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Old 04-15-2010, 12:17 PM   #1
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As we are working towards getting things together for sailing and hopefully cruising as a family a question comes to mind. Is it possible or practical to homebrew on a boat? I have sailed a bit on different size boats and was just thinking that the space might be an issue unless properly planned out. Was just wondering if their is anyone here with ideas/experience in this or trying it. Yes we do realise that we would have to be very careful about where we do this as there are some places that frown heavily on any form of alcohol.

Michael
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Old 04-15-2010, 01:01 PM   #2
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It seemed to me when we were in the South Pacific that a great many Australian and New Zealand yachts carried their own home brew equipment with them. We shared their home brew on many an occasion. I hope a few of them are reading this and can comment further.
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Old 04-15-2010, 03:59 PM   #3
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If it is beer you have in mind, please disregard my comments as I used to brew wine and it is a little different. I had the opportunity to practice extensively while leaving in Iran but I decided not to on board as wine brewing requires large quantity of water, not so much for the wine itself but for keeping the containers and utensils squeaky clean, it is the golden rule to avoid bacterial contamination. In addition the rolling will cause havoc with the sediments that won't have much of a chance to settle. But, again, I like my wine properly done. Nowadays I find it more convenient to stop by the duty free ports....

Best of luck,
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Old 04-16-2010, 01:35 AM   #4
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"Ice Cold In Alex" - That phrase instantly conjurers up a movie, and if I am out at sea near sundown and if its hot - then the beer better be cold.

Beer is 'Brewed' - Wine and Cider 'Vinted'
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Old 04-16-2010, 08:24 AM   #5
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In my past experience, cider is "brewed" not "vinted".
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Old 04-16-2010, 12:31 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by delatbabel' date='16 April 2010 - 02:24 PM View Post

In my past experience, cider is "brewed" not "vinted".
Not sure if Ozzies brewed cider - In the West Country of England and in New England

Apple Cyder is vinted by vintners :-

Crispin Cider has launched Honey Crisp Artisanal Reserve Cloudy Hard Cider. Already known for their blue line of ciders crafted after the classic European beverage, Crispin’s new Artisanal Reserve Cider is made as a cloudy hard cider with a unique cloudy filtration system which leaves residual natural apple wine sediment in the bottle, ensuring an earthy, full-bodied flavor and an authentic cidery aroma. Honey Crisp is naturally fermented, using a premium apple blend with no added malt, spirit or grape alcohol, and is vinted to a 6.5 percent ABV. This product is available in a 22 oz. glass bottle with an MSRP of $4.49 per bottle.

----------------

Brewing specifically refers to the process of steeping, such as with making tea, sake and soy sauce. Wine and cider technically arent brewed, rather vinted, as the entire fruit is press read more at » http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brewing

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brewing
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Old 04-17-2010, 12:19 AM   #7
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Home brewing beer onboard is quite common here in Australia. Best to be stationary for a week or so for fermentation ( usually 4-6 days), then, and this is the important part decant into PLASTIC bottles for secondary fermentation (carbonation), I use the Schweppes fizzy lemonade type, time and time again, good sealing caps on them and no risk of glass breakage!

My favourite right now is a Mexican Cerveza (lager) Coopers Home Brew, 22 litres for about $15!!

Cheers, Alan
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Old 04-17-2010, 12:35 PM   #8
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If we are going to be doing homebrew on board i will be going back to Cornelius Kegs as that is aluminum lined with stainless steel and has a very small foot print for 5 US gallons of beer (19L). That and the 6L mini kegs in coated mild steel are really good for keeping space down and evenness of the final result up.

We are finishing of a dark porter and a red bitter at the moment and will be starting another red and a stout shortly and than a probably a lighter Ale for the summer proper. Don't have the current ability to do any Lagering so will have to wait on the Boch and such.

