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Author Topic: The Brewers' Guild  (Read 54458 times)
von Corax
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« Reply #125 on: October 03, 2012, 04:15:42 am »

Here's a question for the collected expertise of the Guild.

I picked up a bottle of Trafalgar Braggot at the LCBO this evening, and now I'm wondering: If honey beer is made with water, barley malt, honey, hops and yeast, and braggot is made with water, honey, barley malt, hops and yeast, then where is the boundary between the two?
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« Reply #126 on: October 03, 2012, 11:18:43 am »

Here's a question for the collected expertise of the Guild.

I picked up a bottle of Trafalgar Braggot at the LCBO this evening, and now I'm wondering: If honey beer is made with water, barley malt, honey, hops and yeast, and braggot is made with water, honey, barley malt, hops and yeast, then where is the boundary between the two?

Well, I've never heard of braggot, but I imagine the difference is something like the difference between honey beer and mead. Honey beer is of course just a bog standard beer flavoured with honey, whereas mead (at least the nordic style) is beer made with honey instead of sugar.
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« Reply #127 on: October 03, 2012, 12:35:13 pm »

Here's a question for the collected expertise of the Guild.

I picked up a bottle of Trafalgar Braggot at the LCBO this evening, and now I'm wondering: If honey beer is made with water, barley malt, honey, hops and yeast, and braggot is made with water, honey, barley malt, hops and yeast, then where is the boundary between the two?

There isn't really any hard and fast difference between the two. On the whole, I'd suspect honey beer is a term used for beer recipes to which honey has been added, and braggot for mead recipes to which malt and hops have been added.
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« Reply #128 on: October 14, 2012, 09:43:16 pm »

everything seems a bit quiet here on the brewers side of things..... my lords and ladies of the respected home brewerys..... how are the home brews going?
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« Reply #129 on: October 14, 2012, 10:29:57 pm »

everything seems a bit quiet here on the brewers side of things..... my lords and ladies of the respected home brewerys..... how are the home brews going?

Well I've got a batch of my herbal tea wine almost ready to be racked, and I've got a batch of Newkie Brown on the go (it's a malt extract kit from Wilkinson's new Home Brew range) I'll let everyone know how they come out.
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« Reply #130 on: October 14, 2012, 10:44:22 pm »

everything seems a bit quiet here on the brewers side of things..... my lords and ladies of the respected home brewerys..... how are the home brews going?

Well I've got a batch of my herbal tea wine almost ready to be racked, and I've got a batch of Newkie Brown on the go (it's a malt extract kit from Wilkinson's new Home Brew range) I'll let everyone know how they come out.


Got to love wilkos.... 2 batches of basic mead on go and a chilli ginger beer bubbleing away nicely!
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« Reply #131 on: October 14, 2012, 11:02:15 pm »

I used to home brew many years ago, both Beers and Wines.

Beers, I used to make from raw ingredients, mashing my own grain etc, had many successful brews, handed my brother in law a glass of stout one day and he though I'd given him a glass of Guinness Grin  I can recommend the book Brewing beers like those you buy by the long deceased Dave Line, excellent book with some outstanding recipes.
Wines, never really had much luck with home made stuff other than those from prepared kits, and god only knows how many blackberries, Elderberries and Rose Hips we picked, I suppose the best home brew was the Rice Wine, IIRC it was 500g of white rice, 500g of white sugar and 500g of raisins, tasted vile but once mulled was quite palatable and extremely potent even though it wasn't really any stronger Roll Eyes.

If anyone local to me is having a go and would like some assistance by way of an expert taster then drop me a PM Wink Grin Grin Grin
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« Reply #132 on: October 15, 2012, 12:15:09 am »

I suppose the best home brew was the Rice Wine, IIRC it was 500g of white rice, 500g of white sugar and 500g of raisins, tasted vile but once mulled was quite palatable and extremely potent even though it wasn't really any stronger Roll Eyes.

That sounds surprisingly like my rice and raisin wine (I inherited the recipe from my late grandfather) as the recipe said it would be drinkable after 3 days (and it was, you just had to dilute it by 2/3 with soda water) but after a bit of aging it became quite nice.
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« Reply #133 on: October 15, 2012, 01:19:02 am »

I suppose the best home brew was the Rice Wine, IIRC it was 500g of white rice, 500g of white sugar and 500g of raisins, tasted vile but once mulled was quite palatable and extremely potent even though it wasn't really any stronger Roll Eyes.

