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Old 02-03-2013, 05:57 PM   #1
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Default Ingredient alternatives for beer

So basically I'm living in a country that has never heard of home brewing so ingredients are very hard to come by, luckily my girlfriends family run a herb/raw ingredient business and are well connected with raw ingredients like grains and so on, but nothing specifically made for brewing.

So from my limited knowledge of brewing I need 4 things. Yeast, grains, malt, hops.

For hops I guess there is no choice but to get them imported if I can not find them here.

Grains should be easy to get but which type would be best and would they need any special treatment (like roasting) before using?

For yeast I guess bread yeast is not terrible, or as it is usually small it wouldnt be too expensive to import.

Then the last is malt... I am guessing that I can make this myself from the grains but need to read up a bit about that. Let me know if I'm totally off on it though.

Thanks for any advice, I really hope I can get some drinkable ale out here somehow as not only are the brewing items hard to get but shop beer is ridiculously expensive (around 6USD per litre). Cheers.

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Old 02-04-2013, 02:26 PM   #2
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1. You'll need malted grain, which has been sprouted to allow access to the starches contained in the endosperm. You can order online or do it yourself if you're feeling ambitious. The words grain and malt are used interchangeably in brewing.

2. Do not use bread yeast! It's not formulated for brewing. Order some yeast online when you order your hops. There are plenty of companies that ship internationally, so it shouldn't be an issue.

3. Make sure you use non-chlorinated water, otherwise you'll get some funky off-flavors. You can use spring water, get a carbon filter for your tap, or use a Campden tablet in your tap water.

Hope this helps

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Old 02-05-2013, 02:47 AM   #3
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You can supplement some malted grains with some unmalted ones. In the case of certain unmalted grains, you will have to gelatinize the starches before mashing, which basically involves a short boil. Simple sugars can also be fermented with no treatment other than pasteurization, so you can use sugar, corn syrup, honey or fruit as well. If hops are hard to come by, you may look into brewing gruits, which use non-hop herbs/spices for bitterness and flavoring. Read some of the yeast harvesting threads on this site; apparently you will need them. If all else fails, you can make chicha.

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Old 02-05-2013, 02:52 AM   #4
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A super important distinction absolutely MUST be made. The word "grain" is getting used often, as is "malted grain" etc. What BassBeer said is absolutely correct about how the grain is malted. But the distinction I would like to clarify is the type of grains you need: BARLEY!

So yes, malted barley grains + hops + water + yeast = yum

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Old 02-05-2013, 03:21 AM   #5
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Both of these other people are factually incorrect, although their hearts are in the right place. You don't need barley, although I wouldn't personally brew without it. You can make beer out of malted wheat, rye and oats, as well as sorghum syrup and whatever else they use on the gluten-free forum.

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Old 02-05-2013, 02:02 PM   #6
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Is there any reason malting my own barley would be so hard or bad? I saw a video that they basically just soaked it in water for 12 hours, then left it in a dark damp place for a few days, dried them off and that was it. Sounds quite easy to me.

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Old 02-05-2013, 02:21 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Noz03 View Post
Is there any reason malting my own barley would be so hard or bad? I saw a video that they basically just soaked it in water for 12 hours, then left it in a dark damp place for a few days, dried them off and that was it. Sounds quite easy to me.

Not hard at all from what I understand. There's a great BYO article in the current issue about malting at home. I say go for it if you have the time.
Where do you live BTW? Just curious.
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Old 02-05-2013, 02:26 PM   #8
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What country do you live in. You would be surprised who might be on here from that region. People always say "there's no one around me doing it in my country," and we usually end up finding them.

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Old 02-05-2013, 02:30 PM   #9
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2. Do not use bread yeast! It's not formulated for brewing. Order some yeast online when you order your hops. There are plenty of companies that ship internationally, so it shouldn't be an issue.
Actually you CAN use bread yeast, if that's all that's readily available. The basic brewing guys did a video on switching yeasts.

Quote:
September 28, 2007 - Trading Places: Beer and Bread Yeast
James makes a Simcoe Ale with bread yeast, and Steve makes bread with beer yeast.

Watch

Flash or Streaming mp-4

There's quite a few threads on here of people working with bread yeast in brewing.
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Old 02-05-2013, 05:51 PM   #10
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Haha I am living in Turkey, and I really doubt you will find someone brewing here Let me know if you do though.

So with bread yeast, malting my own barley, add a little extra sugar to make sure I get a good strong beer, all I need is to grow my own hops and Ill be sorted haha.

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