The **Official** Homebrew Beer Thread Page 2

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  • BanjoMan 29 Aug 2008 12:51:56 13,730 posts
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    It hasn't got much in the way of foam yet. Shouldn't it be all frothy after a few days?

    I'm a bit worried that it's not quite 18ºC in the cubby-hole.

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  • Tiger_Walts 29 Aug 2008 13:27:22 16,579 posts
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    I used a beer kit (Youngs, bitter). I used demerera sugar and swapped out about a third of that sugar for honey (pasteurized). I also added some slithers of raw ginger. Othrwise I followed the instructions to the letter.

    Left it for a month before syphoning it into the pressure cask. Apparently 2 weeks was all it need before it was ready, but because I had used honey it really wasn't quite finished. Didn't stop me drinking some of it, tasted OK but it was still cloudy and yeasty. Over the weeks it got clearer and stronger and clearer and stronger and stronger. Took at least another 4-6 weeks to finish. The end product was almost clear, the honey must wasn't boiled so that the compounds that give translucency issues weren't removed by skimming. It's also very strong and sweet, balanced by the bitterness. A hint of ginger is still there but you have to be looking for it.

    I am now being very very patient with the mead I have on the go. It was supplemented half way through the initial fermentation with apples and ginger. It was syphoned off after about 5 weeks but it's far from done, after another 4 weeks it's very much not finished. I guess it's a bit too cool where it is but I have no other home for it. Again it is very yeasty tasting but all the sweetness has gone. I added some sugar, apple juice and citric acid and it woke up again and is now slowly bubbling away in its demijon. It's pretty much play it by ear now. Don't know if it was the sugar or the acidity that did it but we'll see how it goes.

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  • BanjoMan 29 Aug 2008 14:50:51 13,730 posts
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    That's pretty radical, what with the ginger and apples and all. Did you skim it at the priming stage then?

    This kit I've done says 4-7 days before priming, but I think I'm gonna give it two weeks.

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  • Khanivor 29 Aug 2008 16:35:45 40,360 posts
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    I was at a brewer's fest last weekend where I drank a fair bit of mead. This stuff was over a year and a half old and tasted fucking excellent. This stuff had been brewed properly in a kettle and then left for yonks. Very crisp and heavy on the alcohol.

    As were most of the brews I drank that evening. Got hammered and woke up with little hangover \o/

    Just canned my birthday brew yesterday so now I've got around 120 cans of beer to plow through \o/
  • BanjoMan 30 Aug 2008 15:04:24 13,730 posts
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    Ah, mead - it conjures up images of beards, flagons and tin whistles. I may try it one day, but I imagine it to be expensive, what with all the honey you need to plop into the mix.

    You know the Vikings used to call ale 'liquid bread'? I'm just making some bread, and apart from the flour and salt, it's not far off. Of course, with bread the whole idea is to NOT ferment the grains...

    I'm off to the brew shop to get some plastic barrels and malt crystals - time to rack it in a few days. Well, maybe a week if I'm feeling brave. Seems to have stopped foaming already though.

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  • BanjoMan 31 Aug 2008 14:01:00 13,730 posts
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    LINK SPAMMAGE ALERT!1!!

    I've set up a blog to remind myself what I've done with each batch. If anyone's interested it's here: http://banjosbrew.blogspot.com/

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  • consignia 15 Sep 2008 13:39:56 1,433 posts
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    An update on the adding malt situation, I can tell the result is very good. My beer was ready this weekend, and I sampled a bit of it, and it gave a much cleaner flavour. I would be careful about picking the right kind of malt though, since a strong malt would probably intefere with a lighter beer.
  • kincaide 15 Sep 2008 13:48:16 5,063 posts
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    I'm lucky enough to have recently moved into a new house that has enough space for me to start thinking about this. Anyone recommend any good sites that I could use to get started? Any kits better than others, etc.?

    Many thanks to anyone who points me in the right direction

  • BanjoMan 15 Sep 2008 16:10:47 13,730 posts
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    This one is very insightful and has some handy tips for beginners.

    Say, consignia, what brand of crystal malt did you use? I'm definitely going to do this in my next batch, along with some finishing hops. And I'm going to boil the wort, instead of just lobbing it all in the vat, like the kit instructions say.

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  • consignia 15 Sep 2008 16:18:39 1,433 posts
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    I used the Muntons dried spray malt. I was really just picking up the first brand I found in the home brew shop, so I have no idea if they the best or not, but as I said it turned really well.
  • BanjoMan 15 Sep 2008 16:20:42 13,730 posts
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    Good stuff. That's the same one my local shop stock - I'll be using the medium crystal malt in place of sugar. BUT I'm going to chuck in a cup of dark brown sugar for flavour and colour as well.

    You boil the wort, or just tip everything in like the kits say?

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  • consignia 15 Sep 2008 16:24:53 1,433 posts
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    Well, I have been just mixing in boiling water, but after reading your blog, I'm tempted to switch boiling the entire wort. Not sure if I've got big enough pots to do it all in one go though.
  • Goban 15 Sep 2008 16:25:04 9,051 posts
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    This place is great, full of beer geeks Jims
  • BanjoMan 15 Sep 2008 16:28:06 13,730 posts
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    consignia wrote:
    Well, I have been just mixing in boiling water, but after reading your blog, I'm tempted to switch boiling the entire wort. Not sure if I've got big enough pots to do it all in one go though.
    Yeah, I'm going to pick up a 6 gallon boiling kettle for it. A lot of hassle I guess but Dave Miller says it's essential for consistently good brew.

