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Author Topic: The Brewers' Guild  (Read 54459 times)
George Salt
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« Reply #225 on: December 22, 2013, 01:45:16 pm »


Both of those sound lovely!
Please keep us posted with your results.

It smells wonderful this morning.  I should have added that the brandy used for this batch had previously had a day of duty soaking the fruit for a Christmas cake, so had already had a bit of a flavour infusion..
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CorneliaCarton
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« Reply #226 on: December 23, 2013, 12:15:12 am »

Thank you.
For my first batch? Just ordinary mead, really. Nothing special. I'm just not sure on what exactly I need.
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Madasasteamfish
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09madasafish
« Reply #227 on: December 23, 2013, 12:25:00 am »

Thank you.
For my first batch? Just ordinary mead, really. Nothing special. I'm just not sure on what exactly I need.

Well, there's nothing much you need other than honey, water and yeast and a vessel to ferment it in (most recipes call for you to dissolve the honey in the water then put in the yeast and ferment it out before racking it then leave it for as long as possible, or as long as you manage to resist it), it can be altered by adding herbs, spices and or fruit/fruit juice (damsons and apples are popular choices) but that turns it from being mead into something else.
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« Reply #228 on: December 23, 2013, 12:37:39 am »

Thank you.
For my first batch? Just ordinary mead, really. Nothing special. I'm just not sure on what exactly I need.


Well, there's nothing much you need other than honey, water and yeast and a vessel to ferment it in (most recipes call for you to dissolve the honey in the water then put in the yeast and ferment it out before racking it then leave it for as long as possible, or as long as you manage to resist it), it can be altered by adding herbs, spices and or fruit/fruit juice (damsons and apples are popular choices) but that turns it from being mead into something else.


This is exactly right.
(The term for mead with fruit in it is melomel, by the way)

I followed the instructions in this video when I made my first batch of mead  Grin
Brewing Mead with AMON AMARTH

It turned out pretty well, though it would have been much better had I moved the mead to a different jug after it had fermented for a few weeks to keep it off of the sediment that formed at the bottom.
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von Corax
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« Reply #229 on: December 23, 2013, 03:26:30 am »

It turned out pretty well, though it would have been much better had I moved the mead to a different jug after it had fermented for a few weeks to keep it off of the sediment that formed at the bottom.

Yes. According to Papazian, Palmer and others it's very important to rack off of the dormant yeast before more than a few weeks pass. What happens is that the yeasties will eventually begin to metabolize themselves, rupturing the cell walls and releasing the lipids inside; the result is that (apparently) the product eventually begins to taste like soap.
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Rev. Jade
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« Reply #230 on: December 23, 2013, 05:22:58 am »

It turned out pretty well, though it would have been much better had I moved the mead to a different jug after it had fermented for a few weeks to keep it off of the sediment that formed at the bottom.

Yes. According to Papazian, Palmer and others it's very important to rack off of the dormant yeast before more than a few weeks pass. What happens is that the yeasties will eventually begin to metabolize themselves, rupturing the cell walls and releasing the lipids inside; the result is that (apparently) the product eventually begins to taste like soap.

Hmm...I don't remember it tasting like soap, but I imagine that different yeast strains could cause different off-flavors.
It also probably didn't help that it was stored in a disposable plastic jug.
I can't imagine that those gallon water jugs are really meant to store alcohol for 3-6 months  Roll Eyes

Oh!
And when you do make your mead, make sure to double-check that the honey you are using doesn't have any preservatives, as the preservatives can kill the yeast.
Most honey doesn't, but some of the stuff I have seen from big grocery stores (WalMart and the like) does have some added preservatives.
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von Corax
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« Reply #231 on: December 23, 2013, 07:41:48 am »

I think the soapy taste represents an extreme case.
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Madasasteamfish
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« Reply #232 on: February 12, 2014, 10:22:24 pm »

ARISE! ARISE! I SUMMON YOU! THROUGH THE POWERS GRANTED TO ME BY THE DARK LORD I COMMAND YOU! ARISE!

