Brewers of STW

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  • Brewers of STW
  • peterfile
    Member

    Following on from the Massive Brewery thread, I think we’ve got quite a few brewers on here.

    I’ve been sharing stuff by email with a couple of people and thought it might be worth starting a thread with recipes etc?

    I’ll start with a few of my favourites (all on beersmith since I use that software):

    Bells Two Hearted IPA

    The original that this clone is based on is widely regarded as the greatest IPA ever produced, but you’ll struggle to get a hold of a bottle. I’ve had a bottle before, but it was a long time ago, so I can’t comment on how close it is to the original, but others have said it is. Regardless, this still remains the best beer I’ve brewed and is honestly one of the best beers I’ve tasted! The only adjustment I made in my second batch was to reduce the dry hopping time to one week, since there was a very slightly grassy tinge when sticking them in for the full 14 days. I just dry hopped straight into the primary after fermentation was complete.

    Anchor Porter clone

    One of my favourite porters. This clone is remarkably close to the original. Don’t be fooled by the basic recipe, it’s brilliant. I used an english yeast on my first batch and a US yeast on my second. The english yeast gave a fruitier flavour, which isn’t my cup of tea, so I prefer the US yeast. I left in primary for about 3 weeks then bottled.

    Sierra Nevada pale ale

    One of the first brews I did, simply because the original is so identifiable, I thought it would be a good way to benchmark my brewing. This clone turned out really really well. A little bit more bitter than the original, but in a side by side test they were surprisingly close. I’d lighten up on the crystal next time since it came in a little bit too dark.

    Citra Double IPA

    This one is still a bit too young for me to comment conclusively, but I honestly think it will surpass Bells Two Hearted as my favourite beer. It tastes and smells absolutely incredible. This thing has been dry hopped within an inch of its life. The only adjustment I made was substituting the final dry hop of citra for amarillo, which seems to have worked really well.

    Dry hopping – siphoning

    If you’re dry hopping into either primary or secondary, you’ll need to siphon the beer out at some point into your bottling bucket (unless you’ve got taps and filters on all your FVs). This can be a nightmare when you’ve got a heap of loose hops in there, so I devised a free and easy filter to go over your siphon.

    I’ll try to stick up a photo later, but I basically wrapped a wire coat hanger around a tube which was 1″ diameter to make a wire cylinder (about 4 inches long) and then put a few tight twists in at the top (around a pencil). I stick the wire cylinder and the foot off of a clean pair of tights (mrs pf doesn’t know, ssshhh!) into some boiling water for 5 mins, then pop my siphon tube down through the tight coils (which holds it in place) and down so that it sits a centimetre off the bottom of the wire cylinder. I then pull the tight material over it like a sock and secure at the top with a zip tie.

    Then I simply push this contraption into the FV and let it sit just off of the yeast cake. It works really really well, with no reduction in flow for the full volume of the FV, even with a mountain of hops in there.

    Nice links, thanks!

    Just stocked up on malts and hops as it happens. Got some crushed chocolate to try out for a change. Latest effort was a crushed crystal and Goldings affair. Not 100% sure yet, as it’s conditioning in the bottle, but I may have slightly overdone the hopping. Nice and clean, clear beer though, and pre-conditioning sample went down well.

    Premier Icon mugsys_m8
    Subscriber

    Is this the place to ask for an idiot’s guide? I have absolutely no knowledge but wanting to start brewing my own. We live in France and struggle to get any proper ale! One thing I think might be a problem is that we lack anywhere cool…this was a problem when we tried home-made cheese.

    At present wanting to limit expenditure, but in time don’t mind investing a bit.

    peterfile
    Member

    This shows you the basics of BIAB. Best advice is just to get brewing and you’ll soon learn/research as you go along 🙂

    One thing I think might be a problem is that we lack anywhere cool

    This could be problematic. How warm are we talking? I generally ferment at around 15-18 degrees, which works well for me, but to be honest, most ale yeasts are fine up to around 22 degrees.

    You can make a brewfridge on the cheap. Just pick up an old fridge/freezer that someone is throwing away and follow one of the many guides available online for converting it into a unit which will keep a constant temperature inside all year round.

    atlaz
    Member

    I just completed my first batch and handed a few bottles off to some friends for their opinions. I’ll have another go at it soon but I need to drink this lot first 😉

    Premier Icon mugsys_m8
    Subscriber

    That’s great thanks. Very very tempting. Shame we recently sold a chest freezer and took an old smaller freezer to the tip….

