Take a look in any home brewing catalogue and you'd likely feel overwhelmed by the sheer amount of trinkets available for purchase. Doesn't that seem kind of strange given the fact that beer has a 7,000 year history?
I've brewed in barns, houses, 125sq/ft apartments, a commercial brewery and with electricity, propane and even over firewood. This course is the summation of my 12 years of brewing and experience. The longer I brew the more I keep coming back to simple, DIY brewing. Over this course, I will walk you through 3 different brewing rigs and their many potential variations. In addition, I will give you a tour of 6 different kegerator configurations and help you find an equipment build that fits your brewing needs without crushing your homebrew budget. Come with me on 2 actual step-by-step brews on 2 different systems: a 50 dollar brew-in-a-bag system and my super efficient 10 gallon/4.5 sq. ft vertical system.
This course includes videos, illustrations, PDFs and pictures and access to I brew-U brew's discussion group.
Please allow me to introduce myself.
Why, in this example, more is better.
The 'Great 8': Here are 8 beliefs/orders/commands/requests from me that I believe will get you going on the right path to producing excellent homebrewed beer.
A rational on the gear I use with reference to multipurpose functions both in and out of the brewhouse.
Get creative and find a batch size, spatial orientation, chilling option and fermenter configuration that fits your brewing situation.
Take a quick tour of the gear you'll need to get started down the BIAB/BIAS (shoes optional) path to self-enlightenment.
What my brewing rig looks like when I'm not obsessed with spatial effeciency.
Out of the closet, the laundry closet that is, loud-and-proud with nothing to hide; the Mash Tun First (MTF) system.
A quasi-rant (my longest) on the MTF system and why I think it's so swell.
An inncestuous cousin to the MTF system.
Look at everyday objects with a new purpose with these mash tun design principles.
Remember the episode where MacGyver needed a "1/2 inch faucet supply line, rubber O-ring and a zip tie"? He wasn't forging an escape plan, he was building a mash tun.
With only a handful of readily available parts, read how a boreless ice box becomes a cheap and easy double batch mash tun.
Learn about how different serving psi, refridgerator temperatures and beverage line length relate to one another.
Bigger isn't always better when it comes to C02 ...
... but let's be honest, size does matter.
Just because Y2K was a bust doesn't mean you should get caught with your polybenzimidazole pants around your ankles when Y3K comes around.
For that hard-sell spouse that doesn't see the benefit of having a dedicated beer refrigerator.
In spite of that ex-hard-sell spouse ... 'The Bachelor'.
Consuming just 1 kilowatt of power over 4.1 days, conserve electricity off-grid style by operating a single converted freezer-to-fridge dedicated to both business and pleasure.
The 'Single Hitter' shows that it's not the size of the refrigerator that matters.
Seriously, how did it get to this point?
Full keg = Total water - absorption - evaporation - trub + this lecture (in Metric + US).
Tag along with me as I input our saison recipe into Brewtoad and talk about water volume calculations in metric.
Tag along with me as I input our saison recipe into Brewtoad and talk about water volume calculations in US customary measurements.
An Indoor/outdoor single batch BIAB beer brew day.
We wrap up the brew session by inputting our measured final gravity (FG) into our brewlog.
Go through the motions as we talk about how one might make a brew the horizontal way.
*Please reference the audio lecture in "Section 6: Water; how much and why?" as well as "Citra Session" water work-up" for the amount of water we would use on this mock brew. The amounts used on both brews are nearly the same.
Mock brew continued.
This video starts out metric but then gives a pen-and-paper, metric/US customary lesson at the 4:00 minute mark. *2:41 - Should be 1.75lbs/qt NOT the other way around.
Join me as I brew 10 gallons of beer vertically in 4.5 sq/ft of space.
How to check for CO2 leaks as well as sanitze your kegging gear.
Rack your beer from your fermenter to your keg via siphon, purge O2 and set the lid.
I don't have three weeks to spare. I wanna drink now! With this video, I show you how to be drinking your freshly racked beer in as little as 10 minutes.
Dispense your fully carbonated beer sans C02 with a DIY party pump.
The bike pump / party pump in action.
Pin lock kegs need a little extra attention. A DIY five dollar tool makes quick work of removing the posts.
My super compact drill powered roller mill setup (pt.1).
My super compact drill powered roller mill setup (pt.2).
Well, that's one way to mount a plate mill.
A brief tour of my three year old hop 'yard' in the beautiful mountains of western Montana.
It's been a full year since our last visit to "The Ranch". Take a look at what has changed.
What a 'rocket stove' looks like amid a horizontal brewing setup.
So long, Pardner.
Twelve years ago, I started with a bag of dry malt extract and a bucket just like everyone else who has become involved in this wonderful craft. At that time, I was the only one I knew who homebrewed so any lessons I learned were self taught. I was absolutely hooked but my nomadic lifestyle as a soon-to-be educator brought me to places such as Portland, Maui, Korea as well as my off-grid base of Montana. In order to continue my passion for brewing, I had to adapt to my surroundings; small spaces, high temperatures, language barrier, ingredient unavailability and a lack of electricity/fuel, be damned, I found a way to brew. Being able to make and source my own equipment was the only way I could make beer when I first arrived in Korea. Simply put, Korea was a landscape barren of quality beer and homebrewing equipment and ingredients.
Along the way, I taught a friend to brew over Skype sessions and started a brew club at the Korean university where I teach. Teaching brewing to students whose first language isn't English really makes you focus on the important parts while eliminating all the clatter.
Over those years, I have become obsessed with making and serving beer as efficiently and as simply as possible. I have two homes (one in Korea, and one in the US) so this gives me a unique view on beer making and how to further hone its efficiency. Because I've helped numerous friends get started from the ground-up (the ex-pat community in Korea can feel like a bit of a revolving door), I've had countless opportunities to refine brewing rigs.
In the last six years that I've been a resident in Korea, the beer brewing community has grown leaps and bounds. As a large part of this community, and founder of our local brewing club, I have had the pleasure of receiving several national 1st place awards for my home brews. As a humble tinkerer, it was a great honor to be recognized by my peers. While my methods and practices may be uniquely simple, they are proven to produce results.