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Beer Brewing Bender Completed

CmdrTaco posted more than 6 years ago | from the future-is-now dept.

Robotics 113

An anonymous reader writes "The Beer Brewing Bender Project is finally completed. This is a fan built, full sized Bender from Futurama featuring a 6502 CPU powered brain to make him speak triggered by a prop remote control straight out of the show. Inside his body is a beer fermenter used to brew up a batch of real Benderbrau beer!"

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I hide my face in shame (4, Funny)

Big Nothing (229456) | more than 6 years ago | (#21941478)

And I thought _I_ was a Futurama fan. I will never make that clame again.

Aslo: where can I buy me one of these?

Re:I hide my face in shame (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21941666)

Never in my life have I ever seen anyone spell 'CLAIM' like 'CLAME' lol...That's very interesting. Also, 'aslo' is spelled wrong. hehehehehehe

Re:I hide my face in shame (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21941710)

I guess it has to be connected with "frist psot!".

Re:I hide my face in shame (4, Funny)

AnarkiNet (976040) | more than 6 years ago | (#21942168)

Hey, give him a break. He's obviously been working hard performing quality-control checking of the output of this new contraption.

Get that robot some more beer! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21941502)

Scene: Citihall: Mayor's Office. A pizza slice splats against the window.

Poopenmeyer: It's time to take action. [He presses the intercom.] Stephanie, cancel the maid for today. Have her come tomorrow. [He leans back into his chair.] Well, I'm out of ideas. Anyone?

Farnsworth: Wait! If we could build an object the exact size, density and consistency of the garbage ball, it might just knock the ball away without smashing it to bits.

Leela: But where can we find a substance the exact density and consistency as garbage?

Farnsworth: Alas, I don't know.

Fry: Uh, what about garbage?

Farnsworth: Good Lord! A second ball of garbage! That just might work!

Poopenmeyer: But garbage isn't something you just find lying in the streets of Manhattan. This city's been garbage-free for 500 years!

Fry: Then it's time to make some more.

Poopenmeyer: Make garbage? But how?

Fry: Stand back and watch the master! This Slurm can. [He knocks it on the floor.] Now it's garbage. These papers. [He sweeps them off the desk with his hands.] Garbage. This picture of your wife. [He drops it on the floor and the frame smashes.] Pure garbage. Now you try it.

        Poopenmeyer picks up a pencil and drops it on the floor.

Poopenmeyer: By God, I think the boy's got something. Come on, everyone! The fate of the city is at stake!

        He turns a chair on its side.

Fry: Good! [He turns to Leela.] Don't finish that cruller, throw it away [Leela throws it on the floor.] Bender. Drink that beer and drop the bottle on the ground. [Bender throws the bottle on the floor.] Very nice.

Poopenmeyer: Get that robot some more beer! [Bender smiles.]

All I can say is... (5, Funny)

ExE122 (954104) | more than 6 years ago | (#21941504)

"Bite my not-so-shiny fiberglass-on-cardboard-and-quilt-insulation-over-a-wood-frame ass."

Kudos on a truly awesome job! Looks great =)

Brewing Time (3, Funny)

sjaguar (763407) | more than 6 years ago | (#21941516)

If the beer can be brewed within 30 minutes (including commerical breaks), sign me up for a few.

That's so cool! (2, Funny)

techpawn (969834) | more than 6 years ago | (#21941574)

Also, because of what they made it out of, if there's ever a problem with the beer Bender can smoke too! Is that a tap in the front for the beer? Cuz if it is it's placement is very... poor...

Re:That's so cool! (5, Funny)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 6 years ago | (#21941612)


1. Clean and sterilise the bottles. I use 750mL plastic PET bottles. A batch of beer will fill 30 of them.

2. To each bottle add sugar. I use sugar drops and add two per bottle (see below). The additional sugar is to allow for extra fermentation in the bottle. This is what causes the beer to have bubbles.

3. Remove the airlock from the top of the fermenter to allow the beer to flow freely.

4. Warm your hands (Not normally necessary but Bender insisted on this step before letting me near his tap).

5. Slowly, with each bottle tilted to avoid frothing, fill each bottle from the tap.

6. Tightly cap each bottle.

Re:That's so cool! (2, Insightful)

Telecommando (513768) | more than 6 years ago | (#21941814)

Plastic bottles? Blasphemy!

Re:That's so cool! (1)

gfxguy (98788) | more than 6 years ago | (#21942028)

Yeah, I've seen several home brew kits with plastic bottles... awful.