    Would one of your recipes above be good for a first try?
    Any online suppliers you can recommend?
    Hope you are still enjoying the Highlands by the way.

    peterfile
    Member

    I used these guys recently and was impressed.

    In all honesty, for your first few recipes, I’d stick with something really simple, since it means less to think about, less to go wrong and it will help you identify what ingredients are leading to specific flavours. But, that said, the Sierra Nevada pale ale is pretty straight forward (no dry hopping etc). You could leave out the yeast nutrient too.

    Have a google for “first all grain recipe”, since I suspect there will be loads of blogs/forum posts with recipes in them 🙂

    (as for the highlands…i’ll be there in t minus 5 hours… 😉 )

    Premier Icon cinnamon_girl
    Subscriber

    Is it possible to brew gluten-free beer?

    Thanks. 🙂

    john_drummer
    Member

    cg – yes, I believe it is. not sure how, but I think it’s possible

    nice idea PF but try here before you go re-inventing the wheel…
    http://www.jimsbeerkit.co.uk/forum/viewforum.php?f=5&sid=6325a104841127a7ca3b38c142ee7031

    peterfile
    Member

    There’s a million recipes online John, the purpose of this was for STWers to share their favourites 🙂

    john_drummer
    Member

    One thing I think might be a problem is that we lack anywhere cool..

    cool is only really a problem if you want to brew lagers… as long as your fermentation room is below 25C you should be ok for ales

    [video]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kfi86yzhPvw[/video]

    [video]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oWH9oCiY4Lw[/video]

    [video]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i_qI9O_BmNo[/video]

    Premier Icon Blackhound
    Subscriber

    Finished this book the other day. Light hearted and not in massive depth but this guy visited 60 breweries in Scotland but does talk a bit about the process different brewers used:

    john_drummer
    Member

    There’s a million recipes online John, the purpose of this was for STWers to share their favourites

    fair point 😳
    actually, come to think of it, I have a few favourites that I’d like to share too…
    later…

    anyway, there’s also this:
    http://www.brewmate.net/recipe

    lots of repetition there but the “Dirty Celebration Ale” is one of my favourites

    peterfile
    Member

    Oh, also, the Open University are currently offering a full online course in the the “Chemistry of Beer” for FREE 🙂

    I’ve already done the first couple of modules…it’s quite full on. A background in chemistry would be a distinct advantage!

    Slick interface too, it’s well put together.

    Chemistry of Beer

    Premier Icon cinnamon_girl
    Subscriber

    cg – yes, I believe it is. not sure how, but I think it’s possible

    Thanks john. 🙂

    davidrussell
    Member

    I’d just like to thank peterfile publicly as i’ve been one of the email lurkers and his advice has been great so far. I haven’t brewed any BIAB so far, but i’m really looking forward to it and some of the recipes up there, particularly the SNPA, look awesome!

    Second vote for BrewUK here, used them lots and always delivered well. Likewise i think the forum is great over there, haven’t been able to identify the “big hitters” yet 😉

    jamiea
    Member

    I’ve got an Oatmeal Stout on the go at the moment, it’s one of the best beers I’ve done in the last 6 years:

    Pale Malt 4600g 75.4%
    Roasted Barley 600g 9.8%
    Flaked Barley 300g 4.9%
    Flaked Oats 300g 4.9%
    Pale Chocolate Malt 300g 4.9%

    Challenger 60mins 32g
    Fuggle 10mins 32g

    23litres / OG1.059 / 5.2% / 30IBU

    Cheers,
    Jamie

    jamiea
    Member

    Oh, also, the Open University are currently offering a full online course in the the “Chemistry of Beer” for FREE

    Thanks for the heads up, I’ll look into that!

    Cheers,
    Jamie

    jamiea
    Member

    Is it possible to brew gluten-free beer?

    It sure is! I’ve not brewed with it but Spelt can be used as a gluten-free barley replacement.

    Cheers,
    Jamie

    peterfile
    Member

    I’d just like to thank peterfile publicly as i’ve been one of the email lurkers and his advice has been great so far. I haven’t brewed any BIAB so far, but i’m really looking forward to it and some of the recipes up there, particularly the SNPA, look awesome!

    Ah ha! It’s you then 🙂

    Jamie, that’s quite like an oatmeal stout I did recently, I had some black malt and carapils in there too, with northern brewer instead of challenger.

    jamiea
    Member

    Jamie, that’s quite like an oatmeal stout I did recently, I had some black malt and carapils in there too, with northern brewer instead of challenger.

    If I where to brew it again, I’d add a little black malt- just to give a bit more coffee-ness to it. The fuggles and challenger hops where home grown, now is the time to get planting! If anyone want’s some cuttings, just shout.

