Home Brew

B_AND_T

MIA
Book Reviewer
#1
Watching River Cottage or something the other night, 2 blokes were making homemade ginger beer. Easy receipe, sugar, yeast, load of lemon and ginger. Left it 2 days before drinking. It had the same alcohol content as a pint of best.

Does anyone else have any simple methods of making homebrew? Reason being is that I'm a tight git.
 
#3
Have looked into it for the same reasons but haven't actually taken the plunge yet. From what I have found you can buy a kit online for about £50 which is reusable and will cost about £15 a time after that for 30 odd pints.

You can also just buy "turbo yeast" fire it into whatever you want to ferment, fruit juice for example and let it do it's thing releasing the pressure every couple of days. Or same thing with champagne yeast. Apparently bakers yeast dies when it gets to 2-3% abv.

Also saw Hugh produce cider by pressing a load of apples mixing with water and sugar and sticking it in a pastic bin to let natural yeast in the air do its thing.

There is a home brew thread on here somewhere as it featured heavily in my "research"
 
#4
I don't think 2 days would give you a brew to get pissed on, it would be a pleasant fizzy pinic tipple for all the family.

you need to google 'Homebrew' to get your potent stuff.

There is a thread on here which points you to Echt Deutsche kits
 
#5
Hells Bells ... reminded me of the " Ginger Beer Plant " which was all the rage , many moons ago , when I was a lad . IIRC based on yeast , ginger and lemon and fed daily on sugar ... the mix was bottled into screw top pop bottles ... left to " mature " during which time bottle tops would be blown out with the contents sprayed everwhere . One of the great things was that after bottling you split the " Plant " in two and could pass half onto your mates .
 

B_AND_T

MIA
Book Reviewer
#6
Hells Bells ... reminded me of the " Ginger Beer Plant " which was all the rage , many moons ago , when I was a lad . IIRC based on yeast , ginger and lemon and fed daily on sugar ... the mix was bottled into screw top pop bottles ... left to " mature " during which time bottle tops would be blown out with the contents sprayed everwhere . One of the great things was that after bottling you split the " Plant " in two and could pass half onto your mates .
I remember doing that as a kid!
 
#7
B and T: Home Brewing is one of the best hobbies ever to take up. It's sounds difficult and can be a bit labour intensive BUT the results are well worth it. (About 60 - 90 minutes to Brew and about the same to bottle it all) We prefer to call it Craft Brewing nowadays, due chiefly to the negative conotations of the term 'Home Brew' which are based largely on the 1970s student attempts which were invriably f*cked up due to poor hygiene and impatience. Capital outlay will be about £90. Go to www.homebrew.uk or Google Jimsbeekit.co.uk/forum.

I've made 38 batches over the past few years with only 1 failure which was my fault for taking a short-cut on sanitation. Rsult was 20 Litres of, stinking liquid. My Stouts, Bitters, IPAs and Dark Ales are top notch and have many admirers. For my kids I even put on a lager ( yeah I know, absolutely no finesse - my kids). All brews work out at about 35 - 40p per pint and a batch is 5 Gallons.

All of the above drinks made from Beer 'Kits', but now I've pregressed to grain brewing and have a micro brewry in the sh*d and though Grain is even more labour intensive, the smell of beer in the making is simply heaven. The results are very satisying too.

Started growing my own hops and should have the first of the crop in Sep 13.

So, crack-on. I think there's a thread on the subject on ARRSE as well.

Good luck.
 
#8
I've got a couple of demijohns of cider bubbling away happily in the kitchen as we speak. What I'm absolutely not going to do is put it all through the still that I haven't made out of an old pressure cooker to make some particularly vicious applejack. Oh no. Not me.
 

Soggy4978

Old-Salt
Book Reviewer
#9
Scabbers, since you seem to be the man in the know. How much space, roughly, do the home brew kits for IPAs and such like take up? I've been toying with the idea for a while but space is a premium and my missus would kill me if I set up a load of kit that takes up half the kitchen.
 
#10
I've got a couple of demijohns of cider bubbling away happily in the kitchen as we speak. What I'm absolutely not going to do is put it all through the still that I haven't made out of an old pressure cooker to make some particularly vicious applejack. Oh no. Not me.

What was your address again?..........
 
#13
Soggy4978: Making it in the kitchen is always a bit of bind, but I simply do it whilst 0A is at church or doing her good works. The fermenter is the biggest item and you need somewhere warm to keep it when full of the brew (wort) for about a week. Mine was in the downstairs Karzi until 0A got fed up with it, so I bought small submersible heater which allows you to park the vessel out of the way somewhere like under the stairs. (The heater is a bit like an aqaurium heater e.g. an electric fire element in a test tube).

Your biggest worry will be storing the finished product. I don't drink in the week and to be honest my consumption at the week-ends is quite modest so stock control can be a bit of a problem, though I simply would not have the gumption to avoid HMRC customs in flogging off certain brews to friends neighbours and colleagues at £1-10p per bottle the 10p being deposit on the bottles which are expensive to keep chucking out. Tip hang around you loacl recycle centre after Christmas / New Year - plenty of bottles there for the taking.

