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  1. #1
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    Whats in your carboy?

    For all of the homebrewers out there, what is in your carboy?

    Right now I have:

    -Northernbrewer Bock in bottles (NORTHERN BREWER)
    -Northernbrewer ESB in bottles (1 week until bottle conditioning is complete)
    -Brewing a wheat beer tonight
    -Brewing a dry hopped IPA in about 2 weeks


    Part 2, does anybody have an all grain setup? Any thoughts or words of wisdom? I am looking to get an all grain kit (or build one) in the next couple of months.



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    Re: Whats in your carboy?

    Carboy's empty :( I think I'm going to put an apfelwein in it when I get back from my vacation next week.

    In bottles aging I have a "Cannon Ball Stout" from Austin Homebrew Supply

    Do you do a full 5 gal boil? That's what I would like to upgrade to soon. At the least, I have a gas stove and I could get two 5 gal kettles boiling at a time on it, so I could do half in half, cool them with wort chillers.



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    Re: Whats in your carboy?

    Quote Originally Posted by CO4Cy View Post
    For all of the homebrewers out there, what is in your carboy?

    Right now I have:

    -Northernbrewer Bock in bottles (NORTHERN BREWER)
    -Northernbrewer ESB in bottles (1 week until bottle conditioning is complete)
    -Brewing a wheat beer tonight
    -Brewing a dry hopped IPA in about 2 weeks


    Part 2, does anybody have an all grain setup? Any thoughts or words of wisdom? I am looking to get an all grain kit (or build one) in the next couple of months.
    Primary:
    Bier du Boucanier Red Ale Clone

    Secondary:
    Pineapple Wheat of my own doing... keep your fingers crossed.


    Now that MBB is back, do we still have to pretend that WBB matters?

    -acgclone

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    Re: Whats in your carboy?

    Not exactly the response you're looking for, but I just purchased a kit, about to learn the ropes. Advise or suggestions? PM me if you'd rather I didn't hijack the thread.



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    Re: Whats in your carboy?

    is home brewing illegal? I know home distilling is because it is something I am strongly looking into..



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    Re: Whats in your carboy?

    Quote Originally Posted by illinoiscyclone View Post
    is home brewing illegal? I know home distilling is because it is something I am strongly looking into..
    Are you sure. Isnt moonshine distilled? You can get your hands on that if you know the right people.


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    Re: Whats in your carboy?

    Quote Originally Posted by illinoiscyclone View Post
    is home brewing illegal? I know home distilling is because it is something I am strongly looking into..
    Yes it's legal! As long as you aren't selling it you are allowed to brew like 60 gallons or some obscure amount a year. Which is stupid because you drink it right after you brew it so you can basically brew as much as you want.


    Now that MBB is back, do we still have to pretend that WBB matters?

    -acgclone

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    Re: Whats in your carboy?

    Quote Originally Posted by kingcy View Post
    Are you sure. Isnt moonshine distilled? You can get your hands on that if you know the right people.
    Moonshine is distilled, and just because you can get your hands on it doesnt make it legal.

    It is illegal, (not saying brewing is just distilling) because there is some explosion/poisoning hazard when building a still at home.

    If the still is not well ventilated, higher alcohols (that should be filtered out through the top of the column because they are unhealthy) are very flammable. Poisoning could occur by using the wrong products in your mash or using the wrong materials when building the still.

    However, people think that moonshine can make you blind, and that is not entirely true when made correctly. Back in the day, people wanted that "white lightening" effect where it hit ya hard when you took a swig so they added things like antifreeze. Also, people would go around poisoning competitor's stills so as to ruining their business. They would spike it with methanol or something that would make methanol in the mash. Methanol, or wood alcohol, is a neurotoxin which targets the optic nerve which is why people would go blind. Also, when it is processed in the liver it turns to formaldehyde so it posions you from the inside.

    all that said, homebrewing may be legal. I think winemaking is as long as you dont sell the wine and you might need a permit.



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    Re: Whats in your carboy?

    Almost empty keg: Jalepeno Golden
    Just kegged: Chocolate Dunkel
    Currently boiling: Summer Pale (slightly lighter-colored, lighter-hopped, but not enough to be a golden)



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    Re: Whats in your carboy?

