Author Topic: The Homebrew Megathread - Piss, Plonk and Moonshine.  (Read 33466 times)

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Offline Ingasm

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The Homebrew Megathread - Piss, Plonk and Moonshine.
« on: July 05, 2007, 07:48:01 AM »
Introduction

By not so popular demand, this is the official homebrew thread. Beer, and alcohol in general, is a big part of life. Let's not beat around the fucking bush here. It is the one thing that comes close to a fix all panacea. It disinfects wounds, eases emotional pain, it gets fat people laid, it looks good, smells good, tastes better, is the perfect accompaniment to stellar international dishes such as Chips and Kebabs, makes people gullible and easily swayed, and, in some circles, can even be used as currency.

Also implicated in at least 19000 deaths in 1998. (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 1998.)

Beer, wine and spirits are readily available from just about anywhere in Australia. Even remote aboriginal desert communities. So, why even bother making it at home?

Well, there are a couple of reasons.

1)   After a modest investment in some brewing gear, it’s cheap as fuck.
2)   Its fun to experiment with different things.
3)   It’s easier than getting raped in prison.
4)   You get ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES at the end of it.
5)   You can make just about anything you want.

I wouldn’t have a fucking clue about distilling spirits, or brewing wine, so I am going to focus on beer. I basically made this thread to share a few things that I've learned about making beer at home, maybe inspire some of you cunts, and maybe learn a few things off you too. Everyone is extremely welcome to pitch in with their experiences.

Beer

I’ll just cut the shit and get to what’s important. This what you will need to brew beer.

1. This address: Units 2 & 3 Stock Road Market Complex, 40 Port Pirie Street, Bibra Lake, Western Australia 6163

This is the store where most of the other homebrew stores in town get their fancy shit. They guy who owns it, Roy, is a really nice bloke and seriously knowledgeable. He is also missing fingers, which means he is a total badass. He knows everything about beer, and his store is pretty much the only place you can get liquid yeast cultures and other things like fresh hops.

2. Cooper’s Microbrewery

This package contains everything you need to brew, and also includes one beer kit in a can, brewing sugar, 30 plastic longnecks, and carbonation drops. It costs just under 80 dollars, and is great value for money compared to anything else. Also contains:

  • Hydrometer: This allows you to mesure the specific gravity, or density of the wort.
  • Fermenting bucket: What your wort lives in while it matures into beer.
  • Sticky thermometer: When over 9000, engages laser.
  • Airlock and grommets: Stop greeblies and possibly Jews from getting into the wort and snotting shit up.
  • Some shitty sanitiser: Not worth your time.
  • Little bottler: Makes it at least 100 times easier to put beer in aforementioned bottles.

3. A keen eye for cleaning and sanitising. If you don't, your beer will suck. It's that simple.

4. A keen eye for cleaning and sanitising. If you don't, your beer will suck. I really mean it.

5. A keen eye for cleaning and sanitising. If you don't, your beer will suck. You are going to fuck up and continuously fuck up if you don't ensure utmost cleanliness.

6. A bottle of Idophor, and a bottle of Pink Neo. Available at any good homebrew store.



Cleaning and Sanitising

If you didn't understand before, this is important. Sanitisation is required to prevent nasty infections that will make your homebrew taste like a felcher's vomit, or turn the alcohol in your beer into vinegar.



This is an acetobacter infection. This would be the vinegar turning one. This happened because I missed a crack in one of my fermenting buckets during sanitising. Cracks = bacteria = ruined beer. This was supposed to be a Hoegaarden.

Idophor is my steriliser of choice, and a good one to start with. It's a mix of phosphoric acid and iodine, and is more quick and effective than anything else I have used, with the added perk of not needing rinsing afterwards. The product Pink Neo is really good for cleaning the yeast cake off the bottom of a finished fermenter and other bits and bobs. I boil my taps and fittings in water after cleaning. I also use a dilute solution of hydrogen peroxide for general sanitisation.

You can never be too clean. My cleaning regimen, as an example: Gentle soak and scrub with pink neo, rinse with hot water, second scrub with pink neo, second rinse with hot water, fill fermenting bucket to the brim and add 25mL of Idophor, soak for at least 30 minutes. Drain through the tap, and then boil the tap for a few minutes. Voila, ready for wort. When doing any cleaning, it is really important that you use a soft cloth. Scratching the inside of a fermenter will guarantee infections time and time again, as these tiny scratches can inadvertently harbour millions of bacteria.

Ale or Lager?

There are two main types of beer, lager and ale (there is also a third variety, called lambic, which is unique to Belgium, but lets forget about it for a while). Lagers and ales may share many characteristics; they can also be completely different depending on how they are made. The only thing that definitively distinguishes ales from lagers is the type of yeast used during fermentation.

