Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Narragansett Bay
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Re: How is boat beer made?
I've never done it aboard, but making beer can be fun. I've had it come out pretty good and not so good and never really made enough to know what I did differently. I would make smaller sized batch, so if you didn't love it, you just make another and aren't stuck with two cases of the stuff.
There are also several different techniques. The traditional method is to boil grain (barley) at an exact temp for an exact time to extract the sugars, which you then ferment into alcohol and CO2. That takes skill, time and space. You can also buy barley malt and just add water, hops and yeast to ferment. It can come out well, but purists will turn their nose up at it.
Honestly, I've had traditional homebrews that are good and bad, as well as malt brews that are good and bad.
The most arduous part is bottling. Naturally, the bottles must be sanitary (not necessarily sterile) so that any natural bacteria, which may be perfectly benign, doesn't grow or cause the beer to change. Soaking and drying bottles is a real PITA and I can't imagine doing it aboard. I recommend using the largest single bottles you believe you'll consume at a time, such as quart sized or growlers to limit the necessary number.
Have fun. I haven't brewed beer in over a decade, but it was like a science project with a cool reward. Good luck.
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In the harsh marine environment, something is always in need of repair. Margaritas fix everything.