Home Brew Questions

Discussion in 'suburban75' started by Voley, Mar 16, 2009.

  1. TopCat

    TopCat Gone away, no forwarding address

    Started a load of brews off thinking of Christmas.
    • 30 pints South London Extra Stout
    • 40 pints Coopers bitter
    • 40 pints of Turbo Cider
    • 40 pints of Merlot
  2. TopCat

    TopCat Gone away, no forwarding address

    The stout has been brewed short to 25 pints with a kilo of dextrose and half a K of dark malt. Going to leave this one in the bottle for as long as possible.
    Pickman's model likes this.
  3. Pickman's model

    Pickman's model Every man and every woman is a star

    Pls let me know how it turns out
  4. TopCat

    TopCat Gone away, no forwarding address

    Pickman's model likes this.
  5. Sasaferrato

    Sasaferrato Thank fuck it's not over.

    I used to use the out of date 50% dextrose, the fermentation is lightning fast.
  6. Sasaferrato

    Sasaferrato Thank fuck it's not over.

    There is no downside to bottling into plastic bottles. I used to use 1 or 2l for standard, and 250ml for my 'special brew'. The 'special brew' was 10 - 12% bv, so at circa 200ml from the bottle, about 2 units of alcohol.

    The other benefit of plastic bottles, aside from being able to take the pressure, is that the yeast falling out of suspension, settles into the 'dunkles' at the bottom, and stays quite firm.
  7. Sasaferrato

    Sasaferrato Thank fuck it's not over.

    Syrup is of course inverted sugar, you can get the same effect by adding a bit of citric acid to the sugar as you dissolve it. Faster fermentation.

    I've still got all the kit in the loft, including 120 pint bottles... I feel the urge coming on to make a batch.
    existentialist likes this.
  8. existentialist

    existentialist FiVe ᵈAʸs tᵒ FʳᵉeᵈOᵐ

    Fucking hell, that's hardcore. 120 pint bottles?! How can you even lift one of those without having first drunk 120 pints of Irn Bru? :D
    Pickman's model likes this.
  9. Sasaferrato

    Sasaferrato Thank fuck it's not over.

    The first isn't the problem, the tenth or so... :eek::D
  10. TopCat

    TopCat Gone away, no forwarding address

    The Merlot is still glugging away.

    I left the beer and the cider on the trub for 16 days. More out of laziness than anything. Just put the lot out in the cold to give them a shock.
    I better start washing bottles.
    Pickman's model likes this.
  11. TopCat

    TopCat Gone away, no forwarding address

    I feel a bit lonely now on this underpopulated but once busy thread.:(

    Are the previous posters once here, are they now on knobbin' and throbbing trying to limit their booze intake?

    Anyway I have bottled up the strong flat cider, 40 pints. ABV 8%

    Plus bottled the South London Stout, Extra style ABV 9%

    Half way thought bottling up my Hobgoblin style beer ABV 6.5%

    The Merlot is on it's second decant and is in the cold. ABV 12%

    I am trying a flat bottle of the stout now. This is the one I have not done before and it results from a years long debate with Tony from Bottles on the merits of Irish Guinness Extra VS Nigerian Guinness extra. I admitted to him after years of denial that the Nigerian was better. I drunkenly asserted that mine though (at this time never made apart from in my mind), my South London Extra Stout, that it is a contender and will have a testing with him and his men nearer Christmas.

    I look forward to testing all of this in his shop in December. :D

    I also hope to have this at mine for Christmas for guests. A mate suggested a man sized and man proof advert calendar to limit the inevitable. .
    Pickman's model likes this.
  12. Tried foraging + home brewing this year and got really into it. Really chuffed with my haul of cider and elderflower/ berry and can't wait for next year :)

    Attached Files:

  13. existentialist

    existentialist FiVe ᵈAʸs tᵒ FʳᵉeᵈOᵐ

    I put my first brew of the year on about a fortnight ago :(

    It's just a modded kit - the Woodforde's Headcracker kit, with the addition of a kilo of amber malt (I'd run out of dark), a hop bag full of spices, and a smidgen of orange oil. I shall make some oak tea and oak it slightly before bottling - I meant to put the oak chips in when the first fermentation finished, but forgot.

