Viewing 28 posts - 561 through 588 (of 588 total)
  • Homebrewists of STW, brewing ‘owt at the moment?
  • kayla1
    Free Member

    OH’s just stuck a ‘Yorkshire Bitter’ kit on with 500g each of light and medium spray malt and a dandelion leaf infusion for bitterness instead of hops- watch this space!

    We’ve done this method (infusion) before with hawthorn leaves & flowers which is bloody delicious and I fancy trying a similar method but with nettle leaves too 😀

    willard
    Full Member

    Beer hopped with nettles? Count me in! Actually, they should be starting soon here, so maybe I can go and harvest a load.

    I also plan on getting spruce tips when they start coming out.

    zilog6128
    Full Member

    a dandelion leaf infusion for bitterness instead of hops- watch this space!

    interesting… definitely something I’d like to try, can’t shake the feeling that I’d be disappointed in the result vs hops though – otherwise commercial breweries would do it more!! I guess that’s one of the benefits of extract brewing though in that you can afford to be more experimental without risking a whole days worth of wasted effort!! I have had a few commercial beers brewed with botanicals – I had a couple of different hibiscus ones a while back and, whilst not unpleasant, they were definitely more “interesting” than “delicious” 😃

    I kegged my DIPA over the weekend using an oxygen-free process for the first time – worked well & not really any more effort. Hopefully see some improved results (I think it also has the potential for me to be more efficient/lazy as I can probably get away in future without cleaning a keg if the new beer is similar!) The beer tasted pretty good already, even raw (unconditioned & uncarbonated)!

    Brewed another beer too, an ESB this time (wanted to do a more “normal” ale for when the inlaws come this Easter as he doesn’t do hoppy beers really) however will probably chuck a couple of Tonka beans in at some stage (just can’t bring myself to do a beer that’s too pedestrian lol) 🤣

    kayla1
    Free Member

    Lidl had red grapes on 99p for 500g so we got four punnets and we’re going to make a demi of wine with those. We did (locally picked, ie free!) cherry last year and it ended up being a really nice sparkling refresher so I’m hoping we’ll get the same kind of Generic Pink Fizz™ from the grapes. They’re in the freezer now to help break the skins and stuff down before we start.

    zilog6128
    Full Member

    Never made cider/Perry or fruit wine but will have a crack this year as we have a few fruit trees and the majority just seems to go to waste at the moment!!

    gardentiger
    Free Member

    I’ll probably get panned for this as I suspect home brewing is like coffee expertise or sound systems in terms of masculine intensity but….

    I’ve just bought a Brewery in a Box and am going to give their IPA a crack. Got to start somewhere!

    zilog6128
    Full Member

    I’ll probably get panned for this

    absolutely not, just googled it & it’s a variation on a BIAB kit (which is how lots including me got started) and since it involves mashing the grains is definitely “proper” brewing!

    The kit is pretty bare-bones though – no chiller (not the end of the world for only 5L) and it looks like you’ll be fermenting and dispensing the beer in the same vessel, so it might get a bit… yeasty 😃

    Plenty of scope to see if you get into it & expand from there tho!

    myopic
    Free Member

    Anyone use the Brewferm party star deluxe for 5L mini kegs? Just tried for first time and having some issues.
    1. When tap is open, there’s a leak of beer from under the base of the tap (between tap and keg). It’s not between the bung and drawtube, it’s after it comes out. Stops as soon as tap is closed. I’m tempted to take it off and check the draw tube is tightly screwed on
    2. Everything so far is very cloudy. Is this because first draws are all gunk at bottom, and might I expect this to start flowing clear after 1-2 pints?

    kayla1
    Free Member

    The hawthorn’s on! We popped out and picked a good bag full of blossom and leaves earlier on today and it’s now fermenting away in the corner. I’m also running an experiment with grapefruit zest with the beer that we have at the minute (generic bitter kit hopped with a dandelion leaf infusion before the yeast is pitched)- so far, so tasty!

    willard
    Full Member

    Ooooh! Nice! We still have a week I guess until blossom, but I missed the birch sap. Was it a natural fermentation from the blossom?

    I did put a smoked porter on at the weekend, collected about as much as I had planned and then threw angry norwegian at it. It started pretty soon and on Monday I got photos from my GF to remind me that the bucket I used probably did not have enough headspace to deal with that kind of fermentation. I came home and started cleaning krausen off the worktop…

    I may need to drop hop it with some scorched birch if I want it proper smokey,

    kayla1
    Free Member

    We used a kit and added the hawthorn infusion to it then pitched the yeast when it was the right temperature.

    We’ve had incidents like yours too, like elephant’s toothpaste sometimes 🤣

    willard
    Full Member

    The porter is done. In bottles, carbonated, the lot.

    It had a couple of weeks while I was in Klatovy and it’s not a bad beer. I think I have a bottle of the previous incarnation left and I really think this has a bit more body/mouthfeel to it. That could be he changed grain bill though; whilst not a huge change, it was enough.

    One minor disappointment was the smoked malt. It’s too subtle. I wanted a distinct smoke, something, anything. This is, well, barely a hint. If I do it again, I’ll chat up some birch and dry hop with that.

