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Old 11-11-2017, 20:48   #61
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Re: Is Having Is Your Own Onboard Brewry A Good Addition

Both fore and aft mounted .50 cals would be a good deterrent to keep it safe. Probably not permitted in most marinas though.
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Old 11-11-2017, 22:22   #62
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Re: Is Having Is Your Own Onboard Brewry A Good Addition

Bottling system--dive through the trash cans at a popular spot until you accumulate 1 liter plastic coke bottles and caps, then wash and sterilize them.
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Old 11-11-2017, 22:39   #63
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Re: Is Having Is Your Own Onboard Brewry A Good Addition

Have a look at

Turbo Cider

Forget the demijohn and just make directly in the plastic cartons - Use cling film and a slightly unscrewed lid to release the gas. Bottle when ready and add sugar to carbonate
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Old 12-11-2017, 00:43   #64
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Re: Is Having Is Your Own Onboard Brewry A Good Addition

Beer is cheap
Spirits are not.
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Old 12-11-2017, 00:49   #65
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Re: Is Having Is Your Own Onboard Brewry A Good Addition

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Originally Posted by GoingWalkabout View Post
What I'm concerned about are parts of the world where owning a still onboard could be illegal. Mind you the copper one I'm looking at from Italy comes in three parts and could easily be stored amongst the pots and pans. Not sure if any one would work out that it is a still in your cupboard.
In Australia the brew shops sell 20 litre s/s tea urns and associated s/s pipe work as "water purifiers"
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Old 13-11-2017, 09:53   #66
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Re: Is Having Is Your Own Onboard Brewry A Good Addition

Just discovered this 2015 thread due to the recent posts to it in Nov 2017. There's an older thread too from 2013 - brewing beer aboard while cruising
But a lot has changed in 4 years. The 2013 thread had a lot of discussion of how to brew beer (and clarification of beer myths) but little discussion of how to adapt beer brewing to a cruising boat.

It's surprising that I haven't heard of anyone brewing good beer on a boat. You'd think one of the YouTube vloggers would be doing it. (Delos only distills, not brews, afaik)

I homebrewed for 8 years. 6 months ago sold all my equipment to move aboard. So I've thought about this subject a fair bit.

If you talk to many homebrewers you'll find there are ultimately only two reasons to homebrew:
  • Brewing styles you can't find easily commercially
  • For the love of the hobby
Price isn't one of the reasons. Unless you're brewing really rare styles, homebrewing is only slightly cheaper than buying. Also there's no point to brewing crappy beer, because you can find that nearly anywhere in the world, cheaper than you can brew it for. You can brew crappy beer for the enjoyment of the hobby, but eventually you'll probably tire of brewing crappy beer.

So let's talk about brewing good beer on a boat. And I'm assuming you're cruising and at anchor a good deal. If you're a stationary liveaboard that's not majorly different than brewing in a small apartment - I did it in a 450 sqft apartment for 3 years and there's nothing particularly challenging about that.

The challenges for a cruising boat are:

Boiling: you need to boil ~3 gallons of water to yield 2.5g beer. Most boat stoves can't do that. You could halve the batch but it'll be a lot of effort for a couple six packs. A turkey burner off your house propane in the cockpit would be the best bet.

Ingredients: You can get good ingredients in all of the coastal US, some of Europe, Australia and New Zealand.

Malt extract can be stored for at least a year and it's the way I would go. Grains will be hard to preserve. All grain could be an option if your ports have brew shops, or you can receive mail (US homebrew sites ship).

Hops will store about a year (pellets, vacuum packed). Longer if frozen, but you can probably get a shipment once a year.

Dry yeast (ex, S-05) will last a year. You might need to use a bit more or make a starter if it's old.

Vacuum pack specialty grains and make a tiny miller for them.

Brewing uses a lot of water, but you're going to drink most of it anyway. You lose a bit when doing extract brewing (boil off). But the real losses are in the cleanup and sanitization. So you need big water tanks, a water maker, or rain water harvest.

Ok so we're set on ingredients.

Temperature control: you need to keep it around 66-74F for about two weeks. This could be a problem in the tropics. If your boat is colder you can do lagers. If it's hotter, up to about 80F you can do Belgians.

Storage:
I would bottle and put them in the bilge, because who has room to store and serve from a keg on a boat? Probably feasible on 45+ footers.

The main hassle is where to put all the brewing equipment. The brew kettle and turkey burner are fairly big. A 3 gallon plastic carboy is fairly bulky but you can stuff it in some hole in the stern. You may also want a 5 gallon bucket for reracking/bottling, but most boaters have one already and you can nest stuff in it.


Overall I'd say the biggest challenges are the boiling and the storage. But none of this is insurmountable. I'm surprised no one has written up their method for doing it. I would, but then I would actually have to do it to test if these ideas work.
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Old 13-11-2017, 10:32   #67
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Re: Is Having Is Your Own Onboard Brewry A Good Addition

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Originally Posted by UFO View Post
Have a look at

Turbo Cider

Forget the demijohn and just make directly in the plastic cartons - Use cling film and a slightly unscrewed lid to release the gas. Bottle when ready and add sugar to carbonate


Balloons work well for this application.
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Old 13-11-2017, 18:55   #68
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Re: Is Having Is Your Own Onboard Brewry A Good Addition

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It's surprising that I haven't heard of anyone brewing good beer on a boat. You'd think one of the YouTube vloggers would be doing it. (Delos only distills, not brews, afaik)
Brewing beer on board… well, we have done it.

