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Old 08-30-2011, 11:03 PM   #1
Tubba
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So far, I've made an apple wine and am halfway through a plum wine, all more or less done from scratch.

I'm primarily, however, a beer enthusiast, and long to get into that. The fermentation, bottling, racking etc processes are all easy to me - the difficult part is the mashing.

I'd like to do all-grain mashing (The BIAB process looks good, there I basically do everything in the same pot, right?), since fermenting malt extract seems a bit, well, pointless. I like to at least have the illusion of control over the result of my beer.

So, I've got MOST of the necessary equipment - Erlenmeyer flask, home-made stirplate, a bucket (currently used, but it'll be free soon), 2 5-gallon BetterBottles, 2 and 5-liter jugs, hydrometer, etc. All I really need (apart from beer yeast, hops and malt) is a big pot, perhaps a malt grinder. I figure I need as large a pot as 30l to do all-grain mashing?

As it happens I'm a real ale (darker, and red, in particular) fan, as far as I can understand, those are comparatively simple to make - a few recipes to look at would be nice.

Thanks for any input, making beer seems a good deal more difficult or at least involved, than making wine...

 
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Old 08-30-2011, 11:16 PM   #2
birvine
 
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HBT will be immensely helpful. All the best in your brewing ventures.

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Old 08-30-2011, 11:30 PM   #3
jaycount
 
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I wouldn't be opposed to doing a batch with extract, or at least a partial mash. To get yourself in tune with the boil/chilling process.

To go AG you'll need:
-a pot at least 7-8 gallons (assuming a 5 gallon batch). If you are doing BIAB, definitely go bigger because you'll be mashing in the BK and need plenty of room for your boil volume + the grains.
-a chiller, an immersion chiller will run you around $50-$70, I wouldn't try a full boil without it
-a scale if you want to do non-kit recipes
-a burner to heat 6.5 gallons to a boil

If you don't want to do BIAB and want to do a regular mash you'll need to put together a mash tun. You don't need a crusher to start, you can order/buy your grains crushed. Your efficiency will go up when you're crushing your own though!

There ya go, that gives ya an idea. If you don't want to do it all at once, grab a partial mash kit and do a partial mash and partial boil on the stove top then chill in some ice water. Then you can slowly build it up.


Good luck

 
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Old 08-30-2011, 11:46 PM   #4
ayoungrad
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Get Palmer's How to Brew from amazon.com or the like.

Read it - or at least the first 1/3 of it and scour over this site.

Then get a kit and brew the kit the way Palmer tells you to do it (except maybe consider no secondary).

This is the best way to start.

Darker and red beer can mean any number of different beers and the color does not dictate how easy something is to brew . How to Brew will also give you an intro to the types of beer you would like to make.

 
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Old 08-30-2011, 11:51 PM   #5
Tubba
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An immersion chiller is basically just a copper tube in a spiral which you immerse in a cold liquid, right? Seems easy to build and copper tubes are dirt cheap.

A burner, interesting, never thought of that before. Well, that removes one issue, that of pot size, and a modern induction tray would give me good control of the heat level.

Let's see... I can get 36l (that's just under 10 gallon), which is what I was aiming for. Next step up would be 50l, 13 gallon. 13 gallon is a pretty big step up in price (1200 SEK (about 200 USD) cf 1700 SEK (about 275 USD)) but not indebatable. The 50l has a greater radius as well and may call for a larger induction plate. How large would I need? I'm not sure I'll need to make quite as much as 5 gallons, I was thinking along the lines of 4 gallon (makes a nice and even number of liters).

ayoungrad: I specified real ale - as I understand those are brewed with more traditional and less complex mashing schedules.

 
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Old 08-31-2011, 12:36 AM   #6
jaycount
 
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http://homebrewtalk.com/wiki/index.php/Chiller
I don't know about Sweden, but the price of copper has SKYROCKETED here, I found that by the time I invested in a tube bender, I was probably better off buying one pre-made.

A 36L would probably be pretty good if you are only doing a few BIABs, it probably couldnt handle more than 12-13lbs in a BIAB recipe

 
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Old 08-31-2011, 12:45 AM   #7
Tubba
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I don't think there's much of a risk of me making a 13lbs of malt recipe in the near future... I'd probably make two different batches instead.

 
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Old 08-31-2011, 12:51 AM   #8
bottlebomber
 
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I really don't recommend going through all the trouble of brewing just for one beer. Try to start off making a six-pack at least.

 
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Old 08-31-2011, 01:08 AM   #9
davefleck
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Listen to bottle bomber. Your time is worth more. Really the difference between a 5gal batch and 50 bbl isn't much. But most of our wives won't allow that un the back yard

 
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Old 08-31-2011, 07:38 AM   #10
Tubba
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bottlebomber View Post
I really don't recommend going through all the trouble of brewing just for one beer. Try to start off making a six-pack at least.
Lol, I was thinking of making somewhere in the neighbourhood of 10-15 liters.


But I think I may start off brewing from extract anyway, just to get a feel for it.

 
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