Re:That's so cool! (1)

Fishead (658061) | more than 6 years ago | (#21942192)

I just told all my friends to start drinking Corona, or MGD (pry off) or even Grolsch with the flip top. Now that I have enough bottles for 2 batches (23 liters each!) I can start trading full beer to my friends for their empties. Works out at around a dollar a liter.

Cheaper then Kool-Aid!

Re:That's so cool! (1)

Telecommando (513768) | more than 6 years ago | (#21942294)

For Christmas, my wife bought me 2 cases of 20 oz, dark brown bottles and a big bag of caps.
And she says she's going to plant hops along our fence line this Spring (since hops have become so expensive of late).
What a woman!

mnb Re:That's so cool! (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21942890)

Watch it, hops can get way out of hand really quickly. They can take over a yard in short order.

Re:mnb Re:That's so cool! (1)

eakerin (633954) | more than 6 years ago | (#21943096)

A lawn, overgrown with an ingredient that is currently expensive, and critical to beer making...

That's a problem I'd love to have!

Re:mnb Re:That's so cool! (1)

ncc74656 (45571) | more than 6 years ago | (#21945974)

Watch it, hops can get way out of hand really quickly. They can take over a yard in short order.

...and this is bad how, exactly?

Life begins at 60...60 IBUs, that is. :-)

Re:mnb Re:That's so cool! (1)

Sloppy (14984) | more than 6 years ago | (#21946186)


Re:That's so cool! (1)

rrhal (88665) | more than 6 years ago | (#21942510)

After a bit you will have so many bottles that you start giving them away to other home brewers. I have kegs now - I just dont mess with bottles any more. I'm happier that way.

Re:That's so cool! (3, Informative)

ralph75les (1214472) | more than 6 years ago | (#21943508)

"I just told all my friends to start drinking Corona, or MGD (pry off) or even Grolsch with the flip top."

Uh, you're going to be bottling in CLEAR bottles??? As as experienced beer brewer, I recommend that you DON'T use clear. The best bottles to use will be brown, followed by green (which I never use). I'm sure you've heard it before, but light is the enemy of beer. It'll skunk it quickly. The Grolsch bottles are okay, but sometimes those rubber seals will fail, and then when you bottle-condition the beer, it won't carbonate. Just some helpful advice, enjoy your brewing.

Re:That's so cool! (1)

desenz (687520) | more than 6 years ago | (#21946052)

Even the grolsch bottles aren't that great. Beats the hell out of clear ones though. Myself, I use 22oz brown bottles.

Corona (1)

Sloppy (14984) | more than 6 years ago | (#21944268)

I hope you keep those clear Corona bottles in the dark.

Re:Corona (1)

'nother poster (700681) | more than 6 years ago | (#21944946)

That is why god invented paint, so clear bottles can be used for homebrew.

Re:That's so cool! (1)

dbIII (701233) | more than 6 years ago | (#21942572)

Works well - if you have too much sugar the PET bottles will distend about 50% or more and go white before they explode giving you plenty of warning.

Re:That's so cool! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21942798)

Blasphemy! I must agree!
You can NOT brew beer in plastic whatever! Never!
If you do not beleve me, ask shiny metal ass Bender.

Re:That's so cool! (1)

matlhDam (149229) | more than 6 years ago | (#21943516)

Plastic bottles? Blasphemy!

Hey, don't knock it until you've tried it. Knocking back 2 litre plastic bottles of Borgio Beer on the steppes of Mongolia is damned near my favourite travel moment ever.

Of course, I think all my tastebuds had been killed by a fortnight of vodka and airag anyway, but it sure tasted good at the time.

Re:That's so cool! (1)

ncc74656 (45571) | more than 6 years ago | (#21945944)

5. Slowly, with each bottle tilted to avoid frothing, fill each bottle from the tap.

Can you say "oxidation," boys and girls? (I speak from experience...not knowing any better at the time, I bottled my first two or three batches this way.)

Re:That's so cool! (3, Funny)

ArsenneLupin (766289) | more than 6 years ago | (#21941634)

And, what's more, it may dispense yellow (the beer) or white (the head, no pun intended...) liquid, depending on its mood :)

Re:That's so cool! (3, Funny)

Potor (658520) | more than 6 years ago | (#21942050)

Is that a tap in the front for the beer? Cuz if it is it's placement is very... poor...
piss poor, even ...

OMG Bender has a TARDIS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21941592)

I can't think of a possibly more dangerous situation, LOL!