    I'm finding it hard to do anything which involves forward planning beyond about a fortnight, and my brewing has taken a bit of a hit as a result.
    Pickman's model likes this.
  14. instape

    instape Active Member

    Not quite the full story,

    well the citric acid bit is right*, but you need to boil it ( sugar )with a some water to "Invert" the sugar,
    you are basically saving the Yeast a job by splitting the two constituent sugars to render
    them usable by the yeast, hence time saving,as it saves the yeast that job.

    Lyles Golden syrup is Invert sugar,

    Different times, and temperatures can give all kinds of interesting sugars and Brewers caramels
    which can be used to influence the flavor and finish of your brew, a lot of Belgium beers use
    this,but it's quite fashionable all over the "Craft" scene.

    Get your equipment down and give it a go, all grain has never been simpler,
    if you are interested I can point you to guides that will have you producing amazingly good Beer, cheaper and in a totally different league to Kit brews, for not a lot more effort.

    If you are methodical and clean one can replicate anything available in the "Craft" or normal Pub scene, from Fullers London Pride, or a Traditional Scottish Heavy to the latest U.S.A. born Hop bomb.

    *Lemon juice is my Preferred source of this.

    Edited for clarity. thanks \l/
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2017
  15. Sasaferrato

    Sasaferrato Thank fuck it's not over.

    Indeed, and the active ingredient in lemon juice is ... citric acid. :)
  16. UnderAnOpenSky

    UnderAnOpenSky baseline neural therapy

    Apologies for not reading the whole thread. I'm just starting to make some lists of what I shall need to start brewing beer.

    Is it much harder to start with ingredients over just using a kit other then working out which ones to buy!
  17. t0bytoo

    t0bytoo Well-Known Member

    It's more effort but I found that the beer tastes better. As I last brewed beer about 20 years ago I probably don't know what I'm talking about.

    But I'm starting again soon. Just booked onto a "All Grain Mashing Course" at the home-brew shop.
  18. UnderAnOpenSky

    UnderAnOpenSky baseline neural therapy

    A brewing course sounds fantastic. I read somewhere that using sugar like some of the kits recommended gives pretty awful beer.

    Anyone got know any good guides to further my reading?
  19. UnderAnOpenSky

    UnderAnOpenSky baseline neural therapy

    Ginger beer had developed some serious pressure! Its starting to smell like booze now. Hopefully I should have some airlocks soon and can make a bigger batch. I'm also thinking about going old school and making some mead. :)
    diond likes this.
  20. existentialist

    existentialist FiVe ᵈAʸs tᵒ FʳᵉeᵈOᵐ

    If you're just starting, start with a kit. That way, you can get your hygiene and handling habits nicely squared away before hugely increasing the amount of sloshing around you have to do. I recommend the 2-tin kits rather than the "kit and kilo" ones (where you add a kilo of sugar), just because I think they tend to be nicer quality - Woodforde's were always a safe bet, I found. And quite forgiving - they're not too temperature-sensitive, and the flavours are simple enough that even a fairly cack-handed brewer isn't going to mess them up too badly. Wherry was the first kit I brewed, and I'd still recommend it :)
  21. UnderAnOpenSky

    UnderAnOpenSky baseline neural therapy

    Ah ok. Are two tin ones better because beer shouldnt be made with sugar, but rather malt extracts?
  22. existentialist

    existentialist FiVe ᵈAʸs tᵒ FʳᵉeᵈOᵐ

    Well, it is better for being made with malt extracts. Unless the "kit" bit is good and malty, the sugar can add a somewhat thin quality to the beer. What you can do is get a kilo of dried malt extract and use that instead of the sugar.
  23. UnderAnOpenSky

    UnderAnOpenSky baseline neural therapy

    It seems that if your "upgrading" a cheap kit you may as well buy a kit that has everything in. Do you think that with supermarket and pub beer improving in range and quality in recent years this has improved the more expensive kits or is it just flash marketing?

