Basic information about various hobby and craft topics.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Beer Making Supplies

Most of the supplies for making beer can be found in the average kitchen, though the beer making process is easier if you collect some of the more specialized accessories you will need. A good beer making kit will have most of the supplies needed for making beer. You will need a boiler which will hold at least one gallon of water. A fermenting container is needed which is large enough to hold the quantity of beer being made. Most malt extracts will produce two gallons of beer, so the fermenting vessel is needed. Some of the kits have fermenting vessels which have a spigot. This feature definitely makes bottling easier as it eliminates the need for the finicky, messy siphon hose.

You will need bottles to put the beer in when the primary fermentation is complete. Plastic soda bottles which have been thoroughly cleaned and sanitized are ideal for this purpose. They will handle the pressure which builds up during the secondary fermentation, are commonly available and reusable. That's it, for basic beer making that is all the supplies you will need. As you go along, you may want to add more stuff, like a bottling hydrometer, nicer bottles, etc. But these supplies will get you started making beer.

© THC Toys, Hobbies and Crafts 2012

Back to Home Beer Making

Step by Step Beer Making Process

Beer Making Step 1 - Start the yeast in a glass of warm water which has had two teaspoons of sugar dissolved in it.

Beer Making Step 2 - Sterilize your equipment with a good sterilizing agent.

Beer Making Step 3 - After the yeast is fermenting, place the can of malt extract in a bowl of warm water to soften it.

Beer Making Step 4 - Boil one gallon of water.

Beer Making Step 5 - Pour in the booster and up to two pounds of sugar and stir until dissolved.

Beer Making Step 6 - Pour in the malt extract, stir until dissolved.

Beer Making Step 7 - If the malt extract is not already hopped, or you want more hops, now is the time to add them. Boil the mix with the hops for at least one half hour.

Beer Making Step 8 - Allow the wort to cool, then pour it into the fermenting container. Top up with water and add the yeast starter mix.

Beer Making Step 9 - Put the fermenting vat in a cool area, between sixty and seventy degrees. Fermentation should take between seven and ten days.

Beer Making Step 10 - After the beer has cleared somewhat and there are no more floating colonies of yeast on top, it is time to bottle the beer. Place one teaspoon of sugar in a twelve ounce PET bottle (plastic soft drink) after sterilizing it. Siphon the beer in until the beer is one inch from the top. Screw on the top and place the bottle in a cool, dark area. Secondary fermentation should take about seven to ten days. Squeeze the sides of the bottle. It will be very hard to press in the bottles sides when fermentation is complete.

Beer Making Step 11 - When the secondary fermentation is complete, refrigerate the beer, then uncap it and pour slowly into a glass. Don't pour the last half inch or so of the beer or you will spoil the effect of the clear, bubbling beer. The sediment at the bottom will also impart a yeasty taste to the beer. There is nothing wrong with the sediment, indeed it is quite nutritious, so you may drink it. Some places serve the sediment with lemon.

This step by step outline is for a beer making kit made by Mr. Beer. Other kits or recipes may use a slightly different step progression, but this is the main sequence used.

© THC Toys, Hobbies and Crafts 2011

Home Beer Making

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Beer Making Process

Modern brewing involves many steps in the transformation of grain, hops, yeast, and water into the sparkling, invigorating beverage we call beer. The following is a greatly simplified outline of the process a commercial brewing company uses to make beer.

Malting is the first step in the process of making beer. This involves soaking the harvested grain in water and allowing germination to begin. This, by a complicated chemical process, creates sugar, a necessary component to fermentation.

The partly germinated grain is now kilned, or heat dried, and it is called malt at this stage. Different kilning methods will produce different types of beer.

Milling is next - the malt is re-mixed with water to complete the conversion of starches in the grain to sugar, then the grain is milled to create the proper consistency to the malt, now termed grist.

The grist is subsequently mashed. This involves re-mixing with water and boiling it in a series of steps. Finally the wort is separated from the grain residue by a series of spinning and filtering steps

Next the wort is transferred to a copper vat, hops are added, and the mixture is boiled for a period of time. After boiling, the wort is subjected to a process by which the spent hops and other residues are removed.

The wort is transferred to a fermenting vessel and yeast is added. The wort should be about ten percent sugars in solution at this point. The fermentation process begins now, and the wort will be transformed into beer by the yeast cells.

Once fermentation has completed, a secondary fermentation is induced to rid the beer of impurities and improve the flavor. This step, in the ‘homebrew’ process, is completed in the bottle to add carbonation to the beer. The carbonation gives the beer a fresh flavor, and helps the beer keep longer. The home beer making process is almost complete.

Maturation of the completed beer follows. The beer is stored cold for a period of time, allowing the flavor to mellow and certain chemical processes to complete. Once this is complete, commercial breweries filter the beer and package it for sale. Draft beer is placed in metal casks and sent out to market in refrigerated trucks. Bottled and canned beer are pasteurized after bottling and sold.

© THC Toys, Hobbies and Crafts 2011

Home Beer Making

Beer Making Kits

The easiest way to start making is to purchase a beer making kit. The kit will contain all the necessary items needed to brew your first batch of beer, except, of course, the water.

The first batch is ready in 14 days; the second batch can start just seven days after the first batch, allowing continuos production of beer. Alcohol content is equivalent to commercial brews, and it is produced by the natural fermentation of the yeast. Since the beer naturally ferments in the bottle, no CO2 cartridges are needed to carbonate the beer.

You can save up to 75% off the cost of commercial beers, and the equipment is all reusable.
You need only buy refill packs of beer mix, and this is available in a large variety of
different types of beer.