Ales

An ale is made with a top fermenting ale yeast, that means that the yeast floats fairly evenly throughout the wort, and fermentation occurs throughout the wort. Ales are generally known to have stronger, fruitier (estery) flavours than lagers, with many types of ale getting a lot of their flavour from the yeast. They ferment at higher temperatures than lagers, ideally you want to ferment ales at 18 degrees, for about one to two weeks. Most of the kits you get for homebrewing are supplied with ale yeasts, the notable exception being Cooper's premium Bavarian lager.

Some examples are Cooper's sparkling and pale ales, any stouts such as Guinness or Cooper's extra stout, James Squire's amber and golden ales, Little Creatures bright and pale ales, Weihenstephaner Hefeweißbier, Leffe blond and brune, Redback, Hoegaarden, the list goes on.

Lagers

A lager is made with a bottom fermenting lager yeast. This means that the majority of the yeast settles to the bottom, , and most of the fermentation occurs on the yeast cake that forms. Lagers often have a cleaner, crisper taste, most of the flavour comes from hops and malt, with very little flavour coming from the yeast. A lager is more complicated to make for a home brewer. Firstly, they require better temperature control than ales, needing to be fermented at around 13 degrees for as long as three weeks. Furthermore, they require a short period of higher temperatures (around 16 degrees) for the diacetyl rest which is the process where the yeast breaks down nasty buttery flavours. Finally, as lager yeasts are prone to producing horrible fart-like smells, the beer needs to be tapped off from the fermenter and stored in a separate container to condition for well over a month.
 
A few examples of lagers are any Australian mass produced beer except for Cooper's i.e. Victoria Bitter, Tooheys, Swan, Emu, XXXX. Better examples include Becks, Stella Artois, Pilsener Urquell, Bohemian Pilsner, Bock, Fürstenberg, Memminger, James Squire pilsener and Amstel.

Conclusion

Okay, you get the general idea. This is the absolute minimum to brew beer. The beer made straight from the kits won't be terrific, but it will be good to drink. If I can add one more thing, I really, really must stress that sanitation is the key to homebrewing. To make better beer, you will need to get a few more ingredients, but I'll get into that a bit later.

Hopefully, that's food for thought. I'll prepare ingredients tonight for an American Pale Ale, but as the flash on my camera is shit, I'd rather take photos during the day. We'll see.

Index

Techniques

Using a hydrometer

Cultivating your own yeast


Recipes

Recipe 1: American Pale Ale part 1,
part 2

Recipe 2: Belgian Brune

Recipe 3: English Bitter
« Last Edit: July 14, 2007, 08:12:23 PM by Inge »

Offline dparker

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Re: The Homebrew Megathread - Piss, Plonk and Moonshine.
« Reply #1 on: July 05, 2007, 08:06:01 AM »
Excellent work chap. :clap:

Also, while I was never able to get a distilling project off the ground, I am looking forward to discussing it here. I'd also recommend anyone interested check out this site: http://homedistiller.org

Does anyone here do, or have done it? By distilling of course, I mean the mass production of cheap and effective spirits.
I must slumber, per se.

Offline Necron

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Re: The Homebrew Megathread - Piss, Plonk and Moonshine.
« Reply #2 on: July 05, 2007, 07:15:43 PM »
Good stuff.

I will cultivate some Coopers yeast tonight for a brew Ill make later and explain how/why/when to do it.

Offline Mago_Haydz

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Re: The Homebrew Megathread - Piss, Plonk and Moonshine.
« Reply #3 on: July 05, 2007, 07:46:35 PM »
Yeah, Im very interested in this yeast cultivation idea. Ive only EVER used the packet yeast you get with the Coopers/Tooheys etc brew cans. Havent even considered using anything other than that. What are the advantages, does it effect taste/clarity/quality/mago-factor much at all?
Mongeese like results

Offline Ingasm

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Re: The Homebrew Megathread - Piss, Plonk and Moonshine.
« Reply #4 on: July 05, 2007, 08:15:45 PM »
Style: American Pale Ale part 1

Okay guys, let's get started. American Pale Ale is one of my favourite types of beer. This style of beer is all about the hops; malty or yeasty flavours generally take a back seat (or are pretty much indistinguishible), allowing the floral / citrus tastes and smells jump out and fuck you in the mouth. The two prime examples of this style that you will come across in Perth are Little Creatures Pale ale and James Squire's Golden Ale.

Only American hops (the breed of hop, they don't have to be grown there) should be used in this brew, as they possess the qualities you need for this style. This means that if you want to make this style of beer, you are going to need to buy hops. They should be available in little golden bags in 100g or 500g amounts. They aren't terribly expensive, as a little goes a long way. 500g is enough for about 10 brews, or 230 litres of APA. I paid just under 25 dollars for a 500 gram package, works out to be about 2.50 per brew. Pretty good value, considering how much they add to the overall quality of the beer.

