Sunday, July 31, 2005

From The Using Appliances For Unintended Purposes Department

Of course we all already knew about using popcorn poppers for roasting coffee (which seems to work pretty well, as Jerry and myself can attest to). But what about using a coffee maker to brew your own beer? The article's old (2002), but it seems like a sound way to make very small batches of beer with little effort or equipment. Using cheesecloth instead of a lid and airlock kind of concerns me, but one could avoid contamination of the beer by putting the beer in a fairly closed off area. The article also neglects to mention bottling and carbonating the beer, but that's also a fairly simple step. Since the article advocates letting the beer ferment in a jar, one could add a couple tablespoons of sugar into the beer after it's done fermenting and secure the jar with its lid.

I should add that I found this link while searching for the German man who converted a washing machine (babelfish link, original here) into a computer-controlled brewing machine. If only I had the money, time, and space to make something like that.


Blogger staticfoo said...

Eh, the cheesecloth thing is no different from how sourdough starter is made, and it seems to turn out alright.

Also, did you see the open-source guarana beer on slashdot a while back?

8/01/2005 1:28 AM  
Blogger Aaron *@ said...

Usually you don't care about foreign yeasts and airborne organisms when you're making sourdough starter, whereas both of these can ruin a batch of beer. And yes, I saw it, though most beer recipies by their very nature are open; so I don't see much of a point to it.

8/01/2005 10:51 PM  
Blogger staticfoo said...

Well, once the yeast takes hold, very few things can survive alongside it.

I was asking about the guarana beer because it has guarana in it (which seems a rather rare ingredient for beer). I realize that claiming that it's under the GPL doesn't change much.

8/02/2005 4:07 AM  
Blogger Aaron *@ said...

That's true, though less true for beer than it is for more alcoholic drinks like wine. If you aren't careful, you could contaminate the batch before the yeast takes hold, though perhaps the time period is shorter with a very small batch such as this.
As for the guarana, I'm reminded of that horrible Budweiser energy drink every time I think about putting such a thing in beer. Now it may make the beer taste really good, but that's the first thing that comes to mind every time I think about it.

8/02/2005 9:00 PM  
Blogger staticfoo said...

Actually, that makes me think more of that apricot ale of which you are a fan. My guess is that if normal budweiser isn't good, then an energy drink version of it wouldn't be either.

I suppose it all comes down to not knowing until you try, which I think would be interesting, despite my comparative lack of interest in the end result.

8/03/2005 1:02 AM  

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