Re:OMG Bender has a TARDIS (4, Funny)

Tetsujin (103070) | more than 6 years ago | (#21942836)

I can't think of a possibly more dangerous situation, LOL!

Re:OMG Bender has a TARDIS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21943576)

The real question is did you have to look it up?

I am such a nerd.

Re:OMG Bender has a TARDIS (2, Informative)

Tetsujin (103070) | more than 6 years ago | (#21946984)

The real question is did you have to look it up?

I am such a nerd.
Yeah, I didn't take the time to memorize the code when I was watching the DVD, or pay too much attention to exactly what the digit sequence was. But for posting here, of course, I wanted to get it right. :D

But I did learn that there's a very simple way to remember it... it's a count from 1 to 6 with a mirror-imaged copy... Funny how the secrets to the universe have such a simple basis.

It's an Ale! (1, Funny)

svunt (916464) | more than 6 years ago | (#21941600)

I'd hand out cigars, but there's what...1.1 million of you?

Way down under (3, Interesting)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 6 years ago | (#21941606)

I love reading projects like this one. I've got to wonder about how one lives in New Zealand to be able to find time to build this beer-brewing Bender.

I wish I was versatile enough to know how to wire up a 6502-based audio board w/wireless remote AND do the basic carpentry AND the fiberglass and painting AND brew beer. He's even got an arc-welder, as seen in his video of him destroying his HP printer (link on the last page of TFA)

Hell, my wife wishes I knew how to change a washer in the bathroom faucet.

Re:Way down under (4, Insightful)

fotbr (855184) | more than 6 years ago | (#21941894)

I don't think you give yourself enough credit.

Basic woodworking, fiberglassing, painting, and welding are all fairly simple skills -- they just take a bit of practice. Being an artisan capable of earning a living doing any of the above may be a different story, but hobby-level skills aren't all that hard to learn. That leave the electronics, and, well, this is slashdot, so you likely know that or know someone who would love to do a project like that.

If you really want to learn other stuff, check with your local community college, see if they have any intro-to-X type evening or weekend classes that'd fit your schedule. Most community colleges have some sort of intro-to-welding class, and I'd imagine a basic carpentry class isn't uncommon.

Re:Way down under (1)

dbIII (701233) | more than 6 years ago | (#21942960)

some sort of intro-to-welding class

To start with it's a bit of a stab in the dark to learn arc welding (bad pun doesn't apply with the more expensive face sheilds) but it only takes a couple of hours to be able to stick some simple stuff together.

Re:Way down under (1)

rho (6063) | more than 6 years ago | (#21943960)

But quite worth asking somebody who already knows how to do it for some tips and maybe a lesson or two. Arc welding isn't like juggling. Lots of things can go badly wrong.

Re:Way down under (1)

'nother poster (700681) | more than 6 years ago | (#21945004)

Yeah, like a bad case of sweaty juggler butt. Nothing worse.

Re:Way down under (1)

Thuktun (221615) | more than 6 years ago | (#21945160)

Arc welding isn't like juggling. Lots of things can go badly wrong.
I would suppose it depends on what you juggle.

Or hit Make magazine (1)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | more than 6 years ago | (#21946180)

THere's nothing magic in the water here in NZ. Perhaps it is just that we spend less time in traffic jams and flipping between hundreds of channels of crap.

All the skills you need for anything like this are easy to learn or look up in Make.

Re:Way down under (1)

Barny (103770) | more than 6 years ago | (#21942370)

That ain't an arc welder (electric), its an oxy-acetylene torch (sometimes known as a "gas axe" because it cuts through anything), and it seems they are indeed very effective at "fixing" problem HP printers.

Re:Way down under (1)

'nother poster (700681) | more than 6 years ago | (#21945886)

Is that similar to the way the Vet "fixed" my dog?

Re:Way down under (1)

joggle (594025) | more than 6 years ago | (#21943622)

For the electronics part, start with Radio Shack. They have several simple books to get you started with hobby electronics. I once knew a very intelligent electrical engineer who first became enamored with electronics by doing exactly that and still recommended it as a good way of getting into electronics without getting overwhelmed. If you ever want to gain even more practical knowledge about electronics I would recommend the ARRL handbook [] (used by ham radio operators everywhere).

An amazing guy (1)

frieko (855745) | more than 6 years ago | (#21943808)

Check out the rest of his site - he built a real jet engine, and the asciimation thing is incredible!

Re:Way down under (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21945018)

Dude, it's either get some skills or hang out with sheep.

Cache (4, Informative)

dr_d_19 (206418) | more than 6 years ago | (#21941608)

...before it gets 'dotted.