    Next brew: pale ale. Something with a tonne of hops in too, I want a hoppy beer in the house again.

    kayla1
    Free Member

    We put a grapefruit and mango IPA kit on last night, it smells lush and we’re really looking forward to it 🍻

    ransos
    Free Member

    Never made cider/Perry or fruit wine but will have a crack this year as we have a few fruit trees and the majority just seems to go to waste at the moment!!

    I made a few bottles of cider last year. Juiced the apples in a cheap whole fruit juicer, chucked in some packet ale yeast, and waited. Bottled in champagne bottles with a bit of yeast and sugar as I like bubbles. It was surprisingly good.

    madhouse
    Full Member

    Been a while since I posted in here.

    So, the last beer I made has had an interesting time of it, the thermostat in the fridge went and froze the keg solid, so I stuck it on the inkbird I use in the HLT and let it defrost on gas. Went back to check a week or so later and it turns out my new gas manifold isn’t on/off as I’d thought but rather off/on/off so it hadn’t been carbonated. Fast-forward another two weeks and we’re finally drinking it, luckily it was a scotch ale rather than something hoppy so it’s actually tasting rather nice! Not sure I’ll repeat that lot again though!

    Got the next beer fermenting now, a pale that I’m making for a mate’s 40th. Looks like I’m getting better efficiency than I thought as 5.2% appears to have turned into somewhere between 5.8% and 6.6% depending on whether I believe the adjusted iSpindel readings (will take a proper hydrometer reading later this week). Gonna be a hoppy one, just had a bit of Centennial, Citra & Chinook for bittering, then a hopstand of Jester, Simcoe & Vic Secret. Next up is a dry hop of Mystic, Citra, Simcoe & Vic Secret so should be full of tropical fruits with a bit of luck. Dry hop totals 4.5g/l so I’m thinking of upping that.

    willard
    Full Member

    Thought I would resurrect this thread in time for the autumn season of brewing!

    My GF treated us to a fruit crush and press, so we spent a fun sunday afternoon collecting and then pressing apples from one of the neighbours. The wheelbarrow we collected allowed us to collect about 12 litres of juice of which 3l got pasteurised and put into bottles as juice and the other 9 got the same treatment, but went into a fermenter with a starter of Voss Kveik yeast I had in the fridge from my last beer.

    Fermentation is going, but slower than I would have expected, but I should be getting 9l of cider at some point, probably around the 5% ABV mark if the yeast does its job.

    The beer front has been quiet recently. I keep meaning to make some sort of hoppy IPA using the hops I got from the garden as a whirlpool, but have not got around to it yet. I’m also missing a bunch of hops as the biggest fruiting plant is a non-Swedish one and is only now really producing kottar, sadly too late in the season to develop fully. I still have a few bags from the Korsta plants, so will give them a try I think.

    I also need to go and get the Christmas Mead started, which means buying a big tub of local honey. This year I will _NOT_ be using saison yeast as I want some residual sugar and, quite frankly, having a dry, 17% ABV mead is just asking for trouble.

    zilog6128
    Full Member

    cool, I keep meaning to get a fruit press as we have loads of pairs and they mostly end up going to waste! We had loads of hops this year so I made two green hop beers, an ESB and a West Coast IPA (with additional dried hops, but still has that green hop twang!) Both in the keg now & tasting good, I’d forgotten how much liquid the fresh hops soak up though so got a bit less than planned… really must start making notes when I brew rather than trying to remember everything 😃

    Got another conical fermenter now so I can either do back-to-back brews thus cutting down on the amount of cleaning or will probably try some experiments in the form of brewing a double batch and then fermenting and/or dry-hopping them differently to see what happens!

    I never got into home-brewing to save money (and in fact sunk equipment costs probably mean that’ll never happen) but I was paying £7/pint for a locally-brewed strong IPA the other day, which was perfectly-good-but-not-amazing… I can make one just as nice for under £2, so satisfying to think every pint I drink earns me a fiver 😂

    depending on whether I believe the adjusted iSpindel readings (will take a proper hydrometer reading later this week)

    what did you conclude about the iSpindel in the end? Given up on mine now! I think there’s always too much stuff (yeast, etc) floating on the surface, and my fermenter is quite narrow so the iSpindel always ends up touching the side. I think the principle is sound though. It does work to the extent I can see when fermentation has started/stopped without having to go into the garage and look at the airlock which is handy I guess.

    willard
    Full Member

    Yeah, it’s not really about the money, it’s more about the process and making beers that I want to drink. Being honest, half my run gets given away to friends anyway, so the beers I drink are artificially more expensive.

    I’m also thinking about buying another stainless fermenter, but the plastic buckets are cheaper and an easy option.

    zilog6128
    Full Member

    Yeah, it’s not really about the money,

    oh I agree, but when I started brewing it was only ales, and you could get a pint in a pub for £3 or so! It’s entirely different now, imperial stouts or DIPAs can be £8+ per bottle/can even for drinking at home (nice/indie stuff, not supermarket piss!)

