[Noisebridge-discuss] [Tastebridge] Brewing

Richard Conroy richard.conroy at gmail.com
Tue Nov 29 14:27:01 UTC 2011

Replying to all on this, but I suspect the noisebridge list will bounce.

Just a few comments:
$45 seems awfully steep for a 5 gallon home brew, spraymalt, while
expensive by comparison with normal table sugar is not that expensive. You
wouldn't be using more than 3KG of it and that should set you back in the
region of $12 -$20 depending on price.

Additives, yeast & nutrients can all be budgeted separately.

Even quality kit brews should see you all in for less than the $20 mark.

Brewing from ingredients will be cheaper still, but way more time
consuming. If sustainable throughput is what you want, best stick to kits,
until you build up a lot of experience and want to take it to the next

If you want really cheap alcoholic stuff, you need to be using brews that
dont taste off with just regular sugar or sucrose  type sugars. That will
rule out any/most beers, but there are plenty of earthy brews that can be
done cheap, will taste good and mature quickly.

The ginger beer is a house special for me, that is made with plain table
sugar and bread yeast, and is seriously cheap as a result. You can improve
it enormously by including certain spices in moderation and mixing together
different sugars (raw, unrefined cane sugar is highly recommended - imparts
a nice caramel aftertaste, even when it is used sparingly ~ 200g / 25L). I
have made it as cheap as 1€ - 1.50€ /gallon

For my next brews with it, I will be going down the route of making it a
bit more beery (by using spraymalt) and letting it age and finish a bit

I am happy to jump onto the ML for tastebridge if someone sends the link to
the subscription page. Alternatively feel free to forward this mail to the


On Tue, Nov 29, 2011 at 2:06 PM, Frantisek Apfelbeck <algoldor at yahoo.com>wrote:

