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Ian DSouza

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Hello, newbie here. I've always wanted to try my hands on home brewing. Firstly, I like cooking and would have joined culinary school if I didn't choose my current career path. Secondly, I am a tiny broke at the moment. So, I figure now is as good a time as any to try it out.

I was wondering if you guys know of a recipe that uses as few ingredients as possible for me to try out as a starting point till I get my basics right. Ingredients that can usually be found in the kitchen pantry would be a plus. As long as I end up with something that has alcohol in it and isn't stale, that's fine. For example, "put yeast and sugar into water; keep for 15 days" is an acceptable recipe if it works (don't think it would though). Any help is appreciated. Cheers.
 
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BrewingAroundtheRrealm

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The first thing you need to figure out is if you have the right equipment to actually get started. If you just want to make a 1 gallon test batch you'll need a kettle of some kind. Most people have an 8 quart kettle in their kitchen. You'll also need a fermenter.

You could start with on of the one gallon extract kits: https://www.morebeer.com/products/summer-wheat-beer-brewing-kit-1-gallon.html There are plenty of kits to choose from.

I like using Fermonster fermenters: https://www.morebeer.com/products/fermonster-3-gallon-ported-carboy-spigot-included.html The three gallon one would be good for a 1 gallon batch. You'll also need the spigot: https://www.morebeer.com/products/plastic-spigot-bucket.html #10 stopper: https://www.morebeer.com/products/rubber-stopper-10-hole-1.html and air lock: https://www.morebeer.com/products/fermentation-airlock-sshaped.html

For a 1 gallon batch you will need about 6 12 Oz. bottles.

You could also start with a one gallon starter kit: https://www.morebeer.com/products/1-gallon-homebrew-starter-kit-includes-summer-wheat-recipe.html Which will have most of the things you need to get started. It's some times easier then

I have a video up about building your own starter kit:

I did that a while back but the information is still relevant. The full list of items you'll need is available on my sebsite: https://brewingaroundtherealm.com/building-a-better-home-brewing-starter-kit/

I hope that helps. Feel free to ask questions.
 

Ninoid

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Use table sugar, molasses, honey and wine yeast. Ferment this on room temperature two weeks, bottle one more week and you have very hot beverage.
 

Immocles

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http://beerandwinejournal.com/15-minute-pale-ale/

I've made a play on this quite a few times, since I normally scale it down to 1 or 2 gallons. All items are common in any home-brew store. I've done it without the grain steeping as well. Just boiled the dry extract and followed a similar hop schedule. For my 1 gallons, I generally did about .25oz at 15m, .125oz at 5min, and .125oz at 0min (flameout)
 

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Brewing beer - even basic “bad” beer - will require some ingredients and hardware you can’t get at the grocery store. At minimum, for BEER, you’ll need malt extract and hops - which aren’t sold in grocery stores (you could use bread yeast from the grocery store, but if you’re buying malt and hop ingredients you might as well get beer yeast while your at it). In terms of hardware, you technically could ferment and serve the beer in the pot it was brewed, but it’s gonna be gross. To do it right (bare bones)you’d need something to ferment in (1 gallon jug, bung, airlock - that’s about $10). From there you could put a solid bung/cap on the jug after fermentation dies down (once the foam settles), wait a week, then refrigerate it and pour it straight from the jug (carbonation will be low). Otherwise you’ll need to buy a beer siphon, bottling wand, caps, and a capper (and acquire bottles).

The easiest/cheapest way to make decent hooch without any startup costs is to buy unpasteurized Apple juice and bread yeast from the grocery store - pour out about 1/3 of the apple cider, sprinkle in a tablespoon of the bread yeast, and put the cap on but only twist it part way (air needs to be able to vent out during fermentation).

Homebrewing can save you money in the long term, but there are some hard start up costs that might make it too expensive if you’re short on cash
 

z-bob

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Hello, newbie here. I've always wanted to try my hands on home brewing. Firstly, I like cooking and would have joined culinary school if I didn't choose my current career path. Secondly, I am a tiny broke at the moment. So, I figure now is as good a time as any to try it out.