Coral here! []

Re:Cache (5, Funny)

CaptainPatent (1087643) | more than 6 years ago | (#21941756)

Yeah, Let's make a mirror...
With blackjack, and hookers...
In fact, forget the mirror!

Re:Cache (1)

ari_j (90255) | more than 6 years ago | (#21944490)

Yeah, Let's make a mirror...
With blackjack, and hookers...
In fact, forget the mirror!
...and the blackjack.

Re:Cache (1)

jgclark123 (812195) | more than 6 years ago | (#21945876)

Aw, screw the whole thing.

Suck my.. (4, Funny)

Ezza (413609) | more than 6 years ago | (#21941616)

.. beer tap!

Gives new meaning to a head of beer.

Wow! (1)

bkingaut (963434) | more than 6 years ago | (#21941618)

That is the best looking Bender I've ever seen! Very, very well done!

Yeah? well (4, Funny)

everphilski (877346) | more than 6 years ago | (#21941624)

I'll build my own beer-brewing-bender! With blackjack! and hookers! wait, forget about the beer-brewing-bender....

Great (0, Offtopic)

jav1231 (539129) | more than 6 years ago | (#21941632)

Can I be the first "Bender fan-boys" post, "yeah but does it run Linux," post and "we built plenty of these back in the day" post all at once?

Re:Great (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21941812)

Can I be the first "Bender fan-boys" post, "yeah but does it run Linux," post and "we built plenty of these back in the day" post all at once?

Re:Great (1)

jav1231 (539129) | more than 6 years ago | (#21942148)

Can't blame a guy for tryin'!

Unlikely to run Linux... (1)

zurtle (785688) | more than 6 years ago | (#21946634)

I was reading about his Tardis MAME [] thing:
"Anyway, Linux didn't last long ... and I soon had Win2k back on the box."

Maybe a few opinions of his supergeekdom will change based on that line alone! ;-)

PS New Zealand is the greatest country in the world.

Woohoo! (2, Funny)

Casca1 (656425) | more than 6 years ago | (#21941806)

Now, if someone will just make a cryro-freezer and order a pizza, my life will be complete!

Re:Woohoo! (1)

HybridJeff (717521) | more than 6 years ago | (#21945588)

Why don't you just order a pizza and check out his Jet Powered Beer Cooler [] .

Bender OS (2)

Nonillion (266505) | more than 6 years ago | (#21941872)

"but doesn't it run linux?"

I'm just guessing here, but wouldn't Benders preferred OS is Olde Fortran.

Re:Bender OS (1)

k_187 (61692) | more than 6 years ago | (#21942310)

I thought that was his preferred malt liquor.

Re:Bender OS (2, Insightful)

Minwee (522556) | more than 6 years ago | (#21942668)

I'm not seeing much of a difference there.

Re:Bender OS (1)

Ambiguous Puzuma (1134017) | more than 6 years ago | (#21946436)

If you listen to the DVD commentary for Futurama (I forget which episode), the creators note that they intentionally gave computers in the show a Mac-like interface in the hopes of getting free stuff from Apple. (They tell Steve Jobs: "It's not too late!") Of course the Mac serving as a judge in "Fear of a Bot Planet" did freeze at one point, so they haven't portrayed Macs in a completely positive light. Still, if I had to guess, I'd say Mac OS (or OS X) is probably Bender's favorite OS.

It is pretty safe to say that Windows is not Bender's favorite OS [] though:

[The crew is sitting around a campfire and Bender is at the end of telling his scary story.]
        Bender: ...and even though the computer was off and unplugged, an image stayed on the screen... it was... THE WINDOWS LOGO!
        Fry: Pssh! That's not scary.
        Bender: It is if you're a laser printer.

The Windows logo also chases Bender briefly in "The Honking".

Misread the summary... (1)

Loibisch (964797) | more than 6 years ago | (#21941900)

Am I the only one who read the summary as stating this thing having 6502 CPUs as a brain?

Aside from welcoming our new shiny-metal-ass-and-overpowered-brain-overlords I was rather stunned how you could cram that amount of chips into something less than the size of a small home... /me gets more coffee...

With apologies to Pimpbot (3, Funny)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | more than 6 years ago | (#21941918)

He's got a stomach full of candy, and an ass made by Tandy.

Re:With apologies to Pimpbot (1)

Disfnord (1077111) | more than 6 years ago | (#21942928)

All the bitches think I'm pretty, bought my face at Circuit City.