Understanding Hops

I'll break this down and make it really simple. Hops are what make beer bitter and fragrant, and usually impart some kind of flavour to the brew. They balance maltiness in a beer, but have to be used appropriately; too little, and the malt flavours will dominate, too much, and the sharpness and bitterness will be overpowering. However, it's not quite as simple as chucking the whole lot in and hoping for the best. In order to make an APA, or any beer with hops, you will need to boil your wort. You add the hops at different points during this boil in order to get different effects from the hop. Don't worry, it's much easier than it sounds!

Bittering

In order to bitter the beer, you will need to boil hops in the wort for about 60 minutes or so, which allows time for the the alpha acids in the hops to become bitter. This stage is not needed if you are using a beer extract kit, like Cooper's, because the malt extract in it has already been bittered. When doing liquid extract brews (i.e. the malt has not been bittered), this step will be necessary. Just how bitter a hop is shown on the package as a percentage of alpha acids (my cascade hops are 5.8 percent). Right now, the bittering stage is not important, so I'll go over this part in my next brew (which will be a hefeweißbier bittered with Saaz hops, which is a Czech hop).

Flavouring

To flavour and add some aroma to the beer, the hops should be boiled for about 15-25 minutes. I usually boil mine for the full 25. So, if you are going to do a half hour boil (as I do), chuck in the hops about 5 minutes after you've gotten a rolling boil. I will elaborate on the boil when I write up the method a little bit later.

Aroma

To impart extra aroma to the beer, chuck the hops into the boil for only a short time, around 1-3 minutes before you turn off the stove. You can even toss the hops in after you have finished the boil, and just let it stand for a while. It's all good.

Hop Varieties for APA

The four major types of hop you want to look at are:

Cascade: This is the most common American hop used in APAs, it's cheap and imparts a great citrusy taste and smell. Is grapefruity and has a nice bite. I will be making an all Cascade APA for simplicity's sake. This is the main hop in Little Creatures Pale Ale.

Chinook: Gives a kind of herbal woody aroma, and is usually used for flavouring and bittering. There is a touch of Chinook in the finish of Little Creatures Pale Ale

Amarillo: Floral and citrusy, lacks a bit of the bite that cascade has. Pretty smooth; it's prominent in James Squire Golden Ale, if you want an idea of how it tastes and smells. I think it's also in Little Creatures Bright Ale, but I can't remember exactly. Correct me if I'm wrong.

Centennial: I've never used it or tasted a beer with it in it. I wouldn't have a clue.

Ingredients

Before you do ANYTHING, get your instructions.



And put them in the correct place.



Honestly, most instructions, especially the Cooper's, are utterly useless and will net you very ordinary beer. I shit you not, destroy those things and don't even give it a second thought. Toss them with glee. Ok, now that's out of the way... Excuse the dodgy photos. Hope they are clear enough.

One can of beer kit extract, Cooper's pale ale or something similar will be fine. I'm using Deliverance here.



One kilogram bag of dried malt extract. I use a little extra for more malt taste and alcohol. You can use brewing sugar or a brew enhancer if you want, just don't use table sugar for the love of god. Unless you want malt cider. Brewing sugar will give you a thinner beer overall, so I like to use malt, even though it's more expensive (about 7 dollars per kilo)



One bag of Cascade hops. I have the 500g bag here, probably best to get a 100 gram bag unless you are planning on making bulk batches.



A quality dry yeast, US-56. THIS IS IMPORTANT. Store the yeast that came with the can for yeast starter solutions (I'll get to that later). this yeast will cost you about $1.50 from a homebrew store. Buy it in bulk, because it's a great yeast.



250 grams of light crystal malted grain. It should already be cracked, so if it isn't, put it in a bag and bash it with a rolling pin until it is. I have 500 grams here. Grain isn't necessary, but I like to use it in my brew to add freshness, body and extra flavour. Feel free to leave this part out.



If you choose to use the grains in your brew, you'll need a lady's stocking. Preferably brand new, with no holes or ladders.



Conclusion of Part 1

I will get onto the method after work. This is taking longer than I thought!

Necron, that would be great if you could go over yeast cultivation, be sure to take photos! Also Haydz, the difference a good yeast will make is pretty remarkable. Can yeasts are usually old, of a lesser quality and make all sorts of weird flavours if they are fermented above 22 degrees C. Also, canned yeasts often take a long time to start up after you've pitched them into the wort, which leaves it open for bacteria and Jews to get in and start fucking up your brew. It's well worth the $1.50 for a good quality dry yeast. There are exceptions - the Cooper's yeast is pretty darn good I reckon, but only if you don't follow the instructions in the can.

