MeFi Homebrew Swap Open April 7, 2010 9:55 AM   Subscribe

Friends, MeFites, homebrewers lend me your beers! The MetaFilter Homebrew Swap (previously) is now taking applications.

The Rules:
  • If you submit your info to the form, you're agreeing to send someone a minimum of 22 oz (two 12 oz bottles or one bomber) of a fermented beverage you made.
  • Shipping could range from $10-$20, please consider that before you choose to participate.
  • You can sign up multiple times to swap multiple times. I'm imposing an arbitrary cap of 3 signups per person. If you sign up multiple times, I will try to match you with different people if at all possible.
  • Please post a comment here if you sign up, so I know that you actually signed up. Alternatively, email me, but a comment is preferred.
  • We will publicly call you names if you sign up and don't send out homebrew. Probably something even worse.
  • This swap is only open to the continental US, so that we can control costs and customs.
  • You will receive your partner's mailing information on June 1st. Please be ready to mail out your homebrew that week. You must send out your homebrew by June 8th
  • Any sort of fermented beverage that you made is eligible, so you may get beer, wine, cider, mead, gruit, cyser, perry, or something else. You can put your preferences in the comments on the form, and I will accommodate them as best as possible, but even if you hate beer you still might get beer. Enter at your own risk.
  • Do not ship with USPS! Packaging tips for those who, like me, haven't mailed homebrew before.
  • If you sign up, another MetaFilter user will get your real name and home address. That's in addition to me. If you are not comfortable with that, sorry, but there's no way around it.
Parts bolded for the tl;dr crowd. I set the swap date in the future so people have enough lead time to brew something up. We'll have another thread on June 1st for people to post what they got, recipes, etc.
posted by revgeorge to MetaFilter-Related at 9:55 AM (80 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite

I'm in.
posted by craven_morhead at 10:04 AM on April 7, 2010

Cool, I've started brewing again.

Filling a bomber from a picnic-tapped Corny is pretty easy, right?
posted by robocop is bleeding at 10:11 AM on April 7, 2010

Cool! I'm in too.
posted by AngerBoy at 10:14 AM on April 7, 2010

Is there a signup deadline? I am not sure I'll have a beer ready to drink by then.
posted by mkb at 10:19 AM on April 7, 2010

Signup Deadline: Please sign up by May 31st, since I'm doing the pairings on June 1st. That means having something actually ready to share; mailings are happening by June 8th at the latest (hopefully sooner).
posted by revgeorge at 10:24 AM on April 7, 2010

If I want to sign up two or three times, do I submit the form two or three times?
posted by box at 10:30 AM on April 7, 2010

robocop is bleeding: I've been filling from my kegs and having great results. Dremel off the ends of a racking cane, then get a #2 stopper that you can shove the racking cane through. Connect your picnic tap to your racking cane and you've got your filler.

To fill: vent your keg and turn down to 3 PSI. Begin filling bottle. When it stops filling, vent by squeezing the stopper. Repeat until full. Remove contraption from bottle, lay cap on (but do not use capper yet). Turn upside down and get a little foam going, then let the air out and seal the cap when there's only foam in the headspace (this pushes out the regular air to prevent oxidation).

It's actually really easy once you try it a couple times.
posted by revgeorge at 10:34 AM on April 7, 2010 [2 favorites]

Sweet I'm in for two people as well. How many times should I submit my info?
posted by Science! at 10:34 AM on April 7, 2010

box: Yes, please submit the form 2 or 3 times, it'll be easier for me to do pairings that way.
posted by revgeorge at 10:34 AM on April 7, 2010

I'm in it to win it!

