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Champagne Yeast to Make Beer?

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Hillbilly Bill

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Tonight I saw that one of our local pharmacies has the Mr. Beer kit on sale for $35US and I was tempted to send the better half to pick one up. Before doing so, I read several threads on several sites that warned me to stay away from Mr. Beer. Ok... so I did some research, including OP's threads on this site. I learned a good bit and learned some more on other sites. One thread I read stated that a kit a guy was using called for 2 different yeasts to be used. The 1st was a beer/ale yeast that was to be used at the front end of primary fermentation and the other yeast... Lalvin D-47 Champagne Yeast, was to be pitched when the 1st yeast began winding down and approaching its alcohol tolerance level. The Champagne Yeast then finished up the fermentation to the level desired by the kit designer.
Now... I know the beer/ale yeasts have a lot to do with developing the taste of the beer, but I have a question...
Is there a Champagne Yeast that could be used as the only yeast used in the process of brewing beer? Cote des Blancs? Lalvin 1116? Lalvin D-47?
Thanks for your thoughtful responses...
HB
 

Wade E

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I wouldnt use a wine yeast to make beer as that will ferment very dry and may bring forward flavors and aromas not wanted. Dont buy a Mr. Beer kit, Trye Brue and Brewers Best make decent extract beer and would be about the same price. I get the True Brew kits here for $20-$25 each.
 

Hillbilly Bill

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I was looking at some kits for around $25 +s/h... not too bad... but, there are so many to choose from! I was thinking of an American type beer/ale kit, but I like dark sweet beer also. I know nothing about these European beers so picking one by name is out of the question. I will have to ask around... what beer kits do you like?
HB
 

arcticsid

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Brother Bill, I hope someone can tell you a better, cheaper way to make beer. Spending 30 or 40 skins to make the equivelant of a case a beer is not the way to go. Making it from scratch may be another option. But your time is valuable.

Bottling it, if you don't make a "huge" amount is silly too!

Consider using one of these keg types of bottling. it uses a reusable stainless keg, and it will fit in your frig. Holds the equivelant of a case or so. Doesn't go far but all you have to do is hook up a co2 tank and your beer will be carbonated. Do the math. I have to do it myself. I prefer beer, but wine, for me, is cheaper to make and store. Although, I have to admit, I can find room in my frig for a keg in the frig.!

At -30F I cant keep the frig outside, but if you can afford it make a batch in one of those big garbage cans and make a "barrel" of beer. Store it in a large keg and go from there. I am a beer drinking fool, so I see no sense in bottling it. I personally can drink it quicker than I can bottle it.

Troy
 

Wade E

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I did a True Brew Red Ale which I thought was very good. I usually do All Grain but with my back acting up Ive been cheating lately. I have a Bewers Best HopNog to do very soon.
 

Hillbilly Bill

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Consider using one of these keg types of bottling. it uses a reusable stainless keg, and it will fit in your frig. Holds the equivelant of a case or so. Doesn't go far but all you have to do is hook up a co2 tank and your beer will be carbonated. Do the math. I have to do it myself. I prefer beer, but wine, for me, is cheaper to make and store.
I agree with you Troy... a keg is the way to go. I am pretty tied up with my wine and other stuff right now... "snowed under" is probably a better description, but I am pretty keen on getting some beer started at some point. Mayber after the first of the year... who knows... gotta do the research first.
Take care...
HB
 

Hillbilly Bill

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I did a True Brew Red Ale which I thought was very good. I usually do All Grain but with my back acting up Ive been cheating lately. I have a Bewers Best HopNog to do very soon.
I'll have to check those out... thanks.
HB
 

arcticsid

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HB, Wades got me talked into looking into the beer thing too! Hell its taking me this long to get some sort of a handle on the wine! But I can drink beer 10 times faster than wine, so we'll have to see. We can learn it all together! I went to my local home brew shop and there was way more grains, malt, double malts, triple roasted barley, european hops, Hops from Kansas, triple smashed barley fom Ethiopia, etc.(do they make beer in Ethiopia?) Tons of different stuff to make beer with. I was pretty proud of myself when I was able to successfully make a batch of wine from good old fashion frozen concentrated juice.

As much as I would like to get into making beer, I want to make sure I am confident enough to get wine into a bottle first. At least with beer, you don't have to age it as long, so we can be drinking the beer as we watch the bubbles in the wine! And if you are a "steady" drinker, a keg is the way to go. As I said before, I can drink beer faster than I can clean the bottles, so the keg system is really the way to go.

Don't forget the math, a 12 pack of beer is only a gallon or so, zheeze, breakfast, so if you want to make beer consider that. And further consider wine is around 13% or so, beer is around 5-6%is or so, so gallon for gallon, well you get the math.

Brew on Brother!

