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Half_Frog

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I've been considering making a YT video to show newbies how to get started - one newbie to another. There are a few ways to get started, a VERY cheap way, a medium way (build as you go) and an expensive way (going straight Grainfather (or similar) and kegging). Which one do you want to try?

Ive been through all 3... currently brewing on a GF with 2 conical fermentors adn the GF glycol chiller
 

Toxxyc

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That's pretty neat... Some people don't have the money for GF and all that, though. Some don't know if they want to dump R50k on a brewing setup to just test the water. Some people, like me, want to start out just seeing where it takes them, and then they realize that you can get by with cheaper equipment. It takes longer, more effort and more manual labour, yes, but it's possible. I find more and more newbies don't want to go all-in with a GF and conical fermenters and all that - they just want to make a beer kit for now, see how it goes and then continue.

And actually, due to recent changes, I really can't afford expensive brewing anymore. So I make simple beers with cheap grains, cheap hops and on cheap equipment. I harvest and re-use my yeast. I make smaller batches with reduced boiling times. I don't even chill. Doesn't mean it's terrible beers. In fact, my last beer I made turned out so well I'm going to be making it again - at R120 for a 23l batch. Not bad at all, if you ask me. I want to help newbies make a good beer without breaking the bank too much.

To be clear here, I am in no ways an expert. I definitely don't know everything and I don't know the best, but I've been brewing for a year and a half now, more or less, so I've learned a few things and found a few things and I'd like to share these experiences with others. I think it can help - a lot. And I want to make more YT videos. Haven't uploaded anything in a long time.
 

Half_Frog

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No I agree with you. I have been brewing for the better part of 8 years. For me taking the plunge into the Grainfather was worth it. I saved up and bought it bit by bit.
If you wanna do these vids then go ahead. You dont even need a boiler/urn, Ive seen people brew on the stove with a 10l pot
 

TheSlinger

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Jun 6, 2014
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That's pretty neat... Some people don't have the money for GF and all that, though. Some don't know if they want to dump R50k on a brewing setup to just test the water. Some people, like me, want to start out just seeing where it takes them, and then they realize that you can get by with cheaper equipment. It takes longer, more effort and more manual labour, yes, but it's possible. I find more and more newbies don't want to go all-in with a GF and conical fermenters and all that - they just want to make a beer kit for now, see how it goes and then continue.

And actually, due to recent changes, I really can't afford expensive brewing anymore. So I make simple beers with cheap grains, cheap hops and on cheap equipment. I harvest and re-use my yeast. I make smaller batches with reduced boiling times. I don't even chill. Doesn't mean it's terrible beers. In fact, my last beer I made turned out so well I'm going to be making it again - at R120 for a 23l batch. Not bad at all, if you ask me. I want to help newbies make a good beer without breaking the bank too much.

To be clear here, I am in no ways an expert. I definitely don't know everything and I don't know the best, but I've been brewing for a year and a half now, more or less, so I've learned a few things and found a few things and I'd like to share these experiences with others. I think it can help - a lot. And I want to make more YT videos. Haven't uploaded anything in a long time.

Where are you located?

I've been mulling over a similar idea myself... just you know time.
 

beans100

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Jul 30, 2010
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That's pretty neat... Some people don't have the money for GF and all that, though. Some don't know if they want to dump R50k on a brewing setup to just test the water. Some people, like me, want to start out just seeing where it takes them, and then they realize that you can get by with cheaper equipment. It takes longer, more effort and more manual labour, yes, but it's possible. I find more and more newbies don't want to go all-in with a GF and conical fermenters and all that - they just want to make a beer kit for now, see how it goes and then continue.

And actually, due to recent changes, I really can't afford expensive brewing anymore. So I make simple beers with cheap grains, cheap hops and on cheap equipment. I harvest and re-use my yeast. I make smaller batches with reduced boiling times. I don't even chill. Doesn't mean it's terrible beers. In fact, my last beer I made turned out so well I'm going to be making it again - at R120 for a 23l batch. Not bad at all, if you ask me. I want to help newbies make a good beer without breaking the bank too much.

To be clear here, I am in no ways an expert. I definitely don't know everything and I don't know the best, but I've been brewing for a year and a half now, more or less, so I've learned a few things and found a few things and I'd like to share these experiences with others. I think it can help - a lot. And I want to make more YT videos. Haven't uploaded anything in a long time.
Well, if you can share that R120/23l beer, I'll be grateful. Can even PM me.
I have the equipment, bucket/BIAB setup. Just haven't brewed in over 5 years. Staring to get everything ready to get back in to it. A cheap brew might just do the trick to remind me what I need.
 

Toxxyc

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Where are you located?

I've been mulling over a similar idea myself... just you know time.
I'm in Pretoria. I've been thinking about this (making "how to do X on CHEAP" videos) for a while. Think I should do it sometime. Maybe over December holiday...