Two years ago, in Miami on our way to the Bahamas, my wife and I had just finished reading “Orca” by John A Pennington and Kara L Potter (a great book – buy it at Amazon). They brewed beer aboard their sailboat in the South Pacific to escape the high duty. We both said, “Why not?”. We took the bus to a homebrew shop where we explained what we wanted to do. They recommended an IPA because we would be fermenting at Bahamas springtime ambient temperatures. We left with a Brewer’s Best Pacific Coast IPA Kit like this https://www.amazon.com/Brewers-Best-.../dp/B0713SJZV6 and a plastic waterlock and rubber stopper. We picked up a 2-1/2 gallon drinking water container at Publix and left for the Bahamas. Later, on a mooring at Hawksbill Cay we set to work. The recipe required a 4 gallon brewpot and a 6.5 gallon fermenter – we had neither, so we made a third size batch dividing the ingredients by eye, using two pots on our two burner stove for the required brewpot, and employing the now empty 2-1/2 gallon rectangular water container for the fermenter. Clorox became the sanitizer, and although we had a thermometer, we had no hydrometer. The grains had been steeped, the LME and corn sugar had been added (plus the priming sugar), and we were in the middle of hopping the brew with the four sequential hops additions when the Park Warden came by to chat and collect his fee. We smelled like a brewery. He said nothing. After cooling the wort with seawater, we decanted the liquid into the water container, stuck in the waterlock, slipped a cardboard Budweiser case sleeve over the container to keep it dark, and tied it to the table leg. When the bubbling had stopped for 48 hours, we added the dry hops, and we waited a couple of days until they sank to the bottom. We decanted the beer into empty 1 liter PET tonic water bottles (by that time we had lots of them from drinking gin and tonics in the evenings.), screwed on tops that had each been drilled and a black rubber soccer ball valve inserted. We carried a 5 lb CO2 bottle with a regulator, hose, and needle valve attached, and we used them to carbonate the beer. (We use the CO2 and tonic water bottle apparatus along with a 5 gal box of syrup to make our own Diet Coke to dilute the rum before we drink it. The setup is sort of a DIY Sodastream.) Anyway, the beer from this one-third size batch was fine as were the other two batches that we made from the kit. We shared the beer out among visitors we had aboard. It was a bit of trouble to brew, but it was fun and a great novelty. All enjoyed it.

Last year, we simplified things and bought four 2 gallon Mr. Homebrewing Craft Beer Refill Kits: Churchills Nut Brown Ale, Diablo IPA, Long Play IPA, and Northwest Pale Ale. These are the same Coopers Brewery, Ltd kits from Australia that John and Kara used in “Orca”. They came from Amazon (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1) and were considerably easier to use, requiring fewer steps and being a better fit for our galley pots and water container fermenter, and they contained the proper sanitizer. We made all four kits bottling and carbonating them in PET tonic water bottles after the first fermentation. All brewed to their description and were good although the Diablo was to my taste over hopped. The description says in part, “…and a lingering bitter finish.” 'nuff said. All the beer from the kits was consumed, most with guests around the cockpit table. Both the beer and the story of its manufacture were a hit.

In addition last year, we also brewed up a 1 gallon Craft-a-Brew (www.craftabrew.com) kit that came with its own 1 gallon glass bottle. It was a gift. It also worked fine using our DIY Sodastream to carbonate the beer after the fermentation.

There are bits of the story in my wife’s blog, Irish Eyes to the Bahamas
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Old 14-11-2017, 06:03   #69
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Re: Is Having Is Your Own Onboard Brewry A Good Addition

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Originally Posted by wsmurdoch View Post
Brewing beer on board… well, we have done it.
Nice! If I read your story correctly, sounds like you split a 5 gallon batch into three 1.5 - 2 gallon batches. And I forgot extract brewing doesn't require doing a full volume boil like all-grain - so you were able to do a partial boil - maybe only 1 gallon - and add water at cooling. That's nice because it removes the need for a bigger propane burner, although it does put a lot of water vapor into the boat. (a problem in the PNW, maybe not so much in the Bahamas)

I have to say I think the first kit (Brewer's Best) would produce better beer. Fresh speciality grains rather than mixed into the extract. For the first batch you should've just picked up some StarSan separately - much easier than Clorox because you don't need to rinse it out.

Interesting force carbing technique with the PET water bottles. Sounds like your two hobbies complemented each other well! (gin and tonics + brewing)
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Old 14-11-2017, 08:01   #70
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Re: Is Having Is Your Own Onboard Brewry A Good Addition

Just a technical note on changing batch sizes. Boil volume, and density of sugars, affects hop utilization efficiency. So, technically, you should also change your hops schedule...but hitting a style perfectly is not lilkely an objective of onboard brewing.

So, if not overly concerned about that, you can do partial boils and add most of the DME/LME post boil (these ingredients do not need to be boiled, just the hops and enough sugars etc to extract the hop oils). This reduces your boil volume, which would be handy aboard a boat.
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Old 14-11-2017, 10:19   #71
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Re: Is Having Your Own Onboard Brewry A Good Addition

havent read through all the comments (im in the middle of an epoxy cycle at the moment) so hope this isnt redundant. DME in 3lb vac-sealed bags, pelletized hops similarly packaged, bag of light brown sugar or molasses, a bit of citrus rind. makes a damn fine brew drinkable in 15 days but better after 60, bottle conditioned. but you need a double gimble or a dead flat anchorage for primary fermentation or the yeast wont flock-out. then again, heffas are more nutritious...
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