Author Topic: cheap good ale  (Read 12610 times)

Offline fatcat660

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cheap good ale
« on: February 16, 2011, 07:17:23 PM »
I am on a mission to make tha most inexpensive great Ale possible, so far the plan is 6 .6 LBS Briess extra light LME one ounce of Kent goldings 60 min 1/2 oz Kent Goldings 30 min and 1/2 ounce Kent Goldings at the last 5 minutes.  I will use Nottingham ale yeast and primary in a 6.0 gal glass carboy.  So far 25 bucks invested what do you all think.

Mark

Offline Kyral210

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Re: cheap good ale
« Reply #1 on: February 17, 2011, 03:01:38 AM »
Sounds alright. You could throw SOME cane sugar in to lower the cost further. This would make it cheaper but not as good.

Offline Beer_Tigger

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Re: cheap good ale
« Reply #2 on: February 17, 2011, 05:32:21 AM »
Go to all grain and reduce the ingredient costs further.  There is, of course, equipment costs.
"Let's see if this here beer will help me to stop procrastinating." - my cousin

Offline BobBrews

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Re: cheap good ale
« Reply #3 on: February 17, 2011, 07:33:47 AM »
Before you invest more. The cheapest way to make "good quality" ale is Brew in the Bag. http://www.biabrewer.info  I was just a average all grain 3 tier brewer. I discovered BIAB and I reduced the equipment and initial cost. Both styles work well if done right. But for a new all grain beginner, BIAB is the cheapest way to go!
Bob Brews
Brew in a Bag Brewer BIAB
http://www.biabrewer.info

tina7franks

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Re: cheap good ale
« Reply #4 on: April 04, 2011, 03:16:11 AM »
Sounds alright. You could throw SOME cane sugar in to lower the cost further. This would make it cheaper but not as good.

Cane sugar could have helped you in decreasing some of your bucks.

Offline shane

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Re: cheap good ale
« Reply #5 on: April 10, 2011, 05:24:42 PM »
GROW YOUR OWN HOPS   


A regular of mine, Dale's Pale Ale

   6 1/2 lbs of Northern Brewers Gold malt syrup (buy in bulk) @$2.12/lbs              $14
   1 OZ Perle hops                                                                                                $0
   1 OZ nugget hops                                                                                             $0
   2 OZ cascade hops                                                                                           $0
   1lbs 40l crystal malt                                                                                         $2
   Safale dry ale yeast 05                                                                                     $3.75
                                                                                                                         ______
                                                                                                                         $19.75

Under $20 for a BIG APA. GROW YOUR OWN HOPS!!!!
pri   ESB,  english pale ale
sec  amarillo ale   SBL
       cascade ale   honey nut brown
       shane adam's  blueberry ale
       pale lager,    
keg  irish red
up next a Rye P A,

Offline Maine Homebrewer

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Re: cheap good ale
« Reply #6 on: April 10, 2011, 07:20:29 PM »
Going all-grain is the way to save money (on ingredients), and buying bulk (assuming you will use it) helps as well.

Not to mention that once you go AG you never go back.

I buy 55# sacks for $58 - $65, making the per pound cost a dollar plus pennies.  The last one was from the health food store that has a homebrew section. Got them to special order it for me and it was cheaper than the lhbs (sorry Ed), though it was on their ordering schedule instead of being there waiting for me.

I got a pound of hops from hopsdirect.com, including shipping, for near $18.

One thing I haven't purchased in bulk is yeast.

You have to commit to a grain and hop combination, but that doesn't have to be a bad thing. Especially if you liven it up by adding varying ounces of crystal, chocolate, black patent, and whatever else strikes your fancy.

My average batch uses 10# grain, 3oz hops, a packet of yeast, and it doesn't have that "tang" associated with extract beers.

All for $15 or so.

Now if you just want to get drunk off cheap swill, and don't care about that nasty extract "tang", I suggest a can of your favorite extract, a 2# bag of brown sugar, boil with your favorite hops, add a packet of yeast, and enjoy.

You will have spent more money than me, and consume a product I would pour down the toilet.

cheers!