That sounds surprisingly like my rice and raisin wine (I inherited the recipe from my late grandfather) as the recipe said it would be drinkable after 3 days (and it was, you just had to dilute it by 2/3 with soda water) but after a bit of aging it became quite nice.

intresting was thinking about looking into rice wine at some point
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« Reply #134 on: October 28, 2012, 12:43:10 pm »

Here's a question for the collected expertise of the Guild.

I picked up a bottle of Trafalgar Braggot at the LCBO this evening, and now I'm wondering: If honey beer is made with water, barley malt, honey, hops and yeast, and braggot is made with water, honey, barley malt, hops and yeast, then where is the boundary between the two?

Only for the antipodean brewers, but the line is at 50/50 - if there is more malt than honey it's a honey beer; if there's more honey than malt it's a braggot. And if you brew precisely 50/50, then the judges disqualify you, steal all your brew and drink it...  Cheesy
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« Reply #135 on: October 28, 2012, 09:09:47 pm »

Sorry everybody, I've been away for awhile. Finally got a new computer though so I'm back!
I finally bottled my cherry mead the other day, and it is delicious! I forgot to get an FG reading, but it felt pretty alcoholic.
I started another batch yesterday (a 3 gallon batch this time) and I also started a 1 gallon batch of orange mead.
I used about 3 pounds of honey and a jar of orange marmalade, and filled the rest of the volume with just regular tap water.
Hopefully it turns out well, but it seemed like an awful lot of honey for not too much water.

I've been taking a brewing lab class at university this semester and I've been brewing some pretty interesting stuff.
A couple of weeks ago I brewed a vanilla chai oatmeal milk stout, and the week before that I brewed a chocolate porter.
It's a great class!
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« Reply #136 on: October 29, 2012, 01:28:53 am »

Good evening gentlemen,
I'm a wine-brewer myself.
My vintages are both mead and tea.
You read that right, I made tea of wine.
It's a cross between port and a fine wine. It's has a nice aftertaste to it.
I got into brewing because a friend of mine makes delicious wines and I wanted to give it a go as well.
I'm thinking of making a strawberry-wine.
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« Reply #137 on: November 03, 2012, 09:07:14 pm »

'Evening all.. another brewer here, directed from the What's Your Poison thread..  I haven't ventured into the ales and beers yet*, but I regularly brew up a batch of Turbo Cider for supping, I've been making  my own liqueurs for a few years and I started making country wines last year.  Just finished a bottle of my own elderberry wine with dinner and about to open a bottle of plum wine to see through the rest of the evening..

*except for an unfortunate incident with a cheap lager kit as a student in the mid-90s which we shan't mention again.  Ever.
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« Reply #138 on: November 04, 2012, 08:29:54 am »

Good evening gentlemen,
I'm a wine-brewer myself.
My vintages are both mead and tea.
You read that right, I made tea of wine.
It's a cross between port and a fine wine. It's has a nice aftertaste to it.
I got into brewing because a friend of mine makes delicious wines and I wanted to give it a go as well.
I'm thinking of making a strawberry-wine.

Very interesting combination!
I'd love to see a recipe (or methodology) for your tea-wine, as I am quite curious!

'Evening all.. another brewer here, directed from the What's Your Poison thread..  I haven't ventured into the ales and beers yet*, but I regularly brew up a batch of Turbo Cider for supping, I've been making  my own liqueurs for a few years and I started making country wines last year.  Just finished a bottle of my own elderberry wine with dinner and about to open a bottle of plum wine to see through the rest of the evening..

*except for an unfortunate incident with a cheap lager kit as a student in the mid-90s which we shan't mention again.  Ever.

Welcome to the Guild!
It has been my experience that many of the kits leave much to be desired.
I wish elderberries were more common here in the States, as I'd love to try some elderberry wine.
My friend gave me a bottle of plum wine that he made that had been aging for some years as a wedding present last summer, and suffice it to say I was pleasantly surprised!
Please feel free to share any recipes, or ask for any recipes or advice as well!

