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Brews & Views Bulletin Board Service * Brews and Views Archive 2003 * September 2, 2003 * Simple fermenting question < Previous Next >

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Dan (168.166.22.10)
Posted on Monday, August 11, 2003 - 03:33 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I was asked a question about the cheapest way to brew alcohol (meant for drinking - not distilling) - taste/quality is not a factor. I answered using gallon water jugs, the cheapest fruit concentrate, bulk bakers yeast, and 1 - 2 lbs of sugar per jug.

Would this really create something alcoholic and drinkable (horrible taste aside)? Or would buying brewing yeast be necessary? I've never tried brewing with Fleischmans.
 

Walt Fischer (24.221.196.114)
Posted on Monday, August 11, 2003 - 04:04 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Drink it? not me!
Maybe if you were in prison..;>

But it would make something alcoholic...

Walt
----
 

Jeff McClain (137.201.242.130)
Posted on Monday, August 11, 2003 - 04:11 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Come on, Walt. You know you would be in the back room swilling that down as soon as it passed the 10% alcohol mark...grin.
 

Jeff McClain (137.201.242.130)
Posted on Monday, August 11, 2003 - 04:13 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Dan,

Dry brewers yeast or champagne yeast isn't that expensive and will provide a much more controlled taste. Other than that, you are correct. Fruit juice, lots of sugar and jugs.

-JM
 

Dan (168.166.22.10)
Posted on Monday, August 11, 2003 - 04:14 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Prison? No, this is my brother who can't buy beer yet. I don't think he's gonna continue making alcohol after the first batch. ;-)

edit: Yeah, brewers yeast isn't expensive, but's it's more expensive than the bulk bakers yeast my wife buys.
 

Mike Kidulich (147.177.13.153)
Posted on Monday, August 11, 2003 - 04:19 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

In high school, a small group of us skipped the last day of our Senior year. One of the guys had a half-gallon of "wine" made from Hawaiian Punch concentrate and sugar. Pretty vile stuff, but we drank it;-)
 

Magnus Graham (148.177.161.211)
Posted on Tuesday, August 12, 2003 - 04:20 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Isn't sugar cheaper than fruit?
You then add any flavouring you like for the disgusting taste you favour.
You have seen those liquer kits - I made one and yes it lived up to expectations.
I think the drain got 99% of it.

Mag
 

Magnus Graham (148.177.161.211)
Posted on Tuesday, August 12, 2003 - 04:26 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hey is it illegal to brew if you are under 18?
Is it illegal to consume alcohol or just to supply it?
Why doesn't you brother brew a beer kit and add loadsa extra sugar like we did at Uni?


Mag
 

Brandon Dachel (63.238.222.190)
Posted on Tuesday, August 12, 2003 - 05:22 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

> No, this is my brother who can't buy beer yet.

Funny, this is exactly what I assumed this topic was about.

> Yeah, brewers yeast isn't expensive

Champagne yeast is like 50 cents for a packet. I find it rather odd that money would be spent buying a bunch of fruit and sugar, yet a $0.50 packet of champagne yeast isn't cost effective.


> Hey is it illegal to brew if you are under 18?

Here in the US every brewshop I've been to has signs posted that they do not sell to you if you're under 21.
 

Walt Fischer (24.221.196.114)
Posted on Tuesday, August 12, 2003 - 05:40 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I think you can buy all the stuff to make beer, but it doesnt become an issue about age till you drop the yeast in.

Yea.. buy all the fruit juice n cant afford the 50 cents for some champane yeast?

Sounds like a trolling to me.. heh

Walt
----

even "I" have some standards Jeff...;>


.... hey, you gonna drink the rest of that?...
 

Dan (168.166.22.10)
Posted on Tuesday, August 12, 2003 - 07:29 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

No, not trolling. It is an honest question of what is cheapest. Yes, I'm fully aware of the cheap cost of good yeast. However, it is *cheaper* to buy bakers yeast in bulk, which would put the cost well below a comparable amount of brewers yeast. (Actually, come to think of it, I should have told him to rely on wild yeast - even cheaper yet.) Moreover, the point of this was to purchase everything from the grocery store.

Concerning fruit, I know it's expensive, but is there a cheaper yeast nutrient? I didn't think yeast would do so well in just sugar water?
 

Dane Clark (199.224.124.154)
Posted on Tuesday, August 12, 2003 - 07:37 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I think it was probably a good thing that, when I was in high school, it never occurred to me that everything you need to make some cheap booze is in the grocery store :>)
 

Denny Conn (63.114.138.2)
Posted on Tuesday, August 12, 2003 - 07:38 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Well, hell, if you REALLY want to make it cheap, just skip the yeast altogether and let it ferment spontaneously! It wouldn't taste any worse that what you're gonna end up with anyway! Look at it this way...in the long run, it won't be a cheap way to produce alcohol because this •••• will taste so bad you'll just dump it out and waste whatever money you've spent.
 

