Home Brewing

Discussion in 'Taylor's Tittle-Tattle - General Banter' started by Bonkingbob, May 13, 2020.

  1. Bonkingbob

    Bonkingbob First Year Pro

    It seems lockdown had meant a huge influx of people trying out homebrew.

    The online stores are swamped with long delivery times and restricted ordering windows. It seems people have taken their beer consumption into their own hands.

    I've been brewing for three or four years but my operation has definitely been scaled up over that couple of months.

    Anybody else on here making their own?
  2. a19tgg

    a19tgg Reservist

    I was one who jumped on the bandwagon. It took about a month for the cheap kit in ordered to arrive.

    I think I ****** it though. I bottled it the other day after monitoring the thermometer type thingy and it did gradually sink over time as I believe it was meant to. It settled at a level that seemed right as far as the instructions were concerned (as in fermentation had occurred, and it was therefore alcoholic)

    Apparently it needs to condition in the bottles for at least two or three weeks, but none the less I tried a glass a day later and it was flat and didn’t taste like it had any alcohol in at all. I’ve added carbonation drops as instructed.

    Is it likely to change much in the bottles over w few weeks?
  3. Bonkingbob

    Bonkingbob First Year Pro

    In the bottle a second mini fermentation occurs that adds the carbonation. It'll always be flat straight out of the fermenter so no need to worry there.

    If it didn't taste sweet you should be okay abd there will be alcohol.

    General rule of thumb is to make sure your hydrometer readings stay the same for about 3 days before bottling to make sure fermentation is complete.

    This avoids the risk of it not being finished and blowing the bottles up due to too much fermentation pressure.

    If the readings were what was expected per your kit instructions you should be good.

    Leave in the bottles for a couple of weeks and try again. I'm sure it'll be fine :)

    Edit: ignore if it was sweet out of the bottle after a day as the carb drops could sweeten before the yeast has done its job
  4. a19tgg

    a19tgg Reservist

    Thanks. That’s useful. It was definitely stable. I took a reading initially, then one about a week later and then every day until I was sure it wasn’t still moving. The fact that the reading had changed from the initial reading made me think it must have worked, but I didn’t realise so much more happened in the bottles.

    It just tasted like flat weak beer, maybe ever so slightly sweet - the carb drops had fully dissolved though. The kit says minimum two weeks but leave as long as possible, so I’ll try a bottle after two weeks and see how that is.

    As an aside I’ve also got a perfect draft machine so this was a logical next step for me to give a try.

    What sort of set up do you have?
  5. Bonkingbob

    Bonkingbob First Year Pro

    I brew all grain. When I first got started I knew I'd end up upgrading so skipped the kits and went to 'brew in a bag'.

    I've now got a three vessel setup which can do up to about 90 litres depending on strength, but usually do 45 litre batches. It's a rabbit hole learning to do it from scratch but I really enjoy it.

    Self discipline needed though as it only costs me about 30 quid per batch.
    a19tgg likes this.
  6. a19tgg

    a19tgg Reservist

    I could definitely see myself getting into it, will see how this turns out. I can appreciate the bit about self discipline, if I’ve got it I’ll drink it!
    Bonkingbob likes this.
  7. hornmeister

    hornmeister Administrator Staff Member

    I've done a few kits. Work out about 50p a pint. Results have been mediocre to incredibly good. Not run off a batch for a year or two though.

    Sterilise, stetilise and stetilise again. Keep the brew warm, once the hygrometer ceases to change, bottle. I have a load of swing tops from Wilko.
    Half a teaspoon of brown sugar in each bottle, keep them warm for a fortnight, for secondary fermentation and fizz then chill them down in the fridge for a week or more. This will kill the yeast and allow it to drop to the bottom. No need for finings imho.

    Woodefordes do some good beginners kits. Nog is my favourite.
  8. Bonkingbob

    Bonkingbob First Year Pro

    It's one of those things I don't think you can ever truly master. If you enjoy it progressing to grain gives you full control of your recipes and you'll end up reading about stuff like water chemistry.

    It's very much like cooking. Some are happy knocking together something in the oven and others prefer to spend an entire day labouring to get it just so.

    It's a great hobby with good rewards at the end so happy brewing! Happy to help if you have any questions
  9. Bonkingbob

    Bonkingbob First Year Pro

    Yes, everything has to be super sterile. Any screw up with that and it can be heartbreaking!
  10. domthehornet

    domthehornet Moderator Staff Member

    My mate started off as a home brewer and has just now gone commercial, you got any similar plans Bob?
  11. Bonkingbob

    Bonkingbob First Year Pro

    More of a pipe dream at this stage I think!
  12. a19tgg

    a19tgg Reservist

    Actually, that reminds me. I bought 24 swing top bottles with my kit... then it occurred to me that where the metal clicks into the holes in the bottle neck it isn’t a perfect seal. Can gas not escape sideways? I know grolsch bottles obviously work.
  13. hornmeister

    hornmeister Administrator Staff Member

    That part of the bottle is thicker. They are not holes, just indents in the thicker bit. that the wire locates into.

    Wait for Wilko to do their half price offer.

    Anyway if I recall correctly from A-Level Science, gas only moves vertically or out of my arse.
    a19tgg likes this.
  14. I've always thought about home-brewing and have the space to do it.

    Unfortunately I think I lack the patience to go through all the sterilisation and waiting.
  15. Bonkingbob

    Bonkingbob First Year Pro

    Buy some chemsan and spray it on everything, that sorts the sterilisation. Then read up on kveik yeast. It can make a drinkable beer in a week :)

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