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OUPV 25 Ton
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Discussion Starter #1
I was reading a book in which the single handed sailor had made his own beer on board. Anyone done this or heard of it?
 

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Yes. Many a liter brewed and consumed on board. Easiest way is to get a "Home Brew" kit and give it a go. Happy brewing!
 

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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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Never made beer but have had good luck with wine as berries and fruit grow all over the coast.When it's not a raving success there's alway the stil so nothing's wasted.
 

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I do not have the recipe and procedure but I would love to learn how to brew ginger beer on board. Talking with people north of me and a few down in the keys it is a treat that people look forward to drinking.
 

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Learning the HARD way...
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Ginger beer is easy:

Peel and grate 1 tbsp of fresh ginger root
Boil 1 cup of water, add 1/2 cup of sugar and ginger root.
Remove from heat and add 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice.
Let ginger/sugar/lemon water cool to room temp and stir in 1 packet of yeast.
Add the mixture to a 1/2 gallon bottle of bottled water (or better to split between 2 quart bottles).
Cap tightly.
Let it sit for 2 days minimum.
Pour carefully, so that you do not get sediment, into a glass.
Enjoy!
 

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So basically, ginger beer is carbonated, watered down, ginger flavored moonshine? :)
 

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Closet Powerboater
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I used to brew quite often, and since I lived aboard, it was always on the boat. In fact, at the homebrewtalk forum I go by the name "brewonboard".

The trend in the USA homebrew scene is to start with grain, extract, and hop ingredients and get a fairly complex list of supplies together. This gets you "started" and then you "graduate" to all grain brewing, which is complex enough and equipment intensive enough that you don't even want to think about doing it on a boat.

In Australia and Europe, many brew using "can kits" which can turn out shockingly bad, or with very minor tweaking can turn out absolutely great. They require 1/10th the work of extract brewing, and the ingredients are shelf stable.

I HIGHLY recommend the Cooper's homebrew kit. It has everything you need, and with minor tweaks to the recipes the brew turns out great. In fact, I have a coopers fermenter with canned beer fermenting just 10 feet from where I sit now.

Here's the kit, and I've bought from this store before. No complaints.
Coopers DIY Beer Kits

Here's the video that shows the whole process. Easy enough to do on a boat!


MedSailor
 

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My closest friend brews her own beer. Tastiest stuff I've had. It's what turned me onto beer after the crap in college.

My plan is to make her the official Boat Brewer.
 

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They require 1/10th the work of extract brewing, and the ingredients are shelf stable.
I would also do a partial extract style brewing if I were making beer on a boat. However I wanted to point out that this single quote is exaggerating quite a bit. Full grain systems can be quite simple, and there are even small desktop models that are fully automated.

I brewed hundreds of gallons of beer using full grain systems and could do a 10 gallon batch (not on a boat) in about 3.5 hours. It was easy to split this into two styles of beer for slightly more work and an extra half hour or so of time. Full extract brewing (no grain at all) can make mediocre beer in about half the time, not 1/10th of the time. Partial extract makes very good beer, but requires almost as much time as a full grain beer.
 

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Closet Powerboater
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AlexW,

I was comparing kits to extract brewing, not to all grain. I've never brewed all grain, but if it can be done on a boat without taking up all of your locker space, then I want to know how and you will become my personal hero. ;)

Most of the time I have done extract brewing on the boat, but right now I'm experimenting with the Coopers cans again and trying to fine tune my recipes with shelf stable ingredients in anticipation of longer term cruising. They really are a heck of a lot less work than extract brewing. No 90min boil, just boil a kettle, add stuff and stir...

If extract brewing is more of your thing, then vacuum packed mylar packages of hops, kept cool or refrigerated can last quite a long time. With the occasional re-supply you could be in good beer for a long time.

Of course, I'm headed to the land of OZ where the Cooper's kit reigns supreme. They even sell them in the corner grocery stores.... Now I'm getting all nostalgic. I think I'll go sing the Aussie national anthem now. :D

MedSailor
 

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Not Finished Yet
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I'm experimenting with the Coopers cans again and trying to fine tune my recipes with shelf stable ingredients in anticipation of longer term cruising.
I hope we get a detailed report if you make something drinkable. Given the price of beer in the Bahamas, might be worth doing some of this for kicks. I have only done all-grain. I would rather not drink beer for 3 months than mess with all-grain on a boat the size of mine. Would also like to be able to do 1 gallon batches.
 

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Closet Powerboater
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I hope we get a detailed report if you make something drinkable. Given the price of beer in the Bahamas, might be worth doing some of this for kicks. I have only done all-grain. I would rather not drink beer for 3 months than mess with all-grain on a boat the size of mine. Would also like to be able to do 1 gallon batches.
Not drink beer??? Not an option. :)

I might write up something once I get a few good recipes down. Right now what I have in the fermenter is 2 cans of Coopers real ale and 3lbs of amber dry malt extract and 5 gal of water. It's done fermenting and is now mellowing and I've sampled it. It's decent actually. Kind of ESB-like.

For your small batches and for those without any brewing equipment, I give you this blog post. These guys were neighbors of mine at Shilshole in Seattle. Great people, lots of fun. I thought this recipe was fairly unbelievable. At least the "better than any beer I can buy" part was for sure. Though, these guys drink real beer, so out of curiosity I did this batch, including all the steps. Even used a collapsible jug like they did. Turned out surprisingly good. I can buy better beer of course, but it was waaaay better than budmillercoors.
s/v hello world: self reliance

MedSailor
 

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Old enough to know better
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I can say the "Mr Beer" kits are not worth the time or energy. Ginger ale is really easy to make. I use flip top bottles, kind of like what Grolsch comes in (but clear I got them at Ikea). I also make Kombusha, it is a similar process.
 

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Closet Powerboater
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I can say the "Mr Beer" kits are not worth the time or energy. Ginger ale is really easy to make. I use flip top bottles, kind of like what Grolsch comes in (but clear I got them at Ikea). I also make Kombusha, it is a similar process.
The coopers can kits are pretty darn easy. If you want a smaller batch, but don't mind a bolder, more bitter beer, you can just use one can by itself and 2.5gal of water.

No direct experience but I've never heard a good thing about them except a nostalgic "they got me into brewing."

MedSailor
 

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Yes. Many a liter brewed and consumed on board. Easiest way is to get a "Home Brew" kit and give it a go. Happy brewing!

hey bud I have one...a really good kit I was going to use to make some at the restaurant but they were emphatic on temperature for the actual fermentation process...

can you do it in the tropics on a boat and for example what tweaks would you do for the recipe?:)
 
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