    Anyway bit of a lightbulb moment. I'd assumed it was going to be a bit of a faff to make a gluten free beer as it's bloody expensive in supermarkets, but no, you can get a kit. My girlfriend tries to minimise her gluten intake, due a medical condition, so this is quite a result. Still deciding the starter kit to buy, but not expensive to add another fermentation vessel. :cool:
  24. UnderAnOpenSky

    UnderAnOpenSky baseline neural therapy

    Shopping round for everything that I need and stumbled up this yeast. :D

    puriFERM UK-48 Turbo Yeast

    Along side the more serious beer brewing I'm tempted to use some with cheap apple juice.
    TopCat likes this.
  25. UnderAnOpenSky

    UnderAnOpenSky baseline neural therapy

  26. UnderAnOpenSky

    UnderAnOpenSky baseline neural therapy

    £74 spent on my first order. Decided to get one of the more expensive kits to give me a fighting chance and my reading suggests that having 2 barrels is better then one. Plus other assorted bits, it all adds up quickly. Maybe won't be saving money quite as quickly as I hoped. Now I just need to blag some bottles. Prices on some of the brew sites were mental for some of them. I'd rather empty them my self at that price.

    Away at work for the weekend. I'm rather hoping my pop bottle ginger beer is ready. Should have airlocks as well so can put the demi john's to use. Ginger Beer in one. Can't decide on Mead or Cider in the other.

    When doing more rough and ready brewing of such drinks is there a way to work out how much sugar will yield how much alcohol? I'm curious to make a really strong batch of something, but more generally that's not how I drink and need to work out a way of not ending up with stuff that's over 10%

    I ordered some of the yeast that says it goes to 14% in a few days. :oops:
  27. UnderAnOpenSky

    UnderAnOpenSky baseline neural therapy

    Is anyone else still Brewing or have I come to the party late? :D

    First kit is now made that should yield 26L of Ale. 5L of Turbo Cider also bubbling away. I'm going to do another 5L of Ginger Wine tomorrow. Think I prefer the idea of ginger being a wine strength drink rather then to be quaffed.

    What is melting my head is the amount of info about brewing from all grain ingredients and what kit to buy. I'm hoping to get there in the end. :D
    TopCat likes this.
  28. TopCat

    TopCat Gone away, no forwarding address

    This thread has been a bit dead for a while. Everyones probably pissed.
  29. UnderAnOpenSky

    UnderAnOpenSky baseline neural therapy

    Maybe so. :D

    I just ordered another four kits and 6kg of Liquid Malt Extract to give them a bit of a boost flavour wise rather then using sugar. Found a website called BrewSmarter that does 1.5kg for just a fiver when you get a kit and they are pretty competitive on prices. You also get a free 30L Fermentarion bucket when you spend £80. Also ordered some Hop pellets from ebay to give them more of a boost.

    Aiming to get up to a stock of about 120 pints so I can start experimenting a bit more.
    existentialist and diond like this.
  30. UnderAnOpenSky

    UnderAnOpenSky baseline neural therapy

    I think my American Pale Ale is ready to be hopped. :cool:

    Annoyingly I'm going away for a week, so it will have to stay in the FV till I'm back to be bottled, but my GF is kindly throwing them in for me on Friday.

    The setup is progressing. I'd really like to add temperature control, but should probably hang on for a bit. Ordered some cheap probe thermometers to get a proper idea what's happening in there.


    Beer seems on track and the ginger beer is still bubbling away nicely, but may to right of the turbo cider. It seems to be stuck. I added more yeast, but still nothing. I suspect I may have added to much sugar, not taking into account how much was in the apple juice. Smells really potent, but hydrometer is stuck on 1055. Annoying I didn't take a reading before I started. Using Super Wine Yeast which I thought was pretty tolerant. I've got some of that stuff that goes up to 20% in the fridge, but don't know if that's throwing good money after bad.

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