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Simple fast kit tricks, great results

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Zigakly

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Heya folks, new to the forum, just wanted to pass on my technique to those that share my priorities - good beer, fast turnover, consistent results, minimal gear and fuss. I know several people with relatively advanced gear and processes, and they have nothing but compliments for my beer considering it's done with a kit, especially when I tell them I only started it two weeks ago. I'm sure the puritans will cut gaping holes in my process, but I do know what I'm after, and this gets it done.

So here's the skinny - do the normal kit routine with the following mods:
- use good water, anything well filtered, whatever's cheap and isn't a pain to get, get only 1 gallon going on the stove
- while the water's heating up, use a well sterilized large-ish bowl, put a teaspoon of dextrose in, then pour two cups of water at the right temp off the tap, not quite hot enough to hurt your hand, and sprinkle the yeast on the surface so it sits on top, leave it until later
- bring the stove water to a boil, then drop the heat level to 2/3, and just dissolve the kit contents and any malts or liquid sugars, stirring as you pour
- pour the hot wort into the fermenter nice and easy avoiding splashing, add any dry sugars in your recipe
- add the rest of the water to the appropriate level, end temp should be just right to kick the yeast into high gear fast (that's why only 1 gal in the boil)
- the yeast preparation should now be a frothing murk, give it a stir, then dump it into the fermenter, stir it up
- pop on the water trap, should be bubbling like mad within 18 hours, my record is 8
- once the trap drops to less than a gurgle per 10 seconds prepare the finishing hops (if your recipe doesn't have them, try 1oz of cascade)
- take the same size bowl as the yeast prep, pour in 2 cups of hot water from the tap, drop in the finishing hops, wait 5-10 mins until it becomes a paste, drop it into the fermenter, do not stir
- bottle the next day

The key tricks are the yeast prep which saves at least a day, the 1 gallon boil which saves fuss, and the finishing hops trick which gives the taste of aged dry hops within a few days. My recipe is a Cooper's IPA kit, a kilo of dark malt, 1/4 cup dextrose, and an ounce of cascade finishing hops. Because it's a dark-ish beer it masks the yeast residuals and young carbonation, so it drinks well two days after bottling, ten days after starting it. Another four days and it's pretty much prime.

Yes I know there's tons of ways to improve quality, but I challenge anyone to produce a better tasting beer in two weeks.
 

OBX

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I will be curious to see what people with more experience than I have to say since I am doing my second brew since I started 1 month ago.

I have not had to spend any more than an hour on the yeast. My 1st brew used powdered yeast that you just poured in the fermenter before you closed the lid. The second was a Wyeast pitchable pack that you bring to room temp and rupture an internal pack that starts it growing. After 1 hr it was pitched in the wort.

Both my brews are dark or black beer so seeping grains were used. The key is that you enjoy it. My stuff is still conditioning so I am waiting to enjoy them.
 

Ramp

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Our homebrew is a 4 week process, though we pretty much make nothing but ales which do not require much aging time. I will admit that the couple of bottles which last a month or two after bottling do taste very good indeed, however we are an impatient bunch and have a hard enough time waiting the 4 weeks we give it, let alone a couple months after they are bottled! :eek: :D :D

We bottle straight out of the primary, after two weeks, then let the bottled beer sit for 2 weeks prior to tasting. Apart from one batch which had a tendancy to foam out of control upon opening, we have never had a "bad" batch.

We have been tossing the thought of a good Imperial or a Double IPA around for a bit though, which means that we will probably have to touch up on what we are supposed to be doing, as opposed to what we have been doing!

Cheers!
 

Dude

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homebrewer_99 said:
I for one always recommend SLOWING down. Fermentation is a natural process that really cannot be hurried.

As always, you are free to do whatever you wish. These are just my comments. :D

Yep, good advice. I wasn't too keen on the "challenge" as its not about that for me. I'm in no race for good beer. I could easily have beer brewed, fermented and carbed in 7 days, and I'd bet it would taste pretty good, but why bother?
 
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Zigakly

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Assuming the results grossly out-class commercial crap and you don't care to turn your apartment into a brewery, why wait?

