Tips for Home Brew with Tight Budget?

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PoorJavanese

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Hello Everyone!

I'm new here and want to ask for an advice regarding homebrew with tight budget. Here, at my farm near my home, there is a "Lontar" tree which produces "nira". It's a liquid from Lontar flowers that can be fermented, to produce "Tuak" wine or Arrack.

The question is: I don't have privilege to own brewing kettle, siphon, and other utilities due to tight budget. So, is it okay to brew it with available utilities? Is there anything I should do to keep it edible?

Here's the photo:
IMG_20211017_120734.jpg


The bottle has been cleaned before I put nira in it.

Thanks!
 

hottpeper13

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Not familiar with that fermentable liquid but I have apple cider that I just put yeast and nutrient in the bottle and ferment it on the counter for a day or two then put in the fridge. I just unscrew the top once a day for a couple days then leave it tight for carbonation.
I just pour it out one glass at a time. It gets less sweet and clearer every day.
Most straight apple juice is around 1.040 SG, i don't take a final reading.
 
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PoorJavanese

PoorJavanese

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Most straight apple juice is around 1.040 SG, i don't take a final reading.
I wish I have proper hydrometer. Currently I have a cheap hydrometer with ABV indicator, not SG.

Last afternoon I checked the oldest bottle but still around 0% ABV and tastes kinda yeasty sweet. Perhaps, it still not ripe yet?

Oh by the way, I asked one of my friend who brew here. He said nira is actually palm wine in english.
 

Yooper

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I wish I have proper hydrometer. Currently I have a cheap hydrometer with ABV indicator, not SG.

Last afternoon I checked the oldest bottle but still around 0% ABV and tastes kinda yeasty sweet. Perhaps, it still not ripe yet?

Oh by the way, I asked one of my friend who brew here. He said nira is actually palm wine in english.
The way hydrometers work is it shows potential ABV, not actual ABV. Since it's 0% ABV showing, that means it has fermented out. Next time, use the hydrometer when you mix up the wine to show the potential ABV, then bottle it when the potential ABV lowers and stops.
 

bernardsmith

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Hiya PoorJavanese - and welcome.
To answer your original question, you do not need any specialized equipment to ferment fruit juices or palm juice. Yeast happily ferment simple sugars like sucrose, fructose and glucose, when they have access to the sugars in the juice. To help ensure that the fermentation goes well and that you have not ALSO introduced bacteria and mold that you don't want competing with the yeast you need to use very clean bottles and containers and tools AND you need to find a way to sanitize the equipment. Sanitization is not sterilization. You are not doing surgery but you want to be sure to remove any colonies of unwanted microbes. You CAN use very dilute bleach but be sure to thoroughly wash the bleach off. Here, those of us who use corks never use bleach because chlorine and cork can create a chemical that taints the wine.
You do not need special equipment because people have been making wine for thousands of years without any access to special equipment. If you have a large ceramic pot you can use that as your "kettle" (fermenting vessel) . if you place a lid on top the gas that the yeast produce will eventually have enough pressure to "burp" the lid and so escape. BUT to do so the lid can only be PLACED on top and never screwed on. That applies to any bottles you are using during the time while the yeast is still fermenting sugar.
Good luck.
 

Drewch

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Is hand sanitizer more effective than bleach?
Hand sanitizer, at least what's sold in the US, tends to have thickeners like glycerin and scents added that you wouldn't want leaving a residue in your fermenting equipment.

For a truly low budget plan, your best bet might be plain boiling water.
 
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Falstaff

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You could make cider.

2-3 cannisters of frozen apple juice concentrate, a gallon of spring water, a packet of bread yeast and a balloon with a hole in it for an airlock and you have cider with just one trip to a grocery store.

Wait two weeks, or even one, really, and bottle in empty soda bottles. Or go savage and just throw the whole gallon in the fridge and pour still cider right out of it.

Some will scoff at this, but you did say cheap. Without proper equipment I don't see much better.
 

Erik the Anglophile

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Good idea! this might be my future project. A little question for cider: will it taste sour? I never drink cider before
As long as it is not contaminated during fermentation,no. It might be rather dry though but many including me prefer dry cider.
 

bwible

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This discusses palm wine in various areas around the world. One thing I note is it says the sap ferments quickly, up to 4% in a few hours. Due to natural yeasts, longer fermentations turn sour and acid. It also mentions arrack and says it is distilled palm wine.
 

IslandLizard

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I think it's fermented well but smells like piss. Is it normal?
Fermentations can throw off weird aromas (and flavors). Some or many of those weird aromas will disappear (fly off into thin air), as they hang in the headspace (airspace in the bottle above the "wine"). Other aromas will stay...

What yeast did you use?
Did you leave the screw caps on loosely while they were fermenting?
Have you tasted some?

Oh by the way, I asked one of my friend who brew here. He said nira is actually palm wine in english.
How close by is your friend?
Have you tasted his palm wines?
 
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PoorJavanese

PoorJavanese

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What yeast did you use?
It's tapai yeast, as I said before. Wine yeast is rare here. Now I'm trying to import wine yeast from aussie for the next brew.

Did you leave the screw caps on loosely while they were fermenting?
Yes, otherwise the bottles would explode.

Have you tasted some?
Honestly, I tried drank one bottle last night and successfully got drunk 😁 the taste is kinda unique. Combination of sweet, a little sour, a bit yeasty, and warm in my throat. However, i just got vomited. I guess I can call it success. Maybe I need to get proper hydrometer next payday.

How close by is your friend?
Have you tasted his palm wines?
Well... He's my neighbor. We are staying together since was a kid. My dad actually ever worked at batavia arrack before the company goes bankrupt. That's why we have interest in homebrewing. I did tried professional-made palm wine from my other friend who work at Sumatra and I can say professional palm wine has a lot balanced taste.

Note: sorry for a lot of edit, my hand is kinda shaky
 
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