Troy


Troy
 

Hillbilly Bill

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Learn this "Beer Thing" together

Sounds good Troy... I'm sure I'll be doing the beer thing, but it may not be right away. Keep me posted on how yours comes out, will you?
HB

Hey... send me your mailing address... I'm trying to update my Christmas card list.
 

smurfe

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Yes, you can use wine yeast in certain beers but there is a technique to it. It isn't just a I'll use wine yeast instead of beer yeast. Many will use Champagne yeast at the end as you said if their initial beer yeast peters out and they don't get full attenuation. I recommend you download this podcast and give it a listen. It is a great show on just what you are wondering. There will be a lot of "guy" humor and antics but the info from the guests on The Brewing Network as well as the regulars there is invaluable, very entertaining as well.

http://thebrewingnetwork.com/shows/The-Sunday-Session/The-Sunday-Session-11-23-08-Shea-Comfort
 

smurfe

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BTW, skip the Mr Beer kit. Not worth it. I have sampled a few of their beers and they are pretty mediocre at best. If I remember they only make 2 gallons of beer and the kits cost as much or more than kits that make 5 gallons. You can do better just doing regular extract for cheaper.
 

Hillbilly Bill

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BTW, skip the Mr Beer kit. Not worth it. I have sampled a few of their beers and they are pretty mediocre at best. If I remember they only make 2 gallons of beer and the kits cost as much or more than kits that make 5 gallons. You can do better just doing regular extract for cheaper.
Yeah... I had already decided that was not the way to go... and about the download... I have dialup, so I'll wait until I can get sat internet before I download that link.
HB
 

Wade E

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Kegging is an expense that will pay for itself but if you dont have room for kegs in your fridge then the Tap A Draft system is the next best thing. I just bought this set up for a very good friend for Christmas. This system will hold a 5 gallon batch in these 3 bottles in which you naturally carb them and then hook up the tap and the whole system lays down in your fridge. I have also read on the beer forums that people use this system to force carb their beer by using 2 extra C02 bulbs to carb it then put the next 2 in for pouring correctly.
http://www.finevinewines.com/ProdDetA.asp?PartNumber=6780A
 

Hillbilly Bill

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That's an interesting setup... I checked it out using Google, and it is a neat system. I have been wanting to set up a draft system here for a while... my wife was a bartender for years, and I was a doorman/bouncer for years. We drink/drank an lot of beer and we need a draft setup. I think I am more inclined to go stainless with a CO2 tank than to get a system like this one.
My toys are filling up our small cottage, so my wife says she is going to put a trailer on the back of the lot next spring for more room. That will leave me the cottage for my hobbies. Maybe I can squeeze another refrigerator in the trailer and get a setup similar to yours then.
HB
 
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TheTooth

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Kegs are totally the way to go. I bottled my first few batches, then said to hell with it and got a kegging setup.

Troy... a typical 5 gallon batch of beer is actually about 2 cases of bottles, not 1. The price of a batch also gets much cheaper when you go all-grain. I can make 5 gallons of beer for $20-$30, which is much cheaper than any of the wine kits I enjoy. I haven't made fruit wine yet, so I have no idea on how much a 5 gallon batch of that costs.

As far as alcohol content is concerned, that depends on the style of beer you are making and your desired result. I have made beers from 4% up to 10% ABV. I make the bigger beers for the winter months (I also bottle up and give away some as XMas gifts). The bigger beers need aging time like wine does, though, so if you want to enjoy it right away, stick with the 4-6% ABV range of typical beers.
 

Hillbilly Bill

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Thanks Tooth,
I am going to continue pursuing the winemaking end of homebrewing through the winter, but I think I am going to take a long hard look at making and kegging beer next spring. My wife and I hardly ever go out to eat anywhere we can't get a pitcher of beer. Thanks for your input.
HB
 

TheTooth

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Thanks Tooth,
I am going to continue pursuing the winemaking end of homebrewing through the winter, but I think I am going to take a long hard look at making and kegging beer next spring. My wife and I hardly ever go out to eat anywhere we can't get a pitcher of beer. Thanks for your input.
HB
Cool... I came from the beer side of the hobby, so making beer seems like a no-brainer. While I can get pitchers of beer most places I go... I can't get pitchers of GOOD beer.

Out of curiosity... you mention being able to get pitchers of beer when you eat out. Are you unable to get bottles of wine where you tend to eat?
 

Hillbilly Bill

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Tooth...
I am sure we could find a restuarant that serves wine if we drove 60 miles or so to either Charleston or Huntington. Where we live it is a struggle to find a restuarant that will serve beer, much less wine. Every time a decent restuarant opens within 20 miles of here, they have to close the doors after about 3 months. West Virginians aren't really a wine-drinking bunch. I think you know what I am saying.
Maybe this will help clear this up... you say you came into the wine part of the hobby from the direction of the beer making crowd... I came here from the opposite direction... comprende?
Have a good one...
HB
 

TheTooth

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Interesting. I keep forgetting there are huge areas within our country where these sort of options are limited.

It sounds like you're going to enjoy your own wine and beer much more than the stuff you're able to get at local restaurants.

Have fun with the hobby!
 

Hillbilly Bill

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Interesting. I keep forgetting there are huge areas within our country where these sort of options are limited.

It sounds like you're going to enjoy your own wine and beer much more than the stuff you're able to get at local restaurants.

Have fun with the hobby!
Thanks Tooth... having a blast so far. My first batch of apple juice wine is ready to be racked and the FedEx man brought me a Blackberry Merlot kit today. My wife and I plan to keep on making wines and we plan to get set up with the beer-making equipment come springtime. I should be getting a settlement (from the insurance company of the guy who hit me head on in a terrific collision on October 12) in a few months.
My wife says she wants to put a mobile home further up on the hill and I can have the little old house for my hobbies... sounds like a plan to me.
Take care...
HB
 

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