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TableHop! Beer brewing, wine making, for tabletop gamers (and general fermentation)


I just pass everything through muslin anyway.


I tasted the home brew last night. It’s not rubbish. Result!


@FunkJem Hey, if it doesn’t suck, it worked! You have beer!

This is the time you need to wax poetic about it, though, and use a bunch of fancy taster-words. Like “fruity” “woody” “mouthfeel” and “lace.” All that bologna.


How did you know you could use those terms to describe bologna!?!?

I was kinda joking... But to be totally honest... (Also note, you can technically "ferment" bologna, depending on type you are making. So this is not a derailment! Lactic Acid Starter cultures!)

(Examples: “Fruity”-Too much sugar or nonfat dry milk. “Woody”- Over cooked or you could have broken your emulsion. “Mouthfeel”-Should be smooth and velvety… Depending on the type of bologna you are making. “Lace”- See “mouthfeel”.)


As I said at the top of this topic, this can include sauerkraut and pickles if you want! A lot of sausage (bologna is a sausage) is fermented. As long as it’s DIY fermentation.

The big focus is, of course, BEER (well, mostly about beer), wine, and cider (mead, too), stuff you want to drink. My feeling is that as long as you make it yourself, and it involves fermentation, it’s open season for diversions.

You’re right about “lace,” although that is often used with fresh tripe or organ meats (opposed to “marbling” when used with muscle meats).

(For some who may not have known because we sometimes use weird terms: I was referring to the way that suds cling to the glass, a lot of beer snobs include that to describe a particular beer, I have no idea why. It’s interesting, I guess? You have to be “tasting” beer, as opposed to actually just drinking it. Talking about the lacing on a glass is briefly interesting, and should never be a goal when brewing. While I have often been a “taster” snob, I am firmly in the camp of “eat and drink and be happy it doesn’t suck”.
One of my favorite “taster” terms is “chewy.”)


Sorry to be picky, but I think you meant to say was ‘bologna is a sausage’. :smiley: So is Braunschweiger and many others which I will not bother to mention!


I fixed it :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


Bottled 51 bottles of Jet, our dry Irish stout. In two weeks, we drink it!

We’re thinking about buying a Grainfather, mainly to control temperature better. Has anyone used one, and what are your thoughts? I’m trawling reviews at the moment.


I got into brewing because

  1. I’m a cheapskate (let’s face it)
  2. I like the artistry and the craft

The Grainfather is a pretty big investment for something you can do on your own with a little elbow grease. I do like what they’ve made, and their goal, I think that they deserve support. But, that’s a big chunk of change to put down for a shortcut, especially if you already have a lot of other equipment.

I’ve changed my opinion before on stuff (like CO2 canisters after a secondary fermentaion) so I’m not going to rail about it. If you have the cash and it makes you happy, go for it, I like to see inventors and young entrepreneurs get support.

Personally, though, I’d wait to see if they survive for a 2.0.


I totally get you. The artistry and craft and skill at getting the temperature right at a most basic heat control level is fun. I love that too - every time I cook a curry it’s different, because I follow instinct not recipes.

However, stress happens with the crash, and then pitching yeast. If we can control that part, our product is better. For me, the fun is in the design and the mash and boil - the crash is where I get stressful and use about 4 thermometers, worry about consistency, lose control at the pitching yeast stage and end up fretting throughout primary fermentation.

We’ve gone with our own recipe on all our brews and that’s very gratifying. If we can go, as risk-free as possible, to the end product, I’ll take it.

I will always brew with the manual method, to test out recipes, but when we’ve got a winner and want a quick batch, Grainfather. It’s a consistent product.

It is a divisive subject, hence asking for your opinion, which I value, @MinuteWalt. Thanks!


Yes!!! Me too. Can I get one up top? :raised_hand:

(EDIT: please. I have two kids and I haven’t had a high-five in weeks, one’s too short and the other’s too cool.)
(the little one’s in first grade and the other is in his 20s)


I would give a thought on the Grainfather, but I think I will be almost repeating @MinuteWalt exactly.