    Cheers,
    Jamie

    Premier Icon cinnamon_girl
    Subscriber

    Thanks jamie. 🙂 This place is a mine of information!

    peterfile
    Member

    Jamie, I brewed a Chocolate Espresso Russian Imperial Stout a few months ago. Soooo much fun to brew. It’s an enormous beer (about 9.8%), so I think it’s going to need 6-12 months to mellow, however I had a sample at the 2 month mark and it’s coming along very nicely.

    I brewed some espresso and added to the secondary FV. Think I used 1 shot of espresso per 1.5-2 litres in the FV.

    Give it a bash, definitely worth sticking batch down for a while!

    jamiea
    Member

    I’ve been thinking about getting an RIS on the go for ages, it’s the tying up of a keg for a year + that’s putting me off! It weird, I don’t drink coffee, or any hot drinks for that matter, but love coffee-y stouts, coffee cake, tiramisu – I think I’m actually a closet classic STW coffee ponce!

    Cheers,
    Jamie

    john_drummer
    Member

    t’s the tying up of a keg for a year + that’s putting me off

    bottles!

    jamiea
    Member

    bottles!

    Faffage!

    If I am bottling I tend to bulk condition in a Corny keg then once dropped clear then rack into bottles.

    Cheers,
    Jamie

    john_drummer
    Member

    yeah they’re a faff but on the other hand, if one goes ‘off’, you only lose 500ml. If your keg isn’t properly cleaned, you lose the lot…

    tacopowell
    Member

    First time Brewer, Woodfordes Wherry, Bottled up last Sunday, Looking forward to results in 9 days and counting!

    samuri
    Member

    I’m just waiting for my third batch to be ready for drinking. Only standard kits so far but really enjoying it so far.

    Also have some wine that I’ll be bottling this weekend. Not sure how long to leave that before drinking. I’ll try a month.

    john_drummer
    Member

    Dirty Celebration Ale
    Original Gravity 1068 Final Gravity 1014
    Colour (SRM / EBC) 9.5/18.7

    Bitterness Alcohol by Volume
    64.3 IBU 7.0%

    Brewhouse Specs
    Recipe Type All Grain / BIAB
    Batch Size 20L
    Boil Time 60min

    Fermentables

    Pale Ale Malt 4.61 Kg
    Munich I 0.92 Kg
    Carared 0.25 Kg
    Wheat Malt 0.25 Kg
    Caramunich III 0.12 Kg

    Hops
    Name Amount Use Time
    Nugget 27.24g Boil 60 mins
    Amarillo 19.74g Boil 15 mins
    Cascade 19.74g Boil 15 mins
    Centennial 19.74g Boil 15 mins
    Amarillo 19.74g Boil 5 mins
    Cascade 19.74g Boil 5 mins
    Centennial 19.74g Boil 5 mins
    Amarillo 19.74g Boil 0 mins
    Cascade 19.74g Boil 0 mins
    Centennial 19.74g Boil 0 mins

    Yeast
    Safale US-05

    Mash Steps
    Saccharification Rest 60.0 min 66.0 °C / 150.8 °F

    Premier Icon Garry_Lager
    Subscriber

    If I where to brew it again, I’d add a little black malt- just to give a bit more coffee-ness to it. The fuggles and challenger hops where home grown, now is the time to get planting! If anyone want’s some cuttings, just shout.

    Cheers,
    Jamie I’d gratefully take some cuttings off you but I think I’m a bit far away (Manc). Love the idea of planting some rhizomes but not sure how the reality works out – do you not need some serious trellis work?

    Premier Icon trout
    Subscriber

    Started this two weeks ago insane Belgian Quadruple for a mates 60th bday in September
    going to bulk condition it in a cornie then bottle into 250 ml bottles
    a sipping beer I think

    Alien-Evil-60
    Belgian Dark Strong Ale (18 E)Type: All Grain
    Batch Size: 23.00 l
    Boil Size: 25.81 l
    Boil Time: 60 min
    End of Boil Vol: 23.92 l
    Final Bottling Vol: 23.00 l
    Fermentation: Ale, Two Stage
    Date: 23 Jan 2014
    Brewer: Troutie
    Asst Brewer:
    Equipment: Trouts equipment
    Efficiency: 72.00 %
    Est Mash Efficiency: 72.0 %
    Taste Rating: 30.0

    Taste Notes:

