Author Topic: Booze and Brew: The Homebrewing Topic  (Read 1265 times)

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Offline Rysworld

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Re: Booze and Brew: The Homebrewing Topic
« Reply #30 on: August 21, 2020, 10:42:18 pm »
I guess I probably... should? I don't really have a good recipe for the gallon-batch braggot, that was pretty much just a freewheeling sort of thing I did in excitement, wasn't thinking about recreating it since it was mostly just whatever I had on hand. I added the fruit on a complete whim, for example, and didn't weigh it. I know somewhere in between a pound and a pound and a half of organic mango and a little less than a pound of pineapple just from the bags of fruit I used. The juice of six or so oranges that somebody left out for free in my apartment building. Don't recall how much juniper I simmered into the wort, I think six grams or so. I did take a few sparse notes, and I used .2 ounces of Willamette hops for a gallon batch, so it's hopped comparatively to most beers that aren't built around being really hoppy, probably on the lighter end. I wrote down "a little more than .6 pounds malt extract, a little more than a pound of honey" since I started with that and added a little more of each to get up to my target gravity of 1.090.

The first mead was less of a whirlwind, relatively simple and fairly easy to remember with some amount of forethought involved:

Simmer a pound of organic hibiscus leaves in a gallon of water for an hour. Half an hour through, put a brew-bag full of two and a half ounces lightly macerated juniper in. Put in bucket, including juniper. Brew seven bags of black tea in another gallon to get a weak black tea for the sake of tannins (this felt like maybe not enough tea). Put in bucket. Put around 20 pounds of unfiltered, unpasteurized honey in the bucket. Fill up to five gallons with water. Put in more honey until a gravity reading with a hydrometer shows around 1.152. Follow rehydration instructions for your yeast and rehydration nutrient, I used K1V-1116 wine yeast and Go-Ferm. Pitch yeast and seal in a container with and airlock. Add yeast nutrient over the next few days or so according to the TONSA 2.0 protocols- for this gravity and size of mead, that means 8 grams of Fermaid O at 24, 48, and 72 hours, and another eight grams whenever the yeast has burned through a third of the sugars as indicated by gravity reading. This will be different if you are using a different nutrient regimen. A few days in, freak out and take all the juniper out because some random on Reddit told you it was too much juniper for that amount of mead and you are just a complete sheep. Let sit until done.

Okay, maybe not all THAT simple. But it was fun enough to remember. Felt like alchemy, and it kind of is. Hard to tell without having finished a brew, but I think this is going to be a long-term hobby of mine, it appeals to me a lot. Also, it's a pretty cheap way to get booze. It'd be a bitch to calculate it exactly but I think the first mead comes out to probably somewhere in between 1 1/2 and 4 bucks to make a beer bottle's worth of an 18% ABV, which is pretty decent value. And you get waaaay more specificity as far as like, what you want to drink and what flavor you want.
« Last Edit: August 22, 2020, 12:38:24 am by Rysworld »

Offline PatMan33

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Re: Booze and Brew: The Homebrewing Topic
« Reply #31 on: August 24, 2020, 03:08:15 pm »
You are a real alchemist and nobody can say otherwise.

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qNnvm5SM5bM" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qNnvm5SM5bM</a>

Offline Rysworld

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Re: Booze and Brew: The Homebrewing Topic
« Reply #32 on: August 24, 2020, 09:37:42 pm »
The braggot is almost finished, already up to around 9% ABV. I'll take another reading in a week or so and if it hasn't changed, it will be ready for secondary. It came up quite fast. Smells basically like straight beer, not much of a fruit scent to it. It's still very cloudy and very blonde.

