Author Topic: Making alcohol  (Read 2341 times)

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roger.

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Making alcohol
« on: August 10, 2012, 09:07:33 AM »
If anyone is interested in making their own alcohol I recommend that you do it. I recently made some Oktoberfest beer and it's the best beer I've had so far. This weekend I'm going to make some doppel bock or tripel bock beer and in about a month it should be non stop booze for me :D

Seriously, you can make as much as you want (legal limit in the US is 100 gallons for a 1 person household or 200 gallon for 2+ people per year). Most equipment is for making 5 gallons at a time, which is about 2 cases of beer give or take a couple of bottles.  The total cost of the beer comes out to about 30 cents a bottle. If you are a big beer/wine drinker you really can't go wrong with making your own, unless, of course, you are impatient and can't wait about a month for it to ferment/age.

If you are up for it I can give instructions and my recommendations. If not, just let this topic die.

Jetcutter

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Re: Making alcohol
« Reply #1 on: August 10, 2012, 09:17:22 AM »
If anyone is interested in making their own alcohol I recommend that you do it. I recently made some Oktoberfest beer and it's the best beer I've had so far. This weekend I'm going to make some doppel bock or tripel bock beer and in about a month it should be non stop booze for me :D

Seriously, you can make as much as you want (legal limit in the US is 100 gallons for a 1 person household or 200 gallon for 2+ people per year). Most equipment is for making 5 gallons at a time, which is about 2 cases of beer give or take a couple of bottles.  The total cost of the beer comes out to about 30 cents a bottle. If you are a big beer/wine drinker you really can't go wrong with making your own, unless, of course, you are impatient and can't wait about a month for it to ferment/age.

If you are up for it I can give instructions and my recommendations. If not, just let this topic die.

Jet likes beer. Friend tried the Mr. Beer thing (I let him :D). Not so good.
If you've a better plan I'm open??
AgentSmith5150:" They can take my freedom, but they'll never take my BACON!!!!"

AgentSmith5150

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Re: Making alcohol
« Reply #2 on: August 10, 2012, 09:27:57 AM »
I am extremely interested. DO TELL!

roger.

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Re: Making alcohol
« Reply #3 on: August 10, 2012, 11:57:55 AM »
TL;DR: Video and youtube channel at bottom of the page. Should tell/show you everything you need to know. If you have any questions, let me know.

Jet likes beer. Friend tried the Mr. Beer thing (I let him :D). Not so good.
If you've a better plan I'm open??


I've never used Mr. Beer, but everybody I know who home brews says that Mr. Beer is bad. Not sure why, but that's what they say. I bought a kit like this: http://www.amazon.com/Maestro-Homebrew-Beer-Equipment-Siphon/dp/B002BTZZ5S

It comes with just about everything you need, minus the bottles, fermentables (ingredients), and a pot to boil the water and ingredients in. If it's your first time I recommend buying a kit, unless you know someone who has a good idea on what ingredients go with what. You can also find those on Amazon and other local home brew stores. They have everything from American Lagers to Doppelbocks. And if you decide to buy all the ingredients on your own you can make any kind of beer you can imagine.

Why your beer turned out not so good could also be how you brewed it. I brew mine according to the German Purity Law of 1516. That means nothing but malt, hops, and grains. The whole process of creating wort (or beer before it has fermented) is rather easy and takes about an hour to do. There are different ways to do this depending on what ingredient kit you get.

If you use a kit the steps are:
Bring 1 gallon of water to a boil
Add in sock strainer with grains inside of it
Let sock strainer sit in pan (without heat after it boils) for 20-30 minutes
Remove sock strainer and reheat water to boil
Add in malt extract if you have it (this is basically a thick syrup)
While adding in the malt extract be sure to stir the pot so that the bottom of the pot does not get damaged. The malt extract can burn and become stuck to the pot indefinitely.
Add in dried malt extract (malt extract that has dried and put into pellet like bits) and stir

After this step you need to watch the pot. It is possible for the mixture to boil up and push the lid off the pot and make a mess. If you lift it off of the burner or spray the foam with water from a squirt bottle the foam should subside and not come back. If it does come back repeat the previous steps until it stops. Then reheat to a boil.

Now add in hops, while stirring them in.
Let boil for 30 minutes.

While the mixture is boiling put 4 gallons of water into your fermentation bucket. Before adding the wort (which is now what the mixture is called after the last 30 minutes of boiling) is added to the fermenter make sure the wort is around 60 degrees Fahrenheit. The best way I have found to do this is to get a container that is bigger than the pot and fill it with ice, then stick the pot in it and check  the temperature every 10 minutes or so.