And by win I mean receive a few bottles of tasty homebrew.
posted by slogger at 10:36 AM on April 7, 2010

I signed up. Should be fun, and it gives me an excuse to get another batch going.
posted by burnmp3s at 10:41 AM on April 7, 2010

I know that this is probably suited better as an AskMe question, but since you're all here: What are some good resources for a person curious about this home brewing thing?
posted by eyeballkid at 10:42 AM on April 7, 2010

Try the internet, they've got information about everything on there!
posted by Science! at 10:47 AM on April 7, 2010 [2 favorites]

These are the two sites I use.
HomeBrewTalk and its Wiki.
posted by Science! at 10:49 AM on April 7, 2010


The first edition of How To Brew is free online. A lot of people get started with The Complete Joy of Homebrewing, which is probably in your library.

You can also lurk around HomeBrewTalk and the homebrewing sub-reddit and ask questions there.
posted by revgeorge at 10:51 AM on April 7, 2010 [1 favorite]

Yeah, homebrewtalk is a great resource. Lots of helpful brewers on there.
posted by craven_morhead at 10:52 AM on April 7, 2010

Quelle coincidence! I just finished bottling a ton of apfelwein. Now I just need to label them and put them away, or leave around blank beer bottles around the house like a creepster.
posted by mccarty.tim at 11:00 AM on April 7, 2010

Awesome. Thanks! I'll get to reading.
posted by eyeballkid at 11:08 AM on April 7, 2010

eyeballkid: I'm sure they have decent supply shops near you, but these folks are an excellent place to mail order stuff, including basic to more advanced kits to get you started right out of the box.
posted by edgeways at 11:22 AM on April 7, 2010

In like Flynn.
posted by kuujjuarapik at 11:25 AM on April 7, 2010

Yeah, I could do this. I still have some bottles of the last batch kicking around, so I'll save a couple of those. Although, I'd better have some time to brew between now and June...
posted by backseatpilot at 11:30 AM on April 7, 2010

Oh man, wish I hadn't given up booze for this year, otherwise I'd totally be in on this.
posted by Grither at 11:35 AM on April 7, 2010

Another good packaging tip: Is it legal to send homebrew through the mail? And beyond legality, it looks like a lot of shippers won't accept alcohol in packages.
posted by DU at 11:38 AM on April 7, 2010

More information on the legality topic; we discussed this a bit in this thread.
posted by craven_morhead at 11:43 AM on April 7, 2010 [1 favorite]

Speaking of brews, I want to determine if my hefeweizen came out right, and if that's what people like. I have a $3 hefeweizen from the liquor store that I've been planning on tasting for comparison, but I tend to forget on weekends and I don't want to drink a whole bomber on a weeknight. (Could I just cap it again with a wing capper and keep it in the fridge?)

My hefeweizen came out with a really strong banana flavor. Like, punch you in the face bananas. Is that normal, or is it meant to be more subtle? I brought it to a party, and people weren't so big on it.

If that sounds right, I'll swap it. Otherwise, any ideas for blending it? I was thinking I might try it with Orangina.
posted by mccarty.tim at 12:19 PM on April 7, 2010

mccarty.tim, depending on the type of yeast you use, the huge over-the-top banana flavors could be just what the recipe was supposed to produce. I have a friend that loves those beers, though they're definitely not my thing.
posted by craven_morhead at 12:20 PM on April 7, 2010

Nthing apfelwein for eyeballkid. If you want to really go cheap to try out a batch, you can ferment it right in the juice bottle by capping it with a stopper and airlock.
posted by mccarty.tim at 12:22 PM on April 7, 2010

mccarty.tim - depends on your preferences. Strong banana flavors are a sign of fermenting too hot with certain yeasts, what temperature did you ferment at? What yeast did you use?
posted by revgeorge at 12:25 PM on April 7, 2010

Fermented at about 65 degrees, using WLP300.
posted by mccarty.tim at 12:25 PM on April 7, 2010

In x2.

