dodgydamo

Home Brew

6 posts in this topic

First off I have no idea where this might belong - is it in the Food, Frugality, Beer or Recipe thread?

Anyway... a few months ago missing English Ales I decided I was never going to justify spending the money required to have them (or similarly styled local offerings) in the house as often as I'd like.

So I/we thought home brewing couldn't be so difficult so had a look into it and purchased a starter kit.

Thus far with SFA prior experience I've brewed a decent Pale Ale, Pilsner and a Yorkshire Bitter, with another Pale Ale ready to start tasting next week.

Costs around $50-60 per batch yielding about 2.5 slabs (22-24 litres). By batch no.3 you've paid for your starter kit (which should come with your first set of ingredients).

Added bonus is you need a lot of empty bottles so you need to drink beer to make beer! :cheers:/>

Unfortunately brewing is a cool weather activity (even more so for lagers) so this batch will probably be it for me until Autumn.

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I used to brew quite a bit but just in the half arsed way using the extract tins. One thing which made a huge difference to the consistency was switching from bottles to kegs. They cost a bit up front but are well worth it in my experience.

Actually I have a keg of a flemish sour ale downstairs which I decided to age and is now about 5 years old. When I finally get around to setting up my brewing stuff here I will pressurise it and see what ungodly concoction I have :)

It will kind of suck if it is really good as I have no practical way of reproducing it!

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Beer is food. I brewed for a couple of years. Like tor using the tins. I did focus on the english style ales probably for the same reason as you DD. I missed the english ales. The main problems I struck was light struck beer and hygiene is extremely important especially in hot weather.

Using different sugars even with the tins can produce interesting beers. Brown sugar with stout seems to work pretty well and give more body. I made an excellent barley wine once but it required 1 years ageing to reach the peak.

I did a cellarmans course at Youngs brewery when I was living in the UK but that was mainly to do with treating the ale. Racking, tapping and spiling. :)/>/> I was working in a Youngs pub at the time. I ended up at a Shepherd Neame pub in Kent. (I was the summer of the first release of Spitfire Ale - Gods own ale). But I digress.

I know a few guys in Canberra with quite elaborate setups (kegs in dedicated fridges). One of them brews from first principles but you probably want to wait a while before embarking on this road as it requires of lot of effort.

I agree home brew over summer is problematic as the long chain flavour molecules (terpenes) require lower temperatures and time to develop.

My brother in law swears by ubrewit which might provide an alternative over summer. They've got a pretty good range of english ales. Brew sizes are 50 litres for around $225 ($4.50 a litre) More expensive than home brew but you get to pick the malt, grain, hops etc so you can experiment.

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... I was working in a Youngs pub at the time. I ended up at a Shepherd Neame pub in Kent. (I was the summer of the first release of Spitfire Ale - Gods own ale). ...

result!!! :thumbsup:/>

Yes brewing from tins of course as a home brew noob.

That and me trying to find enough toddler/baby free time to get the messy/sterile bit done limits the possibilty of the belts and braces approach...

But there's brewing from tins straight up (i.e. batch one) and then there's using the tin as a base with 'improver kits' of specialised malts and hops and sometimes grains, and ditching the yeast supplied in the tin for specialised yeast.

Its all good fun and fairly idiot proof (so far!) and I find I've been more than happy drinking my own brews.

But with Xmas coming up I'm going to have to shopping so there is something else in the house to offer visitors...

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result!!! :thumbsup:/>/>

Yes brewing from tins of course as a home brew noob.

That and me trying to find enough toddler/baby free time to get the messy/sterile bit done limits the possibilty of the belts and braces approach...

But there's brewing from tins straight up (i.e. batch one) and then there's using the tin as a base with 'improver kits' of specialised malts and hops and sometimes grains, and ditching the yeast supplied in the tin for specialised yeast.

Its all good fun and fairly idiot proof (so far!) and I find I've been more than happy drinking my own brews.

But with Xmas coming up I'm going to have to shopping so there is something else in the house to offer visitors...

Yes I bought the CAMRA guide upon my arrival and spent a lot of time working my way through as many of the ales as I could. :thumbsup:

It gave me a purpose for travelling around the UK during my days off. John Smiths magnet pale ale and Theakstons Old Peculier were also favourites.

A bit of serendipity, not so much home brewing as home distillation but same kind of vein I figure:

http://kk.org/cooltools/archives/7959

That is cool. And yet another reason to move to NZ.

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