Author Topic: A really stupid question...  (Read 931 times)

Offline lunar

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A really stupid question...
« on: July 17, 2011, 01:45:12 PM »
Hi I'm an absolute beginner but me and my friends are all getting some money together to start brewing.  The problem is we live in an apartment, our landlord has given as the okay to do it in the block basement, for a few bottles of course.  The thing i want to know is, how dangerous is it?  Can anything explode?  I'm really picturing the Simpsons episode where Homer becomes the Beer Baron  ;D

Offline tubercle

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Re: A really stupid question...
« Reply #1 on: July 17, 2011, 02:16:16 PM »
Number one concern in a basement would be the heat source. If using electric you're OK. Propane or natural gas might be a real concern from a ventalation stand point.

Nothing to explode from the beer or ingreidents but propane or natural gas leaks can make for a spectualcular news story.

 Not to mention carbon monoxide poisoning :(
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Offline gmac

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Re: A really stupid question...
« Reply #2 on: July 17, 2011, 02:38:57 PM »
Are you going to boil in the basement or ferment?  I boil outside and then move the beer to the basement to ferment but in the winter I've been guilty of boiling in the basement.  Make sure that you have lots of ventilation and don't store the propane tanks in the basement.  Best bet is outside. 
Beyond that, if you over carbonate, bottles can blow but that can easily be avoided by asking for advice on here and doing a bit of reading. 
Soon, you'll be the local beer baron. 



Offline rightasrain

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Re: A really stupid question...
« Reply #3 on: July 17, 2011, 04:15:43 PM »
Well I'm still a newb as well so anyone feel free to correct me, but like Gmac said. If your going to be starting with extract kits. You really don't have much to worry about. Assuming your boiling in your apartment which should be just fine. Just make sure that you invest in something to take gravity readings. If your buying a starter kit, most come with a hydrometer. The only explosions I can think of that you might be worried about is exploding bottles. That happens when the gravity is too high and the yeast have too much sugar to ferment within the bottle, which in turn produces co2. A little is good cause it makes carbonation in your beer. A lot will make a bottle blow up in your face! Well probably not really you'll just have a mess to clean. But the general rule is 1 week in the first fermenter. 2 in the second fermenter. I'm guessing 3 weeks if your only using one fermenter.
 
If your thinking of going all grain. I don't know if I would suggest doing that in most basements. It requires a propane burner and i'm not so sure that would be the best idea, unless the basement has really good ventilation and you don't have fire hazards. This is the same reason I don't have the oppertunity to go all grain right now.

I wish I could go all grain though. I love brewing beer. But I can make some pretty good beer with extract. I've even made a few recipes from scratch that have turned out pretty dang good.
« Last Edit: July 17, 2011, 04:26:58 PM by rightasrain »
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Offline oscarvan

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Re: A really stupid question...
« Reply #4 on: July 17, 2011, 07:35:34 PM »
There are electric kettles that will do all grain..... I mean, all  that's different from a kit is that first you first heat some water, then you mash. After that, the boil is a boil, kit or all grain.
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Offline morticaixavier

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Re: A really stupid question...
« Reply #5 on: July 17, 2011, 10:35:05 PM »
I have done the majority of my all grain brewing on a normal house stove. I have a big 50 litre kettle that will usually cover two burners and it still takes a while to get a boil going but it works. No nothing it gonna explode. but you should not go by any rule of thumb that says x weeks in primary and your done. you are done when you are done the hydrometer is key to this. do not bottle until you get two or three stable readings a few days apart. having received that call at work 'honey there is beer leaking out of the box of stout' I will not hesitate to say that again. do not bottle until you get 2 or 3 stable readings.

but most important. have fun! relax, have a beer (after the wort is in the fermenter)
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Offline euge

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Re: A really stupid question...
« Reply #6 on: July 17, 2011, 11:19:29 PM »
Welcome to the AHA forum lunar!

I have an 80qt that gets fired by 2 gas burners on my kitchen stove. I have other more powerful burners but having a vent-hood and air conditioning is nice. It is homebrewing after all. ;)

Start with some extract batches to get a feel for it along with bottling and kegging. That ought to keep you entertained for a while. If you like brewing move on up to something more complex like all-grain.
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Offline scooter2374

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Re: A really stupid question...
« Reply #7 on: July 18, 2011, 09:25:41 AM »
Welcome aboard Lunar. Like the other shave stated just watch your venting. Good luck to you.
AHA member since '10

Offline rightasrain

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Re: A really stupid question...
« Reply #8 on: July 18, 2011, 04:20:36 PM »
Actually, I agree with morticaixavier. I have a batch that is on 2 1/2 weeks in the second and is still fermenting slowly so I have delayed in bottling it. Another option to a hydrometer is a refractometer. In my opinion they are much better and after breaking two hydrometers in two consecutive batches, worth the extra dough. http://www.midwestsupplies.com/refractometer-atc-with-brix-and-sg-scale.html Amazon.com has some decent priced ones as well.
"Rogues are willing to shun titles and personal financial success in the  pursuit of the greater good.
Rogues pursue the long shot.
Rogues have respect for diversity.
Rogues work hard.
Rogues are driven to succeed in their chosen field.
Rogues are honest with themselves and others.
Rogues are rebels."
- www.rogue.com