Home Brewers – Nice little site to have a look at

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  • Home Brewers – Nice little site to have a look at
  • Premier Icon trout
    Subscriber

    I just stumbled across this brewing site while looking for a christmas beer to brew

    http://www.sensiblemole.com/

    I am going to give his Twelfth night at toad hall brew a go but wont be for this christmas as needs a long time to age .

    recipe
    Twelfth Night At Toad Hall

    NOTE: An old fashioned Christmas Ale which MUST be bottled, and preferably in small ’Barley Wine’ size bottles, also known as ‘Nip’ bottles – ask your local landlord if you can raid his bins as, at the time of writing, it’s not possible to buy these small bottles commercially.

    It must be bottled because the beer is so strong and complex that it has to have the chance to mature for at least 8 months and will taste like nectar if left to mature for five years in a place that doesn’t suffer extreme temperature changes (ie lofts and sheds are not suitable – cupboard under the stairs definitely IS). No Protafloc and because the beer is so ’big’ pitch more yeast (a rehydrated sachet of Safale would do) after primary fermentation. A final word about honey – ’plain’, ’general’ or ’mixed’ honey doesn’t work in brewing (beer or mead) – it gives a bland taste. Go for a specialist single blossom type every time. Unusual brewing routine too, just to keep you on your toes…

    Ingredients:

    6260 gms any type of Pale Malt

    1320 gms Munich Malt

    920 gms Crystal Malt

    150 gms Chocolate Malt

    Peel from 7 Clementine Oranges

    70 gms root Ginger

    3½ teaspoons ground Cinnamon

    454 gms (ie a 1lb jar) of honey – I use Rowse’s Pure Natural Blossom Honey, at the time of writing available from Sainsburys

    Yeast:

    White Labs Burton Ale Yeast WLP023. After primary fermentation, add a rehydrated sachet of Safale with yet more yeast nutrient.

    Hop Schedule:

    Start of boil:

    10 gms Green Bullet @ 13.5 AA

    35 gms Goldings @ 5.1 AA

    15 mins from end of boil:

    35 gms Czech Saaz @ 3.5 AA

    6 gms Northdown @ 7.5 AA

    Water Treatment:

    The Wheeler Method

    Other Ingredients:

    60 mins from end of boil:

    add 35 gms of the Ginger

    15 mins from end of boil:

    add the orange peel, the remainder of the Ginger, the Cinnamon and the honey, ensuring all these ingredients are well mixed in.

    Mash and Sparge:

    Mash in 16 litres of water at 67°C. 2 crushed Campden tablets went in with the dry grain. 90 minutes mash. Sweet wort passed through grain twice. Sparge at 62°C.

    Boil:

    90 minutes. 2 crushed Campden tablets added at start of boil, first hops added 30 minutes later. Final hops added 6 minutes from the end of boil.

    (One week in primary fermentation followed by four weeks in secondary. Bottle in ‘nip’ bottles and store in a place out of sunlight that doesn’t suffer extreme temperatures or sudden changes in temperature. Store for at least 8 months but will improve and mature over a 5 year period.

    Tasting Notes:

    Not a beer to be taken lightly as you’re looking at something approaching 10% ABV. The complex spicy Christmas flavours come to the fore, especially after maturing for a year. If you have the self discipline and can put away a few bottles of this for five years in the conditions described above, this beer becomes a magnificent beast, so good you will NOT want to share it around – not even amongst your Test Pilots. Lovely stuff, the World seems a happier place after two small bottles of this – Merry Christmas!

    rickt
    Member

    Give us a shout in 5 years 🙂

    Premier Icon coolhandluke
    Subscriber

    I’m sure it’s lovely but it’s a lot of effort. Wish I had the time. Now, if there was a kit that tasted half decent, I’d be interested.

    My last brew was crystal clear, fizzy as it should be but tasted just like home brew…..not sure if I can be bothered to try another.

    Premier Icon trout
    Subscriber

    Give us a shout in 5 years

    I will struggle to make it to next xmas never mind 5 years 😳

    samuri
    Member

    That does read very interesting. Bit ahead of me yet though. First batch is a few days off barrelling. As soon as that one is in the barrel I’ll be kicking off another batch to go into bottles.