    Ingredients Amt Name Type # %/IBU
    5.00 kg Pale Malt, Maris Otter (5.9 EBC) Grain 1 45.5 %
    2.00 kg Munich Malt – 20L (39.4 EBC) Grain 2 18.2 %
    2.00 kg Vienna Malt (6.9 EBC) Grain 3 18.2 %
    0.25 kg Acid Malt (5.9 EBC) Grain 4 2.3 %
    0.25 kg Carafoam (3.9 EBC) Grain 5 2.3 %
    0.25 kg Caramel/Crystal Malt – 60L (118.2 EBC) Grain 6 2.3 %
    0.25 kg Melanoiden Malt (39.4 EBC) Grain 7 2.3 %
    1.00 kg Candi Sugar, Dark (541.8 EBC) Sugar 8 9.1 %
    60.00 g Goldings, East Kent [5.00 %] – Boil 90.0 min Hop 9 21.2 IBUs
    50.00 g Tettnang [4.50 %] – Steep/Whirlpool 60.0 min Hop 10 7.4 IBUs
    2.0 pkg SafBrew Specialty Ale (DCL/Fermentis #T-58) [23.66 ml] Yeast 11 –

    Gravity, Alcohol Content and Color
    Est Original Gravity: 1.108 SG
    Est Final Gravity: 1.016 SG
    Estimated Alcohol by Vol: 12.3 %
    Bitterness: 28.6 IBUs
    Est Color: 82.8 EBC Measured Original Gravity: 1.106 SG
    Measured Final Gravity: 1.010 SG
    Actual Alcohol by Vol: 12.8 %
    Calories: 1040.6 kcal/l
    Mash Profile
    Mash Name: Single Infusion, Light Body, No Mash Out
    Sparge Water: 9.75 l
    Sparge Temperature: 75.6 C
    Adjust Temp for Equipment: FALSE
    Total Grain Weight: 11.00 kg
    Grain Temperature: 13.0 C
    Tun Temperature: 6.0 C
    Mash PH: 5.20 Mash Steps Name Description Step Temperature Step Time
    Mash In Add 26.08 l of water at 71.9 C 64.4 C 75 min

    Sparge: Fly sparge with 9.75 l water at 75.6 C
    Mash Notes: Simple single infusion mash for use with most modern well modified grains (about 95% of the time).

    Carbonation and Storage
    Carbonation Type: Bottle
    Pressure/Weight: 135.29 g
    Keg/Bottling Temperature: 21.1 C
    Fermentation: Ale, Two Stage
    Volumes of CO2: 2.3
    Carbonation Used: Bottle with 135.29 g Corn Sugar
    Age for: 30.00 days
    Storage Temperature: 18.3 C
    Notes

    Created with BeerSmith

    Premier Icon Clobber
    Subscriber

    Damn it Trout that sounds dangerous!!

    I’m still using my massive brewery stuff, great way to start!, getting the hang of things now and producing some nice bitters.

    I started out trying to do all sorts of recipes and clones but I think mastering a standard brew is fairly important, you can see what you’re doing wrong or where you can improve.

    Got to start looking into water treatment and controlling fermentation temperatures next!

    Premier Icon trout
    Subscriber

    It was only meant to be 11% but ended up at that though not yet got an ending gravity.

    cheapest way for fermenting temp control is a large builders bucket and a fishtank heater surround the fermenter with water and set the thermostat on the fishtank heater and leave somewhere that is not too hot

    second way is a insulated cupboard and a 50 watt greenhouse heater controled by a STC digital controller

    STC 1000

    Then a more complex way is a fridge with heater and STC 1000 to heat and cool if needed

    john_drummer
    Member

    other than a campden tablet in the water to get rid of any chlorine, treatment may or may not be necessary, depending on the quality of your water to start with.
    I’ve never treated my water other than the campden tablet; so far it’s worked fine without.

    I’m doing a BIAB demo at my LHBS tomorrow and the owner normally uses a bit of gypsum & epsom salts when he brews at home, but doesn’t bother when he brews at the shop. seems to work for him as well

    peterfile
    Member

    Trout, that cupboard looks great, I hadn’t though of insulating mine. My cupboard never goes below 14 degrees in winter, but can sit at 25 in summer, so my biggest battle is trying to keep it cool. Any ideas other than having to build a fridge? I’ve not go space for that at the moment.

    I just opened an oatmeal stout that I bottled a few weeks ago. Expected to be a bit wild at the moment, but it was fantastic! I can’t see how it could improve that much over time, but if it does then I’ll be a happy man! Really straight forward recipe, nothing special, but just came out really well. Will post the recipe up when I get home.

    jamiea
    Member

    I’d gratefully take some cuttings off you but I think I’m a bit far away (Manc). Love the idea of planting some rhizomes but not sure how the reality works out – do you not need some serious trellis work?

