Author Topic: What to do when you can't brew  (Read 1586 times)

Offline sailortodd

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What to do when you can't brew
« on: November 04, 2011, 11:23:54 PM »
In part I'm seeking ideas, but I am also giving an idea (maybe two).

Let's set this up. I am currently in Bahrain, a Muslim country where alcohol is tightly controlled and supplies are hard to come by. Worse, I'm on a ship here, so it's impossible to actually brew. It means I'm stuck unable to brew and I can't get my hands on any craft beer (none at all out in town, the best I can do is Guinness or maybe Killkenny, otherwise it's some standard European or American golden lager). Needless to say, I'm suffering from hop withdrawal. I'm also suffering from hobby withdrawal, as, between brewing and researching my next brew, I was able to occupy several hours of my weeks. Being on a ship actually stationed in Bahrain (rather than one that deploys to here and is underway and busy most of the time), I have some time on my hands that needs to be filled.

Enter pipe smoking. This has recently become the passion that fills the void left by brewing (don't get me wrong, I'm still passionate about brewing, but cannot act on it). It's a pastime that requires you to refine your technique for the best smoking experience, occupies an hour per bowlful of tobacco and allows you to hone your skill at flavor profiling. Anyone else an avid smoker?

Anyone else been faced with times they can't brew and need something to fill that time?
Beer: so much more than just a breakfast drink.

Offline punatic

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Re: What to do when you can't brew
« Reply #1 on: November 04, 2011, 11:38:34 PM »
From a jarhead:

Raisin Jack
There is only one success: to be able to spend your life in your own way.


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Offline Pinski

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Re: What to do when you can't brew
« Reply #2 on: November 04, 2011, 11:40:00 PM »
Stogies and whiskies.  Those are great fun to pair.
Thank you BEER!

Offline punatic

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Re: What to do when you can't brew
« Reply #3 on: November 04, 2011, 11:43:41 PM »
BTW sailortodd, thank you for your service!
There is only one success: to be able to spend your life in your own way.


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Offline euge

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Re: What to do when you can't brew
« Reply #4 on: November 05, 2011, 12:35:46 AM »
BTW sailortodd, thank you for your service!

+1

Anyway the recipe is intriguing. I'm assuming that for the white grapes and the raisins a gallon can is just a measurement? Why not let the batch ferment a bit longer?

The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. -Richard P. Feynman

Offline tschmidlin

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Re: What to do when you can't brew
« Reply #5 on: November 05, 2011, 01:54:39 AM »
Agreed, thanks for serving.

euge, I imagine after more than 3 days it might go off, best to drink it young.  Drinking while young is generally the normal procedure with spontaneously fermented drinks.

I don't know what other hobbies I'd take up, but smoking isn't one of them.  It just doesn't agree with me.  I do a bunch of things to fill time besides brewing, but I can't imagine smoking a pork butt would go over well on the ship.

You know your constraints better than I do, but cheese making might be something you can try.  Or maybe you could learn some skills that will be useful for brewing - learn to weld, learn how to deal with electronics to build an automated system, that kind of stuff.  Or just read all of the brewing books you can find.

I don't know, I'm just making stuff up.  When time got tight after my kids were born I took up bread making.  It let me still use yeast, make something the whole family could enjoy, and didn't require as much dedicated time and constant attention.  But that's probably not something you can do either.
Tom Schmidlin

Offline dzlater

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Re: What to do when you can't brew
« Reply #6 on: November 05, 2011, 05:29:18 AM »
I took up pipe smoking about 6 months ago and am enjoying the heck out of it.  ;D
It does take a while to get the hang of, but it's worth it.
I haven't tried too many blends, mostly smoke Prince Albert, and Carter Hall.
I have a few cobs, a cheap basket briar, and a Ropp cherry wood I got off ebay for a buck.
I learned a bunch of stuff here http://pipesmokersforum.com/community/ it's a pretty chill place.
If you sign up for the forum I am "homebrewer"  :)
Dan

Offline kgs

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Re: What to do when you can't brew
« Reply #7 on: November 05, 2011, 06:35:04 AM »
Eeesh, pipe smoking... yuck. Aside from the health concerns (peridontal disease, oral cancer... I'm tending a cat with oral cancer, and it ain't pretty), it's a hobby that may turn off people you'd like to be around.

+1 to honing your skills. Many brewing books are available as eBooks. Getting deep into brewing math and chemistry is another direction. 

Thanks also for serving. I did too, and regarding your current tour, I can tell you, this too shall pass.
K.G. Schneider
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Offline euge

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Re: What to do when you can't brew
« Reply #8 on: November 05, 2011, 10:50:37 AM »
Thanks Tom that makes sense. I've never had to drink anything spontaneously fermented. That I know of. ;D

So how about doing some training? Isn't there something you could study/train for during your deployment that will help your rating?
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. -Richard P. Feynman

Offline oscarvan

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Re: What to do when you can't brew
« Reply #9 on: November 05, 2011, 03:31:05 PM »
Bud of mine stuck in the sand box mentioned something about apple juice and bread yeast.......
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http://www.woodenshoemusic.com/WSBW/WSBW_All_grain_Setup.html
I brew WITH style..... not necessarily TO style.....

