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Contradiction in Terms : How to make beer

By Sgt York in Culture
Fri Nov 05, 2004 at 10:49:12 AM EST
Tags: Food (all tags)

It's been around for thousands of years. It has been worshiped, reviled, banned, and made the cornerstone of economies. It has helped us celebrate, weep, relax, and get laid. And now we're going to make some. A pint, a glass, an ale, a lager, a beer.

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I'm probably not the only one that brews beer on K5, and I'm sure there are more skilled brewers out there than I, but here's my intro to the process.

Materials : In traditional beer, there are four, and only four ingredients. These are malt, hops, water, and yeast.

Malt : This is partially germinated barley grain. The grain is wetted, allowed to barely sprout, and is then dried or roasted to stop the process. There are a variety of barley types that can be used, and there are a variety of ways that is can be malted. By altering germination time, drying time, and drying temperature, the flavor, color, and body properties of the malt can be varied. A brewer rarely uses one type of grain in a batch of beer.

The grains are crushed and then undergo mashing. Mashing is a process in which the brewer incubates the grains at varying temperatures, enticing the activity of different enzymes at different times to get the mash how they want it by varying the degree to which the components of the grain are broken down. This is an art form in itself, and we won't be fully covering it in the article, we're going to keep it simple. For the beginner, you can make use of extract. Extract is available in syrup and dried forms, and is simply grain that has been malted and mashed, then had most (or all) of the water removed. It is readily available at your local brewing supply store.

Now, some people are of the opinion that malt also encompasses other grains such as wheat, or even corn and rice. These people probably also think that McDonald's makes one fantastic burger. Wheat is fine in certain styles, but corn and rice are reserved for those special brews, such as Budweiser, Miller, and Urine.

Hops : If you made a beer from just malt, the result would probably be a sickly sweet concoction that is virtually undrinkable. Hops were originally used as a preservative agent, preventing that enemy of all beers, oxidation. They have the added benefit of bittering the beer, giving it the desired flavor. Hops start out as flowers, which are picked and dried. They are available as pellets, plugs, and loose hops. Each brewer will have his preferred type, depending on availability and taste. Loose hops often give the best flavor, but have a short shelf life. Plugs are intermediate, and pellets are highly compressed, have a longer shelf life, and are easier to use. I use loose hops if domestic, and pellets or plugs if imported.

There are many varieties of hops, each with its own distinct flavoring characteristics, and use in different styles of beer. One thing to look for is the alpha-acid content. This content dictates how bitter the hops are; the higher the number, the more bitter it is. Alpha acid content varies from crop to crop, and from source to source as well as among the different strains. Hops must be boiled to give proper flavor.

Water : This is often overlooked by the first-time brewer. The two common mistakes are using tap water or distilled water, to equally disastrous results. Tap water has chlorine in it, and often can be too "hard" or "soft", and can adversely affect the quality of the beer. Distilled water has no salts, and often results in "stuck" fermentation. Spring water is the best, but some really adventurous brewers make their own by adding salts to distilled water in an attempt to match water used at certain famous breweries. Tap water is OK, and can be used for beer, I just don't like to. Spring water (IMO) give better results. If you use tap water, and it is heavily chlorinated, heat it first to get the chlorine out.

Yeast : ah, the yeast. At this point, all we have is wort, the combination of the hops, water, and malt. This magical little fungus that turns syrupy wort into lovely beer by fermentation. Again, there is a wide variety of yeast available, in various strains in forms from dried packets to liquid culture. Liquid culture is a bit more difficult to work with, but it is worth the effort. I typically use yeast from Wyeast labs in Oregon.

Your equipment:

  • Two 5 gallon glass carboys. This is like a water cooler container, but made of glass. Plastic is OK, but needs a bit more care for sterilization. I prefer glass. You will also need a bored stopper for the carboys; this is just a rubber stopper with a hole in it just a little smaller than the outside diameter of your tubing.
  • Some pliable plastic tubing, about 3-4 feet, inch internal diameter
  • Siphoning apparatus : This will include a candy-cane shaped hard plastic tube and a shorter straight tube with a spring-release valve at the end (you can push it in to open it). These are your canes.
  • Bottles : Sam Adams bottles are just about perfect. You'll need a little more than 2 cases worth
  • Caps & a capper : The capper is a plastic or metal hand operated tool for capping your bottles
  • Bleach
  • A large stockpot. Enamel-on-steel is the best, but a standard steel one works well, too. It needs to be big. The bigger, the better.
  • A funnel that fits into your carboy neck, and about 12" across at the top.
  • A stove. Gas is best. Electric works, but is harder to control.
  • A long handled spoon for stirring.

The day before, activate your yeast. The packets come as suspended yeast with a packet of growth media in the middle. You activate it by slapping it hard to burst the packet, mixing the yeast & media. The yeast is ready when it looks like the bag is about to explode.

Now for the sterilization. Be sure to do this thoroughly, both in sterilization and rinsing. Too little sterilization and you can get an "infected" beer. Although no known human pathogens can survive in beer, there are a lot of bacteria that will make it taste like old wet cardboard, sour milk or dirt. Also, sure that you get all the bleach out when you're done. The bleach will oxidize the beer, kill the yeast, and can make it taste like a swimming pool.

Fill your bathtub, or some other large container. Add in some bleach and put the bottles in, making sure they are completely filled. Toss in the tubing and the stopper as well. Let them soak for an hour or so and then dump the bleach out. Cover the opening with foil and set them aside; don't worry about rinsing yet. Rinse the tubing and the stopper generously and set aside.

Fill your carboys with bleach solution as well. Let it soak for about an hour and then rinse with tap water generously, at least 5-7 volumes. You want no bleach left. Cover with foil, and set aside.

The recipe:

Contradiction in Terms : The closest style would be an extra-special bitter (ESB). This is a high-gravity (lots of malt), heavily hopped beer, and is one of my favorite styles. It is also easy to make and requires the least time. (Sorry about the US units, but that's how it is sold here, and it's how I formulate my recipes. You can always convert the units, though)

You will need:

  • 3 lbs Amber malt extract
  • 5 lbs Light malt extract
  • 2 oz Challenger hops (acid 8.4%)
  • 1 oz Fuggles hops (acid 5.7%)
  • 1 package British ale yeast (Wyeast 1098)
  • About 6 gallons of spring water
  • 3/4c priming sugar (cheating a little)
The wort:

Fill your stockpot about halfway with spring water and heat it. Slowly add the extract, stirring constantly. The extract will come in a can or a plastic bucket; it helps to soak the container in hot water before to loosen up the extract. Make sure the extract does not stay on the bottom, as it will burn.

