Homebrew-me-do
Not coding though, you geek
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Yeah, so I like ales and want to brew my own to save on cns and recycling and money and shit.

Must involve not too much of any of the following:

Space
Cost
Effort*

although time is fine. They do kits and such in Wilkinsons which claim I can make generic beer in a few weeks from a big pot of mixture and some H2O. I suspect shenanagins, but who knows? Maybe you do, in which case would you be good enough to tell me?


*Especially effort. I want to buy the stuff, set it up and drink it eventually. A degree of intermediate faff is acceptable but on so much I can't be arsed with it.
My Nan used to brew beer from one of those kits. I was too young to taste it but it looked disgusting.
Some friends used to brew while I was at Uni - it looked dead easy, and tasted fine. Don't know any more details than that though.
My dad and my sister brewed some beer after I moved out. When I went back I had some. It tasted like red fizzy wine. They were so proud that I drank a pint then claimed I had work in the morning. I told them it was nice.
Brewing the ready made stuff in bags or whatever is easy, but it never tastes exactly brilliant. Ok, but not great. But then it works out at 25p a pint or something so who cares.

There's a fair amount of choice out there. There's the stuff that's all pre mixed in a bag with a tap on it, that you just pour water into, leave for a few weeks and then drink. Then there's packets of mixed malt/barley/yeast etc that you need a brewing barrel for, which you just add water to. Or you buy different bits and bobs, mix them together and chuck them in a barrel with some water.

There's even a special oojamaflip that you use to work out the specific gravity of the beer so you can tell when it's finished brewing.

My dad brews his own, and can rustle together pretty good copies of commercial ales. However, he does it with proper hops he's grown himself and yeast he's knitted from scratch out of random molecules and such like, so that's a bit more time, space and labour intensive. However, his stuff is quite fantastic, and better than a lot of commercial ones.

If you're short on space and time, you want to avoid anything that involves having to bottle the stuff - that takes aaaages. The sterilisation, then the filling, then the capping. Couple of days work for a barrel of the stuff. But then you can't really beat the home brew that's part brewed in the bottle.

But if you don't have the space for that sort of thing, and you're not buying the cheapy bagged stuff, get a brewing barrel that has a tap on it, and Robert's your mum's brother.

Best advice is to find a home brew shop - there are a surprising number of them around, and are usually run by excellently beardy be-slippered pipe smoking CAMRA members who will be very happy to give you some advice.
I do this, it doesn't actually take up a huge amount of space. you need a brewing bucket and some bottles, but old coke bottles are just as good as glass ones. I prefer glass ones as I like to vary strength and flavours in the bottles, and you get more types if you use 1pint bottles, but coke bottles take up far less space and are cheaper.
You have to make sure everything is REALLY clean, otherwise it will fail.

Some Wilkinsons sell Woodforde Wherry kit, this is the one I tend to use as it is a nice round flavour and damn simple to make, you don't even need any sugar for the primary fermentation.

A basic kit would cost you less than £40 if you shop around. This will get you about 40 pints. And then you will have the bucket and such for any further brews.
Bobby: Curio is bringing me to your house next time I'm in London!
*Sells Curio some land mines*
My sister got me a kit-thing - a plastic sphere with valve/pump, then replacement sub-kits include the mix and a disposable bag; mount the bag in the sphere, pour in the mix and water, fit the lock/valve/pump thing, leave for some weeks.

The only time I've used it I fucked up the water content and got very flat, very stout stout. I've not gotten round to using it again yet. No idea where it is (my girlfriend tidied) or what it's called.
Just mixed up my first ever batch! It's now sitting in a barrel fermenting.

Some things I'll have to improve on when it comes to doing Batch 2:

- If using a canned kit, be sure to have an opener that doesn't jam.
- There's probably a better way to sanitise the bucket than swirling it around outside soaking myself with the concoction.
- Did I stir it enough?
- Did I sanitise everything?

Looking forward to the results, and even if it becomes undrinkable, at least I'll know what to do for the next one.
I have some ale to brew soon. But we never had any bottles and I thought it made more sense to buy and drink our way through 30 ales to later sterilise the bottles than to buy empty bottles.

Empty bottles rank 0 on the 0-1 fun scale.
I used about 12 bottles of Sainsbury's basic water to fill the barrel up, and I hope to use the 2L containers for the finished result.
Are they proper pressure bottles, like coke bottles?
Bobbyaro wrote:
Are they proper pressure bottles, like coke bottles?


Hmm... good point. I probably don't want them exploding over the kitchen if they can't take the pressure.

Might start saving those normal beer bottles!
If they are shaped like coke bottles, they should be okay, if they are those wide neck water bottles, they probably won't be.
The two litre water bottles I used worked well and sediment collected in the dimpled bottom.
I’ve been thinking for a while of making my own hard stuff

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Complete-2-Ga ... 3a7f52862b

Crazy amount of equipment on EBay. The amount of stupid rules that exist around the coin mech of a slot machine when sold on EBay, compared with freely available equipment to make illegal hard liquor surprised me.