Well, if you can share that R120/23l beer, I'll be grateful. Can even PM me.
I have the equipment, bucket/BIAB setup. Just haven't brewed in over 5 years. Staring to get everything ready to get back in to it. A cheap brew might just do the trick to remind me what I need.
OK so I did the math it's not really R120, but it is REALLY cheap. It's a Vienna lager that I made that turned out great. Cost:

2kg Vienna malt - R59.50
2kg Pale malt - R41.40
600g Caramunich II - R20.01

Hops: Southern Promise, 12 grams, so R53.97 for a 100g packet divided by 8 = R6,75-ish for the hops.

Yeast: Recycled. No cost. Paid for it once, not going to calculate the cost into future brews. Harvested off the previous beer and it's still going well. I think. We'll see.

Water: Tap. No cost.

Carbonation: R4, or something like that, using bulk priming sugar you get for next to nothing.

Fining: Age in the fridge. Beer drops clear in the fermenter, no need to fine. If need be, R5 for gelatin, and I'll include it.

Bottling: I bottle in mini-kegs and Grolsch swingtop bottles. Reuse it all over and over, no caps, no anything to spend money on there.

Total cost: R136.66

Still pretty cheap. If I increase my brewhouse efficiency, that recipe should be good to stretch the beer to 26l, thereabouts. I do BIAB in an 18l pot, mash in the oven and boil on a gas stove. Don't even get a full rolling boil, but it works just fine. I need to get a proper gas burner for this, but that's R300 I don't have right now.
 

TheSlinger

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I'm in Pretoria. I've been thinking about this (making "how to do X on CHEAP" videos) for a while. Think I should do it sometime. Maybe over December holiday...



OK so I did the math it's not really R120, but it is REALLY cheap. It's a Vienna lager that I made that turned out great. Cost:

2kg Vienna malt - R59.50
2kg Pale malt - R41.40
600g Caramunich II - R20.01

Hops: Southern Promise, 12 grams, so R53.97 for a 100g packet divided by 8 = R6,75-ish for the hops.

Yeast: Recycled. No cost. Paid for it once, not going to calculate the cost into future brews. Harvested off the previous beer and it's still going well. I think. We'll see.

Water: Tap. No cost.

Carbonation: R4, or something like that, using bulk priming sugar you get for next to nothing.

Fining: Age in the fridge. Beer drops clear in the fermenter, no need to fine. If need be, R5 for gelatin, and I'll include it.

Bottling: I bottle in mini-kegs and Grolsch swingtop bottles. Reuse it all over and over, no caps, no anything to spend money on there.

Total cost: R136.66

Still pretty cheap. If I increase my brewhouse efficiency, that recipe should be good to stretch the beer to 26l, thereabouts. I do BIAB in an 18l pot, mash in the oven and boil on a gas stove. Don't even get a full rolling boil, but it works just fine. I need to get a proper gas burner for this, but that's R300 I don't have right now.
Damn, too far for an easy co-operative how to...

What Yeast did you start with?


Once the bug bit, I got a cheap vacuum sealer off banggood and a cheap 2 roller mill. This lets me buy bulk grain and bulk hops (cheap from SAB hop farms). Un-crushed grain has a good long shelf life if kept in dry air tight conditions. The hops gets vacuum sealed and frozen, increasing it's shelf life. Opted for the in-bulk-saving method, while expensive at the time it's more than paid itself off.

Aside from the occasional specialty grain, I tend to only buy fresh yeasts on a regular basis. Maybe one or two a month.
 

Toxxyc

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I used SafLager S-23 yeast, if I remember correctly. A tricky yeast according to some, but I'm happy with it. Will see how the next batch holds up.
 

TheSlinger

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I used SafLager S-23 yeast, if I remember correctly. A tricky yeast according to some, but I'm happy with it. Will see how the next batch holds up.
How many uses do you tend to get out of it? Or is it infinite?
 

Toxxyc

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It's not infinite, but I don't know. I've heard people say 3 or 4 uses, and others say they've reused it for years. I honestly have no idea. I'm no biochemist or something, so I am really not sure how the continuous cell division and scarring left on the yeast cell walls affect the beers down the line, if at all. I just don't know. I intend on using it as long as I can see healthy fermentation with consistently low off flavours, then I'll re-asses.
 

Half_Frog

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I'm in Pretoria. I've been thinking about this (making "how to do X on CHEAP" videos) for a while. Think I should do it sometime. Maybe over December holiday...
Im also in PTA (Waverley) so if you want to use or review the expensive/GF you are welcome to use mine
 

Toxxyc

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Im also in PTA (Waverley) so if you want to use or review the expensive/GF you are welcome to use mine
Damn. Small world. I'm in Bergtuin, right next to Waverley :D

I'll let you know. Might not be a bad idea to do an "expensive brew" next to a "cheap brew" comparison. Same recipe, same method, and then compare the results?
 

TheSlinger

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Damn. Small world. I'm in Bergtuin, right next to Waverley :D

I'll let you know. Might not be a bad idea to do an "expensive brew" next to a "cheap brew" comparison. Same recipe, same method, and then compare the results?
Youtube it. I'd watch.
 

Toxxyc

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PS it's a fun channel. I'm not serious about YouTubing at all. Not yet, anyway. It's just some personal fun stuff on there.
 
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