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So I've got this feeling that I'm not the only one on this forum who enjoys making my own alcoholic beverage. I started brewing my own beer about a year ago and it's becoming a hobby that I value more and more (not at the expense of my bladesmithing, off course). I've noticed already that I can use some of my bladesmithing experience while brewing, I have for instance rigged up pid-controller for accurate temperature control of my mash tun. As we know from http://www.bladesmithsforum.com/index.php?showtopic=6905 beer and blacksmithing goes hand in hand ;)

 

Maybe it's time we could start comparing notes about malts, hops, yeasts and other goodies that go into the magic brew pot?

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I've been interested in trying my hand at beer and mead. I'd be interested in this, for the knowledge.

Dan

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Man, its 7:15 in the morning and I'm at work. Now I'm going to be thinking about having a beer for the next ten hours.

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Man, its 7:15 in the morning and I'm at work. Now I'm going to be thinking about having a beer for the next ten hours.

I'm stuck on the boat where I work for the next three and half weeks, no beer here for safety reasons :wacko: Still planning the two batches I'm going to brew when I come home makes the wait a little bit easier, I'm making an IPA and a heavily hopped dark Belgian strong ale. And I'm also looking forward to sampling the brown ale I bottled just before leaving, the conditioning should be just about right when I arrive home :)

Edited by Leif S
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Respect! That's keeping it old school, Tyler!


It'll be the first time I've planted it and the second time I've helped with malting, so I'm expecting a pretty steep learning curve. What malts do you find yourself using most?

I meant to say this in my previous post, but you beat me to editting: the PID controller for the mash tun is a really cool idea. Puts my foam wrapped coolers to shame. Edited by Tyler Miller
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I mostly use Maris Otter as a base for all my brews and most of them also get a pinch of melanoiden, the rest of the grain bill varies from brew to brew. I'll post some recipes once I get brewing again.

Yeah, I'm excited about the pid. I've only used it once so far, it worked OK with a K-type thermocouple, but I thing I'm switching over to an RPD next time. It both controls the heat source and a pump that circulates the wort so that it heats up evenly. Haven't run it with the pump yet, but it should make step mashing a dream.

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Leif, that's a very cool setup. You've given me a lot to think about--I'm not the most technologically creative.

 

I haven't ever tried working with melanoidin malts--they're used predominantly for malty lagers, no?

Edited by Tyler Miller
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I use melanoiden in just about everything, they give a nice malty flavor to the beer and a slightly redish colour. It's basically the same as dark munich malt, maybe a bit more aromatic, normally I throw in 5 to 10%.

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Hmm, blueberry mead, sounds interesting. A buddy of mine made apple mead not long ago, basically mead where the water was changed with apple juice. It was nice, but tasted more like cider sweetened with honey that mead. I still haven't made mead, but when I do I might throw a few apples in, just for that extra crisp bite.

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There are a number of meads

 

Mead Styles
  • Mead (M.'ee.d) - made with honey, water and yeast optionally with flavoring ingredients
  • Hydromel (Hy'.dre.mel) - the French name for mead
  • Sack mead (Sak') - a sweeter mead, with more honey
  • Melomel (Mel'.o.mel) - mead made with fruit or fruit juice
  • Metheglin (Me.theg'.lin) - mead made with spices and extracts
  • Morat (Mor'.at) - mead made with mulberries
  • Acerglin (Ace'.cerg.lin) - mead made with maple syrup
  • Pyment (Pie'.ment) - mead made with both honey and grapes
  • Hippocras (Hip'.po.cras ) - honey, grapes, and spices
  • Cyser (Sy'.zer) - honey and apples or apple cider (apple juice in Europe) Can also be made with peach, cherry or pear cider
  • Braggot (Brag'.got)- honey and malt, sort of a mead-beer
  • Oxymel (Ox'.ee.mel) - mead mixed with wine vinegar
  • Rhodomel (Road'.o.mel) - honey with attar, a rose petal distillate, or rose petals
  • Capsicumel (Caps'.sic.cu.mel) - honey with chile peppers
  • Omphacomel (Ohm'.pha.co.mel) - mead and verjuice, the juice of unripe grapes
  • T'ej (T'.Ej (Ej as in Edge)) - T'ej is honey, water and hops. It is the national drink of Ethiopia, and has a unique taste
  • Bochet (Bo-SHAY) - sack mead that has been burnt or charred
  • Rhyzamel (RISE-uh-mel) - mead made with root vegetables
  • Lactomel (LACK-toe (as in "big toe")-mel) - mead made with milk

(With thanks to http://www.gotmead.com/ )

 

I've made a simple mead, dry meads (champange yeasts), and a Melomel with oriental plums that my friends are still talking about.

 

I've got a show in a couple of weeks, so no time to brew, but the 1st of May is my target for a brew day or two. An IPA and then a Russian Imperial, and then my house red ale.

