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Discussion Starter #1
hi, i hear the beer can get pricey in the islands does any one has experience with home brewing kits on yachts.
cheers johnnymac
 

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I would think the constant agitation would not be good for the brewing process
 

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First off....

You don't need a kit. You can put together a few things pretty cheaply, and then get the supplies in bulk. While I haven't yet brewed on a boat, I will be doing both mead (honey wine) and a couple of types of easy beer (beers that don't require special supplies).

So, while we're preparing for the next couple of years to get ready for our trips, we're working on what supplies and things we need.

I've been making homebrew a few years now - and mead, and I started using the little "kits" like "Mr. Beer" and some of the others.

They... to be honest, suck. THe beer is not that good.

You can do a much better job with a simple 6 gallon bucket (get one that is meant for food and better to purchase it through an online brew store or a local place in a major city).

Get yourself a couple of recipes for the types of beer you like - and talk to someone in the local area ( I strongly suggest going to a home brewing store personally and talk to them) and get as much information about supplies, prices and the process you can.

Many will actually take you through the process (you brew a batch of beer on the premises for a fee) and they will take you through the whole process.

Making an All-Grain batch can take a lot of time and you will be cooking your wort (that's the stuff the beer is, before it is fermented) for as long as 2-3 hours, depending on the types of beers.

I would suggest looking into what we call "Extract Brewing" or "partial grain" brewing.

This is where you obtain small quantities of the grains you will use in your recipe and then add a malt extract to fill out the majority of the fermentables (sugars). Malt extract is nothing more than the allready-cooked-down stuff you are going to be getting out of the grains. In smaller, extract batches you use the grains for the flavors and colors mostly.

Also, a good ale yeast (pick one or two, and stick with one of them!)

You're not probably going to be making lagers on a boat without cooling systems and such, so pick a couple of ALES you like and go from there.


You want this book, or one of the editions by Charlie:

Amazon.com: The New Complete Joy of Home Brewing: Charlie Papazian: Books

Welcome to HomebrewAdventures.com - News

Check out that site.

While you're at it, check into the American Homebrewers Association. I joined... I think it's 40 bucks a year or something for a family membership. You get between 10-20% off meals and beer in a LOT Of restrarunts. (I visit Rock Bottom a lot and try different beers there, know the head Brewer here in my hometown and get recipes from him, and he's done a couple of ours!) I figured 4-5 visits to places usually pays for the membership in the savings :)

Also a lot of homebrew shops will honor your membership and give you discounts as well.

Now, about that "constant agitation"... I don't think it will hurt things a bit :)

A basic process goes like this:

1) Clean things up, prep for cooking.
2) following cooking directions prepare your wort and cool it.
3) After cooling, pitch in your yeast.
4) Wait - a few days. Usually 3-6 days depending on the wort, amounts of sugars in the wort, the yeast and the temps.
5) Rack the beer (put it into another container)
6) add some bottling sugars (3/4 cup for a standard 5 gallon batch)
7) bottle (you need some tubing and other things, look those up on a brewing site, and check out that book which takes you through the process more carefully and in detail)

8) Wait some more. Usually 1-2 weeks for the beer to finish fermentation in the bottle (what gives it fizz and puts the co2 in it)

9) Chill and drink


I promise you, going that route instead of a kit (OR buying commerical beer!) is going to be much better in the long run. You control your process, you can make just the beer or beers you like, in quantities you like and can handle and home made beer, if you do it right, JUST TASTES better!

Good luck. Send me a PM if you want more information.

Rick
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Rick wow.what a great response the magic of the internet.i will go to some home brewing store in my city nyc,thanks for the information.
cheers johnny
 

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Rick,

The description of the process you gave is very good one.
I am trying to imagine doinmg that on a boat... In my house I do not have any space constrains, but once in a while wife complain about the bottles, buckets etc. in the wrong places.
I do not know how expensive is the beer "in the islands" but I dout it would justify getting a bigger boat.

Then there is the problem of water, both for cleaning the vessels, (both bottles and fermenting buckets) and the idea of boiling 5 gallons of worth on the boat stove...
The bottling could be avoided if you stick with the ales "British style", flat pumped or poured into glass (and there are some very decent ales suitable for this treatment) or by using CO2 carbonation units for the whole quantity.

It is doable but does it worth it?
I brew my beer at home because I like it and my calculations are it is not considerably cheaper than decent quality store beer. Maybe, if you control your costs and compare the final product to Bud, it makes sence $$wise, but when you add the boatlife realities...
 

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Aw heck, just reading this forum has made me thirsty ... think I'll have a Yuengling Lager.

MGM
 

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the way I see it, there are 2 opposite options.