"To alcohol! The cause of - and solution to - all of life's problems!" -Homer Simpson

Offline shane

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Re: cheap good ale
« Reply #7 on: April 11, 2011, 07:03:15 PM »
 Dear Maine Homebrewer,
        Don,t be a beer snob. To say that allgrain is miles above and beyond ANY extract or partial is beer snobbish. I would think that your not , but just passionate like we all are. Some say that the "tang" you refer to is the metallic taste you got out of a mediocre low to mid grade extract from a can, like you would get from canned vegetables. But there are definetly different grades of extract as well as dme. Just like grocery shopping look at the dates on everything and use the freshest everything possible. It would be like me saying that anyone that doesn't grow their own hops and uses the pellets or "fresh hops" would be using an inferior product.
       As for me I brew twice a week, during the week it's extract or partial mash and the weekends its partial or allgrain. I've had great success with both and i failed with both. Nobody likes to be made  to look the fool with beer snobbery . Relax Have a Homebrew.
pri   ESB,  english pale ale
sec  amarillo ale   SBL
       cascade ale   honey nut brown
       shane adam's  blueberry ale
       pale lager,    
keg  irish red
up next a Rye P A,

Offline Maine Homebrewer

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Re: cheap good ale
« Reply #8 on: April 11, 2011, 07:55:11 PM »
shane,

Do you drink instant coffee or would you prefer something brewed from ground beans?
Would you prefer to add water to bouillon powder or open a can of broth that has never had the water extracted from it?
Do you prefer Lipton powder over fresh brewed ice tea?

Put a raisin in hot water to rehydrate. Does it taste like a grape?
Put a prune in hot water to rehydrate. Does it taste like a plum?
Ever had freeze dried ice cream? Try adding water to that.

There is a noticeable change in taste when something has had water extracted from it and then returned.
It's not the metal in the can because the cans are lined with plastic. The contents never touch metal.

Your hop comparison is invalid because using dried hops is common practice even to those who grow their own.
Now if you were comparing dried hops to hop extract that would be a different story. But you're not.

I understand the convenience of using extract, and to an extent I wish I could stomach the stuff. Did for years.
But after my first AG batch I ended up tossing all my saved homebrew. Couldn't swallow it. Tried but I couldn't drink it.
Now I must devote most of a day to brewing when I used to make a batch after work.
Same with a coworker of mine. I turned him onto the AG process and he can't even drink his old beer.

Now if you feel like a fool because a complete stranger and his friend can't stomach beer made from dehydrated then re-hydrated malt, you've got problems.

Cheers!
"To alcohol! The cause of - and solution to - all of life's problems!" -Homer Simpson

Offline shane

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Re: cheap good ale
« Reply #9 on: April 12, 2011, 05:51:54 PM »
   Mainehomebrewer,

   We have a saying down here, " You could dazzle em with brilliance or baffle em with bullsh*t".
  Really? Instant coffee, raisins, prunes, freeze dried ice cream? how does a raisin which is kiln or air dried to reach a desired new flavor compare to a quality liquid extract that is reduced to a thicker still liquid form. There are quality extracts out there. In a purist's eye this would not suffice I gather (BEER = GRAIN+HOPS+WATER+YEAST) But the beauty of we homebrewers is we don't live by these rules.
  The fact that you and your "friend" cannot stomach an extract or partial mash is really not of my concern or care.
  The fact that you would call ALL partial or extract brew toilet swill is my friend indeed beer snobbery.
 Problems I assure you I have not, and we'll agree to disagree.

  So I'll raise my swill and toast, "Here's to me and here's to you, Relax and have a homebrew" or was that swill ,I'm confused now
pri   ESB,  english pale ale
sec  amarillo ale   SBL
       cascade ale   honey nut brown
       shane adam's  blueberry ale
       pale lager,    
keg  irish red
up next a Rye P A,

Offline jomebrew

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Re: cheap good ale
« Reply #10 on: April 12, 2011, 07:05:30 PM »
I had 4 damn fine extract brews last club meeting.  I did not detect a tang but it could have been there. Others talked of being able to detect an extract brew.

Personally, I don't get the idea of making the least expensive great ale.  I really enjoy making my beers more so drinking them.  I don't skimp in ingredients or make choices based on cost.  When it comes to an extract, I would look for the best quality versus the cheapest.  I might be wrong but I believe the cheapest is likely inferior.   I guess you could strive to make marginal beer but that is not me.  So, to Fatcat660, I can appreciate reasons to save money and yet try to make a decent beer. 

