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Old 09-07-2015, 23:01   #1
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Is Having Your Own Onboard Brewry A Good Addition

I was thinking about the water purifier for my planned long voyages and I was thinking well if I'm going to generate my own drinking water why not also my own beer. Beer is a better source of nutrition than water so I've been told. I know some people have a bread maker on board so why not a mini brewery?


This unit produces 2.5 gal. finished beer batches and supports all-grain and mini-mash brewing and brews up to 1.090 gravity beers without adjuncts with an average of 4 hours for production.




Zymatic Automatic All Grain Brewer w/ Keg Model:ZYMATICWK


Highlights:

  • World’s first fully automatic beer brewing appliance
  • Includes 5G keg with air-lock, cut dip-tube, and keg seal
  • Connects to PicoBrew.com service via WiFi or Ethernet
  • Choose from over 100 brew recipes or create your own
  • Recipe library with over 40 award-winning recipes
  • Color: Stainless Steel
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Old 10-07-2015, 07:21   #2
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Re: Is Having Is Your Own Onboard Brewry A Good Addition

This is a subject close to my heart

There are easier ways that growing your own mash....

Kits make great brew!

I've used this one on board. Fill with water at the fuel dock and then set sail on passage with it gently brewing in the aft head or the lazarette and when you drop anchor a week later you can get rolling drunk...

http://www.amazon.com/Coopers-Brewin.../dp/B004QCXWSA for Americans
Coopers DIY Beer Brew Kit For Aussies

And its Australian so it can't be less than great!
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Old 13-07-2015, 15:35   #3
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Re: Is Having Is Your Own Onboard Brewry A Good Addition

I've thought about the same setup once I start cruising since I have a beer addiction. The Picobrew as it is called is fairly new so I haven't seen any real reviews on how it actually performs and considering it's around $1,700 I would want to hear from actual users. My main concern for myself would be how to get grain and hops necessary when cruising outside of the US.
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Old 13-07-2015, 16:04   #4
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Re: Is Having Is Your Own Onboard Brewry A Good Addition

Quote:
Originally Posted by sbarouch View Post
I've thought about the same setup once I start cruising since I have a beer addiction. The Picobrew as it is called is fairly new so I haven't seen any real reviews on how it actually performs and considering it's around $1,700 I would want to hear from actual users. My main concern for myself would be how to get grain and hops necessary when cruising outside of the US.
Having brewed in a few countries outside the USA...getting good ingredients is the biggest challenge of brewing. Stowing those ingredients properly on a boat would be the next. I have chest freezers ashore full of ingredients and conditioning brews as well as for a temp controlled fermentation chamber...one fridge and two chest freezers in all...don't even like to think about that on a mid-sized boat.

Outside of developed countries good quality ingredients for brewing are typically not available so you have to import. Importation can present a few significant issues depending on where: in some places homebrewing is still illegal (had a shipment of supplies confiscated in Belize). In some place importation of ingredients and additives can get held up indefinately in Customs...like various minerals I shipped into Guatemala for making water chemistry adjustments...all nice little baggies of white powder. ;-) Took months to get that out of Customs!

CO2 refills for kegs can become a logistics issue too (sounds simple in theory, but theories don't always work out well here in Paradise).

In the end, buying beer locally is both cheaper and easier. If you want to brew seriously, I would do that ashore.

How many amp hours does that Picobrewer draw per batch anyway?
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Old 13-07-2015, 16:16   #5
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Re: Is Having Is Your Own Onboard Brewry A Good Addition

Having some home brewing experience, I'm slowly coming to the same conclusion that it's just not practical to brew onboard. The Picobrew requires 120v at 15 amps so need shore power or a generator. Didn't think about the CO2 refills.
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Old 13-07-2015, 16:18   #6
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Re: Is Having Is Your Own Onboard Brewry A Good Addition

Website states 4 hours to brew 2.5 gallon batch.
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Old 13-07-2015, 16:18   #7
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Re: Is Having Is Your Own Onboard Brewry A Good Addition

Quote:
Originally Posted by GoingWalkabout View Post
I was thinking about the water purifier for my planned long voyages and I was thinking well if I'm going to generate my own drinking water why not also my own beer. Beer is a better source of nutrition than water so I've been told. I know some people have a bread maker on board so why not a mini brewery?


This unit produces 2.5 gal. finished beer batches and supports all-grain and mini-mash brewing and brews up to 1.090 gravity beers without adjuncts with an average of 4 hours for production.




Zymatic Automatic All Grain Brewer w/ Keg Model:ZYMATICWK


Highlights:

  • World’s first fully automatic beer brewing appliance
  • Includes 5G keg with air-lock, cut dip-tube, and keg seal
  • Connects to PicoBrew.com service via WiFi or Ethernet
  • Choose from over 100 brew recipes or create your own
  • Recipe library with over 40 award-winning recipes
  • Color: Stainless Steel
I barely have time for a beer with all the boat projects.

The onboard brewery and distillery seems to work for sv delos.

