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Old 09-29-2009, 11:55 AM   #1
biraistanbul
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Default Brewing beer in Istanbul? (First all-grain beer)

Hi,

I'm new to this forum and pretty new to homebrewing as well. I just made a move from beer-rich Wisconsin to Istanbul, Turkey, and the local beer available (Efes) just isn't cutting it for me. I know I can brew something better at home. I've only brewed twice before, once from a kit, and once from a recipe with malt extract and a whole home-brewing store's resources at hand.

As you can imagine, home-brewing in Turkey hasn't quite taken off yet, so I'll be doing everything from scratch -- this will be my first all-grain beer. I know I can't get malt extract, and I'm searching for hops. Right now, I'm just trying to track down the needed ingredients. This is going to be very much a DIY beer, and I'd like your help.

I know I can get barley (arpa) here, but I don't know if it's 2-row or 6-row. For germination, is it all right if I just crack the grains with a rolling pin at home, or will I need to find someone with access to some sort of grinder instead?

I'm also looking for hops (şerbetçi otu). So far, I've only found dried hops at a couple spice stores. The ones I've found are brown, very dry, and fragile. They still have some aroma, but nothing compared to the pellets I've seen before. How fresh do hops need to be? I also, of course, have no idea what sort of hops they are.

Assuming I only have access to one unidentified type of barley and one unidentified type of hops, how can I make a good beer? Any tips for recipes?

My other thought was trying to get some barley, hops, or malt extract imported from other, more home-brewing friendly, European countries (maybe Germany, Austria, or Slovenia?). Does anyone have any recommendations for companies to contact or websites to visit for international shipping?

Thanks for your help; this is going to be an interesting process for me.

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Old 09-29-2009, 12:53 PM   #2
beretta
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I believe Turkey is a member of the E.U. (I think) You should be able to get hops and yeast shipped from other part of europe with no problems. I'd also check out Turkey's homebrewing laws, as being almost a "secular" muslim country, they *may* have prohibiting laws. I think most european barley is 2 row. I think 6 row barley is primarily an American thing. There's lots of qualities of barley out there... most, I hear, make good beer. Its just a matter of how much efficiency and chill haze you'll get in the final produce. Oh... you'll want to figure out it the barley is "malted" though... unmalted barley will not convert to sugars... crack about a pound of it, dump it in 1.25 qts of 170 F water and let is steep for 1 hour. If the "wort" tastes sweet-ish after an hour, then I'd say the barley is malted, and ready for brewing.

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Old 09-29-2009, 01:19 PM   #3
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I'm brewing in Croatia and put a lot of info on ordering online in this thread:

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f14/smuggling-hops-138746/

If I were you, I'd try to see about using local grain then ship the stuff that's not so heavy like hops and such.

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Old 09-29-2009, 01:27 PM   #4
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In addition to all that, If I were you, I'd order Fermentis Safale S 04 or US 05 to use as your yeast for the time being. Steinbart's has those for $1.95 a pack. Brouwland, I think, has them for almost twice that.

Me? I'm using Wyeast 1056 that I brought from the States and repitching it. See the yeast washing thread if you're curious. I have dry yeast on the way as a backup, then will order some Wyeast from Brouwland once it cools down more, like in early November or so I think.

The hardest thing for me here was finding everything I needed. People in Turkey make Raki, right? We call it Rakija here. DO they make wine? You can likely find a lot of fermenters, buckets, hydrometers and such there if they do. And for me here, the home improvement stores are a good friend for various hoses and such. They have food grade for water too.

Anyway, hope it goes well. Keep your chin up and have some patience and sure you can work it all out.

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Old 02-25-2011, 05:38 PM   #5
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Default How's it coming

I'm new to Istanbul and have the same void. There is a decent brewery I found, but costly. I would rather do my own. How has your search developed?

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Old 02-25-2011, 07:09 PM   #6
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I am travelling there very soon! Interesting timing OP, you said "For Germination.... cracking the grain... grinder...." or something along those lines. You might want to do some more reading, unless that was a typo. Germination has nothing to do with grinding, or cracking.

Read up on MALTING barley, you will need to do this before worrying about your grain crush my friend.

Personally, I would not even think about using those old dry hops that they probably sell for tea out there in a beer recipe. I also would not begin to imagine myself malting my own barley unless I had tons of space and spare time.... its not a simple process. Hopefully buddy from Croatia had some info you could use, it would be awesome for you to be able to brew over there. Who knows? Eventually you may find others and you could do a big international group buy?

Best of luck!!

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Old 02-25-2011, 08:46 PM   #7
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There is tons of info out there, read as much as you can about malting barley. You said you have access to some barely; it would be a matter of malting it yourself.
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/happiness-home-malting-107409/

As for the specialty grains, you can just spread some malted barley on a baking sheet, and bake it in the oven, this makes most basic specialty malts. Crystal malts are a little harder, but basically raw barely that is baked for various amounts of time and at different degrees.

http://www.basicbrewing.com/index.php?page=video
(I couldn’t find the video but the above think has a video that shows a simple way of making some basic specialty malts).

If for example, you cannot sufficiently modify the barely you can always learn to do a 3 step decoction and still get very good beer. I recently did this with a 2 gallon batch of lager (just to see if I could) and it came out amazing!

As for the hops and such, that is ruff! I think you will have to order those if you cannot find them over there. Or if there are pines around make some spruce tip beer, or play around with some old ales that had flowers in them for bittering and other spices that I am sure I would be excited to brew with because they would be alien to me.

You don’t really need airlocks; I am sure you can find a rubber stopper (drill a hole in it) and make a blow off that can work for the whole stage of fermentation. The fermenter can be a plastic number 1 or 2 plastic water jug (if they are available over there) or a bucket.

Bottling can be done without a bottling wand, though it is harder can be done. PET bottles can be used avoiding bottle caps and capper.

This will even give you so much more satisfaction than us spoiled brewers in the States that should learn how to malt, but do not because of the convenience of selection here.

I would take it as a challenge, and if you do enough research you should be opening a bottle of homebrew in no time.

Best of luck!

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Old 02-25-2011, 10:15 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beretta View Post
I believe Turkey is a member of the E.U. (I think) You should be able to get hops and yeast shipped from other part of europe with no problems. I'd also check out Turkey's homebrewing laws, as being almost a "secular" muslim country, they *may* have prohibiting laws. I think most european barley is 2 row. I think 6 row barley is primarily an American thing. There's lots of qualities of barley out there... most, I hear, make good beer. Its just a matter of how much efficiency and chill haze you'll get in the final produce. Oh... you'll want to figure out it the barley is "malted" though... unmalted barley will not convert to sugars... crack about a pound of it, dump it in 1.25 qts of 170 F water and let is steep for 1 hour. If the "wort" tastes sweet-ish after an hour, then I'd say the barley is malted, and ready for brewing.
Turkey is not in the EU, they wish the were but they are not yet.
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Old 04-17-2011, 05:51 PM   #9
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Hi. I'm about to brew my first batch in Istanbul, just about have all the materials and supplies together. I saw your post from 2009. Are you still in Istanbul? Did you have any luck with your brews

Would love to hear your experiences. ( I tried to send you a message but it said your mailbox is full and not accepting any messages)

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Old 05-18-2011, 04:42 PM   #10
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Default Brewing in Istanbul

Hi, just seen this thread (I realise it goes back a long time), but I'm based in Istanbul and have been making full mash beers here for several years. I bring all the raw materials in from the UK. We're just about to up the size of brewing with a craft brewery and as a result will be bringing in larger quantities of malt & hops. We also plan to do some malting here. I can probably help you with supply of materials if you need.

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