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Old 06-26-2009, 06:54 PM   #81
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I started because I love beer, and have a pipe dream to open a brewpub here in Dayton. Another driving factor is the band I've been in for 6 years is on the cusp of breaking up and I need something else to waste my time and money on.

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Old 06-26-2009, 07:29 PM   #82
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1st post!

I Just started with Mr. Beer 8 days ago. My first batch is still fermenting and I already got upgradeitus and am seeking appropriate treatment, which involves the outflow of cash.

First thing I did was get a Ranco ETC. My South Texas house is very warm (76F-80+) when nobody's home, so I was keeping the fermenter in a Coleman thermoelectric cooler that had a thermocouple rigged to it so I could monitor temperature. This required me to manually plug/unplug the cooler to keep the temp in range. I got tired of this quickly and now have the ETC in place to do it for me.

Then I found a 6 gallon ported better bottle on Amazon for $17 with free shipping (We have Amazon Prime). Now, a ported better bottle is useless unless you have a spigot and such, and if you're going to shell out the money for that, you might as well get everything else too, so I've got the O-ring enclosure and dry tap ordered as well, as well as a hydrometer, thermometer, some 1/2" ID line and everything else that I would have gotten in a "kit," though, I got to pick and choose items and omitted items I already had in the house.

After I ordered that I realized I'd need a wort chiller (though I was intrigued by the "no-chill" method), but at first decided to postpone that, that is until I found the 50' chiller at BrewsterBrown for $29.

So, now I've gotten pretty much everything I need on the way, and I have plans to build a simple cardboard/foam fermentation chamber, using my Ranco ETC and scavenging the guts from one of the thermoelectric coolers I've seen locally on Craigslist (going for about $20 compared to $70-$120 new), or taking the removable lid off of my existing cooler, standing it vertically and propping it up to the cardboard/foam chamber.

I'm one of those folks that often enjoys the process as much or more than the product, I'm a BIG DIY'er, and beer brewing seemed to be just another thing I can enjoy! I read a good bit (online and then purchased the printed 3rd edition) of “How to Brew” before I started all this. I really like the science side of the process, and I think it is one of the big attracters.

I'll probably go ahead and use the second kit that came with my Mr. Beer in the 2 gallon fermenter while I tweak/build my setup, so I'll have a total of 2-2 gallon batches done when I go for my first 5 gallon (all extract - already have my eyes on some kits - since I probably won’t have the time to commit to an all grain setup (I have 2 & 4 year old boys who keep me busy).

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Old 09-26-2013, 05:09 AM   #83
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Hope resurrecting an old thread is not a foul, but...

I'd thought half heartedly from time to time about brewing since college, a few decades back. A year or so ago my youngest son & I got serious and looked up info on the net. We decided it was doable. First few batches we malted our own livestock feed barley, using a food dehydrator after sprouting. Guy at LHBS gave us kind of a funny look when we went in to pick up hops & yeast and mentioned doing this but gave good advice anyway. We later built a drying cabinet out of a huge plywood crate, a small electric heater and window screen stretched on removable frames.

Our first, an APA, was...okay. Second batch, a pale lager, was not good but was drinkable. Now, 15 or so batches later, we seem to improve a little every time. I'm no connoisseur but we're now to the point that I like our brew as much or more than anything I can buy.

We've done one extract batch, an Irish Red Ale, probably around the fifth batch we made, and were not really impressed with the results. Everything else has been AG. We've gone from 65 - 75% efficiency in the days of making our own malt and grinding in a blender (with no clue what it would be till the end of the brew) to a consistent 80 - 82% with a better understanding of the process. We use LHBS malt now, since the three straight episodes with mold during sprouting our own.

We still have a DIY slant (have a couple dozen hop vines growing and hoping for a better harvest next year) and will probably try other ideas that may or may not pan out. It's kind of an adventure, though, isn't it?

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Old 09-26-2013, 06:07 AM   #84
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I had been thinking about HBing for the past 12+ years and just never did it. Went to service a customer's RO and he went on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on..... with information etc etc. A couple of months later I actually take the first step and buy a basic 5 gallon setup and a Brewer's Best kit and give it a go. 10-12 batches in I jump into AG and haven't looked back since.