Yeah yeah that's good and all, but... (1)

sxtxixtxcxh (757736) | more than 6 years ago | (#21941998)

...I have to ask that age old question: Will it bend?

Cartoon Props? (0, Troll)

camperdave (969942) | more than 6 years ago | (#21942070)

...triggered by a prop remote control straight out of the show.

WTF??? Futurama is a cartoon. Everything is either bits in a computer or ink on paper. There are no props.

Re:Cartoon Props? (2, Informative)

Tony Hoyle (11698) | more than 6 years ago | (#21942422)

The remote is a faithful rendition of a remote used in the show - looks very authentic. I'm not sure prop is the right term but I'm having a hard time right now thinking of a better one.

Re:Cartoon Props? (1)

camperdave (969942) | more than 6 years ago | (#21943170)

How about "triggered by a remote control which is based on a remote used in the show."?

Re:Cartoon Props? (1)

'nother poster (700681) | more than 6 years ago | (#21945250)

You keep posting, but all I read is "Whaaaaaah, Whaaaaah, Whaaaaaa". Oh, and by the way, the sundry crap that is filler in the frame is still called a prop for digital animation. They can even have live actors in real-time motion capture animation sequences interact with digital only props. Check out the book "Understanding Motion Capture for Computer Animation and Video Games". Yes, I know that Futurama doesn't use motion capture, but the things are still called props, even if they are just parts of a picture.

Smut on Page 2 (5, Funny)

The Redster! (874352) | more than 6 years ago | (#21942092)

The pervert posted logic circuity on page 2. Someone should aks him to take it down.

Here's another link (1)

shafty023 (993689) | more than 6 years ago | (#21942380)

Apparently that link has been ./ Here's a link to the same story CLICK HERE []

Re:Here's another link (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21945012)

another minicity link....

Re:Here's another link (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21945168)


A New Jersey License Plate On Page 3 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21942410)

If you look on the shed wall behind Bender's head in the group of beauty shots at the bottom of Page 3 you'll see a New Jersey license plate.

I wondered where that went. Good thing I have another one on the front of the car.

I thought Bender consumed alchohol, not made it. (4, Funny)

CrazyJim1 (809850) | more than 6 years ago | (#21942472)

If Bender in the show was equipped with a brew station in his torso... That'd be a perpetual motion machine I wouldn't want to witness.

Fry,"Whatcha doin Bender?" Bender,"Drinkin my own fluids."

Re:I thought Bender consumed alchohol, not made it (1)

logixoul (1046000) | more than 6 years ago | (#21943772)

I thought Bender consumed alchohol, not made it.
The Route of All Evil.

Re:I thought Bender consumed alchohol, not made it (1)

Gadgetfreak (97865) | more than 6 years ago | (#21945354)

Well, he did sit on the stove to brew the beer, so that's some of the energy input. The other energy input is in the starch. But I'm just wrecking the fun. Honestly, I'd prefer he just be a beer cooler, peltier powered. If he were to geek it up, he could make it a dispenser or something.

6502? (1)

Dmala (752610) | more than 6 years ago | (#21942618)

Wouldn't that make Bender close cousins with both the NES and Atari 2600?

Re:6502? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21944466)

Yes. The Terminator T-800 also runs on a 6502.

T800? (1)

turgid (580780) | more than 6 years ago | (#21945476)

I always thought that the T800 was a Transputer [] .

The 6502 sucks. The Z80 blows it away any day!

Re:6502? (2, Informative)

onemorechip (816444) | more than 6 years ago | (#21947414)

In the episode where Fry tried to use the professor's F-Ray to find the winning Slurm bottle cap, at one point the F-Ray was pointed at Bender's head and revealed a 6502 (just watched this episode again the other day, thanks to Cartoon Network's recent marathon). So Beer Brewing Bender's designers knew what they were doing.

cool bot, poor beer (4, Informative)

darqit (1040654) | more than 6 years ago | (#21942632)

I used to brew some beer myself and the home kit the guy is using makes for pisspoor beer. And also beer from plastic bottles!!! blasphemy

You want to be using real ingredients not the beersyrup this guy uses. Real barley and hops. Most small breweries also sell to individuals.

Heat the barley in a pan with sufficient water (as in how much beer you want) and look up a schematic for the heating. Essentially this means heating your mixture to a designated temperature and keeping it there for a period of time. Different temperatures make the barley release different sugars. there are different temperature schemes. Experiment with a few you can really see the difference.