The mead is stuck- I checked today and it's the same gravity as the last time, 1.082, sitting at around 10%. I suspect it's probably a lack of nutrient, and I don't want to put more fermaid O in there. If you do too much that past a certain point, it's supposed to give a metallic, unpleasant taste, and I've already added plenty of that sweet sweet nooch. So I blended up another couple pounds of fruit- a pound of pineapple, a pound-and-a-half of Mango, the stuff I had left over in my freezer after the braggot- into the must and put it back in. Technically, it's a melomel now, though one that's pretty light on the fruit, so I don't think it will affect the taste much. More for the nitrogen than anything else. Hopefully it kicks off again, otherwise I've got an awful lot of what is basically a weird hibiscus cocktail.

I'd still get drunk off it though.
« Last Edit: August 24, 2020, 09:40:50 pm by Rysworld »

Offline PatMan33

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Re: Booze and Brew: The Homebrewing Topic
« Reply #33 on: August 25, 2020, 04:36:00 pm »
I wish you could fax me a sample. It sounds fun to taste test.

You got people you can invite over to do a tasting party? Even if it's just small bits? Might be fun.

Offline Rysworld

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Re: Booze and Brew: The Homebrewing Topic
« Reply #34 on: August 26, 2020, 12:04:48 am »
Yeah, I wish it was easier to ship booze... as in, possible at all to ship as an individual under US law. I think I'd have to get a license? If that weren't the case, all the GS people would be getting a beer bottle's worth or two.

I have an aunt and a sister in the same building, and I live with my brother. I'll give some to my grandpa when we see each other next, he does homebrew stuff and specifically has been making mead for years. I have friends I know from highschool I have a personal Discord server with and hang out in person every few months. I don't know about a "tasting party" but I'm going to get them drunk as **** off whatever I can make :^U
« Last Edit: August 26, 2020, 12:07:28 am by Rysworld »

Offline PatMan33

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Re: Booze and Brew: The Homebrewing Topic
« Reply #35 on: August 26, 2020, 04:42:18 pm »

Offline Rysworld

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Re: Booze and Brew: The Homebrewing Topic
« Reply #36 on: September 13, 2020, 04:20:41 pm »
https://cdn.discordapp.com/attachments/614896471627792446/754644285474734230/20200913_030544.jpg

https://cdn.discordapp.com/attachments/614896471627792446/754838852190994592/20200913_155558.jpg

Bottled and primed the braggot- should be carbonated in a couple weeks- and started a new batch last night. Two gallons of cider- one with blueberries and pomegranate juice, the other one with strawberries and golden gooseberries. Both were sweetened with brown sugar and honey up to around 1.090 OG- 1.091 for the strawberry, 1.093 for the blueberry- so they should come out to around ten percent like the braggot. Trader Joe's unfiltered apple juice as a base. Had some blowoff on these, actually, had to clean them this morning. Those two pictures are from last night and around noon today and you can see it's already fizzing. Very vigorous fermentation... it HAS been warm lately, I probably should have left more headroom.

Got a different type of high-abv wine yeast and chucked it in the old mead... no mold pellicle or anything, so it can keep sitting and hopefully the yeast is still working if slowly, but I don't know if it's moving. Gotta check the gravity again soon.

-EDIT-

Better Picture: https://cdn.discordapp.com/attachments/614896471627792446/754865283029532742/20200913_174326.jpg
« Last Edit: September 13, 2020, 07:21:58 pm by Rysworld »

Offline Rysworld

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Re: Booze and Brew: The Homebrewing Topic
« Reply #37 on: September 14, 2020, 02:07:13 pm »
Oh, yeah, ingredients.

BATCH 1: Umbral Brew (1 gallon) - Visually dramatic color-wise, very powerful initial ferment (because of the blueberry skins?), significant blowoff.

1.5 lbs blueberries
1 qt pomegranate juice
~2 qts Trader Joe's Unfiltered Apple Juice (a little more, probably)
6 oz dark brown sugar (175 grams is what I measured on the scale)
~1.5 cups honey (I know I'm mixing weight and volume, weighing honey sucks, deal)


BATCH 2: Liquid Summer (1 gallon) - Smelled like a million bucks. Small amount of blowoff.