Heat the water to boiling, watching carefully. This stuff will boil over very easily and make a huge mess, so be ready to shut off the gas at a moments notice. If you are using electrics, have potholders ready to get the pot off the element quickly.

Once it is at a rolling boil, add half of the Challenger, and set a timer for 15 minutes. Watch it now! Wort has a bad tendency to boil over when you add hops.

When the timer goes off, add the Fuggles and set the timer for 25 minutes. When that goes off, add the last of the Challenger and wait 10 minutes.

Now, take the stockpot off and put the lid on it. Set it in your sink in an ice water bath to cool.

Using the funnel, add about 3 gallons of water to your carboy. Once the wort has reached a manageable temperature (i.e., won't shatter the glass) pour it in, and let it splash around. At this point, oxygenated wort is good. Feel the side of the carboy. It should be comfortably warm, right at about body temperature. If touching it is even slightly uncomfortable, wait before proceeding.

Once it has cooled to about body temperature (37C / 98F), pitch the yeast. Open the packet and pour the slurry in. Fill the carboy with water to about 5 gallons.


Put the stopper in the top and push the tubing into the hole for a tight fit. Take the other end of the tubing and put it in a container of water. This acts as a poor man's valve, ensuring no exchange of air. You want the yeast to use up all the oxygen so they'll ferment.

Now wait about 4-5 days. There will be a lot of activity, foam will build and fall, there may be a mess. Make sure the temperature stays steady, don't put it in the garage. It's your baby. It likes stable temperature and darkness. A closet is perfect, just be sure to put a towel under it. Like any baby, it can make a mess.

Once the fermentation has slowed, transfer the beer to the other carboy by siphoning. Use the cane and tubing for this. Try to keep the tubing low in the accepting vessel, you don't want a lot of air exchange at this point. The secondary vessel is optional, but if you choose not to do it, go ahead and bottle your beer a week after pitching the yeast. Don't wait more than 10 days, or the yeast may start to lyse, and give your beer a metallic taste.

Set your valve up again and let that sit for another week to ten days.


Take the bottles that have been sitting and rinse them out. It should only take 1-2 volumes to do so at this point. Setting them aside like that for a few days has allowed the chlorine to evaporate away, and since they were covered, they should still be sterile. Once again, sterilize and rinse the hell out of your tubing and canes.

Fill a small saucepan with water and set it to boil. Add the priming sugar and boil it for 5 minutes (to sterilize). Let it cool and add it to the beer, mixing well with the hooked cane. This is the stuff that makes your beer fizzy.

Now siphon your beer into the bottles. Put the hooked cane into your carboy and attach the tubing to it. Attach the spring loaded cane to the other end. Pushing the cane into the bottom of the bottle opens the valve, filling the bottle. Fill each bottle and cap it quickly. Make sure the spring cane doesn't touch the floor; a good place to put it during capping is in the next bottle.

Set the bottles aside for about two weeks. Since this is live beer, with the yeast still in the bottle, it will get better with age, to a point. This is especially true of high gravity beers; I normally let stouts and porters age for several months before enjoying them. This one is good after a few weeks, though.


Pour the beer into a glass, don't drink it from the bottle. There is some yeast in the bottom, and if you drink it, people won't want to be around you. It can wreak havoc on some people's intestinal flora. It's not bad for you, in fact it is quite nutritious, it just gives some people really bad gas. And some people (like me) dislike the taste. Just pour it slowly, watching for the sediment to come up. You'll wind up leaving about a half inch in the bottom of the bottle.

This is my favorite extract-only beer, and it has a wide range of appeal. It also happens to be quite alcoholic, about 7% by volume. You can try more complicated brews, like partial and full mash techniques, and you'll certainly want to experiment with different grains, hops, yeast, and styles. This beer is an ale; lagers use different yeast and have some special techniques associated with their preparation. You may want to experiment there, as well.

For further reading, check out these books.


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Contradiction in Terms : How to make beer | 121 comments (76 topical, 45 editorial, 0 hidden)
im drunk (1.16 / 6) (#4)
by finality on Thu Nov 04, 2004 at 06:05:21 AM EST

muhfugger rorst lol
This account has been anonymised. If you can give a good reason why, email rusty@kuro5hin.org, as he is obviously lacking one.
I've read in places (1.66 / 3) (#9)
by Verbophobe on Thu Nov 04, 2004 at 08:43:30 AM EST

...that home-made alcohols, such as moonshine, have a tendency to create a certain amount of methanol during the initial stages of fermentation and later switching to ethanol.  I guess this is undesirable, since methanol not only tastes horrible, but is quite toxic.

My question is whether your method described above would produce any and, if not, why, exactly, doesn't it.

Proud member of the Canadian Broadcorping Castration

It could (2.50 / 2) (#13)
by Sgt York on Thu Nov 04, 2004 at 09:50:51 AM EST

But not in levels that are hazardous. Moonshine can have toxic levels of methanol due to the distillation process.

There is a reason for everything. Sometimes, that reason just sucks.
[ Parent ]

As a non-drinker... (2.50 / 2) (#51)
by BigZaphod on Fri Nov 05, 2004 at 12:22:31 PM EST

What is moonshine as compared to this beer?  I've always thought it was just home-brewed beer except that you were required to do it outside in the depths of a forest somewhere while wearing a scraggly beard and tore up pants, no shirt, and suspenders.  :-)

"We're all patients, there are no doctors, our meds ran out a long time ago and nobody loves us." - skyknight
[ Parent ]
homebrew vs. moonshine (2.50 / 2) (#57)
by phrits on Fri Nov 05, 2004 at 01:36:26 PM EST

Beer is fermented, made mostly from barley; moonshine is fermented and then distilled, made most traditionally from corn. In concept, it's the difference between a can of Budwiser and a jug of Jack Daniels (although most whiskeys are made from grains other than corn). Wine is also fermented, but it's typically made from grapes and is fermented with yeasts that are able to withstand higher-than-beer concentrations of alcohol before dying. I guess, conceptually, the undistilled but fermented corn product could be considered corn wine, but that's an idea too grotesque to pursue. If you distill wine, you get brandy. (I think that cognac is a kind of brandy made from champagne, but I could have it backwards.)

Beer and wine are typically legal to make at home in the US, although most states probably limit quantities. I know of nowhere in the US that distilling your own booze is legal, but I could very well be wrong. I've also seen ads in magazines for miniature distilleries to take a bottle of your favorite wine and turn it into a glass or so of brandy.

The scraggly beard, btw, is optional if you have someone nearby pickin' a banjo, unless you also have an old woman smoking a corncob pipe. In that case, she should be the one with the beard.