Was planning to get one and put it to use in June, I have this month off as our first baby arrives so thought I would be able to keep an eye on the still temperature each day etc.

In the end I was put off by tales of this stuff making you blind or worse, also you need to be very careful with what you brew and do an don’t drink as well as testing the ABV all the time. All of this and the fact I should really be helping my wife with our first child put me off in the end.

At no point did the fact its illegal bother me at all :p
Kitchen smelt suitably brewery-like this morning. Not sure leaving my washing on the clotheshorse in the same room was a wise move though.
BikNorton wrote:
My sister got me a kit-thing - a plastic sphere with valve/pump, then replacement sub-kits include the mix and a disposable bag; mount the bag in the sphere, pour in the mix and water, fit the lock/valve/pump thing, leave for some weeks.

The only time I've used it I fucked up the water content and got very flat, very stout stout. I've not gotten round to using it again yet. No idea where it is (my girlfriend tidied) or what it's called.

Is it a "BrewZer" microbrew kit? I had one, but they sadly seem to have discontinued them and I can't find the refills :(

However, my home made mead is bubbling along like something awesome. Also, ginger and chilli wine will soon be ready for bottling!
My Dad used to make mead. It was luverly :)
If mine works the next step is metheglin - lovely, spicy honey wine!

Or, if I'm lazy, wine made from Aldi tinned peaches.
Squirt wrote:
If mine works the next step is a meth lab.
Sterilising stuff ordered for old bottles.

Soooooon.
All bottled. Now more waiting.
brewzer sounds familiar.

Our mate Dave uses supermarket-value-brand 2l fizzy water bottles for storage. Buys them when a brew is ready, tips the water down the drain, refills with beer. works out cheaper than sterilising and doesn't take up space when there isn't any beer.
I used the water in the bottles for the brew. Far less chalky than what comes out of Oxfordshire's taps.
My missus like root beer, so I'm tempted to try making some of that. Tracking down the ingredients might be tricky, however.
Oooh, I might make Ginger Beer this weekend.

http://www.channel4.com/4food/recipes/c ... eer-recipe

Hugh seems to have an extremely simple recipe, so i'll give that a go.
Mimi has made that in the past.
...and the result was. Don't leave me hangin' man.
Ginger beer is brewing!
Hehe,

It was very nice. Very simple to make, but I'd recommend two things:

Firstly, use champagne yeast instead of brewers yeast (brews the alcohol quicker and stronger and gives more sparkle) and (secondly) open the bottles in the bath/shower, as they can be a bit fizztastic.
Original ginger beer recipe says wait for 48 hours and it is ready to drink. Comments to the recipe says wait for a week, and then decant it, add sugar and wait for another week.

I'm planning to decant tonight (beer was made saturday morning), add sugar and then drink it at the weekend. It'll be fine, won't it?
Nope. 48 hours is not enough time. You want about 10 days.
What recipe are you using?
This'un

#comments-top">http://www.channel4.com/4food/recipes/c ... mments-top
I'm not too bothered about alcohol content, but I do have two bottles on the go. I'll decant one tonight and leave t'other and compare and contrast in a week or so.
Yeah, I thought so. That's the one I started with. It will be slightly fizzy and very sugary. It does need longer than two days.
It will have had 3 and a half days so far tonight. I'll decant it and add some sugar to get it fizzing and leave it for a few more days on one of the bottles. On the other bottle I'll let brew till the weekend, then fizz it for another week.

I shall report back.
... and they never heard from him again.
Curiosity wrote:
... and they never heard from him again.


haha are you suggesting he will get Ginger poisoning? Does that mean we could end up with 2 Crasters?
I'm not ginger!
Cras wrote:
I'm not ginger!


Are you sure?

Well some people seem to think I am female after the last mafia game so :shrug: it will all work out
Haha, yeah I spotted that.
I may "brew" some Skittles vodka for the 3BQ.
Party like it's 2007!
Kern Beer v1.0

'Surprisingly Drinkable'

Attachment:
beer20130501.jpg


Not available in the shops
Did you add sugar to the bottles? that looks pretty flat to me. (doesn't mean it tastes bad).
Bobbyaro wrote:
Did you add sugar to the bottles? that looks pretty flat to me. (doesn't mean it tastes bad).


Yeah, it's a bit flat. But, what the hell. It's drinkable, and tastes like beer, so I'm happy.

Things to I'll have to remember when bottling batch 2:

i) Use a funnel so the sugar mostly goes into the bottle and not onto the worktop

ii) Add the sugar after putting the beer in the bottle, not the other way round.
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