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Old 12-23-2009, 03:48 AM   #21
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Cheeto,
I've only been at it for about 6 months. My wife got me a kit for fathers day/bday. My first batch, a Saison that knocked my socks off. I have 3 left and dread the day when they are gone. I have 2 more batches under my belt, and am tired of the boxed steeping grain kits. Im learning the All grain process from a coworker/neighbor. I'm just looking to experiment with small batches, that way if things go bad, its only a small batch. I thought about doing the 1 gallon mead thing. I've never had mead before, so I don't know what to expect.



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Old 12-23-2009, 03:58 AM   #22
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For a simple mead I would start with one to no more that two pounds of honey per gallon and a packet of lalvin D47 yeast



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Old 12-23-2009, 04:05 AM   #23
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Thanks for the tip. I look forward to trying it.

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Old 12-23-2009, 05:18 AM   #24
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From the PM Dan gave me, I understand he's trying to understand what the heck the appeal to these kind of "brews" are by using himself as a lab rat.

Either that or he got addicted to prison hootch while working in law enforcement.. lol

I know a few cops.. some of them are beer connoisseurs, some would drink fermented lemonade that was made by accidentally leaving in the sun.

A real minimalist approach to beer would be malt extract and spruce tips.

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Old 12-23-2009, 11:33 AM   #25
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Denny- yea youre correct to an extent as far as appeal. I do want to try and make something that tastes good, using common items. That grocery and produce thread is exactly what I'm looking for. I don't just want sugar water with a jolly rancher flavor. That not what I'm looking to try. I want to make something that I sip and go "holy #### this is actually good" Like some of those guilty pleasures known as wine coolers(blasphemy I know) I would never sip something that was fermented in a trash bag and filtered with a sock...

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Old 12-23-2009, 02:43 PM   #26
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Cider: It doesn't get any more minimal than this.

Quote:
The Easy Way:
All you really have to do is leave the cap loose on a jug of (unpreserved) cider, and leave the jug on the counter. When it gets good and tangy, it's at about 3%. I used to do this back in college. I would get two gallons, put one in the fridge, one on the counter. When the one on the counter got good and fizzy, I would mix them together, and store them in the fridge. This makes a very sweet cider, and needs to be consumed rather quickly, as it will keep working in the fridge. This cider does not actually fit any established guidelines as a hard cider, but it's tasty and fun.

Still Easy:
To get slightly more serious about it, replace the cap with an airlock. After it's done fermenting (spontaneously, with the naturally occurring yeasts and bacteria), you can add back about 10% sweet cider (if desired), and store it in the fridge. It will also need to be consumed quickly, as the thin plastic jug is not impermeable to oxygen, and the cider will eventually turn into vinegar.

Getting Harder:
To get a lot more serious, put it in a glass jug or carboy, and use an airlock. That will keep extra oxygen out, and prevent vinegaring.

To be completely out of control, get ten gallons, knock out the wild stuff with campden, add pectic enzyme, acid blend and wine tannins. Pitch the wine yeast of your choice, ferment it out, adjust the final acidity and sweetness after malo-lactic refermentation has occurred in the spring, stabilize it with sulfites, counter pressure bottle it and make fancy labels for the bottles.
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Old 12-23-2009, 03:40 PM   #27
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Also consider green herbs (rosemary, thyme, etc) for bittering and grassy/earthy flavors. Basil alone has so many flavor offerings to melt your noodle: lemon, mint, pineapple, sweet, ... You could consider growing your own and really be a minimalist/off-the-grid type of brewer. There are some on here that grow and malt their own barley.

Steep the individual herbs in hot water for ~5mins. Then sample them to discern what flavors they contribute. Then do some blends to get what you want.

Here is a link to several herb seeds on Wiki: http://www.johnnyseeds.com/c-3-herb-seeds.aspx

Here is a selection of just basil:

Quote:
Common name Species and cultivars Description
Sweet basil O. basilicum The best known, with a strong clove scent when fresh.[6]
Thai basil O. basilicum var. thyrsiflorum 'Siam Queen'[7] Called Horopa (ต้นโหระพา) in Thai, scent of licorice from estragole.[5]
Genovese basil O. basilicum 'Genovese Gigante' Almost as popular as sweet basil, with similar flavor.[8]
Cinnamon basil O. basilicum 'Cinnamon' Also called Mexican spice basil, with a strong scent of cinnamate, the same chemical as in cinnamon. Has purple flowers.[5]
Licorice basil O. basilicum 'Licorice' Also known as Anise basil or Persian basil, silvery leaves, spicey licorice smell comes from the same chemical as in anise, anethole. Thai basil is also sometimes called Licorice basil.[9]
Spicy globe basil O. basilicum 'Spicy Globe' Grows in a bush form, very small leaves, strong flavor.[10]
Purple ruffles basil O. basilicum 'Purple Ruffles' Solid purple, rich and spicy and a little more anise-like than the flavor of Genovese Basil.[11]
Fino verde basil O. basilicum piccolo Small, narrow leaves, sweeter, less pungent smell than larger leaved varieties.[12]
Nufar basil O. basilicum 'Nufar F1' Variety of Genovese resistant to fusarium wilt.[13]
Magical Michael O. basilicum 'Magical Michael' Award-winning hybrid with an uncommon degree of uniformity, and nice flavor for culinary use.[14]
Lettuce leaf basil O. basilicum 'Lettuce Leaf' Has leaves so large they are sometimes used in salads.[15]
Mammoth basil O. basilicum 'Mammoth' Another large-leaf variety, stronger flavor than sweet Genovese.[8]
Red rubin basil O. basilicum 'Red Rubin' Strong magenta color, similar flavor to sweet basil, also called Opal basil.[8]
Dark opal basil O. basilicum 'Purpurascens' Award-winning variety, developed at the University of Connecticut in the 1950s.[16]
Cuban basil O. basilicum Similar to sweet basil, with smaller leaves and stronger flavor, grown from cuttings.[17]
Mrs. Burns lemon basil O. basilicum var. citriodora 'Mrs. Burns' Clean, aromatic lemon scent, similar to lemon basil.[7]
Osmin purple basil O. basilicum 'Osmin Purple' Dark shiny purple with a jagged edge on the leaves, smaller leaves than red rubin.[18]
Ocimum americanum cultivars
Lemon basil O. americanum[7] Contains citral and limonene, therefore actually does smell very lemony, tastes sweeter. Originally, and sometimes still, called "hoary basil". Popular in Indonesia, where it is known as 'kemangi'. Also sometimes 'Indonesian basil'.
Lime basil O. americanum Similar to lemon basil.[18]
Ocimum ×citriodorum cultivars
Greek column basil O. ×citriodorum 'Lesbos' Columnar basil, can only be propagated from cuttings.[19]
Thai lemon basil O. ×citriodorum (แมงลัก in Thai) Citrus odor, with a distinct balm-like flavor[5]
Holy basil O. sanctum
(alt. O. tenuiflorum) Also sacred basil, Tulsi (तुलसी) in Hindi, a perennial breed from India, used in Ayurveda, for worship, and in Thai cooking.[5]
Greek bush basil O. minimum
(alt. O. basilicum var. minimum) Forms a nearly perfectly round globe, with thin, tiny leaves and a delicious scent. Despite its name, the variety probably originated in Chile.[20]
Dwarf bush basil O. minimum Unusually small bush variety, similar to Greek bush basil.[6]
African Blue basil O. kilimandscharicum × basilicum A sterile perennial hybrid, with purple coloration on its leaves and containing a strong portion of actual camphor in its scent.[5]
Speaking of seeds you can experiment with seed based spices or use seeds from fruit (pumpkin) toasted.

The problem becomes apparent when you have an active imagination and you see all of the possibilities in brewing.

Good luck.
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Old 12-23-2009, 06:48 PM   #28
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As far as honey to make mead, the suggestion earlier of using "just 1 to 2 pounds of honey per gallon" won't get you anywhere. You need at least 3 pounds per gallon just to get a dry mead. Try 3-1/2 pounds in 1 gallon, and then add in some yeast nutrient (1tsp) plus the packet of rehydrated Lalvin D-47 yeast. That will get you started on a semi-dry mead.

Try the "Joe's Ancient Orange Mead" or the "Malkore's Ancient Orange Mead" as a first go. Joe's is made from ingredients you can get at the grocery store. Malkore's takes some additional ingredients, but all things you can easily get at the LHBS.

Warning: it will take quite a while to ferment out and get tasty. Somewhere on the order of 2-3 months in primary, followed by 6 months of secondary. But it's worth it.



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