Discussion in 'Geek Grog & Homebrew' started by Vindaloo, Feb 27, 2002.
You are now
don't bother with a beer gun IMO, just get a $10 picnic tap. but yeah, getting into AG > kegging.
A $10 picnic tap has very little restriction and the beer will come out too fast unless you have alot of hose. I have both a picnic tap and propper gun at my place, and have to use double the line length on the picnic tap (about 4m!!) to get a balanced system.
and? 4m of hosing and a picnic tap is a lot cheaper than a beer gun, plus the picnic tap is a lot easier to clean and doesn't need servicing.
also do you have insanely overcarbed beers or something? i use about 1.5m hosing (actually it's probably a difference in the hose inner diameter)...
Hey dudes. You guys still brewing!?! Good stuff. I've been away a while. Going to get back into the swing of things malty and hoppy soon. Real soon.
Anyway, hope to check back in this thread every so often. Carry on!
Yeah nothing wrong with it, just making the guy aware.
I run a balanced system at about 13PSI (2.4 volumes CO2 @ 6 deg), and the hose is a decent quality 5mm stuff - from kegsonline I think. If I could find good thinner diameter hose I would change in a heartbeat! Any pointers would be appreciated
Hey all, thinking of brewing my own again. Tried when I was about 19, didn't have the patience to wait for it to age properly or the cash to buy beer while I waited. Hopefully this time round...
I have a question though, regarding temperatures. I prefer ales, so I'm guessing I need to keep the fermenter at about 18-22c.
I've seen the heaters that wrap around the keg, about $42. The lady at the homebrewing supply shop also said I could use an aquarium heater.
What are the advantages / disadvantages of both? Do the wrap around ones have a thermostat like the aquarium heater? Only disadvantage I can think of with the submersible heater, with thermostat, is cleaning / sterilising it between brews, which doesn't seem that big a problem.
Actually, I have another question.
Plastic bottles - for beer? Seems wrong. I don't want to mass produce cheap beer because I'm too tight to spend $40 on a carton of Tooheys. I want to make nice tasting beers, belgium tripel styles, English ales... stuff I pay between $60 and $120 a carton for. I wouldn't dream of drinking them from a plastic glass. So, apart from being easier to cap (because they are screw tops) what other advantages do the plastic bottles sold for home brewing have over a longneck, or a stubbie, for housing my creations?
From what I've read, the only issue with plastic bottles is over time they will go off quicker than glass. I'm talking months and months here, not weeks. The benefit is that they wont shatter if they're overcarbed. Usually you'll end up with a little bit of sediment at the bottom of a bottle so you'll decant it to your pint glass or jug anyway.
I recommend getting all your gear from your local home brew store. Easiest way to start is fresh wort kit, all the mashing is already done. Clean your gear, add the wort kit and 5L of water then pitch the yeast. Then move to extract and you can do the boil with the hops and other additives if you desire. Then you can move to all grain.
If you clean your gear properly a fresh wort kit should gaurantee a great brew first time.
If you can be patient and love reading about beer (who am I kidding we all love reading about beer) it can be a very fun hobby.
Getting an even temperature is probably the hardest part, especially during a Tassie winter(done all my brewing in Hobart so far)! Try to find a room that doesn't fluctuate too much, then at least you have somewhat of a baseline for adjusting the temperature of the wort(heating or cooling as required). I've used a heatbelt, but not an immersion heater. There's enough cleaning as it is!
Also remember that the fermenting wort generates some heat as part of the fermentation, so when it's really going off, it keeps itself quite warm, but as it slows down a bit, so in a cold climate, there is an increased risk of a stuck ferment, and it might get tantalisingly close to the final gravity, but can't quite knock the last of the fermentables off(frustrating!).
I'm going to aim for an enclosed temperature controlled environment(i.e. fridge/heatbelt/temp controller) when I start brewing again in earnest, because a heat belt in an open room in fluctuating temperatures is pretty damn annoying if you want to be a pedant about temperature! Too cold and it gets stuck, and too hot infects it with arse flavour.
The Coopers PET bottles are really good, I use them almost exclusively. Got tons of glass bottles/capper etc. but the plastics have some advantages. These are specifically designed for brewing, so they are the only suitable plastic bottle... no Coke bottles!
* easier to cap, just screw on
* bottle gets tighter on conditioning, can be an indicator of when the beer is carbed up
* no risk of bottle bombs
* pretty much equally easy to clean
* ever so slightly more porous than glass, so long(like, REALLY long, 12 months plus) storage, you might have worse results than glass(escaping CO2/oxidising). But a typical brew, conditioned and drunk in the usual homebrew period, no problems really.
It does seem like some kind of travesty on some levels, but in purely practical terms, they actually work really well. As long as you don't drink it from plastic that is... that would be unforgivable
Sure am. I've got an oatmeal porter to bottle. The final gravity is a bit high (started off at 1.056, it's now 1.019.
I'm not sure if my conversion worked properly, although I did mash it for ages.
A picnic tap would be a benefit in the long term.
When I eventually get the keging sorted, I'll buy a better regulator, upgrade the tap, upgrade the co2 from soda stream to a fire extinguisher, and buy a sprayer from bunnings. This would leave me with a kick ass system at home, and the parts for a mobile party keg setup.
The heat belt ones should be better. I've not used either but I have a water bed heater, it's a big flexible rectangle. The aquarium heaters require you to put your brew in a water bath and heat that, so no sterilization. It seems a little wasteful to me.
