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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > Brewing with household remedies?
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Old 04-06-2009, 10:04 PM   #1
kbutcher5
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Default Brewing with household remedies?

Okay so here is the deal, I am a student that wants to learn some things about brewing and possibly make my own beer. The only problem is that I know absolutely zilch about brewing and I can't find anything to answer my questions. So here goes:

1a. Is it possible to make beer from household remedies, like bakers yeast, fruit and the like to make cheap beer?
1b. If it is possible, then what would I require. I heard that bakers yeast, sugar and water should be able to make beer?

2a. I hear that one has to sanitise everything thoroughly, what is the reason for this?
2b. I hear that sanitising has to be done, so the beer won't be spoiled, if this is so then what does spoiled mean, no alcohol, bad taste, toxicity or maybe a fourth thing?

3a. I live in a decent size apartment, what are the safety issues if any?
3b. Is it even responsible to brew in your apartment?

4a. What kind of container or "fermenter" I believe it is called should I use, is there any special requirements?
4b. Could I make/build my own container for my beer, and if so, how would I go about doing this?

I hope I am not asking too many stupid questions, and hoping for some good answers, but thanks in advance anyway

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Old 04-06-2009, 10:06 PM   #2
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Here...read this...you'll find everything you need to brew real beer not hooch like you described....but everything else..sanitization, fermenter size..is here.

How to Brew - By John Palmer - Introduction

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Old 04-06-2009, 10:52 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Revvy View Post
Here...read this...you'll find everything you need to brew real beer not hooch like you described....but everything else..sanitization, fermenter size..is here.

How to Brew - By John Palmer - Introduction
Is hooch the stuff that makes you blind?
My problem is that my budget is rather limited, so I don't have a 3-400$ starters budget.
So I would like to learn some the basics making hooch, before I spend a lot of money making swamp water :P
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Old 04-06-2009, 11:30 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kbutcher5 View Post
1a. Is it possible to make beer from household remedies, like bakers yeast, fruit and the like to make cheap beer?

You'll want brewer's yeast and proper brewing ingredients.

1b. If it is possible, then what would I require. I heard that bakers yeast, sugar and water should be able to make beer?

No, beer is fermented from sugars extracted from malted barley. Fermenting table sugar water gets you a nasty, headache-inducing rocket fuel.

2a. I hear that one has to sanitise everything thoroughly, what is the reason for this?
2b. I hear that sanitising has to be done, so the beer won't be spoiled, if this is so then what does spoiled mean, no alcohol, bad taste, toxicity or maybe a fourth thing?

Generally bad taste. Sanitation gets rid of the vast majority of the billions of airborne and other bacteria and wild yeast spores that can't wait to get their figurative hands on the wort (raw beer)

3a. I live in a decent size apartment, what are the safety issues if any?
3b. Is it even responsible to brew in your apartment?

As long as you don't use a propane burner indoors, it's fine. The most dangerous part of brewing are exploding bottles which can result from premature bottling, overcarbonation or infections (which goes back to sanitation)

4a. What kind of container or "fermenter" I believe it is called should I use, is there any special requirements?
4b. Could I make/build my own container for my beer, and if so, how would I go about doing this?

Most people here use food-grade buckets, glass carboys or Better Bottles (plastic carboys). I recommend the latter.

Definitely read "How To Brew" like Revvy suggested. Otherwise you'll just give yourself headaches and/or stomachaches.
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Old 04-06-2009, 11:47 PM   #5
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You won't make beer from household ingredients- beer is made up of malt so it's a specialty item. You'd need malt extract, hops (if using an unhopped extract), and yeast.

You can make wine, cider, etc, out of juice and yeast. Take a look at my Welch's grape juice recipe for a cheap and easy wine. Instead of bread yeast, use a wine yeast available at homebrew stores for as low as $.49 cents. You can use apple juice (100% juice, not the "cocktail" stuff) to make hard cider or wine. I have a recipe for apple juice wine, too.

Sanitizing is crucial, because bacterial contamination will ruin the wine or cider. An airlock is under a dollar, and well worth it. It keeps fruitflies from turning your wine into vinegar, as well as allows co2 out (so you don't get a bottle bomb).

"Hooch" is the stuff that kids want to make in their room for a cheap drunk. Or, I guess it's made in prisons. If you're interested in some quality (but inexpensive) beverages, we can help.

If you're interested in hooch, google "pruno". There's a lot of information on the internet about how to make cheap alcohol.

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Old 04-06-2009, 11:47 PM   #6
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Hmmm, hopefully we can help this guy out.

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f39/etha...y-lost-111419/

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Old 04-06-2009, 11:51 PM   #7
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No help here, just wondering why you are calling it household remedies? I mean it sounds like you're asking how can I brew using household ingredients , but houselhold remedies? I mean you wanna cook with robitussin and windex?

On a serious note, I guess there are somethings to brew beer with like Cream of 3 Crops which uses rice as a 3rd ingredient. But its no remedy... maybe beer goggles that's it, oh and lets not forget Apfelweinl, but I wouldnt call it beer.

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Old 04-07-2009, 12:57 AM   #8
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You don't need an outlya of 3-4 hundred to start out...you can look on craiglist, or hit garage sales or even ebay to find gear really chep..but you don't even need that to make good quality beer...there are several threads on here on cutting costs in buying equipment and ingredients, if you are serious about starting to brew. Search low cost brewing or saving money, or cheap, and you will find many tips to getting workable gear...fermenters, etc.

My initial equipment investment for full 5 gallon sized batches was 150.00 at my LHBS, and that included an ingredient kit. most starter kits online or in homebrewshops are that or less, you can get kits for anywhere between 60-150.00 I don't know where you are getting your prices.

Heck today on woot they were selling mr beer kits...the ingredients are not that great but it is a great 2.5 gallon cheap fermenter, heck with that, a 2 gallon cooler for less that 10 bucks from k-marts, and a $10.00 5 gallon pot from your nearest dollar general store, you can do all grain on a stovetop in your apartment. I posted an all grain tutorial int he Mr Beer sticky at the top of this forum.

So for about 50 bucks or less in equipment you could do small batch allgrain and make really good beer for about 15.00 or less a case.

If you are serious about this hobby, you can do it on a limited budget, and by reading that free book online......and reading stuff here...you will make good beer..

If you are looking for a cheap drunk, you won't get much help here.

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Old 04-07-2009, 01:16 AM   #9
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+1 on reading Palmer. After you read that and really know how to brew, you'll find yourself walking around, seeing stuff and saying "Hey... I could ferment in that." and "I could boil with that". You really don't need too many fancy pieces of equipment. 20 bucks at a brew shop will get you all the pieces (hydrometer, for example) that you won't find elsewhere unless you find someone at a garage sale or craigslist getting out of the hobby (which you can actually find fairly easily too).

Good dry brewers yeast is maybe a dollar more than baker's yeast and it'll actually make something that'll taste GOOD.

Stop by the bakery section at your local grocery store and ask if they have any buckets they want to get rid of. Many of them will give you good food-grade buckets, with the lids, for free.

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Old 04-07-2009, 01:18 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by ChshreCat View Post
Good dry brewers yeast is maybe a dollar more than baker's yeast and it'll actually make something that'll taste GOOD.
Could even be cheaper. Red Star bread yeast costs about $4 here, as I learned with my recent JAOM attempt. A packet of Notty is, what, about a buck-fifty?
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I would never use a dead mouse in my beer. It's much better to use live ones. You could probably just steep a dead one, but live ones must be mashed. Actually, smashed and mashed would be best.
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