Now, after that spot of thread based necromancy  Grin I'm curious as to any developments anyone would like to share in their brewing. I've got a malt extract kit fermenting as I type (birthday present from my sister) and plans for a couple more batches to start once I've managed to gather the necessary ingredients this weekend. First is a malt extract based recipe for a ginger ale (pretty much home made Crabbies, or alcoholic ginger beer of your choice) and a white wine made from tinned fruit.
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Rev. Jade
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« Reply #233 on: February 13, 2014, 04:57:28 am »

I must try my hand at one of these ginger beers!

As for myself, I have yet another batch of cider on the go (should be ready in about a week), and I have around 3 gallons of mead that is aging nicely, and probably ready to bottle any time I'm not feeling too lazy to deal with it.
On my list of stuff to make in the near future is a vanilla chai oatmeal cream stout, which I have made before but did not let ferment long enough prior to bottling, which unfortunately lead to a large amount of delicious beer exploding into the sink upon the opening of the bottles.
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Madasasteamfish
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09madasafish
« Reply #234 on: February 13, 2014, 10:14:40 am »

I must try my hand at one of these ginger beers!

As for myself, I have yet another batch of cider on the go (should be ready in about a week), and I have around 3 gallons of mead that is aging nicely, and probably ready to bottle any time I'm not feeling too lazy to deal with it.
On my list of stuff to make in the near future is a vanilla chai oatmeal cream stout, which I have made before but did not let ferment long enough prior to bottling, which unfortunately lead to a large amount of delicious beer exploding into the sink upon the opening of the bottles.

Ooh, now that does sound nice. Any chance you could post the recipe?
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George Salt
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« Reply #235 on: February 13, 2014, 11:51:02 am »

I need to start bottling the 12 gallons or so of cider I pressed in the Autumn.  I brought the primaries in from the shed, but it's been so mild this winter I could have left them there without worrying about them freezing and splitting.
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Rev. Jade
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« Reply #236 on: February 14, 2014, 12:59:20 am »

I must try my hand at one of these ginger beers!

As for myself, I have yet another batch of cider on the go (should be ready in about a week), and I have around 3 gallons of mead that is aging nicely, and probably ready to bottle any time I'm not feeling too lazy to deal with it.
On my list of stuff to make in the near future is a vanilla chai oatmeal cream stout, which I have made before but did not let ferment long enough prior to bottling, which unfortunately lead to a large amount of delicious beer exploding into the sink upon the opening of the bottles.

Ooh, now that does sound nice. Any chance you could post the recipe?

Sure thing!
Here's the recipe for 5 gallons:

9 lb 2-row barley
1 lb flaked oats
1 lb chai tea
.5 lb chocolate malt
.5 lb caramel malt 60L
.25 lb roasted barley
2 oz East Kent Golding hops
1 lb lactose
British Ale Yeast

Toast the oats at 325 degrees Fahrenheit for at least an hour.
Mash all grains (including chai tea) at 151 F for 60 minutes and then sparge.
Boil with hops for 60 minutes.
Add the lactose for the last 15 minutes of boil.

The first time I made this recipe, I just did a one gallon batch and let it ferment for about 2 weeks.
I definitely recommend letting it ferment for longer!
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DreamHazard
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« Reply #237 on: February 17, 2014, 01:52:00 am »

So I bottled up a canned homebrew batch yesterday and it tastes foul. I think I might have a go at doing it myself next time instead of going with a premade mix, but my dad wanted to do it so that's what we did. Waste of time :/
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von Corax
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« Reply #238 on: February 17, 2014, 03:16:38 am »

So I bottled up a canned homebrew batch yesterday and it tastes foul. I think I might have a go at doing it myself next time instead of going with a premade mix, but my dad wanted to do it so that's what we did. Waste of time :/

From what I understand, the canned kits are supposed to produce a passable brew provided you're anal-retentive about process hygiene and that you handle the included yeast packet properly. (I'm also given to understand that "handle the included yeast packet properly" means "throw it in the garbage and get a fresh packet of proper yeast from the brew shop.") It is possible you got a bad kit, but "foul taste" suggests some sort of infection, which can be prevented by the measures I mentioned.
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« Reply #239 on: February 17, 2014, 04:52:27 am »

So I bottled up a canned homebrew batch yesterday and it tastes foul. I think I might have a go at doing it myself next time instead of going with a premade mix, but my dad wanted to do it so that's what we did. Waste of time :/

From what I understand, the canned kits are supposed to produce a passable brew provided you're anal-retentive about process hygiene and that you handle the included yeast packet properly. (I'm also given to understand that "handle the included yeast packet properly" means "throw it in the garbage and get a fresh packet of proper yeast from the brew shop.") It is possible you got a bad kit, but "foul taste" suggests some sort of infection, which can be prevented by the measures I mentioned.