[ Parent ]
cognac (none / 0) (#75)
by Norkakn on Fri Nov 05, 2004 at 03:16:30 PM EST

cognac is various ages of brandies mixed together and aged together over time.

So they will take some 1 year old cognac and mix it with some 5 year old, and then age it for a couple more, then mix it with some other age cognac and so on.  At the end they let the whole thing sit for a number of years and age on the bottle is the age of the youngest brandy in the cognac.

Hmm, hopefully that made sense

[ Parent ]

Brandy, cognac; no bucks, though. (none / 0) (#115)
by gruk on Thu Nov 11, 2004 at 10:49:59 AM EST

Erm, cognac is brandy distilled (and I believe aged) in the district of Cognac, France.

[ Parent ]
Um... no (none / 0) (#122)
by ChefSalad on Sun Feb 19, 2006 at 03:23:55 PM EST

While they do mix in small amounts of older brandies in with the newer brandies when making cognac, much like you said, that has nothing to do with it being called cognac. They do that so that the flavor of the finished bottle of cognac is consistant from year to year. This is also done with whiskeys and most other barrel-aged liquors. (It's also interesting to note that all liquor comes out clear and gets its brown color from the charred barrel it's aged in. Furthermore, bourbon whiskey can only be aged in new charred white oak barrels, but most other liquors don't have that requirement. As such, nearly all barrel-aged liquors are aged in used bourbon barrels, including Scotch Whisky and Cognac.) Like bourbon and scotch, cognac is name controlled. To be called cognac, a brandy must meet quite a few qualifications. First, it must contain only liqours distilled from white wines grown in the six crus (growing regions) of Cognac, France. They must be distilled using double-distillation in a specific type of copper distillation apparatus. Those liquors are a type of brandy called eaux-de-vie (water of life). The eaux-de-vie used in cognac must be distilled from wines made from a specific set of grape varieties, although other eaux-de-vie are produced from different grapes and sold for their own right. Cognac is a blend of those eaux-de-vie which must be aged for at least two years in charred white oak barrels in Cognac before it can even be called cognac. At that time it is awarded the grade of *** or VS (Very Special). When the youngest brandy in the barrel reaches four years, it is graded VSOP (Very Superior, Old and Pale). After seven years it reaches the status of XO (eXtra Old). A cognac can be called "Fine Champagne" if it contains 100% wines from the Grande Champagne and Petite Champagne crus, with at least 51% from the Grande Champagne region.

I was anonymized for submitting rusty fanfic to the queue in poor taste involving gay sex, aids, and a rusty nail. Let me serve as lesson for all.
[ Parent ]
Good analogy (none / 0) (#87)
by regeya on Fri Nov 05, 2004 at 11:50:03 PM EST

Nice example, too, since Tennessee is one place known for its corn whiskey. :-D

I don't know about Jack Daniel's, but Jim Beam (yeah, I know; technically it's a different type of whiskey, shut up :-P) has corn, rye, and barley in it. Bourbon must have at least 51% corn in the mash.

Personally I prefer bourbon to Tennessee whiskey, but to each their own. :-P

[ yokelpunk | kuro5hin diary ]
[ Parent ]

Addition (none / 0) (#88)
by regeya on Fri Nov 05, 2004 at 11:58:24 PM EST

Jack Daniel's also uses corn, rye, and barley. The big difference (apparently) is that Tennessee whiskey is filtered through charcoal before the aging process (both are aged in charred oak barrels.)


Further research finds that the two terms are basically terms used by particular distillers. Surprise, surprise.

Well, it probably won't surprise you to find JD and JB real close to each other at the liquor store; to tell you the truth, I can't tell a whole hell of a lot of difference between the two, though I prefer JB.

[ yokelpunk | kuro5hin diary ]
[ Parent ]

Moonshine (none / 1) (#59)
by CodeWright on Fri Nov 05, 2004 at 01:50:35 PM EST

Beer (and wine) are "first pass" alcohols...

To make a liquor (like moonshine, samogon, etc), you take a first pass alcohol and distill it... (i.e., heat to separate the water from the alcohol).

A: Because it destroys the flow of conversation.
Q: Why is top posting dumb? --clover_kicker

[ Parent ]
Methanol (none / 1) (#49)
by NightHwk1 on Fri Nov 05, 2004 at 11:19:28 AM EST

Any fermentation will create some methanol, but in very small amounts.

It becomes a problem during distillation, because it has a lower boiling point. When distilling alcohol, the first stuff to come out is almost pure methanol, which would be quite dangerous to drink.

[ Parent ]

Methanol & Distillation (none / 1) (#54)
by hoochlad77 on Fri Nov 05, 2004 at 12:47:23 PM EST

Fermentation creates a small ammount of methanol. Therefore every beer or hard alcohol you drink has a minute quantity of methanol in there. With that being said distiallation does not 'create' methanol. Like you implied distillation is only a process you can use to concentrate liquids with different boiling point. Hence when you distill moonshine you are taking a fermented wort (beer) and boiling it. So for a given volume of beer there is a fixed ammount of ethanol and methanol. during the distillation run the foreshots are concentrated methanol and other light organics. They are dangerous so they're thrpown out. But, only because in that carboy of beer you're boiling now how many shots of alcohol would be in there? a lot. Diluted it's not a danger. As for people going blind from drinking moonshine. That's mostly shady manufacturers. They would add antifreeze, acid, methanol and basically anything that would let them make it cheaper. A good moonshine operation can make alcohol that's 95% pure. The rest being water. Now i need a drink...

[ Parent ]
Ethanol makes methanol okay (sorta) (none / 1) (#61)
by RaveX on Fri Nov 05, 2004 at 02:01:13 PM EST

Because the body metabolizes ethanol over methanol, ingestion of ethanol helps prevent the metabolization of methanol into formaldehyde and formic acid. That's why doctors administer something called "ethanol therapy" as treatment for methanol poisoning.

Needless to say, there's something beautiful about "ethanol therapy."
The Reconstruction
[ Parent ]

Please don't try this (none / 1) (#66)
by Sgt York on Fri Nov 05, 2004 at 02:30:09 PM EST

There is not really a preference, both are metabolized nearly equally by the same pathway. When someone has ingested methanol you can give them ethanol to compete for the enzyme, therby decraseing the ammount of foramldehyde made in your liver.

But Ethanol does NOT make methanol OK. Nothing will make methanol OK except taking in less of it. You won't get enough methanol made in undistilled grains to kill you, or even hurt you. If you distill, though, and don't know what you're doing, you will enrich for methanol over ethanol. And, if you drink it, you will probably die or at least hurt yourself VERY badly.