I was wondering if you guys know of a recipe that uses as few ingredients as possible for me to try out as a starting point till I get my basics right. Ingredients that can usually be found in the kitchen pantry would be a plus. As long as I end up with something that has alcohol in it and isn't stale, that's fine. For example, "put yeast and sugar into water; keep for 15 days" is an acceptable recipe if it works (don't think it would though). Any help is appreciated. Cheers.
If you just want to make something alcoholic (that tastes good), the easiest is just Aldi's or Kirkland's apple juice and white wine yeast. I add a little sugar to mine (the important word there is "little") and some yeast nutrients. It takes very little equipment, and you can bottle it in 1 liter and 2 liter plastic pop bottles.

Beer is a little more complicated, but there are some nice malt extract kits for sale at northernbrewer.com that are supposed to be pretty good. You'll still need something to ferment it in, like a 5 gallon water bottle. You can carbonate beer in plastic pop bottles too.
 

treacheroustexan

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This is for one gallon. Scale as needed.

1 pound of Pilsen Dry Malt extract
0.5-1 oz of any hops.
1 gallon of water
1/3 packet of US-05 yeast

Heat one gallon of water up to boiling, add dry malt extract and hops. Let sit for 20 minutes. Put the pot in an ice bath until it gets down to room temperature. Dump into sanitized fermenter and pitch the yeast. Boom. Beer. The pic I attached is the finished product. I used simcoe hops in my latest batch.

But I agree if you just want something alcoholic, yeast into some Aldi apple juice works great after a few weeks.
 
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madscientist451

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Get a Mr. Beer kit. It comes with a 2+ Gallon fermenter, a spigot, screw top PET bottles and carbonation drops. The little fermenter will fit in your fridge when you want to cold crash. Spend a little extra money and get yourself a small bottle of Star San to sanitizing everything. Brew the extract beer recipe that comes with it, then branch off to mead or cider or even wine if you are into that. A 16-20 quart pot from Walmart isn't very much money, add a Brew In A Bag bag (about $8) and you can brew all grain. I've got thousands of dollars of brewing stuff, but I love my little Mr. Beer fermenters for small test batches
Walmart has food grade buckets for like $2-3 which come in handy when mixing up Star San and storing your brewing stuff.
Look on your local craigslist for used brewing gear, but don't buy anything that isn't really cheap, new equipment like a hydrometer and thermometer isn't very expensive. Used Grolsch Bottles are great for brewing, you don't need a capper and caps. If you drink factory made beer, get the screw top aluminum bottles, you can re-use them once or twice or more before recycling them.
Check out the Basic Brewing audio/video podcasts, look on youtube for other brewing videos and Drew and Denny are coming out with a new book "Simple Homebrewing" that might be what you are looking for:
https://www.brewerspublications.com/products/simple-homebrewing-great-beer-less-work-more-fun
Most people will tell you that brewing your own beer won't save you any money, but I can make a decent beer for less than $2 a 6 pack. If you don't have a mill, a scale and room for bulk grains and hop storage your costs will be higher but you can still be a cheapskate brewer of you hunt around a little.
Right now I'm scrounging for spruce tips I'll add to some "apple molasses" that I made using free apples and will make an almost free colonial style brew.
 
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jtrux

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Biggest tip: don’t rush it. Leave in the primary for 2-3 weeks. Let the yeast clean it up. Carb it. Then as it ages it will get better to a point. I start drinking it 2 weeks after carbing, but find it taste better around week 5-6
 
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Ian DSouza

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Thanks for the great suggestions. I will try either a sugar-honey-yeast recipe or perhaps get a PET bottle of apple or mango juice and add the sugar-yeast to it. I'll try it with regular yeast for now till I can get my hands on brewer's/wine yeast.

Regarding the equipment, I'll keep the equipment simple for now. I might use the PET bottle of juice itself as the primary and secondary. During the primary stage, I'll put saran wrap on the bottle's mouth and hold it close with a rubber band. If the primary mixture starts to fizz, it will create a pressure higher than that of the surrounding atmosphere, so air would not get into the bottle. But the high pressure gases inside the bottle may be able to vent out or worst case rupture the saran wrap. Have you guys tried carbonating in a juice bottle? These things may not be designed to contain fizz.

Eventually, after a few trials, I'll try getting more of the specialist ingredients and invest in equipment mentioned above. Cheers.
 

z-bob

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Thanks for the great suggestions. I will try either a sugar-honey-yeast recipe or perhaps get a PET bottle of apple or mango juice and add the sugar-yeast to it. I'll try it with regular yeast for now till I can get my hands on brewer's/wine yeast.