PalerThanAle (65.168.73.62)
Posted on Tuesday, August 12, 2003 - 07:40 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

He could use his Flintstone vitamins for nutrients.
Here is what he should do:
1) Go to McDonalds in the mornings and collect all of the sugar packets they have. Either do this every day for a couple weeks or take a few trips to all of the restaurants in the neighborhood.
2) Raid the neigborhood apple/fruit trees to use for making juice and if there isn't any then cruise the suburbs for lemonade stands - look for the smallest weakest kids and muscle them out of their inventory.
3) Throw in a couple pieces of bread.

and lastly, call AA because he needs an intervention.

hope this doesn't help.

PTA
 

Jeff McClain (137.201.242.130)
Posted on Tuesday, August 12, 2003 - 07:45 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Walt,

Never said you didn't have standards...just that they don't register on most of our scales (grin).

Just pokin' fun at ya all.

-Jeff

P.S. Say, this makes me ask a question that I've been wondering for a while now regarding actually meeting some of you fine folks from this group. Is there any plan or does anyone ever organize a HBD parking lot brew feast some where? I would be interested in coming to one and seeing how closely your personality resembles what you all really look like...grin.
 

Dan (168.166.22.10)
Posted on Tuesday, August 12, 2003 - 07:49 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

>Well, hell, if you REALLY want to make it cheap, just skip the yeast altogether and let it ferment spontaneously!

Yeah, I had thought of that in a previous post.

PalerThanAle: I actually hope he does try it. Denny's right - he won't try it again!

Has anyone tried just yeast and sugar water? Does it ferment?
 

PalerThanAle (65.168.73.62)
Posted on Tuesday, August 12, 2003 - 07:54 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I'm made a raisin jack once, water, sugar, raisins, and bread yeast... it took a long time to get rid of the yeast taste but now (4 years later)tastes like brut champagne, very dry and bubbly. IT WAS JUST AN EXPERIMENT!!

PTA
 

Denny Conn (63.114.138.2)
Posted on Tuesday, August 12, 2003 - 07:57 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

"just yeast and sugar water? Does it ferment? "...nope, not very well. Add some potatoes for cheap nutrient ( anybody who reads rcb, just DON'T GO THERE!) ;)
 

Doug Pescatore (141.232.1.10)
Posted on Tuesday, August 12, 2003 - 08:42 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

The history channel had a thing on american rum runners and moonshiners last night. During prohabition the moonshiners (who had always been moonshiners) were making a quality product (corn whisky), but when hacks started to figure out that they could make heaps of money they started brewing crap made almost strictly from sugar. They also started cutting it with other chemicals to give it a kick. Because this stuff tasted so bad, the bartenders at the blind pigs and speak easies started to mix the rock gut with fruit juices and other things to make the taste, smell, and color passable to the public. And this is where we got most of our mix drinks.

-Doug
 

Hacek (207.172.83.247)
Posted on Tuesday, August 12, 2003 - 08:43 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I once left a plastic half-gallon jug of plain apple cider in the back seat of my car for 2 weeks, during the summer. By then it was about to explode, but had a tastable amount of alcohol and was slightly carbonated, to boot. And not too bad, either. At least when I was in high school.
 

Walt Fischer (24.221.196.114)
Posted on Tuesday, August 12, 2003 - 08:49 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

This is a great thread.. LOL!!
Makes me wanna thaw out all my kids popsicles in the freezer n trying to ferment em...

Walt
----
 

Bret Mayden (66.210.167.145)
Posted on Tuesday, August 12, 2003 - 10:44 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

"...cruise the suburbs for lemonade stands - look for the smallest weakest kids and muscle them out of their inventory..."
PTA, you kill me! You missed your calling! (Other than homebrewing, of course.) Have you ever thought about stand up comedy? ("A guy walks into a brewpub....")
 

Dave Witt (64.12.97.9)
Posted on Tuesday, August 12, 2003 - 11:07 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

One of my other hobbies is fishkeeping. About the time I started brewing, I built a CO2 generator for a fish tank that had plants. This consisted of a 2L bottle about 2/3 full of water with (IIRC) 2 cups of sugar dissolved. Bakers yeast was added to make it ferment and after a couple weeks, it would kind of peter out and stop. For the heck of it, after it finished fermenting, I took a swig. It was pretty bland afa flavor goes, but alcoholic. I thought maybe adding flavoring of some sort would make it drinkable. But the thought was as far as it went.
 

Farmer Ian (216.222.76.56)
Posted on Tuesday, August 12, 2003 - 11:13 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hmmmm...all this talk makes me remember the one time about 3 years ago, when a neighbor had a bushel of apples in his shed that sat for some time. They did not rot, instead, they fermented! They were quite potent as I recall, and I quickly liberated the remainder of the apples from his neglect.