Add half your hops at the beginning and the other half halfway trough the heating process

Then strain your beer a few times until it has the desired clarity (can be influenced by the type of barley)and cool the mixture down so the yeast survives when you add it. It is good practice to activate your yeast before adding

The beerbender does use a handy fermenting vat. These are actually quite cheap. Keep the beer for at least 1 week at around 24 degrees celsius

The botteling is next. If you like beer you surely have some glass beer bottles. Buy a bottlecapper and some caps. Again really cheap.

You can use sugar drops to get the CO2 in the bottle but about 2-4 grams of plain sugar also works. I like using some honey as it can be tasted later.But an absolute winner is the brown caster sugar

cap the bottles with the sugar and again wait for minimally 2 weeks at 24 degrees before consuming

this way you can vary your beer way more than using some kit. You can experiment with different barley,hops,heating schemes,yeasts,storing times,straining and sugars.

Re:cool bot, poor beer (1)

Disfnord (1077111) | more than 6 years ago | (#21942972)

You reuse non-returnable beer bottles? You're crazy.

Re:cool bot, poor beer (1)

Creepy Crawler (680178) | more than 6 years ago | (#21943620)

A mild sodium hypochlorite solution is plenty enough to kill off any stray yeasts and bacteria.

And to rinse off the NaClO solution, just use DI H2O or mild ethanol.

And I guess we're crazy in that we use the dregs off of beers we like, obtain 2 samples in which one is for yeasts and 2nd is for both yeast and bacteria, and proceed to use "commercial" beer.

Our harvesting of Grand Cru and Gulden Drahk have proved very successful thus far.

Re:cool bot, poor beer (1)

'nother poster (700681) | more than 6 years ago | (#21945844)

I believe that the GP was refering to the practice in the U.S. of making twist top non returnable bottles out of thinner glass which made for nice bottle bombs if you reused them.

Re:cool bot, poor beer (1)

AeroIllini (726211) | more than 6 years ago | (#21943326)

Agreed, the beer he is brewing will be absolutely disgusting. Probably far too malty, with no smoothness.

I am a homebrewer, and the method you described is just one of many different ways. The temperature for boiling the mash, the times for addition of the hops, the types of barley and hops used, even the type of yeast will all affect the quality and flavor of your beer.

If someone on Slashdot is interested in starting a homebrew project the best place to start is with this book [] . It gives basic instructions for creating a basic beer, but it also dives into the science behind beer and allows the hackerish among us to experiment and understand what's going on in the fermenter. The entire book is available for free online, but I bought a hard copy as well to have handy during brewing sessions.

Re:cool bot, poor beer (2, Insightful)

Sloppy (14984) | more than 6 years ago | (#21944174)

Agreed, the beer he is brewing will be absolutely disgusting. Probably far too malty, with no smoothness.

I doubt it will be awesome, but there's a reasonable chance it won't be disgusting. It's clear that he is using hopped (pre-bittered) LME. [] He's not adding any finishing hops for taste/aroma, but I bet the malt/bitter balance is going to be about right -- I've used hopped LME a couple times, and it contributed an even balance. I wouldn't use it in some kind of hop-showcase APA or IPA, but for a generic newbie beer? No problem!

What I didn't like about this guy's process, is that he's bumping it up with dextrose instead of more malt extract. But if he used malt, then I guess that would mean he'd have to deal with boiling some hops. So really, I bet his balance will be about right, and it won't be too malty. If anything, it's going to be really dry, as his 1.006 F.G. suggests.

I do have to agree on the plastic-bottles-sound-gross thing. I would never do that. But I know some people who use "better bottles" [] instead of glass carboys (which is what I use) for their primary fermenters, and their beer is fine. So if this plastic is similar (doesn't flavor the beer or allow oxygen in), then it will probably be ok assuming he's drinking it fairly soon.

I just don't see any serous show-stoppers here, which are going to ruin his beer. It'll have a fair chance.

I get the impression the guy is a newbie. And you know what? That's ok. It's fine to do a really simple process as your first one as you're learning the ropes. He won't be able to get as much diversity as a [arrogant]real[/arrogant] brewer, but he'll make better beer than 80% of the stuff for sale at the super-market. If he enjoys this, he's just going get more sophisticated as the mental infection sets in. It happened to me, I've seen it happen to others, and it'll happen to him. Building the Bender, shows he's got some kind of obsession thing going on.

