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Homebrew Discussion Thread

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I know there's a few mad scientists here that like to brew their own beers & wine, and couldn't see a dedicated thread to discuss... so here we are. I'm somewhat of a novice to the art, have only d… Read More
miikeyblue Avatar
3m, 4d agoPosted 3 months, 4 days ago
I know there's a few mad scientists here that like to brew their own beers & wine, and couldn't see a dedicated thread to discuss... so here we are.

I'm somewhat of a novice to the art, have only done beer & cider kits up until now, but feeling a little braver and looking to add my own signature to my brews, so preparing to go all grain.

I've also got a wine kit close to bottling now, which I'm looking forward to trying.

So talk to me... what do you brew...? Any favourite recipes? Tips for beginners?
miikeyblue Avatar
3m, 4d agoPosted 3 months, 4 days ago
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1 Like #1
No better time to start (_;)
https://www.theguardian.com/business/2017/jan/24/beer-prices-rise-brexit-inflation-heineken-carlsberg-carling-budweiser

I used to make beer with mixed results
the kits are so expensive now...

Wine making is great however no expensive kits to buy
and with only a little practise you can make some very drinkable stuff
HTH

Edited By: thewongwing101 on Jan 24, 2017 22:21
2 Likes #2
Great little guide here for anyone considering having a go, but unsure where to start...
1 Like #3
Turbo cider.
It's not half as bad as people make out, and with a few tweaks you've got a tasty brew.
Plus, with a champagne yeast you can get it to 10% which makes for an interesting night.
#4
fivegoldstars
Turbo cider.
It's not half as bad as people make out, and with a few tweaks you've got a tasty brew.
Plus, with a champagne yeast you can get it to 10% which makes for an interesting night.

That's another on my to do list. Looks simple enough, just not sure my head can handle it!
#5
miikeyblue
fivegoldstars
Turbo cider.
It's not half as bad as people make out, and with a few tweaks you've got a tasty brew.
Plus, with a champagne yeast you can get it to 10% which makes for an interesting night.
That's another on my to do list. Looks simple enough, just not sure my head can handle it!
It is easy enough. This site gave me my introduction to it, and it's a good starting point. I've tweaked my method a little to suit my tastes, and also tried some variations on the theme. It's always nice when you get one that works just right.
#6
fivegoldstars
miikeyblue
fivegoldstars
Turbo cider.
It's not half as bad as people make out, and with a few tweaks you've got a tasty brew.
Plus, with a champagne yeast you can get it to 10% which makes for an interesting night.
That's another on my to do list. Looks simple enough, just not sure my head can handle it!
It is easy enough. This site gave me my introduction to it, and it's a good starting point. I've tweaked my method a little to suit my tastes, and also tried some variations on the theme. It's always nice when you get one that works just right.
What sort of temperature does it need ?
I don't do wine making in the winter because the place is to cold
1 Like #7
thewongwing101
fivegoldstars
miikeyblue
fivegoldstars
Turbo cider.
It's not half as bad as people make out, and with a few tweaks you've got a tasty brew.
Plus, with a champagne yeast you can get it to 10% which makes for an interesting night.
That's another on my to do list. Looks simple enough, just not sure my head can handle it!
It is easy enough. This site gave me my introduction to it, and it's a good starting point. I've tweaked my method a little to suit my tastes, and also tried some variations on the theme. It's always nice when you get one that works just right.
What sort of temperature does it need ?
I don't do wine making in the winter because the place is to cold
Generally people say twenty degrees - when I first started, I never had anything brewing November through February. However, I've since brewed small batches over the winter months and had the temp drop as low as ten. Turbo cider doesn't seem to stall like wine - it just takes longer to ferment. In the summer it's done in a matter of days - in winter I've had it take four weeks.
[HUKD Deal Editor] 3 Likes #8
Popped in thinking we were modding a Wii or something. Disappointed to say the least.

