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Old 07-08-2007, 09:42 PM   #1
Jurner
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Hello, I am totally new to brewing in every way, and I was wondering before I got started, what is the average shelf life for a given beer? Is there a way to do it differently so it can be stored longer?
Also, is there a way to get a (mostly) flavorless product that you could flavor later? Kind of like a very low abv vodka without the distilling?

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Old 07-11-2007, 12:34 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Jurner
Hello, I am totally new to brewing in every way, and I was wondering before I got started, what is the average shelf life for a given beer?
Depends on the beer and the storage conditions. Generally, I'd say up to a year for most "smaller" beers (under 1.060 OG). Some will last longer. Bigger beers can last (and will get better) for several years.

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Is there a way to do it differently so it can be stored longer?
Cold and dark will maximize the shelf like.

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Also, is there a way to get a (mostly) flavorless product that you could flavor later? Kind of like a very low abv vodka without the distilling?
Why? I guess it is technically possible, depending on what kind of flavors you want to add, but you'll have to provide wome more info on just what you're trying to do.
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Old 07-12-2007, 07:47 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Jurner
Also, is there a way to get a (mostly) flavorless product that you could flavor later? Kind of like a very low abv vodka without the distilling?

Vodka is made from dextrose which ferments out completely and leaves no taste, so you can add the flavour later but since beer is made from malted barley and hops and they are added at the start then I don't think you can get a tasteless beer, unless you buy BMC of course.
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Old 07-12-2007, 10:56 PM   #4
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you'd wanna use pure glucose if you can find it, or dextrose..which ferments fairly clean without flavors (beyond what the yeast creates as esters or fusal alcohols).

I had a hazelnut brandy liquer kit that used a bunch of glucose crystals first. then you added a bunch of carbon, which filtered it. then you added the flavoring.

however you're not gonna get anywhere close to 40% ABV (typical vodka levels) without distilling the fermented sugar water.

if you want a tastless brew, I've heard of something called "Budweiser" that's almost totally lacking any flavor.

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Old 07-13-2007, 05:03 AM   #5
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Thanks for the replies. I was thinking of trying to make a beverage more like one of those Smirnoff whatsits that has a pretty light and fruity kind of flavor for the girlfriend, along side a more full bodied beer type thing. Also, about the fusel alcohols, does normal beer brewing not create those because of the use of a different type of sugar? What kind of carbon do you use to filter them out? And also, the guy at the local homebrew shop said something about malto-dextrin being used for flavor in sodas because the yeast won't convert it to alcohol. If so, how would you go about fermenting such a sugar? Different kind of yeast? Sorry to pack so many questions it, but I find this all very fascinating.

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Old 07-13-2007, 05:34 AM   #6
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Those Smirnoff beverages are actutally a malt beverage, not vodka. You could make a very light beer and add fruit or other flavorings to get it the way you want.

No yeast will convert the sugars in malto dextrine.

Charcoal, activated charcoal I believe, like in a water purification system.

If you are fermenting at normal temperatures and with good, healthy yeast you don't have to worry about fusel alcohols.

By the way, you're asking how to make one of the most difficult things to brew on the homebrew scale. The ingredients and processes are commercial and are not practical, or feasable at home. Artificial flavorings, sweetners... I'm not trying to be a jerk about this. I'm just trying to get you to think about this and learn about the process more before you concoct something that will probably taste horible, or at least not even be remotely close to what you want.

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Old 07-13-2007, 07:29 AM   #7
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The more I read about brewing and distilling, the more I hear people throw around the term vodka in a rather loosely defined manner, I'm rather confused as to what it really means anymore, honestly. I'm still just trying to get down some of the basic terminology; previously everything was just "booze" to me.
But I see, I didn't realize what I was asking was such an advanced sort of thing. Just to clarify for curiosity's sake, if I were to pour the correct amounts of say, ale yeast and cane sugar or something into the right amount of water, and let is ferment for a while, would the end product be suitably flavorless to add some flavoring and sweeteners? I feel like there must be something I'm missing here, because that doesn't seem very complicated. But don't worry, I'll be starting with one of the simple recipes they have down at the local homebrew shop.

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Old 07-13-2007, 07:50 AM   #8
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Just plain sugar fermented produces a very harsh "hooch" not suitable for much.

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Old 07-13-2007, 07:53 AM   #9
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Vodka is basically the pure ethanol alcohol diluted to 40%. It's not aged or barreled. It's distilled from grain that has been fermented.

And distilling is illegal...

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Old 07-13-2007, 07:53 AM   #10
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Ah, okay. Thanks.

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