 

Makes mouth water!

 

Geoff

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I made some backberry melomel it was almost like drinking good port. My wifes uncle owns a strawberry field so I had to try strawberry wine, some was really good some was terrible. I extract brew the beer I make a good cascade ale. I don't know about other parts of the U.S. but in the northwest micro brewing or craft brewing is taken seriously.

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Hmm, blueberry mead, sounds interesting. A buddy of mine made apple mead not long ago, basically mead where the water was changed with apple juice. It was nice, but tasted more like cider sweetened with honey that mead. I still haven't made mead, but when I do I might throw a few apples in, just for that extra crisp bite.

A bit of apple juice will add acid, no bad thing with mead since it usually needs some to work well anyhow. But I'm in agreement with you, mead should be mead and cider cider.

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I tried my hand at beer a little bit ago. So far I've done two batches from kits to get a feel for it. Both came out more to my liking then what I've bought. Sometime soon I want to try a couple of other things.

 

ron

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Sounds like you're turning into a fellow hop head, Ron. There's no turning back now. I'm quite envious of the homebrewer tradition you have in the US. Homebrewing is on the rise here in Norway, but it still seams like you are decades ahead of us. Thanks to the internet we're catching up fast, though :)

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I never liked beer until I was stationed in Germany. I tried some there and what a revelation. I took leave and while in England I tried "cask ale" and really like that. My goal is to get something close to that. I haven't found anything resembling cask ale here and can't afford the imports I like or the local microbrews that are decent. Just can't seem to get the generic, bland American stuff past my palate.

 

ron

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An excellent idea for this board! There are plenty of bb about brewing, most hosted by brewing supply companies (go figure). However, I think the best thing about having this here, is the same thing that makes other stuff here so great. There is no political agenda here. And noone is trying to sell me hops by the pound. :)

 

I have been brewing for about 18 months now. All grain for most of it. I am still experimenting, but have two things that I like in general. The most recent batch of stout is dry, bitter, and I really like it. Not everyone's idea of good ale, to be sure, but then that is all right. It was bittered with heather tips and wormwood. 5.4 abv, black as ebony, and lots of chocolate malt and roasted barley. Dryer than Guinness Foriegn Extra, but that is the most similar commercial brew I have tasted.

 

My other "regular" thing is a brown ale with biscuit malt and just a bit of roasted barley, fermented with Wyeast 3711, which I did not expect to like, but do, very much indeed.

 

I was going to brew this afternoon, but did not get back from the family feed/visit with quite enough time.

 

I got into this because of a thread here on this board about mead, and my sister's bees, and have done three batches of mead so far. The next one will be very strongly ginger and a little bit of horseradish. I did a one gallon experiment, and loved it, so it's moving up to 5 gallons next time. :)

Edited by Howard Clark
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Great stuff, Howard! Sounds tasty!

I haven't gotten around
to putting other spices than hops in my beer yet, but I'm going to. I plan to brew the same porter I made a while back only the next time I'm going to ad chillies to it. The porter was packed full of chocolate malt and even at 6.5% ABV it wasn't heavy to drink, it carbonated heavily in the bottles which made me call it a "ballistic porter". I think some habanero and chipotles will go excellent in there.

 

Next up for me is an IIPA with Colombus, Simcoe, Amarillo and Nelson Sauvin hops, then it's a Dark Belgian Strong Ale with lots of rye, caramel rye and Nelson Sauvin hops :D

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Leif there is a book about brewing traditionally in Norway, ahored by a fellow named Odd Nordland. It is quoted several times in "Sacred Herbal and Healing Beers" by Stephen Harrod Buhner. It would be worth looking for on the used book market in Norway I should think. I can't read Norwegian, but surely we know somehone who could? ;)

 

I use mostly Rahr Pale Ale Malt as a base (it's inexpensive and good), and have settled on two yeast strains that ferment out very completely, leaving a dry ale. Wyeast 3711 which is claimed to be a French Saison farm ale strain (tastes like Belgian yeast to me, and is listed in that catagory on the Wyeast site), and White Labs 007, which is an English style yeast that is very fast, and very flocculant.

 

When the spring growth really arrives, I am going to try one of the ideas from Buhner's book, supposedly from Norway, and use my Norway spruce wind break to harvest some growing tips and have a go with spruce ale.

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Thanks for the tip! I'm looking into it. So far it seems like that book is hard to get hold of, but it is available in English.

I've never heard of the use of spruce, but juniper was commonly used for bittering and has anti-bacterial properties.

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The book is called "Brewing and beer traditions in Norway : the social anthropological background of the brewing industry" and since it's an academic text is only written in English. It's hard to get, but my local university library has it. Guess I'll have to fire up the scanner ;)

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