Ethanol treatment is rarely used, anyway. Most of the time they use dialysis and/or fomepizole treatment (inhibits the enzyme responsisble). Just about the only thing that gets ethanol treatment anymore are dogs & cats that drink antifreeze.

There is a reason for everything. Sometimes, that reason just sucks.
[ Parent ]

Good Advice (nt) (none / 1) (#83)
by RaveX on Fri Nov 05, 2004 at 06:42:20 PM EST

The Reconstruction
[ Parent ]
hmm? (none / 0) (#85)
by runderwo on Fri Nov 05, 2004 at 07:15:05 PM EST

Just about the only thing that gets ethanol treatment anymore are dogs & cats that drink antifreeze.
but antifreeze isn't methanol, it's ethylene glycol. does the same enzyme do the same thing with antifreeze as with methanol?

[ Parent ]
Yep (none / 0) (#86)
by Sgt York on Fri Nov 05, 2004 at 11:25:51 PM EST


There is a reason for everything. Sometimes, that reason just sucks.
[ Parent ]

That's not true (none / 0) (#94)
by epepke on Sat Nov 06, 2004 at 08:41:24 PM EST

Fermentation of beer, as described, will not produce methanol. Even distilling the result will not produce methanol. There are no known metabolic pathways that produce it with those ingredients. Fermentation may, if fermented in warm temperatures, produce fusel alcohols and esters. Some of these are desirable, as they give a beer a fruity quality. You can get banana. clove, and sour milk noses from a beer with some bacteria in it. This is sometimes considered a brewing mistake (the banana nose in particular) but is desirable to some degree in a Flander's brown or a lambic.

However, wines, or beers containing fruit, are a different story, because fruit contains a lot of pectin. Pectin, when heated, can produce methanol. All wines contain a certain amount of methanol. Distilling a wine into a brandy or a cognac will produce even more, due to the high temperatures. You might produce some methanol when adding fruit to the boil of a beer, but probably not much. Certainly less than is produced when you make your own jelly or fruit preserves.

Methanol does not taste any different from ethanol. Esters and fusel alcohols do.

The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett

[ Parent ]
Previous K5 articles on homebrew: (2.92 / 13) (#31)
by llimllib on Thu Nov 04, 2004 at 01:33:18 PM EST

The Brouhaha over Homebrew provides instructions on how to brew beer. It is similar to this article, although I have read neither in depth.
Adventures in Home Brewing provides instructions on how to brew as well, but the author describes the use of a homebrew kit, not brewing from scratch.

These links are simply to connect this article with past ones; I don't mean to say that this article is a repeat, but it is a topic which has had K5 coverage before.


don't forget (none / 1) (#90)
by thadk on Sat Nov 06, 2004 at 01:25:37 PM EST

    *  [Beer's Seamy Origins] by K5A:yellowbeard
    * Drinking from the Tap] - How to make a Kegerator by K5A:Yellowbeard (again)
    * [Mead - The Story Gets Hot And Steamy...] by K5A:jd
    * [And Now For Something Completely Different - Mead!] by K5A:jd

via Ko4ting

[ Parent ]

hooray (none / 1) (#33)
by mariahkillschickens on Thu Nov 04, 2004 at 03:43:37 PM EST

for home brew recipes :)

"In the end, it's all dirt."
Needs to be said (3.00 / 7) (#50)
by braeburn on Fri Nov 05, 2004 at 12:08:24 PM EST

The single most important thing (IMO) when making beer is to keep a mind on sterilization. Sterilize pretty much everything.

Once you get past the initial cooking stage and start putting stuff into the carboy for fermentation, wear rubber gloves. Any bacteria that get into the beer at this point will make for stinky, foul-tasting beer, and the worst part is you proably won't even know about it until you go to drink it several weeks later. Kind of a bummer.

Also, boiling the sugar at the end for bottling isn't for sterilization. It's because table sugar is a disaccharide, which yeast can't eat. When you boil it, the bond that holds the two simple sugars (fructose and glucose, I think) together breaks, and now yeast can eat it. At least, that's how it was explained to me.

So very true. (none / 0) (#53)
by Altus on Fri Nov 05, 2004 at 12:23:52 PM EST

the gloves are a great idea... I dont do it myself but I might just start.

Once the wort is removed from the heat it is essential not to touch it with anything that has not been sterilized.  I generally avoid getting my hands anywhere near it but protection is always a good idea

be sure you funnel is sanitized as any strainer should be (It is generally necessary to strain out the hops when moving to the carboy)...  Any tools that you use that make contact with the beer after this point simply must be sterilized.

Also... I use corn sugar for priming my bottled beer rather than table sugar... corn sugar is available from any brew store, usually measured out for a single 5 gallon batch.  Of course table sugar will work as well.


"In America, first you get the sugar, then you get the power, then you get the women..." -H. Simpson
[ Parent ]

I've had bad experience with (2.50 / 2) (#55)
by GenerationY on Fri Nov 05, 2004 at 01:12:15 PM EST

table sugar; normal white sugar has impurities in it that make the beer taste cidery (and slightly 'off') and leaves extra sediment. OTOH, Corn Syrup is ideal because it also has the advantage that it lends your beer a bit of body.

[ Parent ]
One of my favorite beers (3.00 / 2) (#56)
by Altus on Fri Nov 05, 2004 at 01:18:47 PM EST

is made with a mixture of light malt extract and honey. I use honey to prime it when ready to bottle.

It seems to work pretty well but you have to be careful not to use too much. of course different honeys will have different amounts of sugar (even 2 batches from the same bee keeper) so it can be hard to get consistent carbonation without some practice.

the beer BTW is the Gran Cru from The New Complete Joy of Home Brewing. Its supposed to be a hogarten clone but it really isnt... what it is is one of the best beers I have ever made.

"In America, first you get the sugar, then you get the power, then you get the women..." -H. Simpson
[ Parent ]

Have you tried the Rocky Racoon Honey Lager (none / 0) (#89)
by Adam Rightmann on Sat Nov 06, 2004 at 09:48:19 AM EST

from the same book? It's very nice, it will be my CVhristmas and winter brew.

[ Parent ]
DME (none / 1) (#64)
by Sgt York on Fri Nov 05, 2004 at 02:23:25 PM EST

Another alternative is a bit of dried malt extract) DME added just before bottling. It's slower, but helps the purists out there that flatly refuse to add anything but the Holy Four to their beers. I have some German blood, so I feel an obligation to stick with the Holy Four, but the Irish part of me doesn't give a shit as long as it still gives me a heavy body & a good kick.