    Hi Gary,

    PM me your address and I’ll and get some cut, probably at the weekend. Nothing fancy needed to train them, I simply extended a fence panel using 1m lengths of 1″x1/2″ timber and zig-zaged garden wire / bailer twine up the panel and posts. Hops grew really quickly, once they get going tuck them round the wire / twine everyday.

    Cheers,
    Jamie

    davidrussell
    Member

    Hey all, great thread and as always its surprising how many common interests span STW and the depth of knowledge that exists here 🙂

    First time Brewer, Woodfordes Wherry, Bottled up last Sunday, Looking forward to results in 9 days and counting!

    tacopowell, welcome to the world of home brewing! As a complete novice myself (brewed my first wherry last June) I can suggest the most important skill to master (IMO) is patience! I bottled a festival IPA in July and it was fully 4 months before I felt it was at its best. It’s like a punch in the face from a grapefruit, not unlike Punk IPA but a lot less refined than that. Still my best kit brew to date although I would definitely recommend the Festival beer kits range over any others I’ve tried (albeit the only others I’ve tried are Woodfordes kits)
    Luckily my garage store is a mile from my house (sister’s garage) so the immediate urge to drink beer is tempered by a 15 minute round trip to get it… I find with almost every kit brew I’ve done they taste a lot better after 3 months, but I’ve still noticed the homebrew “twang” which is why I’m thinking about dabbling with BIAB 🙂

    In terms of the brewfridge there is a great guide on building a temp controller based on the STC1000 mentioned by Trout on the previous page. Even a mildly competent DIY’er and a few bits scavenged here and there can make something that looks pretty good and works really well. I managed to pick up an old fridge from freecycle, reinforced the bottom shelf and jammed the temp controller probe and a 60w greenhouse heater in there and it will keep my brew within 0.5 degrees for the life of the fermentation. One tip – make sure the probe is well insulated on the side not touching the FV otherwise the controller will start hunting i.e. fridge cools below threshold it so immediately starts heating, heat rises quickly above threshold so it turns the fridge on to cool etc. As some have said it might not be top of the list for a novice brewer but I really liked putting the project together and I think maintaining a steady temp can only be good for the brew.

    Link to the thread on BrewUK here, which is an excellent source of info and people on there are helpful too.

    Sadly last weekend’s project didn’t go quite to plan 🙁 I decided to have a go at building a wort chiller out of copper. I’d managed to procure the copper coil at a reasonable price from a local plumbers’ merchant and found a paint can approx. the diameter that I needed, but it wasn’t tall enough to wrap the copper all the way up. In the usual style of “if in doubt, flat out” I set about it on the kitchen floor and actually got on quite well until a momentary lapse in concentration produced a slight (note slight) kink in the tubing. Cursing myself I carried on to about 95% completion, but the kink was bugging me already. I’m sure more than a few of you are aware of the gnawing, nagging sensation that it’s just not 100% right and once you acknowledge this debilitation condition all rational thought goes out of the window 🙂

    The reality was the kink was so slight I could have left it, or just squeezed it gently with pliers to sort it but no, I had to do something about it. After confirming the external pipe bender I had would never get to it in a million years (it was about 1/3 way up the coils) I foolishly decided to unroll the coil and start again. BIG MISTAKE. The project rapidly unrolled in front of my eyes, figuratively and literally. The coil began kinking at every turn, probably because I’d moved out of the relative warmth of the kitchen into the cold garden and the copper did not take kindly to being bent a second time. Cue lots of huffing and puffing, muttered swearing and a few slaps for the shed, then the whole 10m coil of copper was consigned to the recycle bin. Needless to say I was raging at myself for a: attempting it without having everything I needed to get the job done properly and b: letting a pretty insignificant event derail the whole thing and cost me £16.

    Needless to say I’ve learnt my lesson and have a couple or revisions to make before I attempt it again.
    We’ve all been there when the screwdriver is good enough to do the job, then it slips and gouges the frame…..

    Anyway, that’s my painful weekend experience laid bare so I feel at peace now and ready to move on. Keep the great tips, advice and recipes coming.

    PS peterfile that RIS sounds magic and Trout that death cocktail you posted sounds scary awesome! 🙂

    Cheers

    donks
    Member

    can anyone post a link to that micro kettle kit that was posted up on here just before christmas? it was 99 quid or something like….otherwise whats the basic kit required to progress from two can kits as im doing now to all grain…I obviously have a fermentation bin and pressurisation barrel and hydrometer ect.

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