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View Full Version : A different kind of home brewing



Coidzor
2010-01-23, 09:11 PM
So, anyone have any experience with the art? I've been considering taking a crack at it since I turned 21 this past November.

thubby
2010-01-23, 09:37 PM
the legality of what you're suggesting varies wildly from country to country, and even state to state in the U.S.

expect whatever you make to taste like crap.

Jack Squat
2010-01-23, 09:47 PM
the legality of what you're suggesting varies wildly from country to country, and even state to state in the U.S.

expect whatever you make to taste like crap.

Wow, optimistic one, you are. But yes, check local regulations to see if it's prohibited.

I know there's a couple people on the site that do brew their own beer- Smellie Hippie is one of them. I'm sure one of them will be along to give some pointers.

I've heard good things about this forum (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/), though I haven't been able to test anything from it, being under 21 and all.

EDIT: @V: Yes, but in pretty much every state (actually, in every state unless I'm misinformed) the act of distilling alcohol is illegal.

reorith
2010-01-23, 09:50 PM
you can make a still from a pressure cooker, aquarium tubing, a 2l soda bottle, a coffee can, a bag of ice, and some coat hangers...

thubby
2010-01-24, 12:32 AM
you can make a still from a pressure cooker, aquarium tubing, a 2l soda bottle, a coffee can, a bag of ice, and some coat hangers...

i think you forgot the duct tape.
or does that go without saying :smalltongue:

Stormthorn
2010-01-24, 12:52 AM
Wow, optimistic one, you are. But yes, check local regulations to see if it's prohibited.

I know there's a couple people on the site that do brew their own beer- Smellie Hippie is one of them. I'm sure one of them will be along to give some pointers.

I've heard good things about this forum (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/), though I haven't been able to test anything from it, being under 21 and all.

EDIT: @V: Yes, but in pretty much every state (actually, in every state unless I'm misinformed) the act of distilling alcohol is illegal.


Legality of a type of alchohol depends upon proof. Here in California I can remember when Miller had commercials encourage us to brew our own beer.
Whisky however would be illegal.
I think wine is legal.

Their are many brewing sites for information if you need it.

reorith
2010-01-24, 01:05 AM
i think you forgot the duct tape.
or does that go without saying :smalltongue:

i hate using duct tape. there are tools and proper techniques for fabricating and repairing items. duct tape is a last resort.

Icewalker
2010-01-24, 01:14 AM
Wine is definitely legal in California, my neighbor makes his own wine.

skywalker
2010-01-24, 01:21 AM
A friend of mine made a bottle of her own wine. She thought it tasted like crap, I personally thought it was pretty decent.

The only way to get better at something is practice...

Black_Pants_Guy
2010-01-24, 01:24 AM
i think you forgot the duct tape.
or does that go without saying :smalltongue:

If you don't have Duct tape you are not a man.:smalltongue:

purple gelatinous cube o' Doom
2010-01-24, 01:28 AM
home brewing in the US is more common than you might think. If I recall correctly a few facts I learned from my current events class in college (Alcohol and Society, which was oh about 4 years ago now), it is perfectly legal to make your own beer and or/wine. But, it must be consumed on the premises where it was made, and cannot be given out as gifts and the like. As Jack Squat mentioned, you cannot distill your own hard liquor, that is illegal in every state.

Anywho, you should easily be able to get a brewing kit online, or go down to your local liquor store and ask some questions. If they don't have anything, they should at least be able to point you in the right direction.

reorith
2010-01-24, 01:38 AM
home brewing in the US is more common than you might think. If I recall correctly a few facts I learned from my current events class in college (Alcohol and Society, which was oh about 4 years ago now), it is perfectly legal to make your own beer and or/wine. But, it must be consumed on the premises where it was made, and cannot be given out as gifts and the like. As Jack Squat mentioned, you cannot distill your own hard liquor, that is illegal in every state.