Brew on.  :headbang:

Till next time!
« Last Edit: July 05, 2007, 08:18:58 PM by Inge »

Offline dparker

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Re: The Homebrew Megathread - Piss, Plonk and Moonshine.
« Reply #5 on: July 05, 2007, 11:28:14 PM »
This is sounding good. Little Creatures Pale Ale and (Weihenstephan) Hefeweissbier are two of my fave beers. Especially the hefe (there's at least 10 empty bottles around the floor somewhere I haven't bothered to take out yet).

I think I will need to sample some of yours, in the name of great science. Thank science for beer. 8)
I must slumber, per se.

Offline Dementor

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Re: The Homebrew Megathread - Piss, Plonk and Moonshine.
« Reply #6 on: July 06, 2007, 05:08:08 PM »
I fucken love Tooheys black ale how would you brew that?
my second choice would be something like Carlton Cold Ted's or Hahn Light (yes it's light beer but I fucken love the shit, except It would be better as a full strength)

a bloke I know Pitbull, he has a home brew set up nicely, he puts it in a 30 ltr keg in his fridge and has a tap through the door so he can pour himself cold beer.(also has a co2 bottle)


Offline Necron

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Re: The Homebrew Megathread - Piss, Plonk and Moonshine.
« Reply #7 on: July 06, 2007, 06:53:42 PM »
Alright then.

Cultivating your own Yeast


1. What you will need

To cultivate your own yeast, you will require
  • Good beer to cultivate from. I recommend any Coopers beer as their yeast adds so many delicious characteristics to your brew, and you can usually get it quite fresh. Make sure the beer has been standing upright for at least a day to allow all of the sediment to fall to the bottom of the bottle.
  • A Grommet
  • A longneck to use as a vessel to cultivate the yeast
  • About 300ml of water
  • About a teaspoon of sugar. The sugar is very important, as this is what will activate the yeast. The yeast will begin to eat away at the sugar and grow, releasing carbon dioxide. This is what the grommet is used for.
  • Last but certainly not least. SANITIZER. I cannot stress enough how important this is.




2. Methodology

1. Boil the 300 ml water in a kettle. While this water is boiling, sanitize your grommet and longneck.

2. Once the water has boiled, pour it into a small saucepan and place on the stove. Add the sugar and bring to the boil while stirring. You should notice the suger starting to pop. This is good and normal, do not be afraid.



3. After making sure the longneck is clean (remove the sanitizer as well !!), pour the boiled water/sugar solution into the longneck and insert the grommet.

4. Cool the bottle down. It is imperative that the water/sugar solution be cooled before you add the yeast. Too hot and it kills the yeast, but too cold and the yeast will not be activated. Depending on what beer you intend to brew, different temperatures will yield different results (this is the beauty of brewing, experimentation!), but if you get it to between 18 and 24 degrees, you should be ok. Here's a trick if you cant fit it in the fridge (make sure it stays upright for fuck's sake); block up the sink and fill it with water and place the longneck in the sink. While this is cooling down, why not have a drink ?



5. Once the longneck has cooled down, remove the grommet. Take your beer (which has been standing upright this whole time !) and carefully pour out the contents into a glass, making sure you keep the sediment in the bottle. This remaining sediment you will then pour very very very carefully into the longneck.



6. Replace the grommet and that's it. You're done Leave it for around 3 days in a relatively cool place and watch how the yeast grows. While you're waiting, why not have a drink ?






That's it for now people. Once this yeast has grown, Ill use it in a new brew  ;D

Offline Ingasm

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Re: The Homebrew Megathread - Piss, Plonk and Moonshine.
« Reply #8 on: July 07, 2007, 02:01:45 AM »
Sensational stuff right here!

I'm going to give this a shot with a fancy pants Belgian. Will pick up a bottle of Leffe on the way home, hopefully there will be some viable yeast left after the long journey. THE SECRETS OF LEFFE ABBEY WILL BE MINE.

As for a TED, It will have to be a lager, which is a bit more difficult to do at home, because lower temperatures need to be maintained (around 13 degrees celcius). Pale malt extract, dextrose for the thin body, thinking Pride of Ringwood or Cluster hops and a clean Saflager lager yeast should get pretty close. I've never made a true lager before, so maybe I could give this a shot.

TED isn't exactly a high target, so you could probably make something a heap better. Tooheys old, or Toohey's black ale I've never tasted, but it would probably just be a standard stout style. I'll read up a bit tonight and maybe get a few bottles on the way home.

Cheers again necron!