Personally I use champagne bottles. They're thick glass and the presentation is great when you're giving your friends some. You do require a special bell and crown seals though.
I also find that you need some of that citrus goo remover from bunnings to get the label glue off some brands though. Of course you could leave the labels on though.
So, I've been doing some thinking about my AG upgrades. I've already got a 36 L stockpot, and I'll be getting a pressure cooker. Because my pot's a little small, I was considering building a steam infusion system.
There are a few designs floating around on the the net, but the basic gist of it is that you drill+tap the pressure cooker lid and attach a hose. Lead the hose to a loop of copper pipe with small holes drilled in it. The pipe sits in the bottom of your mash tun (something I need to make/buy). It allows you to step mash by releasing steam into the grain.
Has anyone had any experience with such a setup? I figure it's about the cheapest way to get to a proper setup, because it bypasses the cost of a brewpot, and I don't have to mess around straining bags with BIAB.
that seems weird. i must admit my beers are usually minimal CO2 and ~8C so you might be right.
if he likes the high carbed beers he could look at a flow adapter for the beer line, they're like $15 from memory, would still come in half the price of a beer gun. actually the main reason i never liked the idea of the beer gun wasn't the price, rather it looked like PITA maintenance - the reason why i had a picnic tap until i could get some nice shiny SS perlicks.
Where do you buy the bell and crown seals from?
Any good homebrew store should have them. Even bad ones sometimes do (I got mine from north melbourne).
Do you have a capper already? If you don't it should be easier to get a bell at the same time as your capper, otherwise you MAY run in to trouble getting one that fits your capper.
Thanks for the replies guys.
Sounds like a few dozen placcy bottles might be a better investment than a bench capper - although it still seems a bit like sacrelige.
I does get cold here up in the hills, and I wouldn't be allowed to ferment in the living room. Might set up a keg of plain water in cupboard above hot water cylinder and see what temps that gets...
I see a lot of people use an old 'fridge to insulate their ferment and to condition their ales, might be worth looking into. Hmm, best mate has a winery. Perhaps I should set up in an unused corner there somewhere...
Decisions decisions. Sure I'll figure something out.
Yep, I use a chest freezer. Currently I'm using an appliance timer which seems to be working well (I check it once a day). I've got a micro-controller based thermostat sitting on my workbench that needs to be finished.
I've noticed a few condensation problems causing mould (This will only happen if you're powering the fridge). So I jumped on ebay and bought some military grade desiccant for about $18. Bargain!
It's safe to use with food, as they chuck them in bags of wheat to keep them dry. Not that it matters, it sits on the bottom of the fridge anyway. It's also reusable because you can stick it in the oven.
Not much cooling needed at the moment though, not until I do my next lager.
My father has an apple source (old untended orchard on council land) that he raids periodically to get apples for his cows...literally hundreds of kg.
So my thoughts instantly turn to 'how can this be alcoholmolised?'
Last night, we juiced and produced about 40L. I had ordered some champagne yeast, but we only had generic beer yeast on hand.
A generic 25L-odd fermenter, and 2x10L food-grade buckets with lids, different yeast in the buckets to the fermenter, chucked some lactose in one of the buckets. Lids are not sealed. Sitting in a sort-of cellar room, which is sitting at about 20 deg at the moment.
A few questions:
How long should it take? I didn't do an OG as there was a decent amount of 'head'/scum on the juice.
Because of this 'head', after I chucked in the yeast (in the buckets), I sealed the lids and gave them a shake, to get the yeast in with the juice more? Will this screw it?
When bottling, will they need to be primed? From what I've read, there's enough sugar that cider will go to 15% if the yeast will handle it, so I figure with a beer yeast the yeast will stop well before the sugar runs out?
A 577 page home brew thread, is there anything I need an answer for that OCAU can't provide???
I've just bottled my first Pure Blonde facsimile (Copper Tun starter kit, plastic bottles) and I'm about to brew a Becks pilsener type beer. I want to get more into this but I'm going to hold off doing anything more until I try my first batch in a few weeks.
Loads of info in here, this is truly great!
Sounds awesome, I love home brew cider! How did you juice it? 40L is a lot of apples!
You could get a rough OG reading by pouring some off today.
Did you sterilize the apple? They contain wild yeasts which can ferment out very dry. You can pasteurize it or add campden tablets to prevent this.
The lids not being completely airtight shouldn't be too much of a problem, as it'll be pumping out co2 soon anyway.
If your yeast carks it, priming wont make a difference, and you'll have an flat apple wine. Just make sure it's done fermenting (my last cider took over a month). If you have wild yeasts, they will ferment even slower. Check the final hydrometer readings at least 3 days apart.
Good to see another convert! I would say keep the fermenter bubbling as it's easy to loose momentum. The best thing you can do with your beer is be patient, leave the bottles for as long as possible!
Just a benchtop juicer. Took about 4 hours cutting, juicing, cleaning, repeat. Tried to source a small basket-press but of everyone we knew the smallest needed 100's of kilos to work effectively, maybe 1/2 a tonne even...
If by sterilised you mean washed...yes. If you insist on a more accurate and literal interpretation of the word, then no.
Checked them tonight, they're all going.
Got some champagne yeast coming, will do another 20-odd litres next weekend. Will make sure to test OG on that batch, I assume it will approximate this first batch
How do you make your own beer? Any simple, easy to follow guides? Cheers