Home brewing / Mr. Beer
How many home brewers have we got here on TrackForum?
At the risk of branding myself as a home brewing "loser," I will admit to being a Mr. Beer user. Got the kit for Christmas and have made two brews, with a third currently fermenting. I'm hooked.
I know that many serious home brewers view Mr. Beer as the "Easy Bake Oven of brewing," but as a beginner, extract brewing is more than compelling enough for me. Creating/tweaking the recipes, scheduling them, adding hop boils, maybe moving to batch-priming...it's all good.
And then after all that fun, you get to drink beer. How cool is that?
Two stories about home brew. This goes back to Prohibition, and concerened my Dad and my Uncle.
First story, they made the brew and were goint to filter it. Usually they used a real felt hat. But, the hat's owner, had her hat dry cleaned, with Naptha. You could imagine the taste of that batch.
Second. They made a batch and bottled it for future use. Stored the brew on the top shelf of pantry. Later, boom! Boom! The bottles started to explode in the pantry.
I'm a home brewer. Yes, some look down their noses at Mr. Beer, but it is what got me started. Eventually I got a bigger home brewing kit, but still have my Mr. Beer too.
I started with kits 25 years ago. I've done the all grain, cultured yeast, hop the bejesus out of it and it may be a skosh better, but unless you have ALL the gear, it ain't worth it. A kit is just fine.
I just got started a few months ago and am lucky to have friends that have been brewing for over a year to help me along. Skipped the kits and started doing all grain brews. Seemed like a lot of money to get started (maybe $250-300?) but I really enjoy it, 3 of us brew together on the weekends. Helps too for buying grain/hops in bulk, picked up 15 pounds of hops recently!
Bottling has to be the worst part of homebrewing, going to order kegs today and watching for an old fridge to convert to a kegerator. I do worry about having beer on tap at home...
I got a starter kit for my birthday a couple years ago. I've made one batch which turned out pretty well, and am now trying a Czech pilsner.
I've come to the conclusion it's more trouble than it's worth. Collecting the bottles, washing them, sterilizing them, making sure all your brewing equipment is sterile, and then bottling is a pain. The only upside is people seemed to be impressed when the wife tells them I brew my own beer. ;-)
The Belgians seem to have it all figured out, I think I'll just send them my money instead.
I quicky realized when bottling, to use at least quart size bottles. I was thinking of going to "growlers" but my son-in-law made me a kegerator out of a dorm refrigerator.
I agree that cleaning/sanitizing and dealing with the bottles is the ugly side of the hobby, for sure. Not much "glory" in those tasks. But at this point, it hasn't worn me down yet -- I'm still hooked.
I think brewing appeals to the "mad scientist" in me.
Working on my summer brews now. I've got a strong pale ale (over 8% ABV) in the Mr. Beer fermenter now. When that's bottled, I've got a wheat beer with spices and lemon lined up, to be followed by a hoppy Irish red to cover the other end of the spectrum (malty-balanced-bitter). The nice weather can't get here soon enough!
The tastiest I ever brewed was a pilsener style. Lager yeast, bottom fermented. I put a lot of honey in it and let it sit in the carboy in a spare refrigerator while it did its thing. You could see the bubbles slowly coming up through that thick goodness. Probably sat in there two weeks and then a month in the bottles. Haven't been able to duplicate it but it sure is a fine memory. My tastes have changed and I pretty much stick to the pale ales and nut browns; occasional stout.
Home Brewer here. Been brewing for the past 8 years and currently a All-Grainer. My motto is any beer brewed at home is either good or will eventually get better.
Home Brewers question for you all. I am currently thinking about a Indy 500 ale. Any suggestions...
That's tough, cuz it's so subjective. I don't care for stouts, but they ARE sort of like motor oil, so brewing a stout would have an automotive tie-in.
Originally Posted by TDIndy500
On the other hand: Indy --> Memorial Day --> unofficial start of summer, so I'm thinking it's got to be an easy-drinker -- a good "lawnmower beer" so to speak. Amber or lighter, not too bitter. Probably toward the lower side of the OG scale.
Having a tough time coming up with other Indy-related tie-in's. Tough to work the winner's drink (milk) into the equation! If it were for the Kentucky Derby, you could add a little mint flavor in honor of the mint juleps, but I'm drawing a blank on anything 500-specific.
A lot of words for not much help. Sorry!
I like your suggestions. I am torn between a Pale Ale, Cream Ale or a Citrus Wheat. All hell I am going to make all three, keg them and take them to the race.
Open invitation to anyone who want to taste a good beer.