After the wort is in the fermenter pour a packet of yeast onto the top of the wort and mix it in. Then wait a week and it should be good.


If you are doing it without a kit it is a bit more difficult and harder to explain. The main part is that you have a lot more ingredients and water to work with and have to be very careful not to burn or overcook it. The steps are almost identical. This is because you will most likely have more ingredients than in a kit. This is because in a kit you boil 1 gallon of water with a lot of ingredients and on your own you boil 5 gallons. With kits you are, in a way, diluting the wort with water. 1 gallon of the wort you kick in those would not be good tasting or good for you. As a rule you generally want 2 pounds of fermentables per gallon of beer that you are brewing. So 5 gallons = 10 lbs of fermentables, which will mostly be malt extract as dried malt extract is 2x as expensive as the liquid malt.

Another difference between the two is that when you make your own you can add more hops to give it more taste of the hops and also add aroma hops during the last 5 minutes of brewing to give it a nice smell.

Whichever method you choose it will take about 1 hour to create the wort. Making your own will take longer because of more ingredients and, first time, and whatnot, but it's a good learning experience. Also, make sure that your tools are sterilized. Not just clean, but STERILIZED. Bacteria and germs will kill your beer. You must clean your equipment before it can be sterilized. Make sure you read the directions on the sterilizers. Some sterilizers require that you leave the water on the sterilized equipment, where other must be wiped and dried.

Because I'm not the best at explaining here is a quick youtube video (and the link to the guy's youtube channel):
Video with a kit:

Video without a kit (iirc):

Channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/CraigTube

This guy also has a LOT more experience than I do and he really knows his stuff. If you see a video and have a question throw me the link, the question, and around the time in the video where you had the question (if possible) and I will try my best to answer it.

He does a much better explaining it because he has a video for it :D
« Last Edit: August 10, 2012, 12:05:03 PM by roger. »

Jetcutter

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Re: Making alcohol
« Reply #4 on: August 11, 2012, 08:09:54 AM »
Nice writeup.
I'm gonna try the kit u suggested. 1 week for fermentation? Does a longer fermentation time have a positive or negative effect on taste? I imagine it does regarding strength. And I am sure there would need to be a balance.

I'll get the kit and may rely on you for some tips down the road.
But it looks like a fun lil science experiment in my (precious) spare time.

Thanks 
AgentSmith5150:" They can take my freedom, but they'll never take my BACON!!!!"

roger.

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Re: Making alcohol
« Reply #5 on: August 11, 2012, 09:04:58 AM »
Nice writeup.
I'm gonna try the kit u suggested. 1 week for fermentation? Does a longer fermentation time have a positive or negative effect on taste? I imagine it does regarding strength. And I am sure there would need to be a balance.

I'll get the kit and may rely on you for some tips down the road.
But it looks like a fun lil science experiment in my (precious) spare time.

Thanks 

It generally only takes about a week for fermentation to complete. It may take more. If you've an air release valve on the fermenter the fermentation will complete when no more bubbles (indicating CO2) are in the in air release valve. You can also use a hydrometer to get readings of alcohol content. If you use a hydrometer you must take a reading before fermenting and when you go to bottle it (or after fermentation). Then you do so math, which I don't know the formula for off the top of my head and you will get your reading.

Fermenting longer will give you a higher alcohol content, but you need to have a lot of sugar. I don't really know how much sugar is required. I will need to do some research on this myself. I find this interesting.

Jetcutter

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Re: Making alcohol
« Reply #6 on: August 11, 2012, 09:14:53 AM »
Me has no Hydrometer lying about. Will this do the trick?
Not linking correctly, kill primary window it puts up.
« Last Edit: August 11, 2012, 09:19:05 AM by Jetcutter »
AgentSmith5150:" They can take my freedom, but they'll never take my BACON!!!!"

roger.

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Re: Making alcohol
« Reply #7 on: August 11, 2012, 11:32:12 AM »
If you ordered the kit that I linked you will receive one with the kit.

TheGreatCthulhu

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Re: Making alcohol
« Reply #8 on: August 14, 2012, 04:19:48 AM »
... this reminds me of the grain alcohol tank they keep at a place I worked for treating tobacco. They had to start pouring nicotine into it to purposely contaminate it. Apparently, people were jumping the fence late at night and stealing alcohol out of it for moonshine.


I wonder if anyone ever died from drinking it?


On that note... I guess you haven't tried making anything neigh-lethal like Everclear?

roger.

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Re: Making alcohol
« Reply #9 on: August 14, 2012, 06:59:21 AM »
No. So far I've only made beer. If I were to make a spirit I'd probably try my hand at Absinthe.

 


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