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Old 12-10-2008, 12:11 AM   #11
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I used to live aboard a 44' sailboat as a teenager, and I was a yacht broker here in Annapolis, once upon a time. Never brewed on board, but I did have a listing for a brokerage sailboat that had a tower built in above the icebox/refrigerator. The owner was a homebrewer who would bring a corney with him.

Water saver: The Vinator bottle sprayer. This is a good buy for anyone, but a pint or two of sanitizer solution can sanitize all of your bottles if you go that route.

I've never used the Party Pigs (though I own one from a bunch of stuff I bought off craigslist), but I think that might be a really good solution for you instead of bottles and wouldn't take up too much room in the icebox/fridge. They're plastic.

The constant motion is going to make clarifying your finished product kind of hard in the fermenter.

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Old 12-10-2008, 12:13 AM   #12
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Oh, and ingredients-wise, I'd probably plan on ordering a few batche's worth at a time and having them shipped to meet you someplace. When you're in Europe you should probably go from European suppliers.

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Old 12-10-2008, 12:40 AM   #13
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I own a sail boat, much smaller than yours, but I have aspirations on a 38' for single handling the inside passage and then down to BaHa... we shall see after that.

I'm thinking 2.5 gal batches should be doable and a 3 gal keg should fit in your fridge. Problem is that it's still going to take up a lot of your food space on long legs.

Do you have a water maker on board? What is your electrical supply? Are you limited to generator only or do you have alt supply? (wind/solar) Cooling shouldn't be too much of an issue if you have elec power to run a small pump, you can circulate ocean water (50-60 deg mostly) for cooling down the wort. As others have said though the fermentation is ok, but clarifying might be difficult.

Maybe its not so much of an issue if you make/like a Heff or something not light and clear already.

As a fellow sailor, you know it's a matter of compromise no mater what, the boat's not big/fast/stable/cheap/easy to work on... bla bla bla. But it's the life of Riley!!! Make it work and just kick back and enjoy!

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Old 12-10-2008, 01:57 AM   #14
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I think I'm going to really like this board!

I am not the person that asked about this before. The idea only occurred to me recently. I know that there are people that must be doing it, but perhaps they're more rare than I think. Thanks for the tip BTW about writing it up my sailing-hottie is a writer (as one of her talents) and if it works (or goes badly wrong) it might be a good story.

How about this, I'll write up what I think might work and y'all can use your collective wisdom to tell me why I'm wrong.

First I want to do smaller batches than 5 gal because everything on a boat is smaller. Besides I enjoy the process and don't mind having several varieties on hand. We're planning on having a freezer (full of food) and a non-electric cooler/icebox that we will put ice into from the freezer. If necessary I can insulate the fermenter and put ice in the insulated box. So refrigeration is available on a limited basis but in short supply. This is why I think kegs or party pigs won't work. I can't keep them cool enough to dispense and drink. I think I'm going to have to go with pet or glass bottles. I've carried home brewed cider on a 4month trip and never broke a bottle. With bottles I can put a few or 10 in the cooler at a time.

I can boil a enough for 2.5 gal batches using my SS crab boiling pot on my propane stove top. It gets pretty darn hot. From what I've been reading liquid malt extract (which is what I'm used to using) doesn't keep. So I think dried malt extract and or grain is the way to go. DarthBrew has inspired me on stovetop all grain! Grains probably keep well (and can possibly be found overseas). I'll need help with ingredients that keep well and how to keep dry yeast alive. Also if I can buy off the shelf barley at the market in Italy do you think it will brew well?

I was interested in the Beer Machine because it seems like I could sanitize it once and it would be primary and secondary and bottler in one. I was also thinking that party pigs look like a better product and if I could put a 15psi relief valve in one they could be a fermenter also. I also figure that the Lowes 3 gal water bottles might work well.

I figure I need to brew with the seasons. Ale yeast in the tropics and lager yeast in the winter. Pity as I like lager when it's hot and ale when it's cold. Still I need to learn more about temp and yeast and that's something I won't have heaps of control over. I'll need help from y'all here.

I do have a sea water pump that is designed to wash down the boat. Perhaps with a hose and some copper tubing I could make a seawater wort chiller.... I can add that to the home made watermaker that I'm thinking of building from a pressure washer and some membranes.