I had been wanting to run into my customer ever since I finally got into HB and recently I got the service ticket that his equipment needed to be serviced. I FINALLY show up at his door eagerly awaiting his happy smile and great conversation. only to be greeted by his wife.?!.?! Ends up, he past away 6 months ago due to liver failure. I was broken. I chatted with his widow and we talked about the good of and from him and she was excited that HE finally pushed me into HB. She even, pretty much, made me take ALL of his HB equipment as she didn't know what she would ever do with it.

Yeah, I know. Not the happiest thing ever, but it's how and why I got into HB and many beers will be made in his honor by me. His recipes.

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Bottle-aging -Chocolate Stout, Lite Citra Ale and a Citra SmAsH.
In the Fridge - New Castle Brown Ale, Chimay and Milk Stout.

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Old 09-26-2013, 02:21 PM   #85
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Got big into craft brews a year ago...and recently my buddy and I were dropping over $100 on beer every other weekend (damn bombers and those little 4 packs are expensive!) So when I found out the neighbor brewed I started talking to him a bit. He invited me over to watch the process and sample some beers. They were amazing and equally as good as many beers we paid $10 + for in the stores. Next weekend buddy and I decided to start brewing. We are 4 batches in AG and no looking back!

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Old 09-26-2013, 07:20 PM   #86
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Sometime in the mid 90's I had tasted my brother in law's homebrew and instantly knew it was better than the bud or whatever crappy beer I could get someone to buy me (I was only about 15-16 at the time). Around 2003 I brewed my first 5 gal extract batch with his help and the Joy Of Homebrewing book he bought me.

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Old 09-26-2013, 07:34 PM   #87
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I was looking for beer things (signs, posters etc) to put in my basement last April and came across a mr beer fermenter on CL. I ended up buying it, not knowing anything about it, and started doing research. I knew I didnt wanna do any more Mr beer batches even before the first one was done, and found a friend who was getting rid of 5 gallon equipment. I ordered some extract batches and loved it. Just moved to AG last month and am about to do my first 5 gal AG hopefully this weekend. Ive done three 2 gal AG IPA's but finally got my keggle and mash tun ready. Cant wait to further my brewing knowledge. Let the thread live!

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Old 09-26-2013, 07:49 PM   #88
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US Navy, mid '93, I read this article in Details magazine while on Med deployment

brewed for 2 years before moving to a smaller place and never had room for my equipment until the BigHair and I bought our present house.

updated my equipment and my knowledge, found a LHBS, bought ingredients and 1 year ago this coming Sunday, brewed my first batch in 17 years.

boy, did it suck.

I've gotten better over the past year, batch #11, most recent one that is ready to drink, is not exactly what I was trying to brew, but it's a very good beer and much better than batch #1.

still waiting on #12. first co-brew, first lager (this time around), first pilsner. it's finishing up a diacetyl rest and hopefully my co-brewer is turning down the temp for lagering.

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Old 09-26-2013, 10:51 PM   #89
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Ha! Good thread. I think this is one of a few.

It was June of 2008, according to my brew log, and my neighbor and good friend invited me over for a brewing session, said he and his buddy used to do it all the time when they lived in Australia.

"You can do that at home?" I said. "Oh, yeah," I remembered, "I had a professor in college who used to make beer and wine, never really thought much about it though. I figured it was kind of expensive."

He looked me dead in the eye and said, "Wait, you have a biochemistry degree and you mean to tell me you've never brewed beer? Dude, you do it in a 5 gallon bucket."

So of course I had to try it. And immediately change all of our sanitation practices. And apologize to his wife for boiling malt extract all over the stove.

5 years later, I work in a brewery, drink awesome beer every day, and complain to my wife that I can only brew once a month. What a great "hobby", eh?

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Old 09-27-2013, 12:39 AM   #90
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My grandfather was from Denmark. After he passed, I found a recipe for a danish style mead folded up in one of his journals. All of the measurements were in fist fulls so I figured it was pretty old. I made a few batches of it although I knew nothing about homebrewing. The recipe relied on natural yeasts so it wasn't very tasty and it tasted different every time I brewed it. i didn't brew again for 10 years. Then my wife asked me to brew some cider after I told her about the mead. I've been putting a batch in primary every 2-3 weeks since then.

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