Homebrew.

Discussion in 'Geek Grog & Homebrew' started by Vindaloo, Feb 27, 2002.

  1. kieran

    kieran Member

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    Brewed a nice 'super malty thick wintery red ale' the other week.. It was a bit of an attempt to use up grains and hops that had worked their way to the back of the grain bin/freezer over the last year, and something that goes well with cold autumn nights. The grain bill was something like this:

    Pale Malt 3.5kg
    Carared 500g
    Crystal 110 150g
    caramalt 100g
    roasted barley 30g

    Some would say that that is *way* too much modified malt.. but I tried to balance it with a bunch of hop bitterness to counteract the expected residual sweetness even with a background of lower alcohol (due to the higher mash temperature not permitting full conversion of the pale malt due to the heat inactivating the B amylases somewhat).

    Mash 69C for 1hr
    Batch sparge

    Approx 27L boil, to 20L final vol (using 4.8kW of heating elements for a hardcore boil).

    (hop additions from my sketchy memory)
    50g POR @ 1hr (~AA 5.6%)
    40g fuggles @ 20 min (~AA 5.5%)
    30g EKG @ 10 mins
    5g Koppafloc @ 10 min
    20g fuggles @ 0 min
    20g EKG @ 0 min

    I didn't trust those alpha acid estimates because the hops had been sitting in a frost free freezer for who-knows-how-long. So I used a bunch more.

    Just used a sachet of US05 because it was there. Fermented for 1 week @ 18°C ± 0.5°C, then lagered for 2 weeks @ 1°C ± 0.5°C (would've been shorter but life got too busy), then filtered through a 1 µm pleated filter, and force carbonated using the high pressure rocking method with a final of 12PSI (approx 1.8 vol CO2), and serving at 8PSI.

    Anyway, it's nice drinking.. good thick head. Very scottish/british aroma and thickness. Very malty, and I think the bitterness is acceptable. It could have done with a touch more bitterness, and a lower mash temp in hindsight to up the alcohol content. This shit would be great through my beer engine... hmmmm.
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2014
  2. MR CHILLED

    MR CHILLED D'oh!

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  3. mmBax

    mmBax Member

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    Thanks for that I'll pass it on.

    I've got a pacific ale bottled, keen as mustard for this one. But I'm a little disappointed, I made a complete mess of it, cold crashed it relying on my fridge, noticed that it was completely frozen.

    Stupidly I got impatient and bottled before completely defrosted. So I left a fair bit of ice behind.

    I've got a double batch of ingredients so I think I'll start the process again one afternoon.
     
  4. J-C90

    J-C90 Member

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    Eisbock hey?
     
  5. mmBax

    mmBax Member

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    Had to google that, but yes it seems that way! Not really ideal. But that'll teach me to rely on the thermostat on the fridge, I think it was down to about -4 degrees C when I checked on it.

    Quite surprised the compressor didn't die, it's an old old fridge.
     
  6. scon

    scon Member

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    So I'm in the process of making a Berliner Weiss. I'm using the Hybrid Sour Mash method as described here. Started it yesterday and had a peek into the mash tun today and there is definitely some kind of fermenting action going on... just hope it's the right kind! Going to let the mash sour over 3 days because it's pretty cold here at the moment and I have no way to heat the mash, but I'm after a pretty sour end product anyways... Should be an interesting experiment!
     
  7. mmBax

    mmBax Member

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    Oh man, that pacific ale clone that I did and accidentally froze. I tried it last week and I was contemplating tipping it down the sink.

    I just cracked one tonight, and yes, I'm happy. I'm not entirely sure on the alcohol content though, I fear it's very high, as only half has got my head feeling heavy.

    Is there any way of checking alcohol content after the fact. The original hydrometer reading isn't going to be accurate? Originally I think it was 1048-1008.

    But because I bottled without defrosting entirely, the ABV would be a lot higher now?
     
  8. vortex

    vortex Member

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    Yep, that's technically freeze distillation and illegal :) We won't tell anyone if you dont :)

    If you know the ABV at the point of freezing and the amount of water which was removed, then you can work out the ABV fairly easily:

    Pre-freeze ABV * Pre-freeze Volume / Post-freeze Volume = Post-freeze ABV.
     
  9. vortex

    vortex Member

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    First brew in 7 months!

    Grain measured and crushed, hops and water additions measured and ready to go.
    HLT on timer for 5:15am, should be at strike temp by 6:30am. Mash in by 6:45, sparge at 7:45, boiling by 9. Chilled and in the fermenter by 10:30. Being winter it should be ready to pitch straight from the chiller.