You have a decent amount of space on your boat (say, cat over 45 ft.) and with some thinkering, it could be set as a bar with dedicated insulated space for beer fermenting and serving. I would still skip bottling (no bottle conditioned ales). Either simple pump or more complicated CO2 carbonation.
(COST IS NOT AN ISSUE, QUALITY ENTERTAINMENT IS)


If the space is limited, with some determinaion, I would guess, it is still possible to make drinkable brew from kit, maybe even skipping secondary fermenter (less washing, only one pot for boiling, one bucket for fermenting) and drink it fast...
I would love to hear about the results from practical experience since I do not intent to try it myself any time soon.
 

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I make Wine from concentrate kits, super easy and 2 6 gal. plastic pails is all the room you need. I use a 6 gal Carboy bottle (fermenting) and a pail w/ spigot for racking and bottling.

Shaking it around is normal for making wines, especially when adding Yeast nutrients.

I also play w/ ingredients added to the wines and have made Blueberry Merlot, Cherry Merlot, Cherry Chardonnay, Crenshaw melon. I also make Pistachio Cream Liquor, Walnut Liquor, Cranberry Liquor that I can't make fast enough. The wines must be pretty good since people even want to buy them for $10-15+ a bottle.

Tips;
If you're doing Dry reds, add 5 whole nutmegs broken in 2-4+ pieces along w/ the Oak powder or chips for a better finish.

Chardonnay's? add 2 lbs. golden raw cane sugar ("Sugar in the Raw" is one brand) for a better Buttery finish.

Bootlegger, it's not just a boat name.... :cool:
 

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Sailing to surf
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I've been pondering this ever since I have gotten into sailing and beer making simultaneously. My conclusion...leave my homebrewing gear at home, teach my Dad or a friend to make mead and beers, ship me the bottles when its done (and maybe sell some along the way):D
 

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Vikingsailor
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I've been pondering this ever since I have gotten into sailing and beer making simultaneously. My conclusion...leave my homebrewing gear at home, teach my Dad or a friend to make mead and beers, ship me the bottles when its done (and maybe sell some along the way):D
I completely agree...I homebrewed for years, and then brewed professionally for a number of years. The most important part of brewing is keeping stuff clean. And I don't mean just clean...got to be sanitized. Regardless of the system, brewing requires lots of good water, some decent space...both of which are at a premium on board.

Brew on shore, keg it in soda kegs (Cornelius kegs) and bring those. Easier, neater and less work/space needs than bottling.

Good luck.
 

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I'd say that controlling fermentation temps (especially in a tropical climate) would also be a major issue.
 

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OK guys, now this is something I know about and is dear to (the layers of self induced fat around) my heart.

Many cruisers home brew and some cant wait more than 2 weeks to drink the stuff. Their stuff was horrible, mine was gooooood!

Ok - I decided that it had to be simple or it wasnt worth it. I used plastic bottles as they were light weight and you can store more/ volume than glass.

Clean the fermenter and the bottles as per manufacturers recomendations, (as the guys in previous posts say); use tap water and dont worry about high temperatures or specific gravities etc. At the end of 6 or 7 days (when calm enough), bottle the stuff.

We cruised the tropics for almost 3 years. Some brews were a little average, most were great. BUT allow it to sit second fermenting in the bottle (in the dark) for 3 months. In order to do this, I had 4 brews running (120 bottles) so that each could sit for 3 months or longer before I touched it. I had 4 plastic boxes, each held one brew. They sat in a single bunk in the aft cabin with the lee sheet up and a sheet or towel over the top (reduce the light). The temperature in that cabin was fairly consistant as the water temp stays consistant.

As to the tap water, we usually had to return somewhere about every 3-5 weeks for fresh food, and would top up with fuel and water etc. Thats when I would use tap (filtered) water.

If you keep it simple, and follow the instructions it will work just perfectly.
DC
 

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Yes crazy, but it works - (as long as everything is sterile clean.) As Homer says, mmmmm....beer.

You gotta keep it simple. If you are lying awake at night worrying about the specific gravity of a malty sludge in a keg - you got problems. (Keep the bottles in a plastic, box - in order to clean up any mess that may occur. Only happened twice). The rest were manna from heaven, syrup of the gods yada yada. You can also get wine bottle coolers (wetsuit material) which fit perfectly over a bottle of beer or use a vacuum thermos mug ( they hold about 450mls ( 3/4 a bottle)

See how Aussies and yanks can speak the same language, eg - beer o'clock is when??
 

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I brewed at home and carried a corny keg to the boat. 5 gallons of beer is essential to survival if becalmed and it makes good ballast too.






These CO2 chargers are a little bit of a pain, but they work. A 5lb CO2 bottle with a regulator would be better.


An important accessory to beer on tap:



Here is a simple how-to for brewing beer:

Beer Brewing
 

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