1 lb strawberries, tops removed
.5 lbs golden gooseberries
~2.5 qts Trader Joe's Unfiltered Apple Juice (or whatever amount you need to get to a reasonable amount  of headspace in your fermenter)
6 oz dark brown sugar
~1.5 cups honey (or whatever it takes to get to ~1.09 OG)


Fruits were heated in the cider for a bit to sanitize, in order to remove any molds or wild critters. The result was blended and put in the fermenters with the juice, where the brown sugar and honey were added until they hit around 1.09 gravity- 1.093 for the Umbral Brew, 1.091 for Liquid Summer. Should get up to around 10 percent. I don't think these count as cysers, since honey only makes up like between a quarter and a third of the gravity. Then again, I don't think that actually has a hard and fast definition... one of them has a bunch of pomegranate juice in it too, so... whatever. I'm just calling these ciders. Yeast is K1V-1116, because that is what I have.

Offline PatMan33

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Re: Booze and Brew: The Homebrewing Topic
« Reply #38 on: September 14, 2020, 03:00:34 pm »
I really like the colors of the two products. What comes next? Do you filter it and bottle?

Offline Rysworld

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Re: Booze and Brew: The Homebrewing Topic
« Reply #39 on: September 14, 2020, 11:24:09 pm »
Nope, not booze quite yet! Still fermenting, those pictures are from RIGHT after I mixed everything together and put the yeast in. The color and clarity will change a bit- although I heated fruit in these to sanitize and I'm not using any fining agents, so the pectin in the strawberries and blueberries mean they'll probably both always be a little cloudy. After a couple days the character of the fruit on the top has already changed a bit- the fruit skins look a bit softer, more broken down, and the gooseberries and strawberries have lost a little color.

As sugar gets turned into booze, the density of the liquid lowers, and more stuff gets leeched from the fruit it will fall to the bottom along with dead and inactive yeast. This forms a big crudcake called a "lees". That's basically my filtration, since too much oxygen any exposure- like you'd get from running an unfinished cider through, say, a wire strainer- will just turn all your booze into vinegar if you happen to get any acetobacter in there during. I'll siphon whatever liquid I can off the top without getting any of the lees it and let it sit for a couple weeks in a secondary fermentation, so anything else still in suspension can fall out, and so the flavors can chill out and get to know each other a little more.

And yes, I'm very happy with how these ciders look... if they end up tasting half as good, I'll be ecstatic. Hope they stay as dramatic-looking as possible as they continue to develop.

Offline PatMan33

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Re: Booze and Brew: The Homebrewing Topic
« Reply #40 on: September 15, 2020, 03:04:55 pm »
Remember to drink a glass of water for every gallon of beer. Or something like that. :3

Offline sgore

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Re: Booze and Brew: The Homebrewing Topic
« Reply #41 on: September 17, 2020, 09:37:46 pm »
Rysworld, those look like they're probably incredibly delicious.

Legally Mandated Disclaimer: I am not necessarily the best judge of things that look delicious.
(e.g. I once almost choked on a ball of metal I thought looked delicious when I was a young child)

But I will also say my understanding of "what is or isn't delicious" has become much more sophisticated as I've grown,
and this safely falls within the known rubric for is.

Either way, good work!

What meme is relevant right now? Look, just imagine I'm riffing on that. Updating signatures is exhausting.

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Offline PatMan33

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Re: Booze and Brew: The Homebrewing Topic
« Reply #42 on: September 18, 2020, 05:59:48 pm »
Rysworld, those look like they're probably incredibly delicious.

Legally Mandated Disclaimer: I am not necessarily the best judge of things that look delicious.
(e.g. I once almost choked on a ball of metal I thought looked delicious when I was a young child)

But I will also say my understanding of "what is or isn't delicious" has become much more sophisticated as I've grown,
and this safely falls within the known rubric for is.

Either way, good work!
Don't feel so bad. I ate plastic once.