    Code:
    BeerSmith 2 Recipe Printout - http://www.beersmith.com
    Recipe: CitraRillo APA
    Brewer: --
    Asst Brewer: 
    Style: American Pale Ale
    TYPE: All Grain
    Taste: (30.0) 
    
    Recipe Specifications
    --------------------------
    Boil Size: 50.80 l
    Post Boil Volume: 46.80 l
    Batch Size (fermenter): 40.00 l   
    Bottling Volume: 38.00 l
    Estimated OG: 1.052 SG
    Estimated Color: 8.9 EBC
    Estimated IBU: 35.6 IBUs
    Brewhouse Efficiency: 75.00 %
    Est Mash Efficiency: 84.4 %
    Boil Time: 60 Minutes
    
    Ingredients:
    ------------
    Amt                   Name                                     Type          #        %/IBU                    
    6.00 g                Gypsum (Calcium Sulfate) (Mash 60.0 mins Water Agent   2        -             
    8.00 kg               Pale Malt (Barrett Burston) (3.9 EBC)    Grain         3        88.9 %        
    0.50 kg               Cara-Pils/Dextrine (3.9 EBC)             Grain         4        5.6 %         
    0.50 kg               Caramel/Crystal Malt - 20L (39.4 EBC)    Grain         5        5.6 %         
    10.00 g               Magnum [14.00 %] - Boil 60.0 min         Hop           6        8.1 IBUs      
    10.00 g               Amarillo Gold [8.50 %] - Boil 30.0 min   Hop           7        3.8 IBUs      
    10.00 g               Citra [12.00 %] - Boil 30.0 min          Hop           8        5.4 IBUs      
    1.00 Items            Whirlfloc Tablet (Boil 15.0 mins)        Fining        9        -             
    1.00 tsp              Yeast Nutrient (Boil 15.0 mins)          Other         10       -             
    40.00 g               Amarillo Gold [8.50 %] - Steep/Whirlpool Hop           11       7.6 IBUs      
    40.00 g               Citra [12.00 %] - Steep/Whirlpool  30.0  Hop           12       10.7 IBUs     
    2.0 pkg               San Diego Super Yeast (White Labs #WLP09 Yeast         13       -             
    50.00 g               Amarillo Gold [8.50 %] - Dry Hop 3.0 Day Hop           14       0.0 IBUs      
    50.00 g               Citra [12.00 %] - Dry Hop 3.0 Days       Hop           15       0.0 IBUs      
    
    
    Mash Schedule: Single Infusion, Medium Body, Batch Sparge
    Total Grain Weight: 9.00 kg
    ----------------------------
    Name                    Description                             Step Temperat Step Time     
    Mash In                 Add 27.47 l of water at 72.2 C          66.7 C        60 min        
    
    Sparge: Batch sparge with 2 steps (8.94l, 27.40l) of 75.6 C water
    Notes:
    
     
  10. mortal

    mortal Member

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    Is there some sort of recommended wiki/book I can read in order to learn how to start brewing beer and work out the sort of equipment I might need etc?
     
  11. vortex

    vortex Member

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    Are you wanting to start out simple and basic, or do you want to dive into all-grain?

    Do you want to just make cheap beer, or do you want to make truly great beer?
     
  12. mortal

    mortal Member

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    I don't mind going all in and spending a bit of coin. But would go simple and basic if it's ends up with a better learning experience to make better beer.

    Great beer.
     
  13. vortex

    vortex Member

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    The below is based on my own experiences only - others will do things differently - but I've had some great competition success with my processes so, it works. Not to say others processes don't - but I know mine do.

    Well, firstly, the good thing is you don't need to spend that much to make fantastic beer.

    Brewing is more reliant on things like process and fresh ingredients than it is having expensive stainless steel equipment to brew with. You don't even have to brew all-grain to make really good beer.

    Some people like myself do have a stainless fetish and like to use good quality stainless gear wherever possible but it's certainly doesn't mean our beer will be better, and it's certainly not a requirement.

    I'd suggest starting with a basic extract kit to begin with, until you have a handle on the proper processes with regards to sanitation, fermentation and bottling - this doesn't have to last long though. The equipment you get in your first extract set-up (fermenters, hydrometer etc) is useful for all-grain too if you choose to make the step down the road.

    Alternatively if you want to dive into all-grain BIAB (brew in a bag) is a great first step - and some folks stick with it with great results.

    One major thing that is not worth skimping on from day one however and that's the cleaning and sanitation (not sterilisation) regimen. Use a quality product like PBW (powdered brewery wash) and StarSan; rather than the products suggested by places like Coopers or BrewCraft which are made for simplicity. Keep in mind that cleaning and sanitising are each separate processes and you can't effectively do both at the same time in a single step - and something that is not clean cannot be sanitised effectively.

    Look for StarSan as the sanitiser. It's a no-rinse sanitiser (though you should let it drain well) which does a fantastic job. There are a number of cleaners that do as good a job as PBW; the Coopers sodium percarbonate isn't bad in this regard (it's not really a very good sanitiser, as it does require a rinse).

    CraftBrewer.com.au in Queensland sell StarSan and PBW and will ship it; there's likely a Sydney store which does too - apologies but I'm not familiar with any stores in NSW.

    Find a good LHBS (local home brew shop). (BrewCraft have a place, but it's at the very low end of the market IMO)

    Find a good local homebrew club, join up and go to meetings. Talk to folks, take some beers to taste. Our local club have tastings every month where members can present a beer (good or bad) and request any and all feedback. Everyone is friends, so people are gentle with their feedback :)

    Have a look at the podcasts from The Brewing Network, specifically Brew Strong. This is where I learned my good practices from (though my OCD really helps here too). American show, and they do talk a bit of shit but the information is there and it's good.