I wish I could recreate the circumstances that were present and make this happen again. ;)
 

fermented (66.55.23.163)
Posted on Wednesday, August 13, 2003 - 04:51 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

What fine timing!
Just came across an old cookbook with some great recipes in a little booklet titled "Comidas de New Mexico", by Lucy Delgado, published in 1979.

I believe that with the exception of the Blue Ribbon malt, all ingredients are readily available at any grocery store.
Not all of them make sense, but here they are, verbatim:

TESWIN (A natural alcohol drink)

1 ½ lbs. white corn (field dried)
1 tablespoon Anise seed
2 cups firmly packed brown sugar
6 sticks cinnamon
1 cake yeast
15 whole cloves
2 ½ gallons water
The peeling of 2 oranges

Roast the corn in heavy skillet on top of stove at medium low until corn turns golden brown. Cook, then grind coarse in a food chopper. Wash in cold water to remove hulls. Place ground corn in a 3-gallon glass jar or crock. Add water and yeast.

In a piece of cheesecloth, wrap spices and orange peel and add sugar. Wrap another piece of cheesecloth around mouth of jar or crock. Cover with lid. Let ferment for 3 days. Then stir with wooden spoon. Let set for 2 more days until corn comes to the surface. Strain well and refrigerate and drink cold.


OLD FASHIONED CHAMPAGNE

Place together in a 5 gallon crock:

1 ½ lbs. cracked white corn
1 lb. chopped raisins
4 ½ lbs. sugar
The juice and rind of 4 oranges, cut in half
2 lemons

Add 1 gallon cold water and let ferment for 21 days at room temperature. Strain well after fermenting. Cork bottle loosely. Let set for 30 days.


GERMAN BEER

1 3lb. can Blue Ribbon malt
1 gallon hot water
Mix together. Add:
5 lbs. brown sugar

1 gallon [warm]

Add enough water to make 9 gallons
Add cake yeast.
Ferment in a 15 gallon crock for 78 hours. Skim every day.
Use beer meter and bottle when it stops fermenting.


GINGER BEER

1 lb. sugar
2 large lemons
2 tablespoons powdered ginger
3 gals. boiling water
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 tablespoon yeast

Simmer all ingredients for ½ hour over low fire. Remove from heat. When liquid is cold, add 1 tablespoon yeast. Let ferment for 24 hours. Bottle for use. Let stand for 2 weeks before using.
 

PalerThanAle (65.168.73.62)
Posted on Wednesday, August 13, 2003 - 02:44 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Bret - No, I never thought about doing stand up - it sounds too labor intensive, there's all that standing. I'm starting to sweat just thinking about it. I have been told that my wife should be up for sainthood for having to put up with me for the last however-many-years we have been married.

PTA
 

Dan (168.166.22.10)
Posted on Thursday, August 14, 2003 - 02:48 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Well, last night, I helped my brother make his first jug of rot-gut. I gave him an old packet of champaigne yeast and helped him rehydrate and proof it. He used grape juice and two pounds of table sugar. This morning he emailed me to say that it was "bubbling like crazy." To tell the truth, I'm curious to see how (crappy) it turns out.
 

Walt Fischer (24.221.196.114)
Posted on Thursday, August 14, 2003 - 05:37 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

hehe Dan.. Let me guess what itll taste like...
hmmm dry, rocket fuel, with basically no grape flavor..;> heh
However all is not wasted!! You could prob run some through your car and clean out the fuel injectors!

Walt
----
 

Doug Pescatore (141.232.1.10)
Posted on Friday, August 15, 2003 - 03:56 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I have a question for Dave Witt, hwo does the additional CO2 affect the fish in the tank? I also keep fish tanks with live plants and have had spotty success with thier growth as I usually keep my fish population low.

-Doug
 

Greg Nolan (12.10.148.126)
Posted on Sunday, August 17, 2003 - 12:55 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

This sounds like a homebrewer in the making or and/or an alcoholic. How about getting some cheap applejuice, which is cheap aroung this time of year and throw some yeast in it. You could probably even add a microbrew to it for yeast. I would drop the table suger idea unless your into the prison culture.
 

Bob McCouch (68.34.184.217)
Posted on Sunday, August 17, 2003 - 01:13 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

In college, a bunch of us tried making cider, but we always fell for the idea of spiking it with several extra lbs of brown or table sugar. The earliest attempts were a gallon jug of apple juice which we'd drank some of, a lb of brown sugar, and some champagne yeast. Loosely cap and leave it on the dormroom radiator for a week. Prison hooch at its finest!

One of my buddies actually went to the LHBS to get 5 gallons buckets and all, but when it came time to add the table sugar to his juice, he thought each (5lb) sack from the store was 1 pound! He added 5 to his juice, and then wondered why it tasted like syrup even after it finished fermenting!!!

Not all bad things come from these attempts, tho... this it how I started brewing. I figured I had to be able to do better.

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