Author Topic: homebrew?  (Read 33910 times)

David Martin

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Re: homebrew?
« Reply #50 on: December 29, 2013, 08:48:50 pm »
I was thinking I could put it in the barrel then decant on to it. With a suitable tube it can mix without aeration
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David Martin

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Re: homebrew?
« Reply #51 on: December 30, 2013, 11:25:54 am »
This may be of interest: I've just ordered an Eheim Thermocontrol 25W heater off eBay for £16. This is rated to heat an aquarium of 20-25L, though perhaps if the room your FV is  in is very cold, the 50W version might be better.
I'd probably put one in a wider bucket (trug or similar? ) and place the brew bucket in that so it acts as a water jacket. It (the bucket) shouldn't need to be more than half immersed My bucket won't take one of those without modifying the lid and I'd rather not have yet another thing to sterilise.

Still pressure being generated so bottling is a few days off yet.
"By creating we think. By living we learn" - Patrick Geddes

citoyen

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Re: homebrew?
« Reply #52 on: December 30, 2013, 12:32:26 pm »
I'd probably put one in a wider bucket (trug or similar? ) and place the brew bucket in that so it acts as a water jacket.

Various people on the brewing forums advocate exactly this. It also means if the heater fails, it won't risk contaminating the beer.

OTOH, it's a less efficient way to heat the contents of the vessel and for me, the risk is low enough to make it worthwhile. As for sterilising, it's just a case of dropping it in the vessel along with all the other bits you're sterilising.

You wouldn't necessarily need to modify the lid either - just leave a crack for the wire to trail over the edge. The blanket of CO2 generated by fermentation will protect the brew from oxidation. You could put a bit of clingfilm or something over the gap to stop creatures getting in if necessary.

Quote
Still pressure being generated so bottling is a few days off yet.

Don't rely on this as a guide - use a hydrometer to be sure, especially if you're bottling.

Talking of bottling, using the barrel as a "bottling bucket" is exactly what I did with my first brew, which is the only one I've bottled so far. The main reason being that it has a tap, so it was much easier to fill the bottles than fannying about with a syphon tube in the fermenting vessel.

Re: homebrew?
« Reply #53 on: January 01, 2014, 04:07:42 pm »
I was given this for Christmas  http://www.lovebrewing.co.uk/brewmaker-high-gravity-victorian-bitter/

Can I ask here... Any good source of a 5 gallon pressure barrel/ other tips?

edit. reading through thread helps.   :)  Want to try and do this with min. expense.
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citoyen

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homebrew?
« Reply #54 on: January 01, 2014, 05:29:28 pm »
Try Wilko's - they had a sale on recently, don't know if it's still going, and 5gal pressure barrels were £16.

For your kit, as per earlier posts in the thread, I'd recommend 1kg of Muntons Beer Kit Enhancer or Light DME (Dried Malt Extract) rather than sugar - again, both available in Wilko's or homebrew specialists.

Generally, just exercise care (especially with regard to sterilisation) and patience.

David Martin

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Re: homebrew?
« Reply #55 on: January 04, 2014, 04:05:36 pm »
I now have just enough bottles (courtesy of the Queen Anne) to hold 23 litres. 11 litres in 500ml and 12 in 300ml. Currently washing and de-labelling rather a lot of bottles.
"By creating we think. By living we learn" - Patrick Geddes

David Martin

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Re: homebrew?
« Reply #56 on: January 04, 2014, 09:27:00 pm »
Sounds like a plan - maybe I should see if I have some milton or similar. They were 'fresh' bottles so still damp inside rather than many days old, and I have rinsed them well. The larger bottles are all done, it is the 300ml bottles that will take some time as they seem to have a more soak-resistant glue.

I've got a few days yet before bottling so plenty of time.

"By creating we think. By living we learn" - Patrick Geddes

David Martin

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Re: homebrew?
« Reply #57 on: January 05, 2014, 04:09:34 pm »
Maybe a few more days - this is taking it's time. Now at 1020 (from 1038 on 23rd). Still appears to be live so live and let live for a while longer.
"By creating we think. By living we learn" - Patrick Geddes

David Martin

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Re: homebrew?
« Reply #58 on: January 05, 2014, 06:24:53 pm »
I've never done this before so pick a number :)

All the bottles are cleaned. I might stop by the pub on the way home from work and pick up some more bigger bottles.
"By creating we think. By living we learn" - Patrick Geddes

ian

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Re: homebrew?
« Reply #59 on: January 05, 2014, 06:51:41 pm »
Sounds like a plan - maybe I should see if I have some milton or similar. They were 'fresh' bottles so still damp inside rather than many days old, and I have rinsed them well. The larger bottles are all done, it is the 300ml bottles that will take some time as they seem to have a more soak-resistant glue.

I've got a few days yet before bottling so plenty of time.

You're a scientist. Surely you should have a big fuming vat of dichromic acid for getting rid of those pesky labels?
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woollypigs

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Re: homebrew?
« Reply #60 on: January 05, 2014, 07:00:01 pm »
And not to forget and deep manic laughter.