    One major online source which folks like to use as a reference is John Palmer's www.howtobrew.com the information is a little dated these days, however still relevant, and a reasonable starting point. He's a Brew Strong host too.

    AussieHomeBrewer.com is a local forum with some great information. The community has gone downhill the past few years but there is still a lot of good info to be found there.

    Like all internet information, some of it's crap, some of it's gold. Read and learn, give it a go and the worst that will happen is you'll make beer.
     
  14. J-C90

    J-C90 Member

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    Some may disagree, but if your keen to get into brewing seriously, skip the brewing kits. I was never really happy with the beer from a pre-hopped can of extract. Of course there is no harm in trying them but dont be disheartened when your beer turns out less than ideal.

    I made some pretty reasonable beers using unhopped malt extract as a base, adding some steeped specialty grains and adding hop pellets into a boil. Then of course using quality fresh beer yeast. Using this method you will get an understanding of the proper brewing process, how different beer recipes work, freedom to play around with recipes and styles and better quality beer that might even impress your mates.

    Moving to all grain from this method is then very simple as you just basically add in a mash step.

    Equipment wise - best initial investment is fermentation temperature control. An old fridge with an electronic temperature controller is the common method. Then something capable of boiling 30-40L of wort. With that you have the basis to brew full size batches(~23L) using any style you decide.
     
  15. mwil7034

    mwil7034 Member

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    A bit dead in here lately, is everyone busy putting down brews during the cooler months? ;)

    I've been busy doing some AG brews in my Birko Urn lately. Cubed an Irish Red and a Hop Hog clone on Monday but haven't got around to getting them in the fermenters as I've been busy with work. Keen to get on with it this weekend.

    What is everyone else up to? Any decent Stouts being enjoyed in these winter months? ;)

    This a hundred percent! Get yourselves a large pot and a heat source and off you go. Its light-years ahead of kit and kilo. Partials are definitely a step in the right direction if one isnt inclined to spend as much time and effort.
     
  16. J-C90

    J-C90 Member

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    Made an unintential banana hefe the other day. :(

    Pitched wlp300 into my wheat beer wort at 20c - set the ferm temp controller to 18 and let it go - couple of days later noticed the krausen was bursting out of the fermenter - didnt take much notice until another day later when I checked on it and realised the temp sensor for my temp controller had come unstuck from the fermenter and was sitting in the bottom of the fridge! So its been fermenting high and throwing loads of banana :upset:
     
  17. aXis

    aXis Member

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    Did an all-grain pale ale on the weekend with my brand new all-electric 3 vessel system. It's got three x 50L stainless kegs and an external Keg King RIMS tube. Heating is via 4 x 2000W stainless steel heaters, the HLT and RIMS are PWM controllable. One common pump for HLT/RIMS and one dedicated pump for the wort chiller and transfer to fermenter. It's all controlled by a Raspberry Pi which has temperature sensors and load cells on all of the vessels, and the user interface is via a webserver running jQuery Mobile, designed around a 7" tablet as a screen.

    A couple of small hickups and I got distracted at a couple of points, but on the whole a huge success. Was slightly over on volume and slightly under on gravity, will back off the initial water just a bit and it should be all good. Total brew time was 5 hours including grinding the grist and clean up afterwards, a big improvement over my previous efforts at 7 hours using an esky mash tun and stovetop kettle.

    Damn weather was terrible, I was outside under the patio and it was bucketing down with rain, and halfway though the boil the whole town lost power. I pulled the hop bag out and covered up the kettle, half an hour later the power came back on and I was able to resume.


    Click to view full size!
     
  18. mmBax

    mmBax Member

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    Is this something you purchased as a complete kit or put together yourself?

    I just went to my local to get some more yeast, asked about BIAB and they don't have anything. The shop owner asked if I'm going all grain and said that if I do I'll probably be the only person in town doing so. Definitely makes support a bit difficult, but I'm really surprised as I thought someone would be all grain for sure.

    Regardless I'm still keeping my eyes open for an old keg to use as a boiler. In the meantime I'm aiming to put down another pacific ale clone on the weekend, still extremely sad after having to pour about 15L of tasty beer down the sink. If only its abv wasn't so ridiculous that I could have kept at it.
     
  19. aXis

    aXis Member

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    Put it together myself, took about 6 months of piss farting about :)

    I bought most of the parts from a local Keg King distributor, they have a huge range and reasonable prices. Still expect around $1500 - $2k just in parts though - valves, pumps, heaters, false bottoms, rims tubes, silicon hose & quick connect fittings. At the time I bought all of the parts, pre-made systems are around $3500 for something similar. Since then the cost of stainless gear has come down a lot so they are a bit cheaper.

    The kegs themselves I got for cheap at a local scrap meter recycler so that might be a good start for you. I had a metal fabrication shop plasma cut a hole in the lid for me.
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2014
  20. Iseneye

    Iseneye Member

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    I have nothing useful local so get everything online.
     

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