimated IBU: 26.7 IBU
Brewhouse Efficiency: 95.00 %
Boil Time: 60 Minutes

Ingredients:
————
Amount Item Type % or IBU
5.00 lb Pale Malt (6 Row) US (2.0 SRM) Grain 74.02 %
1.50 lb Corn, Flaked (1.3 SRM) Grain 22.21 %
2.00 oz Caramel/Crystal Malt – 80L (80.0 SRM) Grain 1.92 %
2.00 oz Chocolate Malt (450.0 SRM) Grain 1.85 %
1.00 oz Cluster [7.00 %] (60 min) Hops 26.7 IBU
1 Pkgs Nottingham (Danstar #-) Yeast-Ale

Mash Schedule: My Mash
Total Grain Weight: 6.76 lb
—————————-
My Mash
Step Time Name Description Step Temp
60 min Step Add 10.13 qt of water at 165.6 F 152.0 F

Notes:
——
Mash for 24 hours.
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Old 12-13-2009, 09:49 PM   #6
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like others have said, i would just keep it simple.

10pounds marris otter, a pound of sugar if wanted, 1oz cascade at 60mins, Notty dry yeast
maybe .5pound of crystal 60 or carapils if wanted

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Old 12-13-2009, 10:33 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mountainbeers View Post
PBR CLONE
2 quick questions for Mountainbeers:

1. Where'd this recipe come from (I'm in the market for a good PBR clone), have you brewed it? Is it pretty close?
2. I read a recipe for PBR that used grits instead of rice or corn, thoughts?

Sorry about the hijack. PM would be fine.
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Old 12-13-2009, 11:15 PM   #8
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Go with this man: http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f68/o-flannagain-standard-41072/

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Old 12-14-2009, 12:26 AM   #9
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Right now I'm drinking a batch of Orfy's Mild-Mannered Ale, which is cheap but has a great flavor.

I used 6.0 lbs Marris Otter, 1.5 lbs crystal 60L and 5 ounces of chocolate malt, mash at 158F for 60 minutes, 1 oz. Fuggles @ 45 and another ounce at 15. Total cost under $25.

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Old 12-14-2009, 12:48 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mountainbeers View Post
PBR CLONE
Brew Type: All Grain Date: 2/9/2008
Style: American Light/Standard/Premium Lager Brewer: Who Knows
Batch Size: 5.50 gal Assistant Brewer:
Boil Volume: 7.00 gal Boil Time: 60 min
Brewhouse Efficiency: 75.00 % Equipment: Brew Pot (7.5 gal) and Igloo Cooler (10 Gal)
Actual Efficiency: 16.71 %
Taste Rating (50 possible points): 35.0

Ingredients Amount Item Type % or IBU
10.00 lb Barley, Raw (2.0 SRM) Grain 86.96 %
1.00 lb Rice, Flaked (1.0 SRM) Grain 8.70 %
0.50 lb Victory Malt (25.0 SRM) Grain 4.35 %
0.25 oz Cascade [6.00 %] (60 min) Hops 5.2 IBU
0.25 oz Cascade [6.00 %] (35 min) Hops 4.3 IBU
0.25 oz Mt. Hood [4.50 %] (25 min) Hops 2.7 IBU
1.00 oz Cascade [6.00 %] (15 min) Hops 10.3 IBU
1 Pkgs American Lager (Wyeast Labs #2035) Yeast-Lager

Name Description Step Temp Step Time
Mash In Add 3.59 gal of water at 161.4 F 150.0 F 75 min


Mash Notes
Simple single infusion mash for use with most modern well modified grains (about 95% of the time).
Carbonation and Storage Carbonation Type: Corn Sugar Carbonation Volumes: 2.4 (2.5-2.7 vols)
Estimated Priming Weight: 3.9 oz Temperature at Bottling: 55.0 F
Primer Used: - Age for: 8.0 Weeks
Storage Temperature: 35.0 F


Holy Christ on a creek! PBR!!!!! Whoa. I'm so there. NOT.
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