Anywho, you should easily be able to get a brewing kit online, or go down to your local liquor store and ask some questions. If they don't have anything, they should at least be able to point you in the right direction.

you can get a license to distill "fuel" :smallbiggrin:

Black_Pants_Guy
2010-01-24, 06:42 AM
yeah... fuel for an unstoppable party...:smallamused:

Anuan
2010-01-24, 06:57 AM
It's easier than you think! (http://www.thesneeze.com/steve-dont-eat-it/)

Number eight. Prison wine.

Jack Squat
2010-01-24, 08:31 AM
you can get a license to distill "fuel" :smallbiggrin:

If I'm not mistaken though, don't you have to add methanol or other products to make it undrinkable?

purple gelatinous cube o' Doom
2010-01-24, 12:23 PM
you can get a license to distill "fuel" :smallbiggrin:

Yeah, anything that you could distill that would be considered fuel would likely put you in the hospital of the morgue, I don't recommend that approach at all.

reorith
2010-01-24, 01:15 PM
If I'm not mistaken though, don't you have to add methanol or other products to make it undrinkable?

The law states that alcohol produced at an Alcohol Fuel Plant (AFP) is restricted to be “exclusively for fuel use.” The law, however, does not contain a definition of “fuel use.” TTB interprets the term to mean only the use of alcohol in motor fuel products that decrease the U.S. reliance on petroleum.


Yeah, anything that you could distill that would be considered fuel would likely put you in the hospital of the morgue, I don't recommend that approach at all.

not necessarily. ethanol, the stuff used as a fuel/fuel additive is the same stuff that is in booze so if you watched the abv and prevented contamination, it could be done safely. but yeah, don't try this at home. unless you want to be imprisoned and/or hospitalized, in which case, there are easier methods for both.

xPANCAKEx
2010-01-24, 01:29 PM
one of my gaming group regularly has batches of beer or ale on the go at home, and apparently they turn out pretty tasty (He's not the kinda guy to go through something like that more than once or twice if the end result isnt drinkable - he likes good booze)

a neighbour of mine makes wine pretty much every year

in our house hold we've made elderflower wine a bunch of times and thats not turned out too bad - very potent stuff though

we've also had a go at saki once but that wasn't too great - horrible taste, and could probably strip paint

as long as its for personal consumption, you should be ok

Trobby
2010-01-24, 01:39 PM
As a matter of fact, my mother is hugely into home-brewing. She does a batch of beer and a batch of wine every year. Perfectly legal, mind you, since it's for our personal consumption and not for sale.

I'd recommend looking for a full kit of beer or wine making. If you can find one that has everything, it usually comes with instructions, and makes pretty good drinks in the end.

Also, make sure you sanitize EVERYTHING. You want to keep the entire process under control. Especially during fermentation. And make sure you have a cool, dry place for when you need to do some storage. I don't know the process that well myself, but if you do it right, it can be quite rewarding.

reorith
2010-01-24, 01:53 PM
blah blah blah sanitize this, sterilize that. too much trouble in my opinion. do you think the Sumerians had dishwashers, autoclaves and detergent? No! and they were one of the first peoples to create beer!

OverdrivePrime
2010-01-24, 01:56 PM
I'v just started down the path to brewmastery with a really sweet kit that my sister got me from
Northern Brewer (http://www.northernbrewer.com). I'm two weeks into the primary fermentation of what should be a super tasty session brown ale. It smelled fantastic when I was mixing it up and now I have to wait another two weeks before I bottle it. It's a lot of fun and I strongly recommend it to anyone who likes chemistry or cooking, or preferably both!

purple gelatinous cube o' Doom
2010-01-24, 02:22 PM
As a matter of fact, my mother is hugely into home-brewing. She does a batch of beer and a batch of wine every year. Perfectly legal, mind you, since it's for our personal consumption and not for sale.