I can't remember if I used the packet stuff or the tub that we had already, I think it was the packet. Obviously everything all sterilised properly, I'm pretty thorough about that. It doesn't just taste bad, it smells pretty strong too. Not bad, but like a spill in a bar cellar after a day or two. It's possible that I left it too long before bottling I guess.

On the upside, I've just made some kilju (sugar wine) to add some rum and peach flavouring too, it weighs in at around 12% and doesn't taste rank, so at least I did something right Smiley
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von Corax
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« Reply #240 on: February 17, 2014, 05:34:01 am »

That sounds like a bacterial infection, probably acetobacter (vinegar bacteria) from the sound of it. This is apparently most often due to the yeast making a weak start, giving other cultures time to establish themselves; kit yeasts, being dehydrated and then stored in uncertain conditions for an unknown duration, are notoriously poor in this regard. You should at least rehydrate the yeast in warm sterile water, possibly with a little malt extract, until it forms a frothy head in the glass before you pitch it.

Keep in mind, of course, that I have absolutely no idea what I'm talking about, and that any inconsistencies between my advice and reality are entirely the failure of reality.
« Last Edit: February 17, 2014, 05:35:41 am by von Corax » Logged
DreamHazard
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Xander Wood


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« Reply #241 on: February 17, 2014, 05:36:55 am »

That sounds like a bacterial infection, probably acetobacter (vinegar bacteria) from the sound of it. This is apparently most often due to the yeast making a weak start, giving other cultures time to establish themselves; kit yeasts, being dehydrated and then stored in uncertain conditions for an unknown duration, are notoriously poor in this regard. You should at least rehydrate the yeast in warm sterile water, possibly with a little malt extract, until it forms a frothy head in the glass before you pitch it.

Keep in mind, of course, that I have absolutely no idea what I'm talking about, and that any inconsistencies between my advice and reality is entirely the failure of reality.

that does sound pretty sensible if I'm honest. Next time I'll be better prepared, though next time I won't be using a "tar-in-a-can" formula and I will be using better yeast.
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Madasasteamfish
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09madasafish
« Reply #242 on: February 17, 2014, 11:10:18 am »

So I bottled up a canned homebrew batch yesterday and it tastes foul. I think I might have a go at doing it myself next time instead of going with a premade mix, but my dad wanted to do it so that's what we did. Waste of time :/

From what I understand, the canned kits are supposed to produce a passable brew provided you're anal-retentive about process hygiene and that you handle the included yeast packet properly. (I'm also given to understand that "handle the included yeast packet properly" means "throw it in the garbage and get a fresh packet of proper yeast from the brew shop.") It is possible you got a bad kit, but "foul taste" suggests some sort of infection, which can be prevented by the measures I mentioned.


I can't remember if I used the packet stuff or the tub that we had already, I think it was the packet. Obviously everything all sterilised properly, I'm pretty thorough about that. It doesn't just taste bad, it smells pretty strong too. Not bad, but like a spill in a bar cellar after a day or two. It's possible that I left it too long before bottling I guess.

On the upside, I've just made some kilju (sugar wine) to add some rum and peach flavouring too, it weighs in at around 12% and doesn't taste rank, so at least I did something right Smiley

What you're describing could be due to any number of different things, and can't really say what might be the cause without tasting it myself). However, as a general rule canned kits do result in a poorer quality brew than malt extract/grain brews (but a lot of the time the quality depends on the brand and type of beer you're making), but if you know what you're doing then they can give you a decent brew. In my experience bitter and dark beers from kits can work quite well (if you do things right the only noticeable difference between the flavour of your brew and the commercial stuff is a slightly yeastier taste).
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Madasasteamfish
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09madasafish
« Reply #243 on: March 10, 2014, 05:56:30 pm »

Dear lord, is nothing sacred to these damn spammers?  Angry

In other news, the alcoholic ginger beer is a washout (forgot to add the lemon juice when I should have done and adding later when I remembered messed up the balance of flavours). The kit brew isn't too bad for a kit brew, the tinned fruit wine is coming along nicely (though it may have suffered thanks to problems with the boiler) and I've got a batch of treacle ale ready for bottling when I can get my hands on some crown corks.
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George Salt
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« Reply #244 on: March 13, 2014, 12:01:16 am »

I need to start bottling the 12 gallons or so of cider I pressed in the Autumn.  I brought the primaries in from the shed, but it's been so mild this winter I could have left them there without worrying about them freezing and splitting.

Cider update.. a couple of weekends ago I bottled and primed the first FV, 56 bottles.. and still the second FV in bulk as I await more bottles coming available as we drink up the plain apple juice.  There was an initial tasting a fortnight after priming and it's very nice, just a hint of bubbles on the sidesof the glass without any obvious fizz - which is how we prefer it.  Priming was very light, just 1/4-teaspoon.  I will do a small batch from the second FV with a higher level of priming (1-tsp), just to see how it turns out.

It could be fortunate that I scaled up cider production last autumn and got the micro-vineyard established on the allotment, I'm awaiting confirmation of ceoliac (antibodies are positive, biopsy was yesterday) and that would severely limit beer options for the future if it proves to be the diagnosis.
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dreambig
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« Reply #245 on: March 20, 2014, 04:19:15 am »

I LOVE brewing mead.

I'm so happy to see more and more people getting into homebrewing. Hopefully this will also cross over into the markets and in the future we'll continue to see the trend towards microbrews continue to grow.
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« Reply #246 on: March 20, 2014, 04:23:10 am »

I need to start bottling the 12 gallons or so of cider I pressed in the Autumn.  I brought the primaries in from the shed, but it's been so mild this winter I could have left them there without worrying about them freezing and splitting.

Cider update.. a couple of weekends ago I bottled and primed the first FV, 56 bottles.. and still the second FV in bulk as I await more bottles coming available as we drink up the plain apple juice.  There was an initial tasting a fortnight after priming and it's very nice, just a hint of bubbles on the sidesof the glass without any obvious fizz - which is how we prefer it.  Priming was very light, just 1/4-teaspoon.  I will do a small batch from the second FV with a higher level of priming (1-tsp), just to see how it turns out.

It could be fortunate that I scaled up cider production last autumn and got the micro-vineyard established on the allotment, I'm awaiting confirmation of ceoliac (antibodies are positive, biopsy was yesterday) and that would severely limit beer options for the future if it proves to be the diagnosis.

Way to go on the bottling! Do you prefer dry or sweet cider? I like perry myself.


On a different note, I noticed while reading one of the recipes use tea in the mash for beer. Do a lot of people do this? Is it for the tannins?
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Madasasteamfish
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09madasafish
« Reply #247 on: June 02, 2014, 02:52:12 pm »

Time for another spot of threadmancy.

How's everyone's brewing going?

The tinned fruit was ok but had suffered due to the boiler problems. I've got another couple of batches on the go (a batch of grocer's red which is ready for racking and another batch of rhubarb). And another batch of tea wine which is ready for bottling.

I made another attempt at the malt extract ginger beer which worked rather well (ended up being like a stronger version of Crabbies).
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Keith_Beef
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« Reply #248 on: June 02, 2014, 06:30:33 pm »

Now is about the season to keep an eye on the elder trees if you want to make elderflower wine or cordial.

If you don't want elderflower, it's still a good time of year to go out looking at them, because the flowers make the trees very easy to find, so you can make a note of where the trees are and then go back for the berries later in the year.
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« Reply #249 on: June 02, 2014, 06:32:38 pm »

Me and my dad have unpacked our new still from whre its been sitting in the loft the past three years, and are going to start with a basic whisiey for our first brew, maybe soak some apples in it after its distilled for an apple whiskey.
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