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Old 17-05-2019, 14:09   #31
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Re: cruis'n and brew'n: Does anyone brew beer at sea

I would stick with getting a Grainfather if you want 5 gal batches and have the space. Most of the beer appliances require you to buy their ready to brew packs specific to each brand. I had the PicoBrew and don't use it anymore because I like the flexibility of my own recipes and having it kegged or bottled. It's also somewhat expensive to brew with their packs.

If not just do a bigger pot you can boil with and do a brew in a bag setup.
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Old 17-05-2019, 14:41   #32
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Re: cruis'n and brew'n: Does anyone brew beer at sea

Originally Posted by Jon Hacking View Post
Kahuna, we started brewing on board in Oz in 2006, as the beers are redonculously expensive there (probably a good thing, but strange in a culture that likes to present a hard-drinking image of themselves). The equipment wasn't much (we still have it) but storing the bottles took cubage. I cheated, in that I used the beer-kits available in Oz & NZ (& in specialty brew shops, which is to say, nowhere else in SE Asia, where we are now). It's all documented in my Brewing Pages.

The main problem I found was that the temperatures in the tropics are so high that the primary fermentation went off very quickly (3 days instead of 12). This may have killed many of the yeasty-beasties, as the subsequent carbonation cycle never produced much carbonation. If you can find a way to keep your carboy cool, that will help. Good Luck!

PS: We're now brewing our own rice wine, which doesn't taste at all of rice, & not much like wine, but it's a pleasant (& cheap) brew.

The hard drinking image is long gone. In my youth all males went to the pub to drink beer for an hour or two every afternoon after work. A combination of TV, severe drink driving laws, breathalizers, civilized wine culture and high taxes on alcoholic beverages has pretty well killed it.
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Old 18-05-2019, 11:21   #33
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Re: cruis'n and brew'n: Does anyone brew beer at sea

Got used to great beer when stationed in Germany in the late 70's. Later, brewed for 10 years, all-grain batches, 10 gallons at a time. Eventually got pretty good at it. Pilsners and Belgian Ales were my specialty. Gave it all up when I rediscovered sailing. That and the fact that there are many more good breweries around than when I started. Takes a lot of space/time/backbreaking work also.

Planning on cruising in the next few years and have long contemplated on the alcohol question. Don't think Mr. Beer would fit into that equation. (Have started backing off as well on the intake!). Delos has a couple videos on their distillery experiences.

I recall there was an actual alcohol in a powder form not long ago. Haven't heard whatever happened to that concept. That would be perfect for cruising, at least storage wise.
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Old 19-05-2019, 02:07   #34
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Re: cruis'n and brew'n: Does anyone brew beer at sea

Originally Posted by budvar View Post
I recall there was an actual alcohol in a powder form not long ago. Haven't heard whatever happened to that concept. That would be perfect for cruising, at least storage wise.

Many countries (and many US states) have, perhaps unsurprisingly, banned it. But it still exists. Finding a source for it would mostly be a matter of doing a little online research. Heck, you can even find a how-to on Instructables that shows you how to make your own.

Edit: Apparently, Palcohol, as it's known, is not yet on the market, though the inventor/manufacturer remains hopeful. They estimate it will be late 2020, at the earliest before it's available.

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Old 02-06-2019, 20:07   #35
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Re: cruis'n and brew'n: Does anyone brew beer at sea

Okay okay I gotchu fam, let's do this thing.

I grew up in naval boarding school, then went into college for Microbio specifically for brewing. During college I lived in my Watkins 27, after graduating took a corporate brewing job for 2 years, then started my own brewery (Inoculum, we are FL's first dedicated sour brewery. ) almost 5 years ago. Sailing has always been my greatest passion, but brewing is a close second and far and away my strongest AoE.