    Which leads me to a question. Is the normal path for accruing bottles to just drink bottles of beer? 😉 Or do people approach local landlords and scavenge from their bottle bins?

    And then I need a good quality capping device, yes? Which is best?

    Not sure about Campden Tablets in the Mash . Hot liquor prior to heating perhaps .

    Bottles . Always try to source new ones from your local micro brewery who does bottling. They shouldnt charge you more than 20p a bottle. Any more than that they are having a laugh. Maybe homebrew supplies might be able to sell you some or Ebay.
    Would be cheaper to clean used bottles if you can be sure of cleaning and sterilising ( 2 different things ) effectively.
    Crowner , god knows we have a manual one at work which cost about £90 iirc . huge lever and bright red .

    john_drummer
    Member

    My last brew was crystal clear, fizzy as it should be but tasted just like home brew…..not sure if I can be bothered to try another.

    kit beer? one can or two can kit? If a one can kit, therein lies the problem.

    switch to all grain via the Brew In a Bag method or three vessel if you can be bothered and it will never taste like homebrew again

    samuri
    Member

    Ta.
    EBay bottles look very cheap but I’ll see if I can find a local home brew shop first.

    daftvader
    Member

    for the bottles… if you are lucky enough to have any friends off to germany by car get them to bring a couple of crates of flip top beers home with them, then clean and sterilise… or just the hevier guage beer bottles. i have used both with no problems. wilkos also sell them but if memory serves they aint too cheap.
    as for capping i have one of these.. emily capper and it works a treat
    hth

    john_drummer
    Member

    I save my empties – new shape Fullers, Theakston, Black Sheep, Adnams etc as the labels come off really easily with a short soak.

    I also occasionally buy swing top bottles from my LHBS.

    Also useful to have a couple of Coopers PET bottles in each batch so you can tell when it’s carbonated. Tesco sell them at a tenner for a box of 24

    Premier Icon trout
    Subscriber

    Some folks have left a box and a sign at the bottle bank and had good results for a bottle supply .

    allthepies
    Member

    I use magners bottles from a local pub (who are happy to keep them for us).

    grum
    Member

    *bookmarks thread*

    Any good links on those methods you were talking about john_drummer?

    john_drummer
    Member

    http://Www.jimsbeerkit.co.UK – go to the forum, BIAB page for starters. I’ll post up a YouTube video later as well

    Premier Icon Drac
    Subscriber

    Damn that sounds good one of these days I’ll get setup brewing from scratch.

    Haze
    Member

    I have a load of empty bottles, cutting short my brewing since I don’t drink enough to justify the effort.

    Free to anyone who wants to pick them up, West Midlands based.

    samuri
    Member

    bit far away for me Haze. I like the idea of putting a box by the bin but I think I’ll be buying some locally now. They seem really cheap and at least I know what I’m starting with.

    john_drummer
    Member

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

    followed by part 2:

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

    and part 3:
    [video]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i_qI9O_BmNo[/video]

    grum
    Member

    Awesome, I’ll give those a watch later. Thanks!

    john_drummer
    Member

    it’s surprisingly easy. time consuming though.

    I took in the tour at Black Sheep brewery a while back, they said they mash for 60 minutes and boil for 60 minutes, “not a minute more nor a minute less”

    if it’s good enough for them, it’s good enough for me! saves an hour or so on some brews

    wobbem
    Member

    This may be of interest to you guys
    home brew

    Premier Icon zilog6128
    Subscriber

    This may be of interest to you guys
    home brew

    That looks amazing! Would not be cheap to get one into the UK though…

    Premier Icon trout
    Subscriber

    Three pot brewer here and love tinkering with stuff
    that homebrew kit above is not for me too automated

    considering now I have built the equipment for around £250 and to do a 40 pint all grain brew costs me about £12 I could do 3293 pints of nice ale for the price of the picobrew gadget.

    a brewday can be a bit of a time eater but with a bit of planning it is possible to do other stuff at the same time .

    one way to shorten the brewday is to overnight mash then sparge and boil the following morning .