Regarding the equipment, I'll keep the equipment simple for now. I might use the PET bottle of juice itself as the primary and secondary. During the primary stage, I'll put saran wrap on the bottle's mouth and hold it close with a rubber band. If the primary mixture starts to fizz, it will create a pressure higher than that of the surrounding atmosphere, so air would not get into the bottle. But the high pressure gases inside the bottle may be able to vent out or worst case rupture the saran wrap. Have you guys tried carbonating in a juice bottle? These things may not be designed to contain fizz.

Eventually, after a few trials, I'll try getting more of the specialist ingredients and invest in equipment mentioned above. Cheers.
If you're going to go that route, (half gallon bottles?) pour about a cup of the juice into a clean jar with a lid and store it in the fridge. This will make some room in the top for foam and expansion. Apple juice usually doesn't foam much, but it can. When the fermentation dies down, you can add the juice back.

Use aluminum foil instead of Saran wrap, and you won't need a rubber band just crimp it over the top.

You can carbonate in 2 liter plastic Coke bottles. Reuse the caps. I prefer 1 liter tonic or seltzer bottles just because that's a better size.

https://www.amazon.com/Star-Cote-Blancs-Wine-Yeast/dp/B0086FSKY4

I use these bottles for beer and cider (and sometimes wine but I usually use glass for wine): https://www.menards.com/main/grocer...15-c-6646.htm?tid=5673953534340504722&ipos=17 Orange "carboy caps" fit them just fine, or a really big stopper, I think it's a No 10.
 

Northern_Brewer

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It would help if you put your location in your profile, as a lot of the "cheap" options will vary from country to country.

Personally I wouldn't get too hung up on the "a starting point till I get my basics right" thing - it's not that hard to make reasonable beer from a basic extract kit, and the stuff you make with just sugar and flavourings is not that satisfying if what you're really after is beer. But if you want to start with sugar then your best bet is disguising the flavour with foraged ingredients, but what you can forage will vary dramatically from place to place.

Here in the UK we're quite lucky that we can get basic homebrew stuff on any High St from Wilko, it's not amazing but at least they have stuff like airlocks and proper brewing/winemaking yeasts which have better alcohol tolerance and generally behave better than baking yeasts, although the standard Allinson baking yeasts we get here actually seem quite good for brewing purposes. So if you're in the UK, then the obvious place to start this month would be an elderflower "champagne", which is actually pretty good if you like that sort of thing and just needs sugar, lemons, wine vinegar and elderflowers - but it's a long way from beer.

On a similar theme I guess you could do a version of Joe's Ancient Orange Mead although honey is not the cheapest source of fermentables.

It's certainly possible to forage wild hops from the hedgerows in September here, but I can't speak for where you are - you won't find sexy hops like Citra growing wild, they tend to be on the dull side but they certainly work.

There's a fairly mad thread somewhere where people try to make the most beerlike drink from supermarket stuff, I can't find it now.

But I'd try to make the step up to proper beer as soon as you can, even if it is just with malt extract (more expensive long-term than grain, but less upfront costs)
 

z-bob

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1. Is it necessary to sanitize the Coke bottles?
2. Also, can I use the Coke bottle as the primary fermenter?
  1. It should be clean. Sanitized is probably a good idea but not totally necessary if you're putting finished cider in them. There's not much that will grow it; it's too acid and alcoholic, and there's not a lot of nutrition left after the yeast is finished. (I just wash my bottles)
  2. I guess that would work, but the original juice bottles will probably work better. Or find some gallon jugs somewhere (ask on Freecycle for 4L Carlo Rossi bottles)
 

Soulshine2

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Hello, newbie here. I've always wanted to try my hands on home brewing. Firstly, I like cooking and would have joined culinary school if I didn't choose my current career path. Secondly, I am a tiny broke at the moment. So, I figure now is as good a time as any to try it out.