> Hi to all!
> Brewing in the place is a great idea! I would recommend to "celebrate"
> your Anglo-American tradition and go for ginger beer. It is very simple,
> fast and cheap. I've copied Richard Conroy on this email, he has been
> playing with ginger beer for several months on a very intensive bases and
> we have had many tastings of his products on his parties and our 091
> brewers meetings. He has clearly proved that within few months you can
> learn how to produce great quantities of really tasty and cheap alcoholic
> beverage and have a great fun in the meanwhile!
> Best of luck with any direction which you take, just please keep long term
> samples :-)) I'll pop in to tastesome sooner or later ...
> Sincerely,
> Frantisek
> https://www.noisebridge.net/wiki/091_Brew_Masters
> PS Could someone copy it to Tastebridge mailing list, I can not send email
> from my other account (but I get everyting inbox, what is going on there I
> do not have a clue ...)
>   ------------------------------
> *From:* Michael Lyons <cprmichael at yahoo.com>
> *To:* Tony K. LeTigre <anthonyletigre at gmail.com>
> *Cc:* "tastebridge at lists.noisebridge.net" <
> tastebridge at lists.noisebridge.net>
> *Sent:* Tuesday, November 29, 2011 2:00 AM
> *Subject:* Re: [Tastebridge] Brewing
> Hi Tony et al,
>  I've been brewing for about 15 years and I admire your intentions.
> However, I urge you to do your homework before you start. Mead, is
> delicious though takes at about a year to become really drinkable and honey
> is not particularly cheap.
> As for beer,  I've popped out a 5 gallon keg of beer in 2 weeks that is as
> good as any store bought, and we do have all the equipment to make all the
> beer we can drink. However, the last time I checked, the price of the
> ingredients do not make this  very cost effective endeavor. Consider $45+
> for the malt extract, hops and yeast to make 5 gallons x 4 quarts x 2
> pints, that's $1.13 per 16oz pint of beer that may or may not taste any
> good. [Note: I am talking about making beer from Malt Extract, which takes
> about 3 hours of actual brewing time. There is an alternative process, All
> Grain or Full Mash, which I have only done once. This technique, though
> cheaper, is much more involved and time consuming and N.B. is not currently
> currently equipped for it]
> Consider that Trader Joe's has Mission Street beers (made by Firestone
> Walker) which are quite good for $5.99/6pack, and Costco has a large
> variety of "microbrews" (including Sierra, Lagunitas, Newcastle and Stella)
> for $22/case of 24, or $0.91 per 12oz.
> If anyone would like to try out brewing for fun the fun of it, I'll be
> happy to help in any way I can. Also I have some great books on the subject
> that I'm happy to lend out. Or check out the SF Brewcraft on Clement St. or
> Oak Barrel on San Pablo, in Berkeley, which both sell supplies and offer
> classes.
>  I have never made wine myself, however my friends who have done it all
> seem to have a connection at a vineyard to supply them with grapes.
> What I would really like to find is a recipe for some nice alcoholic swill
> that uses cheap, plain bulk sugar and doesn't need fancy ingredients like
> malt, hops, honey or grapes. Anyone?
> -michael
>   ------------------------------
> *From:* Tony K. LeTigre <anthonyletigre at gmail.com>
> *To:* Roger H <domitron at yahoo.com>
> *Cc:* Tastebridge <tastebridge at lists.noisebridge.net>
> *Sent:* Monday, November 28, 2011 4:09 PM
> *Subject:* Re: [Tastebridge] Oyster Mushroom update
> Someone said the other night - around the time we were preparing
> Thanksgiving dinner - that we should never have to buy beer, wine, etc @
> the Bridge, since we can brew our own. I wholeheartedly endorse that
> sentiment. With my very next UI payment - which I should receive by this
> time next week - I would like to purchase the necessary supplies to brew a
> batch of mead (honey wine) and/or beer. I haven't made either before but I
> have a good recipe for mead and a rudimentary knowledge of what it will
> take to make it. I would like to engage in this brewing adventure with the
> help of others - anyone interested! You can email me (
> anthonyletigre at gmail.com) or find me at the Bridge. I'm there practically
> on a daily basis of late. In fact I'm going to be heading there this
> evening, in a couple hours.
> Of course, it will take a while for mead or beer to be ready to drink. We
> may have to purchase our provisions in the meantime to get us through till
> then.
> For non-drinkers: I am also interested in solid (non alcoholic) foods! The
> biolumniscent mushrooms sounds brilliant (literally, as well as
> figuratively).
> I'm also a "housing hacker" you might say with Homes Not Jails - we have
> our weekly meeting Tuesday at 8pm - for anyone who doesn't know, and may be
> interested.
> Tony
> On Mon, Nov 28, 2011 at 9:32 AM, Roger H <domitron at yahoo.com> wrote:
>  I have a Shiitake liquid culture nearing completion after only one week
> of spinning.  I will use it to start spawn bags full of millet for you
> guys.  Shiitake has hardy mycellium but may not be so forgiving for the
> substrate as oysters.  In particular I would be pretty surprised if it will
> fruit on old coffee grounds, but I think it is worth a try.  Still I would
> have some of the cheap sawdust from Lazzari ready.  I'll have the spawn
> ready in a couple weeks and drop it by along with a completed bag of the
> Stipticus that you guys can fruit out (it is a bioluminescent mushroom).
> Roger
>  ------------------------------
> *From:* Matthew Downs <downs.matt at gmail.com>
> *To:* Tastebridge <tastebridge at lists.noisebridge.net>
> *Sent:* Sunday, November 27, 2011 8:51 PM
> *Subject:* [Tastebridge] Oyster Mushroom update
> Greetings Tasters!
> Just dropped-by to check on the babies.  Filled the humi.  We're able to
> get about 4 days between fills now with the humistat.  Thank you to
> everyone who contributed to this wonderful innovation!
> There are about 5 of the coffee grounds blocks remaining and all of them
> are fruiting!  Hopefully we'll be getting some fat flushes from these over
> the next few weeks.  Our chamber is pretty well contaminated with bread
> mold...we've pitched several blocks, but the tree oysters are so hardy they
> are fighting it off.  We removed the dry saw dust blocks from this summer.
>  I took the uncontaminated ones home, hydrated them, broke them up and
> burried them under a layer of sheet mulch.  Hooooping this will start to
> colonize my garden bed, which is mostly woodchips and cardboard at this
> stage. We'll know in a few months...if this works out, we could have a nice
> source for spawn.
> As you may know, Rikke has moved to Atlanta for a few seasons, so Natalie
> and myself are now sheepherding the fungus project.  I want to give a shout
> out to Rikke for all her hard work over the last several weeks --cleaning
> the chamber, keeping an eye on everything, just being generally passionate
> and awesome.  Our current plan is to let these blocks fruit out, then tear
> down the chamber.  If there is interest, we may continue to do batches in
> the future.  Personally, I'd love to try to get some shiitake going, but we
> need to tear down, thoroughly clean and rebuild the chamber if we're to
> fight-off the mildew and contamination.  Depending on how the current
> fruiting goes, we may wait ot tear down until after the first of the year.
> i'm having a minor medical procedure inside my nose, so I will not be able
> to be there this Monday thru Wednesday, will plan to meet next Monday 12/9.
> Spores,
> ~Matthew
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http://richardconroy.blogspot.com | http://twitter.com/RichardConroy
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