I've been known to make all-grain beers that strictly adhere, and I've been known to make Oatmeal-milk stouts that are spiked with flaked maize for a bit of extra al-key-hall.

There is a reason for everything. Sometimes, that reason just sucks.
[ Parent ]

You're right (none / 0) (#63)
by Sgt York on Fri Nov 05, 2004 at 02:18:32 PM EST

I put priming sugar, but should have stressed that it is dextrose, not sucrose. It should also be noted that many people do not discard the hop & grain trub when filling the primary fermenter. I don't, because it aids in initial fermentation; you get through the high krausen much more rapidly if you leave all the trub.

I have never used gloves while making beer, I just wash my hands. I've never been anal about it, and I have yet to have an infected beer (that I prepared myself).

There is a reason for everything. Sometimes, that reason just sucks.
[ Parent ]

never had an infected beer (none / 0) (#65)
by Altus on Fri Nov 05, 2004 at 02:25:15 PM EST

either... Im very careful with sanitization.  when I first started though... I wasnt using bleach, I was only using Be-brite because the brew stores sold it as a sanitizing agent!  I had no idea that it wasnt.

I guess I just got lucky... I cleaned everything carefully and used very hot water... but still... lucky.

so you leave in the hops and all that... i find that makes it almost impossible to syphon off the beer when you want to as the syphon would always get clogged... how do you deal with that?

i dont have too much trouble getting fermentation started in beer... especially since I started double pitching yeast.  Mead on the other hand sometimes either stalls out or never really gets started.


"In America, first you get the sugar, then you get the power, then you get the women..." -H. Simpson
[ Parent ]

Mead & fermentation (none / 0) (#69)
by Sgt York on Fri Nov 05, 2004 at 02:43:28 PM EST

The reason mead gives you trouble is the lack of a sufficient nitrogen source in the "wort" (or whatever you call unfermented mead?). Honey has little protein. Beer wort has lots of protein in it, but a good portion of the protein is in the hops & grain husks. It also acts as an oxygen trap, giving the yeast something to really get going on.

Siphoning is a bitch, though, and I wouldn't reccomend leaving the trub if you don't use a secondary vessel. I normally use a cane with a basket on the end, and hold it in place just over the sediment layer, and use fairly large bore stuff, keeping a rpid flow through the siphon.

I can't imagine alwys buying double yeast though. I bought a new strain for my collection a few weeks ago, and it was about $8 a packet! $16 for yeast? I can buy most of the grains I need for a light bodied beer for that! Or a quarter of the grains I need for a decent stout....yum. Stout.

There is a reason for everything. Sometimes, that reason just sucks.
[ Parent ]

thats odd (none / 0) (#71)
by Altus on Fri Nov 05, 2004 at 03:04:00 PM EST

I assume you use liquid yeast... I use nodingham ale yeast and sometimes winsor (same company... different strains) its a dry yeast and only a buck per pack so I can afford to pay for it.

alternatively i suppose I could culture all my yeasts up real well before brewing but this is just easier and I like the results.

ive heard that mead can be accelerated by adding yeast nutrients (apparently the "guts" of dead yeast works well) and it can result in the Mead starting quickly and being done in weeks to months instead of months to years... I assume you would still want to age it though... I havent tried it yet.

Ive only had one or two mead be slow starters... it really depends on what you add...


"In America, first you get the sugar, then you get the power, then you get the women..." -H. Simpson
[ Parent ]

Dry vs Liquid yeast (none / 0) (#74)
by Sgt York on Fri Nov 05, 2004 at 03:15:54 PM EST

Dry yeast aren't readily available in the variety of strains. I've used Danstar Nottingham, and it made a decent beer, but I made the same recipe with Wyeast 1728 and the difference was amazing, it was like a different beer.

Experimenting with the different strains available in liquid yeast cultures can really affect the flavor of your beer. Different strains are suited for higher gravity beers, higher alcohol beers, can prevent that fruity flavor from some adjuncts, and can add their own, special quality to the beer, especially in the aroma. It costs a bit more, but it's worth it, especially if you find the right strain for the right beer.

There is a reason for everything. Sometimes, that reason just sucks.
[ Parent ]

at some point (none / 0) (#76)
by Altus on Fri Nov 05, 2004 at 03:23:05 PM EST

I will have time to try a bunch of yeast with each beer... right now I am just trying to develop the recipies to my satisfaction.

I have found the difference in yeasts to be amazing though.. I use the winsor yeast for more bitter beers for just that reason.

a mead making friend and I came up with the idea to brew 7 test batches of mead with different yeasts... the results were astounding... when I tried the plain mead flavored with the nodingham yeast I use it was like a light went on...  THAST my mead... thats where the flavor comes from and thats why its different from his...

quite eye opening... it has convinced me to try out the wine yeast we tested for my next batch of mead... I like what the nodingham does, but I also really liked that one.

I made one batch of mead with Champaign yeast... it was a spiced pear mead... started out very harsh but has mellowed into a totally bone dry mead with a character like a good white wine.  spectacular really.


"In America, first you get the sugar, then you get the power, then you get the women..." -H. Simpson
[ Parent ]

OK, dammit (none / 1) (#77)
by Sgt York on Fri Nov 05, 2004 at 03:27:33 PM EST

Write your article on mead. I'm dyin' over here; I gotta try one out.

Quick question, though: Does adding yeast extract affect the flavor of the meadas a byproduct of speeding it up? You normally don't get something for nothing, so I would guess it has a negative effect on the flavor of the mead?

If not, I have a 10kg tub of yeast extract, and a 5kg tub of hydrolyzed casein in the room next door....those yeast won't know what hit 'em!

There is a reason for everything. Sometimes, that reason just sucks.
[ Parent ]

unfortunately (none / 0) (#78)
by Altus on Fri Nov 05, 2004 at 03:33:02 PM EST

I have never tried yeast extract,  for that very reason actually... I cant believe it wouldn't have an effect on the flavor.

still for mead that brews that quickly it might be worth a shot.

Im going to try to write an article this weekend... there was a previous article on mead making on K5 so I dont want to be totally redundant.


"In America, first you get the sugar, then you get the power, then you get the women..." -H. Simpson
[ Parent ]

Mead and yeast (none / 0) (#104)
by gruk on Mon Nov 08, 2004 at 10:03:49 AM EST

I use a fairly standard red wine yeast to brew my mead (it's not as good as my perferred yeast, but I can't really be arsed importing dried bread yeast from Sweden, so I go for the next best, namely "random red wine yeast"). Fermentation usually finishes in 2-3 weeks. Bottle it, it's palatable after 4-6 weeks, but the longer it gets to age after bottling, the better. I've still got some of the mead I started in February left and it has improved since.

