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December 22, 2006

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One more thing, after I wrote the above article, I found out from two different friends what the Black Forest and Southampton Publick House has for the holiday. According to one friend, the Black Forest has an Imperial Pilsener (high octane pilsener basically). And another friend told me that the Publick House had a Xmas ale in a 750 ml bottle that is reported "dark." That's all the information I have. If you've tasted either and have something to add, please do. Cheers!


Brew low cost beer. The amount of time you spend on brewing beer makes the small difference in cost between "just OK"

ingredients and top quality ingredients a minor point. Either way, the cost of brewing a 5 gallon batch is much cheaper

than buying a couple of cases of beer in the store.

Beer is made of cheap ingredients, so it doesn't hurt to buy the best. Surprisingly, the cheapest way to brew beer gives

you the best results: all grain brewing is the cheapest way to brew when grain is bought in bulk.

You do need a grain mill and a mash tun, so there is a small investment in equipment needed. But you should be able to

brew excellent quality beer for less than $2 per gallon, and you could brew a mild ale for as little as $1 per gallon, or

less than 10 cents per bottle (one gallon is about 10-1/2 12oz bottles). Most of my pilsners are about $1.50 a gallon

brews.

Other ways to reduce the cost of your beer are by growing your own hops and reusing yeast from the fermenter. Easy to do,

and it means that I don't have to buy yeast more than once every half year or so. The hops should last e through most of

the winter brews. So all you need is grain, which is about $0.70 per pound in a bulk purchase (much of the cost is in

shipping).

Beer Brewing Equipment Basic, simple, cheap equipment that gets the job done. Sometimes it adds to the challenge. But

through the mystique of brewing and remember that illiterate alewives brewed for centuries using tried and true recipes

and procedures before the dawn of kegerators, ph meters or hydrometers.

Beer Keg Brewing. After using bottles for years, you can jump to the corny keg (Cornelius keg). This is an important step

because it makes brewing so much easier. You can still bottle, but just a few bottles per batch, and use a corny keg to

fill the bottles. You can use corny kegs as secondary fermenting vessels. You can try out method where you leave the beer

in the primary for about two weeks until it clears nicely, and then upi carefully siphon it over to a corny, avoiding

transferring any trub.

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