    I really recommend his book, btw.

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  • BanjoMan 25 Sep 2008 12:13:29 13,730 posts
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    Done another batch this week, using spraymalt instead of sugar. Couldn't get hold of a six-gallon boiler so I've given up on that idead for now.

    In-depth look at it here: http://banjosbrew.blogspot.com/

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  • mrblackett 25 Sep 2008 12:16:50 856 posts
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    My mate is brewing beer using the psilocybin mushrooms we picked on Sunday. His aim is to produce a brew that gets you drunk but also gives it a mild psychedelic edge.

    As the country's premier brewing expert, do you think it'll actually work? I have my doubts, tbh.
  • BanjoMan 25 Sep 2008 14:19:44 13,730 posts
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    Well he's introducing a fungus to the mix. That's full of pitfalls, but if he boils the shrooms well and strains it all off, only adding the liquid to the vat... well, it's possible it'll be ok.

    But there's a strong chance of infection - he needs to be vigilant (like all brewers) about his cleanliness and sterilisation, and make sure it's well-covered.

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  • JuanKerr 25 Sep 2008 14:22:02 36,192 posts
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    mrblackett wrote:
    My mate is brewing beer using the psilocybin mushrooms we picked on Sunday. His aim is to produce a brew that gets you drunk but also gives it a mild psychedelic edge.

    As the country's premier brewing expert, do you think it'll actually work? I have my doubts, tbh.

    That sounds like a recipe for disaster, frankly. Alcohol + hallicinogenic in the same beverage can't possibly be a good idea.
  • BanjoMan 25 Sep 2008 14:32:35 13,730 posts
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    Yeah convergence is over-rated. Just look at hermaphrodites for proof of that.

    /looks at hermaphrodites

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  • Goban 25 Sep 2008 14:38:15 9,051 posts
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    JuanKerr wrote:
    mrblackett wrote:
    My mate is brewing beer using the psilocybin mushrooms we picked on Sunday. His aim is to produce a brew that gets you drunk but also gives it a mild psychedelic edge.

    As the country's premier brewing expert, do you think it'll actually work? I have my doubts, tbh.

    That sounds like a recipe for disaster, frankly. Alcohol + hallicinogenic in the same beverage can't possibly be a good idea.
    Just throw some mushies in a half bottle of whisky, leave it for a few days and voilà instant headmess.
  • BanjoMan 25 Sep 2008 14:40:48 13,730 posts
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    I've steeped big skunk buds on stalks in bottles of vodka before. But liberty caps and whisky? That's an interesting prospect.

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  • Goban 25 Sep 2008 14:42:06 9,051 posts
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    Worth giving a go once, you do tend to lose track a bit though.
  • mrblackett 25 Sep 2008 14:49:10 856 posts
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    Whisky? I think that might be a one-way ticket to White Town. I ate mine with a few tinnies on Sunday and it made the Ryder Cup really interesting but I don't think I'd want to throw whisky into the mix.
  • BanjoMan 25 Sep 2008 15:44:09 13,730 posts
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    'Tinnies'? Get out of my ale thread!

    Incidentally, anyone who doesn't appreciate decent whisky is WRONG. Single malt whisky is a beautiful thing.

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  • mrblackett 25 Sep 2008 15:50:55 856 posts
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    BanjoMan wrote:
    'Tinnies'? Get out of my ale thread!

    Incidentally, anyone who doesn't appreciate decent whisky is WRONG. Single malt whisky is a beautiful thing.

    It was either tinnies from the shop eight doors down and sit in my comfy chair or go to Morrisons which is ten minutes away and suddenly find myself tripping my tits off at the checkout. I stand by my decision.

    I didn't mean to suggest that whisky isn't great. It's just a bit overbearing when mixed with psilocybin. I'd drink whisky all day if I could but, you know, I'd die sooner rather than later.
  • BanjoMan 25 Sep 2008 15:58:18 13,730 posts
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    Nonsense, whisky's full of essential vitamins and alcohols.

    But you've got a good point, tripping my chops off in Morrisons is my idea of Hades.

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  • BanjoMan 5 Oct 2008 11:56:25 13,730 posts
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    Argh. This weekend was the 34th Steel City Beer and Cider Festival. I've drank beer almost constantly since midday on Friday. It hurts.

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  • BanjoMan 26 Oct 2008 18:12:31 13,730 posts
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    There must be more homebrewers here than just me? I've updated my blog, if anyone's interested: http://banjosbrew.blogspot.com/

    Lots of interesting beer factoids.

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  • clockworkzombie 27 Oct 2008 05:16:54 362 posts
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    I used to homebrew. made some nice stuff too, just do not have the space at the moment soon I hope. I miss it. I used to enjoy making wheat beers. A trick I have not yet tried for wheat beers is to use a jellybean as priming sugar the different colours will all give a different beer in each bottle. The Charlie Papazian books are pretty good too.

    edit

    Using malt extract instead of sugar is an excellent idea. IF you have trouble finding the correct malt buy another can of whatever you are brewing and do not use the yeast packet.
  • clockworkzombie 27 Oct 2008 05:16:54 362 posts
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    Post deleted
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