I'll see myself back out. Enjoy your discussion :)

Edited By: BuzzDuraband on Jan 24, 2017 23:25
1 Like #9
fivegoldstars
thewongwing101
fivegoldstars
miikeyblue
fivegoldstars
Turbo cider.
It's not half as bad as people make out, and with a few tweaks you've got a tasty brew.
Plus, with a champagne yeast you can get it to 10% which makes for an interesting night.
That's another on my to do list. Looks simple enough, just not sure my head can handle it!
It is easy enough. This site gave me my introduction to it, and it's a good starting point. I've tweaked my method a little to suit my tastes, and also tried some variations on the theme. It's always nice when you get one that works just right.
What sort of temperature does it need ?
I don't do wine making in the winter because the place is to cold
Generally people say twenty degrees - when I first started, I never had anything brewing November through February. However, I've since brewed small batches over the winter months and had the temp drop as low as ten. Turbo cider doesn't seem to stall like wine - it just takes longer to ferment. In the summer it's done in a matter of days - in winter I've had it take four weeks.
Thanks might try that then :D
1 Like #10
BuzzDuraband
Popped in thinking we were modding a Wii or something. Disappointed to say the least.
I'll see myself back out. Enjoy your discussion :)

Not stopping for a pint then?
1 Like #11
Would love to create some decent wine or beer at home, can't see me doing wine, but the beer could be a possibility, spend too much at the supermarkets.

Will keep an eye here

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/5/54/Special_Brew.jpg
1 Like #12
#13
my mate does his home brew malarkey, it's actually quite nice ( wouldn't tell him that haha). but for a gift was thinking of getting him a cider press, he's mentioned wanting one a few times lol. i don't have the first clue about them. could anyone share some advice, maybe links of what i should/maybe get him. would be greatly appreciated thx
1 Like #14
I'm not convinced. I have had a few from people who have been tinkering with homebrew for years and most of the stuff is horrible. But if you like the stuff carry on. I like Fosters and a lot of people would tell me I'm mad.
banned#15
I was really getting in to the idea of this thread but then looked at the links and it seems you have to buy 20 pounds worth of grapes to make one bottle of wine & then wait 6 months for it to be ready.... Drama..
1 Like #16
YouDontWantToKnow
I was really getting in to the idea of this thread but then looked at the links and it seems you have to buy 20 pounds worth of grapes to make one bottle of wine & then wait 6 months for it to be ready.... Drama..
No you don't need to buy hardly anything
but yes at least six months
started writing a guide last night so watch this space X)
[mod][Mod Team] 3 Likes #17
All grain is definitely a good way to go. The quality goes up considerably from kit beer. Although if you've not tried already, I'd recommend a 2-can kit. All the fermentables are in the can so you don't need to add dextrose.

All grain can be expensive but you can minimise expense of you're handy with a drill and screwdriver. Made my boiler out of a fermenting bucket and 2 tesco basic kettles. Mash tun was made with 2 fermenting buckets, one with lots of tiny 2mm holes that sits inside the other with a tap on the bottom for containing the grain bill.
3 Likes #18
666FU
I'm not convinced. I have had a few from people who have been tinkering with homebrew for years and most of the stuff is horrible. But if you like the stuff carry on. I like Fosters and a lot of people would tell me I'm mad.
oO
http://i.imgur.com/euLLaF9.gif


Edited By: OldEnglish on Jan 25, 2017 09:20
1 Like #19
I would love to get another brew on the go, i ain't made any for about 10 years.:(
2 Likes #20
OldEnglish
666FU
I'm not convinced. I have had a few from people who have been tinkering with homebrew for years and most of the stuff is horrible. But if you like the stuff carry on. I like Fosters and a lot of people would tell me I'm mad.
oOhttp://i.imgur.com/euLLaF9.gif

