Brewing from Foraged Ingredients

Discussion in 'Back to Basics' started by Dunerunner, Aug 17, 2015.

  1. Dunerunner

    Dunerunner Brewery Monkey Moderator

    Thought I would try this, as it is harvest time and there are numerous fermentables available right now.

    So my choices are.....

    1. A beer from scrounged ingredients.
    2. A Traditional Mead, essentially fermented honey.
    3. A Cyser, a Melomel made with apples and honey.


    I collected a small quantity of Cascade hops (there is a difference in hop varieties) from my son in laws hop bine the came up volunteer for the past two years without care, water or fertilizing. The hops are small and have some but not much Cascade character.

    I can get local honey for a Mead, which I have never made; and honey is available in the wild. Some of the new plums available at the farmer's market would yield the yeast and some fermentable sugars for a Melomel.

    Apples are inexpensive (relatively) but I would have to use very crude methods to juice them as I have no press.

    I would not be searching out a bee hive to acquire my honey, but it would be raw unfiltered and probably wild flower variety opposed to Orange blossom, Clover or Blackberry.

    Any requests?????????

    Help me decide........
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  2. Ganado

    Ganado Monkey+++

    Im voring hard Apple cider. Cook the apples blend em and use a clean thirty to filter out the juice.

    Use the apple fiber to make apple butter.

    I'm a double use kinda gal. Never waste stuff!

    Hmm on second thought you may not be able to make hard cider if you cook the apples. May have to blend with water 1st without cooking.

    Couple of things about hops. (Just for fun) ;) There are two basic kinds of hops with a bazillion varieties. One type of hops os for smell and the other is for flavor. The flavor varieties in the commercial hops world are a big secret and top secret. Premium prices for premium hops varieties.

    The plants are beautiful and hops in traditional herbal remedies are used as a sedative and for kidney and gall stones

    OK I'm done derailing your thread. :) still voting apple cider
  3. Dunerunner

    Dunerunner Brewery Monkey Moderator

    That's one for a Hard Cider..Whew.. Much easier than a cyser or Melomel and trumps a beer where I would have to harvest the grains, remove the hulls, malt the grains and then lightly roast them. Labor intensive.

    A true cider, I would have to build a press. Maybe I'll try that one day. For this, I would buy the fresh pressed juice.

    You are right on @Ganado! Hops are added to provide Bitterness (an attribute of specific varieties) and hops added to impart aroma (again this attribute is best with other varieties). Some hops can and are used for both bittering and aroma.

    I didn't know about the medicinal aspects of hops, thanks for the link!
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  4. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    Building a press for your apples would not be hard.;)

    Though my vote would be either hard cider or Mead.
  5. Yard Dart

    Yard Dart Vigilant Monkey Moderator

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  6. Dunerunner

    Dunerunner Brewery Monkey Moderator

  7. Yard Dart

    Yard Dart Vigilant Monkey Moderator

  8. Dunerunner

    Dunerunner Brewery Monkey Moderator

    So that is.... I'll let this run until I get settled after the 20th, start the garage organization and then I'll get to deciding which brew it will be as determined by the vote.

    2 for Hard Cider
    1 for Mead
    1 for Cyser
    Yard Dart likes this.
  9. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    All sorts of ways to apply pressure, including, just a long lever with a block and tackle to raise one end. That press looks nice, but for $800.00, I could have a foot press punching out cores, the disposal chopper system, and a pair of mash presses, working on squeezing out more juice.
    Dunerunner likes this.
  10. Dunerunner

    Dunerunner Brewery Monkey Moderator

    By the time I bought the materials twice, went through two packages of band aids, bought a food processor or garbage disposal, I figure I could buy that press.... :rolleyes:

    Oh, I'd have to get at least one new saw, too...
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  11. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    $85.00 for the disposal
    $260.00 for the sink which sound high..Shop American Standard 22-in x 33-in Silver Single-Basin Stainless Steel Drop-In or Undermount 1-Hole Commercial/Residential Kitchen Sink at Lowe's

    $20.00 for some punched angle to form a frame.
    An extension cord and switch $20.00.
    1 Ton Arbor Press & Other Arbor Presses - Harbor Freight Tools simple bearing press fitted with a sleeve of pipe would core apples with very little effort, and only minor modifications.$50.00
    Shop Torin 6-Ton Bottle Jack with Case at Lowe's $20.00 for a bottle jack ,
    And say $100.00 in wood , bolts, glue, saw blades, drill bits, ect.
    Just over $555.00
    Your press and Grinder is nice, but slow and hand powered. (And $800)
    It CAN be done, faster, with more pressure, and for less money, but it would require more work to assemble.
    Your money, make yourown choices. (Ymmv)
  12. tacmotusn

    tacmotusn RIP 1/13/21

    As for making apples into pulp for pressing. I bought an old vitamix juicer/blender for $45. New ones go for $400. It will turn pears or apples into thick juice almost like a smoothy, and you do not have to core them, peel them or anything except I would advise washing them first. Cutting them up into quarters or eighths makes them easier to juice. A tight weave cloth bag could be used with an improvised press to get juice without the pulp. The pulp could be used to make apple or pear butter.
    My point is a used powerful blender/juicer would be very handy for your project. I vote for hard cider.
  13. Dunerunner

    Dunerunner Brewery Monkey Moderator

    Kind of gets away from being able to brew an adult beverage with what you gather, and that is the principle I want to apply here. Don't get me wrong, it is a neat set up but again another apparatus to clog up my already crowded garage.