    I've got 12 gallons of "Bell's 2 Hearted Clone 2- Electric Boogalooo" in secondary (dry hopping!) at the moment. I've also got a Russian Imperial Stout in bottle conditioning that I'm not terribly thrilled with, but we'll see how it comes out after a few months of cellaring. I need to brew again here shortly, but it's a little tough finding time at the moment.

    I do 10 gallon all grain batches as well as kegging.

    You can pretty easily build a DIY Mash/Lauter Tun for around 60 bucks or so. That's really the only piece of equipment you'll need to go all-grain unless you want to crush your own grain (I'll be doing that here shortly, but the LHBS crush is usually just fine), so long as you're happy batch sparging (and there's no reason not to be, really).

    Cheap & Easy 10 Gallon Rubbermaid MLT Conversion - Home Brew Forums is what I started with, but I replaced the braid with a copper manifold made out of 1/2" copper pipe with slots cut in it (with a hacksaw) and a short length of re-inforced plastic tubing. It works GREAT, and I get around 85% efficency into the brew kettle when I "hybrid sparge" (basically ladling sparge water into the MLT by hand..I need to upgrade my brew structure and add a Hot Liquor Tank!).

    I'd HIGHLY recommend going with the 10 gallon MLT. It lets you pretty easily move on to 10 gallon batches of "regular gravity" beer (under 1.070 or so...I just brewed a 10 gallon batch at 1.070, and that's about all you can fit in a 10 gal MLT), or 5 gallon batches of high gravity beer (there probably isn't a 5 gallon batch of beer you could brew that would require more than a 10 gallon MLT). I've been able to mash about 30lbs of grain in the 10 gallon MLT with no issues, aside from a slightly thick mash.

    10 gal batches sound a bit like overkill, but when you realize the only difference between a 5 gallon batch of all-grain, and a 10 gallon batch of all-grain is the amount of grain/hops you start out with and the amount of water you add, it's nice getting twice as much beer out of a session for basically the same amount of work. It's also VERY nice to be able to keg it, instead of putting it in like 6 cases of beer, but I digress :D

    The single most important tool I've found for doing all-grain is Beersmith. BeerSmith Brewing Software, Recipes, Blog, Wiki and Discussion Forum. If you're doing all-grain, you NEED something like this, or ProMash or a couple of other ones that are out there. At any rate, it lets you figure out your volumes and temperatures and whatnot without having to do a bunch of calculations by hand, and it also lets you organize your recipes, and keep track of what you have going on when. It will also help you adjust recipes and figure out what your target gravities and whatnot should be.

    Another handy piece of equipment is a refractometer. Since you are the one now in control of how the malt is mashed, it's nice to know what your actual gravity is at several points in the brewing process. It's nice being able to take a couple of ml sample instead of a turkey baster full, especially during the boil. I like to check when I have my final volume of wort in the boil kettle. I know if I'm a few points shy of my target OG, that I'm going to be alright after the boil, since all the extra wort going in after that point will boil off, leaving the sugars behind. I also like to check before I start putting in my flavor and aroma hop additions just to see where I'm at in case I need to extend the boil (or add more water, if the gravity is getting too high).

    The other thing I would say is be prepared for your brew day to last an hour or two longer. 3.5-4 hrs seems to be about as fast as you can realistically go for a batch with a 60 minute boil.


    "Homemade beer, after all, is like a democracy. Every so often, youíre gonna hate what comes out of it. But when itís good, itís the best." - woot.com

  11. #11
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    Re: Whats in your carboy?

    Quote Originally Posted by illinoiscyclone View Post
    is home brewing illegal? I know home distilling is because it is something I am strongly looking into..
    Quote Originally Posted by cyfan964 View Post
    Yes it's legal! As long as you aren't selling it you are allowed to brew like 60 gallons or some obscure amount a year. Which is stupid because you drink it right after you brew it so you can basically brew as much as you want.
    Quote Originally Posted by illinoiscyclone View Post
    Moonshine is distilled, and just because you can get your hands on it doesnt make it legal.

    It is illegal, (not saying brewing is just distilling) because there is some explosion/poisoning hazard when building a still at home.

    If the still is not well ventilated, higher alcohols (that should be filtered out through the top of the column because they are unhealthy) are very flammable. Poisoning could occur by using the wrong products in your mash or using the wrong materials when building the still.