    ’m also thinking about buying another stainless fermenter, but the plastic buckets are cheaper and an easy option.

    yep, but having started on buckets then “graduated” to a SS conical, I could’ve just used a bucket for my second beer, but really didn’t want to!! Not that you can’t make excellent beer in a plastic bucket, I’m just a sucker for shiny stuff I guess (no difference to bikes then 😃)

    rockbus
    Full Member

    I’ve always been interested in giving this a go but seems a minefield of complications!

    is there a beginners (idiot) starter kit that people would recommend?

    ransos
    Free Member

    A pint of Fuller’s ESB in that London reminded me how good traditional English styles can be. So I’ve ordered up all the ingredients for a clone and will be brewing this weekend.

    Rockhopper
    Free Member

    I’ve got two gallons of blackberry wine that’s almost ready to bottle. Just need it to clear a tiny bit more. I’ve also got enough blackberries in the freezer for another twelve bottles and I was going to start a second batch but I don’t keep my house warm enough in the winter for it to ferment so I’ll leave it till next year now.

    Murray
    Full Member

    For me the iSpindel is not about absolute values, it’s about seeing when fermentation is complete and temperatures. I always used to use 3 kettles of boiling water for a brew, the iSpindel showed that gave a temperature of high 20s which is fine for Saison but not for most others, I now use less boiling water. If the iSpindel reads the same for three days, fermentation is finished regardless of the reading which will be influenced by yeast on the cap.

    willard
    Full Member

    @rockbus Beer is really quite easy to make, seriously. As long as you have some space, can clean stuff well and can follow a process, it should just work.

    I’m in Sweden, so kit recommending is going to be not so good for you, but find a good local homebrew shop and ask them for something. Steeping grains (kind of like a tea bag) will give a kit/extract beer more flavour, but even extract can be decent. Plastic bucket fermenters are cheap, easy to clean and work really well. You can even use them to store stuff in between batches.

    If you like it, want to learn more or go further, it’s possible to go Brew In A Bag with crushed grain and a recipe from the internet.

    zilog6128
    Full Member

    is there a beginners (idiot) starter kit that people would recommend?

    something like this is what I started with
    Starter Kits
    Will allow you to make 5L worth on your hob. Small batch, but saves you wasting time trying to heat (and cool!) large volumes of liquid without additional equipment.
    It’s all-grain brewing (BIAB or brew-in-a-bag method) which is the cheapest & easiest method of brewing.
    There are easier/shortcut methods of making beer, but they’re not brewing (IMO 😜) so you might as well start out doing it properly!

    Murray
    Full Member

    is there a beginners (idiot) starter kit that people would recommend?

    The simpler way to start is with an extract kit – not proper brewing according to some but it works for me. All you need is a fermentation bin, an airlock, sterilizing powder and a syphon tube or tap (I’d go for a tap) plus bottles, caps and a capping tool if you use glass bottles. You could just use PET fizzy water bottles but I like Budvar bottles because I have to drink them first!

    The Festival kits are pretty good and contain everything including priming sugar.

    Add a fermenter with a tap (specify the lid with hole and bung) and an airlock

    Sterilize everything with a no rinse cleaner

    Put the extract and sugar if provided in the fermenter, pour on 2 kettles of boiling water, top up with cold water and stir. Sprinkle the yeast over the top and put the lid and airlock on.

    Leave for 2 weeks in a room at about 20c until the airlock stops bubbling. Add any hops provided (I use a muslin bag to hold them) and leave for 3 more days. Dissolve the priming sugar in a little boiling water and mix in then bottle the beer. It helps if you can “cold crash” the beer i.e. bring the temperature down to about 5c as it keeps the CO2 in solution so you can bottle without foaming but it’s not essential.

    It’s pretty easy and a complete cycle of bottling the previous batch, cleaning and making the next batch takes me about an hour for 52 bottles.

    madhouse
    Full Member

    @rockbus homebrew is similar to bikes, they’ll all get you from A to B and you can choose how much you want to spend.

    I started out with a £50 5L kit, all I needed was bottles. It made a perfectly passable red ale but I soon decided to move to Brew-In-A-Bag (BIAB) which is all-grain but still using a big pan on the hob. That was fine and I’d made some lovely beers and then we had a new kitchen and I was banished – which was the perfect excuse for a dedicated brew kettle and proper cooling. carried on making lovely beer on the patio after that.

    Fast-forward a bit and I’ve now built a three vessel HERMS setup in the shed with plans to recycle the cooling water in order to be a bit greener. Now all I need is a bit more free time to actually make the stuff!!!

    zilog6128
    Full Member

    Fast-forward a bit and I’ve now built a three vessel HERMS setup in the shed with plans to recycle the cooling water in order to be a bit greener.

    nice! Love the way these systems look, although for space reasons I’ll stick with my Grainfather! (which is basically BIAB, but using a metal sieve rather than a bag, it does have a pump tho so does the re-circulation stuff).

    It came with a very efficient counter-flow chiller which lets me cool a 5G batch with only about 30-40L of water, if I get the flow right this water ends up very hot so I can use it again almost immediately – half for cleaning everything with PWB then half for rinsing (and then watering the garden!)

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