    Hand powered is key if there is no power....
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  14. Dont

    Dont Just another old gray Jarhead Monkey

    use a hand meat grinder.. Cyser? Have to look it up.. But I am adventurouse so thats my vote..

    Update after looking it up.. Oh, thats what it is.. Sounds interesting..
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2015
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  15. duane

    duane Monkey+++

    I vote hard cider as if you don't catch it at the right point, you end up with some great vinegar. Grand dad made wine out of dandelines, over ripe peaches, elder berries, strawberries and about everything else it seems and while I don't know how good it tasted, it got drank up. Back in the 1940's a lot of our neighbors in the farming community made all of their own beer. They liked it better than the store bought stuff and took great pride in their own distinctive blend. Mead is good, but the taste is kind of unique and you may not like it. The old "small" beers were brewed and drank without ageing as they got sour tasting after a few days and were about the only way a traveler in the old days could be sure that he didn't get sick from drinking the water. I was told that the brewers in Nam washed their bottles with formaldhide and it gave the guys a bad headache the next morning, so the powers that be said that they couldn't do that and they quit using it. Then the guys started to get all these weird tummy problems and they told them to use it again. But then I was told a lot of things at that time that were at best doubtful. We could have a thread on "military myths" like mythbusters I guess and I know as a young troop I didn't know if it was true or not, but if the sarge said it was so I didn't disagree.
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  16. tacmotusn

    tacmotusn RIP 1/13/21

    Well hell boy, why didn't you say so. Power or no power makes a big difference. You need to consider any wine possibilities with readily available main ingredients, and little work to get to the juice point. Grapes, berries, or other ripe fruits not so damn difficult to juice. Peaches, watermelon, lots of possibilities. Making cider itself without power can be a major pain. Go to the library and grab all the books on wine making you can carry and read up. Buy copies of the most informative easy to understand of those books, or glean that info anyway that suits you. If you forget stuff, get some cheap spiral notepads now before school is in full swing as it's the cheapest time to do so. Keep notes on everything you do on this, cause man fails almost as much as he succeeds a lot of the time. Unless you are a quitter and this ain't really going anywhere you need to keep track of things so you can figure out where you went wrong and not repeat your mistakes. You might read up on beer also. It might be easier in the long run. For that matter get some info on making some pop skull stuff with a still. If you can make anything at all and get it to ferment and have some alcohol content, even if it alone isn't what one would normally consider fit to drink, you can distill that into some kick ass liquor. Best to read up and acquire books and info and skill to do this before the SHTF, cause once power ain't available it all gets much harder. Good Luck.
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  17. Dunerunner

    Dunerunner Brewery Monkey Moderator

    That is the idea @tacmotusn. I've been a home brewer for a good 8 years and can produce some pretty awesome beer. Sanitation is the key. Never have done a Mead or any of its variants, used to do Ciders from concentrated apple juice when I was in High School that I would then freeze and drain off the alcohol that remained.

    @duane, I remember the beer in the beer machines on the pier being laced with formaldehyde. I remember they used it as a preservative. Headache like you wouldn't believe.....

    3 for Hard Cider
    1 for Mead
    2 for Cyser
    1 Hint for a Beer
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  18. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    [QUOTE="duane, post: 377491, member: 13739" I was told that the brewers in Nam washed their bottles with formaldhide and it gave the guys a bad headache the next morning, so the powers that be said that they couldn't do that and they quit using it. .[/QUOTE]
    Side light: Went on the beach in Rio de Janerio one time, and (uv cuss) had a beer at a joint along the main drag. Just ONE Budweiser, mind you. Tasted a bit funny, but sailors being sailors, drank it anyway. Hell of a buzz. A couple hours later, an absolutely ungody headache grabbed me, had to go back to the boat. I was told it was sourced from someplace that used formaldehyde as a preservative. Ship's quack said so, anyway.
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  19. Ganado

    Ganado Monkey+++

    @ghrit. You sailors will drink anything lol. A great story ty for sharing it

    @duane was your grandpa married to my grandma. She made wine out of everything. ..we had strawberry champagne one year cuz she put too much sugar in it and holes in the ceiling from piping the cork. Headaches from all that sugar were awesome in their magnitude.

    I'm trying to think if a hand grain grinder would work for pulping fruit.

    I will have to go look at mine
    chelloveck likes this.
  20. Tully Mars

    Tully Mars Metal weldin' monkey

    My vote for hard cider. I'll PM you my address when you're ready to ship..;)
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