Offline Joe Sr.

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Re: What to do when you can't brew
« Reply #10 on: November 05, 2011, 03:35:12 PM »
Stogies and whiskies.  Those are great fun to pair.

This is one of my indulgences.  But that doesn't help you in Bahrain.

Had all the kids occupied a few nights ago and thought I'd sneak a stogie.  Fired it up, sat down (on the porch) with a bourbon and BLAM.  The boy woke up within 15 minutes...

If you can get apple cider, that should spontaneously ferment as well.  Or just some apple juice and yeast.

Boy woke up, got to go...
It's all in the reflexes. - Jack Burton

Offline punatic

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Re: What to do when you can't brew
« Reply #11 on: November 05, 2011, 04:09:45 PM »
Had all the kids occupied a few nights ago and thought I'd sneak a stogie.  Fired it up, sat down (on the porch) with a bourbon and BLAM.  The boy woke up within 15 minutes...

Sounds like you'll be sittin', smokin', sippin' and tellin' lies with that boy in the not so distant future.  He's got a nose for it already!   :D
There is only one success: to be able to spend your life in your own way.


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Offline Joe Sr.

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Re: What to do when you can't brew
« Reply #12 on: November 05, 2011, 05:19:56 PM »
He's Joe Jr. after all. But his sisters will keep him honest.
It's all in the reflexes. - Jack Burton

Offline Wheat_Brewer

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Re: What to do when you can't brew
« Reply #13 on: November 05, 2011, 05:31:13 PM »
In part I'm seeking ideas, but I am also giving an idea (maybe two).

Let's set this up. I am currently in Bahrain, a Muslim country where alcohol is tightly controlled and supplies are hard to come by. Worse, I'm on a ship here, so it's impossible to actually brew. It means I'm stuck unable to brew and I can't get my hands on any craft beer (none at all out in town, the best I can do is Guinness or maybe Killkenny, otherwise it's some standard European or American golden lager). Needless to say, I'm suffering from hop withdrawal. I'm also suffering from hobby withdrawal, as, between brewing and researching my next brew, I was able to occupy several hours of my weeks. Being on a ship actually stationed in Bahrain (rather than one that deploys to here and is underway and busy most of the time), I have some time on my hands that needs to be filled.

Enter pipe smoking. This has recently become the passion that fills the void left by brewing (don't get me wrong, I'm still passionate about brewing, but cannot act on it). It's a pastime that requires you to refine your technique for the best smoking experience, occupies an hour per bowlful of tobacco and allows you to hone your skill at flavor profiling. Anyone else an avid smoker?

Anyone else been faced with times they can't brew and need something to fill that time?

Been there, done those tours. While definitely in violation of General Order #1, here's our recipe for some homemade Jack.

Take a standard issue metal trash can or something similar. Clean out for your own sake, but if you have to make do you make do with some "extras" in your recipe. Take all the non-alcholic beer from the DEFAC as possible, pour it all into your trash can and put over a fire. From here there's two techniques, but your best one is to capture the fumes (by any means necessary, every good soldier can improvise this) into another trash can (cleaned out). The other technique is to order some brewers yeast and ferment the non-alcholic beer out and you may need to add some sugar . Take some DEFAC sugar...sugar packets if you have to...and in a tablespoon (also stolen) burn the heck out of it. Add that to your captured distilled liquor. Take some oak cubes, I would just order them from online, and nearly burn them in a flame...throw those in the mix. Add sugar when finished if necessary, but in general you have some make sift Jack Daniels.

We were able to ferment the non-alcholic beer, then distill it, add the burned sugar (which does color) and the burned oak cubes (flavor and color) to the point of it actually tasting like Jack.

Obviously you need to hide the booze from the CO/1SG, or if you're the CO/1SG you'll need to bribe you're other half to keep them quiet ;)

Perfecting this kept me busy for a few months.

Cheers!
Casey
Homebrewing isn't my obsession, it's my life calling, there's a difference.

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jaybeerman

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Re: What to do when you can't brew
« Reply #14 on: November 05, 2011, 05:44:12 PM »
Enter pipe smoking. This has recently become the passion that fills the void left by brewing (don't get me wrong, I'm still passionate about brewing, but cannot act on it). It's a pastime that requires you to refine your technique for the best smoking experience, occupies an hour per bowlful of tobacco and allows you to hone your skill at flavor profiling. Anyone else an avid smoker?

Anyone else been faced with times they can't brew and need something to fill that time?

Good for you; it's all about looking over your curent situation and going with the best option.  I love(d) cigars and then to cut back went to a pipe and nowdays I thoroughly enjoy tea (of course, I'm replacing tobacco rather than beer and brewing).  There are a multitude of flavors to be had by steeping various herbs, spices and tea.  The mixing and matching could very easily replace beer brewing (for a time). Does reading about brewing make the matter worse?  Reading does occupy the mind (for a time).  Good luck and hang in.  cheers, j