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Old 14-07-2015, 06:58   #8
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Re: Is Having Is Your Own Onboard Brewry A Good Addition

Quote:
Originally Posted by sbarouch View Post
Having some home brewing experience, I'm slowly coming to the same conclusion that it's just not practical to brew onboard. The Picobrew requires 120v at 15 amps so need shore power or a generator. Didn't think about the CO2 refills.
Of course there is brewing...and then there is Brewing.

If just brewing a drinkable beer is the goal, and you have access to hopped malt extract, then you can just do dump-and-stir brewing with no boil required. Easiest, cheapest, least equipment, and least energy consuming. Best option for a boat I think.

But, if you really want to get into serious brewing...then things get complicated and beyond what is reasonable to do on a small boat I think.

With dump-and-stir, aside for acquiring the hopped malt extract, the main problems are reduced to storage (malt extract at the least will discolor in poor storage conditions, but hey hitting the stylistically correct color is not a goal anyway) and fermentation temp control.

A perfectly acceptable beer can be brewed using bread yeast, which is available almost anywhere. No need for specific pure yeast cultures if you are not trying to nail a style.

You are not going to make an award winning beer this way, but you can make a perfectly drinkable brew.

If I were to brew aboard I would probably brew mead. Yeast and honey can be acquired almost anywhere. You can make the needed yeast nutrients from denatured (boiled) bread yeast...and you're in business with no importation and minimal equipment requirements. Of course, slugging down a glass of mead on a hot day is not as appealing as a cold beer. ;-)

Here's another tropical hooch idea for you. Pineapple, like many sugary fruits, has natural yeast which live on its skin. Effectively making it a nice little self contained hooch brewing package. You can crush pineapple in a pot (husk and all because that's where the yeast live) with some non-chlorinated water and it will spontaneously ferment...no need to import anything or use any energy other than muscle power.
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Old 14-07-2015, 07:28   #9
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Re: Is Having Is Your Own Onboard Brewry A Good Addition

The Mr Beer kits make two gallons and would be easily transportable. All grain brewing might be a little too much on boats with having to keep the grain dry until use, but canned extract should work well. I've made some pretty good bet with the kit. My all grain grain is better, but the Mr Beer was pretty good.
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Old 14-07-2015, 08:43   #10
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Re: Is Having Is Your Own Onboard Brewry A Good Addition

Quote:
If I were to brew aboard I would probably brew mead. Yeast and honey can be acquired almost anywhere. You can make the needed yeast nutrients from denatured (boiled) bread yeast...and you're in business with no importation and minimal equipment requirements. Of course, slugging down a glass of mead on a hot day is not as appealing as a cold beer. ;-)
Great idea... Brew a batch, grab a dozen of your buddies, jump into your dragon boat and go rape and pillage.
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Old 14-07-2015, 13:20   #11
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Re: Is Having Is Your Own Onboard Brewry A Good Addition

Brewing? Let's go the whole hog and add a still as well. Now, how to disguise the apparatus between runs?

StillCooker | Grain Based recipes
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Old 14-07-2015, 18:05   #12
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Re: Is Having Is Your Own Onboard Brewry A Good Addition

As an avid home brewer, I am offended by that product. It takes all the fun out of brewing.

Half the fun of home brewing is designing, building, modifying and perfecting the equipment.

The other half is having a dozen friends over with their brewing gear and spending the day surrounded by roaring propane burners, smelling grain and hops while knocking out fifty gallons or so of that magical elixer.
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Old 11-08-2015, 15:24   #13
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Re: Is Having Is Your Own Onboard Brewry A Good Addition

Just chiming in with a hat tip to everyone who has tried or is considering trying this. I thought I was a serious beer drinker, but I see that I have been outclassed!
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Old 11-08-2015, 19:34   #14
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Re: Is Having Is Your Own Onboard Brewry A Good Addition

Disclaimer: One of my patients works for Picobrew and he is a really nice kid.

I used to be an avid home brewer. However, I would never brew my own beer on any kind of boat I could afford. There are really good commercial beers out there and unless you have reliable access to quality, fresh ingredients, I don't think that you could ever come close on your own.

Now, I am not a cruiser, but in my travels one of the pleasures I have is to drink local beers wherever I go. Some aren't great, some are, but all are an interesting part of the travel experience.

Now, if the unit wasn't so expensive, I would love to own the Picobrew machine. Just like a bread machine may not kneed or rise bread like I could on my own, it is a whole lot easier and is more convenient. Not perfect, but useful. Much like my roller furling main actually.



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Old 11-08-2015, 19:49   #15
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Re: Is Having Is Your Own Onboard Brewry A Good Addition

One sign of a "modern" yacht today is "water ballast" system.

Well…..why not have a similar "Beer Ballast" system in place?

Imagine, stainless tanks, situated low in the boat (cooler there) and large enough to hold 100 gallons of beer….or more.

I suspect you would have the most popular boat in the harbor. Instead of a fresh water wash down pump at the cockpit, you could plumb a nice spigot and have your friends come by for a fill up.
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