    However, people think that moonshine can make you blind, and that is not entirely true when made correctly. Back in the day, people wanted that "white lightening" effect where it hit ya hard when you took a swig so they added things like antifreeze. Also, people would go around poisoning competitor's stills so as to ruining their business. They would spike it with methanol or something that would make methanol in the mash. Methanol, or wood alcohol, is a neurotoxin which targets the optic nerve which is why people would go blind. Also, when it is processed in the liver it turns to formaldehyde so it posions you from the inside.

    all that said, homebrewing may be legal. I think winemaking is as long as you dont sell the wine and you might need a permit.
    Homebrewing and home winemaking are both legal in almost every state. There is a maximum of 200 gallons/year/person up to a maximum of 400 gallons/year/household that is legal to brew in the US. I don't know about wine, but I'm sure it's something similar . If you're going through more than 400 gallons/year of beer in your household, you likely have more issues than making sure you're beer operation is legal.....

    Distilling is illegal pretty much everywhere, in large part for the reasons you put forth in terms of construction and operation of the a distillery. There's nothing you can do to a beer (or wine, I dont' think) that can hurt the person that consumes it physically (aside from overconsumption!).


    "Homemade beer, after all, is like a democracy. Every so often, youíre gonna hate what comes out of it. But when itís good, itís the best." - woot.com

  12. #12
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    Re: Whats in your carboy?

    Quote Originally Posted by jumbopackage View Post
    Homebrewing and home winemaking are both legal in almost every state. There is a maximum of 200 gallons/year/person up to a maximum of 400 gallons/year/household that is legal to brew in the US. I don't know about wine, but I'm sure it's something similar . If you're going through more than 400 gallons/year of beer in your household, you likely have more issues than making sure you're beer operation is legal.....

    Distilling is illegal pretty much everywhere, in large part for the reasons you put forth in terms of construction and operation of the a distillery. There's nothing you can do to a beer (or wine, I dont' think) that can hurt the person that consumes it physically (aside from overconsumption!).
    Ok 200 gallons... at least I was only 140 gallons off!!!!


    Now that MBB is back, do we still have to pretend that WBB matters?

    -acgclone

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    Re: Whats in your carboy?

    What do you guys use for wort chillers, if you use one at all? I made one, coiled copper with cold tap water running through it. Unfortunately the only wort I've ever had that did not ferment was when I used the chiller. I assumed contamination from the chiller and haven't used it since. Coiled copper is a lot of surface to get clean I guess. Any comments?



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    Re: Whats in your carboy?

    Wort chillers are a waste of money in my opinion. Buy ice and put it in the bathtub with cold water... It works nearly as fast and you don't have to mess around cleaning or building a chiller. Others may disagree, but I've done it both ways, have a nice wort chiller, and never use it.


    Now that MBB is back, do we still have to pretend that WBB matters?

    -acgclone

  15. #15
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    Re: Whats in your carboy?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry1982 View Post
    What do you guys use for wort chillers, if you use one at all? I made one, coiled copper with cold tap water running through it. Unfortunately the only wort I've ever had that did not ferment was when I used the chiller. I assumed contamination from the chiller and haven't used it since. Coiled copper is a lot of surface to get clean I guess. Any comments?
    You shouldn't have to keep it all that clean. Just toss it in the boil for the last 15 minutes or so, and that should sanitize it nicely. I've never had a problem with this method.

    I made mine as well from 3/8" refrigerator line. I need to replace it with a counterflow chiller here shortly, and that's my next project. I have all the stuff to do it, just haven't found time to make it!

    Quote Originally Posted by cyfan964 View Post
    Wort chillers are a waste of money in my opinion. Buy ice and put it in the bathtub with cold water... It works nearly as fast and you don't have to mess around cleaning or building a chiller. Others may disagree, but I've done it both ways, have a nice wort chiller, and never use it.
    Yeah, but now you're buying bags of ice for every batch as well, not to mention all the hassle of hauling the pot full of boiling wort around.

    Everyone does it differently, and nobody is really "wrong", as long as the beer turns out drinkable!


    "Homemade beer, after all, is like a democracy. Every so often, youíre gonna hate what comes out of it. But when itís good, itís the best." - woot.com

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