Author Topic: Thinking about brewing again  (Read 430 times)

Offline Beech Creek Gary

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Thinking about brewing again
« on: April 10, 2018, 07:24:36 PM »
Hi all,
I was an all grain home brewer in the mid '90s. I had a pretty good set up then, 3 tier stand with 3 burners, large pots, 5 & 10 gallon cornies, converted chest freezer, etc. You get the picture. The problem was that the hobby was taking on a life of it's own & brewing became a chore with all the maintenance on everything, clean up, and keeping an inventory of supplies big enough to keep everything going. Space for everything was becoming a problem as well as having enough time to do it all. I don't want to do all of that again so I'm considering getting back into brewing extract brews with maybe doing a stovetop mash now and again. I'm shocked how much the equipment costs now....I wish I'd have kept a few things. Oh well. Wish me luck!

Offline denny

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Re: Thinking about brewing again
« Reply #1 on: April 10, 2018, 09:00:23 PM »
Drew and I have a book coming out in the spring specifically aimed at people in your situation.  How to brew quickly and easily, having fun doing it and fitting it in with all the other stuff in your life.
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Offline Slowbrew

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Re: Thinking about brewing again
« Reply #2 on: April 10, 2018, 09:26:52 PM »
Good luck getting back on the horse. 8^)  I think we all went through, and some are still in, a bit of an obsessive phase.

Extracts with steeped grain made some very good beers in my house years ago.

If you want do all grain but keep it simple look into Denny's Batch Sparge Cooler setup.  Easy, small foot print and no pressure to put too much bling into it.

I personally hope to do a bit more brewing this year, eventually.  We did a remodel and addition last year and I'm still building a deck on it.  On top of the kid's schedules and work, brewing tends to come in last.

Glad to see you getting back in and we're here to help.  Ask anything, someone on the forum knows the answer.

Where the heck are we going?  And what's with this hand basket?

Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: Thinking about brewing again
« Reply #3 on: April 10, 2018, 09:42:43 PM »
Welcome back!  I have the obsessive level equipment, but I must admit, recently some pretty darn good extract beers I have tasted have won awards or accolades when served to some pretty knowledgeable judges.  In the last few years the extract must be sold more quickly or the freshness is somehow preserved, but the days of that tell-tale "twang" are less and less prevalent.  I had a nice American Amber Ale at my club meeting last month that was every bit as good as an all grain beer - I assumed that it was an all grain beer and was questioning the brewer on his process and he confided that he just doesn't have the time to brew all grain as often and finds the extract route a great way to make beer and satisfy the brewing itch, with a lot less time invested....
Hodge Garage Brewing: "Brew with a glad heart!"

Offline Hooper

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Re: Thinking about brewing again
« Reply #4 on: April 10, 2018, 10:28:43 PM »
Now that I moved to Denver, I can't believe how many Rube Goldberg brewing rigs are for sale on CL. I'm very happy with my DC 6 gallon setup...minimum parts and clean as I go. I think the go big and shiny thing can overtake you if you're not careful...
“Stay with the beer. Beer is continuous blood. A continuous lover.”
—   Charles Bukowski

Offline clibit

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Re: Thinking about brewing again
« Reply #5 on: April 10, 2018, 10:58:10 PM »
I got into all grain via small batch stove top brewing, bought a cheap pot and made a grain bag for it. I have never moved on, apart from adapting a cooler to try out the mash tun method, but I've reverted to bag-in-pot. I ferment in plastic buckets. I'm a bit of a freecycler/downsizer/only buy what you need type.

Most batches are around 3 gallons, but sometimes I add dried extract and cold water and expand it to 5 gallons. I mash and boil 30 minutes each, so the whole thing is quick and easy, requires very little equipment, and it works well for me. Made some great beers. Not sure how much I could improve them tbh.

Offline banjo-guy

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Thinking about brewing again
« Reply #6 on: April 10, 2018, 11:40:16 PM »
I would look into 2.5-3.00 gallon brew in a bag.( biab) All you need is a pot and a paint strainer bag. You’ll  need something to ferment in. A bucket is just fine.
Cleanup is easy.
I’ve never wanted 5 gallons of beer. I’m happy with 2 1/2 gallons.
I just noticed the post before mine. I agree!

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« Last Edit: April 10, 2018, 11:44:01 PM by banjo-guy »

Offline Ale Farmer

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Re: Thinking about brewing again
« Reply #7 on: April 11, 2018, 01:38:59 AM »
I agree that making fewer than 5 gallons can help if you brew frequently and find that you just can't drink through the batches fast enough--that's been my story of late, but I guess the opposite is true, too--if you plan to brew only occasionally, then maybe making larger batches is the way to go.

Anyway, great to hear you're returning to the fold. All the best.

Brew and grow...

Bottled:Nut Brown Ale, Amber Ale, Irish Red Ale,  Brown Porter, Spruce Porter, APA, English Pale Ale, English/American Pale Ale.


Next Brews: Golden Bitter, California Common, Belgian Maibock, Wit

Offline jrector

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Re: Thinking about brewing again
« Reply #8 on: April 11, 2018, 04:33:43 PM »
Welcome back. We're empty nesters and I just got into home brewing. I have to resist the urge to get more and more equipment! I take your post as a word of warning to keep it simple and I think I came to that idea early enough. I have an electric Brewer's Edge Mash & Boil and tried a simple method for my first brew in it. My plan is to stay simple. Definitely don't want it to become a chore.