I might also add that it's also illegal to drink said homemade beer/wine anywhere but the residence you make it in, so no giving said drinks as gifts either. Anyone can drink as much of it as they want in said residence, but may not be legally removed from that premises.


blah blah blah sanitize this, sterilize that. too much trouble in my opinion. do you think the Sumerians had dishwashers, autoclaves and detergent? No! and they were one of the first peoples to create beer!

Yes, and the Sumerians chewed on grains and spit them into a large hole in the ground to ferment into an alcoholic drink of some sort (likely not even remotely close to what we'd think of as beer). Not exactly something that I'd want to do or is anyway appealing. Sterilization is crucial to having a good product. If things aren't sterilized, then bacteria and what not get in the batch, react with the yeast in the beer, and spoils the whole thing.

reorith
2010-01-24, 02:27 PM
Yes, and the Sumerians chewed on grains and spit them into a large hole in the ground to ferment into an alcoholic drink of some sort (likely not even remotely close to what we'd think of as beer). Not exactly something that I'd want to do or is anyway appealing. Sterilization is crucial to having a good product. If things aren't sterilized, then bacteria and what not get in the batch, react with the yeast in the beer, and spoils the whole thing.

brb, trying this.

purple gelatinous cube o' Doom
2010-01-25, 02:33 AM
brb, trying this.

See you in a few weeks at the very least then. Fermentation is not a quick process.

Zeb The Troll
2010-01-25, 02:39 AM
I've never heard of this "it must be consumed on premises" law before. In any case, I'm quite certain it's not enforced so long as you're not selling it. I've given and been given home brewed products as gifts in the past and expect to in the future.

On a more related note, there are a handful of playgrounders I know of that homebrew and probably more that do that I don't know about. Off the top of my head, smellie_hippie and Ninja Chocobo do. I used to.

It does not taste terrible unless you're expecting it to taste like Coors or Budweiser, because it won't. Those two breweries use uncommon grains in their staple product.

As for getting started, do a google search on homebrew supplies in your area and you'll likely get at least a couple that are nearby. You can usually get started for around $75 to $300 dollars, depending on how many handy helpful tools you want included in your starter kit. The guys at the homebrew supply stores will be HAPPY to help you get started and answer any and all questions you might have about the process.

Once you get the hang of beer, I strongly recommend making an annual batch of mead (it takes a lot longer for mead to be ready, so one or two batches per year is about all that most people who do it take on).

purple gelatinous cube o' Doom
2010-01-25, 02:50 AM
I've never heard of this "it must be consumed on premises" law before. In any case, I'm quite certain it's not enforced so long as you're not selling it. I've given and been given home brewed products as gifts in the past and expect to in the future.


Yes, if I remember correctly from my Alcohol and Society class (It has been roughly 4 years, but this is one of the things I do believe I remembered right), that it is technically illegal to have homebrewed beer/wine leave the premises on which it was made. But I believe the specifics lie with the states ultimately, although there is a federal law about home brewing. I think there's also a limit to how much you can make for a household in a given year, but I think it's absurdly high, so no worries there.

Ninja Chocobo
2010-01-25, 02:54 AM
It does not taste terrible unless you're expecting it to taste like Coors or Budweiser, because it won't.

Scratchin' my head at this.
"It won't taste terrible unless you're expecting it to taste terrible because it won't taste terrible."

But seriously it's fun, satisfying, and cheap.

Zeb The Troll
2010-01-25, 03:03 AM
Scratchin' my head at this.
"It won't taste terrible unless you're expecting it to taste terrible because it won't taste terrible."

But seriously it's fun, satisfying, and cheap.Heheh. No, what I meant was, if you're one of those people who think that's what beer is supposed to taste like, you'll be disappointed in your beer actually having flavor that you're not ready for. If you're the type of person that thinks beer comes in two types, cans or bottles, and aren't familiar with the terms "ale" or "lager" and what they mean, let alone the various and sundry subcategories available to a discerning palate, you probably won't like the results of a homebrew.

On the other hand, these people likely aren't interested in picking up homebrew as a non weapon proficiency. :smallwink: