Home brew / wine making

Re: Home brew / wine making

Postby CMS on Fri 07 Sep 2018, 8:47 pm

Brevet Cable wrote:And following a marathon bottling session, the final result -- 39 bottles of ale! :biggrin:
( Or in real money, about 19.5L / 41 pints )


A question that I hope Brevet or other fellow brewers can answer. I have all the kit for brewing beer and made a successful first batch a couple of years ago but a subsequent and different batch more recently, didn't really do it for me taste wise. Unfortunately I can't remember the make/brand. So I'm after a kit for a light but tasty IPA style beer, any recommendations from your experiences? Thanks for any help/pointers

Chris
CMS

Re: Home brew / wine making

Postby Brevet Cable on Sat 08 Sep 2018, 12:03 pm

Have to admit that since returning to home-brewing I've not yet done an IPA....or a pale ale of any description, for that matter
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Re: Home brew / wine making

Postby Brevet Cable on Wed 26 Sep 2018, 9:21 am

Grapes.
Originally I did 'Plan A', growing them in the open.....with the result that the birds & bugs ( particularly wasps ) had the major share of them. :sad:
Then, 'Plan B', covering them with netting....stopped most of the birds, but not the bugs. :sad:
Then, 'Plan C', my 'ghetto greenhouse' - plastic sides& fine-mesh roof.....stopped the birds & most of the bugs ( especially wasps ) :smile:

Unfortunately, like last year it didn't stop the weather! :sad:
Too hot when they were growing, too wet & windy when they were ripening.....so as with last year, lots of them split/went moldy & lots snapped off :sad:
Still managed to pick about 20Kg of red grapes yesterday ( and about 2Kg white grapes ) with what looks to be about another 5Kg or so ( red ) to go.

Guess next year it'll be 'Plan D', whatever that is.
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Re: Home brew / wine making

Postby Brevet Cable on Mon 01 Oct 2018, 6:55 pm

Well, this year's batch of home-grown red wine has now been started.

25Kg or so of grapes means I've ended up with 10L or so of juice which, along with the grape pulp ( because for those who don't know, that's where red wine gets it's colour from ) is now sitting in a 15L fermentation bucket.

At the moment, it's a disgustingly unappetising green colour, but hopefully after a week or two fermenting with the pulp ( including skins ) it'll be red......if not, I'll just end up with a Rosé or off-white wine - preferably not green, though :lol:
Hmm....then again, apparently proper green wine ( from grapes ) doesn't exist, so maybe it'll be worth trying for !! :biggrin:
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Re: Home brew / wine making

Postby Brevet Cable on Sun 14 Oct 2018, 2:35 pm

A couple of weeks on & rather disappointingly my wine is no longer green.....it's pink ! :lol:
If you've seen the cheap home-brand bottles of pink lemonade the likes of Asda do, it's that sort of pink. :love:

The good news is, it's currently around 13% ABV.

Next thing will be filtering it out for secondary fermentation.
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Re: Home brew / wine making

Postby G for George on Sun 18 Nov 2018, 6:56 pm

Not posted for a while. Though I'd better before my account gets deleted :lol:
Last night I started a 36 pint batch of pale ale.
Wilkos didn't have enough light malt extract, so I've substitued with a bag of Muntons beer enhancer. So I've got 1kg light malt, 1kg of enhancer and 500g of medium malt. Should be very pale. I've bittered with 50g of Goldings hops, then after the boil added 10g each of Citra and Kohatu hops. I'm going to dry hop with a further 20g each of the Citra and Kohatu. I've never used Kohatu before, they're grown in NZ and apparently add a tropical fruit aroma. I've used citra many times, which add a floral/fruity aroma, just hope the two together aren't hop overkill!
G for George

Re: Home brew / wine making

Postby G for George on Sun 18 Nov 2018, 6:58 pm

Brevet Cable wrote:A couple of weeks on & rather disappointingly my wine is no longer green.....it's pink ! :lol:
If you've seen the cheap home-brand bottles of pink lemonade the likes of Asda do, it's that sort of pink. :love:

The good news is, it's currently around 13% ABV.