I don't know how much of a problem motion is. Luckily clarity is what I care about least. I care about taste, alcohol percent, taste, smell, taste, mouth feel, taste and oh yeah, clarity.

Sanitizing is something else I'll need help with. I'd love to use a product that didn't require heaps of rinsing. If I make the watermaker I guess water will be plentiful but I shouldn't count on it. Is there a good one step sanitizer? Cleaning bottles might also be a problem.

That's it in a nutshell for now. More later.

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Old 12-10-2008, 02:49 AM   #15
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Moonpile. Thanks for the tip on the The Vinator bottle sprayer. I just looked it up and It'll be perfect for bottle washing! Low water/sanitizer usage and it doesn't look too bulky to store. Nice one!

One logistical problem solved. 20 to go.

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Old 12-10-2008, 03:16 AM   #16
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Good Luck BoB. I was thinking of a seawater cooler later, would kick a$$ in cold climates. Not sure about which metal to use, but I've served on a submarine and we have seawater coming through steel pipes all the time. (Not sure how well copper would hold up).

The best no rinse sanitizer on the market is Star San. Trust me, it's great.

If you have the capability to make ice, even a couple of gallons of frozen water in an igloo cooler will make an adequate fermentation chamber, esp if you have a dark, cool area to store it. (I imagine a 40' sailboat has some cargo holds).

For you, maybe 2.5 gallon batches fermented in a 3 gallon better bottle would be the way to go. The better bottle is also available on other sites with a port in the bottom. Take a look at some of the threads here about not using a secondary, it works well, and it would cut one step out of the process for you.

I'd say go for AG, and if not at least use dry extract. Make sure you post some cool pics of you brewing and enjoying beer in the Med and other tropical ports.

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Old 12-10-2008, 03:43 AM   #17
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If you're going extract, and I see why you would, DME is supposed to keep longer, so you're on the right track there. Vacuum sealer. Humidity + DME = rock.

A hefe in higher temps can turn into a banana bomb. Start looking for a yeast that can handle higher temps and some variable temps cleanly. Right off the bat, I'd suggest S-05, but there may be something even better.

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Old 12-10-2008, 04:33 AM   #18
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I think the best way to achieve your goal is to use a proven widely used product. The Cooper's complete kit is a fine choice.(comes in a large red box) It comes with everything you need - except sanitizer and water. Of special note, it includes a lager extract package but there are many other choices available to choose from later.

Cooper's beer kits come with their propriety yeast that can handle an amazing amount of temperatures - and still produce good tasting beer.

I live in North Florida and have been making Cooper's extract beer using their complete kit for some time now. In the Fall and Winter I set the carboy on the counter in an unused bathroom and crack the window. The temperature fluctuates from very cool evenings (30 - 50 f) to fairly warm days (60 - 70 f). The Cooper's plastic (PET) carboy has a dark towel wrapped around it and the temperature stays right at 22 c (72 f). Every batch has turned out tasting great. ( I tend to play with the ingredients)

I prefer the Cooper's IPA and Sparkling Ale kits, but their Lager is great too. You can order the individual kits through many online sites, however the Sparkling Ale is harder to come by.

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Old 12-10-2008, 06:59 AM   #19
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"I'd say go for AG, and if not at least use dry extract. Make sure you post some cool pics of you brewing and enjoying beer in the Med and other tropical ports."

I can definitely do that. ;-)

Thanks for the specifics on the cooper's kits. That's some pretty serious temp variation you go there! I plan on putting the fermenter/carboy in a locker under the cockpit where it will be touching the hull which is underwater. I should be able to keep a fairly constant temp at close to whatever the sea water temp is. I could also wrap a towel around the fermenter and add seawater to cool it further...

I might start with the coopers kits and then add some grain, and then try all-grain once I get the other bits worked out. Are the cooper's kits no-boil? That would sure be convenient but not as fun....

The better bottle looks like a good tip. Question: Is that better than the 3gal Lowes water bottle which I assume is less than $20? I saw the Lowes bottle in an apfelwein thread.

I wonder also if there is any real advantage of the expensive, fiddly beer machine over a better bottle with a tap on the bottom. If I don't have to transfer to a secondary and only have to use the spigot to bottle it might be a simpler cheaper option. I would have to carb with sugar though.... Hmmm....


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Old 12-10-2008, 01:33 PM   #20
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OK I gotta know how you're posting from a boat??

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