For those wanting to get into homebrewing (1)

ari_j (90255) | more than 6 years ago | (#21945020)

A better way to start is to get a high-quality kit. In larger cities in the US, at least in the Midwest, you can find homebrew supply stores that sell everything you need or could possibly want. A couple of my favorite stores are Midwest Supplies [] and Brew and Grow of Minnesota [] . (The 'grow' refers to hydroponic gardening, which I don't do. I have avoided asking what they grow and if they sell seeds. :P)

Midwest Supplies will sell you kits ranging from the basics, doing your fermentation in a plastic bucket, up to 42-gallon stainless steel fermenters costing thousands of dollars. I personally am somewhat of a high-end novice brewer, so I don't do kegging and I haven't made a lager yet, and I am just starting to put together the equipment to do all-grain brewing (instead of using malt extract, which makes a very nice beer but lacks some of the DIY feeling that we all get out of writing our own compilers and malting our own barley from our own local granaries).

One thing you should definitely do is pick up a copy of The Complete Joy of Homebrewing, in any edition (I believe the Third is on shelves presently. It's in paperback and the guy has been brewing beer since the days of the PDP-10.)

Here's the process and equipment that went into my last batch of ale, a nut-brown:
  1. In a large stainless steel pot, boil X gallons of water (3 is good) and 6.6 pounds of malt extract (two 3.3-pound cans, I believe I used amber but don't have my brewing notes with me at the office today) along with a muslin sack of cracked specialty malts of barley, in this case some "chocolate" malt and some 50L crystal malt, plus the boiling hops for bitterness
  2. In the last 5 minutes of the boil, add finishing hops for aroma and flavor
  3. Put a few gallons (5 - X) of water into a 5-gallon glass carboy, and add the boiled "wort"; add cool water to fill carboy to not far below the base of its neck
  4. Allow to cool below 80F, preferably down to 74F
  5. Pitch the yeast, which you may want to have cultured to get more active yeast cells into your beer right away
  6. Affix a hose to the top of the carboy, with its submerged in a small pail of water (a sanitizer solution is better; see Star-San product)
  7. After a few days, the blow-off hose will be done doing its job of allowing crud from the top of your beer to blow off during the kraeusening phase of the yeast's job, so you can replace it with a fermentation lock
  8. After a couple weeks total fermentation time at room temperature, your beer will be done; three days in a row of the same hydrometer reading will confirm this
  9. Boil a pint of water and 1-1/2 cup of dried malt extract (or 3/4 cup corn sugar if you don't want as firm of a head on your beer) for a few minutes, put it in the bottom of your sanitized plastic bottling bucket with its spigot closed, siphon all the beer out of the carboy into the bucket, leaving the yeast sediment on the bottom of the carboy, and use a bottle filler (with a valve that opens only when you press it against the bottom of a bottle) to fill your bottles, leaving about an inch of air space and capping them with caps that you've boiled in water to sterilize them
  10. Wait 1-2 weeks for bottle conditioning, including carbonation, to finish
  11. Chill, pour into a glass, leaving the yeast sediment in the bottle, and enjoy
Note that I put my finishing sugar into the whole batch instead of into each bottle. This ensures consistency from bottle to bottle and reduces the number of opportunities to introduce the beer to an unsanitary environment.

It's a simple process and you can get all the equipment you need for $80 and all the ingredients for a 5-gallon batch of beer for less than the cost of buying 5 gallons of Bud Light. The results will usually be good and there is truly no end to the tweaking you can engage in to make your beer. Pretty much everyone who reads Slashdot has that "chemistry set" neural pathway that makes us enjoy mixing chemicals, measuring the results, and doing from scratch what most people buy in the supermarket without a thought to where it comes from. A home brewery is the chemistry set for adults.

Re:For those wanting to get into homebrewing (1)

my_left_nut (1161359) | more than 6 years ago | (#21946472)

From a perpetual beginner, and lazy-assed brewer we are Mostly Agreed. The Charlie Papazian book is *the* homebrewer's bible.

Here's my $0.02 of Things I've Learned Homebrewing. Doing this will make sure you get a nice drinkable brew, and not a container full of Septic System Helper:

Aside from the rack-over tubing and bottling wand, the beer should touch only stainless steel during the boiling process. I use a plastic funnel to assist in transferring the wort from the pot to the carboy, and haven't had any infection problems. I tried a heat-exchanger once to cool things down, but they are too hard to keep clean, let alone sanitized - better to not do it at all, or put the carboy into a bigger container full of ice water in order to cool the wort down.

Originally I used two plastic pails for fermentation but now I use sanitized glass carboys instead, and sanitized glass bottles for conditioning since plastic can harbor bacteria in the scratches. I stay away from kegging, since it makes transport difficult. For a beginner, saving up a couple of cases of Sam Adams 12 oz empties for a 5 gal batch is pretty cheap.