Homebrew drinker? :p
#21
fivegoldstars
thewongwing101
fivegoldstars
miikeyblue
fivegoldstars
Turbo cider.
It's not half as bad as people make out, and with a few tweaks you've got a tasty brew.
Plus, with a champagne yeast you can get it to 10% which makes for an interesting night.
That's another on my to do list. Looks simple enough, just not sure my head can handle it!
It is easy enough. This site gave me my introduction to it, and it's a good starting point. I've tweaked my method a little to suit my tastes, and also tried some variations on the theme. It's always nice when you get one that works just right.
What sort of temperature does it need ?
I don't do wine making in the winter because the place is to cold
Generally people say twenty degrees - when I first started, I never had anything brewing November through February. However, I've since brewed small batches over the winter months and had the temp drop as low as ten. Turbo cider doesn't seem to stall like wine - it just takes longer to ferment. In the summer it's done in a matter of days - in winter I've had it take four weeks.
Interesting stuff. What style/brand of cider would you say it's like please?
1 Like #22
SqueakyTight
fivegoldstars
thewongwing101
fivegoldstars
miikeyblue
fivegoldstars
Turbo cider.
It's not half as bad as people make out, and with a few tweaks you've got a tasty brew.
Plus, with a champagne yeast you can get it to 10% which makes for an interesting night.
That's another on my to do list. Looks simple enough, just not sure my head can handle it!
It is easy enough. This site gave me my introduction to it, and it's a good starting point. I've tweaked my method a little to suit my tastes, and also tried some variations on the theme. It's always nice when you get one that works just right.
What sort of temperature does it need ?
I don't do wine making in the winter because the place is to cold
Generally people say twenty degrees - when I first started, I never had anything brewing November through February. However, I've since brewed small batches over the winter months and had the temp drop as low as ten. Turbo cider doesn't seem to stall like wine - it just takes longer to ferment. In the summer it's done in a matter of days - in winter I've had it take four weeks.
Interesting stuff. What style/brand of cider would you say it's like please?
Depends what tweaks you make, and whether you carbonate it or not. Personally, I like to get the alcohol to about 7 percent, use fine oak shavings during fermentation, and leave it relatively still. That gives me a passable imitation of Old Rosie.
I've made fruit ones which taste like Kopparbergs, and strange ones which don't taste like anything commercial (beetroot and lime anyone?).
One thing is I never backsweeten, so everything is dry...sometimes very dry.


Edited By: fivegoldstars on Jan 25, 2017 12:20
#23
Not legal here, but I make my own Brandy at my holiday home, usually made from plums or a mix of plums and grapes, I distill twice and its usually about 55-60% proof :) .
#24
One thing I have to point out here is just how cheap wine making is
50p for a bag of sugar(nearer a pound when I started out 10 around ten years ago)
a couple of pence for teabags
a couple of lemons(I bought a big pot of citric acid off ebay)
water boiled or boiling(so that is an expense)
Equipment well the demijohn(s) are the main thing and that is a one off
=6 bottles of wine
if it comes out undrinkable pour it down the sink !
4 Likes #25
DKLS
Not legal here, but I make my own Brandy at my holiday home, usually made from plums or a mix of plums and grapes, I distill twice and its usually about 55-60% proof :) .
Would like to give this a try one day.
After many years of marriage, I have some plums which are surplus to requirements.
1 Like #26
fivegoldstars
DKLS
Not legal here, but I make my own Brandy at my holiday home, usually made from plums or a mix of plums and grapes, I distill twice and its usually about 55-60% proof :) .
Would like to give this a try one day.
After many years of marriage, I have some plums which are surplus to requirements.
Made damson wine a few years ago.....
1 Like #27
thewongwing101
One thing I have to point out here is just how cheap wine making is
50p for a bag of sugar(nearer a pound when I started out 10 around ten years ago)
a couple of pence for teabags
a couple of lemons(I bought a big pot of citric acid off ebay)
water boiled or boiling(so that is an expense)
Equipment well the demijohn(s) are the main thing and that is a one off
=6 bottles of wine
if it comes out undrinkable pour it down the sink !
...and hedgerow wines are equally as cheap, though a little more time consuming.
I usually make my ciders in 5l batches - costs about £2.50. I have made them from scrumped apples too, though the less said about that explosive batch the better.
For anyone who likes alcopops, you can make an interesting brew out of Robinson's Fruit and Barley - again about £2 for 5l.