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Old 04-17-2010, 12:40 PM   #9
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Ciders in the British Isles are both brewed and Vinted. Depends on the maker. A good bit of the mainstream Ciders are brewed. This is due to speed in production and therefore cost (Brewed can be filtered and bottled in about a week to two, while those using wine type yeasts require at least a month, most longer. Unless you are into forced fermentation and the complication and flavors it leaves behind in the finished product.

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Old 04-17-2010, 02:47 PM   #10
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I never realised that we had such qualified brewers and vintners here on the forum. Good to know.
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Old 04-19-2010, 12:38 AM   #11
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I haven't tried brewing on a yacht but have a lot of experience with it at home.

As pointed out earlier, movement of the brew will prove problematic, stirring up sediment. You can use finings to remove it though - any home brew shop can recommend a range of options. I use chitosan.

Temperature is another concern - you should try to keep it around 18C (65F). Anything lower than 15C (~60F) will result in hardly any fermentation, and anything higher than about 30C (85F) gives the beer a funny taste from the yeast. Temperature control on board can be difficult. Using an old blanket can keep a few extra degrees in the fermenter in marginal conditions. Alternatively you can by plug in heating belts - just keep an eye on the power consumption.

The tip regarding soft drink (soda) bottles is spot on. Glass will explode when you start rolling, as pressure will build up from the CO2, even if they are strapped down tight - they are still being shaken around. Don't use plastic bottles deigned for non-carbonated drinks (eg spring water) - they cannot handle the pressure even in still conditions. Trust me on this one - I repainted our laundry with apple cider I brewed (or did I vint it?) one summer learning this lesson. If you are thinking of adding sugar to the bottles for carbonation, try it with one or two bottles only at first - this is usually the proverbial straw that injures the camels lumbar region when it comes to bottle integrity.

Space would be a concern of mine...you'll have to carry around the empty bottles in sanitary storage until they are ready to fill - keep them in a plastic bag and they are difficult to neatly stack, keep them loose in a locker and you will hear them rolling and clattering away on every bump. Youll have to try to find a suitable crate or box. You'll also need an effective way of sterilising the bottles, fermenter and all equipment. Unless you plan to do this on land, you will only be able to use a chlorine based bleach solution, so be prepared to taste it in the brew. The alternative is boiling the equipment - not a viable option in a ships galley. Simply scalding your equipment (nurse!) from a freshly boiled kettle does not work for bottles - you'll always miss some.

Alternatively, if you have a bit of cash you don't actually have to spend on the boat, you could invest in a stainless steel keg system. Solves a lot of storage problems and less hassle to sterilize (one keg vs dozens of bottles) - the only thing is youll need a temp-rite or chiller to cool the beer when pouring. Could be worth investigating.

Finally - it can be messy. If you (or your first mate) like a neat, clean galley this is not for you. Fermenters and airlocks overflow, bottling results in spills, filled bottles can leak....beer is sticky stuff and if you have ants on your boat they will worship you as a God. Oh, and the boat will quite literally smell like a brewery for weeks at a time. There will be live yeast in the air, which in a confined space can cause health issues so make sure the airlock is vented outside the cabin.

Now all of that should present an exciting challenge to anyone half serious about beer - seriously, go for it! Good luck and I hope to read about a successful brew in the not too distant future!
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Old 04-19-2010, 01:10 AM   #12
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Apologies - I only just read you will be using a keg so pls ignore my missive on bottling v kegs. Im interested in how will you be chilling the beer when serving?
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Old 04-19-2010, 09:55 PM   #13
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looking at some of the flash chiller used in pubs here in the UK as there are some mobile ones and will have to see how they are on power consummation.

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Old 07-15-2014, 03:30 AM   #14
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Have brewed beer Cooper's Lager kits on board for 14 years in the South Pacific Islands.
Never had a bad batch. Very simple to do. Even brewed pineapple wine on occasion. Until on my 60th birthday 4 years ago in Palau when I experienced a very sore big left toe..........had two more horrible gout attacks and stopped drinking home brew. No problems now and still have a few glasses of wine occasionally.
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