Offline dparker

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Re: The Homebrew Megathread - Piss, Plonk and Moonshine.
« Reply #9 on: July 07, 2007, 05:39:12 AM »
Ok... you got your way cunts... I give in. I am incredibly tempted to get into home brewing now. When the parentals get back, I shall try and sweet talk my way into permission to setup one. :P

I think some bribing with some of the by-product will come in handy.
I must slumber, per se.

Offline Ingasm

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Re: The Homebrew Megathread - Piss, Plonk and Moonshine.
« Reply #10 on: July 07, 2007, 05:54:22 AM »
Why get your parents permission? A fermenter doesn't take up all that much space...

Fuck guys (and by guys, I mean the five people inhabiting this thread), I'm really sorry I haven't written up / put on this brew yet. Work has been breaking my balls, I just got back then after starting at 8am this morning. Three dead kids and a nasty flu outbreak will do that, but don't fret, because I have time tomorrow so I promise you it will be right to go then.

I've been thinking about it Mick, if you are after a generic lager style, you can make something similar to (but probably better than) the examples you gave entirely out of a kit can with no added hops or grain, but with a lager yeast (Saflager, about $1.50) instead of the supplied yeast / another ale yeast. The problem is, if you are brewing lagers, you really do need a dedicated fridge and a socket timer ($5 from Bunnings) to maintain the temperature you need which is 13 degrees C, as I said above.

Necron, have you tried using malt extract instead of table sugar in your yeast starters? If so, are there any benefits or is it just as good with sucrose? I've read in a few books that brewing yeasts prefer maltose over sucrose, but I'd be interested in real world experiences.

Also, Cooper's ES is a damn good drop.

Idophor, on the other hand, is not.
« Last Edit: July 07, 2007, 06:05:22 AM by Inge »

Offline dparker

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Re: The Homebrew Megathread - Piss, Plonk and Moonshine.
« Reply #11 on: July 07, 2007, 06:00:51 AM »
Why get your parents permission? A fermenter doesn't take up all that much space...

Yeah, but there aren't too many ideal places at my house, and there's my little brother running around drinking poisons to deal with. Is iodophor a good drop? :P
I must slumber, per se.

Offline Ingasm

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Re: The Homebrew Megathread - Piss, Plonk and Moonshine.
« Reply #12 on: July 08, 2007, 01:30:09 AM »


FUCK! Murphy's law, isn't it?

Did the Pale Ale today, was fumbling around with the camera and rehydrating the yeast, when the wort boiled over the second I looked away. I lost about 700 mLs of wort, I added extra malt to compensate, but I lost a fair bit of the bitterness. What's more, I overfilled the fermenter. I tasted it and it's not nearly bitter enough, but the maltiness is good and the specific gravity is at about 1044, so that's standard, rather than the extra malt + strength I was after.

Shit happens... but it doesn't matter too much, I think I can fix it. What we want to do is bump the bitterness up about 5-10 IBUs (bitterness unit) or so. That should get us back in the ball park, I think.

I will add 25g of cascade hops to about 500mLs of water and malt extract and boil it for an hour, cool it, and toss it into the wort after the yeast has taken (i.e. airlock starts bubbling). I've never done this before, and I won't really recommend it either as there's definitely a higher chance of infecting the brew doing this. I'll see how it goes.

Anyway, I'll write up the method tonight.

Edit:

All fixed. I did what I outlined above, except I used 70g of cascade instead of a pathetic 25g. Nice and bitter! But thick and horrendously sludgy. Going to toss the sludge into the fermenter. Now there is going to be bits of hop floating about in the beer as a result of this, but I don't mind, as losing a bit of quality in visual departments is much better than losing a whole brew.



Jesus Christ it's revolting.

« Last Edit: July 09, 2007, 04:36:56 AM by Inge »

Offline cyanide_christ

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Re: The Homebrew Megathread - Piss, Plonk and Moonshine.
« Reply #13 on: July 09, 2007, 02:28:24 AM »
Did anyone else ever have that moonshine and cola about 6 or 7 years ago? I'd love to know what happened to that shit. It was the best thing ever. 500mL cans, 2.8 standard drinks per can, and only 99 cents each. Thats even better value than goon. I remember back in the old days I could get pissed off 3 cans of that shit. $3 night!! I wish that stuff was still around.

Offline Ingasm

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Re: The Homebrew Megathread - Piss, Plonk and Moonshine.
« Reply #14 on: July 09, 2007, 03:43:52 AM »
Did anyone else ever have that moonshine and cola about 6 or 7 years ago? I'd love to know what happened to that shit. It was the best thing ever. 500mL cans, 2.8 standard drinks per can, and only 99 cents each. Thats even better value than goon. I remember back in the old days I could get pissed off 3 cans of that shit. $3 night!! I wish that stuff was still around.

