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Old 03-17-2015, 07:52 PM   #1
Beerfant
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Default My First Brew... Need Help

Hi friends,

I am new and this is my first 'brewing' post and second only after a short introduction.

I live in a country where drinking is illegal for the majority. It is on the expensive side, and while it is easily available, you run a big risk of being caught while taking it home. So I decided to try making some for myself.

I searched on google and found lots of useful information. It would have been easy to brew my own beer but finding the main ingredients was almost impossible. We do have lot's of barley, but no malted one. Even if I somehow manage to malt my own barley, there is no way to find hops. So I thought left me start from the very basics.

I boiled 1 kg (2.2 lb) cane sugar in about 4.5 liter (approx 1.2 US Gallons) water, along with some cinnamon sticks, cloves and some aniseed. I put it in a 6 liter PET water bottle, and used an 11 g (0.39 oz) bakers dry yeast sachet (saccharomyces cerevisiae)

Initially, I dissolved the yeast in a diluted solution of my wort, and let it foam before putting it in the wort. I let the cap open for some time, then capped it. It was going fine, but when I went to let the accumulated CO2 out, the cap opened with big pop. Afraid the plastic bottle might explode, I put on the cap without tightening it. Thereafter, the activity slowed down in the bottle. Later in the evening, I went and purchased a brass nozzle and fixed it on the cap, attached a 1/4 in transparent soft plastic pipe to it. I put the fermenting bottle in a small plastic pale with some water in it, sucked out air from the bottle with my mouth and put the open end of the pipe into the water in the pale. Thus, I made a crude airlock. Now, I can see a big bubble or two come out in the water almost every 1-2 seconds.

Here is the current position:

  • It's been fermenting for about 40 hours now
  • The color of the fermenting wort is pale yellow
  • CO2 is released every 1-2 seconds through the 1/4" pipe
  • I do not see any froth accumulating on the surface
  • The current temperature here ranges between 77 and 86 degrees F (considering the day-night change)

I would be grateful if you guys help me with your valuable advice in any way possible. I do have a few questions in mind...
  • How long should I wait before transferring it to the secondary fermenting bottle, considering the higher temperature might speed up the process?
  • Should I add more yeast?
  • What is the approximate percentage of alcohol I can expect from this?
  • Can I add anything to make it taste better? Coffee? Fruit juice? Spices? Anything else... remember I have no hops available here.
  • Can I add more sugar wort to it at this stage to make it stronger?
  • Any other advice you would like to give that i have not foreseen...

I am sorry this post became so long. Thank you for your patience!
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Old 03-17-2015, 08:10 PM   #2
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Honestly an all sugar brew with bread yeast is not going to taste good. At all. You would have much better luck making wine/cider from fermenting fruit juices.

Once the yeast falls, and the bubbles stop for a few days, you can probably bottle.
No more yeast is necessary
Very roughly 5-6%
Id just make from mostly juice next time. You can try adding lemon juice or something to hide the taste, but really id just take this as a learning experience.
You can add more sugar. It will also make it less palatable.

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Old 03-17-2015, 08:19 PM   #3
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I'm assuming that its legal for you to brew and drink in your house? If not stop being naughty and don't listen to anything i have to say

How long should I wait before transferring it to the secondary fermenting bottle, considering the higher temperature might speed up the process? Leave it in the current bottle for 2-3 weeks and then bottle
Should I add more yeast? No
What is the approximate percentage of alcohol I can expect from this? 8% if the yeast attenuates like beer yeast, but I have no idea what its alcohol tolerance is.
Can I add anything to make it taste better? Coffee? Fruit juice? Spices? Anything else... remember I have no hops available here. ummmm probably. I havn't tried this recipe before so have no idea what its going to taste like. Maybe make it into a ginger beer
Can I add more sugar wort to it at this stage to make it stronger? not by much
Any other advice you would like to give that I have not foreseen... Try brewing cider, I assume they have apple juice where you are.

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Old 03-17-2015, 08:24 PM   #4
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Great initiative and story, I also agree that this may not be the best tasting beverage and that wine and cider should be your course of interest… good luck with your journey…

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Old 03-17-2015, 08:31 PM   #5
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I will not comment on beer being illegal, and will assume this is just a hypothetical question.
You could hypothetically make something like this: the only ingredients are apple juice, sugar, and yeast:
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f25/man-...felwein-14860/

nothing which I would hope would raise suspicions, and which you could easily get, not need a bunch of gear, easy to do.

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Old 03-17-2015, 09:00 PM   #6
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Thank you guys. I agree it won't taste one bit like beer... I wanted to get some fresh sugarcane juice that is readily available here, but then got lazy and hasty, and started with what I had at home. Yes, apples are available, and grapes will be available in August. How about dates?

Since this is my first ever attempt, I am willing to experiment. I've been thinking how it would be if I add a few cans of non-alcoholic malt drinks to the wort?

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Old 03-17-2015, 09:04 PM   #7
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I would recomend purchasing a kit with everything you need included if you have trouble getting hops or malt. it will have everything included that you will need and will cost about 50-55$ for 5 gallons.

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Old 03-17-2015, 09:13 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdindy View Post
I would recomend purchasing a kit with everything you need included if you have trouble getting hops or malt. it will have everything included that you will need and will cost about 50-55$ for 5 gallons.
Getting a kit here is impossible, and ordering one from elsewhere is like inviting the bull to come and gore ya!
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Old 03-17-2015, 09:21 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andyoesq View Post
I will not comment on beer being illegal, and will assume this is just a hypothetical question.
You could hypothetically make something like this: the only ingredients are apple juice, sugar, and yeast:
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f25/man-...felwein-14860/

nothing which I would hope would raise suspicions, and which you could easily get, not need a bunch of gear, easy to do.
Thanks pal! This sure is a great and easy recipe. The temperature here will soar close to 100 in the next month, so I'll try it around September when it begins to cool down, and apples are cheaper because of the new harvest.
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Old 03-18-2015, 01:49 AM   #10
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Just curious; where do you live?

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