[ Parent ]
that seems very quick (none / 0) (#106)
by Altus on Mon Nov 08, 2004 at 11:09:17 AM EST

approximately how much honey do you use per gallon?  do you use any yeast nutrients?  That seems like an incredibly fast fermentation.  

I have never bottled a mead in less that 6 months.  Normally I use a strong ale yeast, which would be likely to hit its alcohol ceiling relatively quickly and die off, but It still take quite a long time.

Im currently working on an article about making mead and I would love to hear some of your techniques.


"In America, first you get the sugar, then you get the power, then you get the women..." -H. Simpson
[ Parent ]

Measures (none / 0) (#109)
by gruk on Tue Nov 09, 2004 at 09:42:27 AM EST

Um. I use about 4 kg of honey, 1 kg of demerara and 1 kg of muscovado sugar (it gives a better colour and flavour than dumping in two more kg of honey) for a total fermented volume of 27 litres. No idea what that is in imperial measures, I think in metric. It's usually spiced with "1 handful of juniper berries and 1-2 handfuls of (dried) rosemary, left to simmer in plain water while the honey is melted and prepared".

[ Parent ]
Mead and yeast (none / 0) (#103)
by gruk on Mon Nov 08, 2004 at 10:00:13 AM EST

What I do when I brew mead is starting the yeast with some table sugar, muscovado or demerara in a deep bowl (with a plate over), as I start melting the honey into the water. I haven't had a problem with the fermentation not starting (about 15 minutes after the yeast goes in, there is *definite* fermentation going on). What I do have to do, though, is shake the mead fermentation vessel every week or so, until agitation doesn't boost the fermentation. I do add juniper and rosemary (let simmer in water while you prepare the rest) and lemon (wash and slice thinly) just before the yeast goes in, I find it makes for a happier yeast.

[ Parent ]
Bleach is ok, but not the best (none / 0) (#80)
by Garin on Fri Nov 05, 2004 at 04:11:49 PM EST

Bleach is a decent sanitizer, but IMHO it's a PITA. :)

I find iodophor and Star-San to be *much* easier to use. They are both excellent fast sanitizers, and do not need to be rinsed off at all when used as directed. You can buy one or the other (or both) at your local homebrew shop.

Also, if your bottles are clean, they can be quickly and easily sanitized in the oven. Simply cover the mouths with bits of foil and then stick the lot in an oven. Turn on the heat to, I dunno, say 350F, and leave them there for an hour or so. Then turn off the oven and let them cool overnight in the oven.

With the foil over the mouth, these bottles will stay sanitized practically indefinitely. Naturally, your bottles have to be *clean* before you can do this. Get in the habit of rinsing out your bottles as soon as you pour them out and you'll have no trouble with grungy bottles.

[ Parent ]
Wouldn't have it that hot (none / 0) (#121)
by lithos on Sun Nov 21, 2004 at 10:20:28 AM EST

The glass might explode at 350F (which I think's about 180C in the new money). From my jam making experience, it only needs to be above 88C. Also, the bottles will cool faster.
"Live forever, or die in the attempt." -Joseph Heller, Catch-22
[ Parent ]
Yeast can't eat fructose or glucose, either (none / 0) (#93)
by epepke on Sat Nov 06, 2004 at 08:26:51 PM EST

Yeast can only ferment maltose. Glucose and fructose are converted by enzymes produced by the yeast that diffuse out of the yeast cell. Yeast can also produce enzymes that break up sucrose into fructose and glucose. It just takes a little longer. But I avoid the whole thing by using powdered malt extract instead of sugar for priming.

The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett

[ Parent ]
uh (none / 0) (#96)
by Norkakn on Sun Nov 07, 2004 at 04:42:02 PM EST

so how exactly does yeast ferment molassis when I make bread?

[ Parent ]
Not sure where you heard this (none / 0) (#99)
by Sgt York on Sun Nov 07, 2004 at 09:29:07 PM EST

But it's not true. Nearly all living things, and absolutely all eurkayotes, can use glucose as a carbon source It is definately fermentable. Fructose is also highly fermentable, and is actually the preferential fermentable sugar.

I don't even know if there are any prokaryotes that can't use glucose; although I imagine some of the extreme bugs, like Archea, may not.

There is a reason for everything. Sometimes, that reason just sucks.
[ Parent ]

Boiling water? (none / 0) (#100)
by squidinkcalligraphy on Sun Nov 07, 2004 at 11:16:45 PM EST

I've been brewing for a while, and used commercial sterilisers at first, but eventually went to using boiling water. And I still haven't had a dud brew. Just make sure everything that comes in contact with the beer has been in the boiling water. For the bottles, I wear cotton gloves inside laundry gloves for extra insulation, splash the water around inside a bit, then drain. Perhaps I've just been lucky... As for sugars, sucrose (table sugar) sucks - any sugar not digested by the yeast hangs around in the beer making it sweet and making your hangovers worse. Malt syrup, glucose (dextrose) or fructose are better, but the quantities aren't quite the same. Alternately, use honey for a different taste, since honey is mostly glucose. There shouldn't be any sterilisation problems as honey is known for it's anti-bacterial properties.
An identity card is better that no identity at all
[ Parent ]
yeasts can eat table sugar. (none / 0) (#101)
by AtomicBomb on Mon Nov 08, 2004 at 09:41:48 AM EST

>>When you boil it, the bond that holds the >>two simple sugars (fructose and glucose, I >>think) together breaks, and now yeast can >>eat it. I have been around a beer brewery for about 18 months a few years ago... Although that was for an engineering project rather than brewery, I picked up a few things. The yeast has no trouble eating table sugar... In fact, many popular formula has table sugar added to the wort. If my memory serves, the yeast can handle frutose, glucose, succose (table sugar), maltose and to a certain extend maltotriose.... By the way, the brewers that I know try many variety of homebrews at home... For example, adding a bit of honey is a cool idea. It introduces a kind of spicy flavour to the beer. Some fruit may also work (introducing fruity/ ester type of flavour). I will be interested to know why the boiling step is required... I feel it is for sterilisation.

[ Parent ]
That's why I do it (none / 0) (#105)
by Sgt York on Mon Nov 08, 2004 at 10:44:11 AM EST

The boiling step, as far as I'm concerned, is purely for sanitatary purposes. It's probably overkill, but as has been stressed elsewhere, you can't be too careful when maintaining sterility when brewing.

