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Old 01-15-2014, 09:51 PM   #1
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Default Boiling wort "here" then pitching yeast "there"

Ok. I know the title is a little confusion, but I'll clear it up right now. My brother wants me to brew beer to be served at his wedding. The problem is that I live in Chicago and the wedding is in New Orleans. I've been searching for someone to help me brew while down there on a trip this coming March, but it's been pretty tough to find a willing party....surprised right?

I've seen a new product on the brewing market. Something about you get delivered fresh wort, hopped and boiled and everything, and you just pitch yeast. Obviously, I wouldn't really consider this brewing, but the concept is interesting.

What if I was to do a full all grain brew session, chill the wort, and then separate the chilled portions into 1 gallon bottles? Everything being sanitized and all that good stuff of course. I could then pack up the jugs in my checked baggage (safely packaged), and bring it down to New Orleans where I could pitch my yeast. I figure if I brew it the night before I fly, I shouldn't have any issues of spoilage.

Let's hear the pros and cons please:

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Old 01-15-2014, 09:56 PM   #2
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Check w/TSA. They may worry about 5 gallon jugs being something "bad".

I guess you plan to be w/him for a long time as it takes 3 weeks to ferment.

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Old 01-15-2014, 10:00 PM   #3
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Just do a no-chill in a winpak. I agree about checking with TSA, lol.

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Old 01-15-2014, 10:01 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by C-Rider View Post
Check w/TSA. They may worry about 5 gallon jugs being something "bad".

I guess you plan to be w/him for a long time as it takes 3 weeks to ferment.
I would be packaging them in 1 gallon jugs. I'm down there in late March and late May. Late March would be the brewing and bringing down to pitch and late May would be the bottling time. The wedding is in late June so it'd be perfect.

My plan would be to boil down the wort to about 1.117 and then dilute appropriately to have 15 gallons. I've used the online calculators and I'll need 1.5 gallons of wort at the OG to get a 1.045 SG before pitching.
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Old 01-15-2014, 10:02 PM   #5
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Just do a no-chill in a winpak. I agree about checking with TSA, lol.
Looks like I replied as you were typing. The volume is the issue and the boiling down and then diluting is my plan to get around crazy baggage lbs. I can't check 15 gallons of wort
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Old 01-15-2014, 10:07 PM   #6
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in theory it should work fine. i'd be extra diligent about sanitation, filling the jugs completely so there is not air in there, etc.

in practice, my biggest concern would be getting all 5 jugs to NO without being broken. a filled gallon is pretty damn heavy, and i'm not sure there is enough padding in the world that would make me feel sage. having a jug break in your suitcase would suck, in several different ways.

speaking of pretty damn heavy: expect to pay overweight baggage fees. a gallon of water weighs about 8.5 pounds. x 5, and there's your weight limit. hope you don't need any clothes, shoes, etc.

have you thought about temp control once you get there?

have you tried contacting a homebrew club in NO and asking if a generous soul could hook you up with a brew system for a day?

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Old 01-15-2014, 10:12 PM   #7
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in theory it should work fine. i'd be extra diligent about sanitation, filling the jugs completely so there is not air in there, etc.

in practice, my biggest concern would be getting all 5 jugs to NO without being broken. a filled gallon is pretty damn heavy, and i'm not sure there is enough padding in the world that would make me feel sage. having a jug break in your suitcase would suck, in several different ways.

speaking of pretty damn heavy: expect to pay overweight baggage fees.

have you thought about temp control once you get there?

have you tried contacting a homebrew club in NO and asking if a generous soul could hook you up with a brew system for a day?
I would be using the plastic 1 gallon jugs (distilled water poured out and wort put in) so no broken glass problems. I would be concerned with filling them 100% of the way any possible expansion at higher altitudes, but I can see what you mean. This way, I could check 2 suitcases and bring all 5 jugs as needed w/o fees (I love SW sometimes).

I've contacted the 2 clubs down there by FB and no one seems to care. Like I said...surprise right? I had a guy that could help, but he's unavailable the days I'm going to be down there in March. I'm not about to fly down there just to brew some beer either.

As an over the top option, I could always bring is up to sanitizing temp levels in a pot when I get there and just ice bath chill it and then pitch. This would alleviate any possible infections or kill them on the spot.
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Old 01-16-2014, 05:53 AM   #8
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plastic jugs - great idea. fill them full with no air, but squeeze the sides in a little before sealing. this will allow the liquid inside to expand if needed.

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Old 01-16-2014, 09:07 AM   #9
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ship the wort down UPS/FedEx and it will be there when you get there

S_M

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Old 01-16-2014, 02:34 PM   #10
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Any chance you could do a few back to back extract brews down there? It might work out cheaper to buy a 5-6 gal aluminum pot to do a couple of partial boil extract brews down there than to do an AG brew and pack or ship the high gravity wort.

(I brewed a 5 gal saison batch for my future SiL's wedding in Fort Worth over Thanksgiving, just visited the LHBS to buy the extract and knocked up a quick IC from Home Depot copper and used the 4 gallon pot they already had - I took the faucet hook up and tubing required down with me)

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