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Old 08-16-2009, 10:40 AM   #1
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Default Questions about "Growing" your Own Beer.

Hello everyone. I am new to the forums and starting to seriously get into brewing beer. I have made over 6 batches "Not saying that is a lot, however it is enough to know I want to do this from now on."

Currently I purchase kits that are "Partial Mash" I slow steep the already prepared Cracked grains for an hour at a certain temperature range, then Boil full blast for an hour, etc. I am sure you know the routine well.

Anyhow I have not tried to purchase an All grain kit yet and I am fully aware this is the most advanced method to making beer and the most challenging. I will practice a few times by buying kits to see how it goes However I have no doubts that I want to do this full time and take pride in my beer, So.....

I would like to Grow my own Hops and grains and literally make full batches of beer from the stuff I have grown myself. "Well not the yeast, I will still buy that

Anyhow, I have noticed that finding the hop rhizomes can be difficult and have not fully researched growing my own grains "Which I hope will be easier to find sources of those that of hops".

Can anyone tell me good places to research information for going all out like this?

I hope this is ok to ask, I am trying to get people to promote places but can anyone tell me good places to buy the hop rhizomes and grains?

I will research which style of grains and hops I wish to grow myself. Just general info for buying, growing, and maintaining would be great.

Also do I need to plant fresh rhizomes each year ? are hops and grains considered annuals or perennials etc? and can I save my own rhizomes once I get some growing in the first place etc?

I do know I will need to build a Gazebo type structure for the hops to climb while growing. I have researched some, just not all the way. Any information would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks...

Brian

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Old 08-16-2009, 11:55 AM   #2
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There is a hop growing section here on this forum that will answer most all of your hop questions.

Regarding growing grain.... noble thought, but if you manage to grow enough grain to malt for your needs, the problem is with the actual malting. Malsters do this for a living and they make a great product. To do this yourself would , to me, be a waste of time given the skill and room needed to malt a large amount of grain, not to mention the equipment. But if that is what you want, then go for it.

A lot of us grow hops and find that rewarding to see the plant grow and to watch the developing flowers until harvest time. Makes our brews more personal, like I imagine you want to do.

Good luck

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Old 08-16-2009, 12:54 PM   #3
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you gotta get some hop rizomes. they grow like a weed in basically any conditions and they come back every year. there is nothing like seeing your whole hop flowers floating away in the brew kettle! i knwo nothing about growing barley except that it is difficult and the malting equipment is costly and hard to learn.

check out the picture to the left. those were in the brew kettle with my honey pale ale a few hours later!

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Old 08-16-2009, 01:29 PM   #4
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Growing hops is great, do it. Though you will not be aware of your AA, so I wouldnt really use them for bittering myself.

Growing your own malts is another story.

Growing it, probably not a problem, we used to grow it and it grows like grass, it is super hardy.

Malting it... how will you ever do that?

Kilning it, how will you do that?

Recreating the stewing process for many specialty malts... how will you do that?

If you did attempt this, IMHO, your beers would be "drinkable" at best... at best.

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Old 08-16-2009, 01:36 PM   #5
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I understand your excitement, we get new brewer's like in on occasion, who want to do everything. Once they realize how difficiult it is to malt enough grain to make beer with...they do what 99% of the folks do, and buy it.

There's only I believe 2 people on this HUGE site who have actually done it.

COLOBREWER but together a great thread...you might want to read his thread before you commit to that task. http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/happ...alting-107409/

Have fun building you kiln

Good luck....

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Old 08-16-2009, 04:40 PM   #6
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. . . Growing your own malts is another story.

Growing it, probably not a problem, we used to grow it and it grows like grass, it is super hardy.

Malting it... how will you ever do that?

Kilning it, how will you do that?

Recreating the stewing process for many specialty malts... how will you do that?
Another step (between growing and malting) that is very time consuming especially for the "home" barley grower would be the harvest, which includes cutting, threshing/winnowing, cleaning and storage. If you have enough time and space all of this is possible. Brew on!

By the way you can also grow your own yeast, there are numerous threads on this site to that regard, wheather you capture your own or just wash and save your previous yeast colonies.
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Old 08-16-2009, 04:45 PM   #7
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Another step (between growing and malting) that is very time consuming especially for the "home" barley grower would be the harvest, which includes cutting, threshing/winnowing, cleaning and storage. If you have enough time and space all of this is possible. Brew on!
So Colo, since you put your thread up, how many folks on here have contacted you and are actually doing it now? Many?

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Old 08-16-2009, 11:02 PM   #8
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And then there's smut. Once a barley field is infected, it is useless for malting barley for years.

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Old 08-17-2009, 12:47 AM   #9
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I live in a farming community. That looks too much like real work for a hobby.

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Old 08-17-2009, 04:50 PM   #10
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So Colo, since you put your thread up, how many folks on here have contacted you and are actually doing it now? Many?

None that I know of. I, on the other hand am forging on, I'll be modifying a commercial horizontal washing machine into a rotating kiln, it's all stainless inside and out ($200). Hopefully I can also use it to steep the grains in while rotating, this should help with more even modification. Brew on!
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