Next thing will be filtering it out for secondary fermentation.

You sure you're not just hallucinating? :dizzy:
G for George

Re: Home brew / wine making

Postby Brevet Cable on Mon 19 Nov 2018, 5:41 pm

Nope...definitely pink :lol: :
Image

Left it for another week before filtering & bottling, and it looked slightly more normal :
Image
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Re: Home brew / wine making

Postby G for George on Mon 19 Nov 2018, 6:57 pm

Nice and clear though! :up:
G for George

Re: Home brew / wine making

Postby Brevet Cable on Tue 20 Nov 2018, 12:21 pm

It's like a vodka - tripple-filtered :lol:
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Re: Home brew / wine making

Postby G for George on Thu 29 Nov 2018, 8:38 pm

Fermentation of my latest ale seems to have finished. Looking at just under 4.5% at the moment, that might rise slightly when I add the priming sugar to the keg. I've just dry hopped with the Citra and Kohatu, going to leave it until Monday before I transfer to the keg. It's a lovely pale colour, quite a hoppy, bitter taste. Hopefully the dry hopping will add plenty of aroma. Very pleased so far.
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Re: Home brew / wine making

Postby Brevet Cable on Thu 29 Nov 2018, 9:23 pm

:up:

Still not started anything since bottling my wine & I think it's too late for me to get a wheat beer ready by Christmas. :sad:
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Re: Home brew / wine making

Postby G for George on Wed 05 Dec 2018, 12:35 pm

Came to rack my ale into the pressure keg last night, only to find it warped inwards. Looks like someone has taken a cricket bat to it. Can only think its due to rapidly changing temperatures over the summer (I haven't brewed since then). I pressurised it and it popped back into shape, but I'm not risking my Christmas brew in there in case its integrity has been compromised. New one ordered, my nice, cheap homebrew is fast approaching pub prices this batch!
G for George

Re: Home brew / wine making

Postby Brevet Cable on Wed 23 Jan 2019, 12:00 pm

Think I'm going to have a busy few months ahead.....
I've decided to do wheat beer next.
Black Rock Witbier, which I picked up cheap last year ( and now several months past it's 'best before' date )
Checking their website, they've finally got around to quoting the ABV for their kits & they're all around 4.5% ABV.
2 cans are supposed to make 23L ( 40 pints ) and needs around 1.5Kg brewing sugar/wheat malt extract.....I'll be aiming for around 20L & will use 2Kg wheat spraymalt.

Whilst digging out the ingredients, I also realised I still had 2 other Black Rock kits I bought cheap at the same time ( and also now several months past their 'best before' dates ) :oops: -- a Pilsner & an Oatmeal Stout.

Edited to add...
Been doing a bit of thinking ( yeah, I know, a dangerous thing to do :lol: ) and I may do the Witbier as 2 separate batches - each using one can & 1Kg spraymalt to make a 10L batch.
The reason being that instead of using the supplied yeast for both ( as previously posted, it should be a Mangrove Jack's yeast ) I could use different yeasts and make one as a German-style ( using the supplied yeast ) and the other one as a Belgian-style ( sweeter & different flavours than the German style )
Decisions, decisions.... :biggrin:
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Re: Home brew / wine making

Postby Brevet Cable on Wed 30 Jan 2019, 10:44 am

Well, started my first batch of Witbier this morning.
Using the supplied yeast to make a Belgian-style wheat beer.