I don't know the activation energy for hydrolysis of sucrose into monosccharides, but I doubt it's low enough to have the reaction initiated by something as low as simple boiling.

There is a reason for everything. Sometimes, that reason just sucks.
[ Parent ]

Cool stuff. (none / 1) (#52)
by BigZaphod on Fri Nov 05, 2004 at 12:23:44 PM EST

I don't drink much and have yet to find a beer that doesn't make me want to just spit it out, but I now have this massive fascination with the idea of trying to brew some of it myself. Maybe for Christmas presents or something... That'd be fun! Hmmm...

"We're all patients, there are no doctors, our meds ran out a long time ago and nobody loves us." - skyknight
Two Suggestions (none / 0) (#68)
by iheartzelda on Fri Nov 05, 2004 at 02:38:08 PM EST

1. Find a group of poor-ish guys to hang out with that drink beer. After enough times of suffering through a 5$ pitcher of Pabst, you should be good to go! I actually prefer Pabst to the other American beers now.

2. I first started on a Brown Ale. This may be a personal taste thing, but I couldn't handle lighter colored beers like Corona or Bud. I still have a hard time finishing a Corona. I personally love Brooklyn Brown. Mmmmm.

[ Parent ]
Pabst is GREAT! (none / 0) (#70)
by Altus on Fri Nov 05, 2004 at 03:00:03 PM EST

best cheep beer in america... only cheep drink that I would call beer!

ok.. so its no sam adams, no Sierra nevada, no harpoon... but on a hot day when you want a light crisp lager at least you can grab a pabst and its a real beer.

one day... when I open my own bar, I wont carry bud, or miller or coors... just pabst... and just like in a restaurant that only carries pepsi and asks you if that is ok when you order a coke, anyone ordering a cheep american lager in my bar will be asked "Is Pabst OK?"


"In America, first you get the sugar, then you get the power, then you get the women..." -H. Simpson
[ Parent ]

Best cheap beer: (none / 0) (#72)
by Sgt York on Fri Nov 05, 2004 at 03:11:52 PM EST

Lone Star. I think you can only get it down here (TX), the name wouldn't sell most other places.

Never had Pabst, though.

There is a reason for everything. Sometimes, that reason just sucks.
[ Parent ]

Lone Star (none / 0) (#82)
by naomi385 on Fri Nov 05, 2004 at 05:13:31 PM EST

Lone Star can be found at some of the bars down in Athens, GA.  It's priced comparibly to PBR, but not quite as popular.  Still, nothing around compares to a $1 Schlitz tall-boy.

Propaganda. Questionable Intelligence. The Visitations.

[ Parent ]
another advantage (none / 0) (#73)
by Norkakn on Fri Nov 05, 2004 at 03:12:04 PM EST

Union Made! It says so right on the can

[ Parent ]
I will come to this bar...often. (none / 0) (#79)
by iheartzelda on Fri Nov 05, 2004 at 03:47:04 PM EST

[ Parent ]
Fails to mention other bittering agents! (none / 0) (#58)
by WillEddy on Fri Nov 05, 2004 at 01:44:11 PM EST

Hops are for saps!

Egyptians used lupins (none / 0) (#92)
by scruffyMark on Sat Nov 06, 2004 at 04:07:09 PM EST

Apparently the souring agent in hops is something called lupulin.  From the name, I'd assume it's the same chemical that's in lupins...

[ Parent ]
Official recipe thread (none / 0) (#67)
by Sgt York on Fri Nov 05, 2004 at 02:35:14 PM EST

Feel free to set up you own recipe thread, but this is the offcial one. I already gave you one of mine, and when I get home tonight I'll but in another favorite of mine, the Wedding Brown. It's a California brown ale, and is always a hit.

I've seen references to honey pales, meads, and comments from people that have to be other brewers. Let's swap some good recipes!

There is a reason for everything. Sometimes, that reason just sucks.

Best beer I ever made (2.66 / 3) (#81)
by ZorbaTHut on Fri Nov 05, 2004 at 05:01:52 PM EST

was the result of an accident.

I was trying to make a basic brown ale from syrup extract. I neglected to turn off the burner when pouring the syrup in and, surprise surprise, it scorched on the bottom. Badly. And I didn't notice until I was just finishing it up.

So I bottled it anyway. Worst case I'd have to pour out and resterilize my bottles. Waited a few weeks and tried it. Yep, that's scorched alright. Phooey. I didn't have any use for the bottles, though, so I just left it around. No harm done.

After a few months the scorched taste was almost entirely gone, replaced with a fantastic caramel undertone and just a *hint* of smoke.

Best beer I've ever made.

Moral: even if what you've made sucks, leave it around for a few months. Time heals all brews.

Steinbier (none / 0) (#91)
by scruffyMark on Sat Nov 06, 2004 at 04:04:49 PM EST

There is a German style of beer that does this deliberately - Steinbier, "stone beer", was a method of heating your wort when you couldn't afford a metal pot, so you were using a wooden one. Obviously can't go over the fire, so instead you heat rocks in the fire, and drop them into the wort. Some of the sugar cooks right onto the rocks, which you leave in the wort while it's fermenting, and let the caramelized sugar slowly dissolve back off. I've never made it - my fermenter is a cheapo plastic one, and I haven't got a fireplace - but it's in the back of my mind, maybe someday...

[ Parent ]
Steinbier and rauchbier (none / 0) (#102)
by gruk on Mon Nov 08, 2004 at 09:53:55 AM EST

There's also Rauchbier (smoke beer) that uses malt roasted in such a way that the smoke from the fire has access to the malt. It has an interesting flavour, but I must say I can only have up to about a pint, then it gets too heavy.

[ Parent ]
seen some odd ones (none / 0) (#84)
by jtrask on Fri Nov 05, 2004 at 07:01:50 PM EST

i'm still, at least officially, too young to drink, so i haven't developed much of a knowledge in telling the quality of one beer from the next, though i do generally like it. my father, however, used to homebrew (in addition to making soda) and i'd get tastes of his concoctions from time to time. our whole family likes spicy/hot stuff, so he one time made a beer with peppers, jalapeno iirc. it was obscenely hot. interesting, but wouldnt do it again. another interesting thing he made was ginger beer, which had this strange taste that i can't explain but it was like getting kicked in the face by ginger. very very strong flavor. yeah, there's some strange beers out there

I use beer kits... (none / 0) (#95)
by gordonjcp on Sun Nov 07, 2004 at 01:39:04 PM EST

... and bottled spring water. I *am* going to have a crack at brewing my own beer from scratch, but right now I haven't got the time. Have a look at my beer - that's 40 bottles of stout, and about 22 litres of India Pale Ale in the brew barrel. It's in a 6'x6' cupboard in my flat, shared with the hot water tank and the servers, so it stays at a nice 22C, and ferments away merrily. Lovely.