I appreciate that the bulk of the membership of this forum are very enthusiastic about understanding every aspect of the brewing process, but I aim for the highest product quality with the least effort. I know a better brew can be done with the same ingredients, but it takes 3x as much work, and when the first batch is done, I'm on my third. I've tasted the difference, and I'd just rather save carboys, bottles, space, and time. Good beer is cheap here, I can't compete with Maudite no matter how much I spend or how long I take.

Most of all, I just wanted to post my tricks somewhere. www.speedbrew.com doesn't exist ;)
 

SwAMi75

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OBX said:
Your link does not work and Internic says no one owns that name. Are you in process of starting the site? :confused:
Re-read his post.....he was making a joke. ;)

As for the topic, do whatever works for you! If you enjoy brewing and your final product, knock your self out and have fun with it!
 

Buddhabuddha

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I tend to spend ALOT of time on the recipes i make for me.... (and I fly through the ones for others) The American Lite, and Cider I made recently for the "ladies" for example.. I flew through those.. :)
As for my others.. A little TLC goes a long way!
 

Swervo Maneuver

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Hey, zig-- good tricks.

I personally am getting frustrated waiting around for weeks for homemade beer.
Maybe I should just drink less...
 

uglygoat

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:D

drinking less would work i guess...

to the original post, it is a hobby and should please you, so what ever works works. that's the whole point imo. it shouldn't be stressful to brew beer :)
 

homebrewer_99

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Zigakly said:
I appreciate that the bulk of the membership of this forum are very enthusiastic about understanding every aspect of the brewing process, but I aim for the highest product quality with the least effort. I know a better brew can be done with the same ingredients, but it takes 3x as much work, and when the first batch is done, I'm on my third. Good beer is cheap here, I can't compete with Maudite no matter how much I spend or how long I take.
I generally only drink the beer I brew so by you being ahead of us by 3 to 1 then you may need to take a look in the mirror and reassess your hobby to habit ratio. Nothing personal, just trying to help.

Define good and cheap beer, please?
 

andre the giant

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If it works and you like the results, you're on the right track. I don't hold a grudge against anyone who finds quicker, easier ways to do things.

I personally don't mind spending 6 hours doing an all grain batch, or wearing myself out spending a 13 hour day brewing three all grain batches. I enjoy waiting four weeks for the results too. Usually, I'm rewarded by awesome beer (self proclaimed of-course.) That's not to say that someone who spent two weeks can't produce a beer that's just as good...
 

jcobbs

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Definitely going to try the finishing hops trick next batch. As much as I'd like to have a really top-notch homebrewing operation going, right now I barely have room in my life for any kind of hobby, let alone a very complex one. I've been brewing a kind of malt beverage from extract without any hops, just because it's fairly easy, it tastes OK, and it's about all I can manage right now. But I love dark hoppy beers and I've been missing that taste in my homebrews. I think I just found my answer and I can't wait to try it. Thanks!
 

DD2000GT

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I agree with Andre - I have been brewing for over 10 years and recently switched to AG. WHY? Because I like the finished results better (my preferrence). However, I like the beer better - not the extra effort.

If your method produces beer you enjoy - I say RIGHT ON! Thanks for posting up the tips for others that share your values so it can help them produce better tasting beers. That is what this forum is for - ALL BREWERS.
 

Slainte

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Zigakly - If you enjoy it - then Slainte to you!! With a large family - I hardly have time to brew like I want. But I love brewing and I love my home brew - so your tips are much appreciated. Thanx!

homebrewer 99 - uncool. keep it for the self-help sites.
 

jkirky

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Whatever floats your boat IMO...

I can see both sides of the coin... I havent been brewing long but some batches i put a lot of effort in, some i just want a cheap easy brew to drink after work...

All in all it is a hobby and i still prefer my (needless to say pretty bad) brews over comercial brews... I do also enojy the time i spend brewing/caring for and bottling my beer...

I will drink almost any beer but also really appreciate a great beer. Some fellas will only drink "great beers". Its all about what your after i suppose...
 
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