It can be done - and in terms of space required for storage of kit...under the stairs would be a good example, but the sh*ds or garages are equally usable providing you have a heater. As an aside, whilst fermenting, the temp has to remain pretty constant, so I lag it with the Softy Jacket that HM provided me some years ago - works a treat and saves electricity as well as the life of the heater - which is thermostically controlled anyway, but you don't need it constantly switching on an off. I was brewing during the sub zero temps in Jan 12 with no problems.

Do your home work first, read-up, follow the blogs, (PM me if you wish), then make a start. Warning.....it becomes a habit.

Currently Brewing Cooper's European Lager in time for the summer BBQ season. Lager takes about 3 months to condition after bottling. Ales can be drunk in a couple of weeks but I always leave it 6 weeks.

Christ it's only 1500 and I'm ready for a pint now !
 
#14
Got 350 litres of ginger beer brewing but the recipe is proprietary. What I can tell you is simple is better, avoid white sugar and use barley malt if you can, along with fresh ginger. Ale yeast gives good flavour. About 10g dry yeast in 5 gallons should do the trick. Fermentation is about 8-10 days with SG of around 1063 and final gravity of around 1040. Secondary fermentation at around 4-10 deg C in the bottle or cask for ten days gives a really nice fizz. You can up the alcohol by allowing full fermentation but you'll lose the sweetness doing that.

Also got a couple of kegs of Bock and Bitter in the fridge which have been conditioning for the last six weeks I was away. The Bock has a strong chocolate flavour from using crystal malt. Dribbling down my shirt as I type.


In agreement with Scabbers, lagers ferment at around 10 deg C and ales around 15-17 deg. Conditioning for three months is good but they're generally drinkable around five weeks or so. Ales are OK from around three to four weeks I find. Longer conditioning does make the flavours a lot fuller, so it's a toss up between thirst and quality.
 
#15
If brewing from kits or extract you don't need too much gear, a couple of big stock pots for the stove, a 5 gallon fermenting vessel and something to keep the beer in, either bottles or a 5 gallon keg. Expect kits to cost between £12 and £22 for 5 gallons (40 pints).

Brewing all-grain needs more kit, all the above plus a mash tun and a boiler (and ideally at least 2 kegs so you can keep stocks up).


Here's my set-up:

http://www.arrse.co.uk/cookery/166453-real-ale-real-men-11.html#post3969644

All grain is cheaper to make, about 22p a pint for the ingredients and electricity. I find it better than many commercial beers.
 
#16
A few years back, I had one of those "Geordie Mild beer kit" - it was 50% off in the shop because it was at it's sell by date, and right dusty the tin was too.

I've forgotten the amount of sugar instructions in Finnish said to use, but it was quite small, as it's illegal to home brew stronger than 2-point-summat % alcohol - the Swedish instructions said to used about 700g of sugar, as their homebrew limit is even lower...

I think I used at least a couple of kilos and also added extra "turbo yeast" used for wine-making. At bottling, I only put about a quarter teaspoon of sugar, as I'm not a big fan of fizzy beer. The result was a fairly dark, pretty thick beer. Didn't taste too bad either. According to one of those wine-making floaty alcohol thingies, it was apparently about 8%.

I also experimented with just sugar, water and yeast. When that stopped bubbling, I poured it into an 2-litre ice-cream container and put it into the freezer. I removed the layer of ice every 6 hours or so, for about a week. You lose about half of it, but the result is "interesting".

Another experiment was just yeast added to orange juice.
 
#17
Used to get fresh pineapple juice from the farm stalls around Grahamstown. Leave a half gallon jar of that on the back seat of your car for a couple of days and it gets pretty interesting. The container blows up like a balloon and needs to be opened in the bathroom after being chilled in the fridge. Very tart, fizzy and good for a thirst, although low in alcohol. Does give you the shits though....
 
#18
Used to get fresh pineapple juice from the farm stalls around Grahamstown. Leave a half gallon jar of that on the back seat of your car for a couple of days and it gets pretty interesting. The container blows up like a balloon and needs to be opened in the bathroom after being chilled in the fridge. Very tart, fizzy and good for a thirst, although low in alcohol. Does give you the shits though....
Remember the stuff the floppies used to brew from the tops of pineapples? Christ, that had a kick to it.
 
#19
Hells Bells ... reminded me of the " Ginger Beer Plant " which was all the rage , many moons ago , when I was a lad . IIRC based on yeast , ginger and lemon and fed daily on sugar ... the mix was bottled into screw top pop bottles ... left to " mature " during which time bottle tops would be blown out with the contents sprayed everwhere . One of the great things was that after bottling you split the " Plant " in two and could pass half onto your mates .
I remember doing that as a kid!
Me too. May have to revive the concept for MasterPlume.
 
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