I was wondering if you guys know of a recipe that uses as few ingredients as possible for me to try out as a starting point till I get my basics right. Ingredients that can usually be found in the kitchen pantry would be a plus. As long as I end up with something that has alcohol in it and isn't stale, that's fine. For example, "put yeast and sugar into water; keep for 15 days" is an acceptable recipe if it works (don't think it would though). Any help is appreciated. Cheers.
if youre a tiny bit broke now...homebrewing will only escalate that. lol.
 

powerpunk5000

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go to the grocery store and get natural apple cider, pop the top pour out about a inch or two pour in bread yeast and add a plastic balloon around the top of the plastic jug the cider came in, wait 2 weeks and your done! you can also add other fruit or spices or even something like oatmeal!
 

z-bob

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go to the grocery store and get natural apple cider, pop the top pour out about a inch or two pour in bread yeast and add a plastic balloon around the top of the plastic jug the cider came in, wait 2 weeks and your done! you can also add other fruit or spices or even something like oatmeal!
Be careful about "natural" or "premium" apple juice, especially if it's unfiltered. Check the fine print on the back of the label to make sure it doesn't have any sorbates or benzoates added. This goes double for gallon jugs of apple juice you buy directly from an orchard.
 
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Ian DSouza

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go to the grocery store and get natural apple cider, pop the top pour out about a inch or two pour in bread yeast and add a plastic balloon around the top of the plastic jug the cider came in, wait 2 weeks and your done! you can also add other fruit or spices or even something like oatmeal!
I like the idea of the balloon. It gives you an idea of when you might want to relive the pressure without anything rupturing.

Be careful about "natural" or "premium" apple juice, especially if it's unfiltered. Check the fine print on the back of the label to make sure it doesn't have any sorbates or benzoates added. This goes double for gallon jugs of apple juice you buy directly from an orchard.
Thanks for the heads up. I already had a bottle of juice and just checked the label. Lo and behold, it contains potassium sorbate :(
 

Lefou

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The cider alternative is easily the cheapest route to pursue. This is how I started.
Store-bought Motts apple juice or Welch's grape juice without preservative will do and can be fermented in the original container. Pour out a cup of juice, add a half packet of dry ale or champagne yeast. Keep the fermentation temperature below 70F. You don't even need balloons from the Dollar Store, just loosen the cap for the escaping CO2. The resulting overpressure should be enough to keep most nasties out as long as you have a fairly clean environment.
Champagne yeasts like EC1118 will usually eat all the available sugar and an ale yeast, depending on its alcohol tolerance, may do the same. The fermentation should be done in about two to three weeks. When fermentation is complete, refrigerate the results. Refrigeration helps the greater majority of the yeast to drop out and helps clarify your drink. If you did everything correctly you should get a drink near 4-5% alcohol level, but it may have some fusel alcohols.
To avoid fusel alcohols you can ferment a bit cooler, or step up your game by adding about a 1/4tsp of yeast nutrient (Fermaid) when you're ready.
 
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Ian DSouza

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just loosen the cap for the escaping CO2
Yes, this is what I did.

I couldn't find a juice with no preservatives at my local grocery, so I added lots of sugar to water for my base. And I used regular bread yeast for now.
 

z-bob

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Yes, this is what I did.

I couldn't find a juice with no preservatives at my local grocery, so I added lots of sugar to water for my base. And I used regular bread yeast for now.
Vitamin C, ascorbic acid (same thing), or sodium or calcium ascorbate don't hurt anything, and these are the most common preservatives in supermarket bottled juices.
 

jfolks

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Yes, this is what I did.

I couldn't find a juice with no preservatives at my local grocery, so I added lots of sugar to water for my base. And I used regular bread yeast for now.
So to confirm - you added sugar to juice, or you’re just fermenting a pure sugar and water mixture? If it’s the latter - be prepared for a disgusting drink. Maybe sobriety is a better choice at this point lol
 
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Ian DSouza

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So to confirm - you added sugar to juice, or you’re just fermenting a pure sugar and water mixture?
Unfortunately, the latter. Anyways, I'm hoping it could at least be a proof of concept that I could brew alcohol. If the taste is terrible, I might add sufficient amount of a sweetener like rose syrup and see if it is palatable.
 

McKnuckle

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A bottle of the cheapest Popov style vodka is going to be your best bet if you just want to get drunk. I truly don't understand this exercise.

If you "always wanted to try your hands on home brewing" then you are not doing that here at all. What is the point?
 

z-bob

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Unfortunately, the latter. Anyways, I'm hoping it could at least be a proof of concept that I could brew alcohol. If the taste is terrible, I might add sufficient amount of a sweetener like rose syrup and see if it is palatable.
I understand the concept of seeing how cheaply and easily one can make something alcoholic. But IMHO it needs to actually taste good and be something I can proudly share with my friends, otherwise just buying cheap vodka is a better solution.

