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Old 11-05-2019, 09:15   #1
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cruis'n and brew'n: Does anyone brew beer at sea

Cheers! couldn't find any threads along these lines (probably because it's a crazy idea).

My wifes become enthralled w/ those new (not cheap) all in one brewing machines.

I'd done quite a bit of brewing on land and the results really always were quite good (as long as I could have a couple before my neighbors found out another batch was ready!). But there's just far too much equipment (and that lovely smell) for a cruising cat.

Has anyone taken this on. If so, how'd it go and what did you settle for in equipment.

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Old 11-05-2019, 09:23   #2
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Re: cruis'n and brew'n: Does anyone brew beer at sea

Sure, it's your wife who is the one who wants to do this...




She sounds like a keeper.


Not sure how the mini-brew machines work, but if you can keep the temperature in the right range, go for it.
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Old 11-05-2019, 09:43   #3
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Re: cruis'n and brew'n: Does anyone brew beer at sea

I'm dead serious! It was her idea to buy a boat in the first place (way larger than the lake cats we used to sail)! She actually doesn't even like beer... a wine 'aficionado'.

She's been bugging me for weeks... just sent me this link this a.m. https://52brews.com/best-electric-brewing-systems It's a hell of a lot less gear than I used to have (beyond lugging around a 5 gallon pot of boiling water is a young mans sport... Thanks for feedback.
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Old 11-05-2019, 10:30   #4
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Re: cruis'n and brew'n: Does anyone brew beer at sea

Reading Ö I used to brew my own, but canít see a way to manage the space, the water, the power, and the cleaning requirements on our smallish boat.

Even if these were manageable, I canít see it making much sense given the volumes produced vs consumption rates when talking beer. Maybe wine, but beer tends to be consumed in rather large volumes (or is that just me ). I think Iíd have to have two or three staggered fermentations going on all the time to keep up with the constant demand.
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Old 11-05-2019, 10:35   #5
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Re: cruis'n and brew'n: Does anyone brew beer at sea

Mike, fully agree and it'd likely be more supplemental (re: your point on consumption) one machine has an add on dispenser so you 'could' have theoretically 2 batches (one in tap w/ other waiting in brewer (chilled at that point) and rotate.

I'm at that "it's feasible, but is it really practical" stage.
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Old 11-05-2019, 12:56   #6
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Re: cruis'n and brew'n: Does anyone brew beer at sea

I'm told it is too rolly in open water, so the dead yeast never settles out and you'll have murky beer. Which probably still beats no beer. Then again, you can probably filter or decant that.

WTF, get a "Mr. Beer", try it at home once or twice to get a grasp on how it is supposed to work. Beware, you need to let things sit for longer than you want.(G) And don't be afraid to use liter plastic soda bottles for your beer, they can take the pressure and they make convenient single-servings.

Once you know what it should be coming out as, time to try it on the boat.
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Old 11-05-2019, 13:35   #7
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Re: cruis'n and brew'n: Does anyone brew beer at sea

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Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
I'm told it is too rolly in open water, so the dead yeast never settles out and you'll have murky beer. Which probably still beats no beer. Then again, you can probably filter or decant that.
The unsettled yeast during primary fermentation would be my primary concern. This wouldn't be so bad if the temperature was tightly controlled, but the combination of all the yeast agitated in a warm solution I think is a recipe for rocket fuel pruduction such that even after you filter the floaties you'd be left with a lot of bad alcohols and taste that would be headache producing and hard to swallow.
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Old 11-05-2019, 13:44   #8
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Re: cruis'n and brew'n: Does anyone brew beer at sea

Hey, guys, if you love your beer, it can be done....and on a 30 ft. monohull, let alone a cat. Usually people secure the fermentation bottle? tank? to the saloon table. Don't need anything fancy. Lots of beer kits available in markets in NZ and Oz. Lagers through porters. Good. And most of the guys recycle 2 liter pop bottles. Once you get going, there's always a brew going. The yeasts settle down in anchorages, and one pours carefully, unless they're after more vit. B.

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Old 11-05-2019, 14:50   #9
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Re: cruis'n and brew'n: Does anyone brew beer at sea

Where do you plan to cruise?

Having brewed in a number or Central American countries I can tell you that acquiring and properly maintaining ingredients is problematic.

Whats your (her) plan for temp control during fermentation?
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Old 12-05-2019, 09:05   #10
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Re: cruis'n and brew'n: Does anyone brew beer at sea

following because, why not? LOL

Looking at an air still myself
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Old 12-05-2019, 09:55   #11
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Re: cruis'n and brew'n: Does anyone brew beer at sea

I had the idea to distill spirits on board a boat big enough to generate 220V with enough current, so I started at home using the 220V in the laundry room. works great, but as other have said you need two important things which are difficult to achieve on a boat:
stable temp in the 70s F
stable place to let the yeast fall to the bottom

otherwise it's like trying to distill Vegemite; not good flavor but plenty of buzz until the next morning.

I also worried for international travel having to explain my copper equipment to a Caribbean or Central American customs inspector.
it is possible with a large enough vessel. Good luck and keep trying.
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Old 12-05-2019, 10:19   #12
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Re: cruis'n and brew'n: Does anyone brew beer at sea

have been trying to figure out something as well...I make only NE-IPA's, they are cloudy and generally fresh is MUCH better.

I harvest, and reuse yeast - would need to be frozen for storage (need a deep freezer for the boat).
Hops can also be frozen. Grain no problem, bring the mill....

I have a PID controlled electric brewery at home, was going to downsize it all - could easily run off a small generator - with the electric element in the wort, the wattage could be 1500 or less no problem.

Brew in a bag, boil, whirlpool - cool (seawater through a copper immersion cooler) then off to a 3-5 gallon conical. This would need a calm harbor.

No primary/secondary - not needed - SS conical is the only way.
The yeast for my NE-ipa's can tolerate high temps (85f) and remains cloudy.
Already have 1.75gal kegs that fit the boat fridge.

Enjoy, and win ;-)

There are even all-in-one electric breweries - a SS conical for boiling and fermenting. Might try this, but NE-ipa's have huge late hops additions, need to be removed or it tastes like grass clippings.
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Old 12-05-2019, 11:46   #13
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Re: cruis'n and brew'n: Does anyone brew beer at sea

I have been brewing for many years. Fortunately , I have plenty of space for bottle store. Each brew water comes from the w/maker - hence Coral Sea Bitter , Pacific Stout etc.etc.
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Old 12-05-2019, 11:55   #14
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Re: cruis'n and brew'n: Does anyone brew beer at sea

Making hooch on the deck on your boat is pretty common in the pacific islands where booze is expensive and hard to get hold of. My friend used to do it on his 27' boat.

It doesn't taste great.

Just make sure to get rid of all the methanol!
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Old 12-05-2019, 14:40   #15
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Re: cruis'n and brew'n: Does anyone brew beer at sea

My friend did it on a Compass 29 with great success using a simple fermenter with a water-lock to stop oxygen getting in to the wort and spoiling it. I used the same system ashore and it does not take upo too much room. Yes, there is a smell to it, but it is not too bad, and the trick is to use a bit less water than that recommended for the kit one uses--so it does not spill if the vessel is under way. He had a rope and basket system that suspended from a hook in his heads, roughly just forwards of midships, , so his fermenter remained pretty much vertical regardless of the heel of his boat. His system made 23 litres at a time, but using it aboard he made only 20 litres--so his was a little more hearty than standard..
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