Sounds like a recipe for a good time. I have some time tonight, so I'm going to fix up the photos a bit and then write up the method for the APA. Finally.

Offline Ingasm

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Re: The Homebrew Megathread - Piss, Plonk and Moonshine.
« Reply #15 on: July 09, 2007, 06:06:31 AM »
Style: American Pale Ale part 2

Finally, we are ready to go.

Before we get started, make sure you have two saucepans, one as big as possible (6-10 litres, this will be your boil pot), and one not so big (for steeping your grain, if you choose to do so). Before staring, ensure everything is clean and sanitised (don't worry about the pots, they are going to be boiled anyway, just wash them and be done with it). Keep the kettle nice and close. A thermometer and a set of scales are recommended, but not really necessary.

First thing to do is get some water ready for the yeast. It's entirely possible to just sprinkle the dried yeast onto the wort after you have finished making it, but you get faster and better results if you rehydrate the yeast first. It takes no effort, so just do it. Boil the kettle, and pour about 300-400 mLs of boiling water into a clean and sanitised bottle, ensuring that the bottle lid is also sanitised. Plastic bottles will work just fine, but they will deform from the heat; as long as the lid can stay on firmly it doesn't matter. After you do this pop it in the freezer too cool down, you want it to be at about 20-30 degrees before you pitch the yeast into it.



Step 1: Preparing the Grain (Optional)

Caramel malt grain needs to be steeped on hot water for about half an hour in order to release the malt sugars. Ideally, you want the temperature to be maintained at between 60 and 70 degrees C during the steep, but lower temperatures are fine if you have time to steep for longer. Too hot, and the grains will leech tannins, which are really astringent (i.e. feel like they suck the moisture out of your mouth, chew on a grape seed to see what it's like.)

How much grain you use is a personal choice, but 300 grams or so works well to start. Weigh out about 300 grams or if you don't have scales, just eyeball it (they come in 500g or 1kg bags generally).



Now that is done, get the stocking, and fill it with the grains, to make a grain bag. Get someone to help you as this is fucking hard to do without spilling shit everywhere. Be sure to rinse the stocking in hot water before you use it, it doesn't need to be sterilised as the water from the grain will be going into the boil anyway.



Once the water in the small saucepan is at about 70 degrees, put the grain bag into it. Adding the grains will drop the temperature down to about 65, which is ideal. Thoroughly wet the bag, and poke it with a spoon to make sure the water soaks all the way through, just make sure you are gentle enough not to split the stocking. Leave it to steep for about a half hour. Give it a squeeze with the spoon every so often to make sure everything stays nice and wet. After a little while, the water should become dark brown and opaque.



Step 2: The Boil

Do NOT add the beer kit yet.

Method updated. Read this first!

Get the big saucepan and pour about two litres of boiling water into it.



Begin to add 1-1.2kg of light dried malt extract. Add it slowly, if possible, because if you are impatient like me and dump too much in it'll form big clumps of shit. Don't worry, these will dissolve with stirring and dunking.





Turn the stove to its lowest setting. Do it, or you will make an absolute mess.

Once the dried malt extract starts to dissolve, you will notice a frothy scum forming at the top.



This is apparently made of proteins and other shit, so scoop most of this off. This helps prevents boil-overs (which is what happened to me yesterday  :o)



If the grains have been steeped for long enough, add the juice from that saucepan. Wash your hands well, and squeeze the remaining water from the grain bag into the small saucepan. Get the kettle and rinse the bag, getting as much of the malt out as you can.



Add this juice to the big saucepan.



If all has gone to plan, the wort will look a little something like this. Let it simmer at low heat for about 5 minutes or so.



Step 3: Adding Hops

Add the hops to the boiling solution of dried malt extract. For this brew time, I did a 30 minute total boil; I boiled the first batch (flavour) hops for 25 minutes, and the second batch (aroma) hops for 2 minutes. So, for example, if I started the boil at 7:00, I would throw in the first lot of hops at 7:05, the second lot of hops at 7:28, and turn the stove off at 7:30, maybe even throwing in a couple of extra hops at this point for good measure. Keep in mind that you should place the hops into a grain bag or stocking if you don't want to gunk up the wort.

Measure out a decent amount of hops, I like about 50-60 grams or so to flavour, and 40 grams for aroma, and another 20 grams on top of that after I turn the stove off.

This is personal taste, as I like strong hop flavour. Keep in mind, I used 20% more malt in this brew than usual, and adjusted hops accordingly. Might be better to drop this down to 30-40g flavour, 15-20g aroma and 15-20g after turning the stove off, if you are using only 1kg of dried malt, but find something that works for you.