Along the lines of asking for advice, I have a couple of questions for you gents (and ladies or scoundrels, if any such are present):
  • 1. Do you add any liquid when you rack your brew to secondary in order to make up for that liquid lost to trub?
  • 2. I want to try a hopped mead in a month or so (when my 1 gallon carboy no longer has orange mead fermenting in it). Do you think I should focus on hops that impart a "piney" aroma/flavor or those that are more "citrusy" in nature?
Thanks in advance for your input!
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« Reply #139 on: November 04, 2012, 10:40:09 am »

To answer your questions..

1 - Yes, which liquid depends on what stage I'm at with the racking.  It could be apple juice, grape juice or water.
2 - can't help with this one myself.

And a recipe..

Dark Ginger Liqueur
35 cl brandy
35 cl water
150 g muscavado sugar
60 g root ginger
1 vanilla pod (or 1/2 tsp vanilla paste)
Zest of an orange


Peel and thinly slice the ginger. Bring the water, ginger, vanilla (split if using pod) and sugar to the boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 20 minutes or until the ginger is tender. Allow to cool and add to a sealable jar. Add the orange zest and the brandy. Seel the jar and give it a shake. Allow to steep for two or three days (remove the vanilla pod after the first day if you want to limit the vanilla taste). Strain and bottle.

It's very drinkable after a day or two, with a pronounced orange nose from the zest and a heat in the mouth from the ginger. Having used dark muscavado sugar I expect this to mellow over a considerable period of time, but even after a couple of days it doesn't have the harshness I've found using muscavado for other liqueurs (using it in sloe gin, it needs 12 months to mellow).

With the syrup dilution the end result is a little bit under 20%, so quite a mild liqueur.
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« Reply #140 on: November 05, 2012, 06:00:27 pm »

Along the lines of asking for advice, I have a couple of questions for you gents (and ladies or scoundrels, if any such are present):
  • 1. Do you add any liquid when you rack your brew to secondary in order to make up for that liquid lost to trub?
  • 2. I want to try a hopped mead in a month or so (when my 1 gallon carboy no longer has orange mead fermenting in it). Do you think I should focus on hops that impart a "piney" aroma/flavor or those that are more "citrusy" in nature?
Thanks in advance for your input!
Hmm, lady or scoundrel, decisions, decisions.....

1. Yes, I do put in liquid after racking my mead.  I make up more honey water.  I have not had to add anythign extra to the beers I have made.  I have only used kits so far and they don't call for topping up.  The trub that I get sticks quite soundly to the bottom of the primary fermenter. 
2.  I'd go for citrusy for your first hopped mead if you are using a lighter honey.  I think the piney hops would be better with a darker honey, like buckwheat. Just my personal preference.
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« Reply #141 on: November 26, 2012, 12:26:28 pm »

Another successful liqueur recipe for the book.. I strained and bottled the Winter Liqueur I started five weeks ago, squeezed as much brandy out of the fruit as possible and then used that to make a fruitcake.  Truly a nothing wasted liqueur recipe.  And very nice the cake is, too.  Next year I'll adjust all my timings so I'm baking the cake the week before Christmas as a Christmas cake - this year we just had to try it to see how it was.

The cake recipe is very loosely based on one by H F-W.  The liqueur recipe is cobbled together from several German recipes found on the web.  For the brandy I used cheap supermarket own-brand - the fruit and spices will overpower any subtle flavours a premium brand might have.

For the liqueur..

70 cl brandy
20 cl water
150 g brown sugar
1 tablespoon honey
120 g dried figs
120 g dried apricots
120 g dried apple or apple rings
50 g raisins
½ vanilla pod
½ stick of cinnamon
3 cloves
3 red peppercorns
1 cardamom pod


Steep the dried fruit in the brandy for 3 days. Lightly crack the spices. Dissolve the sugar and honey in the water over a low heat with spices  Add the spicey syrup to the fruit and brandy and leave for 4-6 weeks before straining and bottling.


For the cake..

225 g self-raising flour
200 g butter
200 g muscavado suger
4 eggs
The fruit from the liqueur


Grease a 20 cm springform cake tin.  Preheat oven to 160C/Gas 3.
Roughly chop the fruit.
Cream together the sugar and butter.
Beat in the eggs one at a time, adding a spoon of flour with each.
Fold in the remaining flour, and then fold in the chopped fruit.  Keep it light and don't overmix.
Spoon into the cake tin, place into preheated oven and bake for 1.5 hrs or until a knife/skewer comes out clean.  You may need to cover the top of the cake part-way through to prevent it burning.
« Last Edit: November 26, 2012, 12:58:31 pm by George Salt » Logged
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« Reply #142 on: November 26, 2012, 12:43:14 pm »

Just started the pre-Christmas mead, running the most basic of recipes, and if it comes out worthwhile that's what I'll use for the Christmas batch.

If not, it's back to the recipe book I guess Grin
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« Reply #143 on: December 15, 2012, 06:38:49 pm »

Busy day today.. once the cranberry jelly was made it was time to start some boozy stuff.

2 litres sloe gin started (2 l gin, 1.5 kg sloes), to be ready for next winter.  Getting low on muscavado suger so I'll have to add more later on.  Using muscavado sugar gives a rich caramel complexity to the flavour, but does leave it very bitter for the first six month or so.

Racked the hawthorn wine.  Promising but still a little harsh.  It will need to mature for a while before bottling.

24 litres house red started (30+ bottles when finished).  Boil up a big pan of elderberries with a little water until soft, strain through a muslin bag.  To each litre of juice add a kilo of sugar (or a pound per pint).  Once the sugar was added that gave me 4.5 litres of cordial/syrup.  4 litres of syrup into the fermenter (the last half-litre into a botle in the fridge for squash or pouring over yoghurt/icecream), top-up with 20 litres of supermarket red grape juice (I cleared their shelf this morning), add a sachet of general purpose red wine yeast.  I'll need to add some more sugar later in the week to get to the very rough target of 12% ABV.  Making the cordial cleaned me out of white sugar as well (and I forget to get any when getting the RGJ).  That also gives me time to readjust the recipe as the last couple of demijihn batches had 70 cl per gallon rather than 1 litre.  This red should be very drinkable by Easter but will continue to improve.
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« Reply #144 on: January 06, 2013, 12:26:05 am »

Just wondering if anyone else had been up any brewing over the festive period.

I laid down the basis for two batches of mead at the beginning of November (One is a dry mead, the other is a form of apple mead called cyser in the book I took the recipe from) and today I have started my first brewing project of 2013 in the form of a batch of tea wine (which so far seems a lot darker than the other batches of it I have made, even at this early stage; but that could easily be because of the teas I have used to make this batch).
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« Reply #145 on: January 06, 2013, 01:30:34 am »

Bottle up some mead



1st attempt is the cloudy on the 2nd attempt is the clear

EDIT: looks like that link does not work.... will look into it later!
« Last Edit: January 06, 2013, 07:12:44 pm by Professor Phineas Brownsm » Logged
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09madasafish
« Reply #146 on: January 06, 2013, 01:40:13 am »

Just wondering if anyone else had been up any brewing over the festive period.

I laid down the basis for two batches of mead at the beginning of November (One is a dry mead, the other is a form of apple mead called cyser in the book I took the recipe from) and today I have started my first brewing project of 2013 in the form of a batch of tea wine (which so far seems a lot darker than the other batches of it I have made, even at this early stage; but that could easily be because of the teas I have used to make this batch).

I also forgot to mention the results of my last batches, both of which 'turned out nice again'  Grin (the newkie brown worked out tasting surprising close to the commercial 'dog' albeit slightly yeastier). I also made a VERY nice 'winter warmer' spiced beer using another Wilko's malt extract kits and flavouring it with various spices.
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« Reply #147 on: January 28, 2013, 03:15:21 am »

my "quick" pre-christmas brew still hasn't run its course, it's cloudy as hell, so I'm just waiting it out. Meanwhile I'm probably going to run another brew, my dad's interested in making a tea wine so we'll probably go for that one next.
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09madasafish
« Reply #148 on: February 10, 2013, 01:45:58 am »

Greetings everyone. Just thought I'd let you know about my progresses. The tea wine did lighten slightly and I very nice (the use of scented tea really helped change the flavour). And I've also got a batch of apple and banana wine on the go (look interesting so far because of the pulp I inadvertently added to the demijohn, but that should be quite easily rectified). 
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« Reply #149 on: February 10, 2013, 11:45:54 am »

Morning All.......

recently one has been making some Limoncello..... (will add recipe later if I find one has not done so!)

really nice....

i decided to do something diffrent and make a lime version of it! (one is looking forward to it).
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