To sanitize, first I soak the sanitizee in strong bleach solution ( 1 cup per 5 gal or really hot water). After doing this, shooting a stream of water into the bottle or carboy will dislodge the nastiest of schmeg. Bleach is cheap - beer ingredients are not. As a final step, I dunk the bottle in a solution of Iodophor (2 oz per five gal of water), and rinse for a few seconds. For rinsing, a bottle rinser comes in handy.

Initially, I did the hydrometer thing, but I've discovered that as long as the batch gets past the kreusening stage, you're usually home free. I rack over once after the first week, and then I let the batch sit for two to three weeks after the fermentation lock stops bubbling after the first racking. I'd rather not risk introducing something which will foul up the beer when I do the hydrometer reading. I'll do the hydrometer test when I'm really interested in the COOH level, though. Usually for meads and such.

I stay away from hopped kits since the active bittering agents in hops do degrade over time, and it's hard to tell how and for how long the cans were stored.

I use powdered unhopped malt *extract*, light or dark depending on the type of beer. Mashing is a pain in the butt, and if left without a choice I'd do it. I think you can get just as good a result from using the malt extract, and it saves a step.

I get whole-leaf hops that were kept refrigerated, and in light-blocking bags. Light will degrade the active chemical components in hops. I think that, aside from sanitation, this is probably *the* most important thing to be concerned about. Old nasty hops will definitely funk up a beer.

I do ales, they are easy since you don't have to worry about refrigeration. Mead is a good thing to try for this reason also. There are a few other ingredients you need for that - like yeast nutrients, and gypsum to avoid stuck fermentation issues.

My original two plastic pails didn't go to waste, however. I use them to contain the sanitizing solution that I soak the bottles and equipment in. I also put a few bottles into an empty sanitized pail that is sitting on the floor, and fill them in it. That way if I inadvertently overfill the bottle, the overflow goes into the bucket and not onto the kitchen floor.

Re:cool bot, poor beer (1)

'nother poster (700681) | more than 6 years ago | (#21945424)

Wow, that was a bit um... loose with the brewing process. You seem to add your hops to the mash and not the boil which seems to be missing altogether, and your description of lautering is also interesting. Anyone wanting to really know how to make beer check out [] . Yes the guy is peddling his book on the website, but the older edition is there at [] and is free to read online. It will take you through both extract and all grain brewing.

Re:cool bot, poor beer (1)

photomonkey (987563) | more than 6 years ago | (#21945518)

I am in no way, shape or form affiliated with the following company, but have used them for years in my own home brewing adventures. They're based in Arizona, but ship all over the place and have some pretty decent prices. They sell kits (basically pre-packaged recipes) or individual bags of barley, hops, yeast, etc.

Check out []

Not so impressed... (0)

csoto (220540) | more than 6 years ago | (#21943126)

No shiny metal ass to bite! Fiberglass is heresy!here

The king of geek cool (1)

Cinnaman (954100) | more than 6 years ago | (#21943154)

This guy is the king of geek cool, not only did he build a full-size Bender but he has a MAME'd Tardis! I wonder what the speech came out like (I'm surprised a bare CPU can output audio).

Now that Bender can brew... (1)

JensenDied (1009293) | more than 6 years ago | (#21943464)

We need to see if he is also capable of surviving a Stop'n'Drop brand suicide booth [] when accompanied by the average Old New Yorker.
- America's favorite suicide booth since 2008

An old /. favourite... (2, Informative)

Chris Brewer (66818) | more than 6 years ago | (#21944114)

Don't forget, this is the guy that created the jet-powered beer cooler [] as discussed way back when [] .

While his server hasn't become a smoking ruin, check out his TARDIS MAME console [] .

Which makes me a biger geek? (1)

eheldreth (751767) | more than 6 years ago | (#21944118)

My complete and total envy over this project or the fact I noticed the Tardis MAME cabinet in the pictures on page 3.

Do they know yet??? (1)

aztektum (170569) | more than 6 years ago | (#21946398)

Will it be an ale or a lager?

I hope it's a lager so I can take it to a ball game.

Beer Brewing Bender Completed (1)

gnubug (1003956) | more than 6 years ago | (#21946490)

Hell this was reported about back in june- july of last year!! thats 6 months or so ago.. Nothing new here, move along.. move along...

Yeah but... (1)

catdevnull (531283) | more than 6 years ago | (#21946764)

Will it serve Slurm, too?
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