Give a man a fish, and he'll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish, and he'll bore you rigid with fishing stories for the rest of your life.

Keg it! (none / 0) (#97)
by xmgrant on Sun Nov 07, 2004 at 06:22:02 PM EST

I've been brewing for years and now not only brew entirely from grains, as opposed to malt extract, but keg it in stainless steel soda syrup containers and put CO2 on it. I bottled a few hundred gallons of home brew from malt extract and bottled it but the final taste is not nearly as good as what I'm getting from using malted barley grain and then kegging it. People should brew a number of batches using malted extract before ever using grains but I heartily recommend people bypass bottles altogether and keg their brew instead. It is easier and tastes better too. The kegging system looks like this.

Looks cool (none / 0) (#98)
by Sgt York on Sun Nov 07, 2004 at 09:24:22 PM EST

Couldn't agree more on the whole grain use. You get so much more control over the mash. But it is definately not for your first time out.

As for the kegging system...is there a howto or a book on it out there somewhere? If not, how about a quick story/diary entry? I've been wanting to keg my beer for a while, but just never have gotten around to doing it.

Also, is the beer in the keg still live? One of the benefits of natural carbonation is the "mellowing" effect the yeast has on the beer. I've heard that some forced carbonation techniques reduce or eliminate this effect.

There is a reason for everything. Sometimes, that reason just sucks.
[ Parent ]

Kegging is easy (none / 0) (#107)
by xmgrant on Mon Nov 08, 2004 at 09:30:07 PM EST

Basically, to keg you transfer the beer to a stainless steel container like in the photo and then use the proper fittings and tubing to connect the stainless steel keg to a canister of CO2 that you can get at places that sell CO2 to soda places. I'd recommend you visit your friendly neighborhood brewing place. If you don't have one around, find a place online that sells such things. To help the clarity of the beer, I siphon the beer a couple weeks after fermentation to a second glass carboy and let it sit another week or so before kegging the brew. Hope this helps.

[ Parent ]
Sounds kinda easy (none / 0) (#110)
by Sgt York on Tue Nov 09, 2004 at 12:10:25 PM EST

Easier than bottling, that is. I gotta give that a shot. A keg like that would be sweet for lab meetings.

Just wondering, though, have you noticed a difference in quality in aged brews? Most high gravity brews (IPA, stouts) get better as they sit in the bottle for months. One of my IPAs doesn't hit its peak until about 5 months in the bottle. Does this technique affect the flavor with long term storage? I'd be concerned about effects on the aging process and on leeching of metal from the vessel.

I think I'll give it a shot, though, with my next bitter. Many of those only need a few weeks of aging.

There is a reason for everything. Sometimes, that reason just sucks.
[ Parent ]

slightly off-topic: Kwass (none / 0) (#111)
by ant0n on Tue Nov 09, 2004 at 05:03:08 PM EST

great article, but I think I'll never brew my own beer, I'm just too lazy. But I do sometimes brew my own Kwass (a traditional russian beer-like drink, very fast'n'easy to make and [almost] without alcohol)! Are there any other kurobots into Kwass-making and -drinking, I wonder?!

-- Does the shortest thing the tallest pyramid's support supports support anything green?
Patrick H. Winston, Artificial Intelligence
Kvass khorosho (none / 0) (#112)
by xmnemonic on Wed Nov 10, 2004 at 10:11:33 PM EST

I've had Kvass before and quite liked it. I spoke with my russian language professor and he says that it's made from fermented bread, and that it's actually consumed by many children russia, the alcohol content being almost non-existent. In fact it was marketed as an alternative to alcoholic beer at one point, like root beer during prohibition (in the US). The taste was... odd. It reminded me vaguely of sassafras, but with a hint of butterscotch. It was overall a very good soft drink though, with a flavor more complex than what I'm used to as an American. I've no idea how to make it, but I'd like to learn how. Could you post a recipe that you prefer or perhaps comment on others? Google shows a ton of different recipes, and I'm not sure where to start.

[ Parent ]
Kvas ojen vkusno (none / 0) (#114)
by ant0n on Thu Nov 11, 2004 at 06:05:19 AM EST

For first experiments, you could try some of the recipes at this page of Russians abroad. Making Kvass is really easy, your first try will probably be a success. I suggest you try the fourth recipe (titled simply 'Kvas') first.
There is no definite recipe for kvass, there are really hundreds of variants out there.

A soft drink made of grass? Weird, never heard of that before.

-- Does the shortest thing the tallest pyramid's support supports support anything green?
Patrick H. Winston, Artificial Intelligence
[ Parent ]
Bread could be a problem (none / 0) (#118)
by Shubin on Wed Nov 17, 2004 at 03:13:15 AM EST

Looks good, but where are you going to get the proper rye bread in US ? I did not see nothing resembling bread there.

[ Parent ]
grass soda (none / 0) (#113)
by xmnemonic on Wed Nov 10, 2004 at 10:13:37 PM EST

also, you wouldn't happen to have tried a russian soda drink made from grass? i had it long ago, but don't remember much except for the vivid green color...

[ Parent ]
Tarkhun (none / 0) (#117)
by Shubin on Wed Nov 17, 2004 at 03:10:32 AM EST

You're probably mean this. Really funny thing, but has worse taste today, except for some brands.

[ Parent ]
Random recommendation (none / 0) (#116)
by GenerationY on Fri Nov 12, 2004 at 12:48:41 PM EST

Its not my own work but I'd just like to recommend Adnams Suffolk Strong Bitter (SSB). Its the best beer I've ever tasted out of a bottle, hands down.

Bringing this back on topic, anyone got a recipe for home made hoppy goodness? I love hops - any hints for maximum hopability? Other than put lots in obviously. I've worked with premixed stuff that promised but didn't deliver in the past.

dont skimp on the body (none / 0) (#120)
by Altus on Thu Nov 18, 2004 at 05:48:19 PM EST

beers with a good body to them will support more hops.  this makes a huge difference.  of course you will have to increase your hops just to overcome the body of the beer... but over all you can have a much hoppier flavor without it overpowering the whole brew.


"In America, first you get the sugar, then you get the power, then you get the women..." -H. Simpson
[ Parent ]

more recipes... (none / 0) (#119)
by flynnguy on Wed Nov 17, 2004 at 01:21:12 PM EST


Contradiction in Terms : How to make beer | 121 comments (76 topical, 45 editorial, 0 hidden)
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