I bought a Sanibel 18 a couple days ago, and when I get her out itll be my first time sailing in almost a decade. I am so excited. Plan is to get her kitted out over the next month for some coastal cruising and gunkholing, spend time with her when I can while running the breweries for a couple years, then once the companies are less demanding of me start hunting for a Hans C.

So if we were to go over all good homebrewing technique this would take forever. I'm going to assume you are a great homebrewer dealing with the complications of fermentation underway, you can always learn the standards elsewhere. Don't go automated brewing system, the supply chain means old repackaged ingredients, strict recipes, they don't really improve anything, suck up a lot of power for the volume they produce, won't produce much etc. Also despite the appeal of the simplicity don't go extract for a lot of reasons, all the same reasons you wouldn't on land.

Brew In A Bag is for sure the answer here. This is basically what the grainfather is (which would be a great option if it weren't electric), just without the automated vorlauff and spare.
BIAB means no mash vessel, no lautering, no whirlpool, none of that. You pitch milled grain in a bag in a boil kettle with knockout volume of water at sacchrification rest (150ish f), vorlauff if you want to to increase extraction (probably 65-70ish with no vorlauff, 80ish with). Pull the bag of grain out, bring to boil, pitch hops/spices, kill flame, add kettle coagulant, let stand, knockout into fermenter.

So you need a kettle of whatever size you are comfortable with, an appropriate burner, malt and mill, a chugger pump, transfer tubing, immersion chiller, fermenters, and yeast.

When you do use the immersion chiller, I'd just chuck it overboard and use the sea to go from 210f to ~80f.

For fermenters you want the spiedel plastic ferments. They have screwtop lids and very well fitting airlocks, they will handle the rocking fine. They come in all shapes and sizes so get what is appropriate for where you can fit it. Personally because BIAB takes 2hrs and I'd be fine to brew for 4-6 hours, I'd get a fermenter 2-3x the size of my boil kettle. So maybe a 10g kettle and 2-3 30gal fermenters.

Someone in page one mentioned the motion of the boat disallowing for flocculation of the yeast. They is true but there is a fun answer! While /most/ yeasts wouldn't be able to flocc well enough to stick to the bottom of the fermenter I am pretty confident most Kviek yeast would. Kviek (pronounced kvike) yeasts are traditional nordic farmhouse strains that seemingly all share a couple key behaviors - they flocc like concrete (solving the issue with cloudy yeasty beer from movement) and very high temp tolerance. I use Sigmund's Vos Kviek a fair amount and it is very well behaved at 90f, ferments super fast and very neutral. No fussel alcohols whatsoever.

For packaging go package conditioning for a lot of reasons, all the same benefits you got on land (primarily no dissolved oxygen issues), but you dont have to get the beer to 0c then have a bunch of co2 on hand to carbonate it. If you were really being wild you could package condition kegs and find a way to chill and serve them, but I would just go flip top bottles. Like these infinitely reusable, just rinse them well when you empty them and let them air dry. Store in rubber made totes or whatever you figure.

For supply chain, go to local homebrew store, stock up on several batches of malt and kviek smack packs, whatever hops and spices you might want, fruit concentrates, etc. Mill malt on the boat as use it, try to use smack packs within 60days and follow same protocol you would on land for older smackpacks.

Lastly please look into farmhouse beer and see if you enjoy the style. If yes island hoping farmhouse beer could be incredible. Farmhouse beer is all about the terroir local to it, the yeast in the area, the spices on the ground. I own a multimillion dollar facility and have no desire to brew on a homebrew scale, but the idea of remote island farmhouse beer is so compelling to me I'm going to be stuffing the above setup into my sanibel 18 some how so I can pull up to an island and make some incredible farmhouse beer there. I'm going to figure out a method for open primary fermentation and a coolship (koelschip) on my boat.

I hope this helps! I left. A bunch out but this is the basics, and I think enough info that with googling some basic land based homebrewing you could get it done!

It can for sure be done, do it and report back! Lmk if you have any other questions!
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