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Used to brew, things have changed.

willyp00

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I'm starting to set up for a brew system. Long time ago, I brewed. The equipment, ingredients, and to a lesser extent, methods have changed. Mostly what was brewed was juice wine and local grain beer. Brewer's yeast from the grocery store was the only one. Hops were hard to come by and I have no idea what type. Powdered ginger was used as a substitute. Sanitation was bleach, heat, and vodka. Had some kit beers from some friends and found them so good that I had to get back into it. Some others did all grain with the mash tuns and all. I did it with a mess of cheese cloth in the day. I'm so out of date.
 

PetenNewburg

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  A friend from our local brew club makes "Prohibition" Style beer for his grandfather, Quakers Oats, raisins boiled in a cheese cloth bag.  Bread yeast ...  He had it posted on our club forum.

  3.3 lb malted oats, 1 lb Quaker's Rolled Oats, 4 lb sugar, 1 lb softened(?) raisins, 4 gallons water & a table spoon cake yeast (bakers).  NO hops.  Sometimes ginger.  Reports it to be very strong!
 

willyp00

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Sounds good. As for the softened raisins, make sure they don't have sulfur preservatives on the back label. They have a lot of stuff that makes a good yeast nutrient. Learned from my high school anatomy and chemistry teachers that this was a bad idea, depending on the raisins. To be presumptive, for others; if I have to say not to add sulfites to the primary fermentation, then maybe I'm not as out of date as I thought I was. Any chemistry on the effects of ginger versus hops?
 

Maine Homebrewer

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I'm not sure that raisins treated with sulfur would hurt.  Cultivated yeast is very tolerant of sulfur, compared to wild yeast, so sulfur in the form of Campden tablets is used routinely when making fruit wine.  It kills or stuns the wild yeast that hitchhikes on the outside of the fruit, allowing the cultivated yeast to take over.
But being that the raisins are to be boiled, I doubt would much matter either way.

Potassium sorbate on the other hand...  That stuff is used to inhibit yeast reproduction, and you don't want to inadvertently add it to  to any fermentation unless you're trying to stop it. Like say you make a hard cider and want to sweeten it a little because it fermented out bone dry.  In that case you might add potassium sorbate to halt fermentation, and then add sugar to taste before force carbonating it in a keg.
 
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