Friday, June 17, 2016

Low Impact, Low Cost, Low Capital Beer

Items that I put together for the first attempt at low-impact beer

This is the first effort at trying to figure out the antithesis of the current zeitgeist of the current American home brewing hobbyhorses.

For the most part, American hobbyists view their weird little perversions as a dick matching contest, with hurried and frequent trips to the local homebrewing store of the internet to purchase, at often ruinous expense, the latest geegaw that will prove to their peers that their equipment can beat anyone else's equipment at brewing beer.  It is somewhat akin to "Fishermen" who, when they add in the cost of their boat and tackle and sundry probably spend $55.00 an pound for the fish they catch.

Beer was created by the Sumerians.  2050 BCE was quite a while ago.  All the technical commercial crap is not necessary to the task.
Alulu beer receipt – This records a purchase of "best" beer from a brewer, c. 2050 BC from the Sumerian city of Umma in ancient Iraq.[1]

So, I am proceeding in the opposite direction.  For this first little effort, I am going to attempt a small batch of beer (1.5 to 2 gallons)<2 a="" and="" apartment.="" dinky="" fits="" gallons="" in="" into="" it="" little="" make="" my="" p="" system="" that="" to="" try="">


  1. Stainless steel 2.5 gallon pot with lid, steamer insert and draining thingamajig
  2. 1 quart pyrex measuring cup
  3. balance
  4. big nylon straining bag for the grain
  5. small muslin bags for the hops
  6. thermometer
  7. Some siphon tubing and a hose clamp
  8. Fermenting bucket 
  9. Air lock


  1.   3.25 pounds 2-row barley @ $1.09/lb ($3.54) 
  2.  0.25 pounds of Crystal 80 @ $1.69/lb ($0.43)
  3.  0.25 pounds of Chocolate Malt @ 1.99 ($0.50)
  4.  0.25 pounds of Chocolate Wheat @ 1.69 ($0.43)
  5.  1 ounce Summit hops ($2.50)
  6.  11.5 grams Safbrew Abbaye yeast ($5.99)


OK:  there are a lot of resources out there for helping you work out the details.  For this little project, I used these folks:

First step is to put the nylon sack into the pot and put in five quarts of water and stick it on the burner. 

Keep the thermometer close at hand and watch the temperature, when it gets to 169-170 F. (76-77 C.)

Full Stop:  First not buy a cheap thermometer....

First crack a failure...The temperature was actually around 200 instead of the 170, the grains are ruined, the enzymes dead.  Tomorrow is another purchase of grain and a decent thermometer.

Back to Work:

To Be continued

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