David Martin

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Re: homebrew?
« Reply #61 on: January 05, 2014, 07:03:23 pm »
Having carried out considerable research I can now write a short paper ont he durability of bottle labels by brand, and whether they are a neck band, front, or back label as they all seem to use different glues.
"By creating we think. By living we learn" - Patrick Geddes

David Martin

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Re: homebrew?
« Reply #62 on: January 05, 2014, 07:14:41 pm »
For those interested, the easiest tosoak off are Magners and Koppaberg. The hardest are Budweiser.
"By creating we think. By living we learn" - Patrick Geddes

Mrs Pingu

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Re: homebrew?
« Reply #63 on: January 05, 2014, 10:14:11 pm »
We are lazy scientists and never bothered fighting to get the labels off. The stuff inside the glass still tastes the same, after all :)
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David Martin

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Re: homebrew?
« Reply #64 on: January 07, 2014, 10:55:42 am »
I have been loaned a brew belt so this evening will endeavour to raise the brew temperature to a point where it will not take another month to complete. It is still progressing, albeit slowly.
"By creating we think. By living we learn" - Patrick Geddes

citoyen

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Re: homebrew?
« Reply #65 on: January 07, 2014, 11:13:14 am »
It's not necessarily a bad thing to let it take its time - longer, slower fermentation allows the yeast to "clean up" after itself.

I left my stout in the fermenting vessel for over three weeks before transferring it to the pressure barrel, and it's turned out beautifully. After two weeks of conditioning, it's a cracking pint, but I'm trying to do the dry January thing so I'm having to resist the temptation to get stuck in. On the plus side, this means it should be even better by the time February rolls around...

tiermat

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Re: homebrew?
« Reply #66 on: January 07, 2014, 01:02:02 pm »
FWIW, David, I have found that some (mainly the ones with the plastic coated labels) come off easier if you use heat rather than water to lift them.  Obv. with plastic coated labels the water cannot get at the glue to dissolve it, but heat softens it up enough to get a fingernail under one edge.
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David Martin

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Re: homebrew?
« Reply #67 on: January 07, 2014, 11:15:23 pm »
1012 after I put the heater up a notch or two. I have borrowed a brew belt which is now installed 1/3 from the top and on a 1hour on 1 hour off timer.
"By creating we think. By living we learn" - Patrick Geddes

David Martin

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Re: homebrew?
« Reply #68 on: January 08, 2014, 02:54:10 pm »
Ambient is probably around 15 or possibly lower - I've not measured it. Yeast - whatever came in the coopers kit.
It was a bit perkier this morning after having the belt on.

Will check the SG tonight.
"By creating we think. By living we learn" - Patrick Geddes

Re: homebrew?
« Reply #69 on: January 08, 2014, 03:18:49 pm »
I'm surprised you need the belt on a timer - they're only about 25 Watts or so, and at 15 deg ambient the temp will stabilise long before it gets too hot. It's just a plastic bucket without lagging, is that right?
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that's not science, it's semantics.

David Martin

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Re: homebrew?
« Reply #70 on: January 08, 2014, 05:00:50 pm »
Well I didn't know whether I would need it on a timer, and the timer was available so I used it. I'll find a thermometer and see what the actual temperature is.

Edit: still no tempreature reading (couldn't find the thremometer) but SG now at 1008. Getting there.
"By creating we think. By living we learn" - Patrick Geddes

David Martin

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Re: homebrew?
« Reply #71 on: January 09, 2014, 06:37:05 pm »
It is worth bearing in mind. I have culture facilities at work so could do interesting things with yeast (like sequence the genomes if at all bothered)
"By creating we think. By living we learn" - Patrick Geddes

Re: homebrew?
« Reply #72 on: January 10, 2014, 12:40:05 pm »
does anyone want a home-brew cider kit?  I was given it for christmas and a) can't stand cider, b) have no ambition to make my own (see (a))

quite heavy for posting, but free to anyone passing...

David Martin

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Re: homebrew?
« Reply #73 on: January 13, 2014, 11:10:13 pm »
Bottled it. Decanted into the keg with some fructose syrup for secondary fermentation. Then ended up using the second siphon to fill bottles with the assistance of the children. I must confess to being a little concerned at their professed competence in assessing the quality of beer..

With three of us the bottling went quite smoothly (just over 2 hours from start to finish and washed up) A filler, a passer and a capper. And it doesn't taste too bad - quite summery but a little bit of an aftertaste which may be the 'kit taste'. Anyhow, many bottles to lay down for a few weeks.

"By creating we think. By living we learn" - Patrick Geddes

David Martin

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Re: homebrew?
« Reply #74 on: February 01, 2014, 06:45:17 pm »
Mildly sparkling, quite bitter as the sweetness has gone. Reasonably pelasant but I wouldn't drink lots of it in one go. Should try chilling it next time instead of at ambient (about 15C)
"By creating we think. By living we learn" - Patrick Geddes