Edited By: fivegoldstars on Jan 25, 2017 17:11
1 Like #28
fivegoldstars
thewongwing101
One thing I have to point out here is just how cheap wine making is
50p for a bag of sugar(nearer a pound when I started out 10 around ten years ago)
a couple of pence for teabags
a couple of lemons(I bought a big pot of citric acid off ebay)
water boiled or boiling(so that is an expense)
Equipment well the demijohn(s) are the main thing and that is a one off
=6 bottles of wine
if it comes out undrinkable pour it down the sink !
...and hedgerow wines are equally as cheap, though a little more time consuming.
I usually make my ciders in 5l batches - costs about £2.50. I have made them from scrumped apples too, though the less said about that explosive batch the better.
For anyone who likes alcopops, you can make an interesting brew about Robinson's Fruit and Barley - again about £2 for 5l.
I make at least one batch of elderberry and elderflower every year
made blackcurrant from the garden last year but it was a bit underipe and looks a bit pale and uninteresting
#29
fivegoldstars
DKLS
Not legal here, but I make my own Brandy at my holiday home, usually made from plums or a mix of plums and grapes, I distill twice and its usually about 55-60% proof :) .
Would like to give this a try one day.
After many years of marriage, I have some plums which are surplus to requirements.

You should, its easy and in the little village, all the villagers make brandy, and its carnage at tasting time, you see people asleep in ditches and gardens. Of course Merkal tried to ban it but the govt told them to stick it where the sun don't shine.
4 Likes #30
Wonys wine making guide;
-making it sound complicated

Equipment;
At least one demijohn two will make things much simpler
the most expensive piece of equipment so check out freegle and so on...

A fermentation lock and rubber bung with a hole in it to fit them together for each demijohn

A new bucket in fact I use a washing up bowl something without ridges on the bottom for easy cleaning

Something clean to cover it with say a brand new t-shirt that you don't like
a piece of string to tie it on with

A large wooden spoon

A funnel and a syphon

Important that everything is clean so a bottle brush mine fell apart recently so I made one from a wire coat hanger

A kettle for boiling water A jug

A muslin bag I have one for jam making but there maybe a cheaper alternative

more to follow if I can be bovered.....
http://www.hotukdeals.com/deals/tesco-instore-washing-up-bowls-drainers-was-3-00-now-75p-each-2606984

Edited By: thewongwing101 on Jan 25, 2017 21:26: muslin bag
1 Like #31
thewongwing101
Wonys wine making guide;
-making it sound complicated
Equipment;
At least one demijohn two will make things much simpler
the most expensive piece of equipment so check out freegle and so on...
A fermentation lock and rubber bung with a hole in it to fit them together for each demijohn
A new bucket in fact I use a washing up bowl something without ridges on the bottom for easy cleaning
Something clean to cover it with say a brand new t-shirt that you don't like
a piece of string to tie it on with
A large wooden spoon
A funnel and a syphon
Important that everything is clean so a bottle brush mine fell apart recently so I made one from a wire coat hanger
A kettle for boiling water A jug
more to follow if I can be bovered.....http://www.hotukdeals.com/deals/tesco-instore-washing-up-bowls-drainers-was-3-00-now-75p-each-2606984

Nice touch, cheers wongy!
1 Like #32
Wonys wine making guide;
-making it sound complicated-part two
Ingredients;

1kg Sugar(I just use the standard stuff Aldi 49p)

Council pop(boiled,boiling and out the tap)

Yeast(may get frowned upon but I use the semi live stuff from tesco)

Tannin(everybody uses teabags)

Citric acid(lemons or I bought a big pack of da acid from ebay :| )

obviously you want your wine to taste nice so that is where adding fruit or whatever comes in
and you can reduce the amount of citric acid/tannin

I am sure I have forgotten things so will update.......
1 Like #34

Might order a couple of those...!

Been meaning to pop back here - my wine is now ready to drink, and actually tastes rather good... though when bottling it I did manage to spray about half a bottles worth over the kitchen floor :( Think I need to invest in a bottle wand!

I was a little apprehensive, as it looked very yellow in the demijohn, but it's actually really clear. I assume the yellow was just a reflection from the sediment.