Place them into your grain bag or stocking.



Once a nice rolling boil has been established, toss the first batch into the wort.



Let it boil, pressing the bag or stocking often well to break up the hops, and make sure the wort circulates. When the time comes, toss the second batch of hops into the bag. Boil this for a few minutes, and then turn the stove off. At the end of the boil, throw the remaining hops straight into the wort (don't worry about the bag this time).

Step 4: Adding the Beer Kit

Open the can of extract, and pour it in, making sure you keep stirring.

Need Picture

Make sure to scoop out all the extract from the can. Spoon some of the boiling water from the saucepan into the can to help melt it all down for easy pouring.

Need Picture

Stir it so it is all completely dissolved.

Step 5: Preparing the Yeast

Remember the bottle of boiled water we put into the freezer? Go take it out, it should be nice and lukewarm now. Sterilise the outside of the yeast packet and a pair of scissors (I only do this because I am anal. Feel free to just toss it straight in). Open the sachet, and pour the yeast into the bottle, put the lid on, and shake the shit out of it for about 3 minutes. This does two things, it wets all the yeast and brings it into suspension, and it gives the yeast oxygen. It should look like this afterwards, completely homogeneous and opaque, a little bit like soy milk. 



Step 6: Finishing the Wort

After the boil has finished, pour the wort into the fermenter, and top it up to 22-23 litres of cold water. Make sure it mixes well.



If the temperature is between 20 and 30 degrees, pour the yeast solution straight into it. If its too hot, put the lid on the fermenter and wait a short while before pitching the yeast. Don't leave it too long, because wort without yeast is at very high risk of infection.

All Done!

Once the yeast is pitched, put the lid on and fit the airlock. Fill the airlock with either a few mLs of boiled water, or ideally, cheap vodka (this prevents any nasties from living in the airlock and potentially getting into the beer). Put the fermenter in a cool, dark place to ferment. You want to ferment it at 18-20 degrees, not 24-26 like most instructions will tell you. Wrap the fermenter in a towel, and forget about it for about 10 days. Bottle it, and age it for only a few weeks. Because there are so many hops, APAs are best fairly fresh.

Drink up.

 ;)
« Last Edit: July 16, 2007, 09:49:54 PM by Inge »

Offline Dementor

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Re: The Homebrew Megathread - Piss, Plonk and Moonshine.
« Reply #16 on: July 09, 2007, 04:51:25 PM »
Ok... you got your way cunts... I give in. I am incredibly tempted to get into home brewing now. When the parentals get back, I shall try and sweet talk my way into permission to setup one. :P

I think some bribing with some of the by-product will come in handy.
maybe if you make your bed and clean your room they might let you...

Offline Necron

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Re: The Homebrew Megathread - Piss, Plonk and Moonshine.
« Reply #17 on: July 09, 2007, 05:10:48 PM »
That looks like a great brew. Im pretty sure Ill use that yeast tonight and do a double brew tonight, one Muntons International Bitter and one Belgian dark ale.

Necron, have you tried using malt extract instead of table sugar in your yeast starters? If so, are there any benefits or is it just as good with sucrose? I've read in a few books that brewing yeasts prefer maltose over sucrose, but I'd be interested in real world experiences.

Also, Cooper's ES is a damn good drop.


Yes you can, and it will probably taste better to, but remember, its only a teaspoon. When was the last time you opened a pack of malt extract to use just one teaspoon ? Id rather just use sugar and not risk the malt getting contaminated.

Yes, it sure is.

Also, here's a neat trick to help with pouring out the extract from the tin. Fill a small saucepan with some water, place the tin inside the water, and simmer away for a bit before you open it. The extract should be easier to pour.

I will take some photos and also show you this lovely looking Belgian candy I intend to use.

Offline Ingasm

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Re: The Homebrew Megathread - Piss, Plonk and Moonshine.
« Reply #18 on: July 09, 2007, 06:41:01 PM »
That looks like a great brew. Im pretty sure Ill use that yeast tonight and do a double brew tonight, one Muntons International Bitter and one Belgian dark ale.

Yes you can, and it will probably taste better to, but remember, its only a teaspoon. When was the last time you opened a pack of malt extract to use just one teaspoon ? Id rather just use sugar and not risk the malt getting contaminated.

Yes, it sure is.

Also, here's a neat trick to help with pouring out the extract from the tin. Fill a small saucepan with some water, place the tin inside the water, and simmer away for a bit before you open it. The extract should be easier to pour.

I will take some photos and also show you this lovely looking Belgian candy I intend to use.

I generally buy bulk packets of malt anyway, and it always goes into the boil so contamination isn't really an issue for me but if sugar is just as good then why bother :D. I would always use malt for a yeast starter but, simply because of the larger volumes of wort you are dumping into your beer. Speaking of which, I should make one for the next brew.

