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Now for my serious post. I need your advise

I have been canning and making jams and storing food for a little while now. I am now interested in making my own Beer and Wine.

Does anyone have a good link or experience with this that can share. It seems to be a good thing to work on during the dog days of winter.

Please share.

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I did the Mr. Beer thing

I did the Mr. Beer thing once. It was ok. If you are just wanting to stock up, that might be the easiest way. Buy their little keg and equipment and then just stock up on your yeasts and malts. I'm not sure the shelf life of yeast so you may want to check.

The only crappy thing was that everything was plastic. Even the storage bottles.

http://www.mrbeer.com/

Yeast, a living organism,

Yeast, a living organism, has a relatively short storage life. Keep yeast in the original metal foil storage containers. If the seal remains intact, yeast should last 2 years at 70oF. However it is strongly recommended that you refrigerate it, which should give you a storage life of 5 years. Frozen yeast should store for a long time.

http://millennium-ark.net/News_Files/Food/Extend_Shelf_Life....

Awesome.

I book marked it

For Freedom!

For Freedom!
The World is my country, all mankind is my brethren, to do good is my religion.

best link is your local brew supplier

If you want to get good, reliable results, go with the pre-mixed stuff. I recommend getting the self-capping bottles in the largest size you will use in a single sitting. I have only tried a couple batches "old school" and brewed some really vile concoctions. If you would like advice on how to brew a really vile concoction, let me know, THAT I can help with. I got this fun book on ancient herbal brews and tried to make some of those, I will go find that book if you like.
The book that has actually helped me brew a beverage is "The New Complete Joy of Home Brewing" but the best advice has been garnered by chatting up the store's where I buy supplies. Still, the tastiest so far has been the pre-mixes.

Truth exists, and it deserves to be cherished.

How long did it last once you bottled it?

Assuming your not an alcoholic...:)

For Freedom!

For Freedom!
The World is my country, all mankind is my brethren, to do good is my religion.

five gallons lasted about 6 months

If I don't confess to how many were drinking, I have not given too much away, right? ;)
It takes about 2 -3 months to age. I did not make any this year, and I have not done it often enough to "have it down."
You are making me think about going and cleaning out the old carboy, though! (And I do recommend getting the high quality products that will enable you to brew for the rest of your life rather than keep throwing money at it incrementally. If you like to drink beer, and you like to cook and / or "tinker" you are going to enjoy this. It is art, science and magic!

Truth exists, and it deserves to be cherished.

How much is the initial investment?

I wonder if you could make it McGuiver style?

For Freedom!

For Freedom!
The World is my country, all mankind is my brethren, to do good is my religion.

it has been a long few years, in terms of dollar values...

I paid about $20 for my 6 gallon carboy at an antique shop, and about $25 for my five gallon at the brew shop. I want to say the small self-capping bottles were about a buck apiece, the liter ones were purchased a few years later, and I think were about $4 each. I don't recall how much the bottle capper or was, the caps were cheap, if you go with recapping bottles instead. A bottle washer costs about $15 I think, and is a definite labor saver. It hooks onto your tap and squirts up into the bottles for you under high pressure. GREAT help cleaning the yeast out of carboys. I know bleach is not popular, but you HAVE to have your equipment meticulously clean, or the "science" part of this will bite you in the arse. Good old bleach is the way I roll. The actual mixes cost between $35 and $50, and they make you a five gallon batch. Two carboys are worth every dime - we tried to go "cheap" and wasted a lot of time, effort, and (sniff, sniff) BEER!

Truth exists, and it deserves to be cherished.