Edited By: miikeyblue on Feb 17, 2017 12:40
#35
Tempted myself but don't have anything to make it in X)
about the price I used pay
get a certain amount of spillage here as well :|

I should not worry to much about the colour Mikey once you have sampled some........
1 Like #36
thewongwing101
Tempted myself but don't have anything to make it in X)
about the price I used pay
get a certain amount of spillage here as well :|
I should not worry to much about the colour Mikey once you have sampled some........

Sampled? I'm 3 bottles deep out of 5... :D

Can't put a glass down without the wife glugging it.

Tesco also have 30 bottle wine kits (No bottles included) for £11.75...

A bucket will only set you back a tenner or so wongy, in fact tesco also currently have a complete (ish) set up for £15. You still need bottles or a barrel (though I'd seriously recommend bottles) and some carbonation drops... worth thinking about

*hic*
#37
So I've kind of got a bit homebrew crazy and got carried away with buying kit. I've not made any before!
I'm a little bewildered with where to start now.
I've got:
12 brewmaker 40 pint beer kits
I've now ordered:
1 x 30 bottle chardonnay kit
1 x youngs 25 litre wide neck fermenter barrel
2 x youngs 23 litre pressure barrels
1 x youngs pressure inector cap
4 x 10 x 8g C02 mini bulbs
2 x bungs with airlocks
1 bottle capper and bottle caps
6 x 1kg beer improver packets
1 hydrometer
1 trial jar
1 syphon
some Campden tablets
some paracetomol lol

I'm thinking as I've got 12 kits, and I've read up a little bit and watched some youtube videos, I may just throw caution to the wind and try a batch when the equipment arrives. I just wish you could split a pack as 40 pints per time is a quite a lot if it all goes pear shaped! I'm ok with the sanitization side of things (I'm a little OCD with food hygiene at the best of times).
I'm a little worried about shocking the yeast on first fermentation as my house varies quite a lot in temperature.
After that its going in the garage for a few weeks to clear but that's quite cold in there~5-10 *c.
I also dont know how to use a hydrometer, and not sure how to use C02, or priming sugar.
It's all quite exciting though :P
#38
And as I've got mostly lagers and pilsners in my 12 x kits but prefer hoppy pale ales, I'm thinking of going down the dry hopping route for the lagers and pilsners once I've got the hang of doing a basic kit.
I really like citrusy hopes like citra but when I looked, they seem kinda expensive.
1 Like #39
BeerDrinker
All grain is definitely a good way to go. The quality goes up considerably from kit beer. Although if you've not tried already, I'd recommend a 2-can kit. All the fermentables are in the can so you don't need to add dextrose.
All grain can be expensive but you can minimise expense of you're handy with a drill and screwdriver. Made my boiler out of a fermenting bucket and 2 tesco basic kettles. Mash tun was made with 2 fermenting buckets, one with lots of tiny 2mm holes that sits inside the other with a tap on the bottom for containing the grain bill.


You don't need expensive equipment to brew all grain!!!

I went to Prague (for a second time) and made my way to a pub called U Fleku where I fell in love with their dark lager. I wanted to brew the beer myself as it can't be bought anywhere, I tried a few kits but realised that to brew a similar style I needed a boiler, chiller and dedicated fridge.

I thought all was lost and then this thread popped up on a forum I'm a member of: http://www.thehomebrewforum.co.uk/showthread.php?t=51779

All you need is a big enough pot for 5L, a pair of curtains to hold the grain and space in your fridge for brewing if you want a lager.

All grain is not difficult, needs nothing you shouldn't have already except grain, hops and maybe a thermometer but it does take a lot more time (6+ hours v 20 minutes for a can kit). The thing is you can create what you want and tweak things far better.

I've brewed that U Fleku beer and I'm making tweaks to it all the time, I'll get that clone eventually.
1 Like #40
I don't homebrew but a friend does. Makes alcohol ginger beer. It's ridiculously drinkable, and can be rocket fuel strength! (or not depending on your preference). I gather most of what's in it is just water, sugar and ginger.

A1, would recommend.

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