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So I brewed a shot of beer

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HardyFool

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Hello fellow beer-makers,

Some of you may have seen this post I made back in July chronicling the brewing of a quart of beer. This did really happen, and the beer was perfectly adequate, but upon telling my brother of my triumphant micro exploits, he responded with a sigh, a roll of the eyes, and a fateful jeer: "what's next, a shot of beer?"

Yes, that's what's next. I took his acerbic words as a challenge and, as I'd just tested a method of mitigating the heat loss of small batch brewing, namely using a sous vide water heater, I had all the pieces I needed - a 50 mL graduated cylinder and a PET bottle with a CarbCap® were all that was needed to cook up this Frankenstein's monster of a beer

Technically speaking, the process was seamless: salt a gallon of water (see recipe below), crush some grain with a hammer, add that and hops to a sealed sous vide bag, mash at ~152˚, isomerize at ~180˚ (17% efficiency), run the tiny pouch under cold water to cool, strain into the "fermenter," place in a temp-controlled wine fridge at ~65˚, wait, cold crash, rack to PET bottle, carbonate, and enjoy. Surprisingly straightforward

As for the big question, the taste, I recorded the following notes: "Malty, round, yeasty, just a touch thin, no real off flavors besides light astringency possibly due to high temp mash, warm due to carbing method, would consider brewing a gallon of" [a gallon being my default size - stay tuned for a post on my all-electric HERMS & thermowell'd gallon setup]

Here's the recipe, and leave your hate mail below:

45 mL of Pale Kellerbier:

- 15 g Munich malt, DME to correct gravity if necessary
- 1.15 g 4% AA hops
- for the water: .6 so4, .5 cl per gal (make one gallon, divy)
- since 1 mL per g grain absorbed, use 75 mL water for mash
- mash w hops, 152˚ -> 180˚
- chill, rack to 50 mL graduated cylinder
- add .1-.2 g dry ale yeast, ferment at 65˚
- yield will be ~45 mL beer, 15 mL sediment
- carbonate at ~15 psi, 38˚, in a chilled PET bottle (the beer will, as it did for me, absorb a ton of heat and be raised into the high 50s/low 60s if you don't do this)

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IslandLizard

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I'm almost speechless... bowing to the Master.
The smallest batches I ever brewed were ~32 40-48 oz mini brews, all grain, mashed and boiled. 5 at a time, staggered. Fermented in 48 64 oz plastic mayonnaise jars.

Basically you used a no-boil process. Literally, Brew in a Bag.

thumbsup.gif
 
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HardyFool

HardyFool

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I feel like a bit of a casual, starting with 1-gallon batches.
You need to think even small-ier. Worst margin in the game, but also lowest ingredient cost per batch :rock:
 
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HardyFool

HardyFool

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I'm almost speechless... bowing to the Master.
The smallest batches I ever brewed were ~32 40-48 oz mini brews, all grain, mashed and boiled. 5 at a time, staggered. Fermented in 48 64 oz plastic mayonnaise jars.

Basically you used a no-boil process. Literally, Brew in a Bag.

View attachment 654117
ResPECT for the sub-growler-sized batches. That's also wild. And exactly - comically similar to this now that I think about it - the "for free" sterilization is def a perk
 

Dland

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Cute trick, but to pursue further implies no value for ones time.

But seeing OP's screen name, perhaps he's already acknowledging that.
 
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HardyFool

HardyFool

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Cute trick, but to pursue further implies no value for ones time.

But seeing OP's screen name, perhaps he's already acknowledging that.
Ouch, but definitely - the extreme of this is just White Labs' yeast pouches - "brewing" beer as a tiny starter

If the bags could hold pressure and you could, as with Wyeast's pitch bags, smack a chamber to release yeast into a ready-brewed wort environment, and if the bag could hold pressure, you'd have an interesting gimmick gift (brew your own bottle of beer at home with absolutely no skill or prep), but...well, it's doable, I simply haven't yet
 

Dland

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Maybe doable in theory, but suspect one would hit limitations in packaging and small volume of vessel(s), among other things. Any vaguely similar products I can think of that take "no skill or prep" are mediocre at best.

But don't let me discourage you, many find amusement and solace in pursuit of seemingly useless endeavors, and once in a while some one hits on something, even if it is not what they were originally shooting for.
 

