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Thoughts and Observations from a Beginner

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cordogg

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Hey Guys

First post here but i waned to offer some thoughts from my experience brewing thus far. Let it be known that i decided to start on a whim one day, perhaps after too many hornsey's. However, we have a brewing store about 5 minutes from the apt and said what the heck ... lets give it a go. I go in without doing any research and just say i am interested in brewing some homemade cider. He directs me to there brewing section (also a feed store) and i pick up a Better Bottle carboy and a recipe book and what i thought what i would need to brew.

My first shot ever involved 5 gallons of Kroger brand apple juice... ashamed to admit probably 5 lbs of sugar.... and some lavin k1-v1116 per recommendation of the guy at the store. A scientist my trade, personal projects like this give me the opportunity for "bad science" so no gravity readings even though i did purchase a hydro. Away we went couple days later i saw bubbles and knew i did something right.

This got me kinda excited when something works without any research, as again we research EVERYTHING before we try an experiment. So i got online and found this website. Was reading through moderately interested, and then found the EPIC "ed wort" thread. Wow i thought to myself 5lbs of sugar.... i need to start another batch.

The next day i went back to the brew store and picked up the fixings for some ed wort's original. My second batch... lol i'm already starting a second batch before i know if this is even is worth the money invested.

Segue a few weeks later, I kept reading threads "DON'T EVEN THINK ABOUT TOUCHING YOUR BREW" before it clears out. It had been about 3.5 weeks on that hooch i started with and it wasn't ready, but i had to see if this is all its cracked up to be. WOW i tasted my first batch.... can you say Carlo Rossi! I think i found there secret to bad wine. But hey i made it so i had to drink it right?

Well i trusted you guys waited till i could read a newspaper through my ed wort's, about 6 weeks. Bottled it into the juice bottles for my 3rd batch (story for a later date) and wow follow directions and you will not be disappointed.

So i decided to post this to anybody new or old, forgive the length. You guys are fantastic in your descriptions of your methods and had i not found you you guys would have quit after that first batch of hootch. And to any noobs getting into this, these guys know what there talking about.

Thanks all and happy brewing

Cory
 

Vic_Sinclair

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What did the Kroger apple wine taste like? I mean, EdWort's recipe is a very good one, but I have altered it several times and it turns out just fine. Hard cider/apple wine is pretty hard to screw up. 5 lbs of sugar is alot. What kind of sugar?
 

EvilTOJ

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Isn't it nice when you can put the Crazy Hat on and just do whatever? That's one of the great parts about brewing, is that you can make it as scientific and structured as you want, or just throw ****e together all willy nilly and will usually come out great.
 

Freezeblade

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You know, that 5# of sugar batch would probably be ok after a year or so of aging, maybe 2...I still say 6 weeks is far too little time for an apple wine, that's just me though.
 

Snuffalupagus

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freeze is right - put the 5# batch away for a long while and forget about it.
almost gaurantee you'll have something tasty on your hands in a year or more. or just pound it young... it might grow on you. :drunk:
 
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cordogg

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OK so after reading a few comments it got me to thinking, i just need more carboys so i have a supply on hand while i got some aging. So let me ask you guys a question... how many carboys do some of you guys actually own?
 

Freezeblade

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I've got 2 three gallon carboys, 3 five gallon carboys, and 8 one gallon jugs that I use for small batch cider/mead experiments
 

Vic_Sinclair

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1 5 gallon carboy that I only use for Apfelwein and lagering, 1 6 gal better bottle and two 6.5 gal buckets.
 

Mr. Nice Guy

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I bought 3 glass 5 gal carboys and a 7 gal plastic primary. I "made" 2 5 gallon bucket primaries and suffered my way through some Caro Rossi for some gallon jugs. I even go to my local brewpubs for bombers and make 1/2 gallon batches in them. It is all too fun.
 

SegmentedMonkey

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I started with wine kits, then graduated to mead (my roommate at the time had a fascination with vikings). By this point, I had two 7 gal carboys and a 7 gal plastic bucket. This past christmas time, I had two batches of mead going, and wanted to try something that might finish a little quicker, so I decided to get a 3 gallon carboy for a cider.

I love the size, as you can make up experimental batches without as much worry about wasting so much ingredients. Also, when bottled in 12oz beer bottles, after losses from racking, sediment, fruits, and spillage (I'm a messy bottler), you get enough bottles to fill a 2 dozen cardboard case for easy storage (plus half a dozen loose bottles that you can 'test' before dipping into the main case).

As per usual, I've ventured away from the question "how many carboys do you have" with a long, rambling, winding story of my personal history.

I LOVE BREWING! :rockin:
 
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cordogg

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You know it has not been that long, but you guys have me already trying ed worts recipe with different yeasts because i don't like how dry it gets. So i read about trying the s-04 safeale for a less dry finish and the guy at the brew store was convinced you guys were wrong. So i grabbed some safale s-05 and were gonna taste test in a month or 2. Based on your guys experiments im pretty sure the s-04 is gonna kick @ss. But if im wrong... i get to drink it anyways =)

Cheers!
 

Vic_Sinclair

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So i read about trying the s-04 safeale for a less dry finish and the guy at the brew store was convinced you guys were wrong. So i grabbed some safale s-05 and were gonna taste test in a month or 2. Based on your guys experiments im pretty sure the s-04 is gonna kick @ss. But if im wrong... i get to drink it anyways =)
I'm assuming you read this very informative page:

https://www.homebrewtalk.com/f32/results-juice-yeast-sugar-experiments-83060/

Based on my experience, your brew store guy is wrong. Did he recommend S-05 instead of S-04 or did you just grab it?
 

JoeSponge

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MNG,

> I "made" 2 5 gallon bucket primaries ...

Pray elucidate? And if it's what I'm thinking (5 gallon tubs), were they from a home improvement store, of did you find some place that had food grade tubs (sometimes a local deli has some, but they smell of PICKLES)...

I've been thinking about the 3 gallon utility tubs they have at places like Lowes and Home Depot (i.e. Leaktite 5 Gal. Orange Homer Bucket ...) - I know they have 3 gallon versions, and tops, but I don't know how well they seal or what # plastic they are...
 
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