Store-bought apple juice, wine yeast, and a little sugar seems to be the best bang for your buck. I make that quite often when I don't have time to brew beer. But prefer I brewing beer because it's more of an art and I find the process enjoyable.

What country are you in? (your profile doesn't say) Saudi Arabia, maybe? That could change things dramatically.
 

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To any new homebrewer I would suggest to start with extract brewing.

If you can, buy a pre hopped malt extract (picture for example). The procedure is following: put the can in warm water for 5-10 minutes, open it and pure the liquid into fermentor, fill the can with hot water and pure it again into fermentor, add water (bottle water, or tap water if it is safe to drink, water temp. around 15-25°C ). After that add yeast, close the fermentor and after 2-3 weeks it is ready to bottle.

You are going to need to maintain the temperature of fermentor as stady as posible. 17°C ideal. Minimum 15°C- max 21°C.

The most important part, after sanitation is to control the fermentation temperature.

PS I couldn't upload the picture, google it if you need
 

Liam569

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The first thing you need to figure out is if you have the right equipment to actually get started. If you just want to make a 1 gallon test batch you'll need a kettle of some kind. Most people have an 8 quart kettle in their kitchen. You'll also need a fermenter.

You could start with on of the one gallon extract kits: https://www.morebeer.com/products/summer-wheat-beer-brewing-kit-1-gallon.html There are plenty of kits to choose from.

I like using Fermonster fermenters: https://www.morebeer.com/products/fermonster-3-gallon-ported-carboy-spigot-included.html The three gallon one would be good for a 1 gallon batch. You'll also need the spigot: https://www.morebeer.com/products/plastic-spigot-bucket.html #10 stopper: https://www.morebeer.com/products/rubber-stopper-10-hole-1.html and air lock:
https://wisepick.org/best-water-softener-system/
https://www.morebeer.com/products/fermentation-airlock-sshaped.html

For a 1 gallon batch you will need about 6 12 Oz. bottles.

You could also start with a one gallon starter kit: https://www.morebeer.com/products/1-gallon-homebrew-starter-kit-includes-summer-wheat-recipe.html Which will have most of the things you need to get started. It's some times easier then

I have a video up about building your own starter kit:

I did that a while back but the information is still relevant. The full list of items you'll need is available on my sebsite: https://brewingaroundtherealm.com/building-a-better-home-brewing-starter-kit/

I hope that helps. Feel free to ask questions.
In fact, I was looking for a separate thread with this question, but your comment answered all my questions. It only remains to try! Thanks for the detailed answer and instructions :)
I hope my first attempts will not come out bad.
 

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This idea probably belongs in the country wine section not beer. I don't know what fruits are readily available near you but a lovely easy kitchen brew is lemons and ginger brewed on a dessert yeast. After the initial busy fermentation, then keep 'feeding' the yeast with sugar, especially brown sugar, very gently until it gives up and drops clear. It makes for a wonderful dessert wine.

Many lovely brews can be made with freely gathered fruits and flowers or from waste peelings and cores. The only expense is the sugar and the yeast, with consideration later for some campden, pectolase and maybe some yeast nutrient. As for equipment, ordinary 2l plastic water bottles with their lids left loose are capable of brewing a decent country wine unbelievably. If you make starter bottles in advance, then one packet of yeast can go far further than one batch, as well as re-using some of the lees or a robbed sample from the last batch for the next starter. Patience and planning is the key for uber economy. Most of my wines cost near to nothing except the sugar and time. Dandelions and parsnip peelings make some of the best wines.
 
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Ian DSouza

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lemons and ginger brewed on a dessert yeast
Thanks. I might try this out. Do you boil ginger and lemons in water before beginning the primary fermentation. What part of the lemon do you use? I was thinking of adding chopped raisins to the mixture to serve as a yeast nutrient.
 
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Mumathomebrew

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I use the lemon zest and the insides but chop off all the white pith, then boil the lot with the sugar to invert it. Chop the ginger finely and pour boiling water on it if you don't boil it with the lemon, to get rid of wild yeasts. Normally making it in random plastic water bottles or even jam jars with random amounts of each fruit. As I use lemons for normal cooking, I don't waste anything, so always rind them first and keep the zest strips covered with neat sugar in a jar. Then they keep for flavouring anything from cakes to wines.