One can, plus 2x 500g Wheat spraymalt & 1x 500g Extra-light spraymalt with enough water to make around 11L.
Checked the SG once it was all mixed & found it to be just over 1.09 ..... with a quoted finishing SG of around 1.014, that would be around 9.5-10% ABV ! :shock:
Given that the instructions say that with 1.75Kg LME it's supposed to be about 4.5% ABV, it got me confused.
Then I re-read the instructions & realised that with 1 can + 1.75Kg LME it's still for making 20-23L :oops:
Can't be bothered to change it now, so I'll just have to see what happens ( or that's my excuse, anyway :biggrin: )
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Re: Home brew / wine making

Postby Brevet Cable on Thu 31 Jan 2019, 12:45 pm

Only been going for a day & the SG's already down to 1.04 ( which is about 6.5% ABV ) :biggrin:
Worryingly, the temperature of the brew's up to 30C, which is probably at the upper limit for the yeast ( instructions on the can say a maximum of 26C ) so I've stuck it somewhere cooler to see if that helps.
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Re: Home brew / wine making

Postby Brevet Cable on Thu 07 Feb 2019, 11:02 am

Well, it didn't help. :sad:
The maximum temperature the brew reached was 34C, which looked to have killed the yeast.
Once the brew had cooled down to a more normal temperature ( 20C ) I chucked some fresh yeast in ( Mangrove Jack's M21 Belgian Witbier )
Stirring the brew a couple of times a day, the SG has slowly crept down to 1.034, which is about 7% ABV.
Don't think it's going to get much lower as the M21 yeast is 'only' supposed to be good for a maximum of 8% ABV
Tastes OK, just sweeter than most normal witbiers.

Next time I'll add less spraymalt to give it a lower starting SG.
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Re: Home brew / wine making

Postby Brevet Cable on Tue 26 Feb 2019, 6:50 pm

Spoke too soon.
Checked it last Tuesday & it was down to 1.030
Checked it again today, it's down to 1.026 !
That's about 8.4% ABV.
Still sweeter than the usual witbier.
Attenuation is about 70% & the M21 yeast is only supposed to be good for about 75% so don't know how much lower it'll go.

Is a month ( and still going ) some sort of record for a brew? :lol:
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Re: Home brew / wine making

Postby CJS on Tue 26 Feb 2019, 10:25 pm

I understand nothing of what you just said.

Does it taste nice?
"Forewarned is forearmed"
How do you know I didn't?
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Re: Home brew / wine making

Postby Brevet Cable on Wed 27 Feb 2019, 7:41 am

Does it taste nice?

ImageImage :biggrin:

See, you're missing a trick....you should be carrying out the age-old tradition of teaching the kids science experiments involving making ginger beer :lol:
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Re: Home brew / wine making

Postby Brevet Cable on Tue 12 Mar 2019, 7:08 pm

The Belgian Witbier's finally finished & bottled.
Finishing SG was 1.024, which is about 8.6% ABV. :biggrin:
Wasn't too sure how much to filter it, so it may be a bit on the cloudy side.

Tomorrow will see the start of the second part of my comparison test.....Black Rock Witbier using German-style ( Mangrove Jack's M20 Bavarian Wheat ) yeast
Similar brew - 1 can Witbier for 11L, but instead of using spraymalt I've got a 1.5Kg can of Wheat Malt LME

Hopefully it won't take more than a month to brew this time! :lol:
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Re: Home brew / wine making

Postby Brevet Cable on Wed 13 Mar 2019, 11:13 am

As threatened, started the next batch of wheatbeer today.
One can of Witbeer & the can of wheat malt DME with enough water to male up 11L gave a starting SG of 1.09 again, so I chucked in another 1L of water which brought it down to 1.084
Only other thing I've done is add a tight handful of dried sweet orange peel
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Re: Home brew / wine making

Postby Brevet Cable on Sat 16 Mar 2019, 3:27 pm

Just checked the SG, down to 1.036 ( about 6.3% ABV )
Not tasted it yet, but I may have overdone the orange peel if the aroma's anything to go by! :oops:
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Re: Home brew / wine making

Postby Brevet Cable on Tue 26 Mar 2019, 2:58 pm

Just finished the bottling of the German Witbier.
Managed to stretch it to 10.5L

Finished at an SG on 1.031, which is about 7% ABV.

Tasted it and as expected it's noticeably orangey & rather sweet.....not that I'm complaining. :biggrin:

Just got to decide what to make next, tempted to do the oatmeal stout.
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