I guess it's time to work on some labels!
posted by pkphy39 at 12:39 PM on April 7, 2010

mccarty.tim: 65ยบ is perfect, I think it's just the yeast based on the number of times the word "banana" shows up in the WPL300 reviews.
posted by revgeorge at 12:58 PM on April 7, 2010

Actually, if I sequester some barleywine, I'll be all set. I'm in!
posted by mkb at 1:06 PM on April 7, 2010

I may be sending out a barleywine that needs about 6 more months of aging, FYI.
posted by craven_morhead at 1:36 PM on April 7, 2010

mccarty.tim, that's a common thing. American wheat beer (which homebrewers call just "American Wheat") name themselves as Hefeweizen, but have a very clean taste. What homebrewers call Hefeweizen is the Bavarian Hefeweizen style, which is really banana-y. If you want to benchmark something fermented with WLP300 (which is a pure Bavarian Weizen strain), compare with Franziskaner, Hacker-Pschorr, or Weihenstephaner.

By the way, if 65F is ambient temperature, Hefe yeasts are very vigorous, and can raise the liquid temperature to a few degrees over ambient at the height of fermentation.
posted by qvantamon at 1:45 PM on April 7, 2010

In for three. I'll be shipping mead.
posted by maurice at 2:34 PM on April 7, 2010

I'm so doing this. In.
posted by youarenothere at 2:43 PM on April 7, 2010

If anybody's like, "man, I really wanna send out some tasty homemade beer to somebody but I don't want anything in return," my friend have I got a deal for you.
posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis at 3:26 PM on April 7, 2010

You're in Santa Fe, Parker? I could easily be talked into trading you a couple beers for some green-chile-based awesomeness.
posted by box at 3:31 PM on April 7, 2010

mccarty.tim: I just made a hefe with wlp300 - i worked really really hard on keeping fermenting temps way down, used some non-traditional malts in there as well to get in some additional flavors, and hopped a little more heavily than the style calls for... and it's still really banana-y. Not unbearably so, but definitely there.

One thing that could have increased the banana flavor - did you make a starter? if the yeast was working hard, that could have contributed to it...
posted by dubold at 3:56 PM on April 7, 2010

This swap is only open to the continental US

And people wonder why the rest of the world consider you to be assholes. Guantanamo, Iraq, and now beer sharing. Sounds like a great idea, wish I could partake...
posted by Elmore at 4:30 PM on April 7, 2010

We started our first batch of homebrew (an ESB) this past weekend. If it seems to be working okay, I'll sign us up for a few!
posted by booknerd at 4:52 PM on April 7, 2010

I've yet to progress past this recipe, which I ferment and age only until it reaches a decent ABV. Some call it cheap and lazy, but I like to think of it as cleaving to our nation's frontier past.

Netzapper and I are, at some point, going to make mead but I'm still to lazy to bottle.

Not as lazy as my college roommate though. He bought a five-gallon bucket with a spigot at the bottom and ferment... pretty much whatever until it tasted of alcohol. It was reasonable to drink a couple pints per evening at the beginning of the process, but by the end of it we ended up royally ripped. Good times.

Thing is, dude owns a vineyard now. The vines are three-years-old and about to start bearing.
posted by stet at 7:37 PM on April 7, 2010

i'll take inventory and confirm if i can be in or not this weekend. Two test over the next 48 and i am seeing asavage and his coworker speak tomorrow night.
posted by djduckie at 8:22 PM on April 7, 2010

Since somebody above mentioned it above: is it reasonable to send out something with a don't-drink-before date?
posted by box at 5:13 AM on April 8, 2010

I'm very likely in, although I need to keep an eye on the last two batches I bottled. I have suspicions about some funk in the bottling wand (which I am replacing before I bottle again).
posted by uncleozzy at 5:50 AM on April 8, 2010

Well, since you guys confirmed my Hefe isn't freaky, I'll go ahead and ship it. Who's got some good tips for labeling my stuff?
posted by mccarty.tim at 6:51 AM on April 8, 2010

Labels? Oh, man, I might be out of my league here.
posted by box at 7:53 AM on April 8, 2010

Sharpie on the bottle cap.