Latest one I've just started is not ginger beer but ginger fear. Recipe as follows but I haven't ever made it this strong before. It may be way too much but I'm about to rack it and will tell you when I do. Bear in mind my wine making is normally a perpetual natural kitchen residue process rather than on purpose. My wines are mostly bitty recipes as the family fruit bowl rots, or when the fruit is on uber cheap yellow sticker at the supermarket, or the free outside gathering is plentiful.

7/5/19 - 2 lemon rinds kept in 8oz sugar + 3 whole lemons & 3 rinds + 8oz sugar. Boiled all to invert. 1lb of ginger root buzzed up in the blender juicer + pectolase + campden
9/5/19 - 1.5 pts old tea from the teapot + 8ox whizzed sultanas (poured boiling water over first to kill any yeasts) + 2oz molasses
Put all into demi and pitched dessert yeast on top neat
11/5/19 + 4 oz sugar neat
17/5/19 Very busy ferment + 8oz sugar neat
21/5/19 + 4oz sugar neat
today = still too busy a ferment to rack really but the lees are taking up half the demijohn so might rack and re-ferment all, or some, of the gingery lees with new lemons or something else. Dunno yet as I don't normally rack until it's quietened down. Might just wait and see but the ginger will deffo be overkill. I suppose I can split it.
 
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First you need a fermenting vessel with an airlock. Usually you can find 6 gallon / 30 liter plastic fermenting buckets quite cheap and they work well. Bonus points if it has a spigot, it will reduce the need for siphon, for now.

Coopers Real Ale or Lager kits can be found in super markets here in the west, not sure about india but they are perfect to get started. If you can find Coopers kits in shop, chances are you can find their Brew Enhancer packs too. This is the adjunct that boosts alcohol, the canned kit alone is too weak. If there is no Brew Enhancers then grab a kilo of sugar instead. This is not optimal and will make thinner beer but it will work to get you started and contrary to what some say it can result in a perfectly drinkable beer. You can buy worse stuff from shops.

After you have your equipment there are a lot of videos on youtube how to use the kits. Better show than tell. Channels like Craigtube proved to be invaluable when I first learned to brew with kits few years ago.
 

bracconiere

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been a while, but i'm pretty sure i have distant memories of fermenting apple juice with preservatives with a big enough pitch....

(and yeast need nutrients, sugar and yeast is not going to ferment....I once did a 16% wheat germ/ sugar wash when i was traveling on vacation, mixed it with coke. not too bad. just boil some wheat germ, few hands full, in water. then dump that into a bucket with about 15lb's of sugar. top up the 5 gal bucket with water. add yeast, wait till it stops fizzing...mix with coke, drink! congrats, your a drug lord! :))
 
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Ian DSouza

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7/5/19 - 2 lemon rinds kept in 8oz sugar + 3 whole lemons & 3 rinds + 8oz sugar. Boiled all to invert. 1lb of ginger root buzzed up in the blender juicer + pectolase + campden
9/5/19 - 1.5 pts old tea from the teapot + 8ox whizzed sultanas (poured boiling water over first to kill any yeasts) + 2oz molasses
Put all into demi and pitched dessert yeast on top neat
11/5/19 + 4 oz sugar neat
17/5/19 Very busy ferment + 8oz sugar neat
21/5/19 + 4oz sugar neat
Thanks for sharing your recipe. Does the tea act as a yeast nutrient? Also, the final product have a kick from the caffeine?

just boil some wheat germ, few hands full, in water
I will get hold of some unprocessed grain soon. My local grocery doesn't seem to be selling it.
 
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Ian DSouza

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I just thought I would get back regarding my "brew" of sugar solution. I mixed ~375-400g of sugar in ~500-550ml of water and added regular baker's yeast. I used a small coke bottle with the cap left loose to vent out gases. I let it "brew" for the past 10 days. I just decided to taste test it. It has a slight flavor profile of apple juice or cider (I didn't add any apple). It's also cloyingly sweet. I guess the amount of sugar was a bit too much. The brew is still murky white but a lot of the yeast has settled down. It has a mild effervescence. There is also mild aftertaste of the baker's yeast. At the moment, I can't say if it will get me high or not.
 
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