I assume you want to use the dry Nottingham yeast from Safale?  That is pretty inexpensive coming in under two bucks at more beer.  I would rehydrate the yeast and make sure there is plenty of oxygen in the wort.  Shake the fermenter like mad for 3 or 4 minutes or use Oxygen and a stone for 60 - 90 seconds when the oxygen is just bubbling to the surface but not causing a bunch of foam (no reason to waste head forming proteins).   I have used Safale US-05 with no issues though I use While Labs vials now. Adding some yeast nutrition would be advisable for all extract brews but that adds cost.

My last all grain batch of a blonde ale was about $19.   Most my brews come in under $25.

Offline MikeinWA

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Re: cheap good ale
« Reply #11 on: April 12, 2011, 07:40:12 PM »
I am really trying to grasp the "tang" taste from extract. What would be added or even taken away by the extract process to cause this?

I really have not researched the extract process but I would assume the grain is boiled in water and then the mixture is reduced.  Am I wrong?

Offline jomebrew

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Re: cheap good ale
« Reply #12 on: April 13, 2011, 08:32:49 AM »
I am really trying to grasp the "tang" taste from extract. What would be added or even taken away by the extract process to cause this?

I really have not researched the extract process but I would assume the grain is boiled in water and then the mixture is reduced.  Am I wrong?

As I understand the process, they use a vacuum based evaporative process that concentrates the wort.  I think the extract "taste" comes from the concentration of flavors that is not emulsified when reconstituted.   For me, concentrated orange juice is not the same is fresh squeezed.  I think that this is kind of the same. 

After tasting some 40 homebrew beers in the last week, the tang from extract is the least of folks worry.  All grain or extract, focus on your sanitation and brewing process.  Eliminate all the bad habits and process problems that are making your beer metalic, sour, plastic, medicinal/band-aid, sulfer and other icky tastes.  Be happy when all you have to battle is the tang.  For every tang, there is an equal and opposite flavor that will neutralize it.

Offline dogma46an2

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Re: cheap good ale
« Reply #13 on: April 14, 2011, 04:35:14 PM »
So you want cheap?

Go to your pantry grab

1LBS bag of rice
 
about 1 to 2 lb pale malt
or
whatever boxes of cereal you  have

you can use table sugar or honey or whatever is in your kitchen

you can mash this on your stove
 just boil your rice and like 3 gal of water  for 45 min
add your grain or cereal
hold at like 158 to 164 for 60 min

strain add back to pot boil add sugar if you want

1oz cluster- split into three little piles

at 60 add pile one 30 add pile two and last one at flame out

add a bunch of ice from the freezer to your primary transfer you wort
onto it which will also cool it quick and add to your total volume

pitch onto whatever yeast you already have in a carboy from before

there you go you have literally not spent sh*t on anything

maybe couple bucks on the little bit of grain and 1oz of hop
but if you go with cereal then you spend less
as well if you wanted to get even cheaper then you may find some herbs in your pantry you can use to bitter instead of hops
though you will only have a gruit
but spent nothing but water cost

" I know this is stupid but it would work and be the least expensive over all"


And as for the argument on extract and all grain
if your getting good extract and doing the right sanitation then you can get brew just as good if not better as all grain ..
extract is great as long as the material is up to par and your doing the job right
one dont buy extract from a can your H.B store should have it that they package
if they dont find one that does
two i love all grain for the control i have via extract but i have had ppls A.G that tasted just like any sh*t that you would call an extract brew
that tang off flavor your getting or metal flavor is from poor sanitation most likely
or that your extract had absorbed from the tin can
as a whole i do both and both are as good as what you put into it

my 2 cents.. 


“I feel sorry for people who don’t drink. They wake up in the morning and that’s the best they’re going to feel all day.”

Offline shane

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Re: cheap good ale
« Reply #14 on: April 14, 2011, 05:53:49 PM »
    hey dogma,
   I was gathering all those ingredients together and doing fine, then when I got to the ice cream, there were three different kinds in the freezer. Stumped , I asked my wife ,"what would be better Rocky Road or Heath Bar crunch or just plain vanilla?". When she replied "for what dear?,I knew I'd been duped. You got me.

 But seriously, Maybe the topic should have read,
  HOW DO I MAKE A GREAT ALE LESS EXPENSIVELY

 ps  It's amazing the buzz you get from mistakenly putting instant coffee on  freeze dried ice cream instead of my chocolate crunchies
pri   ESB,  english pale ale
sec  amarillo ale   SBL
       cascade ale   honey nut brown
       shane adam's  blueberry ale
       pale lager,    
keg  irish red
up next a Rye P A,