Or, if you want to get fancy and make actual labels, print them 6-up on plain paper (I got a few sheets printed at Office Max once; color laser printing won't run when it gets wet). Milk will stick them well enough without making them impossible to remove later.
posted by uncleozzy at 7:57 AM on April 8, 2010

box asked about sending bottles with a don't-drink-before date. I sure don't mind cellaring something for awhile and I'd appreciate knowing if whatever I get would benefit from aging. If that's okay with others, it gives me more options of what meads I can send out.
posted by maurice at 7:59 AM on April 8, 2010

I'd like to avoid bottles with a "Best After" date. I think part of the fun of this will be a thread full of comments about the drink you received. On the other hand, I love me a good barleywine. Maybe send one bottle of a beverage to age and another that's ready to drink?

Oh and +1 on using milk to attach labels, if you even bother to do labels.
posted by revgeorge at 8:14 AM on April 8, 2010

Yeah, milk for the labels is sweet. It doesn't make sense to me in my brain, but I've tried it and it works well. If you don't want to bother with attaching labels, you can make hang-tags (still 6/sheet, but make a hole in the top of the sheet for the top of your bottle, and fold the label down).

As for barleywines and imperial-whatevers, I think if you're sending out something that needs aging, also send something that is ready to drink. That's what I plan on doing.
posted by craven_morhead at 8:18 AM on April 8, 2010

Relevant and timely, the Samuel Adams LongShot homebrew competition requires its submissions in late May.
posted by mkb at 8:56 AM on April 8, 2010

Speaking of which, it was the first thread on homebrew here that got me started in the hobby. Thanks guys!

I have two packets of Montrachet wine yeast, and I just made apfelwein. I might make some hard lemonade, since I've heard it's better when you make it at home. Is it better with just sugar, or sugar and DME?
posted by mccarty.tim at 10:56 AM on April 8, 2010

BTW, any central Jersey MeFites got a bench capper or something good to trade for some 20-odd green twist top delabeled and cleaned Yeungling bottles?
posted by mccarty.tim at 11:15 AM on April 8, 2010

I'm torn. Either I'll send out some bottles of the third iteration of the IPA I'm working on, or I'll try something crazygonuts: Ecto Cooler Lager.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 11:50 AM on April 8, 2010

Robocop: Bottle in 12 oz, send two, and name one Ghostbusters and the other Ghostbusters II.
posted by mccarty.tim at 11:54 AM on April 8, 2010 [2 favorites]

I'm 100% behind thread-themed beer names.
posted by revgeorge at 12:19 PM on April 8, 2010 [1 favorite]

My Plate of Beans Blonde should be ready in time.

Hmm, that may need some work. Maybe I'll keep the name simple but put a picture of a plate of beans on the label...
posted by pkphy39 at 12:46 PM on April 8, 2010

I vote Hardcore Taterhops IPA.
posted by mccarty.tim at 1:09 PM on April 8, 2010 [1 favorite]

Or, for something I can actually send, HAMBURGERWEIZEN. Sarcasm tastes like bananas.
posted by mccarty.tim at 1:25 PM on April 8, 2010

Oh, or Lady Gag'ale.
posted by mccarty.tim at 1:26 PM on April 8, 2010

This Will Wendell Wheat

Plo Chops Cream Ale
posted by revgeorge at 11:47 AM on April 9, 2010

I am now developing a recipe for GINBEER. It will be make you mean.
posted by mkb at 12:23 PM on April 9, 2010

$20 SAIT Pilsner and This Stout, It Vibrates?
posted by kuujjuarapik at 12:53 PM on April 9, 2010

Here's a label I maked. So sorry everyone!
posted by mccarty.tim at 2:07 PM on April 9, 2010