Heating up the extract tin is a great idea, didn't even think about that. It would make it dissolve into the water faster and easier too, I think.

Anyway, looking forward to seeing how your Belgian turns out with the candy sugar. Where did you buy it from, and how much did it cost?

Offline Mago_Haydz

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Re: The Homebrew Megathread - Piss, Plonk and Moonshine.
« Reply #19 on: July 09, 2007, 06:57:50 PM »
Oh, I thought that was standard practise....I usually sit my tin in the sink full of boiled water from the kettle for a couple of minutes before opening it. Makes it fucking heaps easier.

By the way, when it comes to priming bottles have you guys had any luck with carbonation drops?
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Offline Necron

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Re: The Homebrew Megathread - Piss, Plonk and Moonshine.
« Reply #20 on: July 09, 2007, 07:36:25 PM »
Anyway, looking forward to seeing how your Belgian turns out with the candy sugar. Where did you buy it from, and how much did it cost?

The company that makes it is called Brewferm and its style is Oud Vlaams Bruin. I got it from Malthouse Homebrew Supplies in Welshpool for about $27 (a bit more expensive and will only make 12 ltrs, but probably worth it). They have the entire range.


Fuck, next time (if they have it, I would have got it if I saw it) Im going to get the Diabolo. If its anything like Duvel, it should be great, Belgian Golden Ales are amongst my favourite styles of all :)


Another tip : Instead of using stockings, or if you cant find any, I make a small bag out of muslim cloth, and that does the trick.

By the way, when it comes to priming bottles have you guys had any luck with carbonation drops?

Again, I just use a small amount of sugar, but I will see what I can do.


Offline chancellorisgod

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Re: The Homebrew Megathread - Piss, Plonk and Moonshine.
« Reply #21 on: July 09, 2007, 07:41:26 PM »
Another tip : Instead of using stockings, or if you cant find any, I make a small bag out of muslim cloth, and that does the trick.
In order to procure this "Muslim" cloth simply go to your nearest mosque with a pair of sharp scissors and cut the back out of one of their robes while they are praying! Or alternatively you could use some Muslin, which is cheap, easy to find at most haberdashers and doesnt nearly get you killed  :rofl:

lol j/k

Offline Ingasm

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Re: The Homebrew Megathread - Piss, Plonk and Moonshine.
« Reply #22 on: July 09, 2007, 07:50:03 PM »
Oh, I thought that was standard practise....I usually sit my tin in the sink full of boiled water from the kettle for a couple of minutes before opening it. Makes it fucking heaps easier.

By the way, when it comes to priming bottles have you guys had any luck with carbonation drops?

I swear by carbonation drops. I use 740mL Cooper's PET bottles, and two drops per bottle, and I get perfect carbonation every time. I just make sure I wash my hands really well, and sterilise my fingertips with isopropanol before I put them in the bottles.

As for the Belgian, Duvel is a good one. I've seen those brew kits around, but never tried one. What yeast do they come with? Just checked it out on google, malt is pale pilsener malt, the hops are Styrian Goldings for bittering and Saaz for flavouring.

I might have a shot at a Duvel from scratch, if I can find liquid pilsener malt extract somewhere.

Edit: Haha, I assumed you were talking about Muslin :P
« Last Edit: July 09, 2007, 08:06:18 PM by Inge »

Offline Necron

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Re: The Homebrew Megathread - Piss, Plonk and Moonshine.
« Reply #23 on: July 09, 2007, 07:59:59 PM »
As for the Belgian, Duvel is a good one. I've seen those brew kits around, but never tried one. What yeast do they come with?

Haha ^^ I assumed you were talking about Muslin :P

I cant quite remember, Ill check it out tonight, from memory it looked like a generic packet.

Haha yeah thats the one  ;D

Offline Mago_Haydz

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Re: The Homebrew Megathread - Piss, Plonk and Moonshine.
« Reply #24 on: July 09, 2007, 11:03:53 PM »
In regards to Inge's comment previously about never having brewed a Lager, Im not sure its entirely possible in standard home brew kits. Going back to my TAFE course in alcohol (of which I excelled in naturally - even before I turned 18) there are 2 main categories of beer. Ale and Lager. The main difference is that Lager is bottom fermented, whereas Ale is top fermented (as is your standard homebrew set up). Basically anything we brew is technically an ale. Or at least anything I have ever brewed/seen brewed. From my undertsanding, Lager is brewed at a much lower temperature as well, and takes a fair bit longer than the 5-10 days of an Ale. Im only going on what I remember from my TAFE course which was 9 years ago, so memory is a bit fuzzy.
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