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Old 04-09-2007, 06:31 PM   #1
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Default Noob non-brewing questions

Hey all,

First I've got to mention how great of a resource this forum has proven to be to me. I've been lurking for a couple of months now just trying to absorb everything that I possibly can. Reading countless topics here made my decision to try 5 gallon brewing and see what the end product would be.

I had messed with the Mr. Beer kits a few years ago but never produced anything that was much above cat urine with foam. I got 1 equipment kit from beer & wine hobby with an amber LME, followed their instruction to the T (with the exception of the hops) for my first batch. That batch will be going to bottles this Friday (4/13) and so far I'm very pleased with the overall taste, color and aroma of it.

I quickly discovered why so many people say welcome to the obsession because before I had even racked my first batch to secondary I had another equipment kit on the way (that comes with a standard ingredient kit) and a Lawnmower Ale kit.

Now that I have to wait for batch #1 to condition in bottles and won't be taking batches #2 and #3 to secondary until Friday I've had some time to think about some of the really important homebrew questions

1. How much of my homebrew should I allocate to my budweiser guzzling freeloading friends? I want them to try it and all, but do you find yourself keeping the really good brews that you make mostly to yourself and family? Example - I have a poker game at the house once a month - should I count on them depleting my precious brew that I patiently waited for or should I just not even offer any of it up? I'm trying to find the line between being known as 'the guy who always has free beer WOOHOO!' and 'the guy who makes his own really great beer and lets us have a few when we come over, but we still need to bring our own if we want to get wasted'.

2. Is it just me or should one always have a batch of <enter her favorite beer here> around for the SWMBO so as to decrease the amount of nagging. That way she can be told to RDWHAHB.

3. Is it bad that I don't even have a bottled, carbonated batch yet and I'm aldready dreaming of an AG setup with 27 Gallon conical fermenters? If SWMBO ever gets wind of this (see #2 above) I figure I can always strap a windmill and some solar panels on top of the thing and tell her that I'm trying to find a way to use beer as an alternative fuel source and my research could one day save the environment.

4. Is it ok to tell your friends who don't like your homebrew that they wouldn't know a real beer if it came up and smacked them in the face, then dump a can of Bud on them?

5. Are Hallertau pellets supposed to have the same effect on dogs that hardcore narcotics have on people? I accidentally dropped one while I was measuring out for batch #2 and I swear that my dog was ready to hump the trash can.

Alright, enough joking around. There is some serious merit to some of the questions above, but I'm dead serious about the content in this forum. Thanks again all and I'll be sure to post results of my first 3 brews once I can taste the finished product!

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Old 04-09-2007, 07:24 PM   #2
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Welcome to the wonderful world of homebrewing.
Lots of good questions. I'll try and take a stab at some.

#1) Allow for a few bottles for friends, but don't allow yourself to be the main supplier. If they really like your brews then they can cough up some $$ so you can get additional ingredients for more brewing fun on your part. That way they can fund your hobby, and you are not selling the product, just making the brews for their (and your self) pleasure.

#2) Dude thats your problem. We all have to figure a fine balance between going crazy with our hobby and SWMBO. Good luck!!!

#3) Same thing happened to me while lurking this forum and soaking up as much info as possible. So of course I am going to say that it is perfectly normal.

#4) It is OK, but then they may not be friends after that.

#5) No idea. I have been keeping my hops safe because I just love the aromas that they have, so the dog can't have any of mine!!!

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Old 04-09-2007, 07:42 PM   #3
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1. I usually give away about a 12 pack of my beer unless it's something I made specifically to give away (like the blueberry pale ale I have coming up). Of course, when I have something really good everyone wants some, I try not to give up more than a case.

2. My wife doesn't drink beer so I can't really say.

3. Welcome to the club, I just got my kegging set-up and now I'm on to thinking about the next major equipment purchases.

4. Yes! (although this may be why I have so few friends)

5. No idea, but it's possible.

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Old 04-09-2007, 09:44 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ohiobrewtus
I swear that my dog was ready to hump the trash can.
I think beer has that effect on a lot of guys! It very well could be that hops are an aphrodisiac!
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Old 04-09-2007, 10:17 PM   #5
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#1 Freeloading friends and relatives who really appreciate good beer have an empty 6 pack set aside and I give them one of each beer I make. Once you reach 6, you send it over to them. Remember, their feedback is valuable to you too, so it's not a one way street. The heavy drinkers get the same single bottle unless they pitch in for ingredients or do other favors (like "borrow" you a 20 year's supply or oxygen from a hospital). The non drinker and BMC drinkers (one in the same in my book) get a courtesy bottle of my lighter beers and a polite but firm, "You probably wouldn't like the rest of my beers...". And when I say it, I try to get the point across that it's not me saving my beer for myself, it's me saving my beer from their numb palates. Same reason I wouldn't offer them a taste of a $200 cognac. I simply don't have enough time and don't make enough money to provide that level of generosity to people who wouldn't appreciate it.

If they are coming to my house, how much I provide depends entirely on how much supply I have, how much is in the pipeline, and how much time I'll have for brewing in the future. If I've got a week off and three batches in secondary, then hey, help me empty the bottles for the next batch! On the other hand if work is wearing me down and I've only got a single batch in a primary, then I simply say, "Sorry, I'm low on brew, let's go grab a six pack of something good..."

#2 Definitely keep a batch for SWMBO. Keep two batches for yourself as well.

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Old 04-10-2007, 12:46 AM   #6
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According to the Bible, you put some of the good beer out first. Then they can drink the cheap stuff.

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Old 04-10-2007, 12:53 AM   #7
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5.) I've read that hops are toxic to dogs so you may want to keep them out of reach.

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Old 04-10-2007, 02:03 AM   #8
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I made a batch of Kolsch for my uncle for Christmas. Recently he emailed me, saying each bottle had a hole in it, causing all the beer to leak out and could I replace them for him, since the originals had this strange defect. He is going to send the "empty, defective" bottles back to me, in addition to 20 20 oz bottles (empty) and a case of 12 oz bottles (also empty). A friend of mine came up to me the other day asking to buy a bottle of my mead. I had to reply, "sorry, I cant sell it." Almost broke her heart, till I gave her a bottle, telling her I cant sell it, but can give it away. It does give you a good feeling to make beer and wine that people enjoy

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Old 04-10-2007, 02:03 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ohiobrewtus
5. Are Hallertau pellets supposed to have the same effect on dogs that hardcore narcotics have on people? I accidentally dropped one while I was measuring out for batch #2 and I swear that my dog was ready to hump the trash can.
Sorry guys, #5 was my poor attempt at humor... I don't even have a dog. lol

Man I hope my Irish red turns out, it's pretty bitter. Hopefully bitter enough to keep all my buddies from drinking it. By the time it's done I'll probably contribute so that I can post some pics.
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Old 04-10-2007, 03:56 AM   #10
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4. Nah, don't do that. Homebrew isn't for everyone, don't get upset if someone doesn't like it. Hell, that's good- then there's more for you!!!

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