Home Beer Making © 2012 Hobby Hobnob

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Home Beer Making

Making beer at home was illegal in the United States before 1978. In November of that year, President Jimmy Carter signed the bill which allowed the brewing of up to 200 gallons of beer at home. Since that time interest in the craft of home brewing has been increasing steadily and many home owners have taken up the craft. High quality ingredients are available to the home brewer, and excellent craft beers can be made in the home with the investment of just a little time.

Making a batch of beer in the home can take as little as two to three weeks from the time the brew is made until the bottles are carbonized and ready to drink. Modern equipment and beer making kits have greatly simplified the home brewing process, creating a fun hobby for many people. Home brewed beer can be cheaper than commercially brewed beer, but the real reward in brewing beer at home is the ability to customize your brew to your own taste. Fruits, herbs and other ingredients may be added to the wort, imparting different tastes to the finished brew. History of Beer

Beer Making Process

Wine and Beer Making - The Yeast

Hydrometer – For Wine or Beer Making

Beer Making Supplies

Preparing Wine Yeast - The Starter

Step by Step Beer Making Process

The Fermentation Lock

Beer Making Kits

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© THC Hobby Hobnob 2012

Friday, September 05, 2008

Thomas the Tank Engine Music

Reverand Awdry's timeless stories have spawned many songs and music videos about Thomas the Tank Engine and his friends. CD's and MP3 downloads can be played in the car on long trips, at the beach or wherever young Thomas fans want to listen.

Sheet music is also available so young musicians can learn to play their favorite songs, as well as the lyrics to all their favorites so they can sing along.

Live videos can also be played online for entertainment and a much more intensive Thomas the Tank Engine Experience.

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© 2011 Hobby Hobnob

Thomas theTank Games

The Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends stories have inspired more than toys. There are also many different games to play featuring Thomas on the Isle of Sodor. Educational and fun games allow children to learn while playing offer a double benefit.

Games include Thomas the Tank Engine board games, card games, dominoes, and many more. Great fun for the entire family with these great Thomas Games.

Thomas the Tank engine games can also be plated online. These interactive games include railway games, puzzles and matching games.

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© 2011 THC Toys, Hobbies and Crafts

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Thomas the Tank Engine Sets

Thomas the Tank Engine sets are popular toys for pre-schoolers, offering a great way to get into the Thomas the Tank stories first hand. There are several different types of sets on the market, and choosing one can be difficult.

The most popular and extensive line is the Wooden Railway series. This series has been around for a number of years. The wooden track is two sided, so it can't be put together wrong. The wooden rolling stock has durable plastic wheels and magnetic couplers. The play value on this series is extremely high.

A newcomer to the Thomas the Tank Engine scene is Lego. In true Lego style, the large pieces of plastic track snap together easily and the train cars roll effortlessly around the track.

Tomy manufactures a pretty large line of plastic Thomas the Tank Engine train sets. The plastic blue track is double sided, hooks together easily. The battery powered engines roll easily along the track. The track is not compatible with the Wooden Railway, but the cars will roll on the track. There are sets, track packs and vehicles available for expansion.

Electric Thomas the Tank Engine sets are led by Bachman's Thomas and Friends series. These HO scale electric train sets includes Bachman's EZ Track which can be set up virtually anywhere because the track bed is bonded to the track. The locomotives roll along, eyes rolling from side to side as they scan the countryside around them. This fairly extensive line runs on standard HO track, so it can be incorporated into any HO layour, and there is a lot of different components to the EZ Track system, so any set can be easily expanded.

Lionel also manufactures an O Gauge Thomas the Tank Engine set which will run on its three rail system. The sets include Lionel's Fast Track, which snaps together easily and can be run on carpets, floors or tables. The sets are easily expandable. Back to Thomas The Tank Engine Wooden Railway Train System © 2011 Hobby Hobnob

Day Out With Thomas On The Strasburg Railroad

Day out with Thomas Strasburg, Pennsylvania is located in Amish country in Lancaster County. The rail line is an old one, established in 1832. The East Strasburg Station is located near the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania which features the rich railroad history of the area.

The rail line has a full size, operating Thomas the Tank Engine which the whole family can ride. Click the link for full operating schedule and special events of the Day out with Thomas.

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© 2011 Hobby Hobnob

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Thomas The Tank Engine Toy Train

Thomas the Tank Engine is the creation of the Reverend Wilbert Awdry who carved a wooden train engine for his son when he was small, then wove a myriad of stories about the engine to entertain the young boy. Reverend Awdry wrote the stories down, and eventually they were published. The stories have become quite popular and have led to all sorts of Thomas the Tank Engine toys, videos, games, clothing and much more.

Thomas The Tank Engine was the subject of a very popular television show which has entertained millions of children over the years, and he was even the star of a full length movie. Thomas has many friends, characters like Toby, Henrietta, Gordon and Duncan. Thomas and his friends have brought a lot of joy to many children since his inception and is now remembered fondly by many adults as the think back on the television show and the toys they played with as children.

But toys and television shows are only a part of the picture. A full size Thomas the Tank Engine makes its rounds, providing rides and opportunities for children to have their photos taken with Thomas. The destinations for Thomas changes constantly, as the Thomas chugs around the countryside looking for new places to hang out.

The Thomas the Tank Engine experience is one of the joys of childhood, the games, toys, videos creating a lifetime of memories. The Reverend Awdry probably never guessed the extent of his contribution to childhood when he composed the first story for his son many years ago.

Thomas the Tank Engine Music

A Short History Of Thomas The Tank Engine Train Thomas the Tank Engine Sets

Day out with Thomas

Thomas the Tank Games

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© 2012 Hobby Hobnob