Dave Sarber

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If the bags could hold pressure and you could, as with Wyeast's pitch bags, smack a chamber to release yeast into a ready-brewed wort environment, and if the bag could hold pressure, you'd have an interesting gimmick gift (brew your own bottle of beer at home with absolutely no skill or prep), but...well, it's doable, I simply haven't yet
Or, you could just buy a bottle of beer at the store. No skill, no prep, no waiting, and no yeast floating around.....
 
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Ouch, but definitely - the extreme of this is just White Labs' yeast pouches - "brewing" beer as a tiny starter

If the bags could hold pressure and you could, as with Wyeast's pitch bags, smack a chamber to release yeast into a ready-brewed wort environment, and if the bag could hold pressure, you'd have an interesting gimmick gift (brew your own bottle of beer at home with absolutely no skill or prep), but...well, it's doable, I simply haven't yet
Rubber mallet to crush the grain? Did you consider that OXO grinder in the background? I have the same grinder, and I know the grind size is adjustable. Might be a disaster, though at your batch size I don't think any failure could be considered a disaster.
 

homebrewer_99

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Sadly, this took me back to an early SNL skit where Belushi (I think) worked behind the counter and someone asked for a glass of freshly squeezed raisin juice. He cut the raisins it in half and twisted them on a press juicer. LOL!
 
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HardyFool

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Did you consider that OXO grinder in the background?
Interesting! And as you aptly point out and imply, I could easily burn 10 times the amount of grain needed in trials first. I hadn't considered that, but given my method I'd considered completely pulverizing the malt (maybe a spice grinder?) to flour and then, heck, filtering it through a coffee filter if oxygen isn't a concern (and granted, if it's just pre-pitch the damage would be minimal; and as a V60 devotee, I'd certainly wash the paper filter) - like a tiny mash filter, or more appropriately, a DBFG test, just fermented!
 
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HardyFool

HardyFool

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Sadly, this took me back to an early SNL skit where Belushi (I think) worked behind the counter and someone asked for a glass of freshly squeezed raisin juice. He cut the raisins it in half and twisted them on a press juicer. LOL!
Life imitates art, clearly! And chew on this, because that scene reminds me of a pet point of mine: the only sub-industry in the entire food and beverage industry to prepare "items" (food or drink) essentially from scratch is the cocktail industry. Isn't that weird? Making a tiny shot of beer or squeezing a raisin seems insane, and yet people look at the literally 19th century practices of the cocktail world and accept them as either immutable or...optimized? There's room in the market for a wholly "prepped" cocktail bar or two, I'm sure
 
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HardyFool

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They already have Daquiari's and such in the form of frozen slushies in New Orleans and other places.
Ah! Well here we get into a very interesting set of superficial counterexamples, all valid in a sense, and all partial-solutions: frozen slushies are a great example, as are kegged cocktails, barrel aged cocktails (served as a uniform, single mixture), and even a common trick of pre-mixing several alcohols (say, three rums) in a tiki drink, for example (I think that's illegal, by the way, as a form of re-bottling)

And even worse for my point: while obviously tons of stuff in restaurants are prepped, in fine dining, long and meticulous plating rituals are not uncommon, and what's the difference between that and taking 45 seconds to assemble, shake, pour, and garnish a cocktail?

My short rebuttal to those, which is the tip of a massive iceberg, is twofold:

First, fine dining and fine cocktail establishments are made special, and can thus justify their price points, in part due to their ornate presentation and insane attention to detail, and should thus be classed together as "necessary labor for high price point" businesses

And on the other hand, what's the world I envision? Almost entirely pre-mixed cocktails, with citrus juice that's TA-tested and adjusted with food grade acid salts, sugar syrups accurate to +/- 1g in a Liter, etc; which are then held in a temperature-controlled chamber (homebrewing obviously has an influence here), and dispensed, pre-diluted and at the perfect temperature into glasses.

Because the heart of the issue is that bars use ice to chill cocktails, which is ludicrous and wasteful (and, given current practices, fairly inconsistent), and also that they measure drinks by hand, with accuracies probably no better than 10% in many cases (watch a bartender's jigger at even a good bar on a busy night), both of which are problems with easy solutions in the 21st century. The existence of the phrase "burning the ice" as a universally understood cocktail term bolsters my claim that the industry is failing spectacularly to evolve technically, beyond the occasional cheap magic trick (don't waste your money there, btw)

We, both us and commercial breweries, brew in large batches for batch-to-batch consistency beyond just practicality, and the cocktail industry has only piecemeal become aware of the advantages of this. And yes, I have a bar name, design, set of recipes, and asthetic fleshed out for a bar that solves these problems - stay tuned!
 
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