And on a beer!
posted by mccarty.tim at 2:46 PM on April 9, 2010

Whelp, I just got permission to use my home's old fridge for lagering. My friend suggested I make a LOLagerCATS beer. But I don't wanna juice any kittehs...
posted by mccarty.tim at 5:53 AM on April 10, 2010

BTW, anyone have any great lager recipes to justify paying for a thermostat?
posted by mccarty.tim at 5:55 AM on April 10, 2010

Late to the party, but I am in!
posted by Hlewagast at 5:13 PM on April 12, 2010

Awesome, the more the merrier. If anyone is signing up after this thread is closed (but before June 1st!), email me or MeMail me so I can verify that you are who you say you are.
posted by revgeorge at 8:16 PM on April 12, 2010

Like so many others, i'm running a little late but i'm here!
posted by casconed at 11:13 PM on April 14, 2010

Just an update: 16 people are signed up. Some good sounding stuff in there, but I won't out anyone in case they want it to be a surprise.
posted by revgeorge at 8:33 AM on April 15, 2010

I don't claim either of the names I put out there; if you like it use it!
posted by revgeorge at 1:13 PM on April 15, 2010

Only 16 people signed up?! Add one more, I just joined the swap.

I'll be sending out a bottle of my take on the super-delicious Founders Breakfast Stout (recipe). I didn't bother with the Sumatra and Kona coffees but just used a full city roast from Hondo Coffee for both bean varieties and did not use ground coffee but smashed the beans with a rolling pin. Also I went British and used maris otter for the base grain (this was an all-grain effort, no extracts), Nottingham for my yeast, and Fuggles instead of Willamette hops. It's been in the bottle for a couple of weeks and it's turning out to be dangerously delicious. My only worry is that the oils from the coffee and chocolate are conspiring to kill the head off this beer; so far it has an inappropriately thin head despite the oatmeal in the recipe. I'm hoping that time will cure this flaw.

The other bottle I'll send out will either be an American Brown or my HefeBiden, whichever tastes better on June 1. The brown is an iteration of my attempt at making something as good as my favorite brown ale. This batch includes a little roasted barley to give it something more to chew on to balance the bright hop profile. The other possibility, the HefeBiden, is a straight-forward American Hefeweizen with the addition of a pound each of rye malt and flaked rye. This came about because my neighbor was complaining that, after drinking pitchers of Obamaritas during inauguration weekend, there weren't any drinks named after our Irish scamp of a Vice President. I thought the sourness of rye would be an analog for our old foul-mouth Veep Biden; plus, I have been enjoying a little Old Overholt lately and essentially used this as an excuse to build up a large amount of hefeweizen yeast for a weizenbock that I'm planning to brew for the fall.

Anyhow, thanks to revgeorge for getting this ball rolling!
posted by peeedro at 12:04 AM on April 18, 2010

The Ecto Cooler themed beer has been bubbling away happily for a few days. Tentative name: Is Wit Ghostbusters II?

I'm unsure if the timing will work out on the Robohop IPA. Its second iteration will be tasted at a wedding on the 8th, so I'm not sure if I can get to the third in time for a June 1 mailing.

Instead, I might do a black lager. Well, a Black Steam at least.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 6:38 AM on April 21, 2010

Tentatively speaking, I think folks are going to get an imperial IPA and/or a coffee stout. But if I get ambitious, it might be a fruity hefe.
posted by box at 8:04 PM on April 21, 2010

Kegged the Wit last night. I might just bottle and tab-carb a six of the Wit and the IPA and set them aside for June.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 7:45 AM on April 28, 2010

I'm in. I just kegged my ginger stout, so that's what I'll be sending.
posted by caphector at 12:11 PM on April 30, 2010

That sounds delicious, caphector. Care to share the recipe?
posted by mccarty.tim at 12:18 PM on April 30, 2010

Made a ESB with water stolen from thirsty Bostonians. Its OG is wwaaaayyy higher than my Beer Calculus estimate.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 4:10 AM on May 3, 2010

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