Sadly, I do not brew much anymore (5 Gallons was too much for me to drink by myself and do not have enough friends locally at the moment to help me consume it). However, I really did not have issues with the crash and pitching steps… Honestly, that was the step I was pretty good at. And I had probably the simplest method… If I recall exactly how I did it (Has been about 6 years since I made anything…) I may boil up some water and simulate it for you and record it. If that is something you would be interested in? I would even get out the exact tools I used!

Now part of me seems to think I also did a “concentrate” method at one point… Where I would split the water up into two batches and left some at room temp and poured my hot “concentrated wort” into that room temp water… It would measure hot enough at first so that it would kill any micros in the room temp water before it chilled down too much. Also I ran all my water through Brita filters* before I started, so that helps a bit on that front.

*Note: I would add back in minerals based on what style I was trying to achieve.


:facepalm: Save it for the jokes thread, Ullin! (Actually that reminds me of one of my favorite cookbooks, How To Boil Water, sadly long out of print. There’s another one by that title out now, but I’m talking about the late 80s early 90s book).

That also made me think: where are the pictures and videos? All of mine have dissolved because of bit-decay (I used to brew a lot, but when I started, the internet was still just text and no one had a phone in their pocket, much less one that took pictures Good lord it’s like I’m my grandpa talking about before they had a TV).


My grandfather rode a horse to school… Only in bad weather though…

I am serious! To simulate the cooling process and approximate times! This is super science stuff man!

Also, I have no documentation because I was doing it by myself and the end goal was beer other than miller or bud.


I know, it just sounded funny, I had to say something.

Oh, @UllinBethalto made me think of this, and I wanted to ask everyone: LOCAL WATER CHARACTERISTICS.

This is something I never really thought about (because, well, you’re stuck with the water you have, usually). I have used tap (in different cities), bottled, and filtered water before. I’ve never used distilled/reverse osmosis water. I keep hearing that local water impacts the final brew, but, honestly, now that I think about it, I haven’t experienced that myself.


(I should add that the majority of Florida water comes from the Florida Aquifer, which is pretty close to bottled water anyway, most cities only have minor variations in how they treat it.)


The reason I always filtered mine was:

  1. The old house where I did all my brewing had a lead service line
  2. All the crap the city has to put in the water to neutralize the lead pipes in the majority of the homes in town (Yay rural America!)

We are lucky we do not have to worry about that now. Current home was built in the 80’s… It is younger than I am!

I will try and hunt up what I added… I only added back in a couple of minerals, and it seemed OK. Not really a must in my book, but I hear some particular styles “just aren’t quite right” unless you add them in. I cannot remember the two styles that come to mind but like a lager and a Kolsch… Very little separates them from each other…


Yes please! Thanks!

Our water quality is pretty good. I get Thames water (which is nice, anyway) and it goes through a softerner (we use salt blocks and a fancy machine thing), and the beer turns out well.

As above. Some waters are really good for certain styles, I believe, and you can get really science-y. We just had a glass of water and said if we liked it or not. Thames water (where I’m from) is very hard water - not much lather when you wash your hair, for example - but my house has a water softener. In the UK, water quality differs from river to river. Buxton brwery gets its water from the same place that does Buxton bottled water, and their pales and stouts are excellent, and should be sought out. BrewDog use water from the Scottish highlands so it’s crisp and suits crisp beer styles (I’ve yet to try an exceptional BrewDog stout). I was advised by the brewers from Wild Beer and Siren to just use tap (Siren get water from the same reservoir I do, so I’ll follow their advice) and Wild Beer say that we’re blessed with good quality water, as long as it tastes good to you it shouldn’t impact your beer too much.

I also exclusively drink water and beer - I never have squash, fizzy drinks, tea, coffee, wine or spirits.


I have some basement cleaning to do so I can get to my gear. Once I do, I will film and post for you!


This is something I do hear a lot about, hard water vs. soft water, I’ve never had to experience the difference when brewing.

Also I’m felling a little embarrassed that I am actually anticipating and looking forward to @UllinBethalto boiling water.

(We know it’s more involved, I just keep chuckling over that :rofl: I really do want to see how Ullin boils water! It sounds so dumb, but I’ll be riveted. I swear, we are the biggest nerds, ever).