    Premier Icon zilog6128
    Subscriber

    This is something I’ve been thinking about trying as I love beer! I also love going to the pub though, and hardly ever drink at home – it would take me a year to get through 40 pints probably! Do the brewers here find they go down the pub less now? Or just drink more?!

    john_drummer
    Member

    what is “pub” ?

    only joking, I think I can remember what one of those is. I tend to only go to a pub on a ride night

    Premier Icon zilog6128
    Subscriber

    The thing is, there’s some great pubs where I live, including one micro-brewery where they seem to have a new beer (all excellent!) every time I go and another that specialises in unusual bottled beers (the type you’d normally have to order online). Although I think I’d enjoy brewing my own I’m just not sure the time/expense would be worth it for me. Which is a shame as it seems like a cool hobby.

    bokonon
    Member

    I can’t afford to drink the beers I love (ranging from decent traditional British ales to the weird and wonderful world of Belgian beers and on to the realms of US and US inspired experimentation), I have 3 kids a wife and an expensive biking climbing kayaking adventure habit – I take my time drinking beer, and I brew quicker than I can drink – this means that I always have a lot of beer in the house, this is good because I have a variety, and it’s good because if I have people round, then I am generally able to offer them a beer they will enjoy. I keep around 80 bottles at once, and brew to fill 40 when I nearly have enough.

    Premier Icon zilog6128
    Subscriber

    How long do they last once bottled? Indefinitely? Having a reputation as the host with the most must be pretty good! How much did your setup cost (roughly, if you don’t mind me asking)?

    Premier Icon Drac
    Subscriber

    Any NE members who brew Anarchy Brewery is getting rid of their old stock of bottles for free.

    Does anybody have any use for a load of unused 500ml brown beer bottles?
    We no longer use these style bottles, and need rid asap.
    Please get in touch before they get skipped this week.

    john_drummer
    Member

    I don’t know if the question was meant for me but here goes

    my original boiler – a 32L stainless steel pan with tap & hop strainer (see below) was £70. The bag to go in it was less than a tenner.

    mrs_d wants a new kitchen so I won’t be allowed to use said pan on the new hob, so I then bought one of these: electric boiler with digital temperature control:

    £115 or thereabouts

    plus I needed a new mashing bag as the original wasn’t wide enough for the bew boiler, and would also have touched the heating element – not good.

    I already had fermenting bins, big spoon, bottles etc so no extra cost there.

    Pale Malt is around £1.80 per kilo, less if you buy it in 25kg sacks;
    other malts are around £1 per half kilo. Typical grain bill will be 4-6kg, mostly pale malt, for a 21-23 litre batch

    hops vary from £4 to £8 per 100g – and 100g can do about 3 or 4 brews in a simple English Bitter recipe; in a complex recipe such as an American IPA (e.g. Sierra Nevada Pale Ale) you can have up to 50-60g of each of three or four different hops in a single batch

    bokonon
    Member

    How much did your setup cost

    I got loads of bits for free – off cuts of copper piping, cast off microbore from my plumber brother and builder father in law – so there was a big saving there – the big ticket stuff – mash tun and boiler, were cheap as chips – boiler £8 brew bin + 2 x argos special kettles (£5) ball valves – 2 for something like £13 from screw fix. Mash tun is an argos cool box – £24 for the 24l one. The pipe work would be another £40 all told I think (£25 for microbore for the cooler) I use a bit of garden hose and the pump which came with the birthing pool (to empty it) to cycle the water out of the water butt, but thats an optional extra.

    I think you could do a full set up with a mash tun and boiler for less than a stainless brew in a bag set up – cooler costs will be the same, and you can scale up the brewing process easier if you want to move to 10gal lengths at some point, rather than working out a whole new brew process from BIAB – brewing has been a money saving hobby, not a money pit – I don’t buy much new stuff that doesn’t get drunk, and I have been known for people to buy some ingredients for beer for me and then end up with a “gift” of some beer at the end of it. I’ve been thinking about talking to a local microbrewery to see if they have any spare capacity to do an occasional brew.

    The host thing is fine if you like beer – some people who don’t like beer have had my wine forced on them – and that’s not always a good thing.

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